Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Fundamental Gimmickry

Mike Hess and I (Phineas) attended Hyles-Anderson College at the same time during the early 1990's. We did not know each other very well during those years since I was an off campus student and he was living in the dorms. We both worked in the bus ministry--he worked on the Chicago routes and I worked on the local "A" bus routes in East Chicago. We became re-acquainted over the last year through the Sharper Iron website--I am so glad that we have been able to share some wonderful fellowship and look forward to much more of the same for many years to come. Mike used to share blog duties at "The World From Our Window" and now has his very own blog called, "Extreme Fundamental Makeover". I asked him when we first started if he would make a guest post for us here at Bread and Circuses and he graciously accepted our invitation--so without further adieu, enjoy!

"When one does not adhere to the doctrines of grace you are forced to allow your methodology to transform your theology. Hence, we have First Baptist Church of Hammond and Hyles-Anderson College. To this day, they lead the world with their pragmatic "“do anything for numbers" tactics.

It was a summer day in 1996 shortly after I had been married. I was called into Ray Young'’s office (then bus director) and was to be asked to be a division leader. A division leader was the highest position that any student at HAC could hold as a non-staff member. Having been totally enamored with position and loyalty, thanks to a steady dose of that teaching being pumped into me every day of the week for two years now, I would do anything that the "“man of God" told me to do. I accepted the call to duty and became director of nearly ten different bus routes on the south side of Chicago. Ready to take on the world and get Bro. Hyles'’ attention, I was eager to find new and innovative ways to coerce people to ride our buses and win the latest gimmicky contest that displayed the glory of man and his ability to impress God by not being "“mediocre"”. I had already won trips to Gatlinburg TN, the Canadian Boundary Waters, and several other keepsakes that were once owned by Young and Hyles (e.g. suits and ties). This kind of sounds like the methods that were used during the early apostolic church period to encourage Christians who were being tortured and beaten to death for their faith in Christ…..right???



Now began the numbers race. I would do anything that I could to win over the respect and admiration of Young, Hyles, and the rest of my college cohorts. One of the main tactics used by those at HAC is motivation by recognition. Those who "“produce"” numbers are the ones who are elevated to the status of rock star and celebrity. Here are some examples of what Young told me in regards to my new position:

"You are being brought on to produce. You have produced in the past and that is what is expected of you now."” Now I wonder...Produce what??? People who are passionate followers of the Lord Jesus Christ or people who are simply another "notch in my belt"?

"The attendances need to grow in an immediate time frame."” Now I wonder...Why? To produce Christ-like holiness in the lives of those who ride the buses? Which is more important numerical growth or the growth of Christian fruit in the lives of God's people?

"There should be no question as to where your loyalty resides in regards to Bro. Hyles. Your division and your loyalty personally should be public and intentional."” Nothing about uplifting, exalting, and treasuring Christ--that took second place to lord Jack--always has and still does at FBCH.

"Make sure that special attention and rewards are given to those who produce."



Much of this was during our campaign to baptize 10,000 converts (circa 1995-96). I now see that this has been more than doubled by Pastor Schaap. I shudder to think about some of the methods that have been used to coerce this number of unsuspecting souls to enter the baptistery waters without any grasp whatsoever of the Gospel. In order to accomplish these kinds of goals, Hyles and Young would call for "Baptism Saturdays"”. These were Saturdays where we would go into the African-American neighborhoods in Chicago (blacks were not allowed to ride the buses on Sundays--only on secluded bus routes that came in the afternoon when most of the church was gone). Normally, we would rent a black church on the south side of Chicago with a baptistery and use it to baptize scores of black children. This would produce several thousand baptisms a year. These would also be included in the count that went out nationally at Pastor’s' School and would also be added to the 100,000 member church roll. Sounds like a good way to go about doing church, right? Sounds like the pattern laid out in the New Testament, huh?

I wonder how many of those 10,000 people who were baptized that year can tell me the name of one deacon at that church today. I would venture to say less than a dozen of these 10,000 could. What about the 25,000 who were baptized last year? The saddest part about this is the fact that I once fell for this hook, line, and sinker. Why? Was it for the glory of God? Was it for the pursuit of personal holiness to the glory of Christ? Was it for the glory of Christ to be spread to the far reaches of the Chicagoland area? No...simply put (and I take personal responsibility for this) it was all for the praise of man and the recognition of others. This was our motivation and the tactics used by the abusive leadership at HAC to produce their "“numbers"” and to get their recognition for the glory of Jack--nothing more and nothing less."

Mike Hess
Extreme Fundamental Makeover

44 comments:

reglerjoe said...

Mike,

You were certainly a more "impessive" bus captain than I was! I won squat. I totally failed to impress God

I've got a similar story about Saturday baptism services that I think you'll [ahem] enjoy.

It's coming soon to a big orange truck near you.

(Matt or Josh, if that was a shameless plug, feel free to delete my sorry self!)

PT Barnum said...

I wouldn't think of deleting that plug--I enjoy gallivanting around town in the back of your big orange truck at least a few times a week! Just be sure to keep it greasy side down!

Matthew

Don Fields said...

As enlightening as these stories are, they continue to sadden me more and more every time I read them.

Mike Hess said...

