Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Rebuke
The commonly regarded father of the IFB (i.e. Independent Fundamental Baptist) churches is Jack Hyles who was the leader of Hammond Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana from 1959 until his death in 2001. There is also a movement that is commonly called the New IFB, which I will comment about eventually.
Hyles and his followers’ preaching of easy-believism, cheap grace, and unconditional eternal security cause them to almost perfectly fit the hideous label of the type of deceivers which Jude warned about in his epistle (the only reason they don’t fit that label perfectly is because of how obvious they are to anyone with a significant amount of Biblical discernment; Jude gave his warning he gave with the implication that such deceivers would not usually be so obvious).
Jude 3-4: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old (i.e. ordained to condemnation in the Old Testament) ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Jack Hyles’ effort to combat Lordship salvation is in my estimation the pathetic attempt of a man hell-bent on justifying his own rejection of Christ’s Lordship and not even sure of the case he wants to make for himself in doing this. In one work of his that I read on this, at one point he says receiving Christ as Lord is to be done after Christ has been accepted as Savior (that’s false- you can’t divide Jesus; the Passover Lamb is an obvious type of Jesus Christ and God told the Israelites to eat all of it); at another point in his case against Lordship salvation Hyles seems to be saying that receiving Christ as Lord at all leads to pride and can’t really be done properly by anyone anyways.
Yet Hyles sure contended with people whom he believed opposed his own lordship and he did not seem to think that it was proud to obey him. Quite the opposite! Hyles sure acted like his own alleged lordship ought to be obeyed! These self-evident truths alone make it clear what a wicked, godless, antichrist man that he obviously really was. A charismatic, smooth talking salesman using Christ’s name to build his own kingdom and enrich himself, leading countless thousands of people into counterfeit salvations (probably millions if you count the counterfeit salvations produced by those whom he has trained), blatantly opposing the Lordship of Christ while demanding unquestioned obedience to his alleged pastoral authority.
Many still follow Hyles today and his influence still prevails in IFB churches, many of which are pastored by men trained at the college which he founded, Hyles-Anderson College. These men learn to twist Scripture out of context (see our message “Biblical Context is Critical” which applies totally to those trained at colleges like Hyles-Anderson and the gospel of easy-believism which they preach) and they learn to speak confidently, smoothly, and authoritatively. They preach a false gospel denying the need to be under Christ’s Lordship and they instead offer salvation by a quick prayer. A good description of this trafficking in man’s souls which I came across is “1,2, 3 repeat after me.” A quote from an online review of a book exposing the Hyles cult, states the obvious. “They are responsible for the encouragement of an easy, repeat-after-me type of “salvation” that is mostly for the purpose of claiming inflated numbers of members while leaving the “convert” with no idea of what he’s done, or even worse, the idea that he is just fine and “Heaven-bound” because he prayed some prayer after a desperate college student needing to claim the numbers.”
Self-aggrandizement was the constant in Hyles’ preaching. His followers would be hard pressed to find and present an entire Hyles sermon where he did not use blatant self-aggrandizement. You can also find a video clip online showing Hyles demeaning a man and making a racist statement about him. People today are generally overly sensitive about racism and often think they see it where it doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t mean it’s not wrong when it is evidently displayed like in the Hyles clip. You can also do your own research into the horrid sexual improprieties in IFB churches, especially in relation to Hyles’ own family. His son-in-law (Jack Schaap) whom he personally mentored and trained to succeed him, is currently serving a 12 year prison sentence for having a sexual relationship with a minor in his congregation and transporting her across state lines for sexual purposes. Schaap is also well known for frequently talking about sex graphically in his sermons and there is even a clip of him online simulating a sexual act while he was preaching. The allegations against Hyles himself and his own son David are numerous and are backed up by testimony from within Hyles’ own family, his own daughter and others who were very close to the Hyles family (which you can do your own research on).
Keep in mind above all though that the IFB’s own doctrine teaches that anyone who has said the sinner’s prayer to “accept Christ” could never go to hell no matter what evil they did. And also keep this verse in mind as we go along, which is along the same lines. Proverbs 17:4: “A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.” Along the same lines, it also makes sense that angry people bent on power, money, and honor from men would embrace IFB doctrine and tactics.
