Spanking Infants???

Elizabeth Esther posted about the 20/20 exposé of abuse in some IBF churches and interprets Pastor Brian Fuller’s remarks.  She explains the teaching of first time obedience  and how common the spanking of infants really in these churches. By the way, some of the comments of this blog post seem to have inside information in them.

Also, I want to make it clear that  not all Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches have abusive teachings.  I am a member of an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church which does not.  The pastor often reminds us that salvation is by faith in Jesus and what He did alone and you cannot add anything to that.  He reminds us that saying a prayer or baptism or anything else will not save you, you are saved by believing that what Jesus said and did is true.  They do believe in corporal punishment but I have never heard of anyone there spanking an infant or using an implement.  While they might say that they believe in wifely submission, what I see looks more like mutual submission.   I see no signs of the patriarchal movement, most of the women in that church wear pants.  They also cut and dye their hair and nobody says a word about it.  Women work outside the home and girls are expected to go to college.  On top of that, many in  the congregation uses public schools.  So, I don’t know how extensive the abuse in IFB churches is but I believe that churches need to be considered on a church by church basis.  After all, they are independent.

1 Comment

  1. Cindy Kunsman on April 15, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Hermana Linda,

    I wanted to echo your statement that the IFB churches are not all alike, and that there are a great many that do not follow the kinds of practices that were discussed on the 20/20 episode. Having happened so recently, I am reminded of the little five year old Mennonite girl who recently suffered renal failure. I am also reminded of the family at the International House of Prayer who neglected their child. (

    These problems do not lie with a denomination or a religion but rather with the traditions of men and the abuse of power. When power corrupts any religious system and falls into the patterns of spiritual abuse, that system no longer seeks to care for its lambs but the lambs become the expendable fodder that must be sacrificed in order to preserve the system.

    I am often asked by people outside of the Evangelical community exactly which denomination teaches aggression against those who are placed in their care, be it children, young women, or grown adult women. “Which one is it? Which one is it?” It is all of them. It is easier and a very human tendency to wish to put everyone into an easily identified category, particularly when we learn that the practices followed prove to be so disturbing. If we can easily identify the wolves, we do not have to do much work. When we are forced to realize that many wolves look just like the sheep, we have to face the fact that there are no easy shortcuts. We must always be vigilant.

    You’ve graciously linked from this website over to my own where I’ve spent time discussing how good people and systems with presumably good purposes end up falling into difficult, dangerous, or even evil patterns of behavior. The people in any church are like apples, the churches (or the parachurch organizations like No Greater Joy) are much like barrels wherein the apples are stored, and all of Christendom is the system that both creates and maintains those barrels.

    Some barrels are better than others, and a bad barrel runs a good chance of spoiling the good apples that are placed in it. Some barrels, though made with the best of intentions to keep good apples in good condition, just end up bruising and corrupting the apples it contains. A good church with a vigilant pastor who exemplifies maturity in the faith and God’s lovingkindness can often follow doctrines of hierarchy but they do better at balancing hierarchy against these central elements of the Christian faith. They maintain their perspective and don’t compromise the character of Christ in favor of gender or even child training concepts. But it is sadly not the case with all of the barrels crafted at Bob Jones, Hyles-Anderson, and Pensacola and informally maintained by the IFB.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.