Follow by Email

Sunday, March 30, 2014

"TRIAL BY FIRE" - Table of Contents, Acknowledgements, and Prologue

TRIAL BY FIRE
Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists




( 384 page hardback book with a beautiful dust jacket-Go to SOLVECHURCHPROBLEMS.COM to order-An answer to the Emerging and cultural driven churches)

Table Of Contents

Acknowledgements 4 
Prologue 5 
Introduction: Why I Am In This Fight 7
  1. 1  Unity: A Word That Concerns Me 16
  2. 2  Satan’s Attack On Our Harmony 25
  3. 3  The Tolerance Of Intolerance 41
  4. 4  Satan’s Goal Is To Destroy 50
  5. 5  It’s Time To Grow Up! 55
  6. 6  Our Stand On Homosexuality 68
  7. 7  Restoring The Fallen 88
  8. 8  A Thirst For Sin 99
  9. 9  Collateral Damage 113
  10. 10  Churches In The Fire 118
  11. 11  This Can Work Together For Good! 127
  12. 12  Satans Use Of Rebel Adult Children 148
  13. 13  Dangers In Major Scandals 152
  14. 14  Satan’s Use Of Repentance 159
  15. 15  The Sinner’s Prayer 181
  16. 16  Accountability 188
  17. 17  True Independence 200
  18. 18  Church Services Attacked 206
  19. 19  Pastoral Authority Attacked 217
  20. 20  Our Heroes Attacked 235

2
TRIAL BY FIRE
Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists

  1. 21  Writing Wrongs 250
  2. 22  Why Isn’t It Working For You? 262
  3. 23  If Ministering Stops Being Fun 273
  4. 24  The Public Invitation Attacked 278
  5. 25  What Damaged The IFB Movement? 283
  6. 26  Independent Baptists Attacked 295
  7. 27  Millennialists 302
  8. 28  Satan’s Attack Using Calvanism 319
  9. 29  Architects, Accountants, and Attorneys 336
  10. 30  Fundamentalism Attacked 348
  11. 31  IFB Preaching Attacked 366
    Epilogue: “I Can” Makes A Great Man 379

3
TRIAL BY FIRE
Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists

Acknowledgements

This manuscript would not have become a book if it were not for some dear people in my life. My wife of 48 years has been so patient with the public life that has been a reality to our family. My precious children have become everything that parents would every hope for them to be.

Additionally, if it were not for the hundreds of hours of labor by Mrs. Marsha Parker there would be no book. She provided the majority of the work behind the scenes. Thank you for your tireless labor and especially for your love of the cause of Christ.

I want to thank my mentors for their strength and stability. You have not changed and I will forever be grateful. I want to thank my LORD for my salvation, His Scriptures, the Holy Spirit, and the pastors He sent into my world.

Bob Gray, Sr. 
Psalm 84:11 
September 1, 2013

4
TRIAL BY FIRE
Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists

Prologue

This book was written over a number of years and as a result some information and happenings were more relevant at that particular time. However, I still believe that they are pertinent today. I read one time that life is like a play being played over and over again but with different actors. The relevance has not changed.

This is not a novel. Each element of this book is one that is a moving part on its own. Much of this book was written at the beginning of a battle that has grown larger in the past few years. It’s a battle that I believe will never subside between Satan and the servants of God, because Satan has a way of dulling our spiritual senses. Please do not dispose of this book or its thoughts in a flippant manner. PLEASE give me a hearing!

Some have been, and are still too close to the action and not yet strong enough to face the realities of this struggle. They will not like this book. Others will choose to just put their head in the sand again. My father had a saying for that – “He who sticks his head in the sand gets his rear kicked.” These also will not like this book. I’m sure that I will be accused of dividing the brethren and they too will not like this book. However, until we learn from our past we will have no future. These struggles are good for us not bad. A “trial by fire” will purify any generation if they are willing to enter into the fire with the Son of God.

page5image15640
5

TRIAL BY FIRE
Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists

I do not have an axe to grind. I stand where we all have stood for hundreds of years and unapologetically so. As of this writing, I am 68 years old with 4 decades of ministry behind me. I have given it my all, knowing full well the risks. I have watched the same battles over and over again. Today we are being sold a religious wooden nickel and I for one refuse to accept it. The struggles are real and Jesus is still the answer. 

