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Lest You Forget Why You Ran Screaming from the IFB Church


Many of the people who read this blog are survivors of the worst that the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church movement had to offer. (if you don’t know what an IFB church is, please read What is an IFB Church) From mental, emotional, and spiritual abuse, to being physically and sexually abused at IFB group homes, many of you know first hand how toxic and murderous the IFB church movement is.

Bob Gray Sr. is the retired pastor of Longview Baptist Temple in Longview, Texas. Gray’s son, Gray Jr. now sits on the throne of family empire. Gray Sr. is what I call a consummate bean counter. He knows right down to the soul how many people he has won to Jesus. Years ago, I calculated, based on the salvation numbers touted by Gray Sr, that every person in Longview, Texas should now be a Christian. Gray Sr. is a devoted follower of  the late Jack Hyles, the adulterous pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana. Last year, the Longview Baptist Temple gave a warm welcome to David Hyles, the son of Jack Hyles, a man known for being a serial adulterer.

Gray Sr. is proud to be a general in the IFB army. He is proud of his blind allegiance to Jack Hyles. Several years ago, Gray Sr. let it be known that he was proud to be a topical preacher. Topical preaching is the style of preaching where the preacher chooses a topic to preach on and then finds Bible verses to support his chosen topic. It is proof-texting at its best and it is a style of preaching that is quite common in the IFB church.

Many IFB preachers have about 4 sermons. They have four thousand titles for those four sermons, but they only have four sermons. When a preacher preaches topically, it becomes quite easy for him to make the Bible say anything he wants it to say. As my friend Steve said, who was once a member of Longview Baptist Temple,  Gray Sr’s sermons all sound the same. Sadly, this is a common problem in the IFB church movement. They have the same set of sins they preach against over, and over, and over. I am beginning to think that the people who attend IFB churches must be the worst sinners in the world. Why must their pastors spend so much time telling them what vile, wicked, sinners they are? Aren’t they getting the message? Isn’t the Holy Spirit communicating with them, reminding them of their duty to obey God? Besides, since IFB church members are expected to be at church every time the doors are open, when do they find time to sin?

Take Gray Sr’s March 2014 blog sermon. It is what I call a double barrel shotgun blast sermon. Gray hits almost every IFB hobby horse. To sum up Gray’s sermon, whatever it is, he’s against it. See for yourself:

…A pastor who was upset with my preaching said to me, “I don’t have to preach like that because what we believe can be found in our constitution and not in our church pulpit.” Well what I believe can be found in the pulpit as well as on paper. Those types of preachers are basically cowards. They are what I call silent disciples!…

…Get this! Satan has not changed one bit. There are still Pharaoh’s in this day and time that we live in! The cry still is, “Let my people go!” Satan still says to God’s people, “Worship God, but do it in Egypt! Stay in the world and worship God! Be spiritually minded on the inside and don’t worry about the outside! Live in the world, dress like the world, talk like the world, and sing like the world but don’t give the outward appearance of being fanatical. This is post-modernism, emerging church, or cultural acclimatization…

…In America today you have giant charismatic churches, emerging churches, and Rick Warren wannabes where the choir has become a “worship team” looking like the heathen world. They act like it and sing like it. The bands on their platforms are just like the world’s bands. The women wear their pants, their shorts, and their mini-skirts while the men wear earrings, necklaces and all together praise God. This world has dictated their lifestyle and not Heaven! This cultural war has invaded the local church.  First with a “Contemporary” hour tacked on later is a “Traditional Service.”…

…The pharaoh’s of this world say, “Use Egypt! Avoid dogmatism, avoid division, avoid separation from the world, use Egypt’s music, have contemporary worship services, have worldly bands, and please most of all have unity.” Today’s pharaoh’s say, “It’s ok to drink in moderation.” If your talking about coca-cola that is ok! Today’s pharaoh’s say, “You’ll not have an appeal to this world if you don’t use the world to appeal to the world. Stay in Egypt while you worship God! Mark my word it will not be long until four letter vulgar words will appear in the music on church platforms….