Sad yes, but not outside of the sovereignty of God. His purposes are still good.....even if one has to go through years of abuse at HAC.

These stories that many of us share are just the tip of the iceberg.

James Spurgeon said...

So how many are they baptizing at FBCH now? As hard as it is to believe, Hammond actually had more integrity than Longivew when it came to baptism numbers at least while Hyles was still alive. Has that now gone out the window? I always thought that if Hammond played by the same rules as Longview that Hammond would trounce its young upstart down south.

Good stuff.

PT Barnum said...

they baptized over 25,000 in 2005. I still cannot figure out how they can do that and still rope off sections of the balcony in the new stadium. You would think that they would be busting at the seams and need a joint like Osteen's! Not sure what their goal is for 2006 but suffice is to say that it will be over whatever the tallied in '05.

Matthew

Remo said...

Is this blog set up so that we may receive an E-Mail when a new post or topic is made? It would be a great help if that feature were available.

PT Barnum said...

Remo,

Let me check that out--I receive an email but I think it is because I am the benevolent dictator here. Maybe you could stop taking such a wide berth around Ken Christenson at church and ask him about this matter!

Matthew

Remo said...

Mike:

You may have shed SOME things Hammond, but appear to have retained that 'Us vs. Them' mentality, as my impression of your OP is that if one does not completely buy into your comparatively new-found freedom, he is fit for nothing but the dung hill. I hope and pray that I have misread your intent in condemning each and every member of FBCNWI (as well as all other non-calvinists) to Hell for not adhering to the "doctrines of grace." due to their transformed (say deficient) theology. It seems to me, all things being equal, Brother Ray would be proud.

Mike Hess said...

Remo,

Your prayer has been answered and it is also apparent that you have misunderstood what I have posted especially in regards in condemning certain people to hell. This was not a "broad brushed" caricature of FBCH and HAC. I still have friends associated with FBCH who love the Lord dearly. However, you know as well as I do that only facts were stated in my post. When your soteriology is laced in a "whats in it for me" mentality you erase God out of the equation and end up with nothing more than a man centered numbers game.

By God's grace though, I really could care less if Ray would be proud of me or not. Nevertheless, I do hope that he is a bit more of an example than nothing more than an intimidating figurehead that promotes man worship.

Have a fabulous day.

Mike

Joshua R said...

A few things: first, sobering indeed was your statement Mike about clamoring for prizes including but not limited to trips of a lifetime and wardrobe items having formerly belonged to the Drs. Hyles or Young. I still remember being awestruck as Matt brought home a necktie he had won that once had adorned Bro. Hyles' neck...!

Mike, you have provided the B & C audience with some substantial food for thought with your vivid snapshot of the "B" bus ministry at FBCH/HAC.

I must say that I love the illustrations for this post. How befitting.

Joshua R said...

Don,
Your described ultimate reaction to Bread and Circuses is what is intended. Our earnest desire is that some within man-centered IFBx would see the pronounced errors and seek Christ-centered preaching and ministry.

Remo, we are attempting to keep a new post coming at least every week. As Christian laymen, Matt and I can only do so much to keep this blog afloat. If you check back every 4-6 days, you should see a new item.

PT Barnum said...

Mike,

I love your post and had similar experiences at HAC/FBCH. I do not think that just because HAC/FBCH does not adhere to the doctrines of grace that this causes them to be anthropocentric pragmatists. I do not deny that it may contribute to this, but I know of many who do not preach Calvinism who are Christ-centered and true to the Word. I would have thought exactly that if I had not come into contact with my current pastor and other solid expository preaching pastors among the historic IFB. You are certainly entitled to your perspective, but I would not want to lump the church I attend into the same lump as FBCH simply over the doctrines of grace.

Matthew

PT Barnum said...

Remo,

I can understand your angle on the post. I do believe that if you would simply disregard the very first paragraph, you would agree with most of the other observations. Do you deny the general tenor of ministry in Hammond as described by our brother? Is the philosophy of ministry in Hammond misrepresented by Mike's post? I honestly don't agree with the way the first paragraph reads, but I cannot deny the fact that I had very similar experiences during my twentysome years at FBCH. Have we completely misunderstood business as usual at HAC/FBCH?

Matthew

Mike Hess said...

Matthew,

Thanks for the response. I think the main point that I was trying to make was the fact that the "God factor" is really taken out of the equation in the evangelism methods used at FBCH/HAC. I also think that you would agree that a faulty soteriology that puts the onus on man and a misunderstanding of man's ability will also lead to a misguided approach to evangelism as well.

Nevertheless, if one does not agree with the first paragraph (and they are entitled to disagree) they would still be hard pressed to find theological justification for the nonsense that still goes on there in regards to their man-centered approach to ministry.

Keep up the good work!

Mike

PT Barnum said...

Mike,

I do agree that FBCH is man-centered to the core. The only thing that I thought was that there are pastors and churches out there that are solid Bible preaching churches that would not consider themselves "reformed". I do see your point that when a church or ministry is man-centered typically they fall on the "not reformed" side of the aisle. I just wanted to make the distinction between where I am and the anthropocentric philosophy of ministry that Hammond espouses. Great post and keep up the good work over at "Extreme Fundamental Makeover!"

