I want to make a brief interjection here and point out a few things that I have been thinking about lately. I know from personal experience that it is easy to blame others when we feel like we have been hoodwinked or misled for any length of time. I have struggled with these very feelings in the past and understand that they are real and it is by God's grace alone that I am no longer in bondage to them. Many of us bought into the IFBx movement and the man-centered ministries that promote it in years past--God is gracious to have shown many of us the errors and directed us to Christ-centered ministries--Praise the LORD!
I have seen many individuals and families move from distant states to Hammond in order to be under "the greatest church since First Baptist of Jerusalem" and the ministry of Jack Hyles. Far too often these same people become disenchanted with many things at FBCH and in the end leave church and following Christ altogether--Northwest Indiana is littered with many of these spiritual corpses. I find this heartbreaking and no doubt the LORD desires to see them come to a saving faith in Him for His glory! We must not throw out Christ when men disappoint us and fall away--if I have learned anything from my time in Hammond it is to ALWAYS keep my eyes on Christ and not on men.
As believers we are responsible for our own actions and/or inactions. We cannot adopt the worldly philosophy of playing the blame game whenever we feel like we have been "burned". I want to make it clear that I hold no bitterness or feelings of hatred towards FBCH, Jack Hyles, or anyone else in their related ministries. We all remember well the story of Joseph and his words to his brothers upon revealing himself to them in Genesis 50 verse 20: "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive." I would not change the fact that I was raised in FBCH for anything--I serve a Sovereign God who had me there for a purpose and I don't need to be able to wrap my 8 ounces of grey matter around all of the reasons right now. I came in contact with some fine and sincere Christian folks at FBCH and HAC--I learned things that I would not have learned anywhere else.
Psalm 145:17 says: "The LORD is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works."
Does God know what He is doing with my life? Does God want us to dwell on past mistakes? Does God want us to blame our decisions on others? Does God want us to seek revenge and waste our days grinding axes? I believe the answers to these questions are obvious in light of the Scriptures. I want to focus the rest of my life on seeking God's glory alone with or without man's approval--every day is full of His grace towards us who are His children.
I believe it was Becky who commented the other day that we need to echo what the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:13-14: "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." I agree wholeheartedly with her and think that this is a great challenge for B&C! The future is bright and full of possibilities when our focus is right--on the LORD Jesus Christ and His glory alone!