Jack Hyles Legacy: Fact or Fiction? Linda Murphy’s Open Letter to FBC

Posted: April 2, 2013 in IFB
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jack and bevAfter several years of speculation, criticism, books written for and against the former pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, and undeniably, the most popular pastor of any fundamental Baptist church this side of the 20th century, did Jack Hyles leave a legacy worthy of honor? or are the rumors all true, or is it mere gossip? Was Jack Hyles a pastor who practiced “for filthy lucre” or was he a man of integrity that had flaws like any other human pastor?

I am reminded of 1 Timothy 5:24 where “Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after”. Some of those we will know of now, and some questions will not be answered until we get to heaven.

Although the controversy surrounding First Baptist Church (“FBC”) has revolved mostly around Jack Schaap, a recent letter titled “An Open Letter To First Baptist Church” by Linda Murphy has cast the attention back on to her father, Jack Hyles. There is no doubt that critics of Hyles and Schaap and FBC in general put no stock in FBC’s current pastor, John Wilkerson, and would rather keep attention focused on the actions of Schaap and Hyles regardless of whatever potential changes may occur at FBC under Wilkerson’s ministry.

Then there are those who will as it appears defend the life of Jack Hyles regardless of what has been rumored or written. Whether such a defense can be attributed to “blind loyalty” or objective interpretation (in the opinion of the defenders of Hyles) of known facts seems to be a problem where a conclusion may not ever be reached.

There have been several books written about the subject regarding Hyles, most notably, “Fundamental Seduction” by attorney, Voyle Glover, “Wizard of God” by Victor Nischik, “The Hyles Effect” by David Cloud, and a series of articles published by Robert Sumner in The Biblical Evangelist which undoubtedly sparked the greatest controversy.

On the other hand, there are websites that defend the life of Jack Hyles such as The Jack Hyles Homepage   IndependentBaptist.com.  ,and Jesus Is Saviour. The latter appear to defend Hyles based on admonishing the readers to simply disregard rumors and gossip without any real encouragement to view facts alleged by the previous mentioned authors, and focus more on the accomplishments of Jack Hyles, rather than the accusations, and the former appear to state cases based on documented evidence and corroborated testimony of several “insider” characters closest to Hyles.

If the allegations surrounding Jack Hyles are true, then it would behoove fundamental Baptist churches to pay close attention to the facts to avoid an influence that would likely continue to harm other IFB churches  in the same way that some of the teachings of Martin Luther, John Calvin, et al, still affect churches today. I believe there are some who defend Hyles (Bob Gray, Sr) that have honest intentions and have a true desire to see Christians have a fruitful walk with the Lord, but may not be privy to all of the details that have been documented about these events. I will not ascribe any interpretation of their intentions to any ulterior motives. Bob Gray Sr and I have exchanged quite a few differing correspondences, and I can say that I am certain Bob Gray does not support abuse or the deliberate proliferation of false doctrine and has received some criticism that I believe is unjust, inaccurate and unfair.

I will not expound on all of those accusations here and let the reader peruse the afore-mentioned publications for themselves. What I do want to add to this controversy are some personal observations.


Linda Hyles Murphy

I have found it more than a little odd that Linda has been so outspoken against her father, but not against her mother, Beverly Hyles. If Jack Hyles was truly a man of greed and an opportunist, the same accusations that have been leveled against David Hyles in that the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” could also be said of Linda since after all, she is his child. [This is not a reflection at all of Beverly Hyles, but on the motivation of Linda Murphy on not being consistent in her accusations. Beverly Hyles, the way, has a new blog: Monday With Beverly]

There is no doubt to me that there are some very suspicious facts surrounding how the known affairs of David Hyles were handled by Jack Hyles, and how with the knowledge of those affairs, that David Hyles was shuffled to ministries in other churches when even one such affair would and should have served to disqualify him from any form of authoritative ministry. Moreover there is also the apparent unsolved suspicious death of Brent Stevens, the step son in his second marriage which was followed by the death of yet another son, the natural son of David and Brenda Stevens Hyles.