Matthew

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

MR

Remo,

Let me check that out--I receive an email but I think it is because I am the benevolent dictator here. Maybe you could stop taking such a wide berth around Ken Christenson at church and ask him about this matter!


My nickname is pariah, I am not worthy.

JR

Remo, we are attempting to keep a new post coming at least every week. As Christian laymen, Matt and I can only do so much to keep this blog afloat. If you check back every 4-6 days, you should see a new item.

Thank you, it is hard for an old coot to remember how many responses were made to a particular post, it would just be so much easier if I didn't have to see Coyote busting my chops everytime I look for a new post.


MR

Remo,

I can understand your angle on the post. I do believe that if you would simply disregard the very first paragraph, you would agree with most of the other observations. Do you deny the general tenor of ministry in Hammond as described by our brother? Is the philosophy of ministry in Hammond misrepresented by Mike's post? I honestly don't agree with the way the first paragraph reads, but I cannot deny the fact that I had very similar experiences during my twentysome years at FBCH. Have we completely misunderstood business as usual at HAC/FBCH?


I only made it to bus captain in my trek through HAC, a whole generation ago. I could never "merit" the position of Division Leader, even though I also somewhat "put out" the numbers in D Sunday School, where my route won several prizes for having the largest number of riders in the olden days before all the inbreeding. 8-) I never had the personality or the hiney-kissing expertise that most of the Division Leaders were required to exhibit, being mostly a loner and troublemaker. I have been on the HAC campus approximately 5 times since 1981, therefore I can only look at the alleged "abuse" described by your friend as one perspective of the big picture. I believe that he paints with the wide brush and even though some complaints possibly have merit, there is no middle ground, no way to come to any type of agreement or consensus, it is Mike's way or the highway. I know him only through the internet, therefore I am probably misjudging the whole situation, perhaps he thought that only the 'Attaboy' crowd read this blog and went somewhat overboard with the hyperbole or maybe I am 100% (excuse me) wrong, but when he says of the 25,000 people baptized at FBCNWI last year, "it was all for the praise of man and the recognition of others." I find that to be slightly over the top.

Jeff said...

I often wonder if HAC and FBC were used of God to open up the eyes of many to the Reformed faith. Not directly, of course. God in His sovereignty let us experience firsthand the extreme abuses of Finneyism in order to direct us to the sane, inescapable facts of Calvinism.

As a youth I sat watching many of the things you described on "big days" unfold, and watched the hundreds baptised. I was too young a stupid to put my finger on it, but something inside told me that "this isn't right". As I matured in the Scriptures and experience, the truth of Reformation theology hit me like a ton of bricks, and I was able to say "that's why!".

May God deliver many hundreds more to the simplicity of speaking the truth and allowing God to give the increase.

Mike Y said...

Mike,

Great post!

When I first got to North Valley in 1992 I was amazed at what I found. Prior to arriving, I was a southern Baptist who was very centered on studying and teaching and preaching. I had belonged to the 2nd largest church in Jacksonville FL and was very likely to be sent to seminary and picked up on staff. But God saw fit to move me to Cal.

When I discovered North Valley, it had to have been during a bus campaign. I can recall various bus captains standing up and giving testimony regarding how many were saved on their routes that day.

I was so impressed by the massive number of "converts" that I was completely taken in. All I ever wanted, since becoming a Christian, was to see converts for Christ. Back in Jacksonville, I used to go out with my friends and preach outside bars and on the beach and wherever we could get an audience.

But over time, God opened my eyes to some things. Most of the "converts" never stuck. They'd eventually turn back to their old ways, but worse. This was God's way of making the Parable of the Sower understood in my life.

And it didn't stop there. We had some prominent bus captains at our church. One was the treasurer for our church. His family befriended me when I first arrived and was like my own family. Over time, he neglected his family for his routes and eventually left his wife and family. His goal was to personally lead 10,000 to Christ. What happened?

I can recall our top bus captains. This was a husband and wife team that really left folks in the dust. They were the envy of all the other captains. This was until the wife had an affair with her daughter's husband. The two eventually married as the daughter had a mental breakdown and as the wife's original husband disappeared into obscurity. What happened?

Such accounts keep coming to mind. These no longer seem like the exception, but the rule.

Remo, I can also understand the concern of emphasizing the doctrines of grace. Personally, there are many names/labels I don't care for. And there are many who profess to adhere to the same doctrines as me, who I wish to have no association with.

But, there is ultimately a manifestation of doctrine that comes out of my experiences and out of those at HAC/FBC. "Not everyone who says unto me Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but they which do the will of my father which is in Heaven."

Now, I'm not suggesting the whole crowd is damned to hell because they are fundamentalists or because they run bus routes. But I do believe the environment has taken infertile ground and made a safe haven for tares. All the tares have to do to receive praise and to be noted as ultra spiritual is adhere to "standards" and drive numbers. Forget doctrine. Forget understanding. Forget Christ's mandates concerning love towards God, neighbors, brothers and enemies.

I wish it weren't like this. And I agree that God has a purpose in all of this. I believe he had a purpose in re-locating me 3000 miles away and depositing me into this lifestyle.

