Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Christian Fruit

A Tribute To Linda Clement Richards: September 14, 1949 - July 17, 1996

Galatians 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

Over the past few months several people from FBCH have found the big top here at Bread and Circuses. We had one particular member who insisted that we were attacking her faith since we do not believe the heresy of King James Onlyism. I do not doubt that she is a sincere and lovely individual, but she was dead wrong on her description of our beliefs. We have also been told by some good people that we must be "bitter" in order to have a blog like this--again this is an emotional response to our criticism of unbiblical teachings at FBCH. Just yesterday we had an apparent staff member with family high up at FBCH accuse us of being "bitter" and "betraying traitors" who are trying to "“attack"” FBCH and her pastor. Lastly, I have heard recently that some members believe that Josh and I must hate FBCH because we are "“attacking"” them with this blog--I want to say that we absolutely DO NOT hate anyone at FBCH and count many there as dear friends besides the many family members that we both have involved in that ministry. This accusation caused me to think long and hard about what we are trying to say with this blog--I suppose that there is at least a kernel of truth in any criticism--perception is reality to some people and so I would like to clear the air on a few things. There are some people on the internet who would have us to believe that everyone and everything at FBCH is wrong and evil--that certainly is not the case here at Bread and Circuses.

Allow me to share a very personal story from the lives of Josh and I that will help us to clarify some of these misunderstandings.

In the winter of 1988, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and told by her doctor that she probably would live only 18 to 24 months. You can imagine the shock and disappointment when a seemingly healthy 38 year-old woman with 4 children between the ages of 9 and 18 receives this news. We were all very sad and over the next 8 years or so my mother fought and no doubt was kept alive in part by the prayers of God's people. Exactly 10 years ago yesterday, my mother went to Heaven after battling cancer for 8 years--she finally received the complete healing for which we had prayed--God does all things so well. As I think about her today I am reminded of what the Psalmist said in Psalm 115:
"Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! Why should the nations say, '‘Where is their God?'’ Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases."”
Later the Psalmist continues in Psalm 135:6
"Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps."
John Piper comments on this topic in his book, The Pleasures of God, by stating:
"God has His wise and holy purposes in all that He does and He does all that He does according to His own good pleasure."
Our mother was a godly woman who loved the LORD dearly. She was a wonderful example to us not only by the way she lived, but also by the way she fought cancer and departed from this life. Many of the things on this blog that we are criticized for are issues which I debated with my mother while I was at HAC--I have come full circle to where she already was--I thank God for such a blessing to have a mother who loved me even when I was belligerent and foolishly parroting unorthodox and unscriptural beliefs that I learned at college. Our mother loved to read books by Francis Schaeffer, Watchman Nee, C.S. Lewis, and John MacArthur among others. We miss our mother badly, but we know that she is where God wants her right now and we trust that God knows best and He does everything perfectly and in accordance with His own good pleasure.

It may seem unclear where I am headed with this story and post--it is very personal, but I hope that you will bear with me a little longer. As my mother was battling cancer--chemotherapy, radiation, bone pain, nauseau, etc... some of the good people of FBCH offered much help and care. I hesitate to list names because there is no way to remember everyone--the LORD knows how kind and helpful they were, and He will remember their service. My mother's missionary circle was the Canada Circle and they brought meals to my father and us four boys on a regular basis. Names like Ault, Auclair, Boardway, Duff, Colsten, Moffitt, Kimmel, Moore, Jorgensen, Weber, Mock, Streeter, Mitchell, and the list could go on and on. I am sure that over the 8 years we received hundreds of meals from these fine people and others like them at FBCH. Many of these folks were the wives of men who taught at HAC or were deacons at FBCH. I will never forget their care for my mother and our family--they were and are still some of the most kind-hearted and generous people that I have been privileged to know.

I want to go on record as saying that these people showed Christian fruit and Christ-like care for our family--I would never question their genuine salvation, their love for the LORD, and their devotion to Him. All that being said, I do not believe that because we are calling some false teaching into question that we are automatically "ungrateful" or "bitter". Nothing could be further from the truth--we cannot allow sentiment and emotion to control our theology. Jack Hyles himself told stories about his being disowned by the SBC and his home church because of his problem with some of their doctrine--funny how no one in Hammond called him bitter or ungrateful, but somehow it is much different when we find ourselves at odds with some of the teachings at our "home" church and alma mater.