This book is intended to inform and to provide food for thought so that no one is easily deceived by misinformation.

I know what it is like to go through the fire in the ministry. I know what it is like to go through fire in a national sense. I know what it is like to go through the fire in a personal sense. My dear wife of 48 years has gone through 38 surgeries. My children have paid a price for being in the spotlight, but they have stood tall in the saddle. The “trial by fire” has purified in every respect. Do not fear the fire

Thursday, March 27, 2014

"WHEN PRINCIPLE WAS KING" - Table of contents and Prologue







(A 408 page hardback with a beautiful dust jacket containing the life principles of Dr. Jack Hyles-Go to SOLVECHURCHPROBLEMS.COM to order-You want answers here it is-The other side of the story)


When Principle Was King

TABLE OF CONTENTS



PERSONAL PRINCIPLES


Chapter 1: The Principle of Change ... 52
Chapter 2: The Principle of Lengthening The Cords ... 59 

Chapter 3: The Principle of Hero Worship ... 64
Chapter 4: The Principle of Personal Influence ... 73 

Chapter 5: The Principle of Personal Growth ... 84 
Chapter 6: The Principle of Finishing ... 99
Chapter 7: The Principle of Personal Soul Winning ... 105 

Chapter 8: The Principle of Simplicity ... 114
Chapter 9: The Principle of Loyalty ... 123
Chapter 10: The Principle of Morality ... 134
Chapter 11: The Principle of Justice ... 141



MINISTRY PRINCIPLES


Chapter 12: The Principles of Hyles-Anderson College ..... 149 
Chapter 13: The Principle of Independence ... 161
Chapter 14: The Principle of Disassociation ... 176 
Chapter 15: The Principle of The Pastoral Staff ... 200 
Chapter 16: The Principle of Pastoring ... 209 
Chapter 17: The Principle of Finances ... 218
Chapter 18: The Principle of The Church Budget ... 230 
Chapter 19: The Principle of Church Ministries ... 236 
Chapter 20: The Principle of Missions ... 252
Chapter 21: The Principle of Church Discipline ... 261 

Chapter 22: The Principle of Restoration ... 267


MOVEMENT PRINCIPLES


Chapter 23: The Principle of Inclusivism ... 274
Chapter 24: The Principle of Successorship ... 278
Chapter 25: The Principle of The Image Driven Church ... 297 

Chapter 26: The Principle of Big Crowds ... 305
Chapter 27: The Principle of Church Growth ... 315
Chapter 28: The Principle of Preaching ... 325
Chapter 29: The Principle of Questions And Answers ... 333 

Chapter 30: The Principle of The Influence Of Women ... 339 
Chapter 31: The Principle of Modernism ... 356
Chapter 32: The Principle of The King James Bible ... 369 

Chapter 33: The Principle of Worship ... 380
Addendum ... 388
Epilogue ... 394
Poem: Whose Faith Follow ... 403



PROLOGUE Jack Frasure Hyles (1926-2001)

