Bryan Smith of Chicago magazine has penned an exposé of First Baptist Church of Hammond’s long history of harboring abusers that ran in this Sunday’s Chicago Magazine. Although I’m not cited in the article, I did speak with Bryan before he wrote this about the background of fundamentalism and the culture of institutions like FBC Hammond. I would love to see someone expand on this and realize that Hyles-Anderson and FBC Hammond are only one of any number of large churches and schools from the same basic background that use the same methods to control and manipulate their people.
It’s always interesting to me to see people from the outside world try to make sense of large fundamentalist institutions. Their confusion as to how and why these institutions continue to exist is almost palpable. But I think that’s why people continue to meet on forums and blogs like SFL.
We get it. Others do not.
133 thoughts on “Exposé”
I thought it would never happen. And on the 12/12/12 no less….
Nobody wants to admit to a more widespread problem, its easier to keep it in a nice HAC package.
Also, there aren’t enough pages in popular press magazines to cover this well, so this is as good as it gets.
Great story, by the way. Great depth of treatment. They worked hard on this.
RT @stufffundieslik: Exposé http://t.co/0VAdyQmi
Interesting article/exposé. The question I have is just how far back and how deep does this pattern of behavior really go? How many of the Hyles acolytes and idolaters have ruined families and churches that we will never hear about?
I definitely thought it was a well-written article. But I too wonder how many other Hyles-connected folks were abusing. The map in the article showed some of the pastors/leaders who were convicted; I wonder what the map would look like if it could accurately convey the number of actual molesters and abusers hiding behind the walls of IFB secrecy.
I have often wondered if the Feds could pursue RICO charges against the FBCH/HAC miscreants. There is no denying that the operate in a similar manner to Cosa Nostra. They even have a similar hierarchy:
Boss = MOG
Underboss = HAC President
Consigliere = Deacon Board
Capos = Assistant Pastors/”College” Administration
Soldiers = Bus Captains, “Professors”, Staff
Associates = College students
The fact that there is a continutiy in the type of crimes committed logically leads one to surmise that there is a relationship to the institution and each other.
I have a friend who is currently a guest of the government (awaiting a RICO trial) for having a much looser association with certain individuals than how these guys are connected.
RICO rules are rather odd. They cover a group of people engaging in a regular pattern of behavior that has some relationship to criminal activity. It was put in place to convict those members of organized crime for which there was no easy way to directly convict them of an explicit crime. It’s not good law, IMHO. Whether the FBCH guys could be prosecuted under RICO is a lawyer question, but I could believe that it could be done.
Unless they’re selling child porn and running a prostitution ring RICO would not apply. There are specific activities that are required (generally Mafia-type activities) and there needs to be more than one type.
There does seem to be a pattern. Who knows whether the perpetrators verbalize their plans to each other, or if they all just take advantage of a system that provides them the opportunity to prey on people.
You don’t think that they arrange for and/or cover-up nefarious deeds for one another? I firmly beleive that there is active collusion amongst some of these perps. That is textbook conspiracy…which, when looked at as a whole, could constitute a criminal enterprise. A cover-up of a criminal act could be obstruction of justice…which, in turn, could constitute an illegal act on behalf of the enterprise. (At least, from my understanding, was what was alleged in my friend’s indictment.)
Love the comparison!
The exist because they meet the needs of the participants for community and a sense of belonging. The more rigorously defined the rules, the more there is sense of knowing who is an “us” and who is a “them”. Forgiveness of the sins of the leaders is due to the way our brains work; those leaders become, in effect, members of the family, and mechanisms our mind uses to let us ignore things our family does, that we would never tolerate in others, come into play.
This isn’t a pattern unique to fundamentalism or religion. It’s part of human nature and won’t change.
I have often lamented the Hegelian “other” construct in IFB circles. I think what bothers me so much about this is that it is a direct contradiction of the teachings of Jesus. It’s like a NeoCon calling himself a politician in the tradition of FDR. The cognitive dissonance is deafening.
THANK YOU for spotlighting this article in Chicago Magazine. I agree…it was very well done and long overdue! I spent 32 years in Lake and Porter Counties, most of that time in churches that were “wanna-be” and I came really close to drinking the kool-aid. I get it. I understand how it happens and how scarey this is. I, too, wonder if this is only the tip of the iceberg and if now others will begin come forward to report their own abuse, name names, etc. One can hope.
IFB’s don’t possess the ability for introspection. Since they alone have cornered the Truth, they don’t need any mechanism to evaluate how their movement is really doing or is perceived by outsiders. There will never be a scandal of depth or breadth that will cause them to think that there is an issue in the way that they conduct themselves. Everyone of their misfortunes can be laid at the feet of godless liberals, used by Satan in his tireless attacks on God’s people.
Oh my goodness, you just verbalized why I can’t make my family members still in the IFB understand my point of view! Great comment. Thank you for the insight.
Not only that, but IFBers and other Fundamentalists are taught that critical thinking is a mortal sin. Their doctrine is that unquestioning obedience is the same as faith.
“Questions lead to Thinking.
Thinking leads to Doubt.
Doubt leads to Heresy.
Heresy demands Retribution.
Blessed is the mind too small for Doubt.”
— Warhammer 40K
One of the most insidious things about this form of manipulation is that it is adapatable to the small, Independent, Fundamental, rural Baptist Congregation as well.
The unaccountability factor attracts men of lesser character and infects men who begin with a noble purpose. The Power that the overlord position holds is heady stuff and no man who stands in that position will long be able to withstand the temptation to wield that power according to their own agenda and for their personal profit.
Lord Acton’s Axiom states:
“I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or certainty of corruption by full authority. There is no worse heresy than the fact that the office sanctifies the holder of it.”
As true today as when Lord Acton stood against a papal Power grab in his day. Even Paul warned of the wolves who would come in an rend the flock.
I don’t agree with Lord Acton’s statement about power, although stories like the FBC Hammond saga certainly provide a great deal of anecdotal evidence in support of his idea.
Lord Acton was confusing infallibility (strictly defined and delimited in its Vatican I sense) with impeccability — a common confusion.
Ever known anyone who had access to power over others who didn’t take advantage of it? (in some way? Even if disguised as “for the other’s best interest.”) Too often, even men of noble intentions will succumb to the lure of power and use it for their own purposes. We (Mankind) are too corrupt to be entrusted with unaccountable/unbridled power.
This idea of Clergy/laity creates a caste system that attracts men of questionable character to it’s ranks. I have seen more men in the pulpit who revel in the position and jealously guard their power than I have ever seen those who humbly serve and tremble at the power such a position holds and fear the corruption that is available.
So, yeah, I personally hold that, if anything, Lord Acton was being conservative with his remarks.
Don – I’m with you on this one. Legion are the stories of seemingly good men who, once they gained power, manifested evil behavior. I think that this goes back to the innate depravity of us all. This depraved behavior is kept in check by various “superior” forces (i.e. threat of some form of accountability/punishment from someone/something with more power)…once one rises above those constraining factors, then they are free to act with impunity.
I see your point, but I have noticed that Lord Acton’s statement is generally used to suggest that the exercise of power is intrinsically evil in itself rather than as a critique of the use of power for evil ends. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with a person in possession of power exercising that power.
I would also note that because we are all sinners, any person with power will inevitably exercise that power in a sinful manner. That, however, does not mean that the power iteslf created or strengthened the sin nature of the person exercising it.
