An Open Letter To The GARBC

7 Sep

Read the Back Ground here

Dear GARBC,

Congratulations on not mattering anymore. A very wise move distancing yourself from Cedarville College. I think that should work out great for both of you. In your case you can drift even further from having any kind of useful impact or meaning in the world and in Cedarville’s case maybe now that they are not associated with you they can continue to move toward being even more faithful in impacting the world for Christ.

I know I am talking heresy right now. Crazy talk that proves that I am just a fool who needs to read his Bible. Except for one thing. I do. And guess what, it does not look good for you.  Have you read about the Church at Corinth lately…it might help (if it’s for this dispensation that is). You have a big mouth and a severely furrowed brow but no fruit to show for your alleged faith. (The Kingdom of God is a matter of power not of talk). You continue to use your dubious dispensational theology to protect you from behaving like a Christ follower should. You sit in your fortress, waiting for the devil to attack or Jesus to return and your bad theology justifies it. At the same time you criticize useful ministries all around you and distance yourselves from them. In this sense you are separate from these ministries but not because of Holiness (the root word of sanctification or separation…to be set apart), but because of your own sin. You are separate, but only because you and many of the ministries you eschew are going in different directions. They are following Jesus and you are following you own selfish desire for self-protectionism. So a few suggestions are in order.

1. This is very basic but it bears repeating, and if it helps you can say it out loud a few times “It is not about you.” I took a look at your core values and such on your website, and never have I seen a ministry group that was so self-referential, I suppose that this make sense as the only people in America who have ever heard of the GARB are already in it, or have praise the Lord escaped from it. However, I would suggest that you discover one of my favorite terms: Sola Deo Gloria. It’s not about you it is about God. And if it is about God then it is about worship. And if it is about worship then one would have to assume that the best way to worship him would be in heaven…and yet you guys haven’t been raptured yet…So you would have to assume that there is a reason that you are still on this earth besides propping up the Christian school movement. So, Let’s ask our selves hmmm, what could that reason be? Why are we here? If it is not about spending all our time making news for absolutely stupid reasons (and it isn’t) and if it isn’t about spending our time talking to ourselves about how everyone else is evil and we aren’t (and it is not) then why are you here, hmmm? Which brings us to the second point:

2. It is about mission. In Isaiah we read “yes Lord walking in your ways, your name and your renown are the desire of our heart” (if you are uncomfortable with the understandability of that verse you can Textus Receptus it up and throw in a walk-eth). Now how does that relate? Simple, Worship is the fuel of missions flame. We do evangelism not because it feels really good, not so we can introduce folks to our quirky American Church behavior, not even because people really need it (though they do). We live mission because God deserves it. We make more worshipers because Jesus deserves the renown. Sola Deo Gloria, get it? So every time you fortress you are not only being disobedient to hundreds of clear commands  that you somehow convolute, you are are stealing worship from Jesus. Worship that he deserves. Now I am no expert but it would seem to me that this is a bigger deal than a Christian university attracting students from a different Christian denomination. No wait you are right it really would be awful if one of those liberal Southern Baptist went to Cedarville and through good teaching accidentally ended up getting closer to God…man what was I thinking…

3. What in the world is up with you guys and hiding out in your fortress? The church is called to be the aggressor not the protector. Jesus says that he will build his church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Now think about that, hell has gates. Gates, has anyone ever been attacked by gates? Has any private ever been commanded by his colonel to jump in the gates and get to the front? I thought not, so if hells has gates, who is on the offensive?

4. This is a biggie but I beg you to have a correct view of Culture. Some of my favorite people in the world were GARBC missionaries, they are people who have affected me to this day. But, somehow you have failed to apply missional thinking to modern (post-modern?) American living. Culture is not the enemy of Mission. It is the field. We do not need protection from culture we need to be redeemers of culture. Some of us realize this. And people are encountering our Savior who deserves their worship. They are being discipled in His word and they are reaching others in their “worlds” for Christ. The end result is that Jesus gets more worship. Cool huh.

Oh well my GARB friends, don’t worry it has been a long time since you mattered, if Jesus works in your lives perhaps you will again. But if not, don’t worry while you are whining about tiny family conflicts and searching under every rock for someone who disagrees with you, so you can label them and separate from them, some of us will continue to sacrifice it all to make sure that our King is worshiped.

As long as you are making proclamations could you officially distance yourself from me…It helps with my street cred. Oh wait you can’t you are not allowed to say poop.

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74 Responses to “An Open Letter To The GARBC”

  1. formerly "Lindseygeerling", Linz B September 8, 2006 at 3:19 pm #

    Word, Amen, Alleluia, Fo-shizzle, etc….
    I’m gonna send this to many friends, spread HIS glory!

  2. John Norris April 14, 2007 at 12:02 am #

    Never have I felt so attacked by a professing fellow Christian. Do you really know the GARBC? Do you know what is in my heart as a GARBC pastor? I know that Satan accuses the brethren, but when is it considered spiritual and emergent to act like him? The GARBC is made up of a lot of independent Baptist churches. To paint them all with a broad brush is, well, just as judgmental as you claim they are.