First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, was founded in 1888. Little did Dr. Hyles know that his ministry would grow into a great local church and would develop into a nationwide and even worldwide impact on Christianity.
  • The church grew from a weekly attendance of 700 to 20,000.
  • The church baptized 10,000 converts a year for his last five years as pastor.
  • 4,000 soul winners a week
  • The Spanish Ministry averaged 2,000 a
    Sunday.
  • The church had the largest Deaf Ministry in
    the world.
  • The church ran over 200 Sunday school
    bus routes a Sunday.
  • The church started their own Rescue
    Mission.
  • The church has the largest Educable Slow
    Ministry in the world.
  • The church operated Hyles-Anderson
    College, with over 2,500 students, on an 88
    acre campus.
  • Over 3,000 graduates from HAC
  • The church operated Hammond Baptist Grade School, Junior High School, and Hammond Baptist High School on a 26 acre campus. The church operated Hammond City Baptist  High School for Chicago children.
  • The church hosted an ANNUAL NATIONWIDE PASTORS’ SCHOOL the third week in March, with thousands of pastors attending. 
  • The church hosted an ANNUAL NATIONWIDE YOUTH CONFERENCE averaging 7,000 teens a year. 
  • The First Baptist Church, since August 1959, had grown to a membership of 100,000.
  • Property values grew from $70,000 to $70,000,000.
  • Dr. Hyles authored 46 books and pamphlets with sales over 14 million.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

CHAPTER 25 OF "JACK HYLES-The Communicator"

Jack Hyles
The Communicator



25
Communicating With Humor

(Chapter 25 of "JACK HYLES-The Communicator"-384 pages in a hardback book with 33 chapters in total-Go to SOLVECHURCHPROBLEMS.COM to order)



"Situations or conversations can become so intense that the focus or solutions can be lost

in the polarizing of ideas."




Comedy is a poor substitute for humor. Comedy is an act. Humor is an attitude. Comedy has as its purpose to make people laugh. Humor is the spontaneous ability to bring laughter in a situation. Comedy is this generation’s effort to divert our minds from reality. Humor is the ability to insert laughter into life.


There are different methods of humor: farce, hyperbole, metaphor, pun, reframing, and timing. A farce is a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay with improbable situations. A hyperbole is exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.

266
Jack Hyles
The Communicator



A metaphor is a figure of speech in which it is not literally applicable. A pun is a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word, or the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings. Reframing is to express words or a concept or a plan differently. Finally, timing is the judgment, or choice, or control of when something is said or done.


The use of humor comes from the spirit of a man. The spirit of a man is often exposed with the humor. The spiritual person’s use of humor is likened to an illustration or example to clarify a point, not to ridicule or debase. It is used to relieve the pressure of the moment and to also bring the listener’s mind back to the subject at hand. A person’s attention span is anywhere from three to five minutes. Humor will help bring the listener back to the matter at hand with enthusiasm and optimism.


I begin this chapter in this way because I feel it is important to point out that laughter is scriptural, and we are not told that we cannot laugh even in “spiritual” situations. The children of Israel laughed at a time when God delivered them from captivity. In fact, whenever God is working the most, God's people should be laughing the most.


Dr. Hyles found humor in everything. Wherever he was, there was laughter. If you speak to those who were closest to him, they will tell you that he enjoyed life and found humor in many things. He loved to laugh and he knew how to share laughter with others. It is here that I want to open up a part of his communication skills to be considered. Situations or conversations can become so intense that the focus on solutions can be lost in the polarizing of ideas.

page267image17096
267
Jack Hyles
The Communicator



Dr. Hyles knew when to insert a release valve of humor, like a hot water heater has, to keep the situation from exploding. Many a solution has been mired in deep dramatic emotion. His spirit was a refreshing thing to be around. He collected humor and kept it on his mental shelf like an apothecary. He removed it from the shelf and opened the bottle and offered it as a medicine to the spirit of those in need.


1. Humor was something to share. If you enjoy something you want to share it with others. If you enjoy a good meal you want to share it with someone you love. Dr. Hyles loved to laugh. He was able to notice humor in a way most people did not. Rather than hoarding it to himself, he shared it with those around him. He rarely told jokes in the pulpit, but he was always ready to tell jokes and collect jokes.


He loved to cheer people up and sometimes it was self-deprecating, sometimes it was satirical, sometimes it was situational, sometimes it was sarcastic, sometimes it was ironic, and sometimes parodied. It was not humor for his sake, but always humor for someone else's sake.


