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What is the difference between Baptist and IFB

What is the difference between Baptist and IFB

Name: Mawmaw
Add a little more detail (optional): There seems to be a difference in belief.


Strangely, that's not a question with a straigh-forward answer.  "Baptist" is a label given to churches who, throughout history, have held to certain distinctives (usually called Baptist distinctives) predicated on Biblical principles of the 1st century church.  Those principles include believer's baptism by immersion (as an ordinance and not a sacrament) and autonomy of the local church with no hierarchical denominational structure among others.  Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) churches came about largely as a reaction to many factors. One of the primary reasons was the organization of denominational bodies (e.g., Southern Baptist Confenction, Baptist World Alliance, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, etc.) that tend to move toward the lowest common denominator among the member churches regarding Biblical standards and interpretation; this is where the Independent part comes from.  Fundamental/Fundamentalism rose out of a reaction to the liberalization of many churches and the watering down of Biblical truths.  Fundamental churches affirm the "fundamentals of the faith":


- The Bible is literally true, is the inspired Word of God and is thus inerrant (without error or contradiction)

- The virgin birth and deity of Christ

- Substituionary atonement

- The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ

- The authenticity of Jesus' miracles and His literal second-coming.


There are many of "fundamentals" or tenets of fundamentalism, but those are the big ones.  IFB is simply a type of church that holds to a set of doctrines. Similarly a Reformed Bapist holds to Calvinism but rejects the Presbyterian denominational structure and practices such as infant baptism. 


Bottom line: a Baptist church is one that holds to Baptist distinctives (e.g., believer's baptism by immersion, autonomy of the local church) and there are many varieties of them regarding doctrinal beliefs (e.g., IFB, Reformed, Free Will, Primitive, etc) because they are autonomous by nature and thus this is no overarching denominationally enforced creed.


Hope this was helpful.

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