The Recovering Fundamentalist

The Recovering Fundamentalist

Three men began this podcast more than a year ago. They have attracted the attention of many in the IFB movement. I think it is accurate to say that they have “stirred” the waters. Let me make several statements from the outset:

  • All three of these men are my brothers in Christ. We may differ in many areas of separation, standards and church governance but I do not question their salvation.
  • I have never spoken with these men personally other than a very few times through DM. These messages have been cordial.
  • I do not intend to start a fight with our brothers in Christ but simply believe addressing their assertions is important.

So, with that being said, I want to simply share my thoughts. You may say, “who are you?” The answer is a nobody. But I do pastor men and women, boys and girls that hear what is being said and are influenced by their narrative. I am friends with men (and women) who are being influenced by what I believe is a slanted perspective of what IFB stand for. Further, the RFP and their followers continue to attack good men and women with distortions of their character and malign ministry philosophy that may differ from theirs


I have heard all three men say many times on their podcast, “Not all IFB are like ‘this’,” after sharing a clip or statement from one of the brethren. They make these statements and then proceed to broad brush the entire movement. How, just listen to them…they say “the IFB” rather than dealing with an issue. Such statements are in essence saying…only IFB who believe like them are “good people.” The rest are simply not and its ok to label them cults and/or question their salvation, which I will say has been done by them AND some of their followers.


If you listen to the RFP there is a theme to these podcasts, legalism. Legalism IS a problem in Christianity, especially American Christianity. However the definition of legalism from the RFP and the Bible are not the same. Legalism, Biblically speaking, is adding works to salvation. Paul addresses the issue of legalism in Galatians, Jude warned of creepers amongst us and the early church wrestled with those who fall back into religious traditions as a source or foundation of salvation. Yet, we as Bible-believers, know that salvation is through Christ and Him alone. The accusation has been made by the RFP that IFB pastors preach a standard’s based, works based salvation. I know of NO IFB preachers who have added standards or any work to salvation. Quite the contrary. As far as I know, this evidence has never been produced, yet they continue to insinuate that IFB pastors preach this…

Standards and Biblical holiness are the fruit of salvation NOT the foundation of it. This fruit manifests itself in the action and attitudes of His people. God’s people should strive to be more like Christ each day. God is interested in His people being an example of the believer in every aspect of their life, inside and out. But let’s be very clear…this is not about trying to “get” God to love you. Nothing, NOTHING shall ever separate you from the love of Christ. This is what Romans 8 teaches us. We are instructed all through Scripture to be holy, to keep His commandments and yield ourselves to the instructions of the Word. Doing so does not make you a legalists, it simply means you are obedient to Scripture. After all, Jesus said, “if you love me, keep my commandments.”

The rub here is simple. The RFP do not embrace what we believe to be the Biblical basis of standards. These areas include music standards, dress, entertainment, the KJB and simply an entire overall ministry philosophy. Does this mean that these men (and women) are lost? Of course not. Do I believe they are wrong. Yes. Are they my enemy? Nope. But somehow, I get the impression, for many, the feeling is not mutual. When souls are saved, we rejoice. But when an IFB pastor talks about souls being saved, the professions of faith are questioned by the RFP crowd and even maligned through innuendo and scorn. It seems to me that the RFP crowd does not rejoice when a lost man or woman comes to Christ at a IFB church because many of them accuse IFB churches of being a cult. To me this is highly offensive to anyone who was reached for Christ through these churches and seems to simply be a tactic to squash dialogue and malign anyone who disagrees with them.

My question is simple…the RFP and their followers insist on Christian liberty to make the choices they wish to make. I say, sure, they have that. But where is the Christian liberty for those of us that hold to the standards that we believe are Biblical? It seems like this is a one way street for them. Do it our way or you are a legalist. Accept our interpretation or we will label you a cult.


While other podcasts have focused on the abuse of minors and women, the RFP seem to use these events to try to undermine the stand of IFB pastors and churches, no matter their involvement in any such terrible instances. Let’s be clear, any man, no matter their position, who abuses a child or women should be reported to the police. Cover ups are unacceptable when it comes to criminal behavior or hurting those who are innocent. I believe this is where the overwhelming majority of IFB pastors are in their stance. It is frustrating to hear of situations that seem to be different. With that being said, I believe it is wrong to quickly judge a situation without knowing all of the facts.

Now patriotism

Now with 9/11 days away, one of the founders of the RFP posts that we should not have an American flag on our platforms. They think we are not capable of appreciating our country while at the same time worshipping our worthy Saviour. I do not think this is by accident. They will criticize ANYTHING the IFB are known for. This pious crowd takes their freedoms for granted. After 9/11, the motto, “Never forget” was popularized. The RFP have done just that. They have forgotten the price paid for freedom. They have forgotten our forefathers who have given us our Bible-believing churches today. Many in the RFP were saved because IFB churches knocked on their doors and led them to Christ…yeah, they have forgotten. I believe as a church we should be grateful for a free country and say so. We should honor our first responders and those who have purchased our freedom and liberty with their lives. To ignore this as a church, shows a level of disregard for sacrifice that shows poorly to the next generation.