As I look back at the life that my mother lived, I cannot help but remember the wonderful testimony that her many friends at FBCH showed by their acts of service and fervent prayers. Some of my mother's best and dearest friends were and still are members of FBCH--I pray that they would never take personally our issues with certain doctrines at HAC and FBCH. I do not wish any harm or ill will to those involved in the ministry of FBCH. I seek only to analyze the ministry of FBCH in the areas where she is propagating unorthodox and erroneous teachings. Nobody is required or forced to visit this blog--—we are simply providing a place where open debate is fostered in a Christ-like and humble spirit. It is easy for those at FBCH to simply cast Josh and I as "“bitter"” or "“traitors"”, they were taught by the best at this kind of game. We are not bitter and we are not filled with hatred for all things at FBCH--—we love hundreds of folks there and simply desire to point them to the Word of God for their doctrine and methodology and not to what some man dogmatically trumpets as Gospel truth.



Chelle Y. said...

Matthew and Josh,
It has been awhile since I have commented on your blog. I think I was "scared" away with the fear that people will call me "bitter" and "ungrateful." I cannot "stay away" any longer.

I remember your mom and the struggle your family was going through at the time. I was at HAC from 1986-1991, and remember praying for your family. I was pretty good friends with Dawn, and she would talk about your family and how your mother was doing at the time when all seemed hopeless. I also remember sitting behind you (Matthew) and Amber a few times during church. My "caring" heart just wanted to hug you, (mind you, you were still a "kid" back then)because I could not stand that such young boys were losing their mama. Now, that I have a son, I can only imagine how your mom must have felt knowing that she could not be there for you much longer.

I, too, am grateful for the people who loved me while I was there away from home. The Cowlings took me in as one of their own and for that I will always be thankful. I still love them today. Even your father-in-law always encouraged me while I was student teaching, and struggling to graduate. Mr. Mitchell was kind, and yes, even Brother Hyles himself.

There were times that I was so homesick, and Brother Hyles would announce a "Ladies Night." I always had fun being crazy with my friends on those nights, and it would help me not to think about home.

I do remember the Youth Conferences, although, the times I went, there were never basketball, dodgeball, or even singing competitions. All I remember, was preaching, preaching, preaching. And, I enjoyed it all.

Anyway, I think you had a wonderful mother. She taught you boys to think and study for yourselves. I am sure she would be so proud of the both of you. I only pray that I can be that same kind of mom to Brendan someday!

God bless you as you remember her day she went to be with Jesus!

Mike Hess said...

Matthew and Joshua,

That was really great. Having lost my mother four years ago to colon cancer when whe was only 57 I can empathize a bit with what you went through. Nevertheless, I rejoice that your mother is now "absent from the body and present with the Lord". I also think that those from FBCH who are loyalists should objectively look at what is posted here and sincerely take a look at the Scriptures and see if what you are saying is indeed wrong or correct.

My wife and I both have some good memories of HAC/FBCH. It should also go without saying that the foundation of our lives is not based on sentimental feelings, rather on the truth of God's Word.

Keep up the good work guys!!!


Mike Y said...


This was a nice story and I'm glad you chose to share it with us. I'm sure it was tough.

With respect to the criticism, I cannot tell you that it will subside. It probably won't. But I do like the fact that you're trying to avoid personal attacks and simply focus on doctrine. I think your mom would be proud.

Anyway, keep up the good work.


JK said...

Matthew and Josh,

I didn't know your mom, but I heard wonderful things about her from my mother-in-law-to-be as your mom physically struggled to survive. And of course Pastor Hyles regularly mentioned how valiantly she battled cancer.

I, too, am thankful for moms who don't give in to the status quo and who possess the true fruit of the spirit. I had similar discussions with my mom (where I was "belligerent and foolishly parroting unorthodox and unscriptural beliefs that I learned at college"), and thankfully she loved me through it all.

Thanks for highlighting these qualities and for reminding us of what types of people are most worth remembering.


Edward said...

Cute post boys. I am struggling to understand how you two can talk out of both sides of your mouths in regards to FBC. Your mother obviously loved and admired Dr. Hyles and you two are trashing all things having to do with this place. Do you honestly believe that your mother would approve of this constant bashing and mudslinging that you guys consider harmless discusion? I did not know your mom well, but I do think that she would be less than proud of your sharp tongues here at Bread and Circuses. Ed

JA Bailey said...

That was a heart-wrenching tribute to my eldest sister. In the fall of 1967, as a 5-year-old boy, I remember crying for days when Linda left for BJU. I thought she was never coming back. I kept one of her hair pins under my pillow. It was a treasure. Humanly speaking, she left this earthly life much too early. But, as for God, His way is perfect, and He does all things well. I have many fond memories of Linda. Each one is a treasure.

I, too, have many fond memories of FBC and HBHS, and many friends who still attend FBC. In fact, I consider Pastor Schaap a friend, as well as many other staff members. I hope they feel the same way.