Agreed Don! Especially in a religious and political context this is true. Even when you have men that are the exceptions to this rule, they are to be held to a high level of scrutiny in everything. This is the nature of the position. This is one of the reasons why I left fundamentalism; when a “pastor” quickly replies “I would be very careful talking about –insert man o gids name here– like that” to a question of veracity on a sermon preached, then that is red flag for this mind controlling environment. Any person claiming to be speaking at the behest of an almighty deity should be held to the utmost highest scrutiny of every single word he utters. PERIOD. This is not “disrespect” it is intellect.
“I have seen more men in the pulpit who revel in the position and jealously guard their power than I have ever seen those who humbly serve and tremble at the power such a position hold and fear the corruption that is available”
We have our disagreements friend, but this is well said!
I think that this is almost more true of religious leaders than it is of political leaders. So many religious leaders can exercise absolute authority within their sphere of influence, that the corruption is much more visible there.
Political leaders today rarely have opportunity to wield their power absolutely. Most of them are bound by constitutions or limitations on their power. Much of the limitation/accountability structure in IFB churches is full of “Yes Men” (if there is any accountability at all).
SF author Frank Herbert (Dune) had a corollary about Lord Acton’s statement:
“I wouldn’t say Power tends to corrupt so much as Power tends to attract the easily corruptible and the already corrupted.”
This actually IS rural church megalomania writ large. Rural churches often run 30-35 people and will split when they get to 45. That’s about as large as a close knit group can be. At around 35-45 a second leader emerges and if the existing leader and group can’t find a way to accomodate him, or don’t want to lose the “small church” feeling then the church will split. Jack Hyles and others just figured out how to play it on a large scale.
Any of us with any degree of power, authority, or influence need to be reminded of this. Constantly. Proper accountability is always a GOOD thing.
I love the ca. 1973 pic of Hammond. South Side represent!
Excellent article. It is scary to realize that my family is so deep into the IFB cult that if I sent them a link to this article they would not believe anything it says except for agreeing 100% with Hyle’s abusive interpretation of his favorite Bible passages. 😥
Has there ever been any significant research into why people accept this kind of control from institutions? It is completely in opposition to the democratic individualism of our culture. Yet I know non-fundies who want more of this from their churches, who actually desire dress codes, more rules, and for pastors to tell them how to think.
I think it is precisely because of the democratic individualism of our culture.
Namely, some Americans who subscribe to conservative religious ideals (whether they be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or whatever), prefer to have one area of their life where there is absolute authority in order to compensate for the extensive freedom that they have in every other area of their life. These Americans are uncomfortable with the freedoms they enjoy and want to have someone telling them that they are exercising those freedoms in the “right” way.
Americans somehow managed to embrace the idea of human rights that emerged from the Enlightenment without embracing the Enlightenment devotion to education and reason. For this reason, Americans of all stripes (conservative, liberal, and in-between) tend to find proxies for the constant personal decision-making that freedom entails rather than relying on their own intellect to make rational decisions for themselves. Some look to culture/fashion, some look to emotion, and some look to pastors/rabbis/imams.
I agree with your overall point but I did want to nitpick one thing you said:
“Americans somehow managed to embrace the idea of human rights that emerged from the Enlightenment without embracing the Enlightenment devotion to education and reason.”
The founders of the country, along with the subsequent generation, were very erudite men who founded some of the world’s finest institutions of higher learning.
That all went down the drain around the time that Andrew Jackson got elected. I am not a fan of Andrew Jackson!
I agree completely. That’s why I said “Americans” rather than “founders.” The popular election of Jackson was representative of the divide that has always existed in America between the intellectual elite and the so-called common man.
Not a fan of Andrew Jackson? Why do I even bother reading this board? You people show your complete ignorance of any common sense with just about every post made here. AJ was one of the earliest Americans to warn us of the dangers of central banks and the evils of a fiat money supply. It just figures that of course you people would be against him.
WOW !!!!! I AM IMPRESSED !!!! Not many people know the history of Andrew Jackson. As a matter of fact, they do not even teach about that in schools…..at least not when I went to school.
Now that was weird ! I was still typing my post when it submitted itself. Hmm…….
Why am I not surprised that this board has Rousseau fans here and you can’t wait to gush all over him? Ok, and let me guess, you all think John Locke was a dangerous, nutjob radical? You people really are a looney bunch and very difficult to take with even a hint of seriousness.
FEAR. Fear of the world, fear of risk taking, fear of child rearing, etc. It is so much easier to do exactly as the M-o-g says than to take responsibility for one’s own decisions and actions. For those who choose to stay, IFB is a safe place from the world. For those that choose to leave, IFB is a prison. I personally felt like a caged animal during my 10 years. As an adult mature Christian, I found the constant intrusion into my life by the M-o-g and other “men” in IFB leadership to be nothing short of creepy. Toward the end, I actually woke up from a nightmare screaming, “just leave me alone!” Call it a vision of biblical proportions. 😉 It was my wake up call. 😯
Yes, there has been some research linking fundamentalism with authoritarianism. Try looking up Bob Altemeyer’s book, “The Authoritarians” on google. You can download a pdf of his book for free and there is a whole section on fundamentalism. It’s about fundamentalism in general, not specifically about Independent fundamentalist churches though.
Sociologists have done a great deal of serious research into why people are attracted to authoritarian ideologies, and are attracted to being controlled. You could start with the sociology of cults or with the sociology of authoritarianism – they end up in much the same place. Really interesting stuff.
Needs a link to the polished shaft sermon!
Every time I see this video linked somewhere I cannot help but look at the guy directly behind Schaap and to the right, the older man. I wonder what was going through his mind every time I see this. Then I think, would I have stopped it? Would I have the guts to stand up and say “that’s enough”? Would I have “withstood him to the face” like Paul did?
I’ve thought the same….(even though I’m female and wouldn’t be in that row of white coats!)…I also noticed the half-open mouth of the guy on the far left.
I can’t help but notice the guy at the top left, the younger fellow. What’s going through his mind. The same questions go through my mind as well. What would I have done?
I noticed that one camera angle they didn’t leave on for too long. It looked very vulgar. Also, the man with the bald head bowed his head. Was he embarrassed, praying for the whole thing to be over with?
Aside from the utterly inappropriate innuendo, I have also noticed that the theology of this whole thing is simply garbage. The idea that if you are spiritual enough you will have these magical “conversations with God” is false. That isn’t how God operates. Of course, that ideal of being able to “talk with God” was part of the Hyles mystique. He (and Schaap) held that status up as the acme of Christian existence knowing full well that such direct revelation is impossible. But they had their church members convinced that even if they (the members) weren’t that spiritual, their wonderful amazing pastor was holy enough to be part of God’s inner circle so He (the pastor) could just talk to God for them.
Surprisingly well written article. Thanks for the link. Christ have mercy †
As several of you have stated, indirectl or not, I think that the “independent” part of this is what allows it to be isolated and ignored. I don’t think there really can be a systemic scandal or crisis that would cause the IFB movement as a whole to do some soul searching.
It’s very easy for any IFB leader to point at a scandal happening to someone else and say, “that won’t happen here”. They can disconnect from any person involved and say they have nothing to do with that, and then move along, business as usual. It’s certainly a way to compartmentalize.
What is interesting is that in matters where they want to be inclusive and NOT independent, they do so. There are conferences, and special speakers from various other churches, and then there are “famous” people that have influence over large swaths of IFB churches. When they agree, they are included. However, any scandal or break from the “norm”, those people are then cut off as if there were never any connection in the first place.