When Christ spoke to those around him, he illustrated much doctrine through the use of parables. This is not much different for us. We're not declaring any new doctrine. But hopefully our eyes are opened to the inconsistencies and we can illustrate doctrine to those around us, because we understand their mindset.

I am no fan of bashing individuals or this group vs. that group. Even before becoming a Christian I was a fan of letting folks establish themselves by their own example. I fight the temptation to stereotype and any of you can rebuke me when you see me lapse.

It would be great if we can continue to take these memories and experiences and evangelize with love those who are misled. I believe this blog is trying to do that. The tone never seems to reach a point of contention and hatred that would cause the hairs on my neck to stand up, though some of the accounts told do cause me to cringe just a bit.

Keep it up and thanks for your unique ministry!

-Mike (the other one)

Mike Hess said...

Remo,

It is unfortunate that you look at the facts to be "slightly over the top" and paint with a broad brush those who were ever division leaders or who are today. Troubling....very troubling. Nevertheless, I do hope we can come to a common ground on many of the problems with the methods used at HAC/FBCH and the manipulation involved to achieve their man centered goals.

Mike,

Thank your comments. It seems to be the common denominator that once people look beyond the surface of the numbers and hysteria you find that much has been neglected, especially in light of family ministry and in regards to the children whose parents have basically been enlisted to build empires. So many of us share similar stories in regards to being set free from the nonsense that we lived through in our years of hysteric fundamentalism.

Mike

liveforhim said...

I

liveforhim said...

I joined this stupid website just to tell you all how hilarious it is that you have so much time to talk about Bro. Hyles and Bro. Schaap.

What is so bad about winning people to Christ.

Where in the REAL KJV Bible does it say that you can't tell little kids that they will have fun at chuch and get candy???

Yeah, it's not in there.

Brother Hyles had a compassionate soul to tell everyone about Jesus, because his daddy went to Hell, he always said I will everyone I know about Jesus so no ones family has to go to Hell.

I think thats an amazing statement.

If you guys think it's so bad to win people to Christ for numbers, I doubt you win ANYONE to Christ.

Your too BUSY critizing FBC and HAC for doing right, you SHOULD be doing the same thing.

HAC is the best college in the world, I found that out by myself, I want to be trained by a church who won 25,000+ people to the Lord this past year.

When we all get to Heaven we will see the rewards we will get for sacrificing our lives to win the lost for Christ.

You just keep being critical of HAC AND FBC, but just remember your not runnning 10,000 on Sunday mornings.

Mike Y said...

liveforhim,

I think evangelism is a great thing and I have taken strong stands against churches who don't actually practice it. Having said that, the false gospel being preached out of such passionate and tender hearts is blatantly wrong. That's what I oppose.

No matter how good your motive may seem, it is wrong to sow tares amongst the wheat. The scriptures make it clear that while we may plant or water, Christ raises the wheat. But Matthew makes very clear that it's the enemy that sows the tares in the middle of the night.

So, I'm sorry to see yet another take such issue with this position. But your position is not a new one. I have every bit of confidence that you would take issue with Christ or the apostles if they walked among us.

-Mike

Mike Hess said...

liveforhim,

A few questions:

How long have you been going to HAC? Last I checked, both Matthew and Josh grew up there and would probably now a bit more about that place than you would. Also, I spent nearly five years there as well.

Do you know anyone who had ever gone soul winning with Hyles in the past twenty years??? Was he personally going out visiting?

Do you really think that running 10,000 in Sunday School is the litmus test for being a "great man of God"? If so, both Schapp and Hyles are far behind Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, and Bill Hybles.

How do you assess HAC being the best college in the world? Oh I know, we have "more, more, more, and more". But sooner or later you are going to have to back up that nonsense with facts.

One thing I am encouraged about though, that you have actually taken the time to read this blog. I pray that you read it objectively and honestly.

Also, I was wondering if you could help me locate the real KJV Bible when you get a chance. It has been revised so many times I'm having trouble locating the real one. I'm not trying to be sarcastic here, I just want you to take an HONEST look at what you are writing and step off of your night bus for a little bit and wake up to reality.

Have a fabulous day.

Mike

Mike Y said...

I have no idea what the Real KJV is either. I thought I was doing a fair thing by referring to the Stephanus Text of 1550.

Live4him, I'm not sure if you're familiar with it or not. It's the first textus receptus, which was used in the creation of the 1611 KJV. The textus receptus referred to by Mr. Bill O' Grady (What God Hath Wraught) didn't come into existence for more than 20 years after the 1611.

Like Mike Hess, I'm glad you took the time to join and read the blog. Unlike Mike, I would be more encouraged if you spent just that amount of time to be like a Berean and search the scriptures to find truth. If you desire to remain in darkness, then please read 1John. Or read Matt 7. Both speak of those who profess to know Christ but who walk in darkness. I don't mean to be mean (that sounds weird), but I prefer to be frank with you.

Like I've said on other posts, I'm all for being zealous. But if you can't be rebuked by scriptures, you're probably not a child of God.