I left FBC in 1985. My wife and I wanted to attend a smaller church. I wasn't particularly fond of the drive to Hammond either. It had nothing to do with doctrinal differences. And it wasn't to get away from the strictness of the standards.

Over the years, however, my views concerning certain issues have developed, and I have become increasingly aware of the differences among fundamental churches and Fundamentalism as a movement. Rather than highlight the differences here, suffice it to say that differences abound. Analyzing and debating those differences, based upon quotations from sermons and/or book excerpts, in a public forum such as this, will generally be characterized as attacks, criticism, etc. It's human nature.

Don't be surprised that you may be viewed as a traitor by some people. Just don't take it personally.

Jim Clement

Mike Hess said...


Speaking of talking out of both sides of their mouths....I do recall the fact that Hyles talked about what a model marriage he had while he neglected his wife for years and failed to even mention her publicly for years as well. Or....should we talk about people like Ray Young who would talk about knocking on doors and getting people down the aisle and yet no one ever knew when he did that himself.

Again, Edward, you have failed to show any consistency at all. Nothing new...just the same sad story of ignoring facts in the name of blind loyalty.

Have a fabulous day!


BeckyJoie said...

What a touching story of your mom, guys.

I'm also glad you had some good memories at HAC/ FBCH. I've tried very hard to think of some myself, but I have few: 1. The beauty of hearing so many voices singing the hymns 2. Clowning for some college promo event. I think it was to welcome new students or something. I don't remember, but I had fun hiding behind clown make-up. (Kind of a shallow memories here but at least positive ones.) The most significant memory I had was singing on the bus with the bus kids. I loved my Spanish route kids, singing in Spanish church and Sunday School, telling ninos and chicos about Jesus. I was in this ministry one year-the rest of the time I had been in regular bus ministry and foster club in ValPo and Hammond. I hope that some of the kids were brought to closer faith but we had no way to follow up so I won't know until heaven.

Other than these things, I have no other positive memories. I think this is due to the era in which I attended perhaps although someone else in here attended then as well and has alot of good memories. I guess it has to do with who you knew and who you were. I became aware of some things which were going on that were wrong. It kind of shattered my idolatrous view of Hyles and his church and school. Unlike, one of the other commenters, I did not have good experiences with the ladies nights. Many shocking and unbiblical things were happening in front of my eyes and though I tried to leave, I was led back in by security. I don't understand how someone had a good time there but I'm glad they apparently didn't witness what I did.

The reprecussions did not end when I left,nor in fact until many years later. I was bitter at first, because I had a hard time understanding how people who called themselves Christians could do the things which I saw people do, still representing the faith and being examplified. I received the negative reprecussions for the false teaching in more ways than one in my life from people who still were star-eyed for the whole Hyles movement. I have forgiven those who have hurt me and those I love. But I will expose the erroroneous doctrine and unscriptural behavior which I've have found to be contrary to the truth. I will expose it not to personally attack anyone, but to prevent others from falling into the web of deception which many of the decievers are themselves prey to. I do not hold bitterness toward the people. Any one of us is capable of error. We all have fallen natures. None of us are perfect, though we should strive for it. I'm not angry at people. I'm angry at the error and the sin which are fiery darts shot by the wicked one to devour believers. Many people stung by these darts are forever wounded, never to heal. Some even die. I don't want any more believers to be devoured. So, please, Edward and anyone else from HAC/FBCH: I beg of you to listen to the words we say. Don't take things as an all out attack on you. If anyone have ears to hear, let him hear. May anything that is not what the Spirit says fall on deaf ears but let the deaf ears of those who would hear the truth be opened.

Edward said...

more proof that there are axes being grinded here on this blog. I would love to see some scriptural support for the attacks leveled here against Dr. Hyles and Dr. Schaap. I won't hold my breathe because I already know that there is not any support...actualy there is much in the way of rebuke for this kind of bile spewing. I thank God that I found FBCH and Hyles Anderson College. These institutions have made me who I am today and given me a solid Biblical framework for everything I am doing. Looks like those who have the issues also have issues with the scriptures, soulwinning, and separation/standards. Funny how the bitter keep stewing and FBC keeps adding ministries and Sunday school classes! God is doing a mighty work in Hammond and Crown Point and I challenge anyone to dispute the facts. I will give this blog another month or so before you guys run out of negative things to say...in a couple of months this thing will be history and FBC will still be winning the lost and preaching the Word. Ed

BeckyJoie said...

Oh, that's good, Ed. Prophesy evil against your perceived "enemies".

