Some Baptists Break My Heart

I am first and foremost a child of God. In other words, I am a Christian. Secondly, I am an Independent Baptist. I choose to be an Independent Baptist for many reasons. I will save the reasons for another hub. I attend an Independent Baptist church. I pastor the same Independent Baptist church. I have a lot riding on the name Baptist.

Although I have failed many times, I try very hard to show the world who and what Jesus is about. I try to exemplify Him in my life. I want the world to fall in love with the One who so selflessly gave His life for them. I am told in Scripture to love my enemies - and so I must, but sometimes my enemies are Baptists.

I can not for the life of me figure out where some people get their theology; take for instance, the Westboro Baptist Church.


It is no wonder many people have given up on the only Hope they have - God. The Westboro Baptist Church is not practicing Baptist doctrine; nor is it by their lifestyle representing Jesus Christ. Their doctrine of hate simply is not biblical. God will certainly judge a rebellious nation in those areas of rebellion. God will certainly warn of coming judgment. Still the Bible says in Matthew 7:20, "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." The love of God is nowhere to be found in this group. They may use the name Baptist, but I take offense to that. The Westboro Baptist Church is a group of hatemongers, and does not reflect the Jesus I know in any way, shape, or form. Please do not lump me in with this group.

Please do not associate me with Charles Worley's Providence Road Baptist Church in North Carolina. I know what the Bible says about the sin of homosexuality. it does not say that all homosexuals should be herded within an electric fence and left to die. Yes, the Bible is against sexual sin, both heterosexual and homosexual, but yet Jesus spent His very life's blood for them. Why should we not love the sinner as Jesus did? Very true - Jesus did not tolerate sin, but He did love the sinner, including Shirley Phelps Roper and Charles Worley.



Now here is another - Pastor Jim Standridge of Immanuel Baptist Church in Skiatook, Oklahoma.

God clearly outlines in Scripture how problems within the local church should be handled. I can not claim to know the background of the incidences that Standride points out during his miserable message. He may have good reason to deal with some of these issues, but he does not do it in the proper way. Please know I have nothing to do with Jim Standridge nor his philosophy of ministry.

Do you think this kind of preaching honors God?

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These kinds of fringe ministries that refer to themselves as Baptist make it tough on true Baptist churches that from a pure heart really want to proclaim the love of Christ. These ministries border on qualifying as cults. Certainly they are not Baptist. Certainly they do not represent true Christianity.

Is it any wonder these groups draw the criticism of the world? Jesus said in John 12;32, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." I can not see how this kind of prideful behavior can draw anyone to Christ. If it repels rather than draws, then the problem is with the speaker, not God. And the message is not of God.

These Baptists break my heart. They are so far from the mark that perhaps they need to stop and re-examine their own hearts before crushing the hearts of their congregations, and mine. Maybe they need to re-examine their own hearts to see if that by chance they have broken the heart of the God who loves them and gave Himself a ransom for their souls. Perhaps it would do us all good to look inside, and see what really makes us tick.

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Comments 37 comments

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

This is an important message Bill. God will never find me not standing on His word but that does not include hate for a people. There are no big or little sins (although maybe some harder to break away from). These in this church do give us all a bad name and make it hard to witness the truth, in love, not hate.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thanks for the added thoughts, Jackie. It truly is sad, but the devil will use anyone he can. In preparation for this hub I watched a video featuring Shirley Phelps daughter who broke away from the church. She said she really thought she was doing what was right. That's how brainwashed some of these people are. Anyway, we need to keep spreading the Truth, no matter what may get in the way. Thanks for stopping by!


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 3 years ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ

When we allow man-made labels to be pinned upon ourselves, such as "Baptist," then we have to defend ourselves from those who do not represent the name properly. We would then have to reference the religious man-made standard and authority manual by which the term "Baptist" must be upheld.

Once you throw out the man-made religious denominational titles, there is no need to be caught up under the unbrella of "Baptist," and other groups who concern themselves by what they do vs what we do.

There is ONLY one Church with no denominational titles. The Church are those who are in obedience to, and under the umbrella of the Holy Spirit, not "Baptist." Throw away "Baptist" and you have Church. You don't need to name anything there is ONLY one of.

The name on the sign, or membership to a title is nowhere to be found in Scripture.


