Tuesday, April 25, 2006

More Visions of Grandeur in Hammond


For those who would like to think that things have changed in Hammond I have some more evidence to the contrary. I was recently perusing the official website for Hyles-Anderson College and found this little gem. This is a letter from the chancellor, Jack Schaap, to the wide-eyed prospective college student:

Dear Friend,

Hyles-Anderson College was started 30 years ago as the fulfillment of the vision of Dr. Jack Hyles. His heart burned with a love and a deep concern for the direction his beloved nation was taking. The United States Supreme Court was permitting the genocide of the unborn infants of this land; the illegal drug culture was at its peak in our public schools; and the rock-and-roll culture of rebellion and promiscuity was having a profound influence upon the teenagers of our land. Brother Hyles feared our country was quickly slipping from the old-fashioned ways upon which She had been founded. He wanted to do what he could to save this nation from the sin and destruction She was bringing upon Herself.

Walking along a highway in Southern California late one night into the early morning hours of the next day, Bro. Hyles felt God speak to his heart about founding an old-fashioned, sin- hating, Devil-fighting, Christ-honoring Bible college where the students would dress modestly and act courteously; a college where all the students went soul winning and were trained by soul winners; a college where the chapel pulpit was ablaze with - preaching; a college where authority was respected and sin was abhorred; a college where young men would be trained to preach with zeal and knowledge; a college where young ladies were taught to be submissive wives and dedicated servants of God. Thus was the birthright of Hyles-Anderson College when the doors opened in 1972.

Thirty-two years later, our founder is in Heaven. He gave us a legacy that burns brighter and with more intensity today than it has ever before. The soul-winning zeal, the fervent love for the lost, the evangelistic fervor, the - preaching, the old-fashioned standards of decency and propriety are alive and well here at Hyles-Anderson College.

I believe the chief reason for this is that this college is owned and operated by the great First Baptist Church of Hammond. Our church has led the nation in soul winning, baptisms, standards, and the training of missionaries and pastors for decades. First Baptist Church is host to the giant annual Pastors' School and Youth Conference.

As pastor and chancellor, I am totally dedicated to keeping this church and this college on the same path as when Brother Hyles was pastor and chancellor. I am committed to the legacy we have been given. If your heart burns and yearns to make a difference in your nation, Hyles- Anderson College may be just the place for you. Come join us and let's save America together!

Enthusiastically yours,

Jack Schaap
Chancellor


Did any of the rest of you find this modern day epistle slightly entertaining? This letter could have been written by Bro. Hyles himself--it is so reminiscent of the kind of "visions of grandeur" that FBCH and HAC are famous for. They are legends only in their own minds and the minds of those who have ed their ministries after them. When I was a part of IFBx this kind of letter would have stirred completely different kinds of emotions--now I read this narcissistic twaddle and I have to wonder how they can keep a straight face while producing and propagating this. Let's take a closer look and see if you notice any false doctrine or aberrant heresy in this letter. I am going to take to the sidelines on this one for a little while--who wants to be first to add their observation? I suppose someone may think this letter is right on the money--that is OK--tell us why you think it is scriptural and accurate.

Not everybody at once now...

Phineas

16 comments:

Justin said...

Thirty-two years later, our founder is in Heaven.

Although it is not explicit here, I am concerned that IFBx and many evangelical churches lean towards gnosticism. That is, there is a concern of the spirtiual, ethereal substance but a lack of care for the material realm. From what I understand in the Bible, the goal of the Christian life is to be resurrected. Paul claims that if Christ has not risen from the grave, then our hope is in vain. Colossians also says that Christ is the first fruits of the resurrection.

It also seems as if the individual is insignificant it is the soul that counts most. I think that IFBx's concept of a soul and eternal life is more platonic than biblical. I really don't know how this happened because I'm sure that none of them have actually read Plato

Where does this eternal immaterial bliss come from in IFBx circles?

OK - I know that I inferred a lot from the quote above, but it just reminded me of the platonic/gnostic mindset of IFBx

maranatha man said...

Little Jackie boy Hyles was the Savior of America. He alone was our "Christian Superman" who could save our country from such destruction. He was to preserve our nation! He was to preserve old-time fundamentalism! He was to bring American back to God!
On his 40th birthday he took hundreds of letters inviting him to preach and shared them with his son. "Doc, what do you think I should do? Miss the ball games and save America or stay home more here in Hammond? Dad, I will give you to America!!!!!"

P.S. He should stayed home with Dave!