I have no axe to grind but that HAC/FBCH have taught and practiced UNBIBLICAL things. That is why my memories of the place are negative. I had been raised to think Hyles was the superman of Christianity, pointing men to God. I was deeply disappointed to see man- worship encouraged to the point it was more emminent than God worship. Do you honestly think it was biblical for the Hyles Singing group to sing "Oh How I love Brother Hyles" instead of "Oh,How I love Jesus"? Do you honestly think it is biblical to preach a whole sermon with only one or two references to a verse never studying the passage? (2 Timothy 2:15 says "rightly dividing the Word of truth"-dividing means dissecting and expounding on that study.) How do cute stories with only a few Scripture references fulfill Paul's command to preach the Word? I have not been in Hammond in 15 or so years but when I was there, I began to be apalled that my well-taken notes contained few if any Scripture references to back up sermon points. Premises, not Scriptures were preached and there was little or no support other than the "preach it, Brother Hyles" or "park it there, WoooHooo". After this, I made an effort to listen more closely for references because I wanted to believe that there really were some but there still weren't. I admit I previously had joined in the Hyles worship movement. But the sermon notes didn't lie. Scripture was absent. Perhaps it is different now. I really have only listened to one or two of FBCH's recent sermons. I didn't find them impressive, although I really used to think highly of Pastor Schaap when I was there thinking his sermons had more depth than his F.I. L.'s. I will listen to a few more of his recent sermons, though online, Ed, to give you the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps things have changed.

ED says:Looks like those who have the issues also have issues with the scriptures, soulwinning, and separation/standards.
Me: Wrong! I witness, not just once a week in a group program but daily as opportunities arise.I read and study the Bible daily giving it a high priority in my life. I live a separated life style. Noone in my neighborhood misses that point, though I don't brag about it, I just live it and this has led to my ability to witness to them because those who I had not yet witnessed to asked questions as to the reason of the hope that is in me. The light shines in darkness, Ed. Why is it that you assume so much about people you do not know? I would venture to say that you and I are not vastly different in the majority of our standards, just in application/interpretation of them. I have biblical standards of behavior and dress. I just don't place extra-biblical standards on myself and others, nor do I give the external a higher status of priority than the inner man. If a standard is not in the Bible or implied in context of a passage, then I don't hold to a practice as a conviction. If it is, I do. I have preferences and convictions but the only things I would stake my life on are those clearly delineated in the Bible as truth, not man's ideas.

Standards are important. More important than standards, though, is doctrine.

You stated this, ED:
I would love to see some scriptural support for the attacks leveled here against Dr. Hyles and Dr. Schaap. I won't hold my breathe because I already know that there is not any support...actualy there is much in the way of rebuke for this kind of bile spewing.

Me: Scriptural support for rebuking heresy and fleshly practices:
Supporting Reference #1: 1 Timothy 5:19-21.
Note: Many people have tried to privately rebuke the leadership at FBCH and HAC with at least two witnesses, but the rebukes have gone unheeded. Many have tried to intreat them as elders, but they were stomped out. Now the leaders must be rebuked before all without partiality because of them being leaders or likeable people. Dr. Hyles and Dr. Schaapp were both likeable, fatherly or grandfatherly in appearance to many but that does not make them above analysis. Their actions and teaching are suppose to be above reproach so that no one can find things to criticize. I realize that none are perfect but all are suppose to be humble and willing to be corrected, easy to be intreated,etc. according to James 3:17. I don't see this. I see haughty hatred in response.
Supporting Reference #2 : Titus 1:6-13
Note: This applies to those who teach their own doctrine and refuse to teach the whole counsel of God, leading whole households astray. Much of the doctrine and practices taught by Pastor Hyles was his own. His beliefs on the role of repentence for salvation, the role of the Bible translation in salvation, the practice of ignoring accusations against preacher boys even when proof and witnesses are available, teaching people to seek for rewards on earth for spiritual actions and praise of man, controlling and lording over his deacons and congregation, bragging that he could ask any of them to jump off a bridge and they would ask "from how high?" on the way down, etc. There is so much unbiblical teaching and practice that there is not enough room to post it all and thus, the need for
B & C to keep blogging about it. How can you justify these above mentioned things as biblical? How can you ignore the evidence given by so many people? My heart breaks for your apparent willing blindness.
Here's more support for the expose of FBCH and other ministries which don't follow the truth fully.
Reference #3: 2 Timothy 4:1-5, especially verse 2.
Note:We are told to reprove unbiblical things and exhort people unto strong doctrine.

