In the book Why Most Independent Baptists Will Be Emerging within 20 Years, we list eight reasons why we believe this is true, and one of those is the widespread policy of “soft separatism.” “Soft separatist” Independent Baptist preachers such as the extremely influential Lee Roberson of recent memory, pastor of Highland Park Baptist Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and those today who are leading large segments of IFB churches in the same soft direction, claim to believe in Bible separation, but their separation is ineffectual. It allows bridges to be built between IBaptists and the very dangerous evangelical/Southern Baptist/contemporary Christian music world. Soft separation is on display in Lancaster Baptist Church/West Coast Baptist College’s heavy adaptation of contemporary worship music. (See “Analyzing Adapted CCM Songs” at the Way of Life web site.) It was also on display when Paul Chappell brought in Michael Redd, a Christian NBA player, to speak to a youth evangelistic rally at Lancaster Baptist Church a couple of years ago (“A Great Weekend of Ministry,” Oct. 11, 2010, PaulChappell.com). Redd is a rock & roll Pentecostal, and though we do not doubt his faith in Christ or his sincerity in Christian service, he is not someone who should be speaking at a fundamental Baptist church, because of his doctrinal errors and the fact that his life preaches rejection of biblical separatism. God forbids this type of ecumenical joint ministry, because it is a compromise of sound doctrine and results in spiritual confusion and weakness. The compromise was done in the name of evangelism, along the same line as Billy Graham’s compromise, but there is no excuse for disobeying God’s Word, which says to “mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Rom 16:17). Redd helped purchase a building for the Philadelphia Deliverance Church of Christ in Columbus, Ohio, pastored by his father, and in an interview he stated that he did so not merely out of family love but out of personal conviction that what that church is doing is right and important (“NBA Star Says Some Players ‘Church-Hurt,’” The Washington Post, April 4, 2008).
A web search shows that the church that Redd funded is a rock & roll Pentecostal congregation filled with the doctrinal errors relating to a Pentecostal apostolic denomination. Redd’s mother is one of the preachers.
(Friday Church News Notes, November 30, 2012, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)