More lies from liars. Why can’t you people allow us to worship in peace? We have done nothing to you but you do everything in your power to destroy God’s work and His church?
You have a need to destroy what you can’t be a part of. But you could be a part of it if you would repent and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. The question is why do you reject that path and instead choose to wage war on the FBC Hammond?
Satan is the father of lies. He is your father too.
What, specifically, are lies in the article?
I’ve no wish to destroy a work of God; I question whether or not what has been going on at FBCH is actually a work of God? How do you judge if something is a work of God or a work of men?
GR, you just in effect asked a blind person to give a critique of Davinci’s “Mona Lisa”.
Allow you to worship in peace? I would be delighted to! Please start policing your own house and holding your mogs accountable for their abuses and nothing would make me happier than to hear of all the good and loving kindnesses flowing out of the IFB.
Lynette, the King James BIBLE says, “Great peace have they which love thy law and NOTHING shall offend them.” You seem very offended by us. I assume that means that you do not love God’s law.
You are also a woman (I assume based on your name), and that means that you don’t need to be teaching me, a man, or any other man on this blog. If all the womem from FBC Hammond are rebellious like you, it’s no wonder that your preacher stumbled into sin.
I shouldn’t even respond to you, but I don’t want to leave your lies unanswered.
A woman is not to take authority within the body of Christ. It is not my place to teach males within the Body. You and the other liars on this site are not within the Body. You are lost. You are on the wide path to destruction. It is my responsibility as a Christian to preach the Word, in season and out of season in the hopes that you might accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Deacon’s Son, your time is running short on this Earth. Get yourself right with God because there will be NO hope for you if you don’t.
Lynette, you have now taken upon yourself a task that is God’s alone: judging another person’s soul. That is so arrogantly presumptuous that it is ironic that you are warning us of God’s wrath.
“More lies from liars.”
Doesn’t matter how many facts are revealed, or much hard evidence is shown. Speak out against me and my church and you’re liars speaking lies! 🙄
“Why can’t you people allow us to worship in peace?”
Why couldn’t Jack Hyles have left Victor Nischik’s family in peace, instead of committing adultery with his wife and destroying his family? Why couldn’t Jack Schaap have left that teenage girl in peace instead of raping her? Why didn’t the congregation of FBC Hammond keep these men accountable instead of blindly following and allowing things like this to happen unchecked?
“We have done nothing to you…”
You know, except for all those rapes, abuses, and lives destroyed. Nothing at all.
“…but you do everything in your power to destroy God’s work and His church?”
Don’t blame God for the abuses and crimes of your church, or try to call it His work.
The rest of the statement is hogwash when taken in context with everything else said. A church with FBC Hammond’s track record (and no sign that they are going to change) clearly knows nothing of the wonderful Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Lynnette “Poe” I assume?
When you immediately jump to accusing anyone with a differing version of the truth a “liar,” you demonstrate that you are incapable of fair evaluation, of facing uncomfortable facts, and of having a mature conversation. I’ve been reading a lot on spiritual abuse within extreme Christian sects, and your reaction is identical to all members of cultish groups in these scenarios. When your worldview can’t assimilate new facts and you have to resort to calling the majority of people “liars” in order to maintain it, it’s a sign that your worldview needs to change.
Lynette – I haven’t read yet what others have replied to you so far, but I want to speak to you from my heart.
I’m sure that you are a very kind, loving woman with the best of intentions here. Stuff Fundies Like did not write this Expose. Someone from your area picked up this story.
As a female at FBCH, I’m sure you have little to no say in just about anything, at least the important things that build your church; you’re probably married to a man that simply attends, or maybe you’re married to a deacon – but at any point, you have no say. I don’t blame you at all. As in *many* situations in life, someone with power decided to use it for his own twisted benefit, hurting those around him. God will hold him accountable.
However, you and your church family will also be held accountable for not exposing and bringing justice to these deranged men that have been covered at that awful place, FBCH. Sure, the ball seems to be rolling now, and *maybe* things aren’t going to be the same there, but you are part of a cult that started long ago. For your sake, and your family’s sake, get out of there. You do not worship the God of the Bible, you worship a god that is used against you to keep you in line.
I wish you could see this situation for what it is. This isn’t just isolated incidents, this *is* IFB.
Well written article. Let me share a thought that struck me as I read this article; tell me if I am off base. We Americans often look at the history surrounding WW2 (especially when going to visit concentration camps in Germany with houses of Germans just outside of the walls) and we wonder things like “how could a country full of good people allow a man so evil to rise up into leadership”. I think this is, in a microcosm, a close example in many areas of the flaw in human nature of a general population to follow and become subjugated by evil men. It also seems to me that “religion” is a quick working catalyst in which this scenario can flourish. thoughts?
My parents have spent the last 50 years looking for a MOG who has all the answers. This search has led them to some very ugly places (including FBH). When we as humans look to other humans for all the answers we are heading for trouble.
For more insights I would recommend studying the life and writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I am currently reading Eric Metaxas’ biography and highly recommend it.
I would add that we believe what we want to believe and what we are comfortable with.
Having lived under one of these types of abusers and lived through his criminal behavior while turning a blind eye to it (arson, faked attacks, self-inflicted wounds, and eventually attempted murder) because the truth was harder to believe than the lies he was telling… I better understand “how” it can happen.
It boils down to “comfort level” and what one is willing to excuse in order to practice a comfortable religion?
let me correct that… before the attempted murder he was exposed for what he was. We did not turn a blind eye to that… but while he was in the pulpit we gave him our unquestioning allegiance.
Wow. OK, I admit it: I would love to know the back-story on this. Is this something that happened here in the Triad? (Yes, I am being a shameless gossip girl. 😆 )
CGC you can check out The Fighting Fundamental Forums and get plenty of scoop on the poop from Hammond…Roll Tide!
Don and Bama Man — thanks! RTR!!
@CGC are you over on the forum yet? *link on upper toolbar this page, right hand side. You can PM me from over there. Most of my backstory can be found here: http://www.stufffundieslike.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=45&pid=242#pid242
Wow, Don!! Is it OK if I PM you?
I meant to respond earlier…sorry! This horrific school shooting in Connecticut has distracted me. Lord have mercy!!!
And I know what you mean by the distraction. My heart has been in prayer for the families, the school, and the community.
Oh my gosh, Don. I think I figured out the identity of your former church. 🙂 Small world: Years ago, friends of ours sent their kids to that church’s school. The little ones came home one day and told the parents that they’d better throw away their rock music because it was of the Devil. Instead, the parents took the kids out of the school. Never try to separate a Boomer from his Classic Rock! 😆
You probably don’t have the right one then.
Our church (where the pastor did all this) does not have a school. But it is scary that such scandal seems to be an all too common theme in the IFB.
Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of the matrix. You are the eventuality of an anomaly, which despite my sincerest efforts I have been unable to eliminate from what is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision…
Well written article. I’m always looking for liberal bias when I read anything in a secular publication, and I didn’t see a hint of it in this article, looks like the subject was handled with fairness, and just gave the facts. When something is this atrocious, you really can’t make it any worse! (I so wish they would do a 20/20 segment on it)
I let my imagination run wild for abit about what I would like to do these perverts. During my police career, I always made sure to have someone with me when arresting pedophiles, because frankly I didn’t trust myself to be left alone with them! But after a short time, I soon just became sickened about the damage to the cause of Christ, and the victims of these monsters! I want to hold ALL members of 1st Baptist accountable, and in a sense they are, but then you have to think for a moment and realize, in a way they are victims too! They are so deeeeep into the Kool-Aid, and they need something to shake them from their stupor. Look at how many abusive spouses continue to go back to their abusers?