Did Jack Hyles know the real story? Did he help cover it up to protect his son? According to Linda, he probably did, but is Linda being objective? How much does Linda know about the facts, and if she knows as much, would her mother also know as well? If all of the facts surrounding these events, and the home life that Linda describes as tumultuous under the roof provided by Jack Hyles, would these facts not be known to Beverly who has engaged in numerous public appearances and continued to support and speak well of her husband? Would that not in essence make Beverly an “enabler” of Jack Hyles activities?

According to Linda, any staff member that had the scienter of the actions of Hyles and said nothing would have been a person that was just as guilty for not “speaking up”, but yet I have not seen any public ridicule of how her own mother handled these issues, and for me that raises just a smidgen of a question of credibility and motive.

Moreover, Linda has a “coaching ministry” where she charges $150 per session with a 7 session minimum based on humanistic methods of counseling (Although Linda attempts to show a difference between counseling and coaching, it is sheer semantics. For more on Linda’s history, see the section on Linda Hyles Murphy in our article on Trisha’s Fundamental Revolution And Do Right Hyles Anderson Cult.) So could it not be argued that Linda may be motivated by gain? After all, even negative publicity about her father offers her a unique opportunity for her to capitalize financially, and she is currently writing a book on the subject, where apparently the book is being sold one chapter at a time.

Granted, regardless of whatever Linda’s motivation is, she is in a better position than most to offer an opinion and first-hand observations of the home-life of Jack Hyles, but why have other siblings not said the same thing? Was it simply that Linda was the only one that had the guts to stand up, and if that’s that case, why did it take 20 years to write a book about it on the heals of the FBC spotlight after Jack Schaap’s arrest? This seems to be a theme in most of the articles, websites and books written about Hyles, Schaap, and FBC, “I could have and perhaps should have spoken up sooner”. In the legal system, we call that “pulling the teeth”. It’s a tactic where a good lawyer answers an objection ahead of time that they know will be a question in the minds of the jurors. Surely, Linda and others like-minded knew that that question would be asked “why did you wait so long” and then conveniently all of these critics posted their writings at the same time, when criticism of FBC gained national attention.

While I can not vouch for the veracity of Linda’s testimony nor refute it, I can only ask a few questions that have caused concern as to whether she is just like the caricature she has created of her father, but with the mask of a victim advocate. Perhaps her father neglected quality time with her as a result of being so busy with church affairs that she has been forever impacted by the lack of affection that a father owes their children and perhaps views her relationship with her father as a type of King David and Absalom? Or as some have suggested, that Jack left her either very little or nothing in the disbursement of assets upon his death.

The most successful attacks and lies are those that are mixed with a modicum of truth, and in my opinion Linda’s testimony presents some difficulty in separating fact from fiction.

Robert Sumner

Probably the most recognized of the critics that caused an avalanche of skepticism among fundamentalists before the existence of any so-called victim advocate or “Do Right” groups was a series of articles published by Robert Sumner in The Biblical Evangelist, ibid.

I do remember that during those years, Robert Sumner received quite a bit of criticism from Dr. Peter S. Ruckman over Sumner’s stance (or lack thereof) on the King James Bible, and there is no doubt that Ruckman had an influence on Jack Hyles regarding the KJB controversy. Regardless of how others view Ruckman’s often abrasive writing style, and some of his seemingly unorthodox teachings, there is little question as to the influence that Ruckman has had on the King James Only controversy, and the effect that has had on many fundamental Baptist preachers in taking a bolder stand against the corrupt translations and those who support them.

Ruckman was often critical of Hyles Anderson College and Jack Hyles and in later years, Hyles appeared to adopt a more “Ruckmanite” approach to the King James controversy which would have led to Hyles agreeing with Ruckman about Robert Sumner. Many fundamentalists, particularly those among Bob Jones University, have separated amongst themselves over the King James issue alone, which most have attributed to “Ruckmanism” (Don’t believe me? Ask any BJU staff member how they feel about Peter Ruckman.)

