110 thoughts on “Humility”

      1. Sorry, Annie. It’s the end of the term for me. I should make a note not to leave blog comments on days I’m drinking Milo’s unsweet right out of the jug.

      1. It says, “Where you can hear the world’s greatest pastor preach the world’s greatest sermon and then have the world’s longest altar call…” 🙂

        1. Stuck in my head
          Where?
          STUCK IN MY HEAD

          Time to queue up some Dave Matthews on my playlist.

        2. I have found that singing “Amazing Grace” to the “Gilligan’s Island” theme music effectively removes a song stuck my head.

        3. I’d have to be pretty desperate to want to replace another song by sticking the Gilligan’s Island song in my head instead.

        1. Y’all are probably way too young for this, but my favorite misheard lyric is from The Beach Boys’ “Help Me, Rhonda.” I know the singers’ diction isn’t great, but someone I know got “Owls puking in my bed” out of “Out doing in my head.” Makes me laugh all these years later.

        2. Purple Haze: “‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy”
          Bad Moon Rising: “…there’s a bathroom on the right.”

        3. “Rebirthing” by (oh, horror of horrors!) Skillet – “feel Your presence filling up my lungs with sausages”

  1. It isn’t pride if it is the truth. They were just stating the facts, and besides, such greatness must be proclaimed loud and long. How else would people know?

    Just like Jesus did, right? Hello? Anyone out there paying attention? Please? Look at me! (James 4:10 is for the little people, anyway)

  2. Surely you don’t mean to imply that people who name colleges after themselves, erect statues of themselves, and insist on having people sing their praises (literally) when they enter a room are not humble? 😕

    1. …and require their flocks to wear buttons that say “100% for the MOG”.

      But just remember, there is no man-following in the IFB. The MOGs stand up in front of the baptistry and tell us so (while backlit by customized stained-glass windows of their likeness).

    1. We were at a baseball game once when I was a kid where two guys in the row in front of us were double fisting beer all day and spent the last two innings randomly singing half the chorus of that song. For awhile it was hilarious, then it was just annoying

  3. I was just preaching on this last night! Someone on Facebook posted a similar statement about belonging to “the great __________ Baptist Church”. I wondered what makes a church “great”, since a church is not a building, but a group of people.

    The answer is that there are no good people, great churches, or marvelous preachers. There is only a great God who sent a wonderful Savior named Jesus to die for poor, wretched, lost sinners! Keeping this in mind will keep us humble, giving God the glory He deserves!

    1. I am currently looking for a great (dare I say “perfect”) church. My plan is to find it, and the destroy it by joining, bwahahahahahhahaha!

    2. I am currently looking for a great (dare I say “perfect”) church. My plan is to find it using my perfectchurchinator, and the destroy it by joining, bwahahahahahhahaha!

      1. That doesn’t make sense…but you probably have a monster truck, so it doesn’t have to, right?

        Er, that’s a Phineas and Ferb joke in case I was totally off base 🙂

    3. I wondered if someone would bring up “The Great” that so many IFBxer’s like to use when referring to their own churches, or others they’re affiliated with. Also, even when referring to the Mog.

      It always makes me cringe, and is an indicator as to where the preacher is on the humility scale. My old Fundie pastor says it all the time, but then again, he’s a Hyles’ clone.

      1. In my hometown, East Chicago, Indiana – there is First Baptist Church, and less than a mile away is Greater First Baptist Church. My friend began a church in another part of town called Meek Baptist. FWIW, “Greater” was a “breakaway” from “First”, and “Meek” broke away from “Greater”. So there you have it… An arc of esteem.

        1. Definition of ALTER

          transitive verb

          1: to make different without changing into something else

          2: castrate, spay

          (From the Merriam-Webster online Dictionary)

    1. An altar call is when the MOG orders that “Just As I Am” be sung approximately 27 times (but skipping the 3rd verse, amen?) or until some pre-determined quota of people come to the front of the church in tears of exhaustion and hunger to plead for forgiveness and release.

      Just another one of those bizarre and sadistic/masochistic IFB rituals.

    2. A synonym for invitation, a time after the sermon in which the pastor asks the congregation to respond to the message. Usually all eyes are closed and heads bowed. The piano plays quietly while the pastor exhorts people to make a decision, either for salvation or for dedication or repentance. He often asks people to raise their hands if they want to accept Christ as Savior or promise to read the Bible every day or whatever other topic the sermon was about.

      Then he asks everyone to stand and sing a hymn like “I Surrender All” and invite anyone who wants to get saved, surrender to God, pray, etc., to come forward to the front of the church (usually called the altar though there’s nothing there except perhaps the communion table).

      Many times the congregation sings and sings and sings interminably repeated verses as the pastor/evangelist either prays with those who have come forward or seeks to coerce more people to come forward.

      1. I prefer the way we respond to the sermon in the Episcopal and ELCA churches: by reciting the Creed in unison, just to remind ourselves and the pastor to stay on topic.