2. Humor was something to relate. Many times I heard him use humor to win someone to himself. On Sunday mornings he would joke with the sailors from the Great Lakes Naval Station who were visiting in the services one moment, the truck drivers in the next moment, and then with the men from the rescue mission. By using humor he made friends with them. Humor made them feel his humanity. It made them feel he was like them. When they laughed with him, there was a relationship being built. 

268
Jack Hyles
The Communicator



The word relate, has more to do with commonality than similarity. Let me explain. Dr. Hyles never drove a truck so there was no similarity. There was, however, commonality in laughter. He could tell a joke about truck drivers and suddenly they had laughter in common. Laughter brings us all to a common level. The one with whom we can laugh becomes a friend. He knew that and he used it with people.


The commonality of laughter brought all segments of the congregation, to which he was able to preach, into one. The humor was not always in the form of a joke, necessarily, but rather the humor was brought to the forefront to display Dr. Hyles’ own humanity. He was about to preach to other human beings who needed to know that Dr. Hyles had the same qualities that they did. The diverseness of this huge congregation could not be ignored, but sharing laughter brought them into the moment.


Dr. Hyles served in the U.S. Army, yet he had fun with the sailors who attended his church services. He would kid with them, and using his wit he made them feel like his insults were a badge of honor. He used situational humor more than any other type of humor. His keen sense of who he was interacting with, and what he could say to bring them into his world for the next 30 minutes was exceptional.


If you ever attended his National Pastors' School you could not miss his quick witted statements and barbs aimed towards me. One day a delegate said to me during a break, "Aren't you a little upset about what he said?" "No," I replied, "I think maybe you’re upset because he didn’t notice you."

269
Jack Hyles
The Communicator



3. Humor was something to bring cheer. When Dr. Hyles walked into a room full of people he knew that there were burdens, and his ability to bring humor to any situation caused many a heavy heart to be lightened. I have seen him appropriately bring laughter to people who thought their world was about to end.


He never took it lightly, but he helped them to know there would be life after tragedy. He had the ability to bring cheer to a grieving family by telling a sweet humorous story about the loved one who had passed away. He had a way of recalling special moments of joy in the life of a person who had just stepped into Heaven. He did not take advantage of heartache to be the main event, but he did with delicacy offer humorous events to bring cheer. No one doubted his love for them because he saw the best in the worst of events and communicated such.


4. Humor was something to bring a relaxed atmosphere. I cannot tell you the number of times I have been around Dr. Hyles when there were people present who were meeting him for the very first time. Perhaps it was a layman coming to pick him up at the motel to drive him to preach. Within minutes of meeting him he would start teasing and I could almost see the person start to relax. The young male nurse who took care of Dr. Hyles just before his death said, "I felt like we had known each other my whole life."


He had a way, even at the door of death, to bring joy to others. In his presence you felt relaxed, because he did not come off as a big shot, but rather a little shot who made you feel at ease with him.

270
Jack Hyles
The Communicator



5. Humor was a way to illustrateDr. Hyles was not big on telling a lot of jokes, but if he thought a joke would illustrate a point, he would use one. However he loved to tell stories about himself that would make people laugh. Time and time again he would use humor to make a point easier to digest then had he just crammed it down our throats. He called it putting the awful tasting medicine in the orange juice. The truth may sting, but the humor used to illustrate the truth would bring about a sense of, “I can make it.”


To Dr. Hyles the most important thing was not the greatness of a sermon, but the greatness of a truth. If humor was necessary to deliver this truth, then so be it. Many critics have said that he built his ministry on humor. Obviously they are casual observers and have never been a part of his ministry. His ministry was built on truth in action: Soul winning, Separation, Spirit-fullness, Holy Scriptures (KJV), Sunday school, Bus Ministry, etc. These actions captured God's attention and God blessed.


6. Humor was a way to restore. At times, Dr. Hyles would counsel with someone who had made a tragic mistake or fallen into a deep sin. He could talk with this person and maybe even scold them, but often, before it was all over, he would find a way to interject humor, and use it to bring laughter. He knew the healing power of laughter even when the situation was not pleasant.


