Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Well Fed???? Part 1


As a young person I can remember vividly an illustration that Pastor Hyles gave on numerous occasions regarding the Biblical literacy of his parishioners. Here is a brief summary of the story--you will get the gist. A pastor (obviously a BJU or Master's Seminary educated "deeper- lifer") told Bro. Hyles that he basically had a church full of busy Christians who knew very little Bible doctrine--Hyles proceeded to challenge the pastor to a Bible knowledge showdown. Bro. Hyles offered to write up some questions for this other pastor's flock and the other pastor was to do likewise--only one church would be crowned Bible Bowl Champion! Of course the other pastor (he will remain nameless since he probably was invented for this story) declined the challenge and at this point the raucous FBCH Sunday evening crowd would erupt into wild shouts of "Glory!" and "Come on, Preacher!" This was one of my favorite bits that Pastor Hyles would regularly entertain us with.

Fast forward 20 years to 2004--Pastor Jack Schaap is now at the helm of the USS Sibley and he has obviously bought into the bit about FBCH and her "well fed" flock. I was recently thumbing through a book written by Jack Schaap entitled, "Principles of Church Growth", and found some gems that go along perfectly with this idea of IFBxers and their "well fed" and "well watered" congregations. What initially caught my attention was the very first chapter, "Rich, Fat, Salty, Lazy, and Dead". Here are some highlights--this will take a couple of posts:

Pastor Schaap begins with some interesting facts about the Dead Sea also known as the Salt Sea. He points out that this body of water is well fed but does not flow anywhere--apparently this is what causes it to be toxic and unable to sustain life. Pastor Schaap goes on to relate this story to the First Baptist Church of Hammond and the "fact" that she is now and always has been "well fed". On page 10 of his book, Principles of Church Growth, Pastor Schaap writes:

"The congregation of the First Baptist Church of Hammond has been and continues to be well fed. I do not apologize for that statement. I am not ashamed to admit that I am a student of the Bible, I study it diligently, and have been studying and preaching it for nearly 30 years. When I first began teaching at Hyles-Anderson College, my wife can testify to this, there was rarely a night that I went to bed before 1:30 in the morning because I was studying and laboring. With my books all around me, I had no idea that I was gathering into the storage files of my mind the tools necessary to bring to the First Baptist Church congregation the truths that I teach and preach week after week.

I was a student of Brother Hyles and other good men. I love good books. I have been a reader of good books and a student of good men for these nearly 30 years that I have been in the ministry...I say all of that to say this: First Baptist Church was well fed by Brother Hyles. First Baptist Church continues to be well fed from the pulpit--that is important to me. I work hard at it. I want the First Baptist Church congregation to be well fed, and they will continue to be well fed."

Those of you who currently attend or have attended FBCH in the past--would you agree with Pastor Schaap's unbiased assessment? I certainly do not listen to every message preached at FBCH, but judging from the sermons I have recently listened to his statements are somewhat curious. Part 2 will tell us how Pastor Schaap comes to this conclusion and what his definition of a "well fed" church actually is.

TO BE CONTINUED...

Phineas

Philippians 1:9-11 ESV "And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."

9 comments:

Mike Y said...

Well, they may in fact be "well" fed. We're on vacation and opted to drive three days to Corpus Christi rather than fly, like we did last year. It's a joy seeing the country side.

Now, each time we stopped to refuel the truck, we picked up one snack. By the time we got to the final stop for the evening, my son wasn't very hungry. Why? Well, he was well fed. In fact, he was full. (Side note, this was only the first day of driving. I learned on the other ones.)

The problem was my son was full on garbage-- so much so that there was no room for good food.

This is probably a poor analogy because I'm trying to tie a worldly account to the scriptures. But I hope my point gets across.

I do not doubt for a second that Schaap is a well intentioned man, and possibly even a good man. But to study junk, devoid of doctrine, does not necessarily nurish the flock.

-Mike

Anonymous said...
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Mike Hess said...

Matthew,

We both know that they are fed a steady and nutritious diet of sensationalism, fabulous personal illustrations, and emotionalism. Only problem is that does not add up to preaching the "whole counsel of God". How is it that one can preach for an hour and preach nothing but psychology and philosophy which adds up to nothing more than a pep rally of sorts.

It has become obvious with the posts that have been posted here on this blog that many FBCH people have a difficult time defending their unscriptural positions. Please do not get me wrong, while at HAC/FBCH I did have a close relationship with the Lord and rarely ever missed any days without spending a substantial amount of time in the Word. However, it was my time in the Word that showed me that I was not being fed doctrine and substance.

This does not mean that I was wiser or more brilliant than anyone else...rather it is a testimony to God's wonderful grace.

Have a fabulous day!!!

Mike

BeckyJoie said...

pork and beans anyone?

PT Barnum said...

Mikes,

You both are correct. In part 2 we will focus in on why Schaap thinks his flock is so well fed--it is nothing more than junk food. I enjoyed the analogy and think it fits very well--kids eat what their parents provide and church members eat what their pastors provide. I believe that there is such a diconnect between a Biblical philosophy of ministry and what goes on in Hammond--many do not even realize the junk they are being fed every week. Let's continue to pray that these strongholds will be brought down! God bless.

Matthew

PT Barnum said...

Becky,

Do they even serve pork and beans at the circus? I was thinking along the lines of a big fat elephant ear and a large lemon freeze!

Matthew

Chelle Y. said...

Actually, I could go for one of those lemon freezes. It's pretty hot here in Corpus Christi. :-)

Mike Y said...

Ugh! My wife did it to me again and stayed logged in under her name. That last one was really from me.

Mike Y said...
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