JJS 3 years ago

These are not Christian people let alone Baptist. There are distinctions that make one a Baptist, westboro meets non of them. Westboro and people like them are your enemy, not Baptist!


JJS 3 years ago

Good article, people need to know the difference between false and real Christians.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi PnN,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I know where you're coming from. Actually when I refer to myself as Independent Baptist I'm not referring to a denomination, but rather a historical trail that has preserved truth through the centuries. I don't necessarily expect you to agree, but the Baptist line goes back to the Anabaptists. the Albigenses, the Paulicians, and so forth back to the New Testament teachings of Jesus. Perhaps sometime I'll write a hub on why I am Baptist.

The trail has been preserved and protected through the centuries and I see Baptist as an adjective, not a noun. I would rather say I'm Baptist vs. I'm A Baptist. I'm Baptist in my theology. To merely say I'm part of the church (which is true) does not clarify my position. Being Baptist does. You're right, there is only one church and it crosses "denominational" lines. Thanks for the visit, Brother.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Thanks for stopping by and commenting JJS. You're right. Westboro meets none of the qualifications of Christianity. There are as you say, distinctions that make someone Baptist. The only distinction about Westboro is the hate and anger they exhibit. In my opinion, they more closely resemble the KKK than any church group. Of course, they're not the only "off the wall" group out there. That's what makes it tough. Still we must carry on.


graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

Let me make sure I have this right, you are up set because they concider themselves Baptist and give Baptist a bad name, but it does not bother you if they concider themselves christian and give christians a bad name.

The way I'm understanding this is your more concerned with the idea that you and Lifegate Baptist Church will somehow take a hit for what this group is doing

And then you make little or no effort to defend the christian faith as a whole. That most of what these people say that comes from the bible is clearly taken out of context than what the really bible says.

Thanks for sticken up for the whole "CHRISTAN" faith.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi graceinus,

Maybe I wasn't clear enough. I'm sick in my heart over what these groups and others have done to Christianity, but the fact that they use the name Baptist. This damages damages Baptist credibility. It would be the same thing for a Methodist, Presbyterian, or any other group if they attached themselves to those groups. So yes, I'm upset because they attack Christianity in general and Baptists specifically.

I am Baptist and I'm calling them out because they don't stand for what I stand for. I do not want to be identified with them in any way. I would assume that a Methodist, Presbyterian, or any other group that they reflected would feel the same way.

Lables aside, I certainly know that the attack is not against Baptists, or even Christianity, but against God. They will be judged by the same judgment they preach. But Jesus also died for them if will come to Him in repentance.

Hope that clears things up. Either way, thanks for stopping by and commenting.


graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

Maybe I wasn't clear enough. Your focused on a name or lable and what others may think of it. That is carnal mindedness. Focus on what really counts. Be focused on the Kingdom of God and lead others to it. Nothing is more important.

God Bless.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 3 years ago from Southern Clime

Yes, it is true that some people in churches can really break hearts, but those who do that are "in need of the Physician" just like all others. Condemning a whole group is something that I have been guilty of many times. There was a time when I thought that gays should have been quarantined for the sake of "innocent victims," but I never wanted them killed. I had to grow, and I am still growing. I had to realize that my "little sins" were just as sinful as any others I called "big."

If everyone could read minds, we would all find gays among our own family members, near or distant. When I learned how to love all people, I did just that. I love everybody, but I do not like certain character traits I see in some individuals.

Like gays, those Baptists outside of your circle need prayer, love, and forgiveness, too. Sometimes we must isolate ourselves from people, but we should still love them and "feed them with a long-handled spoon," if necessary.

Many blessings!


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

I don't understand why whoever is over this church doesn't stop them? I mean their license comes from the top doesn't it? They send money and have communications with a higher power in the church don't they? I don't understand the business of church but I can't imagine any other churches think this is OK?