In counseling, Dr. Hyles taught me to use a “plus-negative-negative-plus” approach in dealing with a crisis. Always greet them with hope and send them away with hope. Using a little humor in between helps them to swallow the negative or bad tasting medicine, a little easier.

271
Jack Hyles
The Communicator


A teenage girl became with child outside of marriage. She and her parents came to their pastor, Dr. Hyles, and sought his counsel. He set up weekly counseling appointments with them. When the girl began to show physically that she was with child, Brother Hyles would greet her by saying, "The Chicago Bears are looking for a right tackle. Do you want me to call them?" The young lady would laugh and felt that her pastor was not condemning her, but attempting to encourage her.


The child was born and adopted out to a young couple who were not able to have children of their own. Her pastor continued to encourage her throughout the years. Eventually, this young teenage girl became an adult and found her husband with the help of her parents and her pastor. Humor was used to restore!


7. Humor was a way to disarm. Many people who had preconceived ideas of Dr. Hyles would come to hear him preach having already chosen to dislike him. They heard all about this dynamic and straight shooting man and knew they were not going to like him. With humor he would disarm them and cause them to second guess their opinion of him. That often gave him the opportunity to have an influence in their lives.


He often disarmed me when I was a bit too serious about something. His humor would reveal his humanity, and his humanity would open the door to give a truth from God to the humanity at hand. Too often, we are too serious about situations, and a little humor will disarm and allow us to think more clearly. 

272
Jack Hyles
The Communicator



would often hear Dr. Hyles say, “If your decision maker is broken, then borrow someone else's decision maker.” He did not require his members to seek only his advice necessarily, but he did want them to seek the right counselor.


8. Humor was a way to release. Many people are bottled up with emotions and when they do release them, it is in a damaging way. I often felt that he released much of the emotional things of life with a laugh. Rather than exploding or imploding, he found something to make him laugh. Again, his concern was not of being successful and making it about him. He studied people and knew people like few men I have ever known in my 68 years of life. He quickly evaluated people, and I believe through the Holy Spirit was given an insight into their needs.


That was the thing that was foremost on his mind. Just what exactly do these people or this person need? He was all about filling needs. It was his primary appeal to the Holy Spirit before the day would begin. Certainly this was a spiritual medicine he took for himself and gave to others who crossed his path. In his preaching you would laugh one minute and cry the next minute. He was an emotional man and attracted emotional people.


9. Humor was a way to bond. I loved him. I miss him. Being close to Dr. Hyles was being close to a man who shared special moments of humor with those with whom he was closest. I laughed with him so often. All of us, who were privileged to travel and speak with him, or those who worked on staff with him, enjoyed that marvelous sense of humor. His laugh was as unique as he was unique. 

273
Jack Hyles
The Communicator



You could be in the next room and hear that laugh and you knew immediately it was him. Once he was in a men's clothing store in downtown Hammond, IN, when a lady heard him laugh and she found him and said, "You are Pastor Jack Hyles aren't you? I would know that laugh anywhere. I listen to your radio broadcast every day and I love your humor.” His deacon board meetings were his night out with the boys. It was a time of laughter, friendship, comradery, and partnership in the work of God.


10. Humor was a way to love. Somehow he could tease me and I would walk away feeling more loved. He never used me as an object of hurtful humor, but loving humor. All tools can be used against or for another person. Humor can say, “I love you,” as much as words can. He teased me regularly, but I never felt ridiculed; I felt loved.


One time we were in the Philippines and he had been teasing me. On our way back to the motel he put his arm around me, hugged me, and said, "Brother Gray, you have a great spirit, don't ever lose it."


I remember one time a man observing Dr. Hyles when he began to tease another preacher. Dr. Hyles had the entire table laughing at something that preacher had done. Afterwards, the man who had not known Dr. Hyles before and did not know how much he liked to kid around, commented to the one who had been teased, “Dr. Hyles sure loves to tease you, doesn't he?” The preacher replied, “Yes, that's because he loves me.”