    • Neal Davis November 22, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

      I know GARBC cult as well as anyone – I lived it, and study under it for 24 years. They are primarily a bunch of dishonest, uneducated, lunatics, unable to think for themselves. They can’t interpret scripture accurately and they do more damage to the Christian community then good. Please do yourself a favor and don’t proclaim yourself to be a Christian or a pastor of the true scripture; I now know you are a total fraud if your are mixed up in the GARBC cult!

  3. poopemerges April 14, 2007 at 10:04 am #

    To be accurate I was not attacking a GARBC church, I was attacking the denominational leadership. I am sure there are great churches in the GARB, I know a few.

    Yes I spend most of my life in the GARB.

    Secondly I have no idea what you mean by spiritual and emergent? As I am not a giant fan o’ emergent as you will see on the rest of the sight.

    I am concerned for missional living and good theology. And whether you like it or not there is very little of either coming out of Garb leadership.

    IF you are a missional church in the Garb I say bless you and keep up the good work, but that does not in my mind change the heart of what the GARBC is about, which in my 18 years in it and the next 15 around have not been mission.

  4. herb s loops July 10, 2007 at 10:12 am #

    I also grew up in the GARB,after spending time
    reading the website it seems the in the name of
    separation the GARB leadership has become the
    most condescending church orginization around.
    These people need to wake up!!!! ALL people of
    faith who love the Lord need to cooperate to
    fight the actual forces of evil who are trying
    to destroy us all.This spliiting of hairs only
    advances the Devil’s purpose of devide and
    conquer.The definition of evangelism does not
    include the word separatist.Hows this?there are
    actually going to be sbcers, neo-evangelicals,
    Catholics,Presbyterians,etc.in heaven.If your
    goal is to bring people to Christ, your man-made
    Doctrine is hindering that mission.

  5. Frank Hartwig July 23, 2007 at 2:21 pm #

    Such vituperative spewing against brothers in Christ gives the lie to your supposed love for everyone. In the name of inclusivism you exclude.

    Shut down your website and get out and love people into Christ’s kingdom.

  6. poopemerges July 23, 2007 at 3:15 pm #

    You are not great at getting the point or reading apparently but you get lot of points for using the word “vituperative.”

    Deal with the point, show me how the GARBC has not strayed from mission and I will make this website into a tribute to them. Deal with the post, as it seems a bit hypocritical to rip on me for ripping on them…at least I make an aguemnt for what I say.

  7. Frank Hartwig August 30, 2008 at 10:09 am #

    I wrote you on the GARBC leadership issue some time ago. I want to revisit the issue here. What good do you suppose will come of your excoriating fellow Christians in front of the whole electronic world? I’m certain that the Devil is shouting whoopee at your bitter attitude. You are doing exactly the same thing that you deride. You claim to love every brand of Christian while lamblasting one brand!

    When is the last time you did a kind act to a friend in your neighborhood for no other purpose than to be kind, and, perhaps, to lead into an opportunity to tell him about the loving Lord Whom you champion with such vituperation? I hope that you can answer, “Very recently.”

    • Neal Davis November 22, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

      Frank Hartwig – the GARBC spews excoriating information in front of the whole electronic world – just google GARBC and it’s there for everyone to see. I lived in the GARBC hypocritical system for 24 years. You guys have managed to spew for damage to Christianity than anyone single group – lay off you hypocritical wimp!

  8. ddonnie August 30, 2008 at 1:07 pm #

    Frank, You sir, have got to be kidding me. I am a very close and personal friend of D, and trust me you are way off.

    My friend, we are not to scold the unbeliever because they can not, by nature, follow the law of which they know nothing of. However our fellow brothers and sisters who should know better, should be called out if they are wrong, even though love them all we can. For example, my best friend happens to be a member of the GGF, but when it comes to theology, he knows that I think he is wrong.

    On the matter of loving people, D is one of the most loving guys I know, his heart breaks for the lost, and when we do something to help our community, he and his family are usually the main contributors.

    Next time Frank, before you talk, Consider that just because D is an activist against incorrect theology, it does not mean he is not a loving a good person

    ddonnie

  9. poopemerges August 30, 2008 at 11:50 pm #

    Hey Brother Frank, your back! I just apologized to you in a post 🙂

  10. R Thomas September 6, 2008 at 3:47 pm #

    I have plenty of concerns regarding the GARBC, but could this article in any way be accused of being “always with grace and seasoned with salt” as we are instructed in Colossians 4:6? Truth persuades, my friend, not sarcasm nor snide remarks. Let us speak the truth, but let us do it in love (Eph 4:15).

  11. poopemerges September 6, 2008 at 4:04 pm #

    When Elijah asked if their god was on the toilet in his confrontation with the gods of Baal, did you find that offensive (I mean I know that modern Bible translators do because they do not translate it…but rest assured it is there)..I don’t , I find it funny. I think humor also persuades, and sarcasm is all over the Bible even in the words of Jesus:

    Luke 13:32ff At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.'”

    and “you are not children of Abraham you are children of your father the devil…”

    I can not stress this enough I believe the GARBC is theologically weak (moralism is not the Gospel) and contra-mission, so they will get no nice words from me.