Seems to me that the RFP crowd has built a name on what they are against rather than what they are for. They have built a brand, sponsorships and now are selling merchandise. Perhaps this is the reason why they started the RFP, perhaps not. But the reality is these men rarely post anything about their ministries and what Christ is doing in their circles. My advice to these men is simple…focus on the Great Commission rather than trying tear down men and women who are doing just that. Now, I am not naïve, they won’t. But here is a promise. We won’t be silent when you attack friends and family that we love. We won’t be silent about holiness, standards, soul winning and being separated from the world.

To be continued…

The Church is Essential.

We are living in a day where the church has been deemed non-essential at best or even worse irrelevant to the crisis we face as a society. But I want to say loud and clear, the church is ESSENTIAL. There are several reasons why I believe the church is essential.

First, the church is essential because God ordained it. God ordained three institutions in the Bible. He ordained marriage, human government, and the church. The gathering of the church is mandated by Scripture and protected by our Constitution; therefore it is essential. Many of our political leaders, I believe, desire to keep our citizens safe but are crossing constitutional lines in the fog of this war. The blurring or crossing of these lines are setting a precedent the church will pay for if we do not stand up for our rights, here and now. Pastors desire to keep our congregations safe. Safe from this COVID-19 virus but also safe from governmental overreach and all the risks that this will entail in the future. If safety is the goal, our churches can open now, following ALL the guidelines laid out in the current safety protocols for essential businesses that are currently open. I recently visited a department store and a convenient store, both of which are deemed essential. Both woefully lacked in their social distancing practices and failed on cleanliness. If they are open, we should be. The church is essential.

Secondly, the church is essential because it ministers to the spiritual needs of our community. The Scripture says in John 4:24, “God is a spirit: and they that worship must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Mankind was made to worship and throughout the Bible, this worship was done in in corporate gatherings rather than private settings. The church that gathers in unity brings a spirit of victory and faith. It brings calm to the community and unites it with hope for the future. Without the gathering of the church and direct influence the church has it struggles with reaching those who are struggling with vices of life. Rather than having a church to gather too and to be encouraged and supported, sadly, many seek for answers and so-called support in alcohol, drug abuse and other addictive outlets that only spiral our society into even more depravity and dependency. Those who are struggling need the church. The church is essential.

Thirdly, the church is essential because it provides leadership in the community. Yes, many churches are conducting services online, while others are leading drive through services. Sadly some of these churches are being harassed by leaders that believe liquor stores and pot shops are more essential than the church. The church isn’t a business. It is a ministry. The ministry is about people. People gathering and being encouraged to better spouses, parents and community leaders. Pastors and ministries are more important to a community than a print shop, dry cleaner or liquor store. They are not essential. The church is essential.

The church is not being rebellious by standing up for its Constitutional rights. Rather it is being the salt and light that it must be for this generation and the next. We are not asking for special rights, we are demanding the rights afforded by our Creator, not given or taken by the whims of a Mayor, Governor or President. Now for the most part, the churches in America are not facing real persecution. We are facing an inconvenience that is setting a precedent. A precedent that says our First Amendment rights can be set aside whenever the government declares a crisis. This is a precedent that is dangerous and can be used in circumstances far less understandable than a global health pandemic. I believe our elected leaders should acknowledge their Constitutional limits and I believe the church will respond. Some would stay online, while others will not. I believe, the church can and should open now, safely, possibly in phases, but open. Why? Because the church is essential!

The Pandemic & the Church

It seems like overnight, the entire world has changed dramatically. An unseen, but deadly virus has killed tens of thousands of people. Cities & countries have been shuttered, business closed, millions sent to unemployment lines, schools are scrambling to move online & most churches as well. I wanted to share some quick thoughts to encourage & rally the people of God.

The pandemic the world is facing has not surprised God. He knew as we entered 2020, what we would be facing. Our God is sovereign over all. We can trust that God will and is using the crisis we are facing to bring all things together for good in His time. I can not help but think about the many testimonies we find in Scripture where the way out seemed impossible. May I remind, we serve the God of the impossible!


I am encouraged by the rallying cry of churches across America to unite together in the effort of prayer. I believe when we look back at this time in history one of the blessings we will observe is these times of prayer. Every day, Gods people are uniting in prayer. After all, the answer for this pandemic is not found at the White House, chemist labs or Governor’s mansions. The answer for today’s plague is found in our God reaching out in our day to give wisdom and clarity to our leaders, doctors and Scientist. He knows the answer. May Gods healing touch and amazing grace be felt.


I mourn for the thousands who have lost their lives and for the friends and families who were not able to join together at their bedside in the last moments of their life. I am saddened for those same loved ones, who were unable to hug each other at a normalized Memorial service. No words can soothe the heartache many are feeling today. When this pandemic passes, most will return to their normal way of life, but this time has been life changing for those who have lost loved ones to this virus.