It seems that a break in fellowship between Robert Sumner and Jack Hyles was inevitable and since Jack Hyles opinion likely held a little more weight among fundamentalists than Peter Ruckman, could this have been the motivation behind Robert Sumner’s decision to collect evidence against Hyles?

One such example of an accusation contained within the Biblical Evangelist that did not make sense was as follows:

 In 1971, when Jennie first demanded that Vic leave, Hyles came to him and asked if once a divorce had been granted, he had permission to marry her. Obviously, there were no witnesses to this conversation and its truthfulness or falseness should be evaluated in the light of everything else this article reveals. [1]

One author replied to this:

Let me get this straight… you’re wanting us to believe that Dr. Hyles actually asked if he could marry Vic Nischik’s wife if she divorced her husband? You’ve got to be kidding? Men don’t ask permission to steal other men’s wives, they just do it! . [2]

The website above, although there is some controversy surrounding the author of that website [3] provides some thought provoking responses to Sumner’s allegations. I do not want to offer this as a complete rebuttal of what Sumner wrote, as his allegations are pretty extensive, but there has been quite a trend that when a fundamentalist attacks another fundamentalists DOCTRINAL positions, that accused retaliates with PERSONAL attacks, and for me, that remains as a legitimate question regarding Sumner’s motives.


Even though it appears that most of the evidence against Hyles is based on uncorroborated statements of isolated conversations, I have seen hand-written letters that Hyles wrote to Jennie Nischik that clearly demonstrate an inappropriate affection toward another woman, have read documented court records of Hyles own statements in depositions regarding his relationship with her, and have found that the interpretation of events as written by David Cloud to be quite credible. I have extensive experience in investigations and the legal field, but this conclusion I have reached is simply my opinion on the matter. Yet I certainly do not have enough information from primary sources to be dogmatic about any of my opinions or conclusions.

And I guess my greatest concern for those in defense of Hyles is that there has never been a satisfactory explanation for the accusations surrounding some of the false doctrines taught by Hyles, or the connection with Jennie Nischik in that regardless of whether or not an affair was ever proven, was the relationship they shared  inappropriate for a pastor and married man? If there exists an explanation somewhere other than just “Oh that’s just gossip” then I have not seen it. In my research I weeded out much of what I believed WAS gossip, but sometimes there are matters where facts lead you to an conclusion that you may not want to hear or accept. I still have many friends among FBC even though I disagree about Hyles, and then there are those who consider me a heretic because I choose to defend the Bible more than I am willing to defend any one man.

If there is evidence to the contrary, by all means prove me wrong. I was greatly influenced by Jack Hyles and John R. Rice growing up. Although I was not privy to some of the sermons where error or alleged false doctrine has been promoted (of which I still have not heard), I have probably listened to several hundred Hyles sermons in my lifetime, and still use some excerpts from some of his sermons. Thus, it was very discouraging for me to hear of these allegations.

Regardless of the events surrounding Jack Hyles or Jack Schaap, one thing should be made clear and that is in spite of their influence on certain branches of fundamentalism, they were only mere men, and did not speak for nor represent the practices and teachings of all fundamental Baptist churches. With the death of Jack Hyles, and the incarceration of Jack Schaap, FBC is writing new chapters with the inauguration of John Wilkerson and we have no reason to be suspect of Pastor Wilkerson. But again, First Baptist Church is not the “Vatican” of IFB churches as some critics see it. First Baptist Church is an independent church and whatever goes on at FBC should be given the same reflection as what occurs at an independent church of 20 members.

Churches should be evaluated on the merits of how closely they adhere to the person of Jesus Christ and sound Biblical doctrine. There will be critics who will always view fundamentalism in light of the failures of certain recognized leaders, and will continue to use bad examples of fallen preachers as an excuse to justify attacks on Christianity as a whole, and to further excuse the adoption of humanist philosophies, homosexuality, atheism, “progressive Christianity” and any other anti Christian belief for which they will continue to rely on the fodder of backslidden Christians to live like heathens and reprobates.