274

Jack Hyles
The Communicator



Dr. Jack Hyles was a great man mainly because he yielded himself to his God. He gave his body a living sacrifice to God as few men have ever done in history. He was an accumulation of all the great men of God who were his mentors. He absorbed their good traits and never exploited their bad traits to try and make himself look better than them.


His humor was a tool that he used, not to build himself up, but to help lift up others. He was as unselfish a man as I have ever met in my 56 years of being in the family of God. He loved like few, he thought like few, he served like few, he yielded to God like few, he proclaimed truth like few, he befriended like few, he pastored like few, he preached like few, and his humor was like few. God magnified Jack Frasure Hyles because Jack Frasure Hyles magnified God.

275 

Friday, March 14, 2014

CHAPTER 1 of 33 Chapters of TRIAL BY FIRE - Order today!

TRIAL BY FIRE
Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists


CHAPTER 1


(Chapter 1 of 33 chapters-Go to SOLVECHURCHPROBLEMS.COM to order-Thought provoking chapters)


UNITY: A WORD THAT CONCERNS ME

Franklin D. Roosevelt was a great leader, but he caused America to become more of a centralized government by starting various co-op programs. The Bible says that God will supply all our need according to His riches. So, why do we need a denomination? I will tell you exactly why we do not need a denomination. We lose some of our faith in God. What more could we want than, Lo, I am with you alway, or, For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them, or, upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.


My heart aches for what has happened to churches across this nation. Many churches that call themselves Independent Baptists are not really Independent Baptists.

When Dr. H. A. Ironside was the pastor of the Moody Church in Chicago, he decided to form a group of men to run the business of the church. He basically turned the leadership of the church over to that group of men and decided that he would just do the preaching. 

16
page16image12472
TRIAL BY FIRE
Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists


It worked beautifully because these men loved him, and wanted to please him, but when he died, he had created the machinery for the destruction of their soul-winning program. What happened? A good pastor and some good men set up some bad machinery that worked as long as they were alive, but self-destructed when they died.

I must make a confession. There are certain words that, when I hear them, send up red flags in my mind. They are words that are usually misused or used in a self-serving manner. One such word is “legalism”. When I hear it, I usually can predict what is coming next. The person is making their case against “standards” or, more often, defending their lesser ones. They have them, but they are usually not as strong as the person they are judging in motive or heart. The word “preferences” is another. I always find it interesting that people can decide what my preferences are versus my convictions; however, none of these words are what I want to address in this chapter.

“Unity” is the word I would like to discuss which absolutely sets off sirens in my mind. It is especially disconcerting when I read an article by a stalwart in the Independent Baptist world lauding it. Recently such an article was sent to me and upon completion of reading it, I found myself very concerned. I read the article very slowly, carefully, and prayerfully to make certain I was not reacting. I waited a few days before responding wondering ... hoping that I had read it wrong. Then another man I respect sheepishly asked me if I had read the article. I confirmed I had. All he said was, "It concerns me."

The author is a good man. He is in no danger of being a heretic or falling off the fundamental ledge.
page17image17792 page17image17952
17
TRIAL BY FIRE
Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists

He is sincere and a man I greatly love and admire. I would not separate with him over this article for he has stood faithful for too long for me to doubt him. I do not write this even as a rebuke towards him. This is more of a mild warning ... a nudge, so to speak. I will not call him out and I will not attack him. Allow me to speak in principled terms.

1. Unity is almost always a misunderstood concept


Satan loves the world "unity," but that does not make it a bad word. Unity appeals to the flesh of people. If you want loud choruses of “AMENS” just speak of unity. The weak will love you for it. The women will praise you when you speak of it. Unfortunately, the word is far too often a cry for compromise rather than a plea for oneness.

Unity comes from the word union. It is a sister word to unify. Therefore, I must be careful with whom I want to have unity with. Satan loves unions. If he can get us to form unions, he has a better chance to pervade us. He takes independent men, brings them into unity, and destroys the very thing that made them strong. We don't need his kind of unity, but he is great at making it look and sound so appealing.