    D

  12. Seth McBee September 6, 2008 at 4:05 pm #

    R. Thomas.

    By your words…Paul’s words to the Pagans weren’t seasoned with salt, neither were the prophets in regards to Israel or the gentiles, and then you have Christ who did the same to the Pharisees…

    So…could you define “speaking the truth in love?”

    Does this mean that we have to come to everyone like a Christian radio host, with a fake smile and “uplifting” talk in a soft voice?

    Just wondering how you would define speaking the truth in love.

  13. R Thomas September 6, 2008 at 8:43 pm #

    I think the tone of this article is much different than Christ calling Herod a fox (which, by the way, is not sarcasm, but a simile) or declaring the Pharisees to be beholding to Satan (again, which is not sarcasm).

    Speaking the truth in love does not mean nice words, or radio host smiles. Call them sinners, point out there mistakes, hold them to their inconsistencies, but do not belittle someone who is honestly seaking to obey the Word of God. Don’t mock them. Be civil. And speak about them as if you were speaking to them with the intent of persuading them.

    Your main points did just that (seek to persuade), but the introduction and concluding paragraphs were mostly the subject of my objection.

    And regarding Elijah’s sarcasm; I would think we could address erring brothers in a different way than we would blatant Satan worshipers. Surely you would agree with that, wouldn’t you?

  14. Seth McBee September 7, 2008 at 1:50 am #

    What about Ezekiel and Jeremiah?

    Jeremiah made fun of the Israelites by saying they call on trees as their father and stones that they were made by them. (Jeremiah 2:27) or when Jeremiah says that the Israelites are having sex with trees and stones when they whore after them (Jeremiah 3:9).

    So, these are supposed to be God’s people and both Jeremiah and Ezekiel makes sure they understand how stupid they are as they whore after trees and stones…

    So, your logic doesn’t stand.

  15. R Thomas September 7, 2008 at 6:07 pm #

    If you can not see the difference between indicting blatant idolaters on their worship of stone and saying to (possibly) erring brothers “congradulations on not mattering anymore” then perhaps you are being intentionally obdurant.
    Why not err on the side of grace?
    -Ask the host to give you my email then we can contact one another by phone if this is really a concern and you are not just trying to catch me in a slip of logic. Protracted blips on a blog site are not the most efficient means of communication.
    God bless you.

  16. Ddonnie September 7, 2008 at 10:09 pm #

    Worshiping on the alter of religion and not God, is in and of itself idolatry. Putting your own cultural desires above the kingdom of God is idolatry, telling someone that they can’t do a certain form of ministry because it conflicts with their over-spiritualized traditions, is idolatry. Need I continue?

  17. poopemerges September 7, 2008 at 10:16 pm #

    R: It is ironic that you are arguing with Seth, he is a good friend and he attends a garbc church…but since we are discussing it let me just point out what the difference is to me: I am not attacking a person, i am attacking a corrupt system, I don’t think that organizations get protection as “brothers” they are organizations…In this case terrible one that actually impedes mission amongst good members like Seth…

    D

  18. Seth McBee September 7, 2008 at 10:24 pm #

    R. Thomas…

    I still can’t believe you don’t understand this. Jeremiah was speaking to God’s covenant people…

    So, Jeremiah made fun of them to see how retarded they were being so that they would turn from moralistic pagan gods to the grace of the true YWHW.

    Again…the statements still stand. Not sure why you are not getting this.

  19. poopemerges September 7, 2008 at 10:33 pm #

    Or God speaking to Israel “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy and say to your husbands, “Bring us some drinks!” Amos 4:1

    That is funny crap…

  20. ddonnie September 7, 2008 at 11:29 pm #

    erm, uhhh, i could be wrong, but i thought it was YHWH. right? Not poking fun, just curious.

  21. R Thomas September 8, 2008 at 11:29 am #

    Maybe I won’t ever get it then. All I know is, that men who speak for God are not the same thing as God Himself. While I don’t see Christ shying away from conflict in the Gospels, neither do I see Him making crass or belittling statements. To call someone a brood of vipers is aggressive, but it is not sarcastic, or mocking. He was serious . I doubt He elbowed Peter and said, “Did you catch that zinger I threw at them?”

    I am missing some information regarding “impeding mission amongst good members like Seth.” What is the story behind that? How are they impeding? To my understanding the worst they could do is disavow you. The GARBC provides nothing of substance to its members other than association, so how can they impede anything going on in an independent GARBC church? (I am asking with sincerity. I do not assume any answers to those questions.)

    Also, I would ask to whom was the letter actually addressed? If the intended audience was really the GARBC, how effective do you think it was? Wouldn’t inteligent personal confrontation be more effective (and Biblical according to Matthew 18)? It is a system but it is opperated by individuals. All of whom have telephones and email addresses. If you really want to make a change or a point then get serious about it and do it. But if your intended audience was really just all your buddies who already agree with you and you wanted to show everyone how you could stick it to the GARBC, then the letter accomplished its purpose.