Websites such as Jocelyn Zichterman’s IFB Cult Survivors, all of the “Do Right” groups, Jeri Massi’s “Blog On The Way”, Darrell Dow’s “Stuff Fundies Like”, Cynthia McLaskey’s “Religions Cell” while all giving the appearance of advocating for victims of abuse, have produced more atheists and Bible rejecting ex-Baptists than Karl Marx could only dream of. (More will be said about this later in an upcoming article as to why fundamentalists don’t listen to critics. [UPDATE: That article is now available and highlighted in the about sentence)

Whereas those who remain in fundamentalist churches will realize that the only perfect example is that of Jesus Christ, and will move on in spite of the sins and crimes committed by those who were expected to be examples to the flock of God. Each believer shall give an account of HIMSELF to God and how he/she responds to any crisis within the churches. At judgment day, God is not going to be interested in how Jack Hyles or Jack Schaap caused a believer to embrace homosexuality or atheism. God’s question will be “In spite of what someone else did, what did My Son and My word have to do with that?” (Romans 3:4).

If what Hyles taught offends you, here’s a hint: learn what the Bible says and don’t repeat his flaws. John 7:17.  Or you can spend the rest of your life on your couch being a keyboard gangster as an unproductive servant and a self-righteous hypocrite that has nothing better to do than remind everyone how bad other Christians are while you pat yourself on the back like the Pharisee you are and repeat ” I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican” Luke 18:11; or “I thank thee God that I am not like Jack Schaap, or those other Baptist sinners”.

Thank you God I’m not like those Baptists!

“And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13:1-5

When any form abuse is discovered, it should be addressed and dealt with whether by law or by church discipline. Believers are to teach the WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD (Acts 20:27), not simply harp on one subject. It’s as though if a Baptist church doesn’t make abuse the number one headline of every article or sermon, they are ignoring the matter entirely and are supporters of abuse while the accusers do absolutely NOTHING to promote the gospel (if they haven’t already traded in their faith for a Talisman).

At least when Baptists talk about sinners, it’s on Wednesday and Sonday. Critics of Baptists talk about it everyday as if it’s a full-time job with benefits.

Whether the legacy of Jack Hyles is fact or fiction, the real question is “what think ye of Christ?” and regardless of who is accused of betraying Christ, “what is that to thee? Follow thou me.” John 21:20-23.



*NOTE: Why am I posting Bob Gray’s Response when it appears I am not in agreement on everything? Because Bob Gray was a personal close friend of Jack Hyles for several years. Dr Gray has spoken to Robert Sumner, Victor Nischik and others surrounding allegations about Hyles when they first surfaced. Bob Gray told Robert Sumner face to face if he had the source and evidence against Hyles to lay on the table and Dr Gray would personally put it on Hyles desk and ask for an explanation. We don’t know that Sumner ever took brother Gray up on his challenge.

And because I made a reference to Dr Gray and it appears that he DOES know about the allegations, he has a right to his opinion and I’m not going to sensor it just because we may arrive at different conclusions or because others who oppose Hyles that yet favor our articles might not like it. I love brother Gray, and that settles it for this site. I have never known Brother Gray to deliberately disseminate heresy or false information. If he has, don’t just complain about it, PROVE IT.


I am shocked and appalled at the arrogance of young pastors who troll through the garbage of the internet and actually believe what anonymous writers write.

I also am shocked at the hatred, the vile language, the innuendos, the base less, the fact less, the heartlessness, the derogatory language, the attacks based on nothing, and the joining to the devil’s crowd.  Most of them are merely revealing their immaturity.  The truth is their YOUTH is showing!

I will gladly fight for doctrine and against immorality, but I refuse to be a party to unsubstantiated talk. There are so many helps available to us from those great men of the past, but if we decide to slander these men because of hearsay we will suffer and not them.

If you want to focus on their humanity and use it against them to detract from the greatness of these men that is a terrible mistake.  Tearing them down does not help you build anything.