2. Unity is most often a word used to describe an ordained relationship. 


We should be in unity with God. We should have unity in the home as well as in the local church. However, that is where most unity should end. To have unity anywhere else means I must be in a union with you. Forgive me, but outside my relationship with God, my family, and my church, I am not much interested in forming unions or having unity.

3. Unity necessitates sameness. 


If I unite, I am typically agreeing to accept you and your beliefs, or you mine. Unions are typically political and require some control.

18
TRIAL BY FIRE
Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists


That is not what God wants for me. My independence requires that I avoid unity. My beliefs and principles do as well.

4. Satan loves to make us think we have lost something we once had. 


One statement that greatly concerned me in the article I read was that we were once unified more than we are today. Now, I don't know what history book that man has been reading, but in my study I have seldom seen much unity between independents. Don't buy into that! Study the unity between the great Christian leaders of the past and you will find that they fought over many issues and some of them were even minor. They were not unified. Paul and Barnabas were not. Paul and Peter were not. I could follow that all the way throughout church history.

5. I think this man mistook unity for harmony. 


I love to be in harmony because then I can be what I am and you can be what you are and we can be harmonious about it. I do not want unity in the Republican Party because that means compromise; nor do I want it in fundamentalism.

We can have harmony, however. We can be in harmony over doctrines of the faith. Harmony allows me to write this article. Unity would not. I seek to be in harmony with fellow fundamentalists, but that does not mean we will not separate over certain things. I can separate with you and still be in harmony with you. Dr. Jack Hyles used to call it "agreeing to disagree." Dr. Hyles stopped preaching with a certain man who he still supported financially, for he could not be in unity, but he could be in harmony.

6. Who are you to say what my preferences are? 


Dr. Hyles strongly believed in women not wearing pants. That was a belief or a conviction. You can call it a preference if it is not your belief, but it was his belief. He did not separate over it, but he did try to be consistent about it.

page19image18136
19
TRIAL BY FIRE
Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists

One year, Dr. Hyles invited a couple to Pastors' School to teach. Later he discovered that she openly wore pants. He explained his position to them in a sweet and loving letter. There was no condemnation in his letter and, in fact, later spoke highly of their ministry.He included a more than generous love offering check that was far more than he would have given normally. These dear folks were gracious and understanding because of the kind way Brother Hyles handled the situation.

Now, you can say it was a preference, but who are you to tell him what his "preference" was? That is prideful and arrogant.

Some men call things preferences because they changed. What you call preferences I call a conviction. You are certainly not practicing what you preach when you attempt to define my beliefs. That said, not all of my convictions are based upon what I expect you to believe. Therefore, I want harmony, but not unity.

I would not have some people speak for me who I would support. A conviction is something I have been convinced or convicted of for my life and my ministry. It is wrong to call another’s convictions preferences and high time we threw out the word.

7. Unity requires me to accept friends I would not otherwise accept because of where I think they may lead. 


Let me give you an example. I have strong feelings against calling the Sunday morning preaching service a "worship service." I think it is unscriptural and I believe it is going the wrong direction. I am not a proponent of one who uses a "worship team" to replace the old-fashioned adult church choir. 

20page20image17888 page20image18048 page20image18208 page20image18368 page20image18528
TRIAL BY FIRE
Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists


I will not condemn you for it, I will not call you out personally, but rest assured I would not form a union with you.

Some make fun of positions like this because they do not see the bigness I see and the dangerousdestination I see. We are following a hazardous trend. Unity says some of it really doesn't matter. I beg to differ. It does matter because of where the trend started and to where it will lead.

Do not miss this statement. I will not have unity with someone who has unity with someone I deem to be spiritually menacing. If you are getting your ideas from someone I think is unpredictable spiritually, then I do not want to even get close to you. If you are willing to be influenced by someone I do not want to be influenced by, then it may be best for me to stay away. I do not hate you and I do not want to fight you, but I do not want to catch the ideals to which you are exposing yourself.