My prayer is that our country and churches are prepared for the emotional and mental impact this crisis is having on our people. Some marriages are struggling, alcohol use is up 120% from a statistic I heard & abusive relationships highlight a pandemic that has plagued our society for many years. Let’s be ready to help our fellow Americans now and when this crisis passes. The lingering affects of this time will last a generation. In 20, 30 & 40 years, should the Lord tarry, we will look back at this time and challenge our grandchildren and great grandchildren to be prepared for such a calamity.


Let me encourage you to not allow this time to pass without a time of reflection. Assessing where you are in life, how you are doing in your walk with God and in the roles that God has for you is a wise use of this time. This is a Scriptural plan as Paul exhorted the church to have a time of examination. Assess your devotional time, participation in the church, relationship with your family & review your family finances. This is a good time to clean house, figuratively & literally.


This crisis has thrown every pastor & ministry into the whirlwind of uncertainty. I would say this, every pastor & ministry should do what is best for their churches as they move forward for the cause of Christ; whether that is exclusively online services, Drive in services or gathering together physically. I believe the right answer is dependent upon your location in the country, the dynamics of your ministry and frankly the demographics of your church. I will say this on behalf of pastors across America, the government does NOT care more for our congregations than we do. We serve side by side with our church members. We laugh and cry together, visit hospitals and mourn together. We go through the mountain tops and valleys. We love our churches. So, we as a church want to keep our people as safe as possible. Let’s be careful not to belittle decisions that men and ministries have made through times of prayer & agonizing over what is best for their churches. Further, lets extend some grace to those who have strong opinions on this topic. I have friends in all spectrum’s of opinion on this topic. I believe that is healthy to making a proper decision for our ministry. And I support the decisions they have made for their ministry.


Our political leaders from our President, to Governors, to local leaders are making decisions in unprecedented circumstances. I would remind our political leaders that the Constitution of the United States of America was written for times exactly like this. Let’s be careful that we don’t give up our liberties in the fog of this war. In America, the default is freedom & liberty. When it comes to the church, the Constitution is clear. The church has a Constitutionally protected status. That does not mean we ignore the guidance from the medical community. What it does mean is we, the church, are ESSENTIAL to our communities.

Further, the Constitutional rights of the church are preserved during a public health crisis. The Free exercise clause prohibits unequal treatment of religious individuals or organizations. Churches cannot be treated differently than drive-in restaurants or essential businesses. If liquor stores, abortion clinics, pot shops and big box stores can open in a safe manner, so can the church. In fact, I would argue that the church is and has been a cleaner environment than most public events or venues.


Many have asked my opinion on the way forward. My answer is simple. Reopen America! But do so as safely and carefully as possible. We have decimated our society. Millions have lost jobs, that may never return. And while, some of my friends and acquaintances have been affected by this terrible virus, many more are struggling because of job loses and economic devastation. There are many parts of America that have been virtually untouched by this virus. They should open today. They have been unnecessarily impacted. The loss of life and affect on Americans is not only found in those who have faced this virus. I have observed those with my own eyes who have had to forgo life sustaining medications because they do not have the money to pay for their medications. Reopening America comes with great risk, but I believe it must be done or we will be reopening Venezuela not America. No matter when we open, there will be an increase in cases. No matter when we open, there will be critics who point out a misstep. But for the future of our society we must reopen. So, work from home as long as you can. In public, make sure you follow social distancing guidelines and practice the needed hygiene to mitigate the risk. If you are sick, stay home. If you are uncomfortable, stay home.

Stay safe. This too shall pass!

Bus Them In

Several years ago one of our veteran bus drivers, Ashbell Strong, went home to be with the Lord. He loved the bus ministry. He drove our church buses for over 35 years. As he fought cancer, his only request of his doctors was for them to help him get well enough to drive again. The day before he died our bus workers drove his bus to his house where he was on hospice so he could see it one more time. We sang bus songs, wept and Strong 2rejoiced in the hope of heaven. As one by one each one said their goodbyes I soon was left alone with Bro. Strong. I thanked him for his testimony, his love for Christ, I prayed with him and I asked him a question that was difficult to ask but I wanted to know. I said, “Bro Strong, want do you want me to tell our workers at your funeral.” He looked at me, gathered his strength, set up in his bed, and said firmly, ”Tell them to Get to Work!” That’s exactly what I did…at his funeral I preached a message entitled, “Get to Work!”

In November 2016 at our Annual Bus Conference, those words “get to work” kept coming to my attention. God was burdening my heart to do more for the cause of Christ and the bus ministry. To that end, as I transported Dr. Jeff Fugate to the airport, I shared with him a ministry idea that was on my mind. This was the beginnings of “Bus Them In.” In January 2017, we launched this new ministry. The purpose is simple. Our desire is to provide buses and support to new churches who are ready and desirous of entering the bus ministry.