        1. Ah! I remember the altar call being referred to as the “invitation” at the conclusion of the service. My long-suffering boyfriend (bless his heart) who was raised hard-core Catholic, attended a fundy funeral with me, having no idea what to expect. As for myself, it had been at least 20 years since I had crossed the door of a fundy church. As the pastor was wrapping things up, my boyfriend had the privilege of getting the full fundy experience. There was an altar call at the conclusion of this FUNERAL. While my head was bowed (and eyes closed-NOT) he elbowed me in the side when he realized how hard I was trying not to snicker. When we finally made it back to the car, he looked at me wide-eyed, with both hands gripping the steering wheel and said “What in the hell was going on in there?” I completely lost it then, and laughed so hard and long I thought I might throw up. 😳

        2. Having come out of IFB churches into the Episcopal church, I, too, love the response. I also love it that we don’t end our services on a “come to the altar and repent you miserable lowdown sinners” note. In the Episcopal services, we confess our sins — but we always end on the note that we are in communion with Christ because of His Work, and we can go out in joy.

          And at my IFB church, they said that Episcopalians do not preach the gospel!

        3. Teresa, I cannot STAND altar calls at funerals.

          For God’s sake, the family is mourning, and the friends really don’t need to know how hard-core the pastor is on soul winning at that particular moment in time. Just close the service graciously and let everyone mingle and offer condolences.

          Plus, it’s just awkward when the casket is by the altar & you have people kneeling up front there amongst the flower arrangements.

          Time & place, people. Time & place!

        4. Jenny & rtgmath, that sounds lovely! I have thought of trying an Episcopalian church whenever I manage to get over my triggers enough to deal with going to church on a regular basis, because the more I learn about them the more refreshing they sound. Just so different and real.

        5. To be honest, if it were not for the Episcopal Church, I would not be going to church.

          On a typical service, you will hear *more* Scripture read, in context-sized chunks, than you will ever hear at a Sunday morning IFB church. Psalms are actually sung. And sermons are blessedly a lot shorter.

          I find I remember the sermon from the Episcopal service through the week. It is impactful, to the point, and does not get lost in the wordiness of Pastoral puffed-up-iness. I never could remember the sermons of my IFB church much beyond an hour after they were given, and they never were as practical for the life.

          What is more important to me is that I am free to question, to work through my spiritual battles without being judged. Since the Episcopal Church believes in the Church as a Community, the weakness of faith of an individual does not mean hellfire. Each person in the group has a place, and the faith of others upholds the weak as we recite, “We believe in …”

          The creeds said are never, “I believe.” The creeds are “We believe.”

          You can’t believe how comforting it is to hear that, to know that even if you don’t, in the end of the service you will be volitionally “receiving Christ” and his work of salvation. In the Eucharist – “giving thanks” – we receive the body and blood of Christ (and no arguments of transubstantiation or consubstantiation!). We go out in communion with the Lord and are sent out with joy, never with condemnation.

          There is no screeching, hollering, judgmentalism. Each year we trace the life of Christ and scenes from it.

          Again, if it weren’t for the Episcopal Church, I might have dropped church altogether. I went back to my IFB church a week ago on invitation from a friend I helped with her graduate studies. But I shall never go back.

      2. At our altar calls, the pastor had the person (or family) that came forward to join the church kneel at the altar (re: platform steps) while a deacon knelt with them as he filled out their paperwork. Awkward…

  4. Looks like the Hyles tour bus gave Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles a run for their money.

    Hyles always bragged about how he started the “Bus Ministry” and how “God called me to win Chicago and the Cubs for the Lord”.

    I have to say once again that the Fleetwood MAc tour bus doesn’t compare to the bus of FBC Hammond.

      1. But atleast his Tour bus was just as fancy as Fleetwood Mac’s. Hyles always bragged about how we was competing with the world (pop music, television, movies, hairstyles, and the birth of TBN which became big in the 1970’s).

    1. That lunch box should have been shaped like the bus, in my opinion.

      I’m old enough to remember when every girl in my class was in love with David Cassidy– the Justin Bieber of my generation.

      1. I guess that puts us about the same age.

        My younger daughter asked me to put together the music for her wedding reception last September. She decided I had better stuff than most of the DJs she had seen/heard at other weddings. I slipped “I Think I love You” into the set, along with a few other cheesy songs of the era. She liked them.

        1. Don’t forget “Love Will Keep Us Together” by The Captain and Tennille.

          A classic.

        1. I remember those, used to have one myself. Of course I lost it years ago, be worth a bit–if it was in good shape (got pretty rusty, I left it in the rain.) 🙄

  5. Jack Hyles wanted to take over Chicago. That also included the band Chicago. The Hyles tour bus made its way to Dalls,TX in the early 80’s and you would have thought that the Eagles or the President was in town. Channel 9 news in Dallas even did a feature on it. That’s a fact Jack……..Hyles!

