Soul Winning Tales With Jack Hyles

THE DOG STARTED THE FAMILY ALTAR
by Jack Hyles

A few years ago during the Christmas season I went to a home on a Friday afternoon. The husband was there alone. He was so pleased to see me and pleaded with me to come back in the evening as he and his wife were having domestic problems. That evening I did return and led them both to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

It was a beautiful sight. We knelt at the sofa beside a beautiful Christmas tree, and each of them was sweetly converted. I knelt between them. Our heads were bowed, our eyes were closed, and we were praying, when suddenly I felt a cold, moist something on my cheek. It felt like a piece of liver, though I must confess I have never had a piece of liver on my cheek! I opened my eyes and found it was a Cocker Spaniel dog.

Being afraid he would interrupt the soul-winning experience and be used of Satan to keep the people from Christ, I grabbed the dog around the neck, stuck his nose in a pillow on the sofa, and held him firmly. (All of this time the couple was praying and being saved.) The dog squirmed for a while. I squeezed his neck harder. Then he became motionless. I thought to myself, “Brother, I guess I have won two souls and killed a dog!”

I was afraid I had choked him to death. What a joy it was when all of us got off our knees to know that not only had the couple been saved but the dog was still alive. I guess he had decided he enjoyed kneeling with us; in fact, after we got up, he remained in the kneeling position with his nose between his paws.

A year later during the Christmas season I related this story from the pulpit. The couple came to the platform after the service and told me this amusing yet wonderful story:

The night after they were saved, at the same time, the dog came to the same sofa and got in the same position as if he were praying. He continued to do this every night until the couple decided that they had better do the same thing; hence, they started a family altar.

The man then informed me that for one year they had been having devotions, and every night the dog had joined them.

Probably by now you are snickering or laughing, but I wonder if that dog had more Christianity than some of our readers.

taken from Jack Hyles’ Favorite Soul Winning Tales

70 thoughts on “Soul Winning Tales With Jack Hyles”

  1. Excuse me while I go lose my breakfast.

    (Although my fundy church never thought of Christmas trees as beautiful. They called them “altars to Baal.” If my ex-pastor had been reading us this story, he would’ve felt the need to point out that while Jack Hyles was a great man, he never did get straightened out on the paganism of Christmas! =P)

  2. What is sick is that he thought it would be acceptable to “kill” a dog for the sake of souls. Really, if soul winning is that fragile of an endeavor than his god truly is weak. I mean really, the dog is a “tool of satan” and these people might go to hell if he takes a second to have the dog sit? How absurd.

    I know if it were me and he had either a)killed my dog, or b) told that story and I heard, well the former he’d have a fat law suit (regardless of what the bible says about that) and the latter I’d be leaving his church with a nasty letter sent to him.

    Hey one other thing, though. Did anyone else grow up with the whole line about animals having no emotion? As in animals cannot have any emotion, because to have it would some how undermine our uniqueness and diminish God’s validity or some nonsense like that? I just remember someone saying that they thought their dog had emotions and my teacher flipping out insisting that they “cannot” have emotions and spouting some random verses he hoped would prove his point. Yet now Hyles is attributing faith/christianity to a dog, last I checked faith is a higher order of intellect than love or devotion.

  3. How exactly did anyone find this man credible as a “Man of God” after hearing this “story” (interesting, that’s what my grandma used to say when someone was lying but she was trying to be nice)?
    Either way the truth goes in this story, it’s not a good one for him. He’s either completely lying, or he intentionally abused an innocent animal. Or both.

  4. @Lisa Ann, I personally think stuff like that is a power thing. I’m willing to kill your dog to get what I want, and you better not have a problem with it. At least on a subconscious level. Seems to me if you’re in the crowd and you aren’t offended by that it very much reinforces Jack’s authority & power.

  5. What a warped individual! Amazing how no one ever dared to rebuke him for this. (Yeah, I know, he was the mannogawd and could not be questioned…so sick!)