I noticed on the map, that one of the pervs was from close to my area. So I looked him up, and vaguely remembered his crimes. The name still seemed familiar, and then I remembered that I had recd a phone call from a Rev Shiflett about a letter to the editor I had written (the letter was about homosexuality, what else) anyway the guy/call seemed odd. He told me he was a Reverend and where he was attending church (not in Culpeper, but nearby) I then asked if he was pastoring there, and he said he was not, but had been a pastor, and then didn’t seem to want to tell me where he had been a pastor, but eventually told me he lived in Culpeper! I’m about 95% sure I was talking to the H/A perv!
My conscience got to bothering me, so I ran down the Pastor of Rev Shiflett’s new church, and together we quickly found out that this was NOT the perv from Hyles Anderson, I’m glad, and feel much better.
I know what you mean about mixed feelings about the members of the church. While I’m sure some of them are well-meaning and sincere and were mislead, causing me to feel pity for them, I also feel that they, as believers individually responsible to God, should have been wiser and humbler and braver. Sometimes I see them as victims of a sort; other times I see them as co-conspirators, also responsible because they were silent. Titus is pretty clear about the character of a pastor, and both Hyles and Schaap in their displays of temper alone disqualified themselves.
I agree completely, and yet I recall when I was deep in the kool-aid, how blind I was!
The false teaching about the KJV and tithing, were two things that got me thinking and moving out from this bunch!
RT @stufffundieslik: Exposé http://t.co/0VAdyQmi
Jack Hyles often preached and wrote in his books that he believed God called him to be “a preacher to preachers”, so this widespread abuse in many IFB churches, and the cover-ups, throughout this country should be no big surprise! For decades he influenced preachers, preacher boys and congregations to stand behind “God’s annointed” and never question his actions, judgements, or preaching.
I came from a church who’s pastor was under Hyle’s mentoring, and the pattern of abuse, cover-up, blaming minors & their families, etc. was the same as FBCH’s track record! Generations of Hyles-clones are behind pulpits, and we are now seeing the next de-generate generation, when many of those pastor’s sons are being caught abusing minors and involved in sex scandals. You reap what you sow!
WOE be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.
Jeremiah 23: 1-4
That is a very fitting passage!
I’m reminded of the Messiah: He Shall Feed His Flock! Oh, for a church that follows Christ in truth and love, humility and purity.
It is truly wonderful to find someone besides me who is not offended by the Word. Someone who sees Gods Word and the joy inside of them jumps and rejoices.
For most people who are faced with Gods Word, what jumps inside of them is the hatred and rage that leads to the outpouring of blasphemy.
I too crave to attend a church that follows God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit. When I am called home, I will then be able to attend that church…….the ONLY faithful church.
This passage comes to mind far too often for me, as I read about the damage that is being done to believers by those who should be shepherds, but who are actually wolves. I’m torn between fear for these false pastors (because some of them have simply been taught false doctrine and false church polity), and a desire for God’s justice for those who have been harmed.
Jesus warns us to be on guard, to be wise, and not be deceived or beguiled by the false prophets. He warns that there will be many in end times. Maybe, it just seems this way to me, but it seems like the amount of false prophets is growing faster as time goes on. Just watch over time and see for yourself. How men of God were when I was a child, is nothing like now. False prophets have always existed ever since Lucifer fell. So, it is nothing new, but it seems like everyday they are in the news somewhere.
Here are just a few verses from Jesus concerning false prophets. Also, thank you! It makes my heart jump for joy to find a fellow Christian on this site that is not offended by Gods Word, and that loves God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit as much as I do.
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”
Matthew 24: 4-5
“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”
Matthew 24: 11
Seriously? Is that how you indict these people?
They not also prophets.
They are predatory sexual abusers that’s what they are.
Call them what you will, but they are still false prophets because they are preaching a false gospel.They are taking Gods word to warp and twist to their own advantage to prey on the Lords sheep. I will take it one step further: they are no different than the few false prophets on this site who are preying on the wounded scattered sheep preaching the gospel that because the man of God and the church is evil, God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit is evil too. SHAME ON YOU FOR SPIRITUALLY RAPING THE SHEEP! God is not mocked !
It is a pathetic disgrace how some of you are scattering the sheep even further when you have the wonderful opportunity to lead the sheep back from the wilderness to the Lords pasture, but instead you spend your time criticizing this pastor, that church, this song, that Bible verse, this sermon, that deacon, etc. only fanning the flames and building up the hurt, pain, anger, bitterness, rage, despair, fear, confusion, and depression in the lost and wandering sheep.
Fellow Fundies: don’t be so naive and beguiled! Read your Holy Bible everyday faithfully for the truth, and for spiritual healing.
Sorry, I need to re-write that. Auto-spell changed one of my words.
Seriously? Is that how you indict these people?
They not false prophets.
They are predatory sexual abusers that’s what they are.
You would have us direct refugees from a dangerous cult right back into a compound similar to the one they just escaped from?
I would never, and could never, in good conscience advise anyone fresh out of the clutches of the IFB to return to a religious setting where they are at risk of being re-victimized by pulpiteers and empire builders.
Just because someone claims to be a Man-of-God doesn’t mean he is. Just because people claim to be Christian doesn’t mean that they are. Christ is the only answer and he isn’t confined to the four walls of a Brick and mortar edifice. He isn’t bound to this group or that. In fact, you see the majority of the acts of Christ and Christians being carried out in one-to-one and small group interactions.
NITC, I was a victim of a false prophet. The Lord did lead me back to the church and I am now in a good SBC church. Let me tell you, people talking about legitimate abuse are FAR from false prophets. People poking fun at preachers they see doing rediculous stuff are FAR from false prophets. Unbelievers saying why they do not believe are FAR from false prophets. People even saying that they don’t like so – and – so’s preaching or poking fun at what he does or says because he reminds them of the ones who abused them are also not false prophets. No, the false prophet is the one who claims to speak or teach for God, usually the preacher or Sunday school teacher, but can be a mentor, but who really preaches or teaches falsehood.
I will also say, NITC, I haven’t seen ANYONE here call Christ evil. Some have been hurt enough that they will not trust any pastors, true, and some are now unbelievers, that is also true, but NO ONE says Christ is evil. And as someone who has been sexually abused by a false prophet, I find your statement that the people here are spiritually raping the sheep dispicable. You should be totally ashamed. All you are doing are hurting the hurt people here more. It’s not others on this site that are hurting people, you are. And you are hurting people in the name of God. If that doesn’t go against everything Christianity stands for and is, I don’t know what does.
I attended HAC for years and actually know very well one of the “gentleman” in the crimson shaded picture above. I am not very familiar with the other IFB camps (PCC, Crown, BJU, Tennessee Temple) do they have as much dirty laundry? or is it just a Hyles thing for the most part?
If something happened at PCC it would hidden so quietly no one would ever know. The person who did it would just silently disappear, never to be seen again. I think they used the swamp behind Griffeth Tower — it had 2 alligators in it.
