Home > Brandenburg, Jack Schaap > Jack Hyles: The Enemy of Soulwinning (part one)

Jack Hyles: The Enemy of Soulwinning (part one)

October 10, 2007

For a case-study on Jack Hyles, someone who reasonably cares about Scripture can open just about any of his books to find numerous theological errors. In 1993 he published Enemies of Soulwinning (Read it here; can’t buy it here). This book alone is worth my three remaining posts for the month (but I’ll only do two).   It is a cesspool of false teaching.  Like anything else of Hyles and as is the nature of a counterfeit, you’ll find some truth in what he writes.  However, I’m going to point out some of the error in this book to reveal to you the problems with Jack Hyles. He deviates from God’s Word to the extent that this book itself is ironically an enemy of Scriptural evangelism.   Since Schaap doesn’t separate himself from or retract any of the Hyles teaching, he and Hyles both are enemies of actual soulwinning.


As is often the case, a book by Hyles starts with some startling statistics.

This church has a membership of over 100,000 and has averaged over 23,000 conversions and 8,000 baptisms per year for the past 6 years.

They have a membership of 100,000. How many attended weekly in 1993? In our church, we discipline out members who do not attend. 23,000 conversions over six years equals 138,000 “conversions.” These weren’t professions, according to Hyles. These were conversions, that is, they had a life-changing, genuine salvation experience. And yet only 8,000 were baptized a year out of those “conversions.” 138,000 “converted.” 48,000 “baptized.” They weren’t counted in Acts 2 until they were baptized. 90,000 “converts” weren’t baptized at First Baptist Church of Hammond.

Some might say, “At least they got saved.” First, we don’t have a category of saved people in the New Testament who didn’t follow the Lord in believer’s baptism. Second, Scripture indicates that people who discontinue fellowship with a true New Testament church do so because they were never saved in the first place. 1 John 2:19, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” Not getting baptized and not continuing a part of the church both are manifestations of a lack of conversion. These statistics tell the tale of Hylesology. He was proud of them when he should have been ashamed.

Lordship Salvation

Hyles writes:

Exactly what do we mean when we say, “Lordship Salvation”? We are talking about the false doctrine that says that in order for a person to be saved, he must make Jesus the Lord of his life.

I’ve read no one who claims to believe Lordship Salvation who says that this means a person “must make Jesus the Lord of his life.” He is Lord. No one “makes Him Lord,” even if he believes that He is Lord. Receiving Jesus Christ as Lord is not “making Him Lord.” At least two aspects of our salvation relate to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. First, the Jesus Christ of the Bible is Lord. To receive the Jesus of the Bible, we must recognize Who He is (a knowledge of Jesus Christ, 2 Peter 2:20, “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”). Second, when we receive Jesus Christ, we turn from our way to His way (John 14:6) to follow Him (John 10:27). Allegiance to Jesus Christ requires the relinquishing of our will to Him. This is not a work, even as 1 Corinthians 12:3 says,

Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

Hyles must separate salvation from Lordship because it would not fit with his easy-prayer methodology that produced the above fraudulent statistics.

Jack Hyles is an enemy of soulwinning by separating Lordship from salvation. 110 times in Acts Jesus is called Lord and twice He is called Savior. In Romans forty-four times He is called Lord and zero times Savior. Lordship was the emphasis of soulwinning for the apostles. Later in Hyles’ presentation he exclaims:

On that special Sunday, 5195 people walked the aisles of the First Baptist Church of Hammond receiving Christ as Saviour!

If you attempt to find one place where the Bible says, “receive Christ as Saviour,” you won’t find it. So many want a Jesus Who is their Saviour, but not their Lord. Lordship should be included in every gospel presentation. A major reason for Hyles’ outlandish and deceptive statistics is his purposeful exclusion of Christ’s Lordship.


Hyles makes this statement about worship in a chapter he entitles “Formal Worship is the Enemy of Soulwinning:”

Worship in the Bible Was an Individual Act. There is not one single mention of a worship service in the New Testament. There is not one single command or even an implication to the church to have a public worship service. Worship was a private matter.