Take care,

Mike

1Tim 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

PT Barnum said...

live4him,

Glad to have you here under the big top! I trust that you will duck back in from time to time and read some of our posts. I was once like you in that I became offended anytime someone had a criticism of Hyles and FBCH--after a couple of years of Biblical exposition the LORD brought me to repent of my man-worship. This blog is for you to voice your opinion and I am so glad that you have done that--something you cannot do at FBCH. I respect your opinion but disagree with your reasoning in regards to FBCH and HAC. I pray that the LORD would bless you and be glorified through the ministry He has entrusted you with.

To the praise of His glorious grace,

Matthew Richards

James Spurgeon said...

Remo wrote: Thank you, it is hard for an old coot to remember how many responses were made to a particular post, it would just be so much easier if I didn't have to see Coyote busting my chops everytime I look for a new post.

What else are Coyotes for?

James Spurgeon said...

Speaking of busting chops . . .

liveforhim, you didn't join this "stupid website." You can't join this website. You can, however, register with blogger in order to post on this website, which is what you did. So if you didn't even know that, do you have any business calling anyone else stupid?

As for how much time anyone has to post about FBC Hammond, I'm sure these guys have about as much time to do that as you do coaxing prayers out of adolescents in exchange for candy. However, what these guys do actually benefits the kingdom of heaven, as opposed to what you do.

Sam H. said...

Matt, et. al. at the bigtop...
thanks for the posts on HAC. I wish no harm upon other Christians, but I do pray that Hylesism, and anything related to that style of revivalism (NOT genuine revival) will continue plunging into a death spiral. A concurrent prayer is that while the ship sinks, God will enlighten many eyes within that movement, bringing true Christians out, and bringing duped ones to Himself in true faith.

Keep up the good work!

Joshua R said...

live4him,

I state this sincerely---thanks for visiting B & C. You are as welcome to post your opinions as the rest of us are.

Question: who implied that there was anything wrong with Biblical witnessing/soulwinning? If you wish to refute the post, you will have to be more specific.

Please visit us again!

liveforhim said...

Bro. Hyles is in heaven so why are you bashing him and his ministry.

And just a question. What good comes out of this website? My REAL KJV says in I Corinthians 10:31 "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." And your website is not glorifying to God.
Thank very much for your concern about my salvation. I am 100% sure that heaven is my home when I die. I think I should be sure of my salvation since I've won over a thousand people to the Lord. That would be a good thing to know.

Just because you didn't fit in HAC doesn't mean that you should try to turn anyone else away. They're sending out thousands of missionaries a year. Oops I forgot you hate those numbers but it's reality. We are living in a world that has 6,000,000,000+ people living in it that we are commanded to win by the time Jesus comes back so think about those numbers next time you win someone to the Lord.
If you were trying to impress Bro. Ray than YOU were wrong but that church doesn't worship man nor does the college. Let me ask you a question. Is it wrong to think that Michael Jordan is a good basketball player or for a little boy to say that he is his hero. No one is worshiping Bro. Hyles they simply love him and respect him as their HERO! If you have something bad to say about HAC, FBCH, Bro Hyles, Bro Schaap, etc. than let them know you have a problem with them because that is what the Bible commands us to do. You are doing the oposite of what the Bible says. Instead of taking your problem to the person that offended you, you are gossiping about them. And that is wrong!!! Plus he is a man of God and I am sure that he has in some way influence many of you.

I didn't find this website on purpose. I was trying to find Bro. Hyles written sermon notes so that I could read them to encourage me while I am sitting in my wicked school.

By the way I am not at HAC yet but my youth pastor graduated from there and I'm sure he knows who all of you are and would be very dissapointed in you all. Not only as HAC students but also as "men of god". But we can see where your loyalty is!!! And just so ya'll know I can't wait til I go to HAC and I probably have learned more from them than you people who went their 2,3,4,5+ years!

HacerMan said...

It is unfortunate that you look at the facts to be "slightly over the top" and paint with a broad brush those who were ever division leaders or who are today. Troubling....very troubling. Nevertheless, I do hope we can come to a common ground on many of the problems with the methods used at HAC/FBCH and the manipulation involved to achieve their man centered goals.


Mie frend Remoe dont understand whut you rote in that paregraf to anser his gripin abot yer orijinel postie. Culd yu PLEESE talk inn Americun??? (There can bee onlie wun)

Mike Hess said...

liveforhim,

Can you honestly reconcile the recent chapel messages that are posted on the HAC website with what you said about people not worshipping man at HAC? Ray Young recently bragged about the fact that when anyone used to ask him a question he would always refer to this - "bro. Hyles always says, or, let me ask bro. Hyles to see what he has to say about this". Boy, that is really in line with a Scriptural approach to counseling.

Face it my friend, your world is a world of idolatry and gimmicks. Another question - Have you EVER seen Ray Young out personally soul winning before? What about Hyles before he died? Do you know of anyone in your church that was PERSONALLY led to the Lord by Hyles and discipled by him?

In regards to what good this website is doing.....it has obviously captured your attention as well. I know as well as anyone, as a former gimmick driven bus worker, that this could be one step down a long road to discovering the real truth about hysteric fundamentalism.

Have a fabulous day.

Mike

James Spurgeon said...

Hey liveforhim, you should know that these guys here at this blog are just bitter and jealous. They couldn't hack it at HAC and they haven't won as many souls as you have. That's why they spend all day every day here trying to poison the waters of worldwide salvation emanating from the throne of Hammond.