Mike Y said...

First of all, I love the pics. Especially that first one.

With all the mention of hearts burning, I'm wondering if they Schaap and others merely had a bad case of heartburn. A little Tagamet could have gone a long way 30 years ago.

Really love the emphasis on standards and soul-winning. Christ frees his people from bondage to the law. Fundamentalism enslaves its people with a man-made law based on outward appearance. Hmm. I think I liked God's laws much better. I think Schaap should re-read Matt 15 and Romans 14.

And on the soul-winning front, I guess God no longer gives the increase. Nice to know it's all their work and that they lead the nation in taking credit for the work of God. Yep! Sign my kids up.

That's all the energy I have for now. I need to pace myself.

Thanks for the post Matthew.

-Mike

BeckyJoie said...

I will have more comments when I have a chance to sit down and analyze the letter apart from an initial emotional response. There was one thing I noticed right up front. Why was Bro. Schaap capitalizing nouns and pronouns related to the U. S. as if deifying them? Besides that, I think you guys needed to put a red cape and blue S on the save America guy, dream man... Or make him someone in a three piece suit walking along the highway in Southern California. How real is that? Back later with many more elaborate comments (yup, they taught me submission alright, LOL)(I'll address that one with a comment,later. Sorry folks. I have alot of comments.)

BeckyJoie said...

Apart from looking for abbhorent teaching or doctrinal error, some of the claims in the letter can be refuted.
1. Hyles Anderson College was started 30 years ago as the fulfillment of the vision of Dr. Jack Hyles.
Response: We are to seek to fulfill God’s plans, not our own visions.

2.His heart burned with a love and a deep concern for the direction his beloved nation was taking.
Response: Apart from sounding corny and mystical-it explains the capitalization of the pronouns referring to America later on in the letter.

3. The United States Supreme Court was permitting the genocide of the unborn infants of this land; the illegal drug culture was at its peak in our public schools;
Response: It still is and it’s gotten worse since the church has isolated itself from the world, rather than living separated in it. Not to mention the carnality that is behind closed doors in the church.

4. and the rock-and-roll culture of rebellion and promiscuity was having a profound influence upon the teenagers of our land.
Response: What has changed? What was really done in these areas by HAC? What laws did they affect? What about the divorce rate and child abuse, spousal abuse and sexually deviant behavior as well as sexual abuse by many of HAC graduates and people in leadership? (Let’s say we exclude those cases which were not proven. Then you can’t say I’m speculating, because I am speaking of specific cases, proven in a court of law, and including those with which I am personally familiar, not just the rumored cases.) My sincere sympathy for all the others who have been unfairly lumped in to this category. I do not hate anyone. I just hate the injustice that has been done and swept under the table in many cases. For those of you who have survived unscathed in that category, I commend you and pray that God will bless you for it.

5. Brother Hyles feared
(I say, fear not, but work and pray)
our country was quickly slipping from the old-fashioned ways upon which She had been founded. He wanted to do what he could to save this nation from the sin and destruction She was bringing upon Herself.
Response: What did he actually do? And who alone has the answers, is our Savior?


6. Walking along a highway in Southern California late one night into the early morning hours of the next day, Bro. Hyles felt God speak to his heart about founding an old-fashioned, sin-hating, Devil-fighting, Christ-honoring Bible college
Response: Does it honor Christ when you isolate and control students so much that they can’t really witness, tell their testimony and live in a way that will cause people to ask the reason of the HOPE that is in them?

7. where the students would dress modestly;
Response: Besides the fact that they go further than the Bible on the modesty issue in some ways but make spectacles of the student drawing attention to them in others, there was too much attention to the outside and not enough to the inside.

8. and act courteously:
Response: You mean like: sending people maneuer and ridiculing sick people who needed to rest instead of going out on bus ministry for one week? You mean like, making fun of other Christians for things that are not related to doctrine? Like sticking your foot in someone’s door and making them listen to you.


9. a college where all the students went soul winning and were trained by soul winners;
Response: Did I miss something? Training? Winning souls? Okay!


10. a college where the chapel pulpit was ablaze with red-hot preaching
Response: You mean screaming? Jokes? Short stories? Umm, Thursday night sessions with girls?

11. a college where authority was respected
Response: Authority? You mean like Big Brother? Yes, it was not only respected but worshipped and abused.

12. and sin was abhorred;
Response: Repentance?

