Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Spare Us

From a recent “Fundamentalist” paper:

“When I see so many major ministries and Bible colleges have evangelists and preachers who travel openly with their mistresses come to speak and then get introduced as the greatest preachers in America, I get physically sick.”

Fair enough, though I am troubled by the broad accusation without naming names.

However, his basis for this statement is found just three paragraphs earlier when he said, “Some of you hate that I am exposing our own, but if he were a charismatic preacher, we would call his name and lambaste him. However, when it comes to our own, we would rather gather around tables like little school girls and gossip instead of take a public stand against such trash … which leads me to my third observation: Our movement is so full of politics it is sickening.”

So here is a guy who said if it was a charismatic preacher we would “call his name and lambaste him.” He then complains about the politics that prevents people from doing this. And then doesn’t do it. Was it politics that kept him from naming the names of these preachers who are allegedly making the preaching circuit with their mistresses in tow?

But here’s the greatest irony: This is from a man who, in the last paragraph of this paper, cites “Dr. Jack Hyles” as someone he “preached across this country with” who told him that “every generation of fundamentalists has to define themselves.”

Here's the problem: The definition that Jack Hyles gave for his fundamentalism is a complete and absolute embarrassment. He is a man who openly preached heresy. He is a man who accepted the adulation of thousands. He is a man whose moral qualifications for the pastorate were at best questionable. He was not “blameless” by any stretch of the imagination.

And he is cited by a man who complains about preachers with mistresses making the preaching circuit.

Have you no shame?

So should I be consistent and name names? Sure, why not: These are the words of Keith Gomez from Northwest Bible Baptist Church in Elgin, IL who sponsors an “Old Paths” conference for pastors.

Oh that God would spare fundamentalism from the Old Paths that cite Jack Hyles as a moral authority on anything.


Jason said...

Good post.

"The Captain" said...

Wow. unproven accusations against a preacher. He cannot be proven innocent either. He said,she said rumor mongering

William D said...

I got the same junk mail at my church and I wrote an email to this pastor and said:

"Dear Brother ____________,

Every month I receive your newsletter at our church and I enjoy reading the different helpful ideas that are written. I recently read your article: "Dangerous Trends and Slippery Ways" but alot of it... I just didn't understand what you were talking about. Maybe I'm just out of touch with what's happening in Fundamentalism as a whole, but because so much was spoken in generalities, I had little idea what you were speaking out against. You call these people apostate fundamentalists and I have to wonder, which of us have denied salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone? Because that is what apostasy is.

For example, you mentioned that the preaching in some circles is stories and illustrations but no Bible content, there's no distinction, and it's a tinkling cymbal. I guess just about 99% of preaching in fundamentalism could be described that way. The expository sermon that explains, then interprets and then applies the Scripture accordingly is only something you'll hear from the BJU side of fundamentalism.

Another example would be about the music. You said that it's not Christian rock, just unfamiliar; it's not our kind of music. What does that mean? Fundamentalist music is only fundamentalist music if you have heard it before? Are you referring to any kind of music that was written after 1900? As a matter of fact, the late 1800's gospel songs by Ira Sankey and his generation were a huge deviation from the old hymns. It was equivalent to the junk CCM music of today in his day. Most of those songs were sappy sentimentalism without any real theology like "Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled my Soul". It just tells you how one feels about salvation, but does nothing to teach you how to be saved. The music in our churches should not be judged by what is familiar, but the Word of God should judge it.

I whole-heartedly agreed with what you had to say about the heresy that is being preached about the Lord's Supper. I did recognize whom you were talking about in that instance. But why would you attack Jerry Falwell by name but not Jack Schaap? Jerry Falwell has never preached blasphemous heresy. He has done a number of other things that we disagree with, but as far as I can tell, he's never made up new doctrine like Dr. Schaap and even his late father in law have.

As a young man in fundamentalism (between 20-45) like you mentioned, I grow weary of being guided by tradition and fear in our movement. I wish we would just get back to what the Word of God says and govern all that we do by it and not by what our circle that we run in has to say.

I don't know if you'll even get this message since you are undoubtedly a very busy man, but I just wanted to ask those questions and let you know what the next generation of fundamentalists like myself are seeing. I appreciate your vigor to contend for the faith, but let's not blur the lines between the faith, and our preferences. When those become synonymous, the authentic faith for which we contend becomes devalued.

Thank you for your faithful service to our Lord,"