  22. R Thomas September 8, 2008 at 11:57 am #

    I would also add, brothers, that while I do recognize all of the passages you have brought to my attention, I do not want you to forget other equally inspired words.
    Blessed are the peacmakers. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are the merciful.
    A soft answer turns away wrath.
    The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome, but kind to everyone, patiently enduring evil, CORRECTING HIS OPPONENTS WITH GENTLENESS. (2Tim 2:24, 25).
    Titus 3:2 avoid quarreling, be gentle, show PERFECT COURTESY to all people.
    James 3:17 the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peacable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
    Prov 25:15 with patience a ruler (or organization) may be persuaded, a soft tongue will break a bone.

    I would exhort you to try to demonstrate the same patience to other believers as God has shown you in your life of spiritual development.

  23. Seth McBee September 8, 2008 at 1:15 pm #

    R. Thomas.

    I think it all depends on who you are speaking with. If you are speaking with people who are sinners and in need of a Saviour and have little understanding of what it means to find the grace of Christ, then soft words from the Saviour is probably, let me say, more than likely, the best way to go about it…take a look at the woman at the well…even though Jesus still called her a whore, in his own words, by asking, “where is your husband.”

    So, we don’t ignore the verses that you continue to put forth. So, I will definitely being the gentle word to people who need a gentle word, but will also bring a sarcastic, strong word to those who are slumbering in their sleep of a false understanding of YHWH (sorry ddonnie…I was typing fast last time).

    By the way…not sure how you relate when you are spoken to Mr. Thomas, but when someone brings strong words of contempt at me…I usually listen and check to make sure that I am not being a meathead.

    This has happened every time a hyper Calvinist comes at me, or a Muslim challenges me, or even a brother makes fun of me in their own way…

    This is actually why I “woke up” from some of my legalistic tendencies. Piper, Chandler and Driscoll (and some others that I love, such as my good friends Erik Raymond and David Ponter)all made fun of me per se and brought strong rebuke…but it was all from the word of God to challenge my thinking on certain things.

    So, I think it comes down to who you are talking to and it is not always correct to come with pixie dust and rainbows, sometimes people need to see a Jeremiah, Ezekiel or John the Baptist in their lives.

  24. Joel Shaffer September 8, 2008 at 8:50 pm #

    As someone who has grown up in the GARBC and is an active member of a current GARBC church, and someone who knows D quite well, I echo Seth’s statement. Also, if you follow this blog you will find out that when someone really wants to go deeper about a subject that is the object of D’s humorous sideswipes, he will get serious and have a very civil conversation that is full of grace and seasoned with salt (check out the conversation of Today’s Heretic, West Michigan Style).

    By the way, if I remember correctly, D did send it to someone at the GARBC via e-mail, but it didn’t garner any response. Back then the GARBC had circled their wagons. I think if he sent it now, he would get a response as I did a few months ago from one of their editors (about a different subject and they were quite engaging in a good way). However, the Cedarville situation is old news, so why would he send it now? The only reason we are still discussing what happened over two years ago is that everyone else keeps bringing it up, not D.

  25. R Thomas September 11, 2008 at 2:10 pm #

    In Matthew 11:29 Christ described Himself as gentle and lowly of heart. So don’t characterize all gentleness as rainbows and pixie dust. One can be valiant for truth and burn with holy anger and still be gentle. I stand by my perspective that the fiercest we see Christ in the Gospels is still not the demeaning, belittling, and mocking attitude that I found in the open letter to the GARBC.

    It sounded like a half-cocked response to the GARBC distancing itself from Cedarville. If the letter was a prayerful and holy response, then the fault is mine. (I am by nature a very brash and insolent person; for this reason I try to err on the side of grace.) But if you are truly acting out of conviction and truly seeking to behave in a manner that best promotes the glory of God and not just responding to frustrating situations with frustration, then may God be glorified in you.

    I might check in every now and then, brothers, but I doubt I’ll be as engaging in the future. Thankyou for the conversation. God bless you and your ministries.

  26. amybaker September 18, 2008 at 9:56 am #

    funny, funny, funny. I just discovered this past post, and was shocked to learn when reading the back story that BBC, located in my home town, was also kicked out. Shocked, b/c it’s hard to conceive of a group more conservative than they.
    BTW poop, you probably already know, but hilariously enough, when you google GARBC, this post is about the 6th or 7th hit.

  27. poopemerges September 18, 2008 at 2:35 pm #

    🙂 I know…it makes me a lot of friends…You are from Scranton? You ever see Scrantonicity? Or Dwight walking around the town?

    D

  28. Joel Shaffer September 18, 2008 at 4:19 pm #

    Amy,

    I think BBC is still connected to it. They (BBC) are allowed to have a display at the GARBC national conference, whereas Cornerstone and Cedarville have been banished from displaying and from advertising in their magazine. However, without Cornerstone and Cedarville, BBC has become the new target for the right-wing fundies in the conference because they are the most progressive group left, which is somewhat amusing……

  29. poopemerges September 18, 2008 at 5:02 pm #

    “Somewhat” amusing! That is freaking hilarious!