13. a college where young men would be trained to preach with zeal
Response: Ok, I’ll give you this one: lots of ZEAL

14. and knowledge
Response: No, not this one. Limited knowledge of the Bible, grace or historically fundamental doctrine, no knowedge of how to treat people like people.

15. a college where young ladies were taught to be submissive wives
Response:where young ladies were taught to be unbiblically submerged and without opinion, submissive to every man in every situation, even when that man is a repeated womanizer and in flagrant violation of biblical madated behavior of a Pastor, teacher, elder, deacon or husband, including being given to wrath and abusing his wife and children or the children of others. Where the wife is taught to come back for the sake of the ministry, even if it may mean her own life of her children’s lives are at stake.

16. and dedicated servants of God
Response: How can you be a servant of God and a servant of man? There wasn’t a "pray, search the Word and follow the Lord" mentality. It was "pray, ask Hyles or a teacher and follow a man". And certainly never disagree out loud with the man or his followers because of finding a truth in the Bible which contradicts what you are being taught by that man or his followers.


16.Thus was the birthright of Hyles-Anderson College when the doors opened in 1972.
Response: A birthright is aright passed down through a family. Are we talking generational blessing?

17. Thirty-two years later, our founder is in Heaven. He gave us a legacy
Response: Yes, what a legacy!

18. that burns brighter and with more intensity today than it has ever before.
Response:Subjective

19. The soul-winning zeal, the fervent love for the lost,
Response: Do they love the lost? With fervent love even?

20. the evangelistic fervor
Response: for the true Gospel? Or the KJV gospel? Grace? Faith? Works?

21. the red-hot preaching
Response: As in controversial?


22. the old-fashioned standards of decency and propriety
Response: propriety=appropriateness, suitability, righteousness, justice. A rule or code in a sense of what is fitting or proper. ONLY PROBLEM here is who is making the standards? And keeping them?

23. are alive and well here at Hyles-Anderson College.
I believe the chief reason for this is that this college is owned and operated by the great First Baptist Church of Hammond. Our church has led the nation
Response: if any man (or group of men) thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall. Also, who owns what or whom?

24. in soul winning,(persuasion) baptisms,(who's counting?) standards (What are standards doing in the middle of a list of accomplishments which are suppose to say something about doctrine?), and the training of missionaries and pastors for decades. First Baptist Church is host to the giant annual Pastors' School and Youth Conference.
Response: where materialism is paraded and wordly skits are performed, where people are suckered into following Hyles and sending their youth to Hyles.

25. As pastor and chancellor, I am totally dedicated to keeping this church and this college on the same path as when Brother Hyles was pastor and chancellor.
I am committed to the legacy we have been given.
Response: He makes no bones about it. He believes and attempts to practice everything Hyles did.

26. If your heart burns and yearns
Response: Yup, it’s burning and yearning but not for Hyles plan to save the world.

27. to make a difference in your nation, Hyles- Anderson College may be just the place for you. Come join us and let's save America together!
Response: It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s SuperChristian from Washington to Maine.

Enthusiastically yours,

Jack Schaap
Chancellor

Response: Out of at least 25 statements, where is a statement giving God the glory? I rest my case for now.

Chelle Y. said...

Becky, I love your #8. I wanted to be in the deaf ministry so badly, but was pressured into the bus. I enjoyed it to an extent (the kids were precious), but I hated to be made to feel guilty into being in it.

I broke my ankle one time, was on crutches, yet still went out in the snow and ice because I was going to get demerits if I missed it. Crutches, I tell you! Crazy, huh?

reglerjoe said...

Jack Schaap said:
"Our church has led the nation in soul winning, baptisms, standards..."

Actually, when it comes to man-made standards, I think the Amish have that market cornered.

But they didn't baptize 25,000 last year, so I guess they don't count.

Jewish Heart said...

I have one very important question and one somewhat long story.

Question -- How many people are out there who think they are okay but are in reality heading for hell because of folks who teach the easy way to salvation?

OK -- Somewhat long story. I once directed a student ministry at a college. We had a student who would come to the core meetings who we all knew to be lost. I told the kids that he should come because he is obviously searching. One day after the meeting he came up to me to ask me how to get saved. An hour and a half later he asked me if he could "pray the prayer." I told him that he could but it wouldn't mean anything because he wasn't ready. I he needed to go home and think about it because salvation is a commitment that can never be taken lightly. He was worried that he might have a wreck on the way home and I told him to drive careful. Okay ... to make a long story somewhat shorter, a couple of days later he came back to my office and told me that I was right and that he would have just been going through the motions if he had "prayed the prayer" earlier. We talked for another 2 hours and he prayed to receive Jesus. To me that is real witnessing.

