On Wednesday night, May 20, 2009, Jack Schaap, pastor of First Baptist Church, Hammond, Indiana, preached on the need for fundamental Baptists to broaden their base and stop being so narrow and to not criticize anyone at all. He preached this as counsel for the Hyles Anderson College students who were departing for summer break.
“We refuse to acknowledge that there are other saved people that are O.K. Brother Hyles had a great philosophy. As he got older he preached a sermon called ‘I Copy the Young Jack Hyles.’ I have been going through his books and I have been going through sermon notes and I’ve been going through sermons of when he was a young preacher, and I’ve gone back and copied in so many ways the young Jack Hyles. The young Jack Hyles who came here when the church had over a thousand members and and that church grew from 1959 to 11 years later it was declared the largest Sunday School in the world. And I looked at the people he ran with and the people he talked about and the friends he had and the archives. Dr. Ray Young is going through his files. And who he corresponded with and who he made friends with, and I marvel and say, Why have we cut everything off until we’ve just got this one tiny little part that’s our part? We’re getting smaller and smaller. ... The Bible says speak evil of no man. We cut ourselves loose about 30 years ago and we started adding to the Good News everybody that we didn’t like. It was ‘Go Gospel, and I don’t like him.’ I was thinking about all the people that got slaughtered by name across the pulpits of fundamentalism. And I wonder if God sat there listening to His men and said, ‘What are you doing in my pulpit? That’s is a servant of mine you are talking about, and I know he’s got some flaws and weaknesses, but he doesn’t answer to you, son. He answers to me.’ And I wonder how many men have been cut up and diced and sliced in our Christian movement and I’ve had to go into my prayer closet and get my attitude straight. I was talking to a group of guys this week, and one said, ‘Brother Schaap, I’m so ashamed when I go back 20 years ago when I got into the ministry, and I think of how arrogant I was and I just said things because everybody else was saying it, and I parroted all of the terribly critical things.’ And he mentioned five names, and I’m not going to mention the five names because I think I’d be crucified by the brethren if I did. When you’re never supposed to speak evil of any man and when it comes out of the mouths of the most Christ-honoring, God-fearing, uplifting, holy men of God, and they are spitting it out, does God look at that and say, ‘If my men are acting that way, where’s my movement going to go?’ Everything rises and falls on leadership. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. I wonder if our mouths have been cursing too many people and maybe God has put a little curse, or maybe a sizeable curse, on us? I don’t want anybody in this ministry to speak evil of any man. What they say about us or about you or any man, let’s not worry about that. Let us worry about what comes out of our mouths. ... If this church controls its mouth then maybe God can look at our ministry and say, ‘Well, at least there’s one church that’s keeping their mouth on the Good News. As you go out, college students, from this ministry this summer I want you to have your mouth engaged in the Good News. Good News. Souls saved.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNIt-0GKz9o&NR=1
This is an extremely dangerous message.
Observe that Schaap does not even reference the verse he quotes. It is Titus 3:2, which says, “To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.” The context is avoiding the sins that characterized the believer before he was saved. See the next verse “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.”
This verse does not forbid us to warn about compromisers and false teachers and sin and error in the churches. Paul warned about such things constantly. It was not evil speaking for Paul to warn about Hymenaeus and Alexander (1 Tim. 1:20) or Phygellus and Hermogenes (2 Tim. 1:15) or Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Tim. 2:17) or Demas (2 Tim. 4:10) or Alexander (2 Tim. 4:14). It wasn’t evil speaking for the the house of Chloe to inform Paul of the sin in the church at Corinth (1 Cor. 1:11).
Schaap’s philosophy will destroy the biblical principle of separation. It will destroy a preacher’s ability to effectively protect his flock from error and from compromisers.
Schaap wants the liberty to enlarge his borders of association, though he is still afraid of being very public about it and pushing it very far. This is why he refused to name the “five names” of men that fundamental Baptists have been critical of in the past but should now should stop criticizing. Could they be Billy Graham or Jerry Falwell or Charles Swindoll or Luis Palau or who? He refuses to tell us how far he really wants to go in his associations, but time will tell.
Observe that Schaap grossly, libelously mischaracterizes a godly warning ministry. He labels it speaking evil, which it most definitely is not. He labels it “slaughter” and “dislike” and “slicing and dicing.” He implies that it is something only done out of ignorance. Some preachers might indeed be ignorant and hateful in their criticisms of other preachers, but that’s not what I am about and that’s not what many godly men that I know are about. I warn and expose because I care deeply about the truth and the cause of Jesus Christ and pure churches in a dark world. I warn because “I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:128). God is my witness.
Observe that Schaap says that the preacher should do nothing but soul winning. That is pure Hylesism. Soul winning is everything, and soul winning covers a multitude of sins. If that is the case, why in the world do we have such a large Bible that speaks of so many things other than soul winning? If the Romans Road is the only thing that matters, why doesn’t Schaap throw away his Bible and just preach from a little card containing the Romans Road?
Observe the constant emphasis on numbers. He has to remind the congregation that Hyles built the largest Sunday School in the world. God judged David when he numbered Israel, but Schaap would have us believe that God is well pleased with the numbers madness that has charactered Hylesism.
Observe that Schaap’s authority is Jack Hyles. He says that he is patterning himself after Hyles. In fact, he relates the amazing, but not surprising, fact that Hyles was his own hero. The old Hyles followed the young Hyles. I thought men were supposed to grow wiser with years, but Hyles was so perfect in his youth that he could not be improved upon even by an old Hyles.
What a man-centered cult!
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