Dr. Hyles took the best of his mentors and incorporated it into his life.  He never focused on nor spread TRUTH about the humanity and flaws of his mentors in order to make him look better.  He preferred to focus on the great qualities of his mentors to help the generation following him.

Why do we believe a Linda Murphrey’s attacks against her parents when she is associating with heretics and blasphemous people who attack the virgin birth, the King James Bible, and love buddhism, etc.  She glorifies drinking liquor.  She sees nothing wrong with living in adultery.  What she accuses others of is exactly what she is doing with her life.  Ironic!

She boldly one day brought her live in male to her moms place at a family gathering and in the front of all the family shouted, “Hey mom we are living together.”  She was throwing it into the face of her godly mom.  What a brat! And this is your source?

You say isn’t this gossip itself?  NO!  I’ll tell you why because these are her own words as well as her female cohorts.

Why doesn’t she open up and tell the world of her adultery, her fornication, her forgeries, her immorality.  If she really wanted to come clean she should start with her own life and then quit blaming others.  She didn’t learn that lifestyle from her parents. She chose that lifestyle and then blames her parents.  CRAZY!

My four children are all serving God and married to great Christians.  However, that was their choice.  No parent can make a child turn out right, but the parent can make the child do right.

In the final analysis it is the child that decides and it results in the parents looking bad or good in the sight of others.  Mrs. G and I do not deserve the credit nor the blame for their choices.

My children could easily write about the tyrannical way they were raised.  I was a dictator.  However, Mrs. G was far worse than I was. Ha!

If our children chose to be rebels in our home then they would be rebels away from our home.  As a result they probably would write horrible things about their home life. All of it would be written through the eyes of rebellion.

So for Linda to come out and expose what others have always wanted to believe only reveals her rebelliousness! She viewed everything through the eyes of a teenage rebel.

Linda take responsibility for your own life and leave your deceased dad and 84 year old mother alone! You were spoiled!

If what Linda says be true doctrinally then she needs to get born again.  Excuse me, but all of this has to do with her being angry for not receiving any money from dad after his death.   What parent bypasses his living mate to give directly to their children. Ridiculous!

She has nothing new to say except to rehash  what others have said and things she hated as a rebellious teen in order to promote a book.  She wants to hurt her mom because she could not live a rebellious life and receive her parents approval especially her mom.

Her mother is 84 years of age and does not deserve this from a child she went to the jaws of death to bring into this world.


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  1. Carol Hanson says:

    You raise some good points. It sounds like what you’re basically saying is that while all the accusations are not necessarily true, it seems likely that at least some are, based on the evidence. I tend to agree. I came to the conclusion long ago that Jack Hyles’ “mega” emphasis was not Biblical, as I don’t think it fits the local church model, which should have caused him to plant churches, not grow one huge one. I also don’t think “America’s Pastor” was a title he needed to pursue. I can say for certain that most (if not all) of the sermons I heard him preach were life changing for me. I just don’t believe the kingdom he set up was right to do.

  2. HAC Class Clown 90 says:

    Nailed it. I think that is probably the most objective article I have read on this. I see you seem to speak highly of Peter Ruckman so does that have anything to do with how you view Hyles?

    • drjamesa says:

      I actually started out studying booklets by John R. Rice. He had little 30-50 page booklets on virtually every doctrine in the Bible, and I also had tapes of Jack Hyles Sermons. He has some sermons that to do this day, I believe are still solid sermons from the 70s. And then reading Jack Van Impe inspired me to memorize scripture. I studied quite a few different authors that were not all IFB (Ironside, Tozer, Schaeffer, Spurgeon, Finney, Lewis, Geisler, Bullinger, Pink, Wilmington, Larkin et al) It wasn’t until later in my Christian walk that I was invited to a conference where Peter Ruckman did a “chalk talk” about the KJV that I began reading his materials. Even though there are some things that I don’t agree with Dr. Ruckman on, I have found him to be the most logical thinker on Biblical issues. My favorite writers are those who have some originality and offer insights that are not simply repeated by other “theologians” and accepted as truth merely because another theologian said so. Ruckman actually made me dig into the Bible instead of merely reading other books and then memorizing proof texts from them.
      By the time I started reading Ruckman’s materials, I believe Jack Hyles had already taken a stronger stand on the KJV, and that is the only issue that I am aware of that Ruckman ever attacked him on. So no, Ruckman’s influence on me had nothing to do with my view of Hyles.