  30. Joel Shaffer September 18, 2008 at 5:41 pm #

    Sorry D,

    I am not totally amused (I wish that I was) because I am still in the GARBC. When I think of the GARBC, I experience a merry-go-round of emotions going from laughter to anger to numbness then back to laughter to anger to numbness then back to laughter to anger to numbness (I think you get the idea). Therefore, I have learned that the best way to deal with it is to pretend it doesn’t exist, which is precisely what those in leadership at my church have chosen to do. Of course this post is like reopening a bunch of scabs and pouring salt on my wounds!!!!!!!!!!

  31. poopemerges September 18, 2008 at 5:44 pm #

    To be fair I am not the one who keeps reopening them…I have moved on 🙂

    D

  32. poopemerges September 18, 2008 at 5:52 pm #

    and still as a Cornerstone Grad you have to at least smile at the concept of BBC being progressive…

    D

  33. Joel Shaffer September 18, 2008 at 6:15 pm #

    Actually it brings some laughter, especially since Dallas has become progressive in its dispensationalism, BBC and Seminary has taken up the mantel as the hub of traditional/historical dispensationalism. Here is what someone bragged about on the most reliable source of information (ha, ha, ha!!!!), wikipedia. “In the last 10 years the Baptist Bible Seminary in Clark Summit, Pennsylvania (USA), has become one of the main centers of dispensationalism. Its faculty is one of the most respected team of scholars among fundamentalist Baptists.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispensationalism

    By the way, tonight is the night that a BBC and Seminary grad, who is one of the final candidates for Berean’s youth pastorate, does some pre-candidating activities with Hype tonight. He is teaching J.T.’s group……

  34. poopemerges September 18, 2008 at 6:24 pm #

    Gotta love Wikipedia…except that you can not link this article from it 🙂

    I was thinking that was last night! Let me know how that goes…we were talking about it last night.

  35. Ronald Goetz September 19, 2008 at 6:08 am #

    Regarding sarcasm–I believe Paul was being sarcastic in I Cor. 11:19. Virtually all translations render it straight up, as in the NASB: “For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you.”

    But knowing Paul’s extreme dislike of divisions, being a work of the flesh and all, this seems unlikely. The NIV seems to be pretty much alone in rendering the verse as sarcasm: “No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval.”

    I spent my high school years attending GARB churches in the Bay Area: Castlemont Baptist Church and Aurora Drive Baptist Church. While I learned a strong and healthy respect for the Scriptures there, I have spent the past 35 years living in reaction against them.

    Pastor Norris, we reap what we sew. You might not fit Poop’s description, but many do. I criticized fundamentalism for decades with the same vehemence as he did earlier. I learned it from my GARB pastors. I still slip into that mode on occasion. Actually, very recently.

    And it is always fundamentalism that comes in for the licking.

    Can’t help it. But I’m trying.

    Several years ago I was invited by an Asian couple to go to Japan. His family wanted a traditional Buddhist wedding, and several people from my church went.

    I took the opportunity to visit two Baptist missionary families. My visit was set up by a professor at Bethel Seminary in San Diego.

    The missionaries were GARB. I really didn’t know what to expect.

    It was a wonderful visit. They accepted me with warm love. I had a couple of lengthy conversations with one. He said honestly, “I’ve never met a real liberal before. ” I took a couple of hours one night mapping out some fairly radical Biblical mysticism for him. Step by step, from Scripture.

    He later told me that he didn’t take my mysticism as far as I did, but that it had helped him see his relationship with God as something much more intimate.

    I learned that these GARB missionaries were good-hearted, loving men. One wife loved romances. Some of the kids loved Harry Potter.

    That experience was very healing for me.

    Fundamentalism was not redeemed, but fundamentalists were. The people themselves were “rehabilitated” for me.

    That process had started at Bethel (Baptist General Conference). I sat in class with pastors, youth pastors, and pastor wannabes, and saw that overall they were men and women who loved people and were ministering the best they could.

    The verse which expresses this experience best is from Priscilla: “So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.”

    I figure if Jesus is not ashamed to call us his brothers, then I’d better not be ashamed to call them my brothers.

    No matter how much I might feel it at times.

    Interesting that I should stumble in here tonight!

  36. Ronald Goetz September 19, 2008 at 6:10 am #

    Third paragraph: “living in reaction against them” — the “them” were the churches, not the Scriptures!

    Big oops!

  37. Joel Shaffer September 19, 2008 at 8:49 am #

    Actually it went pretty well. It was kinda weird because I knew the dude from when I was the missionary speaker at a camp in Indiana several years ago. He loved what we were doing at hype and I think it opened his eyes to see so many of our students passionately pursuing Jesus. In fact, one of my students kindof corrected him when he was painting Jesus as all about compassion and kindness…. she reminded him that in the future Jesus comes back as judge of the earth as well.

  38. amybaker September 19, 2008 at 10:25 am #

    Wow, could say so much, but since this is the wild wild web, I will try and tone it down. I am originally from Scranton, and my childhood paper route is one of blocks that whiz by in the opening credits to the Office.
    Yes, Scranton is that bad, and Yes, it is mostly like that. (when I was in HS I distinctly remember my boyfriends’ parents driving to Binghampton for a “fancy” dinner at the only available Olive Garden).
    If any of you have read my blog, and the sarcasm within, it is part of my public therapy from growing up under the influence of BBC.
    Someday I will write a book (or a lenthy blog post) about how social justice and Philadelphia Biblical saved my faith.