…Born again people drinking cocktails, wearing shorts, listening to ungodly music, using religious rock, and inviting the world into church is worshipping God in Egypt. Born again people going to Hollywood movies where nudity, cursing, humans acting like animals, and the merciless senseless violence is worshipping God in Egypt. Born again people lying on the beach in the summertime in their underwear is worshipping God in Egypt…

…There was a time in our nation when your child could play little league, or soccer, or football, or basketball in the public schools, but not anymore. The cursing and the bad examples will completely engulf and create a worldly mindset that you will regret when your children become adults. Stay away from the influence that breeds compromise. We are not to get our pleasure from this world.

Your local church, your pastor, your Sunday school, your youth programs, your fellowships, your music, and your activities must remind people of Heaven not Egypt. If you don’t believe what I am writing then just look at those who attempted to be a Christian while staying in Egypt. Check out those who turned on their pastor and left the man of God’s influence. Oh, the stories of tragedies in just my 42 years of ministry. It really is sad!

Satan says to a pastor, “Ok have your beliefs just don’t go very far from the world. You don’t want to be called a fanatic. Have the old hymns and add new choruses led by a worship leader. Use some contemporary religious rock music. Keep your beliefs just don’t go very far from the world Have your traditional services, but also provide at a different time a contemporary service.” The sad truth is that those contemporary services are nothing more than a second-class amateur hour for rock music in Jesus’ name. It has turned into an American Idol contest…

…A rebel teen said to me one time in anger, “You’ve become an old man that’s out of date.” I replied, “Yes, and I’m going to continue to stay further out of date.” If being in date means using false Bibles, drinking, going to filthy movies, and acting like barn yard animals then I would just as soon stay out of date. If being in date means denying the inspiration of the old King James Bible I will stay out of date.

The same Christianity of the Bible ought to be the Christianity of every generation. Haircuts on the males are not out of date! Long hair on the females is not out of date! Dresses worn by ladies is not out of date. No dresses on the males is not out of date. God said to man of God, “Go tell Pharaoh to let my people go…

…It’s time student’s respected old age, teachers, and staff. It’s time for the godly adults to be the heroes of young people. It’s time for Lee Roberson to be more popular than Tiger Woods.

Egypt’s music is rotten. We are facing a rotten Hollywood, rotten TV programs, rotten magazines, and rotten stars have produced ruined young people. Why, they are staying in Egypt or hanging around Egypt.

These young Gadarene demoniac stars have captivated the young people especially our young ladies. Young ladies have become young females with their provocative dress or lack there of in public. It is shocking how unashamed young females are in public. Their hairstyles, music, morals, and lack of respect for themselves, let alone for any one else is destroying not only them but our nation also.

How about trading the Rolling Stones for the stone that was rolled away. Let us trade the world’s rock for God’s rock. Let us trade the singer called The Prince for Jesus the Prince of Peace. Let’s trade Elizabeth Taylor for Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist. Let’s trade Michael Jordan for Michael the archangel. Let’s trade Playboy for praying men. Let’s trade the new morality for the old morality Let’s trade the NIV for the KJB. Let’s trade situation ethics for Bible ethics. Let’s trade homosexual marriages for heterosexual marriages. Let’s trade living together before marriage for living together after marriage. Let’s trade visitation for soul winning. Let’s trade king Elvis for King Jesus..

…A world of rap and hip-hop music with filthy four letter words being sung at OUR WHITE HOUSE. We as God’s children ought to refuse to stay in Egypt, hang around Egypt, or leave our children in Egypt and refuse to leave our possessions in Egypt. Every dime you spend for ungodly movies and ungodly magazines or any other ungodly activity is in essence leaving your possessions in Egypt. I have said for years that there will be more people in Hell because of a lack of cash than for any other combination of reasons…

Aren’t you glad that ran from this kind of mind numbing, soul deadening insanity? Gray speaks of leaving Egypt. Little does he know that, for many of us, leaving Egypt meant running from the emotional, mental, and spiritual abuse that IFB preachers like Gray pass off as good, hard preaching. Gray calls it stepping on toes, I call it stepping on the self-worth and spirit of a person and grinding them into the ground.