This ministry has developed slowly but we are excited that the first two buses have been donated. The first bus went to a church in North Carolina and the second just arrived in Alabama this week. The bus ministry is not a ministry fading into the sunset, I believe the sun is still shining bright! Every Sunday hundreds come to church through the bus ministry of WBC! I believe it’s time for churches across America to re-energize in doing the work of reaching this generation for Christ. We bemoan the state of our country and the spiral of immorality and decay yet do nothing to stand in the gap! Bus Them In is a ministry to do just that! I am reminded of the great quote by William Carey when he said, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”

There are three ways that you can help this ministry. First, you can PRAY! We need Gods hand of blessing. We need his help in selecting the right buses, pairing them with right ministries and providing for the needs of this ministry. Second, you can provide FINANCIAL support. We are asking that churches would consider taking thiBus Them in Logo 9.4.17s ministry on for monthly support or consider taking up a love offering for this effort. Every dollar given goes directly to this ministry through our local church, Woodlawn Baptist Church. Lastly, we are asking for PARTNERSHIPS. As this ministry develops we are in need of locations available to store purchased buses while they are in transition, expertise in partnering with new churches to help them with those who are going through CDL training, and finally providing encouragement to those getting in this life changing ministry. If you want to know more about this ministry you may reach us on the web at or

We have a choice to make. We have a generation that is growing up without Christ. We can read about church history or we can make church history! I don’t know about you but I want to see God do great & mighty things in our generation! Jesus is coming soon! This is life & death so let’s KEEP THE BUSES ROLLING!

Update: Here we are 16 months from this posting. I could never imagined the progress made at Bus Them In. Two years ago this ministry was a dream, now the vision is coming alive. 25 buses in 14 states and two countries have now been distributed and donated through Bus Them In! Our desire is to get to 50 buses by the end of 2019! Would you pray, give and support us as we try to Keep the Buses Rolling!

I will take the “Old-Paths!”

The Old-Paths

The Bible says in the book of Jeremiah 6:16, “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, we will not walk therein.” Now some of you read the title and read this verse and have already labeled me as hermeneutically dishonest. But can we agree that in Jeremiah 6 we find Jeremiah encouraged and challenged to follow the right way that is to follow the well-established and time tested old-paths? Can we agree that in the Christian life there is a right path and a wrong path? After all the Scripture says,

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” – Psalm 119:105

Thou wilt shew me the path of life.” Psalms 16:11

Make me to go in the paths of thy commandments, for therein do I delight.” – Psalms 119:35

We are all walking down a path in our lives and in our ministries. We must all give account of our decisions and how as pastors we have lead the ministries to which we have been entrusted. The Scripture says in Hebrews 9:27, “It is appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgment.” In these areas of discussion and controversy someone is right and someone is wrong. There is not two sides to truth. There may be perspective and there may be interpretation but ultimately truth is truth.

There has been a lot of discussion in fundamentalism over many decades about the “Old-paths.” Some have embraced what they believe are the old-paths with passion and vigor while others have run from it not wanting to be associated with these old-paths. Many of these decisions have been made from watching moral collapse, experiencing mistreatment or simply misunderstanding or disagreeing with a position. I have had discussions with many over the last year about the old-paths and I believe from my conversation that there are varying definitions of what the old-paths really are. I will attempt to define what I believe is and isn’t Scriptural old-paths.

I am thankful for anyone who shares the life changing gospel of Jesus Christ. I may disagree with your methods of discipleship, with your administration of the church or your interpretation of Biblical principles but if you are reaching people for Christ, YOU are NOT my enemy.

With that being said, when a church, a pastor and a Christian are following paths that are unscriptural we must be willing, in love and with care, to tell the truth, to state the case and share with an individual who has gone astray a pathway to restoration.

My question for you is simple…What are the old-paths? Are the old-paths relevant to millennials? Are the old-paths rooted in 20th century Christianity?

  • Old Paths defined.

As I think about the old-paths and as I have observed my brethren and even self-examined my ministry I believe the old-paths have been defined by three distinct characteristics:

  1. A Style – The old-paths is defined as a style of preaching, a method of evangelism or a focus of ministry. There is a unique look to the old-paths preachers, old-paths churches and to old-paths conferences.
  2. A Principle – The old-paths are defined by doctrine that is taught and how Biblical principles are applied to the people of God.
  3. A Movement – The old-paths as a movement is simply the circle of men and ministries that ascribe themselves to similar methods and practices that are consistent with the principles and styles of the old-paths movement.

I believe the old-paths are simply the implementation of Biblical principles in our modern day. I am reminded however that style is not as important as substance and truth should not be compromised for political correctness or cultural relevance. After all, Paul told Timothy to be “instant in season and out of season.” What is right and wrong does NOT change with culture and with societal changes, even if these changes happen within the church. Sadly we are seeing a shift in fundamental churches. This is shift toward ecumenicalism and in some ways embracing the emergent church movement.

The Old-paths was not founded by Jack Hyles or his contemporaries. The Old-paths are not defined by men who wear plaid suits or bell-bottom pants. The old-paths are following a set of practices grounded in the Scripture in our modern day.