I went to crown for a while. I’m not sure about sex scandals, but as far as manipulation, greed, and lies go it was full of it.
I’ve heard enough from former students of so many of these places that I would say they all have hidden secrets that the Bible actually commands should have been dealt with transparently and publicly. Men have been enthroned across the board in Fundamentalism, who should have been removed from church office and possibly put out of church fellowship until they demonstrated repentance.
HAC/FBCH may be the most outrageous of a corrupt religious sect, but it is all corrupt, in my opinion. And certainly, men who themselves would not have molested young people have sheltered those who did and played the game. Guilt for cover up and silence extends to every major church and every college administration in Fundamentalism.
Totally unrelated to your post and to this Expose:
I totally <3 your name "Beverly Hyles 90210".
First Baptist’s lawyer is David Gibbs? Ewwwww. I’ve shaken his hand. He was one of the bigwigs at a couple of ACE International Student Conventions I attended. The team I was on won the Bible Bowl competition, and were given free computers.
Better wash that hand.
Dear SFL Reader:
Does the picture of a roadside thug barking orders with a knife to the throat actually help these folk relate to God?
Good thing he never had an accident with that crossbow. Or use a real rock. A shattered bolt could put out eyes real easily.
Schaap would demonstrate by cracking a stick over his head, tossing it aside…”
His head? Oh, you mean the stick! Oh well … too bad.
A string of assaults and sexual crimes committed by pastors across the country have one thing in common: The perpetrators have ties to the megachurch in Hammond, Indiana.
What is it about some churches that they report a thief more quickly than the rape of a child? This just begs an explanation. Is anyone else wondering if we’re seeing influence from David Berg, that criminal master-mind and malignant narcissist who ran that ‘Children of God’/’The Family’ sex cult?
Jim Jones once met with Father Divine. Joseph Smith once compared himself to the Mohammed. I would assume my cult leaders study other cult leaders.
Every time I encounter a picture, sound recording, or video of Jack Hyles, I get an overwhelming sense that he was Jim Jones’ brother from another mother.
And ordering someone to drink (fake) poison as a loyalty test sure doesn’t help.
Somebody should start a website – http://www.IFBMugshots.com
List the person’s name and crime next to their pic. People could log on and see if the new pastor from out of town has a rap sheet.
Was anybody really fooled by the fake cry in Schaap’s voice when he says ” I see a pulpit”? The very next breath his voice is composed and calm. A bad actor indeed. I heard other preachers use this ruse as well, and it always screams phony.
Phony for sure! When a preacher begins the ranting and raving and the theatrics, I turn him off and don’t return. I then wonder if he speaks in that tone of voice to his wife and children and friends….of course not. And he’s not going to speak to me that way either. I understand an ‘intense’ or passionate (but totally under control) discussion or conversation about something, but that’s a completely different thing and it would never be wrongly identified.
Proverbs 14:2 He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him. KJV
Matthew Henry’s Commentary: …”he that is perverse in his ways, that willfully follows his own appetites and passions, that is unjust and dishonest and contradicts his profession in his conversation, however he may pretend to devotion, he is a wicked man, and will be reckoned with as a despiser of God Himself.”
Jack Schaap is not the Pastor anymore. The church is trying to move on. Can anyone seriously find a denomination that does not have similar issues as some IFB churches?
If most of you were honest you would admit that your posts and comments are driven out of hate, bitterness or spite. Why do I say that? This site and the comments for the posts offer no edification to any believer. It mocks, insults, intimidates and accuses any one who is a member of an IFB church.
You do a lot of the same things that you accuse IFB leaders of doing. You call out people, you shame, you belittle, you are intolerant.
I feel sorry for those who hat FBC and other IFB churches so much that they become consumed with wanting to know what is happening in the churches and thrive on any bad news they hear. If you hate IFB churches so much than just move on with your life already.
None so blind as they who WILL not see…
Let’s see here.
We had Jack Hyles, who had a little bit of trouble with…what was it again?
He tried to set up his son to inherit the throne, but Dave had a little bit of trouble with…what was it again?
He was replaced by his son-in-law, who had a little bit of trouble with…what was it again?
Yes, I see how the church is moving on, now that you point it out to me.
The problem isn’t the MEN. The problem is the PHILOSOPHY that creates and enables such men. Until you change that, you will NEVER move on.
The web is large, but it is consistent. Many of us still have loved ones entangled in that web. But it is WE who have the problem. WE are the ones who are supposed to move on, and abandon our loved ones to the web of evil; of doctrines of men, of deceit, and of abuse.
Friend, I doubt you know HOW to be a friend, based on your frothy-mouthed ravings here.
MSK- Unlike you I actually attend the church. So I do not speak out of ignorance. There is a concerted effort by the majority of the members to bring change to the church. There have been many meetings in which the members have been able to ask pointed questions about the policy, philosophy, and change.
Jack Hyles is dead, David Hyles is not a member of the church, Jack Schaap is gone…The new Pastor will not be a part of that family. He will have freedom to change.
If you really do have loved ones there wouldn’t you do better to pray for them, pray for the pulpit committee, pray for the New Pastor (that God would prepare him to make the right decisions)?
Instead you group all members into a category of blindness and ignorance. You suppose that we are all “entangled” in a “web” of “evil”. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The majority are fighting for change, praying for God’s blessing and leading, praying for a new Pastor that will has a vision for the future that doesn’t echo the past, but honors God, reaches the lost and edifies the saved.
I do wonder why you choose not to respond to the fact that there are many other denominations that have similar problems. Most likely a denomination that you yourself attend. I suppose it’s much easier for you to mimic the mantra of other FBC/IFB haters.
Well, this is a major step in the right direction. Rather than silly accusations of bitterness and hatred and spite (and lies, as another lady was doing recently), we can discuss the actual situation at hand.
You are correct; I never attended FBCH except for special services. Instead, Hyles and Evans (and others) came to us. We hosted them in our home. My parents worked closely with them at every opportunity. Going back to my grandparents, we were very closely tied to quite a few luminaries of the IFB movement from the 1940s through the 1990s. So I am quite familiar with the blindness and entanglement of the followers in such churches. It was our home, and we loved it. We were privileged; our relationship was such that we didn’t get victimized as so many others got victimized. Well, not to the same extent, anyway. But ignorant, I am not. Rather, I am acutely aware how much control these pastors had over their congregations, and how it was possible for Dave Hyles and Jack Schaap to remain employed despite their obvious (to insiders and true outsiders) deficiencies that should have disqualified them were it not for their family connections.
I sincerely hope that the congregation is well and truly awakened now, and that your pulpit committee has the wisdom and strength to do what they have never had to do before in living memory: search out a pastor. I’ve done it, and it’s VERY hard. So much responsibility, so little knowledge. It’s like buying something at a blind auction; a pig in a poke. You pray and hope and study and question, and you can still get burned. I have become convinced that it would be better to look within your congregation to find the right pastor. Surely you have someone with the leadership qualities, the love for God and for people, and ABOVE ALL, the servant’s heart, to assume the pastorate. Someone who is already pastoring people, but who lacks the title. It’s worth considering, anyway.
I grouped people because I know how things are. I know how hard that fight is. People don’t WANT change, even if they understand that there is a serious problem. They want things to be the way they always were. Change is scary. When you have been taught that you were already doing everything the Right Way, change is considered a deadly evil. It sounds like you are praying for the right things, and I truly wish you well. It would be a wonderful thing for the World to see how God can redeem a place like FBCH, after what has happened in the leadership there over the past two or three decades.
