Dr James A., PhD
I’ve heard a lot of criticism over the methods of Jack Hyles and First Baptist Church, but some are so ridiculous that they wouldn’t pass the law school laugh test. This one has been circling the Twittersphere this week, and it’s so stupid I decided to address it.
The contention is over Jack Hyles on a FEW occasions telling his church members to close their Bibles while he spoke to them. To the IFB critics on the #Oldpaths hashtag, “Close Your Bibles” = “Don’t Search the Scriptures”.
Ironically, these same critics fail to mention how many times Hyles told the crowd to OPEN their Bibles-something like…every service.
I’ve never seen so many that desperate to attack another view or person that they have to resort to such childish and amateur attacks.
The reason Hyles had people BRIEFLY close their Bibles-AFTER THEY READ THE SELECTED PORTION OF IT- (Furthermore…Um…hello? If you were asked to close your Bible, that means IT WAS OPEN), is because many people would flip through pages while he was talking, which means you’re not listening to the pastor, and are distracting the person next to you. Did these critics expect Hyles to just read and not say a word after that? Or just read nothing but the Bible for the entire hour? Why don’t we see that kind of criticism and expectation leveled against every other church in the world? As I’ve constantly pointed out, the IFB is the most criticized denomination in America for their so-called “legalistic standards” by a crowd that attempts to impose more standards on us than Obamacare and OSHA.
When I pointed out that Jesus closed the book after reading 2 verses (boy THAT would have sent the Expository Police into a tailspin. Today’s IFB critic would have crucified Him for THAT alone) out of Isaiah in Luke 4:18-20, the issue was no longer that closing the book was wrong, but that telling someone else to close it was. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Scripture and verse? If the issue was closing the book at all, then it would have been wrong for Jesus to do so. So to avoid the foot-in-mouth position, these critics have to make their own Pharisaic criteria to justify their accusations. and then change the original onus of their argument.
If you wanted to read and study the Bible instead of listening to what the preacher was saying, why bother going to church at all? Do us all a favor, if that’s your attitude, by all means PLEASE STAY HOME so the rest of us can listen to the preacher without having to stand up to see over your nose.