BTW, I refused to let him say a "repeat after me" prayer and told him that it needed to be his words from his heart. His prayer wasn't "pretty" but it was real and it is eternal.

End of long story. But at least a good ending.

PT Barnum said...

as much as some would like to think that things are changing for the better in Hammond, I believe public statements like this only prove the opposite. The course for FBCH has been set and it doesn't look like things are ever going to be balanced as they once were before the Hyles era.

I will probably repeat some of what your comments already stated but here goes...

1. I love the beginning of the letter when Pastor Schaap starts right in with the deification of Hyles--"his heart burned with a love and deep concern for his beloved nation" We all know he carried the weight of a nation for nearly half a century. I still remember one of his sermons on Abraham and his intercession for Sodom--he compared himself interceding for America directly to this story. He came to the conclusion that he had spared God's wrath on a few generations by having so many "converts" something like a million souls "saved" under his ministry.

2. Schaap now begins to tug at the traditionalists' heart strings with some hot button political and cultural topics. Abortion, sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll! Typical fare for the champion of the cultural fundamentalists! Brother Hyles cared deeply for the teens and young people all across the fruited plain--Bro Hyles HAD to do something!!!! What would an Almighty and Sovereign God do without his help???

3. I love the next part about Hyles out late one night obviously having an all night prayer session--God spoke to him in the wee hours of the morning and impressed him to start a Bible college!

4. The next part places everything in a nutshell--if you want a college built upon "soulwinning", red hot preachin', dresses on women, and wild fanaticism, HAC is the place for you!

5. Thirty-two years later, our founder is in Heaven. He gave us a legacy that burns brighter and with more intensity today than it has ever before. The soul-winning zeal, the fervent love for the lost, the evangelistic fervor, the red-hot preaching, the old-fashioned standards of decency and propriety are alive and well here at Hyles-Anderson College.

Doesn't this paragraph just about say it all? Truly amazing.

6. The rest of the letter is simply more of the same bragging and glorification of man. Absolutely no mention of Christ except for some token references that any unbiased observer would discount immediately. The most important thing in Hammond is legacy building by those in authority--they proclaim themselves experts and leaders because they have two gigantic circuses every year in March and July! I for one am thankful that my God doesn't need the "church growth experts" in Hammond to accomplish His purposes and see lives changed! I pray that Schaap and Hammond will turn from their man-centered ways and repent of their false teachings, but as long as they do not B&C will be here to call them out!

Matthew

Ryan DeBarr said...

HAC opened it's doors in 1972.

The Supreme Court allowed abortion in 1973.

PT Barnum said...

Ryan,

Another reader called me yesterday with the same comment--I did not catch it but you certainly did! You have to understand that these are the same people who think everyone from Paul to the Pilgrims had a KJB in their hands!

Matthew

PT Barnum said...

jewish heart: Question -- How many people are out there who think they are okay but are in reality heading for hell because of folks who teach the easy way to salvation?

Matthew: You hit the nail on the head with that one. Personally I think most of those who partake of the 1-2-3 pray after me business do not remember it 2 days afterwards. That being said there are no doubt many numbers of people who believe they know Christ and have no fruit to back it up. Sadly, many of these are children of church members who made a "profession" as a young child and never truly accepted Christ as their LORD and Savior. I grew up with and knew scores like this from Hammond and it is heartbreaking.

Matthew

Ken Fields said...

I heard Jack Hyles preach once...and that red hot, zealous preaching went something like this...

"Hi, my name is Jack Hyles, and tonight, I'd like to tell you who I am and all I've done..." He then proceeded to do so ... for the next 1 1/2 hours.

If that's the red-hot, zealous boasting Jack Schaap calls preaching, let us remember this: the road to hell is paved with red-hot, zealous, Christ-less preaching.

This is the kind of red-hot, zealous preaching that led people to believe in Jack ... and not in Jesus.

Remo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Judson boy said...

1972 was the year, the Texas StRangers era began (still winless in the postseason). '72 was a bad year.

It could have been worse. The StRangers could be in the Nasty League.

James Spurgeon said...

Quoth the mountain man, He should (have) stayed home with Dave!

Lol Amen!

About that letter, I just have one thing to say about that. I wish I were so close to God that he would speak directly to me the way he did to Jack. That's all I have to say about that.

(BTW, Did this dude really make fun of charismatics?)