There are many messages already that we have on whatever outlet you’ve found this on about the need to actually follow and obey Jesus, keep His works until the end, and about the overall difficulty of being saved since faith in Christ is not a one-time thing. Jesus is both Lord and Savior, and faith in Him that saves is obedient and works in line with His Royal authority and High Priesthood which saves to the uttermost them that come unto God by Him (Hebrews 7:25). Such messages were given with the premise that such things should be emphasized anyways; and all the more so because there are deceivers in the world like Hyles and his followers who offer counterfeit salvations in Christ without submission and obedience to His holy, righteous authority.
As I look at Hyle’s sales pitch for his easy-believism, his denial of the need to repent of sin and submit to Christ’s Lordship in order to authentically come to Christ and actually obtain His grace, Hyles’ arrogance is especially evident when he characterizes Lordship salvation as man being saved because of what he gave to God. This gives much insight into his own wicked heart, since he speaks as if he would be giving to God and putting God into debt to him by submitting to God. Nobody who recognizes that God has a rightful claim upon every person, a claim which is only increased and strengthened by the price which Christ paid to redeem us to God, would ever speak of turning from sin and submitting to Christ’s Lordship as if it were man making God indebted to him and giving man a cause for boasting. There is nothing man-exalting about submitting to Christ; and a person who speaks like Hyles on this proves that they are an unrepentant rebel against God. It is rather man-exalting to think that God would ever save a person without them ending their resistance to their His rightful claim on their life, giving Him the glory and honor due unto His name! Hyles’ lies and false methods (which permeate the IFB churches) are proven to be such from the straightforward uncompromised verdicts of the Bible.
Matthew 22:20-21: “And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”
Revelation 14:6-7: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”
Acts 26:19-21 (the Apostle Paul testifying): “Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.”
Did Hyles preach like this? No, he preached totally contrary to this. And I bring up these verses from Acts 26 so much in our Bible studies because it refutes the lies which cheap grace, easy-believism, unconditional security teachers tell about proper Biblical evangelism and the Gospel message which the Apostle Paul preached.
So while the IFB churches claim to be wholehearted Christians and think the rest of Christendom is full of compromisers (not that there isn’t something worth considering in that second statement), they are actually among the most blatant promoters and defenders of the root problems corrupting Christendom as they oppose the Lordship of Christ and hand out easy, counterfeit salvations like candy.
IFB churches are especially blatant in promoting hypocrisy since they are well known for creating an environment where much energetic talk about holy living and not compromising is prevalent, yet underlying it all is their easy-believism and unconditional eternal security teachings which blatantly say that even if you do nothing of the good which you’re saying you ought to do, you’re still going to go to heaven anyways through (their perversion of) the grace of God. The churches where there is no energy and no talk about holy living are actually less fraudulent! Those who are just grasping for any way to be double minded, grasping for any way to believe that they are serving God while serving sin at the same time, it’s hard to think of a better place for people like this than in the IFB churches. But if you don’t want to be this way and you don’t want to partake of such things, avoid the IFB churches. And if you are in an IFB church, get out.
The new IFB churches may actually be even a little more blatant in saying a person doesn’t have to turn from their sins and obey Jesus Christ until the end to be saved, while also thinking they are less liberal and overall less compromising than older IFB churches. They need a logic lesson. A straight thinking rational person cannot say with a straight face that you don’t need to turn from your sins to be saved while also saying that no homosexual will enter heaven. And that is exactly what Steve Anderson, who is regarded as the father of the newer IFB churches actually says (obviously the Bible does indeed teach that no practicing homosexual will enter heaven; and that is obviously because the Bible teaches that we need to turn from our sins to be saved while teaching that homosexuality is a sin). The IFB logic, and just as much or more the New IFB logic, is totally nonsensical and irrational in saying that certain types of sinners are going to hell while also teaching that you don’t need to turn from your sins to be saved.