I didn’t respond to your assertions about other denominations because I don’t know enough to have an opinion. I have almost always attended Baptist or fundamentalist nondenominational churches. The church I attend now (not by choice, but the options for English-language churches in Germany is severely limited) is pastored by a man who sends his kids to West Coast Baptist College. He follows men such as Jack Trieber. He attended pastor schools at HAC. His mission board is BIMI. Is that IFB enough for you? He is a genuinely decent man who has drunk deeply from a very poisonous well. He seems to know that something isn’t quite right (since almost nobody in the congregation here follows all the silliness), and it is very interesting for me to watch him since I know what is going on in his head, as he wonders why people who so clearly love the Lord don’t use the KJV, don’t have their women in pants all the time, don’t show up every time the doors are open, don’t wear suits to church, don’t put the White-Wall Haircut on their sons, don’t use the Approved Music except when they are given no choice.
All that to say this: I don’t have to mimic any mantras. I don’t hate these people. I hate the evil that has overtaken the IFB, I hate the legalism that has choked out Grace, and I hate the structure that gives support to evil-doers at the expense of the congregation. And I hope with all my heart that you are successful in abandoning the past and moving into a new era of God’s grace.
@Friend–If change is so important, and the church family isn’t blind or ignorant, then why was Schaap allowed to peddle his innuendo and perverted sayings from the pulpit for so long? More than one person has left that “ministry” over the past few years because of his sex filled “sermons”. Open your eyes, pal. There has long been a culture of male sexual dominance that has spread from that ministry to the whole country from FBCH and Hyles Anderson exports. And it goes back as far as at least the late Seventies to early Eighties. I do not speak from ignorance, as you claim. I speak from experience. I still know many of the families destroyed by one of the great “sou-winning” adulterers from the Hyles era.
Same song, second verse. A little bit louder and a whole lot worse.
While I do agree with 99.99999999999999% of what you said, while I agree you hit the nail on the head; I just want to ask you to do a couple of things:
1) ask yourself “why are all these people bitter?”
2) ask yourself “why are all these people ex-fundies?”
When you have asked yourself these questions and gotten the full view of the pain and suffering we have been through, then do this third and fourth thing:
3) get your church leaders and congregation to get on this site and read the pain and suffering of the “victims”.
4) spread the word to other IFB churches so they can be educated by this site.
Only when the “sheep” see the horrible consequences of “blind trust” syndrome and “not rocking the boat so you can stay in the church/clique” syndrome will maybe change the pattern of “abuse” to “no abuse”.
Now, I chastise some people on this site, but it is not through blindness to their pain and suffering. While I may not have experienced some of the atrocities that they experienced, I have my share of pain and suffering at the hands of pastors, deacons, and those that met the qualifications to be in the church clique (which is why I have this username). My bitterness, anguish, and grief at the hands of the church leadership is valid, what they did to me slices through my soul like a knife as much as it does to any ex-fundy on this site.
When I first stumbled onto this site, which I realize now God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit led me here, I was beyond shock and joy at the same time to find so many people like me. Over time, I began to realize something, like you stated, there was no “edifying”, only rage, anger, and hatred. Nothing about God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit. I also noticed that there seems to be a COUPLE of people on this site who “fan the flames”, “keep feeding the monster”, “monster” being anger, rage, and hatred. These people have been given a wonderful gift of communicating a message. If they could just turn that message to good to heal the lost sheep on this site, they would be a powerful Ambassador to the Lord that the Lord could use to free the prisoners.
LET’S FACE IT PEOPLE, WE ALL, INCLUDING MYSELF, ARE PRISONERS TO WHAT HAPPENED TO US AT THESE CHURCHES. EVENTHOUGH WE MAY NOT ATTEND THESE CHURCHES ANYMORE, WE ARE STILL WEARING THEIR SHACKLES.
Now, my purpose is a little different than yours. My purpose is to “wake them up” to reality. What happened to all of us was wrong, sick, perverted, demented, sadistic, and whatever other term anybody wishes to use because the word will fit perfectly, BUT, do we allow what happened to us to keep us down? Do we allow the shackles of pain, anguish, grief, despair, depression, and whatever word you choose to continue to hang on to us so that we go through life dragging those chains day in and day out, week after week, month after month, year after year until we die?
Some or all of us experience depression, anger, uncontrollable endless crying, alienation from friends and family who maybe forsook us and supported the church, headaches, weight loss from not eating, weight gain from too much eating, nightmares, sleep disturbances, physical pain from physical abuse, ugly physical scars from physical abuse, maybe thoughts of suicide, high blood pressure, heart problems due to the stress, turning to drugs/alcohol/mental health to medicate the pain, stomache problems, and on, and on, and on, and on. Those are the physical and emotional results, then there is the spiritual death that results because in our overwhelming grief, we have a terrible time separating God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit from your shepherds, hirelings, false prophets, and wolves!
It does not end because in our pain and grief, we cannot see an end. We only see what your shepherds that God entrusted to take care of us did to us. We only see how your shepherds threw us/ offered us to the wolves, many times with the shepherd being the “wolf”. We only see how your shepherds hired or appointed “hirelings” to scatter us while your shepherds run around the countryside meddling and scattering other shepherds flocks. We only see how your shepherds blame us for our “bitterness” and “despair”, and have the nerve to tell us that he is doing us a favor and we should thank him?!?!?!
I could be as angry, hateful, and full of rage as a lot of ex-fundies on this site are, but I choose not to remain a prisoner of your shepherds. Back in biblical times, the man of God would tell the person to pass their sins onto the ox. I refuse to be your shepherds, hirelings, false prophets, wolves ox to pass their sins onto!!!!!
Now, you all have not heard from me since last week. I am certain you all have been wondering why I have been too quiet. The school shooting last Friday in Newtown, Conneticut has brought a sort of realization to me concerning my situation with the IFB church. Like you I have been hurt, especially by friends in the church who chose to turn their back just so they could remain in good standing in the church. Eventhough I refuse to fall away from God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit because I separate HIM from the church and it’s followers, it still hurts that this happened to me. Since the Newtown School shooting though, God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit has helped me realize that because of all the twisted and demented people in church leadership, this could happen in the churches. Not being a part of the church is not sacriligious if the church is the synagogue of satan. Not being a part of God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit is sacriligious. The church does not save you nor can it get you into heaven. There is only one way into heaven, and IT IS NOT THE CHURCH!
Ex-Fundies, I do understand eventhough you do not think I do. I know some of you think I am a horrible person out to hurt you further, and that is not the case. I do know the pain that consumes our thoughts every waking hour, and for some even when you’re asleep. There is one who can free you like HE is freeing me. I cannot put my faith in any man nor anything in this world, it will only let me down every time. God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit is the only one I can trust……….I have to hold on to HIM………that is the ONLY option I will choose and accept.
I am hoping you all will choose to let go of your shackles and choose to hang onto God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit for dear life. Until you do, you will continue to remain a prisoner.
I saw this Psalm that says it perfectly. I hope you all will read it. It is only seven lines long but says a lot.
“I CRIED unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication.
I poured out my complaint before him: I shewed before him my trouble.
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.
I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors: for they are stronger than I.
Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.
MSK-Your last comment was well said. I appreciate your view points and I agree with the majority of them.