  1. The Old-Paths are paths that identify the Scripture as the exclusive authority for our faith and practice.
  2. The Old-Paths are paths that result in an awareness of souls. This awareness causes us to run buses, establish Sunday Schools and send out and support missionaries.
  3. The Old-Paths are paths that lead to holy living. We recognize the importance of being different than the world.
  4. The Old-Paths are paths that recognize the influences around us.
  5. The Old-Paths are paths that walk in humility and integrity.
  6. The Old-Paths are paths that recognize our responsibilities to the institutions God has ordained.
  • Christian liberty

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” – Galatians 5:1

“But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.” – I Corinthians 8:9

Liberty is a wonderful thing. We have been freed from the bondage of sin. We have washed, justified and sanctified! But our liberty is not a license to sin nor is it a license to do whatever we wish. We are to acknowledge Him and HE will direct our paths. Our Christian liberty ends where Christ’s commands begin.

  • Ecclesiastical Separation

“Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate…”-2 Corinthians 6:17

“Can two walk together except they be agreed?” – Amos 3:3

We all believe is separation. Separation is appropriate, necessary and wise. I do not believe it is wise to subject ourselves and our congregations to men who teach false doctrine. Standards are not irrelevant nor are they to be pushed aside as unimportant. There is validity to the difficulty of multi-layered degrees of separation. My policy is simple. I want to associate with men and ministry who are like-minded in doctrine and practice. This does not mean that I do not appreciate men with whom I differ.

  • The Battleground.

I believe the true battleground in the fundamental movement is the application of Scripture in the areas of music, modesty, methods, manuscripts, and movies. Every Independent Baptist no matter what camp or set of standards believes in reaching people for Christ. We all believe in the fundamentals of the faith. We can gloss over standards but truly isn’t standards the “elephant in the room?” The reality is that:

Every Independent Baptist is obsessed with the gospel.

Every Independent Baptist is committed to preaching the Word.

We want to be unified but the issue is that old-paths preachers believe that compromise has crept in and standards have been dropped. Is it fair to expect us to drop our standards which we believe are biblical to unify? Why are we the ones expected to change?

Denominational politics are unavoidable. It happens no matter what camp you may be in or what field of vocation you pursue. There is a constant ebb and flow to the ministry. I have experienced this myself with individuals who have left our ministry who continue to interfere and sow discord. We would all help ourselves and improve our spirits if we looked forward and not backwards.

I believe we should be students of the Bible. I believe we should be well read. But what does “well read” mean? Do I need to read books from men who have questionable doctrines and ministry philosophies contrary to my own? Why are we so desperate to do so? How does that help us in our ministries? If we can read a book from an ecumenical or evangelical source and “eat the fish and spit out the bones” is that wise? I guess my follow up question would be to those who practice this philosophy, would you read books from men who follow what you deem to be the old-paths and do the same? Read…read…read but be careful what you recommend to younger men who may not be as ready or as mature as you. They may choke on the bones.

Fundamentalism has a new generation of preachers who are asking questions, some very valid questions. And while there is broad consensus on evangelism, the truth is that the elephant in the room is standards. We have a generation of young people who have conformed rather than have convictions about what the Scripture teaches.  The issue is music, dress standards, door to door soul winning & Calvinistic leanings, the King James Bible, and movies and entertainment. In most cases you do not have an issue with one without having issues with many. They are inter-connected as a philosophy of ministry.

A. Music

Contemporary Christian music has infiltrated many Independent Baptist Churches and it has affected ministries and men of God in a negative way. The Biblical principles of music are important to the spirit of a service and the direction of a ministry. Isn’t the divide today that old-paths preachers believe that our music should be Christ-honoring, spirit filled and Biblically distinct and that much of what is marketed is Christian is not very Christ-like. I should not wonder whether a singer is talking about her boyfriend or the Saviour! When I was a teenager I fell into the CCM scene and was consumed by it until one day a co-worker heard me listening to a CCM song and asked me, “What rock band are you listening too?” This was a catalyst for me to change my direction. I realized that this music was a “bridge” but not one to reach the lost but rather a bridge of compromise to be seduced into secular music entertainment. Our music should have a different sound, a different message and a different feel than that which is in the world.

B. Modesty

If I had a dime for every time I have been called a legalist I could buy another bus for our bus ministry. I believe the Scripture is clear in relation to dress standards…modesty and distinction. Every preacher, every ministry and every Christian has some level of dress standards. So let’s not deceive ourselves regarding this topic. As old-paths preachers, our FIRST desire for men and women in our churches is that we have a heart for God and have a Christ-like spirit. Our yieldedness to the Lord in this area simply reveals our heart. Ask yourself this question, how is your spirit when you discuss the area of dress standards? Are you defensive or are you yielded to whatever the Lord would have you to do? Why should a ministry support and promote men who change in this area? And finally why would those who do not hold to these dress standards demand that we accept their decisions and extend to them the liberty to make such decisions but not respect our decision to keep our dress standards where they have always been. You simply can’t have it both ways. There is a concerted effort to blend the sexes, blur our God given roles and talents and to impede upon Biblical principles of modesty. Since you are asking the question or talking back already let me state in clearly…I believe women should not wear pants because most are not modest and certainly all are not distinct. Further, tight clothes & revealing clothes violate these principles as well.  Men should be modest as well. Skinny jeans and tight clothes are not modest guys! I never thought I would have to say it but men should not wear skirts either! The metrosexual look isn’t distinct! It’s time for Gods people to get this right. Men and women in the Bible both wore robes but men wore britches under their robes so before you pitch a fit know that Biblical culture supports this position.

