New Independent Fundamentalist Baptists

A controversial Christian movement known for its extreme beliefs and aggressive preaching style.

Religion: Christianity
Denomination: Baptist
Founded: Late 20th century
Location: United States (primarily)
Other Names: Independent Fundamentalist Baptists, New IFB, NIFB

The New Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (NIFB) movement is a collection of conservative, independent Baptist churches, unified by a common adherence to the King James Only doctrine and a staunch opposition to perceived liberalism within mainstream Christian denominations. Founded by Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church, the NIFB movement emerged as a response to what its members saw as a deviation from traditional Christian values among other independent Baptist churches. The movement is not considered a denomination per se, due to its emphasis on the autonomy of each local church​​.

The movement does not have a central governing body; instead, each church typically operates autonomously, with the pastor having significant authority and influence over church matters. However, they maintain a sense of unity through shared beliefs and practices, as well as through conferences and preaching events.

The core beliefs of the NIFB revolve around a literal interpretation of the Bible, with the King James Version being the preferred and often the only accepted translation. The movement upholds the belief in the inerrancy of the Bible and emphasizes the importance of personal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Key doctrinal positions include the rejection of modernism and postmodernism, opposition to homosexuality, and a strong pro-life stance. NIFB churches are also known for their traditional views on gender roles, advocating for a patriarchal family structure and often opposing feminism. Churches within the NIFB movement have produced a number of controversial documentaries and sermons that propagate its beliefs, such as the denial of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment, and conspiracy theories about New World Orders and the legitimacy of modern Bible translations.

The NIFB has been at the center of various controversies, largely due to its aggressive preaching style and its stance on social issues, including its vehement opposition to homosexuality and extreme anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, with some accusing it of promoting hate speech. High-profile instances include public support for the death penalty for homosexuals by several NIFB pastors and an event titled “Make America Straight Again” held to coincide with the anniversary of the Orlando gay nightclub shooting. Furthermore, the movement has been criticized for promoting anti-semitic views, such as the Holocaust denial, with Pastor Steven Anderson and others making claims that disparage the historical accuracy and severity of the Holocaust​​​​. Additionally, the movement’s approach to evangelism, often characterized by confrontational street preaching, has drawn criticism both from within the wider Christian community and from secular observers.

Despite the backlash and the considerable diminution of its online presence following social media crackdowns, the NIFB continues to operate and attract attention, both for its extreme views and the controversies that its leaders and members frequently ignite.

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