  3. Just saw this on one of the links from Do Right First Baptist. They have a “term” for a person that there can be found no fault in: wolf. So the Bible tells pastors to be holy, and these numbskulls slander Pastor Wilkerson for being “faultless”. They create a group called DO right, and then make fun of a pastor for doing right.

    I have a term for that too: IDIOTS.

    • drjamesa says:

      מודה לך על שאלישע האח

      אני לאפס את כל המשתמשים. אתה אמור להיות מסוגל להיכנס עכשיו.

  4. By the way I am mystified by the fact that you feel qualified to comment on the recent activities of Jack Hyles’s daughter when you do not even know her name. It is Linda M-U-R-P-H-R-E-Y.

    • drjamesa says:

      And I am amused that you are mystified! I wasn’t aware that there were qualifications for giving an opinion on what someone wrote. I’ll ask around though. Perhaps Harvard or Oxford has a course on it.
      Or perhaps I spelled it like that on purpose because it shows up better on searches! I mean, how could I have read her Open Letter To First Baptist Church and missed the name of the blog on the top left corner :)

      In your letter to Linda you said:

      “Just like when people sat through your TEDxOjaiChange talk, some heard one thing, some heard another. The speaker can only speak; the listener filters what is said through a lot of baggage, a lot of preconceived notions, the sum total of their life experiences. Oh — and their own truth.” [emphasis added]


      So was the “listener” qualified? because it seems you are giving the listeners permission to filter through what they hear for themselves, and I didn’t see any caveat emptor that the listener could only do so providing if they write about what they heard they must get the name right!

      Having said that, I agree with much of what you said about the reasons people really reject fundamentalism. You can have whatever is in my wallet, just don’t shoot me!

  5. I haven’t the slightest interest in what’s in your wallet as long as you lay no claim to what’s in mine. And I don’t shoot people. But I do have a pet peeve when it comes to the spellings of proper names. Shoot ME if you like. No offense.

    • drjamesa says:

      I’ll work on the spelling one of these days. I see you got quite the response. Funny that Jeremy Lape says you didn’t disclose your son’s status, and he didn’t disclose that he wrote the forward to Linda’s website. The fact remains that as long as Linda surrounds herself with that type of crowd, anything you say that does not amount to the exact same level of worship of her that she accuses others of having of her father will be deemed “hate speech”.

  6. Bennett says:

    It is hard to figure out what this article adds to the on-going discussion of those times, people and events. In an effort to be “objective,” the article ends up just repeating claims on both sides.

    I lived through that era, Hyles and Rice and all the others spoke at our church every year. From the very first time Hyles spoke, it was clear to everyone, though for the main unspoken, that Hyles main topic was himself: he used himself as an example of God, he mentioned his attendance multiple times in every “sermon,” he was the main character in his stories. Go back and read any of his sermons — they are mostly about him, his past, his successes, his desires, his practices, on and on. This was true in the 1960′s and became clinical in the 1970s.

    This was not a hard man to figure out — but his congregation got a lot of reflected glory: THEY were the ones with the big bus ministry, the many baptisms, the huge sunday school, the famous pastors school. THEY got asked questions when on vacation; THEY saw the reactions when they mentioned where they went to church. I went to FBC and saw it first hand — Hyles verbally abused the ushers, the deacons, the people putting out chairs. And people took it because they were in on the deal — they got a lot out of it, too.

    Anyone who was around back then knows that these guys — Hyles, Jones, Rice, the various “evangelists” — were all demigods: they were loud, boastful, good storytellers, entertaining, and manipulative. It wasn’t hard to figure out. People talked about them but took them as they were because it was part of being in a famous denomination. And when competition was perceived somewhere — like, say, John MacArthur — it was attacked venomously. And people took that, too.