In the IFB churches the Pastor preaching from the pulpit is not that practically different from the Pope speaking ex-cathedra to Roman Catholics. You just have to listen to a sermon from an IFB pastor like Jack Hyles or Jack Schaap to see how their congregations were basically spellbound and hung on to their every word. The IFB churches thrive on soul power from the pulpit, human charm, and charisma which leaves the followers of the pastor impressionable, and virtually or altogether unable to stand up to, let alone question, even the most blatantly inaccurate and just plain dumb things which the Pastor says (and of course inaccurate and dumb sayings abound in the IFB churches).
When the Bible speaks of obeying church leadership, it is not speaking of being spellbound and blindly obedient to church leadership. Churches should choose the wisest and most proven person in the church to be their Pastor (or head elder or bishop, the name isn’t a sacred thing in and of itself) because someone will lead the church no matter what. If someone is chosen for their charisma, their oratory ability, and/or their Bible school degree (which is often, and surely so in the IFB’s case, blatantly bad training anyways) then the church is doomed.
And it is obviously common in the IFB, but surely not limited to the IFB, to have a Pastor who has such ungodly control over his congregation that if he said that the sky is pink or green, it is quite possible no one would even challenge him. That is not Biblical submission to authority. Likewise, if a woman is subservient to her husband to the point where she would not tell him of a clear and present danger, or if she could not do so without being rebuked, that is not a Biblical either. That is abuse and manipulation. Though most of the world has gone into the ditches of weak church leadership and feminism, there are ditches on the other side of Christ’s strait and narrow way involving pastors and husbands controlling and abusing people; and also involving church laity and wives enabling such by their compliance and silence. Such compliance and silence is no better than going into the ditch on the side of the road. Remember that Sapphira was judged along with her husband Ananias for going along with his wicked scheme and not rather contending with him and disassociating herself from him in his wicked endeavor. There is no such thing as submission to authority in the Lord which follows someone in their sin or which requires someone to abandon common sense and shut one’s eyes to that which is just plain and obvious.
A pulpit may be a useful tool for whoever is preaching to place their notes on, yet it is not a sacred object which sanctifies whatever is said by the preacher. The IFB churches, many other Baptist churches, and other churches in general try to compensate for their sermons’ lack of truth and lack of depth by treating the pulpit as sacred. And I can only imagine how ironic it would be if a faithful preacher actually got to preach in an IFB church. Imagine if someone rebuked the IFB churches using IFB preaching methods, screaming at the top of their lungs about “All these people who think they’re so smart and sarcastically ask how a person can lose eternal life. Well, open your Bible and read Genesis chapter 3 where Adam and Eve died spiritually because they listened to the D-E-V-I-L!!!! If you can’t see that, you have no business preaching at all, let alone waving a Bible and screaming from the pul-pit!” Those who have been in IFB churches and who don’t have IFB blinders on currently know how ironic that would be because that is how they preach, because of how they so shamelessly promote the unconditional eternal security doctrine, and because of how their congregations are so timid before the guy who is preaching in the pulpit. That would be quite a scene (and by the way, see our messages also called “How You Can Lose Eternal Life” and the study on Luke 14:25-35 in relation to these things).
Waving around a Bible and screaming things at a church which already believes what you’re saying is not courage. That can rather easily be a cowardly attempt to get applause from people without actually displaying any courage at all. And many IFB pastor types will rebuke and shame people in the church from the pulpit when they know they will get amens and have the congregation on their side. It would have been right though, and much more courageous, to just tell the person the rebuke in private if they were really in the wrong and the preacher really needed to rebuke them.
And speaking of what is spoken (i.e. screamed) from the pulpits of IFB churches, another related thing is hype. IFB churches may correctly criticize the emotionalism common in Pentecostal circles, Purpose Driven/Seeker-sensitive circles, and other churches in general. Yet the IFB churches are corrupted by emotionalism just as much because of hype (especially by the preaching from the pulpit).