    1. Dallas had no Channel 9 in the early 1980s.
      I lived there then, and the TV channels were 4, 5, 8, 11, and 13, plus a couple of UHF channels (21 and 39, if memory serves).

      I could easily see a TV station doing a report on the Hyles tour bus, though, if it was a slow news day. There was a period in there where the DFW stations expanded their local news shows to an hour, which gave them a lot of time to fill with fairly small news staffs to do reporting.

      1. There’s a big IFB church in the DFW area where Hyles preached at and there is video on YouTube of him calling that congregation “A Bunch of Idiots” and he throws microphone equipment across the stage. Hyles discipled Joe Walsh well!!!

    1. Not sure if “they” are made to segregate themselves, but to this day there are limits as to how many one may bring…”they” are welcome during the fall and spring programs, and then “they” are not welcome once the programs are over. You know, “they” might grow up and marry our girls…and that would hardly do.

  6. Something of note, in the 70’s the driver would have the fm station on and whenever Joe Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way” played, it was requested that he turn up the volume. SO you could just see the Hyles tour bus driving in downtown Chicago blaring out Joe Walsh. Ahhhh the 70’s. Something else to think about, just like Ted Nugent was a huge influence on Jim Vineyard, Joe Walsh was a huge influence on several IFB Pastors. Where do you think Jack Hyles got the idea to throw around microphone stands on stage??? And where do you think Larry Brown got the idea to smash televisions and destroy hotel rooms. Joe Walsh was just as big an influence on the IFB movement as James Robison was before going charismatic.

  7. I was in Jack Trieber’s church recently, and there were a couple of references by him and a staff member to it being a great church. I thought we had a great God; a church is only great if God is working in it.

      1. Where I come from, we call that either shouting, forcing, or shreiking…but definitely not singing. Yes, he is revered. It’s never about ability with musicians, only affability.

        1. I finally listened to him just now on Youtube. He’s average; not bad, but not hysterics-worthy.

          I wonder if he isn’t the token minority for that college. 👿

  8. Saying you have a great church doesn’t bother me a whole lot. We use the adjective “Great” quite frequently for other things that have little or no meaning to some.

    “Great baseball team”
    “Great Dinner”
    “Great Wife”

    What difference does it make? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with just appreciating your church and church people.

    Now, Proclaiming yourself as the “World’s Greatest, Biggest, Baddest, Smartest etc…” That’s a bit over the top.

    1. Unless a person has spent much time in an IFBx church, they may not understand the IFBx use of the word ‘Great’. It is not meant as a means to show appreciation for church or people, but rather it’s to bolster and proclaim – remarkable in magnitude, degree or effectiveness, eminent, distinguished (from Webster’s Dictionary) -to the extent of being puffed-up, or puffing others up with pride towards their church, Mog, or other affiliates.

      Jesus always discouraged such bolstering and labeling. He said in the Gospels that the “great…shall be servants (slaves)to all”. Slaves don’t go proclaiming their greatness, or other slave’s greatness, instead, serve in humility with the gifts God has given them. That’s what should distinguish the church from great baseball teams, etc., etc.

  9. Became aware, somewhere over the last year or two, of how simply ludicrous it is to be a member of the Church of Hyperbole. Every message was the “greatest” message. Every conference was the “greatest” conference. Every special was the “greatest” special. The youth pastor was touted as the “greatest” in the world. If an accountant was a member of the church and he was asked to get up and say a few words, he was introduced as the “greatest” accountant ever. We were all constantly reminded that to be surrounded with all this greatness was a sure sign of God’s favor on this work. We were scolded if we did not listen to and follow every bit of greatness, because it was right here at our fingertips being offered to us for FREE whereas people flock from around the country and around the world, at considerable effort & expense, to glean the greatness of these very persons. My conclusion: If EVERYTHING is great, then NOTHING is great.

    1. Bingo.

      I’ve seen this in action, not from a fundy-chruch though, from an evangelical one. Their keenness to ensure they vocalized their appreciation for everyone and their efforts, as well as trying to maintain a positive culture is understandable. But the outworking of that keenness wasn’t particularly natural. The result was this bizarre over appreciation of anything and everything that became (perhaps inadvertently) a tool for establishing an implicit hierarchy of those who were “awesome” and those who were not. The “awesome” ones were the ones that were up front on Sunday mornings.. surprise, surprise.

  10. I am too humbled by this post to even post a lowly response regarding how humiliating it is to be in the presence of such humble greatness. I dare not enter the hallowed halls of the House of Hyles where humbleness and humility have been displayed by men of the highest honor, for having honed their henchmen in the fine art of heavy-handed humbleness. Honored heroes of higher habit have hammered humility into a hardened halberd handled by haughty harbingers of habitual humility. Heralds of herculean heroism harping on holy horses hauling honorary heroes of humility of the highest hue. Hurrahs and huzzas highlight the hysterical hype hovering in the humble hallowed hall of the House of Hyles.

      1. “Because while the pulpit may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with the way religion is practiced in this country, isn’t there?” 😎

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