Thousands of missionaries every year? Wow. That number is so amazing and these Hammond people are so godly and I'm so gullible that I'm not even going to check it out factually before declaring that Jack Hyles and Jack Schaap are sure to have their own Jack museum at 101 W. Gold Boulevard in New Jerusalem, Heaven 77777.

In fact, those numbers you spouted off as evidence of your and your church's supreme spiritual superiority have convicted me so badly that I'm not even going to check the Bible to see if you are right in what Hammond is doing or preaching. You MUST be right and the Bible is not even necessary on this one. THE NUMBERS PROVE IT ALL.

(slaps self on forehead)

How could I not have seen it? How could anyone not see it?

JackSchaap said...

liveforhim,

Keep up the good work and be sure to come to HAC when you are done with HS. We are looking for some young preacher boys who will help us save America! Where could you get better training for the gospel ministry than right here in Hammond at the headquarters of fundamentalism? You will see hundreds saved and baptized every week and be a part of the inner workings of the greatest church since the days of Pentecost! Don't listen to these compromisers and bitter folk--just stay true and loyal to the old paths of the fundamentalism that my father-in-law gave his life for. The Blood, the Book, and the Body--three to thrive!

Dr. Jack Schaap

Mike Hess said...

jackschaap,

I believe that is exactly what we are trying to do here - "stay true to the old paths of fundamentalism". If you recall, it wasn't until the movement was hijacked that being a fundamentalist came down to "how many did you have baptized", "how many did have down the aisle", or "are you KJB only"?

Yeah, that sounds a lot like the early pioneers of the fundamentalist movement. I see sayings like that all over J. Gresham Machen's "Christianity and Liberalism" (yeah right!). I also find it amusing that whenever anyone even questions what a mere mortal at HAC would say about anything (I understand most of the teachers now are young graduates - not seasoned pastors) we all of a sudden become ineffective and bitter because we do not succomb to the manipulative man worship techniques that have been so effective to the unsuspecting for years in Hammond.

Please keep reading Jack! Welcome aboard and we look forward to continuing this dialogue in the future.

Have a fabulous day.

Mike

JeanSheaffer said...

Howdy boys and girls! A teenage Sunday School student clued me in on this intriguing web site. She won’t be visiting your blog again so she will never post. On the other hand, I will not waste an opportunity to defend those I love.

First of all, you are attacking my faith. I believe the Preacher outlined what he meant by old-fashioned fundamentalism - a common faith in the Blood, the Book and the Body. (Were you not so long time with us and know not these things?) We plant with this faith, we water with this faith and God’s blesses with the increase. Maybe we see more increase because we plant more and water more than some. (God does have some laws of reciprocity that even unsaved scientists will admit exits in the universe. They do however, use numbers to hypothesize, test, and prove these laws. So, maybe that is not an argument that we can allow here. We will have to leave that to an advanced physics class in Heaven.)

We at First Baptist Church are blessed to see hundreds of people every week bow their head and with their own lips ask Jesus to be their Savior. I am a name-taker at the altar of our church and have been so for almost twenty years. Every time someone comes forward, the assistant Pastor asks why they’ve come. The convert tells them. If a worker offers the information for the convert, the alter worker will ask the convert, “Is that right?” They sit down. I approach them and ask them if they have trusted Jesus as their Saviour. I ask them when they trusted Christ. The Preacher reads their name. They stand in front of a couple thousand people while the Preacher tells the people what they’ve done. Another alter worker approaches them and congratulates them. Baptism is explained carefully and thoroughly. Maybe we should tell these folks that we are not really sure that they “meant it.” We should send them back down the isle past the multitudes of people they just stood in front of to profess Christ as their Savior. We should just tell that bus kid who has the simple faith of a child that he needs to grow up some more and think about it some more. Why, he can’t just say a prayer and ask Jesus in his heart; we need to know that he really, really meant it.

By the way, I am one of those kids who came to church for something fun and trusted Christ after a very, very, very simple and abbreviated plan of the gospel. Upon hearing about baptism, I immediately wanted to get baptized but was told by my parents and the church worker that I needed to be a little older so that they were sure I understood. I remember right where I was when I trusted Christ; I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember going home and crying in my pillow and telling God that I was so sorry I didn’t get baptized. You know, I don’t know who it was that gave the plan of salvation that day. I really don’t care what motivation that worker had for telling me the story of Christ. If he told me how to get saved so that he could go to Jerusalem or win a tie – great! Praise God for a trip to Jerusalem or praise the Lord the worker loved his Preacher enough to want something that belonged to him! (I wanted the birthstone broach my Grandma always wore because I loved her and wanted to feel close to her. I even “acted like a good girl” to please her and try to get it from her. Did this mean that I thought she was God? No, I just had a genuine love for someone.) Oh, but let me refrain from telling heart wrenching, personal stories here! No we shall have none of that! After all, no one else has posted any mellow-dramatic stories about their past experiences on this blog. Why Jesus would never do that either! He wouldn’t use some dramatic story to scare a crowd of people into feeling they are not saved! (Luke 16)