For many years I stuck my head in the sand and assumed that the need to expose the error was unnecessary. But this error has continued in spite of a decade of people discovering the truth and leaving. Error, unexposed will continue to grow like nightshade in the dark. Therefore, I have joined the Richards and others who continue to confront the error. I'm not on a witch hunt to look for more error. I only tell of the error I already know of. I have way too many important things going on in my life than to go looking for the trouble and persecution that comes to those who stand up to the Hyles movement. (I have received some of this.) But it is part of my call to guard the good deposit. So therefore, if it includes debating issues, I will do it. Ed, we don't attack Hyles or Schaap, only their actions/false doctrines. On the contrary, those of you who feel the urge to defend them, don't defend their actions, you side step the issues and defend their reputations by attacking us personally. Why not really look at the issues, Ed? You can continue to falsely attack me and others but you still are responsible for the truth to which you are exposed.

PT Barnum said...

I wanted to thank everyone who posted kind words concerning my mother and her life. I think what Josh and I want is for people to understand that we have some fond memories of the people who impacted us at FBCH. Ed's post does not even deserve a response from me at this point--maybe later.


Remo said...

May God bless you as you celebrate the memory of your mother. Thank you for sharing this touching story.

Mike Hess said...


Funny how you credit "institutions" with making you the man you are today (a blind loyalist) instead of God Himself. Again, nothing new just the same old story of blind loyalty that fails to answer the questions.

If I based "success" the way you are basing "success" - growth, numbers, and facilities (that are not filled on a consistent basis with entire sections roped off, this after 25,000 so called converts were baptized last year) then I would be lead to believe that the Mafia is incredibly successful as well. They have a high success rate, they make good money, and intimidate people rather successfully.

Ed - you are holding a glass with a hole on the bottom and it is time that you start looking at the facts. Questions have been asked by both Matthew and Josh that you have blatantly ignored and it would be nice to see those questions answered instead of ignored.

Have a fabulous day!


rabbi-philosopher said...

Found on Albertmohler.com this a.m.
Should be filed in the "worship vs circus" file.
"Tozer takes his argument further: "It is now common practice in most evangelical churches to offer the people, especially the young people, a maximum of entertainment and a minimum of serious instruction. It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend the meeting where the only attraction is God. One can only conclude that God's professed children are bored with Him for they must be wooed to meeting with a stick of striped candy in the form of religious movies, games and refreshments."

This has influenced the whole pattern of church life and even brought into being a new type of church architecture designed to house the golden calf. So we have the strange anomaly of orthodoxy in creed and heterodoxy in practice. The striped candy technique has so fully integrated into our present religious thinking that it is simply taken for granted. Its victims never dream that it is not a part of teachings of Christ and His apostles. Any objection to the carryings-on of our present gold calf Christianity is met with the triumphant reply, "But we are winning them." And winning them to what? To true discipleship? To cross-carrying? To self-denial? To separation from the world? To crucifixion of the flesh? To holy living? To nobility of character? To a despising of the world's treasures? To hard self-discipline? To love for God? To total commitment to Christ?

Of course, the answer to all of these questions is "no."

PT Barnum said...


Excellent quote, rabbi. It is amazing how the only defense of such circus thinking is typically to reference the fact that DL Moody gave away a squirrel in a cage and was criticized for it by the malcontents in Chicago back in the day.

Pragmatism is alive and well in many churches of all different stripes--FBCH has learned how to work this to her best advantage numerically. I enjoy a circus as much as the next guy, but sooner or later you need to eat something besides an elephant ear or cotton candy!


rabbi-philosopher said...

More on Dr. Dave Jasper's resignation from Maranatha Baptist Bible College.

See Sharper Iron!

Personally I've always felt I'm just a hair bredth away from moral failure of the spectacularly bad sort.

Dave Jasper apparently has issues. Welcome to the club.

Jack Schaap, whom I don't know, apparently has issues. Welcome to the club.

Matt, Josh, Mike, Mike 'chelle; without personally knowing you I know this. You all have issues.

May God protect us from ourselves!

PT Barnum said...

I just wanted to thank those of you who contributed to this thread. I truly appreciate all of the kind words regarding my mother--she was a wonderful Christian woman. Over the past 10 years since her passing I have struggled with many questions concerning her suffering and death. The LORD has taught me some valuable lessons about life and His Sovereign rule in the lives of His children. I am so grateful that I serve an all-powerful and Sovereign God!

Romans 11:36 NASB "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen."


We will be posting a new entry within the next couple of days.

Ryan DeBarr said...


I just read this. I haven't lost my parents, so I won't pretend to know how that feels.

But I understand what it's like to disagree strongly with the religious institutions of your past, and yet be very grateful to them.

The people who are condemning you actually validate your statements, and show themselves to be insecure and inable to defend themselves. Weep for them.