I understand that many “outsiders” want change, but the way the go about it (the rants, the attacks, etc) actually cause some at FBC to go on the defense (of the past) simply because THEY feel attacked (A good example is UncleWilvers comment above) When that happens it makes it difficult for those of us in the church that WANT to see change.
Christian to Christian, it would be nice to see those who are on SFL and the Do Right HAC page preach a little less hate and honestly seek change from a pure heart. There is a better way to do it than attack, accuse, and dwell in the past.
Pray for members of the church, pray for the pulpit committee, pray for the new pastor wherever he may be. The truth is FBC will survive (regardless of what happens on SFL or Do Right HAC) and it can change if enough good members aren’t beaten down by accusations and the past, but are encouraged to seek God and seek change.
We aren’t outsiders by choice. Quite a few of us were born and bred on the inside. We are the ones who asked questions as we tried to be true to God and the Bible rather than to a man, and got branded by these people who wish we would just shut up and go away. Often, these people are too heavily invested (one way or the other) in the status quo, and so they kick like mules at anyone who challenges that status quo. The reason sites like SFL and all the others even exist is that when we went to these people one-on-one, they refused to listen to our honest questions, and they slandered us when we left. So, we ramped up the volume. If these people don’t like that, they should have treated us right in the first place. They were able to silence the victims for decades, but not any more. What was done in secret is now being shouted from the rooftops.
This isn’t the past; this is the present. This stuff is still going on. We know this because we hear it from our friends and relatives who are still on the inside, and because we see the news reports of arrests for sexual crimes by men with power. It’s not hate to shout against the evil. It’s frustration with those who refuse to see, refuse to acknowledge, refuse to seek God first, and His kingdom, rather than the MOG’s kingdom.
I think the kings of Judah thought Jeremiah was hateful, too.
Uncle Wilver’s question is a legitimate one. Schaap’s Polished Shaft sermon is on Youtube. I couldn’t stand to watch more than the first two minutes. Why did nobody challenge it? I can’t believe that the FBCH people didn’t see the sexual overtones. This wasn’t good Bible teaching. This was…something sick. And he preached that sermon over and over again. Are we missing something? Are we being too harsh? Especially with what we ALL know now?
You are right; FBCH can change. But they are the ones who supported a corrupt organization for thirty YEARS after the corruption became widely known. That’s almost two generations. We might be forgiven for thinking that these people needed to be prodded a bit in order to do the right thing. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind. The people who still refuse to see the truth will always come up with a new excuse to persist in their foolishness. It is my hope that those who really want to do right will have the strength and courage to withstand the others to their face, as Paul did to Peter, and force the reformations to happen, even if it causes FBCH to splinter. If the right-thinking people aren’t willing to do that, then FBCH might as well shut its doors, because it will not longer be worth trying to save.
The first step might be to acknowledge that those who tell you the truth about yourself are not necessarily your enemies. Sometimes, those whom you believe to be your enemies will tell you the truth about yourself even while all your friends will lie to you in an attempt to keep peace. Even while there is no peace.
Kinda sorta like a wife asking her husband, “Does this skirt make my butt look big?”
The three-year-old boy will give an honest answer, while Dad will mutter something into his coffee. Does that mean the boy hates his mom? No.
Prayer is important. But if Paul would have just prayed for Peter, rather than challenging him publicly on his bad behavior, it wouldn’t have come to much. I have found that “pray about it” is often used as a cop-out by those who lack the starch to just do what they already know to be right. I’m not accusing you; this is something I have observed everywhere I have ever lived.
I want every church that names the name of Christ to follow Him in love, righteousness, and humility.
I do believe though that true change is not possible without repentance. Has FBC truly repented for its past or is the church still denying, excusing, or ignoring sins which actually were done? I love Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9 in which he contritely confesses to sins that I don’t think HE personally committed but for which he claims responsibility as an Israelite. It is this spirit that outsiders long to see from FBC, one of grief and sorrow not arrogance and defensiveness.
Perhaps such repentance is being expressed privately, but FBC teaching has been quite public – dispensed on the internet and through pastors trained at HAC and preaching all over the country – and thus repentance should be public as well.
What I think most of you are forgetting is that this is an on going battle. There are many in the church that are not denying, excusing or ignoring any sins of the past. Again, those who are not actively involved need to be careful about lumping members into the same category. When you do this it does cause defensiveness. To also assume that there are not many who are sorrowful or have expressed grief. Again, many have expressed those feelings and are working from within to bring about change.
Note though that change does not mean a departure from doctrine, standards, etc. What it does mean is getting rid of this idea of loyalty, man worship and abuse of leadership/authority. This is not something that can happen overnight, this takes time.
You are right; we (I) need to be reminded that there are many, many good people at FBCH. Thanks for repeating it.
Good doctrine must be the central theme. All doctrine needs to be scrubbed to make sure it is good, since we know that bad behavior starts from bad beliefs. Standards also need to be scrubbed against Romans 14. So much of our time was wasted on “standards” that were really nothing more than personal opinion!
One lesson that I learned all too well during my years in IFB was to look for faults in others, and to make up faults if I couldn’t find any, and to invent new, “more spiritual,” rules so that I could have more nits to pick. I hope I am un-learning that stuff, ever so slowly, so that I am able to focus on the major things and let all that other stuff go. As they say, “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
I would encourage you to continue to look at your church with eyes wide open. The fact that you read this blog and dialog in a respectful way with people on here tells me that you use your mind. I can also sense that you actually care about people and love the Lord. Can I encourage you to do a couple of things?
1. I am not advocating for doctinal impurity, but would you go back and look at the things that Schaap and Hyles have told you were doctrine? If they were lying about their personal lives, it is completely within reason that they might have been lying about doctrine and standards as a way to keep you and the other people of FBCH so busy trying to fulfill their ideas of a good Christian that you were unable to have time/energy to seriously evaluate the leadership.
2. When you evaluate whether current preachers are actually giving you God’s truth, would you use another good translation as well as the King James? ESV and NASB come to mind as the most palatable translations for you. Keep in mind that your interpretation of the King James might be clouded by the teaching of these two wolves as they have superimposed their view of what passages mean, and their intepretations might be unavoidable in certain passages when you read them.
Please do not believe that everyone that reads this board hates Christians, Christianity, or even hates FBCH. Please don’t feel like FBCH needs to hide or shrink from the criticism. Instead, they need to bring these and other situations to light, not try to hide them. Remember that God’s Word says that “men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil.” Please work from within FBCH to bring the evil that has gone on there to light.
Peace to you,
Yes! I have learned quite a lot by sitting with multiple translations in my lap. And, living in Germany, I have learned that there are multiple ways to translate, faithfully, a text from one language to another. The more of those methods you use, the more thoroughly you understand the meaning of the original.
I love http://www.biblegateway.org.
Friend….if this change from MOG loyalty, MOG worship, etc will change at FBH then the church will have to find a new preacher not tainted with Hyles’ism and Hyles theology. Can that really happen there? With God all things are possible, and the spiritual eyes of the people must be opened to this need to repent of their apathy or acceptance of the past leadership and direction, and desire a Christ-centered church that’s forcused on Him, not numbers, fame of “Greatness” as Jack Hyles always discribed FBH, etc…..
Quite honestly, I’m always surprised that IFB’ers take such a serious interest in what is posted here! Seems to hit a nerve every time!
It’s refreshing to engage in a conversation that is helpful as opposed to the usual arguments. I appreciate that from Fundifled, Kreger, and Kevin.
