Thursday, August 17, 2006

Jack Hyles revisited

While I was on hiatus from the blog I still got comments on one of my posts, the one titled "What Is Truth?", specifically about the Jack Hyles section. To recap, I was talking about the adoration Fundamental Baptists give this man (now deceased) and the reasons such adoration is totally out of line. In response I received this comment:

Sean,Being a Fundamental Bible Believer does not make you Jack Hyles. Mostly we are Independant Baptist. That is to say that Fundamentals do not have a "home office" that supports Hyles with some kind of doctrinal statement. They all have the ability to support who they will. It is true that many fundamentalist do speak well of Hyles, but I do not, and I never will. Thank you for the information though.

He's right, of course, and I should have made the distinction. Jack Hyles was a fundamentalist but being a fundamentalist does not make you a Jack Hyles follower. Yet the mindset that produces the Hyles groupies still remains in many fundamental churches, whether they recognize Hyles as the Baptist Pope or not.

Does your church emphasize soul winning numbers at all costs? That attitude can be directly attributed to Jack Hyles, whose massive bus ministry went to three states in order to bring 'em in. Concerned about souls? I'm sure many were. I also know from experience that when soul winners are released upon the masses they will lead anyone in a prayer and count them saved, whether the person even remotely understands what they are talking about or not.

Does your church believe in consulting "the preacher" on every life decision, from when and where to buy a house to when to start a family? Again, a Hyles attitude which has entrenched itself in fundamentalism at large. I see no problem in asking the advice of someone you respect. But when they demand obedience to said advice? Whoa, nelly.

My thoughts on fundamentalism will have to wait for another day. But I apologize for painting with such a broad stroke.


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