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    Oh GOD! I could hear the screaming, smarmy, judgmental, holier-than-thou man of GAWD-AH yelling at me as I read. That cadence one knows all too well from being in the IFB.
    Oh, these folks are so damn dangerous.
    Thanks for the reminder.
    No, excuse me while I go take a shower. Ick.

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    I cannot get this image out of my mind: During the sermon, some little fellow walks to the front of the church and up behind the Reverend 3 Sermon Delight, and just starts booting him in the ass. He does not speak to his-holiness, just kicks butt.
    (I know this is very very rude but I share it here as a way to seek relief and hopefully stop roaring with laughter.)

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    Like Kitty Brat, I could hear the candence while I was reading. I could hear the heavy breathing, the shouting, pounding the pulpit to emphasize; especially when he was talking about trading worldly things for Christian things. Everyone in the pews yelling “Preach it, brother!” , “Amen”, and “Don’t hold back”. After that, there would be a pregnant pause before launching into talking about rap in the White House.

    Wow, reading that was almost like being there.

    Bob Gray, Randy Taylor, Jack Hyles, Jim White, Tim Green (these are just a few I remember hearing)- they all sound the same. You could swap their sermons and each could preach the other’s sermon with no trouble at all.

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    (1) He blames young women for all the ills of modern society. I just find this mortifying. (2) He rails against the Rolling Stones and Elizabeth Taylor. Let him continue down this path. His ilk will die off and only the watered-down version of Christianity will remain (I hope) – the type that is at least somewhat reasonable, rational, and accepting of people’s differences. Until I left Christianity 25 years ago, I suffered spiritual abuse, but Gray Sr takes it to a whole different level.

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    chaplain Phillip C. Lamb

    You cannot pass judgment on God by the unfortunate actions of a few…this is a hate-baiting circus I want no part of.

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      I do not pass judgement on God. There is no God. I judge hateful men who carry Bibles that they use to harm others while all the while saying, JESUS IS LOVE! They are not the few you would like to imagine. They are legion and you can find them in the first church you pass right now, this day. Any church. Any hate-baiting church you choose. Maybe you are one, chaplain.

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    John Arthur

    Hi Chaplain Lamb,

    I am sure that you recognize that many Fundamentalist churches are authoritarian in their attitudes and promote a religion based on fear. People need to flee such churches. These type of churches are not a tiny few. They do enormous harm to a person’s mental and emotional well-being.

    This is not about judging a God of compassion, healing-mercy and loving-kindness, but a God who loves and hates at the same time; a God who is angry and violent while he is supposed to be peaceful at the same time.

    While most people who post on this site are atheists or agnostics, some are progressive and liberal Christians. This is not “a hate baiting circus”. I hope that you do not approve of those strict Fundamentalist churches who often have a strict authoritarian leadership and use their so-called authority to subjugate their members to strict moral values and theology by creating a climate of fear.

    Many of these folk, who sit under fear based preaching and teaching, have lost their sense of dignity and self respect and have low self esteem, things that are largely (but not entirely) promoted by such churches.


    John Arthur

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    Evan Woods

    Why are you people so backwards to me? I was looking up the church a few days ago just getting info about it because I was going to visit the Longview Baptist temple for the first time and to my surprise I found this hate page… seems like someone (Bruce) has been injured by something that happened years ago… I actually attended for the first time yesterday and I just have to say nothing he said about the church is true and their pastor Bob Gray II couldn’t be nicer… I’m so glad I ignored this pit of lies.

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      Embrace the love, Evan. Afer you have seen what a mistake it was, come back and listen a bit more. I hope you survive Bob Gray.

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