What You Find Beneath Peach Trees
Recently, there has been a great hullabaloo about Jack Schaap, especially with the publishing of his book Marriage: Divine Intimacy. What has been most interesting to me is the vocal criticisms coming from those who are firmly rooted in the Hyles camp. Some of Schaapâ€™s most vocal critics are men like Tom Neal of Baptist Contender fame, Greg Neal his son, and Stephen Anderson, creator and maintainer of â€œThe Repentance Blacklist,â€ (Please! Please! Please! Put me on your list). We find this fascinating (and entertaining) for several reasons.
First, we wonder exactly what they were expecting? When you see apples rotting on the ground under a tree, you wouldnâ€™t think it was a peach tree. When you see pigeon scat covering the ground, you donâ€™t look up expecting to see an eagleâ€™s nest. Jack Schaap is a Hyles-Anderson thoroughbred. He learned all he knows from his father-in-law. He is following in Jack Hyles footsteps.
And that brings us to the second thing: why donâ€™t you like him? Why donâ€™t the Hyles Homers like Schaap? They imitate Hyles. He imitates Hyles. They want to be Hyles. He wants to be Hyles. They have a Buddha. He has a Buddha. So, whatâ€™s the big deal?
Imitation takes on two different formsâ€¦ the parrot and the copy-cat. The parrot simply repeats all it has been taught to say. The copy-cat imitates in a different way. The copy-cat mimics the way things were said. The difference between the Hylots crying out against Schaap and Schaap himself is the difference between a parrot and a copycat. In this case, the parrots charge that the copycat isnâ€™t a true imitation.
The list of men on Nealâ€™s side (Anderson, Holloway, McSpadden, Turner, etc.) parrot Jack Hyles with every opportunity. To them, that is the only â€œfaithfulâ€ imitation. But Jack Schaap imitates Hyles in a different way. They repeat his words, but Schaap mimics his actions, his modus operandi. Because this is the way Jack Hyles operated.
A pastor friend of mine once told me of a time he attended a pastorâ€™s fellowship at which Jack Hyles was a speaker. This pastor friend related that when it came time for lunch, a curious thing happened. The pastors all gathered around at one or two tables and started eating and enjoying fellowship. But not Hyles. Hyles got his lunch, and sat at a remote table by himself. Soon, one pastor noticed that Hyles was off alone, and this pastor moved over to be with Jack. Interestingly, before long, the majority of these men moved their collective selves over to Jackâ€™s table. The meaning of this was not lost on my pastor friend.
Jack Hyles always was about getting his own following. Hyles preached many things that, shall we say, stretched the text. Whenever some poor preacher pointed that out, men like Neal, Anderson, et al would conduct a crucifixion. It was wrong to say anything about Jack Hyles. But now, they have no problem conducting a scorched earth policy against Jack Schaap. Their justification? Heâ€™s preaching heresy. Hmmmmmmmâ€¦
But Schaap, in my not so humble opinion, preaches heresy for the same reason Hyles did. Sure, he twists a different set of texts than Hyles did. But he does not bend texts for the sake of bending texts. Rather, he does this to force us to make a choice about him. Are we with him, or are we against him. Which one? Make your choice. Take your stand. Fall to the right of him, fall to the left of him, or stand with him. Those are your choices.
The problem with Hylesology is and always has been a problem of idolatry. And on that note, Hyles and Schaap are two peas in a pod. Pigeon and Scat. Apple trees and apples. Cat and copycat. Hyles wanted godlike status, and men like Neal gave it to him. Now, Schaap wants godlike status. In order to achieve this, he must come up with his own word, and that word must be unique, unlike any other. He must say things that nobody else says. So, he does.
Letâ€™s face itâ€¦ the Hylots have never been about integrity or faithfulness to the word of God. So, when men like Neal and others start charging Schaap with heresy, we should be suspicious that they have something else in mind.