Anyway, back to the Blood, the Book and the Body, which is where we disagree. It is obvious that your belief systems have admittedly been swayed to some degree by the books and the philosophies you so eloquently boast of knowing. Books written by men and for men (kind of man centered don't ya' think?) Oh, but I forgot, it was God that used these men and books to get you away from the other men and books that made you "hysterical" for soul winning. Maybe we should first ask what God thinks of the Blood. I truly do not know what your new heroes think of the Blood; I’ve never read their books. Excuse my ignorance please, but I happen to believe that God has all that I need to believe about the blood in the Bible. Ahhh, now there is the rub! We don’t agree on the Bible. You do not think that your God is able to keep His Word. You think that no matter how man changes it, it still says what God means it to say!? I’m not stupid. I know that words throughout the ages have been updated so that the language is relevant. But I do not believe that God is the author of confusion, I believe I have to adhere to the most undisturbed piece of literature that professes to be the very Words of God. May I ask why you would even regard something as scripture when the text plainly claims to be the words of man? The copyright stamp within the first few pages discloses this fact!
Please don’t get me wrong. I do not pretend that I can undo the scars in your mind with anything I say about the Bible. That is not my purpose. I am never asked by Jesus to try and change your mind. But I am asked by the Captain of the Lord of Hosts to defend His Word.
Main Entry: de·fend
Pronunciation: di-'fend
Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Old French defendre, from Latin defendere, from de- + -fendere to strike; akin to Old English guth battle, war, Greek theinein to strike
transitive senses
1 a : to drive danger or attack away from b (1) : to maintain or support in the face of argument or hostile criticism (2) : to prove (as a doctoral thesis) valid by answering questions in an oral exam c : to attempt to prevent an opponent from scoring at
2 archaic : PREVENT, FORBID
3 : to act as attorney for
4 : to deny or oppose the right of a plaintiff in regard to (a suit or a wrong charged) : CONTEST
5 : to seek to retain (as a title or position) against a challenge in a contest

May I also say a word on behalf of my former Preacher and friend, Bro. Hyles.
First of all, several of you have made comments about his personal soul winning. Bro. Hyles won my grandmother to the Lord. (Here I go with these personal stories again!) He also won the parents of some of my friends. He won his neighbor whom I know as a client. He won my lawyer’s family member. He won a whole family that lives on my bus route. He won one of the baggage checkers at the airport to whom I tried to witness. He won a local waitress to whom I spoke. Those are just the individuals about whom I personally know.

Eleven years ago, we started procedures to adopt a child. My friend and my Pastor, recommended a good local attorney. We also obtained an attorney in the state my daughter was to be birthed. The attorney both worked for a year to secure the adoption. They asked only pathetically small nominal fees for their labors. This year, I found out that Bro. Hyles had footed the bill to both these lawyers. Bro. Hyles was not perfect. He was human. But He was my friend and my Pastor for 16 years. Everyday, my family gets up and reads the Bible together. Everyday, we pray together. Each day we treat each other with the respect and love that only Christ brings to a home. My husband and I both say on a daily basis that it sure is great to have the abundant Christian life! I have a clean house because of Bible truths and principals I have learned. We have our meals together because of the work that God has wrought in our lives. We have the joy of knowing how to share our faith and yes “lead” others to Christ. All because of a Pastor who kept on teaching us the Bible when personal tragedy and enemies could have stopped him! Yes! I defend my Pastor! And if the life I live is all one big lie and mistake, as you would have me believe, then I will go to my grave ignorant and happy! By the way, I have converts that would tell you the exact same thing.

I defend my new Pastor to you. I watch him take different men out soul winning each week. I get to work with him on a regular basis and I know the incredible love he has for the Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible, and for those who call him Preacher. No, he is not perfect because he is human but I do not go around investigating and nit picking peoples Christianity. He is a good man. An excellent husband, father and grandfather who takes time for the people he loves.
He gives of himself and of his goods tirelessly. You know, if anything you say has validity, why not let your God take care of it? Do you actually think that he needs you to do it for Him? According to you, God doesn’t need you to do His soul winning, why would He need you to attack people you know are Christians?

This is the day which the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Therefore, have a fabulous Day!

Mike Hess said...

Jean,

Nice to see you doing the old “Hylesesque” pulling on the emotions of the heart. Having been far removed from that brand of pop-psychology it fails to do anything more than confirming the fact that our warnings about your college and church are valid and should be heeded to.

A few questions – When did we ever say that God did not call us to evangelize? I contribute to two different blogs and I would be happy to allow you to look up all of my entries and you would be hard pressed to find one entry where I alluded to the fact that God did not call us to evangelize. Yes, even Calvinists adhere to the Great Commission and unconditionally believe in worldwide evangelism.

Have you ever asked one convert that you have approached while walking the aisle what the Gospel is? Do they have any clue in articulating the Gospel? Nice try Jean but I’ve walked dozens if not hundreds of people down the aisle of that church and have seen first hand how they were approached. I’ll give some examples – “Did you ask Jesus into your heart?” Or better yet…Ray Young telling me to go and ask several bus kids who had been baptized before if they needed to be baptized again. Here is another one….”Do you love Jesus…then you need to get baptized.” This was done while the baptistery was hidden and the unsuspecting convert did not have the foggiest clue as to what it meant to be baptized by immersion. Let me give you a challenge, go back and ask all of those who were baptized last Sunday in your church what the Gospel is and what the significance of their baptism was. Again, you know as well as I do that it would not even come close to the validity of those being baptized on the day of Pentecost.