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

graceinus ,

Sorry. I guess I wasn't clear enough.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Levertis Steele ,

Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Even though these groups do much harm, we can also learn a lot from them as well. Thanks for the visit and comment.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Jackie,

I can't imagine any other churches would think it's okay either. Scripturally, Jesus Christ is the head of the church, and the church has no higher authority than Jesus Christ. As independent Baptist churches (which all of the examples are), they supposedly look to Jesus as their head. The pastor is first accountable to Him, and then secondly to his congregation. If he doesn't get his leadership from Christ (which is obvious), then the church members should hold the pastor accountable. Obviously this isn't happening either. In the case of Westboro, most of the members are family. Glad as always for your visit.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

I grew up in the Baptist church and I survived. I still attend one because they worship as closely to the way I prefer as any church I've found. I love the music and am part of a 100-voice choir and orchestra. But they break my heart too. My church was the first one to throw out their Boy Scout troop after the decision by Boy Scouts of America to allow gay scouts. Ok. Let me understand this. We're not going to have a Boy Scout troop in the church because some scouts might be gay. Are we going to stop having dinner on Wednesday night because some fat people might come? Gluttony is also a sin according to the Bible. Whatever happened to "go and sin no more" or the concept that no one sin is worse than another? And isn't it the job of the Holy Spirit - not mere humans - to decide what is a sin in a person's life and what is not? What about all the young boys who won't benefit from a Christian influence in their growing up years because churches leave the scouting to others? My church wants me to give money so the Gospel can be shared to the ends of the earth, but won't support a boy scout troop on their own property. I don't get it.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 3 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Hi lifegate, my brother is a Baptist. Which is very interesting, because he used to be atheist. I have never been to his church, but he and his wife are very kind. They don't judge others, at least none that I know of. They love everyone in our family. They have a 4 year old girl and have been teaching her God loves her.

At any rate, he is a good person. When his friend took him to a Baptist Church, and he became a Christian everything about him changed. His personality, his outlook on life. He became happy. It was amazing

Yes, there are some churches that have been become corrupt, but not all of them.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Kathleen,

You make some very good points. It seems that we as humans judge certain sins to be worse than others, but to God, sin is sin -period. These churches push their hatred of homosexuality. God hates the sin of homosexuality. I'm fine with calling it sin. Still we are to love the sinner. They spew their hatred for homosexuality, but never mention their hatred of perverse heterosexuality. A man and a woman living outside of wedlock is just as sinful. They need to be consistent. Anyway, I could go on and on - thanks for stopping by and commenting.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Good to see you Michele,

You said, "Yes, there are some churches that have been become corrupt, but not all of them." - exactly my point. What a lot of people don't understand is that Baptist is not a denomination, but a word to describe a system of belief. When someone claims to be Baptsit they should uphold those beliefs. Obviously the examples I gave, don't. There are a lot of good people in a lot of different churches, and there are a lot of evil people in a lot of different churches. It just so happens that these groups single out the Baptist name.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

"The Bible is against sexual sin, both heterosexual and homosexual." Good point! God is against all sins---not only those we single out. Besides, I wonder if these preachers hear from God. Do they pray about what message to bring? And can the Baptists prevent them from using the name? Lord, have mercy on all of us! Thanks for addressing this topic.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Good morning Ms Dora,

To answer your questions - If these "off the wall" preachers claim to hear from God, it's not the same God you and I worship. The Bible says that satan is the god of this world, and I believe he is the god they're listening to. If they pray at all about their messages, they're not listening to God's answer. Those who are Independent Baptists are not part of a denomination such as Southern Baptists, GARB Baptists, etc. The independent Baptist preacher answers to God first, and then he should be held accountable by his congregation. It is up to his people to pull the plug, but some of these guys are so powerful, the people are afraid to challenge him. It's nothing short of the same kind of brainwashing that controls the cults. As always, thanks for stopping by and commenting.


GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 3 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

Thanks for writing this Hub lifegate. It really upsets me that all Christians seem to get linked with these hate-mongering groups. They definitely do not represent me, or biblical Christianity. God bless.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Good to hear from you GodTalk,

Thanks for adding to the conversation. they really are troublesome groups - or should I say, troubled groups. They may even be well intentioned, but they certainly missed what Christianity is about. Thanks again for stopping by.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 3 years ago from Southern Minnesota

I had the unfortunate experience of running into the Westboro Baptist bunch while in Topeka Kansas where they are based from. They were picketing a church I attended while there.