  6. Man, I’m reading more of his “stories” thanks to the link you provided, Darrel. There are some truly terrible ones in there. The “over the top” nature, the “aw shucks” racism, the cliches, etc. It’s an entire book of sermon illustrations. I sincerely doubt that every single one of these is true…

  7. “but I wonder if that dog had more Christianity than some of our readers.”

    I grew up hearing this type of sneering, condiscending tone from nearly every sermon, lesson, devotion given to me in Fundyland. 2 – 8 times a day for 2o years.

    This little “moral superiority” jab at the end is so typical.

    It’s this “I’m better than you” attitude that is at the core of fundamentalism…now to go vomit and then Thank God for rescuing me from this nonsense.

  8. I recall that when I worked at BJU Press, we put a story into the Sixth grade reader, against my STRONG objection, called “Silent Witness,” about a dog that keeps wandering up to the missionaries’ church on some tropical island somewhere, and this elderly person would just follow the dog and sit in the service, Sunday after Sunday, until, of course, the person got saved. I hated that story. I thought it was the most contrvived “get saved” story in the world…until I read this story here on SFL. Dang it, Jack Hyles wins again.

  9. Really, if soul winning is that fragile of an endeavor than his god truly is weak.

    Bingo!
    There it is! Jack Hyles served up a weak, anemic, frail god of his imagination. He preached decisional regeneration and works sanctification. God surely saved some inspite of Jack’s soul winning manipulation tactics and minty fresh breath.

    If God is so weak that a dog could keep them from being saved, then I would have nothing to do with that god. If that story is true (and I suspect it may have a modicum of truth, Jack went soul winning, they had a dog, he tortured it….) if that story is true, then what god was Jack presenting and why would anyone want anything to do with it?

  10. I’m bored at work today, and decided to thoroughly waste an hour reading the rest of Hyles’ “tales.” What a load of nauseating, egotistical, infuriating, blasphemous crap! Where in the Bible is there justification for lying and manipulating people into getting saved? And talk about giving man all the credit–what a pathetic God, not able to save anyone without a great “soul-winner” nearby! Gag me.

  11. I’m not a Calvinist, but this always made me mad in fundyism. Salvation is of the Lord, not whether you can manipulate someone to pray a prayer, and no dog is going to come between a sinner and the Saviour!

  12. Apathetic or whatever: I think maybe you should consider giving up on parodying fundyism. Whatever you write, they have written something infinitely more bizarre and meant it.

    I agree. Well said.

  13. Wait . . . he was serious about this???? Really? He meant this seriously???? Really and truly serious? OK, I’m repeating myself, but I’m in shock.

    Down, boy, down!!!!

  14. Oh good grief, I almost threw up. This is the biggest load of bulls*hit I’ve heard in a long time. If it had been my dog and he’d done that, I’d have choked HIM to death!

  15. It puts me in mind of a family holiday where we left the dog behind with my great aunts, who went to a different church with a later service. About five minutes into the church service, a couple arrived late, and a dog trotted in with them. We thought it was a bit odd for people to take their dog to church, but didn’t comment any further. Until the dog walked over to our pew. Because it wasn’t theirs – it was ours. He’d got out somehow, and managed to track us. It would have been fine, just keeping him in the pew with us. Only it was communion, and, being Church of England, that meant coming up to the altar rail. The dog came with us, and sat down, looking up at the Vicar. My respect for him went up a million percent when he reached down, put a hand on the dog’s head and said ‘Lord, bless now this loved one’.

    But I suspect that afterwards he wrote us off as crazy.

  16. I read several of the other stories on the site listed, and I think my favorite story (and by “favorite” I mean the one that made me sob the loudest) is the one where he tricks the Catholic family into getting saved by inserting the sinner’s prayer into a made-up prayer of dedication for their house.