C. Methods

I have had numerous conversations on social media about door to door soul winning and tools of evangelism. And while we debate the JWs and Mormons are gleaning the harvest we should be reaping. I am concerned when churches close their bus ministries down and discontinue their Sunday Schools. I am concerned when churches cancel Sunday evening services. Sunday nights should be one of the most vibrant and spiritually challenging services as your church family gathers under the preaching of the word of God. At WBC, our Sunday night services are “prime time” as dozens of workers who have been spread throughout the ministry join to worship the Lord together!

D. Manuscripts

The battle over the King James Bible has been well documented but sufficed to say this is an area in some circles with the new group of pastors coming on the scene. May we never compromise on the preserved, inspired Word of God.

E. Movies

Entertainment…well enough said.

  • The moral failures in fundamentalism.

Our hearts should be broken when any man falls, when any marriage fails and when any ministry is torn apart by scandal. The moral failures of prominent fundamental leaders has devastated our generation. We simply cannot ignore or sweep under the rug these collapses of judgment, these character flaws and the air of enablement in our fundamental churches. We must as fundamental leaders in our churches set the example of morality, transparency and integrity.

The moral failures of men like Jack Schaap do not define our movement. They simply show how susceptible we are to destruction if we are not sober and vigilant. His collapse as a leader, as a husband and as a Christian should drive all of us to reflection. I was disgusted by Jack Schaap’s behavior and frankly he has reaped what he has sewn. But our desire should be restoration not ridicule.

Every pastor should be held accountable by his brethren. The warning signs with Jack Schaap were everywhere yet his staff and his closest friends did not challenge his direction. We cannot move forward with this mentality. We owe each other the truth. When our friends in the ministry are heading in an unhealthy direction – say something. For the sake of a new generation of pastors, we must protect our marriages and ministries from moral failures.

  • Respect for your heritage

Let us never forget those who have invested in us. I am concerned as we turn to a new chapter in fundamentalism that we will forget the men who have gone before us. We owe them a debt of gratitude. They do not deserve our ridicule they deserve our respect.

  • “New” is not always bad.

Independent Fundamental Baptist should be at the forefront of using tools and technology to reach the next generation for Christ. We should have dynamic websites, robust use of social media formats and effective tools. New is not bad but new must be filtered through Scripture and examined under the scrutiny of principle. There was a time when the bus ministry and Sunday School were new tools for the church to use. New methods should be used if they are effective and do not violate principles of Scripture. The reality is should the Lord tarry there may be ministry tools in the future that are not even developed in this generation. Let’s not be closed-minded to new!

  • “Old” is not irrelevant.

Just because it is old does not mean it is useless. Nor does it mean it is ineffective. The old is time tested. The old is well thought out. The old has wisdom. Let us not ignore the old.

  •  The Old & New should be the same!

The Old-Paths movement and the New Independent Baptist should be on the same path. Baby boomers to millennials have no reason to be in contradiction with one another. Principle is principle. Truth is truth. Error is error. Sure the new guys have IPads and the internet but ultimately we have the same doctrine.

I believe we are living in one of the greatest times in history. God could have chosen Moses, Peter or Paul for this generation but he has chosen you and I to lead for such a time as this. Let us contend for the faith with graciousness, with understanding, recognizing there may be times that we will not agree but will part as friends and pray for one another. I am thankful that a new generation of preachers are coming on the scene of fundamentalism and I believe there should be open dialogue. We should sharpen each other as we form our opinions and build our ministry philosophies. May each of us lead our ministries with our eyes focused on honoring our Saviour and reaching our communities with the glorious gospel!

Seven Reasons to vote for Donald Trump

Let me say from the outset that I endorsed Ted Cruz early in the primary. I believed and still believe he would have been the best choice from the candidates that ran for president. Unfortunately, he did not win and we are left with a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. While some may say, there is always Johnson, I respectfully respond that we all know that there is no way he will muster enough votes to get on every ballet much less win the presidential election.

I am frustrated. I am disappointed. Part of me says America deserves to reap what it has sewn in this election and if that means Hillary Clinton so be it. After all, the prodigal had to waste his substance before coming to himself. However, I would admit that these thoughts are my flesh speaking and not clearly thinking what can be done to stem the tide of immorality and lasciviousness. I know God is able to send a sweeping revival to our land and that is what I am praying for. However, if he doesn’t, then what? Christianity thrived under persecution in the first century church but the pressing question today is are we strong enough to withstand the fiery onslaught in our generation if its mirrors such persecution? I fear we are not ready.

Let me share with you some reasons that I admittedly believe the best decision for the coming election is for the people of God to get behind Donald Trump for president.

1. A seat at the table:

I believe we all agree that Hillary Clinton is the antithesis of all that we believe. Our freedoms as churches and Christians will continue to be challenged under her administration. Babies will be murdered and our countries standing in the world will continue to deteriorate. With Donald Trump, I believe the people of God will have a voice at the table with a chance for that advice to be heeded.