    This is a soiled legacy of the IFB movement — it was clear then and it is very public now.

    • drjamesa says:

      There are a few repeated defenses and accusations and then some that are not. The main issue I was trying to drive home at the end of the article is if you are a Christian, what are you doing with YOUR life regardless of what others have done.

      I am not a big fan of Hyles and especially not of Schaap. But Hyles was not completely erroneous in his doctrines and FBC and HAC have produced some very good men and women that have not allowed the hype surrounding the Hyles/Schaap crowd to damage their ministries. God has a way of working things together for good for those that love Him even if He has to do so IN SPITE OF the failings of other leaders.

      I have lost quite a few IFB friends simply because I do not wish to endorse any man above the Bible. It is OK to hold a good man in high esteem and as a good example (I Cor 11:1, Jer 5:5) but quite another to attack those among your own denomination who have disagreements with a persons leadership. But regardless of what occurred there, my question for you and anyone else reading this is what are you NOW doing for the Lord Jesus Christ?

  7. Dear Dr. James Ach,

    Thank you for a finally objective and unbiased article regarding Jack Hyles. I have been following the life of this man and also Jack Schaap for more than a decade now and was a great fan of their preachings. For many years, I looked up to them and respected their way of life as was taught by the elders. I dreamed of living and dying at a good, old age with the people I serve with and called “family” I have worked for one of the fastest–growing churches in my country (take note: my pastor there was a proud alumna of Hyles-Anderson College) and have seen the flaws of the faith that I was born into. I left the church and haven’t been to any church for years. I am in no position to speak my mind on this matter but I also have no right to condemn these men of God or any preachers as to what they have committed or what they are accused of whether there are evidences or none. As of now, I am in the process of creating a relationship with God by starting to just let other people be and mind my own business.

    I can say I am not a die-hard fundamentalist or a hell-fire damnation believer anymore (In other words, I am a back-slider). Still, I read the Bible, I listen to preachings and read through articles about the faith that make sense. I would be a hypocrite if I say I didn’t almost vomit when I learned of what Jack Schaap did or when I read Linda Hyles Murphrey’s and other people’s statements. However, I agree that the “I should have spoken up long ago” epidemic should stop. I mean there’s nothing wrong with speaking up after a million years but it’s just becoming a trend now that people are getting tired and “confused” of. Yes, the accused and the accusers are humans..but yes, they claim to believe in God. If they did wrong, God and the law should punish them-not us. If Linda is lying, God will make her suffer one day. If Jack Hyles was lying, he surely didn’t have a great, warm welcome in heaven when he entered the gates. As for Jack Schaap, he’s in prison…so I think his lifelong punishment has begun.

    For me who has no right at all to bad-mouth these people or start spreading more rumors about them than there already is, I would just keep myself posted on what’s going on and let the heavens decide one day who is right and what is wrong. After all, just like them, I’m only a sinner…saved by grace.

    Once again, I appreciate this article that opened some windows to a larger picture of what it means to just live OUR own lives regardless of how others live theirs so long as we don’t harm anybody or do as they do.As Jesus had fairly laid, “…He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7d KJV) Also, I will be following your life from now on Sir. It’s my day off and I will take time reading through your posts.

    Wrighte Bass

    • drjamesa says:

      Will post a better reply later but thank you for you kind response.

      We’ve all had struggles in our walk with the Lord. God knows your condition and it doesn’t take Him by surprise when a Christian backslides. We have our own flesh fits occasionally, I know I have. But God never gives up on us, and is patient.

  8. Steve the Skeptic says:

    I grew up in the IFB circles. In fact, I was a member of the largest IFB church in my region, and my dad was the chairman of the deacons. I remember he had hundreds of audio tapes of Dr. Jack Hyles, and he would listen to them in the truck while driving to work, or any time he had a few minutes. The church I grew up in largely followed the IFB movement principles. You know – women don’t wear pants (ever), tattoos are evil, any music not in the hymn book was straight from the devil himself, and any Bible that was not the KJV was written in the pits of Hell. It was a cult.