  17. Fundies don’t think much of animals.

    My ex-fundy pastor worked part time as a construction worker to help make ends meet. He bragged that he almost bricked someone’s cat under the house. The cat got out at the last minute while there were still bricks to go.

    I asked him if he’d bothered to look under the house and he said he wasn’t crawling under there. He joked that the cat was almost stuck down there forever…. He didn’t care about the cat at all.

  18. @ Lizzy, I’ve met people like your ex-pastor. Even if someone personally doesn’t care for cats or dogs, if he cared for other people, he would be concerned about their pets. I think the callous disregard some display toward animals (joking about walling them up under a cellar, for example, or nearly smothering a dog in the couch) reveal the cold heart of the speaker. My God even sees the sparrows when they fall. He is not cruel but loving. At the end of Jonah, He asks Jonah why he is sorrowing over a plant but not sorrowing over a city full of people and MUCH CATTLE. I think way too many “Christians” are Jonahs, outwardly obedient but inwardly completely callous and self-centered.

  19. I read some of the illustrations out of order I hit all the “I won’s” first. Here’s my reading list so far:
    I WON…, I WON…., I WON…
    I STAYED IN THE GIRLS’ DORMITORY, I PUMPED THEM TO SUNDAY SCHOOL.

    SHE WAS A HE, HER HUSBAND CAME IN, WINNING THE BEST MAN

    THE WINNING OF THE CITY COUNCILMAN AND HIS WIFE, SAVED IN THE BATHTUB

    “WHAT’S A BLOODY MARY?” , “I’LL GIVE TWO ‘FIFTHS'”, HE DRANK A TOAST TO JESUS , “IT’S WONDERFUL!”

  20. he reached down, put a hand on the dog’s head and said ‘Lord, bless now this loved one’.

    Oh, that is so sweet! I went to a church that had an annual blessing of the animals; most people brought dogs and a few cats, but one little girl brought her pair of hermit crabs. The minister blessed those pincher-clad little critters just as lovingly as the furry, cuddly animals. It was a very sweet moment.

    “For his eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.”

  21. @Don I haven’t read many of them, I did read “What’s a Bloody Mary”, and am convinced Hyles was totally flirting w/ the Flight Attendant and trying to score, and then just changed a few details and made it a soul won story.

  22. By the way even if this story is totally made up the part about a dog getting in the way of soul winning is absolutely true. For a fundamentalist the time of conversion is an easily distracted process. That is why the preacher will plead 4x to have *every* head bowed and *every* eye closed. And of course will likely give a quick guilt trip (especially if it is youth group or youth camp) about how you don’t want to “get in the way” of someone’s salvation. So it shouldn’t surprise me that Jack thinks this way, but honestly, it might make a slight bit of sense (not really, but maybe) that a kid won’t come forward because his friends are staring at him, but 2 adults who are at the point of conversion not getting saved because their dog distracted them? Hell no! (pun intended).

  23. If that vile man thought that he needed to win my salvation by nearly smothering my dog, he and the god he worshipped would have been marched out the front door, with the promise that if he ever showed his face again he would be removed by the police.

  24. Then I prayed silently, “Lord, do something about this little rascal or he is going to mess up the whole thing.”

    From “Too Tired to Shout”

    Seems that the so-called souls winners are more interested in what the dogs and the babies are doing . How much attention is the so-called soul winner giving to Christ and the Gospel if they themselves are the ones distracted by the dogs and babies? The hindrence is to the so-called soul winner’s performance… not the gospel. (except in the Hyles’ model the Gospel is dependent on the so-called soul winner.)

    I gotta go, reading all this Jack Crap is making me angry. How was I so stupid as to follow the fundy cult?? (I was not a Hyles follower, but to turn your brain off and blindly follow any of these wanna-be’s is now beyond my ability to stomach.)

    Grace, wonderful, marvelous, Sovereign Grace … that I am no longer in the fundy cult bunker prison… it’s all due to Grace, amazing Grace.

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