2. Mike Pence:

One of the narratives I have heard and discussed during the primary and the general election is that Donald Trump doesn’t really want to be president and never expected to get this far. If this is the case I believe Donald Trump will lean on his cabinet like no other president. Mike Pence is a good man with strong Christian, conservative values. He will have Trump’s ear on every conservative issue and every decision that is importance to Christians. Do you want Mike Pence or Tim Kaine?

3. Supreme Court:

Hillary Clinton’s choices for the Supreme Court would virtually undermine our Constitution to a point of no return. These choices are arguably more important than the presidency because of their lifetime appointments. While there is some question about Donald Trump’s commitment to appointing conservative judges he has made comments regarding this topic that bring some comfort that he will make good choices. Even the greatest of skeptics would have to acknowledge that Trump has a better chance of appointing conservative judges than Clinton.

4. Abortion:

Yes, Donald Trump has flip flopped on this issue. However, his stated position and the parties’ platform is pro-life. Do we have a chance at overturning or slowing the loss of life through the barbaric practice of abortion under a Clinton administration? Not a chance in the world. Do we have a possibility under a Trump administration to slow down the rate of abortions or with the right Supreme Court judges overturn Roe vs. Wade, maybe? Isn’t the life of just one baby worth this shot? I want to see this barbaric practice ended in my lifetime, don’t you? For the sake of unborn babies, don’t they have a better chance at life with Trump as president and that president being in a party whose platform is prolife?

5. Race relations:

Under this administration, make no mistake America has taken a step backwards in race relations. Sports stars are disrespecting the flag, rioting has become acceptable and violence towards police officers has increased. We simply cannot elect a president that will continue to feed the flame of division in our country. A Hillary Clinton administration IS a Barak Obama third term. This would be a disaster for our nations unity. With all that America faces in the days ahead, we must elect a president that will unite America rather than divide it.

6. Benghazi and Email Scandals:

Directly said…I believe Hillary Clinton is responsible for the deaths of four Americans and was never held accountable. Further, she is not qualified to be president because she has mishandled classified materials and put our nations secrets and security at risk. She doesn’t deserve to be president. The majority of Americans has stated they do not trust her! Let’s make sure another American is never left on the battlefield and our nations secrets are kept secure by a president who is careful and takes responsibility for their actions. Hillary Clinton should not have a security clearance much less be president and privy to our nations secrets!

7. One term presidency:

I am being presumptuous but I believe that even if Donald Trump wins he will only serve one term. So, if he turns out to be much of what conservatives have accused him of, he will never be re-elected and secondly he would still be better than Clinton because of those around him leading our government.

In conclusion, you may say that I am voting less for Donald Trump and more against Hillary Clinton. I won’t argue with you. America is in bad shape. I am saddened by our choices. I believe we could have done better. Voting for a third party candidate is not voting principle, it is throwing it away and giving place to the devil to put in a candidate that who without a doubt take away our freedoms as Christians. The stakes are too high to be vengeful against what we believe is a distasteful candidate. Our children’s future is at stake. They will not benefit from our principled vote if we have lost our freedom and country. We are facing a tidal wave of persecution in America if we do not wake up. We did not like McCain – we stayed home and got Obama. We did not like Romney – we stayed home and got Obama 2.0. If we stay home again or vote for a third party, can America survive Hillary Clinton, Obama, 3.0? Not a conservative pastor in America has been pleased with the last 8 years. Marriage and morality has been attacked. We continue to lose our liberties. We continue to lose court cases because liberal judges have been installed. We MUST wake up for the sake of our countries future. America has never had a perfect viable candidate for president. We have always had to settle. I hate that. But it is the truth. If we vote for a third party candidate or stay home are we not telling our children, our families and even the world that we would rather Hillary Clinton be president than to take a chance and vote for Donald Trump. Donald Trump is a BIG question mark but Hillary Clinton is a BIG exclamation point.

The choice is simple…Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? I have to vote for Donald Trump.

Awake America Maryland

We have a choice: Get angry or get busy. Get discouraged or get focused. Get apathetic or get a burden. Never in our countries history have we needed the people of God more to step up. Before our eyes our nation is deteriorating. The moral fabric of this nation is falling apart. A generation is turning against God. What will we do? I would remind you that its HIS church and the gates of hell will not prevail against HIS church. You know it’s easy to serve when all is well. It’s easy to stand when everyone is standing. But what this nation needs  is for men and women to stand in its darkest hours. We have been placed here in this generation for such a time and this! We must minister to a generation filled with questions. We must stand against a tidal wave of immorality, of perversion, of those who are confused about right and wrong. We must show the love of Christ and tell the truth with confidence and with humility. My heart breaks for America. We are a prodigal nation that is wasting her substance, her blessings, on riotous living.