I will assume they don't read their Bibles much for it says in Job 36:5 "God is mighty, but despises no one" What a huge misrepresentation of not only the Baptist church but Christianity and God Himself.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Absolutely. You said it, TJ. Nothing speaks like first hand experience. I have heard them quote scripture, but it's badly taken out of context. Thanks for adding to the conversation.


skye2day profile image

skye2day 3 years ago from Rocky Mountains

lifegate my bro Blessings to you and yours. I read your comment to faith reaper and was led to stop in and say God Bless you dear friend. Thank you for the precious words you wrote toward me. You know it is only because Christ loved us first that we too can love. His grace and mercies are new each day. I am humbled and honored that faith wrote such a tribute. I was totally surprised! Worthy not even but God counts us worthy amen. I have thought to come over many times but got side tracked on these here hub pages. There seems not near enough time to cover all the corners of hp town. Got to take it in stride.

Love your hub lifegate. Very informative. As you so know the enemy uses 'religion' in big time ways to deceive many. The world will take one or two or a handful or house full of Baptists or Catholics or Evangelist or Pentecost on and on and from their behavior come to a conclusion that all Christians are like that. Hate mongrels or whatever. They do not know better, maybe they do not want too. Like you said we will know them by their fruits and our Loving Savior will do the heart bending. You just keep shining the light of Christ precious brother. I love ya lifegate. You know I will always be in your neighborhood for tea. JK. Miss your writes brother and I hope to be over sooner next time.

Good thing our hubs stay put. For now anyway. Only God does not change, amen. Hugs galore dear bro. Skye

shared! voted!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi Sista,

I was only telling Faith the truth. You've been a blessing to me and continue to be. Thanks for your encouragement and continued support.

It really is a shame how a handful of "cultists" can ruin it for a bunch of others. What is it they say? - one rotten apple can spoil the whole bucnh? Well, they can't spoil God's bunch!

God bless ya real good, Sista!


denden mangubat profile image

denden mangubat 3 years ago from liloan, cebu, philippines

logically satan finds ways to infest christian churches,he wants churches broken which already happened during the days of Peter the apostle.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi denden mangubat ,

Thank you for the visit and for your input. I agree, satan is behind these kinds of cults.


junko profile image

junko 2 years ago

I thought about the true members of the Grand Old Party and their belief that the teaparty and the far right misrepresent the GOP. The vocal minority of the Republican Party speaks loud with more passion than the Majority. The true Baptish is being misrepresented by a smaller vocal minorty among the Baptish and an even smaller minority among Christians. If the silent majorities speak loud the truth would be told in The War Against Lies. All lies will die when the truth is told but, the people love a lie.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Well said Junko. Thanks for stopping by and visiting.


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Hi lifegate, I understand where you are coming from. You are caught up in the ball of confusion. I suggest that you take a new stand in pastoring and focus on God's beginning, Genesis 1 through Genesis 3. Pastors seem to overlook the beginning and ignore the 1st 2 commandments in Exodus 20. Pastors should teach and preach from each book of the Bible. Also, pastors overlook the exact Sabbath day. The Sabbath day lasts for 24 hrs. The church community is in a ball of confusion by not following from the beginning of the Bible. When things are misconstrued you must start from the beginning. Sunday is the 1st day of the week not the 7th.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi word55,

Thanks for the comment, but I must admit you lost me. This hub has nothing to do with how God leads me to pastor, the first two commandments, or the sabbath. You certainly have me in a "ball of confusion." Thanks anyway for stopping by!


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Ok, I apologize for my part in confusion. I will just pray for you and the people of the church. May God bless you more this year with pastoral leadership of the people.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi word55,

No problem - and I appreciate the prayer. I need all I can get. Have a great day!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 years ago

Lifegate, I grew up in a Southern Baptist Convention Church, but I left the church over 35 years ago. I rejected some of its teachings, but some have stayed with me. I still have a deep spiritual connection to Christ and to God, and I’m not going to let the false teachings of man sway me. Jesus taught that the church was in our hearts, so that is where mine is. However, one of the teachings of my Baptist church I remember most is that there will be false prophets. I believe these people who claim to be Baptists and other Christians who preach hate are among those. I think that both Christianity and Muslims have let evil (the church calls it Satan) in through a crack, and both faiths are going to have to deal with it. I will pray for you and your church in your fight and wish you Godspeed. Light and love, Miz. B.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Hi MizBejabbers,

These are definitely false prophets. There is nothing Christian about them. Unfortunately, many believe this is what Christianity is about, and never see the real Jesus. Thanks for the visit and the comment.

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