    That being said, like the commentator above illustrated with the comment about his trip to Japan, there were some wonderfully gracious and God fearing people that mentored me who were from that world.

    Unfortunately, in my experience, the inherent legalism in those types of organizations do more harm than good.

  39. Ronald Goetz September 19, 2008 at 3:14 pm #

    I am reminded of Romans 2:24.

    As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

    Their sin: hypocrisy.

  40. poopemerges September 20, 2008 at 12:13 am #

    Ron: I am BGC…though we call it Converge Worldwide now.

    Joel: Awesome!!!!

    Amy: That is so amazing! On a lot of levels…I love the office so much I wish I could say I was from there…
    But a belief in the whole Gospel and a love of the hood saved me too!

  41. Meade September 20, 2008 at 11:56 pm #

    If you googled GARBC three nights ago this post was 8th. Tonight it’s 6th. This makes me laugh.

  42. poopemerges September 21, 2008 at 1:43 pm #

    My goal in life is to be number one! 🙂

  43. GARBC January 29, 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    Oh the ramblings of a fool. I pitty You!

    • Neal Davis November 22, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

      GARB = GARBage!

  44. poopemerges January 29, 2009 at 8:17 pm #

    I pity the fool who:
    1. Can’t spell pity
    2. Does not interact accurately or Biblically
    3. Would waste time defending a group that is for all functional purposes a social club with a really bad dress code.

    D

  45. a January 29, 2009 at 10:43 pm #

    I like how they put GARBC in all caps…

  46. art January 30, 2009 at 1:35 am #

    Why have I never seen this post before???

    I love it.

  47. poopemerges January 30, 2009 at 2:01 am #

    Art: I don’t know this is actually my most viewed post of all time… Proving the adage “You can teach a fundy to blog, but you can’t me em’ think”

    D

  48. Joel Shaffer January 30, 2009 at 2:46 am #

    Speaking of fundies blogging have you checked out the blogsite “Stuff Fundies Like?” I know that it was inspired by the classic “Stuff White People like,” but it is hilarious and helps us recovering fundies laugh at our old idiosyncrasies rather than remain bitter. Here is one of my favorite posts: http://stufffundieslike.wordpress.com/2009/01/24/blaming-africa-for-rock-music/

  49. ddonnie January 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm #

    I think its creepy that the GARBC collectively posts blog comments, do you think they make all churches vote on the comments first? Maybe thats why it took so long for them to comment on this ancient thread!

  50. Ken Pierpont March 3, 2009 at 5:56 pm #

    I’ve spent my life among Regular Baptist people who are very sincerely trying to win others to Christ, obey the commands of Christ, and live the life of Christ. We (they) are not above review, but I do thank God for the heritage and faithfulness of the GARBC and their “denominational” leadership, who are some of the most sincere, godly people I have ever met. When you get a chance, you might sit down and have a CONVERSATION with them. I think the broad charge of hypocrisy is unwarranted.

  51. ddonnie March 4, 2009 at 11:52 am #

    I was one, he was one. Fairly warranted.

  52. Ken Pierpont March 4, 2009 at 5:28 pm #

    I’m sincerely sorry about your bad experience. We are across the aisle, but I’m sure we are in the same church. God bless you, men.

  53. poopemerges March 16, 2009 at 12:50 am #

    Hi Ken,

    I grew ip in the GARBC and still have many friends in it…I am frustrated when bad systems interfere with the Gospel and God’s glory, that is where this post came from. It is kinda old though and should not be read as a critique of individuals or churches, but of some really questionable issues (in my imperfect opinion) with the over arching organization.

    Anyhoo I stopped by your blog and thought it was great.

    D

  54. Frank April 4, 2009 at 12:23 pm #

    When Poop answers GARBC with an opening point that GARBC “Can’t spell pity,” and when Poop, himself, misspelled “is” in his previous note is pure hilarity. Thanks, Poop, for the joy you’ve injected into my life; it’s the first really pleasant thing I’ve read from your pen.

  55. poopemerges April 4, 2009 at 12:33 pm #

    You have not read me enough if typos bring you that much joy… this place is heaven. Also I thought you weren’t talking to me anymore… remember, I asked questions, you could not answer, refused to be Biblical whined like a baby and said you were deleting my emails…

    Oh well nice to have you back.

    D

  56. CTF April 17, 2009 at 6:47 am #

    I apologize ahead of time, this is a novel. =) an addition to an already long thread of replies.

    My dad was a Manila pastor of an even more strict Baptist group out of Springfield, Missouri. As a conservative pastor, he fellowshipped with GARBC and ABWE-related ministers and churches but when these people learned we started singing “Lord, I Lift Your Name On High,” “Shout to the Lord,” and other contemporary worship songs in our services we were immediately branded “heretics” and disfellowshipped right away.