    As I’m older now and have a family of my own, I have gone on a quest for truth. I questioned my IFB beliefs involving music, Bible versions, etc. What are the origins of the KJV? Are there other versions that are equally or more accurately translated? These are but a couple of questions of the dozens that I set out to answer. Unfortunately, I dug too deep. I looked outside the Bible for knowledge, and I started to discover something unsettling. I found out that the ONLY support in this world for the Bible is the Bible. The science, history, and infallibility of the Bible are only supported by itself. Put your faith and your willingness to blindly believe off to the side, and the Bible falls apart. Completely.

    These days, I would say that I’m borderline agnostic. I am still searching, but losing the case for God rapidly. I have even cried out to him to reveal himself to me – to make himself real to me, and he refuses. I am left to my own assumption as to his existence since I can find no evidence of him outside of a book that must, by definition, be taken on blind faith.

    I have iterated all this to make a point, and that is this: if I had grown up in a church that had expressed love for its people and preached about the love of Jesus instead of the ABSOLUTE HATRED (can’t express that enough) for what it doesn’t like or agree with, then I would likely still be a Christian. I think that Dr. Hyles met a fitting end – his reputation tarnished by the 18+ years of immorality and broken homes that is now his legacy; a graven image of him and his wife (seriously?) erected to be worshiped by the remainder of his followers. It’s amazing how things come full circle.

    Love people. Don’t try to scare them into submission. Don’t preach that if we don’t conform to what the pastor thinks the Bible says, that God will break us in such a way that we will be broken for life (Phil Kidd). Don’t preach that non-white dress shirts or instant mashed potatoes are sins (Tony Hutson). Don’t have a young lady forcibly removed from the service in front of thousands of people because she couldn’t quite get to her seat in time (Bob Gray). Don’t preach that it’s a sin to wear a baseball cap backwards (can’t remember that old geezer’s name). Preach love – not hate, and perhaps you won’t create as many people in my shoes.

    • drjamesa says:

      It is sad to hear stories like this. While I am still IFB, I do agree that there are some practices that I have seen and heard of in the IFB churches that make me shake my head with “what were you thinking”? and “that’s not in the Bible”. I aggressively defend the KJV and the existence of God although the existence of God for many atheists and agnostics is much more of a heart issue than it is an evidentiary one.

      I would not base your sanity and happiness on the examples of others who have let you down. You can have all of the right answers to Christianity and the Bible and still be unhappy if you are expecting to be loved by humans that don’t always practice what they preach. There’s only One Person that loves you perfectly and always has your best interest in mind, and the more you know about Him, the less you will care what others think of you or mistreat you. Sometimes that’s a hard pill to swallow because who doesn’t want human companionship? It is natural to want to be loved and respected, but the sad truth is that Christians are not always the best examples. My question for you would be do you love Christ enough to be the light where others have failed? Christians are in desperate need of better examples, how about volunteering! :)

  9. I grew up in a church which was sort of a satellite of FBC of Hammond, IN. Our pastor was totally sold on anything and everything Jack Hyles taught. He attended his preacher school regularly and his sermons were often based on Hyles’. As I’ve read other sites which tell of the terrible things which happened at Hyles’ church, it’s amazing to see how terribly my church replicated his, except in size. We had a very active bus ministry (not a bad thing in itself) and many other Hyles inventions. To us, the Sword of the Lord was Gospel.

    Every unscriptural thing which happened there happened in my church too. I was directly affected by this for a long time, although (thanks be to God), I did not lose my faith over it. The Lord was very close and compassionate during that time of disillusionment. I used to think “disillusionment” was a negative thing, but now I realize it is actually a good thing, as illusions need to be broken in order for one to be able to recognize truth. Jesus said the truth would set us free, and I have experienced that freedom.

    I am praying for Steve the Skeptic. I understand his problem and am grieved for him, but I believe with all my heart that God is able to sustain him and bring him through the disillusionment he has experienced. God bless you.

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