Also, your justification for being enamored with man falls way short of being even remotely plausible. Believe me, I’ve been where you have been before and after you get past your subjective emotions you begin to realize that you have been duped by those who paint a picture of themselves that is far from being a real picture of who they are.

In regards to your KJVO gibberish…..you can go ahead and point to the copyright in the front of modern day translations (which I do think that there are good translations and weak translations). If you are going to use that very flimsy defense then you are going to have to point out that the KJV was copyrighted by the monarchy in England. Also, do you really think that Ps. 12:6-7 is a prophecy about the KJV in the English language? Please Jean you know better than that! Also, why was it that Hyles did not jump on this hobby horse until the allegations about him (which he never sufficiently dealt with….I guess he was held to a lower standard when it came to issues of immorality) that he found it so convenient to become the reincarnation of Peter Ruckman? Bottom line, he did that to keep a constituency since the more level headed branch of IFB would have nothing to do with him anymore. Also, to answer your question in regards only having the “words of man”. Do you really think that we said that? Those of us who do not hold to the KJVO nonsense believe that we have a TRANSLATION and not a version that was actually re-inspired in 1611. Also, I noticed that Schaap said a couple of weeks ago that people could be saved from another translation that was not KJV. If that is the case, did he contradict what Hyles said (and I was there when he said it) that you had to have the “incorruptible seed” in order to be saved? Have fun trying to defend yet another inconsistency.

And…..for the record – HAVE A FABULOUS DAY.

Mike

PT Barnum said...

Jean,

Welcome to the second greatest show on earth! I will not respond to your re-run here but suffice is to say that you are certainly a loyal soldier in the FBCH army. Keep up the good work and you just might get an honorary degree or a dorm named after you! You are one funny lady--did you post this same thing thrice?

Matthew Richards

Christina said...

If "liveforhim" and "Jean" only could hear Mike Hess preach and talk to him...hopefully, they would better understand the truth of what he has said herein. He is very serious about winning souls to our wonderful Savior; however, with this desire comes responsibility to not mislead anyone. After all, their eternal soul is at stake. If we give a false security to those who repeat a few words without the repentence and committment to Jesus, we have done a world of "hurt" to them...all to just put "numbers" on a board???? God forbid that I should boast, except in the cross of Christ. I am an OLD Christian, and am learning, learning, learning as I sit under the expository, enthusiastic, "sold-out-to-Jesus" preaching from Mike Hess. Thanks be to God for sending him to our church..all I can say is that God certainly must LOVE us at FBC of Roxana, IL!!
OBTW--have a wonderful day and much joy. "For He has put a song in my heart"
Christina

Mike Hess said...

Just to let you know, the Christina that just posted is not my wife Christina, but a long standing member of the church that I pastor.

Both Christina and her husband are a tremendous blessing to me and my family. Thank you for the kind comments and for taking the time to read this post. Most of the people that I pastor have never even heard the name Jack Hyles before (frankly, I'd like to keep it that way) and have no idea about the harm that hysteric fundamentalism has done. I believe that unless you have personally experienced and lived through something similar to this it will be difficult to comprehend the magnitude of harm that man centered and militant ministries do to individuals and their families along with the local church. I can only pray that this blog along with others can continue to open some eyes and have a lasting impact on those caught up in the clutches of hysteric fundamentalism.

Have a fabulous day!

Mike

JStoty said...

John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

John 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

What is the purpose of this blog? To bash Christians? I believe Christ is ashamed of the way we talk about each other. Are we loving each other like Jesus commanded us?
In spite of how you are treating my pastor, you will always be welcome at First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana.

Jarrod Stotmeister
Proud member of FBC

PT Barnum said...

Jarrod,

Nice hearing from you and I trust that you and your family are doing well. Last time I remember seeing you I believe you were either in junior high or high school. No doubt you are well past that now. I have always thought highly of your father--he has been a good friend to some of my family members even though I never had the opportunity to get to know him very well.

I agree that I can always stand to season my comments more than I do--the flesh has a way of rising to the top more often than I would wish. I have gone to great lengths to maintain things here in a Christ-like spirit although I often come up short in this regard.

We have had vicious comments left on our blog from both sides of the FBC Hammond issue and I have quickly deleted them. I have attempted to speak the truth in love and will continue to do so.

I have a couple questions for you to ponder (if you ever come back to read this blog). Is it possible to disagree with Jack Schaap publicly and still be right with God? Is it possible that FBCH has departed from the orthodox and fundamental belief that the Scriptures were inspired in the originals and not in your KJV? How do you feel when Jack Schaap criticizes Pillsbury Baptist Bible College or other Bible Colleges/Universities? Have you ever written Jack Schaap a note similar to your comments above to us here at Bread and Circuses? You may want to listen carefully to every word, syllable, and consonant of every sermon with an objective mind--you may be pretty busy writing letters to your preacher!

I hope you will come back and see us soon--grab some cotton candy, a soda, and a deep fried twinkie and stay a while!

Matthew