    People from fundamentalist churches started coming to my dad’s church. Out of jealousy, some rumors began to spread that our church has become charismatic and my dad had gone mad– pastors warned their flock about associating with people from our church.

    Following college and seminary, I moved on to another church that belongs to another Baptist association, the worship pastor (whose position I now hold) was the son of the president of a GARBC-related seminary who left his church for similar reasons– he was branded a heretic when he started introducing new songs. We found a common ground and we were determined to not hate the people who hate us, but love them just as Christ expects us to.

    Over the last decade, we have seen a massive exodus of people from once mighty GARBC-related churches to more growing, progressive-minded yet theologically conservative congregations like the one to which I belong. I was entrance-interviewing one family transferring to our church last week. The father said, “I figured, we can be Bible-believing Baptists and be enthusiastic in our worship, mission and learning all at the same as opposed to where we’re from where all we learned was to be separated.”

    The ABWE-related seminary here in Manila has dozens of graduates who have sought “refuge” in our church for the same reason– there’s a better way of being Baptists– we can be known in this world for our love for God and people than our effort to have a world of our own.

    The former president died of the said seminary recently and I was invited by his son to lead worship at the campus chapel where the funeral was held. With my pony-tailed long hair I stood and opened with the song “How Great is our God.” While the younger folks learned the song fror the very first time, I saw a good number of people walk out of the chapel in dismay. My pianist used to belong to a GARB Church and she noticed the dismay I am talking about.

    But I see hope too. Here are some signs.

    One of the largest GARB churches here in the Philippines that has plateaued in the last two decades sent the entire leadership team of their church to ours for a Sunday to observe how they could learn new patterns of ministry and come out of the fundamentalist mold and be a fully missional worshipping church. The pastor said, “We have spent more than 30 years of our lives growing “biologically” and inward looking. We have lost our sense of outreach. We have looked at everyone as a sinner and we didn’t want to have anything to do with them. We were wrong.”

    A group of young adults from a declining GARB congregation led by their Associate Pastor came by our Young Adult Activity to observe how we reach out to this church-sick generation in new ways. According to the 30-ish Associate Pastor, “We are preserving the bathwater with the baby still in it. But that will change, by God’s grace!”

    Another pastor said, “The enemy is not the church next door!” [In their case, it was an Assembly of God] “And we have lived our life as a local congregation believing that it is….the Philippine ABWE is NOT the kingdom of God.”

    The GARBC is a part of the greater Body of Christ, the kingdom of God– and I’m sure that for the denominational forebears who have gone ahead of us, they had their share of astonishment to see the same people they separated from basking in perfect shalom in heaven sharing glory with them. And I am sure, we too will feel the same!

    For Christ and His kingdom.
    CTF

  57. poopemerges April 17, 2009 at 8:28 am #

    CTF: Does Greenhills Fellowship meet in or near the Greenhills mall? What part of Manila do you live in?

    I was in the PI in January of last year and wil be back in August. Our Baptist group there is lead by Bishop Ceasar Puzalan.

    We have over 400 churches there in the Philippines and my good friend Rowel Royong just planted another in Makati.

    D

  58. CTF April 24, 2009 at 7:26 am #

    We meet in Ortigas Center. We are called Greenhills Christian Fellowship because we began as a local church meeting in that area, but God has blessed us with a ministry center at the heart of the bustling business district of Ortigas.

    I know Cezar Punzalan and the Baptist Conference of the Philippines. I have attended a couple of summits with him, most recently, the Preaching Summit sponsored by Langham Partnerships/John Stott Ministries. Cezar Punzalan leads a congregation called Hope Church just a block away from our church campus.

    You are welcome to visit us!

  59. Ben June 14, 2009 at 11:55 pm #

    I just came across this blog, and I realize that I’m making a post over two years after this article was written. But, oh well, I might as well. Probably no one will read what I write anyway. 🙂

    I just wanted to say that I am a pastor at a GARBC affiliated church. I haven’t always agreed with all the specific decisions that the GARB leadership have made. But I must say that many of the GARB churches I know don’t fall within with inclusive context that is described in this blog. Many of them are extremely concerned with reaching out their neighborhoods with the love of Christ, and some have done so quite effectively.

    I’ve found GARB people to be some of the most loving people I’ve encountered, and most of the churches I’m familiar with have a great concern for knowing the Bible and living it out.

    I’ve personally done lots of study into cultural ministry — understanding the postmodern culture and seeking to discover effective methods to minister within it (and to “redeem” culture in whatever ways possible).

    Sure there are some weaknesses within the GARB national fellowship. And glitches that have caused problems. But what organization is perfect?

  60. Ron December 6, 2009 at 10:18 pm #

    I grew up in a GARBC church in Gary, IN. I’m 58 years old now and I remember those at Glen Park Baptist like I’m still there. Sometimes they argued, sometimes they were upset with each other, but 40+ years later everyone one of them is still a jewel. You can argue about anything if you pursue it, but what is really important is one day we’ll be in Heaven. I plan to explore every inch, and meet every single person in my Savior’s Kingdom. I hope you’ll be there.

