If you haven't watched or heard about the 20/20 episode last week "exposing" "THE IFB Cult" go to www.abc.com and watch it. Oh boy, I have soooo much I want to say about this subject. Actually, I have said a lot about it all over the web, haha. Some people make me so mad! But I'm just going to narrow it all down to one little statement:
Revenge-colored blinders do not allow truth to be seen.
I'll be the first to admit that many Baptist churches drop the ball on issues like the story Tina told. But not ALL of them, and probably not most of them either. And the group telling this particular story have an AGENDA folks. And it's not good! But regardless of whether the stories portrayed on the program have an element of truth to them or not, these people are on a witch hunt, and they don't care if they bring down innocent people so long as they get their revenge on the people who hurt them. And I'm guessing they probably don't appear on shows like 20/20 for free?
I wouldn't trust Jocelyn Zichterman with a 10-mile pole. I don't know why, I'd never even heard of the woman before last week, but she has an agenda no doubt about that. She is not someone who has anyone's best interest at heart.
After reading everything I can find on the subject, all I can see is that:
1. This is a nationally known story; if Pastor Phelps really had obstructed justice by covering up a rape, why isn't HE in jail? Why isn't HE a person of interest in this case? Why would he make his paper-trail public if he had something like that to hide?
2. There is no such thing as "The IFB Denomination". Independent Baptists are just that...independent. It's not "The Baptist Church" like there's "The Catholic Church" or "The Mormon Church". Each church is its own entity, and not every church agrees or shares the same standards as another church.
3. If Baptist doctrines repress women, why are there more women than men in church?
4. I would be the first to stand up and yell for Pastor Phelps or ANY pastor to resign, go to jail, apologize, if he really covered up sexual abuse in his church. It's a pet peeve of mine actually, churches brushing things under the rug to save their reputations. But looking at the evidence, it doesn't appear that he did that.
5. Independent Fundamental Baptists defy any modern notion of a cult. Think about it. If a person decides they don't agree with the ideas of a particular cult, what happens? The cult leaders hold something over their heads, making them afraid to leave, something such as loss of salvation, loss of children, loss of life. But if I wanted to quit attending an Independent Baptist church right now, I could! Nobody is going to say I'm no longer saved, I won't go to Heaven, or even hint at it. I wouldn't fear for my life or my family's life. People would be disappointed. I might lose some friends. But that's about it. How does that in any way remotely resemble a cult? Absurd.
I found these websites to be extremely informative:
Woops, I wasn't going to rant, but I guess I did.