Hype, that is, deliberately generating excitement and seeking to get people to move or act based on that excitement, is not compatible with faithful Christianity. Hype is ultimately an expression of emotionalism. Churches and charismatic leaders will try to get people on board with them, and subservient to the methods that they’ve contrived, through hype. It is especially bad and deceptive when Jesus and Biblical terms are attached to hype. The term soul power has to do with such emotionalism when applied by someone with a strong personality or applied through an environment of human pressure and/or intimidation. Many people are pressured and manipulated into making professions of Christ (coming to the altar, saying a sinner’s prayer, getting baptized, etc) through hype, especially in the IFB. People can also through hype be pressured into doing other things to conform to the demands of the group and the individuals in it exercising strong soul power (even if/when they are right things, they are dead works when done on such a basis). Soul power, a prevalent extension of emotionalism, cannot produce genuine Christian faith and righteousness. It leaves those who have responded based upon its influence especially deceived, as their lack of spiritual discernment caused them to heed this bad influence; and they are then further misled into thinking they have tried Jesus, tried to be faithful Christians, etc when they really bent to the pressure of an undiscerning, strong souled preacher and/or group.
Emotionalism does not hold up when one affected by it is actually faced with the real life demands of true Christianity. The pursuit of emotional experiences, operating upon hype, and the general leading of emotion don’t lead to the walk of righteousness, and consistent faithfulness, which we need to have to please God and inherit salvation. And that is especially so when there is not only emotionalism in an environment, but also the blatant denial that turning from sin and keeping God’s commandments has anything bearing on a person’s salvation like there is in the IFB churches. In analyzing what Jesus said about the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25:31-46, it is the goats who might have not done what they should have (in identifying with Christ’s people in their need; and in loving their needy neighbor as themselves) because of how how they expected Jesus to save them unconditionally after they said the sinner’s prayers. Doing what was right before God in the moment by moment trials of life would also be inconsistent with being driven by hype since hype does not abide in the moment by moment trials of life.
And for all their shameless promotion of unconditional eternal security, don’t be surprised if you’re cursed and told you’re going to hell by an IFB Pastor or deacon or ardent follower if you confront them with their unbiblical doctrines, their godless methods, and their sinful admiration of the ungodly men whom they follow and so highly adore. Bravado, hype, and love of man’s praise abound in IFB churches. Not sound logic nor openness to truth from God’s Word nor courage to pursue truth when it conflicts with what is acceptable in the IFB (if such courage is ever exercised, one will be out of the IFB very quickly).
It is also common in the IFB (and many other church movements and organizations) for pastors to be implicitly ranked according to the size of their church. That is the essence of pragmatism and humanism- things which the IFB would claim to be against. Success in the sight of men sure does not equal faithfulness in the sight of God. It is actually easier to build a church based on falsehood and carnal methods of manipulation than it is to build a church on the truth of God’s Word and not resorting to manipulation through hype, oratory eloquence, and/or human intimidation. Man may build, but God will throw down that which is not done according to His Word. Man may despise, but that doesn’t mean that what is despised isn’t valuable in God’s eyes and that it won’t be a praise for His name on the day that ultimately matters- the day when reality is made plain and all the covers and smokescreens are utterly taken away.
Hebrews 12:26-29: “Whose voice then (i.e. at Mount Sinai) shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.”
Many people have been hurt badly and disillusioned regarding Christianity due to what they have suffered and what they’ve seen in relation to spiritual, emotional, mental, and even perhaps physical abuse within the IFB. And on top of that, those damaged within the IFB churches often still have the confusion and/or the false sense of security due to the sinner’s prayer they said which they were told would save them forever. They still have dealings with Christ related to His authority which they should seek Him with their whole hearts over and get straightened before Him. His authority was not represented properly by what they saw in the IFB- likely not even anywhere in the ballpark of that at all. These should know that they can, and should, righteously rebel against the manipulation tactics and overall abusive spirit within the IFB by turning to Jesus Christ and actually submitting to Him to walk in the light of His Word. That righteous rebellion would not involve rebelling against actual Biblical principles (such principles were not faithfully and consistently followed in the IFB anyways). That righteous rebellion would involve placing no trust in the sinner’s prayer which you were told was your salvation, it would involve rejecting unconditional eternal security as the IFB teaches, and it would involve actually following Christ on the strait and narrow way that (alone) leads to eternal life by a living, obedient faith before God. That is how to stand up to and combat the IFB churches.
Reach brother Aaron at: [email protected]