  61. Austin July 30, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    ummm….
    So… im not sure you understand the point of this article. Self-righteous religion is something every Christian on the face on the earth will need to fight at some time. You have no idea what the garb is. You have no idea what dispensationalism is. I don’t understand how you are so critical of a group of churches. Im sorry. That article sucked.

    • Ron Goetz April 24, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

      Austin, the GARB refers to the General Association of Regular Baptist, a fairly small, and very conservative Baptist denomination.

      Dispensationalism is a doctrinal system that divides history into different “dispensations,” and God supposedly works with his people in different ways during each dispensation.

      Take care and God bless.

  62. poopemerges July 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Austin: I am not sure who you are talking too. Care to enlighten?

  63. jav avd rezaee October 19, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    active si puzalan

  64. javad rezaee October 19, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    abuot si and you work

  65. pizzageek April 16, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    I’m sure someone else has brought this up at one time or another – are you prepared to share heaven with the millions of true Christians who didn’t agree with you on every point of theology? There will be LOTS of them there. Or are you expecting your own special section of heaven, so you can remain separated?

    I was 30 yrs in GARB churches, attended Cedarville, etc. I often say that the more I learn, the less I know. Thankfully, my godly wife has shown me how to identify and lose the arrogance I learned from many Christian brethren.

  66. Tim February 11, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

    Man, you are guilty of slander! Satan is the accuser of the brethren, the Bible says. You are accusing the brethren, and this is playing into Satan’s hand. Is the church you are part of now near perfect? If so, I truly want to hear of it. I want to learn. When you call fellow Christians poop, you are extremely out of line. Wow! One strength of the GARBC is doctrinal carefulness. Many churches out there today don’t care so much about doctrinal purity. I agree that the separation teachings are off base to one degree or another, sometimes very much so. Please don’t slander. Don’t shoot your own soldiers. Try to enrich and teach.

  67. Neal Davis November 22, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

    So here is the deal: my wife is a Biola grad, and all her 4 older sisters and brothers are Biola grads. Two of her brothers went on to Dallas Seminary and graduated with honors. One brother in law of hers also went to Biola and Dallas. One of her brothers and one brother in law are missionaries in Spain.

    According to the GARB cult fundamentalist view and their definition of separation – I should separate myself from my wife and her family because they are part of a group that is on the GARB cult “list” as evil. Unfortunately I was in the GARB cult for 24 years one of the most disgraceful cults to the Christian community.

  68. David March 27, 2016 at 10:59 am #

    Well said. I too am sick of our GARB teaching. The 5 point Calvinists. They are about their immediate local network and family members in the Michigan area only. They see the rest of us as heathens.

  69. Alan March 27, 2016 at 3:05 pm #

    The writer is spot on. After 43 years in a garbc church I finally left the confines of a non out reach church. Worried not about reaching the millennials or young couples but worried there might be a hint of a drum beat in a song. They wanted only what they felt as personal preferences covered up by calling them convictions. If you really want to know about the garbc can movement how it started and the great cover up of its founders son, Google Garbo. It will make you sick. Not blaming the founder a Godly man but the cover up by the Garbo and the ABWE is disgusting to say the least

  70. Glenis Zuhlke April 30, 2017 at 9:54 pm #

    This response is vey late, but I just came across the Open Letter. I was raised in the GARBC and as a child I have fond memories as a child in my hometown of Seattle. However, when we moved to Wisconsin, suddenly my dress length was a sin and my parents became much more legalistic. This atmosphere in the Midwest was much different. Lots of inconsequential things became hot issues. After junior high we moved to Iowa and the legalism continued. I attended Faith Baptist Bible College, the epitome of legalism, or so it seemed. Girls were not allowed to wear pants. Music with a beat was “devil music.”
    However, in the early 80s my husband moved to Grand Rapids where he attended Grand Rapids Seminary. The GARBC was openly attacking that institution at the time. I was hired to teach at a school that was attached to a GARBC church. Our attendance was required. Three items stand out clearly in my mind that led to us leaving the denomination.
    The first was when we went on church visitation which was required of teachers. We visited a couple to invite them to church. They were Buddhists, but wanted us to return and share the scripture with them. When we informed the church, they forbid us to return. I am sorry to this day that we lost that opportunity.
    Second, my husband and another church member began an Open Gym ministry. Non-church members were welcomed and there was a Bible Study midway through the evening. After several weeks of this growing ministry, the youth pastor’s son droppedin to play basketball. He reported to his dad that he heard a couple of expletives and suddenly the gym nights were closed to the public.
    The last most distasteful incident was the fact that my school, along with many in Michigan at the time, was questioning the wisdom of teachers being credentialed! My dad held a Doctorate and began what was to become a well-established Christian Baptist school when we were in Iowa. He went on to head several other Christian schools in the South. I, myself, was a credentialed teacher. I thought the arguments were petty, but the day they canceled school and took a bus so we could attend a court case challenging the requirement of credentialed teachers was it for us. I finished out my year and my husband and I never attended another GARBC church.
    This organization became so concerned about separation and playing the martyr, that they seemed to forget the mission of glorifying God and bringing others to that joy of knowing Him. The GARBC has lost hundreds of membership churches. More tragically, they have lost souls!

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