I want to clarify a couple of things. When I mention “standards” I’m not confusing standards and doctrines. I agree with all doctrines of most IFB churches, but I believe most standards are a personal choice. I go to movies, listen to music that sets my mind on spiritual things (ccm, southern gospel, and traditional). I do not let my denomination define who I am or dictate my walk with God.
As far as Bible translations, I prefer the KJV, but I do own multiple translations and use them for Bible study. I’m not caught up in the KJV hype.
I grew up in an IFB church somewhere else and had a great IFB Pastor who taught us to develop our own walk with God and not get caught up with the external, but focus on the internal and eternal. I’ve been a member of FBC for 15 years so I do have a differant outlook than some other FBC members, but I can tell you that there are “lifers” who are very much like me.
I can’t speak for all IFBer’s, but I take interest in what is posted on these sites, because I’ve been a part of a great IFB church and I think it’s unfair to lump all IFBer’s into 1 category.
Member for 15 yrs! And you know, “lifers who are very much like” YOU!! You go to the movies, listen to ccm, southern gospel and own multiple Bible translations, my question is this: How have you managed to survive at FBCH? All those things have been preached as evil and worldly by the leadership of your church. (Quote from book, Attorney David C. Gibbs, Jr. Interviews Dr. Jack Hyles,p. 170: Hyles-“The new Bibles are a part of the spirit of mental anarchy that we have.”) You must not be in a leadership position, ministry, or staff, because you would not have been allowed to continue there with such a “spirit of mental anarchy”. I say this, having seen it practiced at other Hyles affiliated IFB churches.
I’m sure you’ve heard Jack Schaap preach many times over the past decade. Did you not see ‘red flags’ as he preached, what one SFL comment & ex-FBCH member called, “pornographic” doctrine? Why stay in a church that is so blatantly man-centered and obviously different from the one you were raised in?
The comments on this site vary, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. Yes, many are still angry from their IFB/fundie experience, and are still in the process of healing and “getting over it”. Others raise ‘red flags’ in hopes that eyes will be opened to the seriousness of what IFBdom has evloved into by many preachers like Hyles and Schaap, and that many will seek godly discernment when listening to the MOG. Not be a church ‘zombie’ as Linda Hyles-Murphrey(sp?) called most of the members of FBCH under her dad’s pastorship.
If you continue to read this site, please keep in mind that there are many readers who wish to be a help, and others who just wish to vent, and others that should just be ignored (trolls).
Agree, Fundified. Friend has been a member of FBC for 15 years and he obviously does not “get it”! All the red flags just didn’t matter? You listened to one thing from the pulpit and did another? Isn’t that called compromise? Or living a double life? If you didn’t agree with the ‘standards’, why didn’t you just go somewhere else where you could be more comfortable and fit in? Sorry I’m just a bit annoyed by your position and the position of other ‘lifers’. I’ll be 70 on my next birthday and I am keenly aware that life is so short and there’s not a lot of time for all of us to stand for something instead of being wishy-washy and afraid to rock the boat and get out of our comfort zone. Admins: feel free to delete this if I’m whining too much.
PS: The first time FBC was subjected to the “Polished Shaft” message, people should have left in droves–led by the MEN. I was appalled at the video.
I hesitate to question or criticize those who stay in a bad church situation, because I have done it in the past (that is to say, I have stayed in a bad situation, and I have criticized others who were doing it, including my parents), and I have learned some things, and am still learning.
People grow in their Christian lives at different speeds. I can’t force someone else to grow at my pace, nor should I try. My parents and my friends, who stayed longer than I could stay, have the freedom to make their own choices without answering to me. I’ve had enough other people try to force their personal preferences on me, and it didn’t do much good for our relationship. Someday, maybe, I’ll figure out that it’s not good for me to do it to others, either. It’s a vestige of my Indy Fundy life, and I hate it, even while I do it.
I’m very impressed that Friend was able to retain his own mind and soul and personal convictions for fifteen years in a place that is not famous for encouraging independent thought. My hope is that Friend can be a force for good in a place that desperately needs to know about the liberty that Christ paid such a high price to win for us.
If I came across as judgemental to Friend, I apologize. I too, stayed far too long at a blatantly man-centered church, but not one that twisted doctrine so blatantly from the pulpit as Schaap has done the past 2 years. My ‘red flag’ came when the Pastor lied, and his actions proved such. I feel for all those members at my old church who stay Sun. after Sun. listening to a man preach rhetoric and prideful man-centered sermons. Not to mention, money, money money!
Indeed, it is very difficult to cut the ties to a church that’s such a big part of one’s life. However, never believe the lies that there are no better churches you can go to, as I always heard preached. That’s just not true as I have experienced, for the Lord led me to a Christ-centered, non-Hyles affiliated Independent Baptist church. They are out there!
Fundifled – I’ve “managed to survive” because I don’t flaunt my choice of standards. I also don’t hide it. If someone asks for my opinion on movies, music, translations I would be honest with them, but I don’t announce my belief on those and other issues so as not to be a stumbling block to a weaker christian. For some I understand the need for them to stay away from those things. Again, my roots were planted in another IFB church not FBC.
As for “Polished Shaft” the first time I heard the message was on cassette tape and that message is what actually drove me to Hyles-Anderson. Also, he would only preach that message at conferences and I usually had to work so again, I never was able to see the message delivered. I have viewed the youtube tape and I know that some will say I’m blind, brainwashed, ignorant, etc, but I don’t believe he intended to have that appear as it did. Looking at the video I can see how some come to that conclusion and that’s fine, but my personal opinion is that he didn’t intend to have that appearance.
Also, as far as other “red-flags” go, It was only within the last 2 years that he really started showing signs of real trouble. You have to also realize that it was not an every week thing, Maybe once every couple of months he would say something that was off. Most of the time I didn’t even notice it until later. Leading up to his fall I actually considered leaving (we even visited a few other churches), but I do enjoy a traditional service and it was then that he fell. So here we are…we are here praying and hoping for the best and giving input where we can give input. All we can do now is wait and see who is called and the vision the layout.
Jo- I don’t feel like I’ve led a double life or compromised. again, Doctrine and Standards are 2 different things. I was comfortable and felt like I fit in because I’m comfortable with who I am and what I believe. Someone else’s view on standards don’t make me insecure about mine. Again, I don’t flaunt my beliefs because I think that is unwise and causes strife, but I do express my views if asked. As far as “lifers” go I understand their plight. They have relationships there, the church has helped them during tough times in their life whether it be financially, spiritually, or personally. Their children may have grown up there, gotten married there, they may have buried their loved ones there…so I understand some of the reasons why they struggle.
MSK- Thanks again. I understand the view of it being a bad situation, but this could be a turning point. If it’s not than I will have decisions to make.
As I wrote to MSK, my reply was not meant as judgemental but questions of surprise and bewilderment! I know what FBCH is all about, because my ex-pastor was personally mentored by the late Dr. Jack Hyles. I know the hero-worship, pastor-worship, man-centered twisted doctrines that Hyles promoted for over 40 years that has affected so many preachers and churches, that things have come this far for such an article as this to be written! It is to the shame of the Body of Christ that Christians endure such heresy and perversion.
I pray your church will have godly discernment and there will be a drastic turn-around at FBCH, for the Glory of God. If there isn’t, indeed you will have some tough decisions to make. May the Lord guide you with His wisdom, God Bless.