Evangelist Chuck Harding & Pastor Mike Creed co-founded Awake America and in 2013 began a powerful event called the Capitol Connection. The purpose is simple, connecting the people of God with the people of government. On July 5th, we welcome Pastor Brad Cranston to Woodlawn Baptist Church. Brother Cranston has joined Awake America to launch Awake America in each state. To that end, we are excited to launch Awake America Maryland on Tuesday, July 7th. We will be meeting at 6:30pm. Join us if you are able but please pray for Gods hand of wisdom and blessing on this important endeavor. Our goals are to connect with our elected leaders in Annapolis, to pray for Gods hand on our state, to get involved and participate in our legislative process and let our collective voices be heard. Finally, but most importantly, is to share the gospel and stand for truth.

While we may look at this dark world and feel overwhelmed may I remind you that with each passing day we are one day closer to revival or the rapture! Either way – WE ARE ON THE WINNING SIDE!

God has been good!

I will never forget that cold January morning when I first rode the Blue Bus to Junior Church. I didn’t want to be there. I had other things on my agenda. My heart was hurting from a broken home and distracted by the allures of the world. I was 11 years old and had moved three times in just over a year. I wasn’t supposed to ride the blue bus but God had a different plan. On January 9, 1983, I rode the wrong bus but met the right Saviour! After several few months I trusted Christ as Saviour in Junior Church. My life was forever changed. My parents were divorced at the time and each of them trusted Christ as Saviour. Through the grace and healing touch of God a year after coming to church my parents re-married…each other. I saw the transforming power of the gospel and answered prayer on display. I began attending every service and was exciting about my new life in Christ. When I was 15 years old I attended a youth conference with our youth group and God called me to preach. I was scared but excited about what God had in store. I went to Bible College locally and then married Christina. God’s goodness and mercy have been never ceasing. I can say looking back, I have no regrets saying YES to God! Through the tragic loss of our pastor and my hero Dr. Ron Fenwick, God placed me in the position of pastor of Woodlawn Baptist Church. Exactly 26 years to the day that I rode to church as a young boy I was voted in as pastor. God’s grace is simply amazing. Trust Him, he will lead down paths of fulfillment, joy and peace with God. I never want to forget where I came from, after all I wouldn’t be here without HIM! Put Christ first and follow Him. You will never regret it!!

A New Year – 2015

As we enter a new year I can not help but think about renewal. So many in society make resolutions, new commitments and take a new year as an opportunity to make a fresh start. I am thankful that God is always ready to give us another chance! Whether you have struggled in your devotional time, been unfaithful to your commitments or spiritually have stalled or backslidden, God is ALWAYS ready for the prodigal to return home!

I am excited about a new year. 2015 is met with so much promise. We are either one day closer to revival or one day closer to the rapture! Either way, we are on the winning side!

Can I encourage this year to make a fresh start:

1) Spend time with God. – Wrestle with Him as Jacob did and ask for His presence and power in 2015

2) Stir your spirit by taking steps of faith. – Trust & acknowledge Him in all of your ways. You will never regret jumping out of the boat and you will have a story to tell of God’s faithfulness.

3) Don’t be satisfied with the “status-quo” Attempt great things for God; expect great things from God!

4) Never forget where you came from! By the grace of God you are where you are! If it had not been for the Lord! Write letters of thankfulness and never forget those who impacted your life for Christ!

5) Be an answer to prayer. Look for opportunities to be a blessing to others in 2015. Life is too short to focus on only ourselves!

6) Keep your eyes on Christ. Man will disappoint you, but God will never let you down!

7) Look for opportunities to share your faith. This world needs Jesus Christ! He is the answer!

Let’s make 2015 the best year ever!



Maryland Connection 2015

As Christians, many of us have shared with each other our frustrations over the decisions being made in our state houses or nationally on Capitol Hill. We have been disappointed by votes, angered by a politicians views and stirred to frustration by what we deem to be obvious common sense opportunities missed.

While I believe there appropriate times for righteous anger I believe it’s time for the people of God to stop talking about what is wrong and do something about it. We are forgetting the most powerful tool we have as Christians…prayer! My question for you to ponder is how much time have you spent in prayer over our country and our communities? How many of our elected leaders do we lift up in prayer? How often have we reached out to these officials to share with them that we are praying for them and appreciate their service for our state and country?

Romans 13 teaches us the fact that God looks at our government, an institution that HE ordained, and those that serve as ministers of God. Yet somehow Christians have gotten it in their minds that we should have little interaction or mingling in government affairs. If you study the Scripture you will find the error of that thought. In fact, every book in the Old Testament was written by a government leader, to a government leader or about a government leader!

Two years ago Pastor Mike Creed and Evangelist Chuck Harding founded Awake America and the Capitol Connection Event. If you have participated your eyes would have been opened to the need to engage our elected leaders in the effort of prayer. So it has been our burden to duplicate this effort in our state. The state of Maryland has been written off by many but not by God! He is still able to save souls and change lives. I encourage you to be a part of the Maryland Connection…January 15, 2015 at 11:00am at Lawyers Square!

Be a part of history as we connect the people of God with the people of government! As Brother Harding has said…God is a game-changer!

The Maryland Connection is not a political event, it is a spiritual one!