8. Do not talk to me about fellowship. 


Some will tell you that we need unity so we can fellowship. Why? I don't get it! There are certain good men with whom I do not intend to fellowship. Frankly, I am scared of them. They hang out with and read from the wrong people and I do not want to like them too much or I may be attracted to them and follow them off the cliff. Dr. Hyles often said, I do not fellowship with a man based upon where he is, but rather upon which direction he is going.

For example, I do not plan on fellowshipping with a man who attends Rick Warren's conferences or has his staff meet with the staff of the Crystal Cathedral in order to glean something useful. I refuse to allow Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, or Robert Schuller to influence me either directly or indirectly. 
page21image18872 page21image19032 page21image19192
21
TRIAL BY FIRE
Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists


Therefore, I plan to have no unity with those who allow these men to influence them even in the slightest manner. Admiration leads to influence and influence leads to compromise in direction. I will be in harmony, but not unity. I will be kind to them, but I am not going to fellowship with them. As Dr. Hyles used to say, "I may like them too much and I don't want to like them too much because they may affect me."

9. Individual camps. 


We have always been in camps and should remain in camps for the sake of independence. My friend's article criticized camps. However, camps are good not bad.

Fundamentalism has many camps, all of which have their own unique personality and flavor. It has always been that way. These camps are all doing good and trying to reach souls and take a stand as they see it. Stop attempting to unify them because once you do, we will sink to the lowest common denominator.

Splitting is what preserves us. We are all part of a split, not a union. We divide and then multiply. We divide and conquer not unite and conquer!

10. Real movements have no headquarters.

They may have many outposts, but no Vatican. Some establish their outpost in various places around our nation.

Are we supposed to unite and hope we do not all lose the distinctiveness God has given each of us? Certainly this is an antithesis of all God had in mind.

Now, lest I am accused of missing the point of the article, may I humbly submit that I did not! I get it loud and clear and it was not accurate. In fact, it was important enough that I knew I had to address it. I love my dear brother very much, yet in truth, he has chosen to distance himself from me and he knows it. 

22page22image18568 page22image18728
TRIAL BY FIRE
Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists


He would not preach with me, endorse me, or agree with my last book, When Principle Was King, about Dr. Hyles. His refusal to cooperate with me is perfectly fine, yet his writing is an appeal for unity. Amazing! I cannot help but wonder if what he is asking is for all of us to unify with him and his group. I must say, I sense some serious hypocrisy here.

That said, I have chosen never to react to his rejections of me. Nonetheless, I cannot let this article go without a loving warning of its flawed content. This is not about personality; this is about principle. I welcome his call and would do anything within my power to show him my friendship. He is a good man and his opinion of me does not negate the good he has done. Yet, I cannot allow the misrepresentation of this word to go unchallenged.

Unity, in the right context is wonderful, but apart from it is dangerous and potentially lethal to what we are and what we believe.

11. Direction determines destination. 


Unity means we are walking together and I may not want to go where you are going. Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Sometimes secondary separation is necessary to protect me from the influence of who is influencing you.

I must protect the integrity of my influence; therefore, I cannot unite with those whose influences may hurt the ones I influence. I cannot go to Rick Warren's conference because, while I may be able to discern between the good and the bad, those I influence may not.

Some methods come from flawed ideology. Accept the method and eventually you will accept the ideology. A goodexample is "worship" talk. The words "worship service" may not be bad, but they are attached to flawed ideology as well as flawed theology.
 page23image17736 page23image17896
23

TRIAL BY FIRE
Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists


Just because there is good food in the dumpster does not mean I am going to feed my family from the dumpster. Good ideas may come out of the dumpster of the liberals, but do I really want to build my church on dumpster ideas? No!

The hottest guy out there may not be the guy with whom I want to be joined. I may sense troubling trends that make me keep my distance. I am not going to fight him, but I am not going to be told I should unite with him.

24