Hyles says “formal worship,” then he proceeds to deal with worship period. His premise here clashes with what Jesus says about His soulwinning in John 4:23, 24:

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

He places worship right at the center of a soul won. Hyles wouldn’t approve of this. In so doing, he makes Jesus an enemy of what he calls soulwinning.

Another point Hyles is defending is that the assemblies of the church aren’t for worship. However, worship isn’t only “private.” Hyles lists a number of passages from the Old Testament where individuals worship, but he leaves out 2 Chronicles 29:28,

And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.

Neither does He include Revelation 7:11,

And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God.

Nor Revelation 11:16,

And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God.

Public singing is worship. Psalm 66:4,

All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name.

We see congregational singing as worship in Hebrews 2:12,

I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

This fits well with Hebrews 13:15,

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Worship is corporate as well as individual. Most of the psalms were written for congregational worship. The purpose of conversion itself, according to John 4:23, 24 is worship.

Why does Hyles say that worship is an enemy of soulwinning? He answers that when he wraps up this chapter:

When formal worship is substituted for the real purpose of the assembly, Christians do not get strengthened, encouraged, exhorted or motivated to do the main task of the church, and that is to carry out the Great Commission, which is soul winning. To that end, formal worship becomes an enemy of soul winning!

He doesn’t see worship as providing motivation for soulwinning. The Great Commission is found in the only imperative in Matthew 28:19, 20—”teach (matheteuo—”make disciples”) all nations.” The Great Commission is Make Disciples, that is, in essence, Make True Worshipers of God. The worship of God throughout the world is the primary reason for evangelism.

At the root of Hyles’ problems in doctrine are his dependence on pragmatism.  He perverts Scripture to reach his desired end, a personal opinion of success.  He influences others who are lured into the same syndrome, seeking the applause of men, even if it is in the small pond in which they swim.  Pragmatism rates as a philosophy about which Paul warns in Colossians 2:8:

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

His pragmatic methodology reaches to pragmatic ends, resulting in corrupt doctrine which spoils men—in Hyles’ case, many, many men.

Categories: Brandenburg, Jack Schaap
  1. October 10, 2007 at 5:01 am

    Excellent post.

    On the point about the 90,000 that were not baptized: are we not to obey the Great Commission? The Great Commission has 3 parts – doing only one part is not obeying it. Why would people boast about their disobedience? When my dad told me to mow the grass, I wasn’t obedient if I just cut the front yard. I was only obedient when I had cut the front, sides, and back. Likewise, “winning” someone to Christ only is not obedience. Only when the person is saved, baptized, and discipled are we obedient.

  2. Anvil
    October 10, 2007 at 10:42 am

    I have to disagree a bit with the previous comment. As we go out and teach all nations, are we disobedient when many (or sometimes all) of those who hear don’t even accept, let alone move on to baptism and discipleship? We certainly cannot proceed to baptism and discipleship if the salvation has not occurred. Further, even if the person accepts, can those of us who are not pastors do the baptism ourselves? I would have some reservations (at least) about this, though I would certainly encourage a person to be baptized (and show them why from the scriptures). Certainly after a person is truly saved and baptized, we can (and should) spend much time in discipleship rather than just moving on to trying to “win” more souls and leaving “discipleship” to the preaching services, so there we are in agreement.

    On another note, referring to the post rather than the previous comment, does leaving a “true NT” church over a doctrinal matter make the one who left not truly a child of God? Or, does this mean that after a certain amount of deviation a church is no longer truly an NT church? If we are to be searching the scriptures to be sure that what is preached is truly the word of God, how and at what point can a determination be made that a church deviates from the scriptures enough to be a good reason for leaving? It is practically certain that when this happens, the one leaving will be in disagreement with the leadership over whether such a separation is necessary, so where should good counseling on this come from when the church is no longer trusted as the “pillar and ground” of the truth?

  3. October 10, 2007 at 11:09 am

    I’ll take a shot at playing “peacemaker” here for a moment. First, Anvil, I think you are right about Gordy’s comment, but I also see what Gordy is trying to say. If FBC Hammond is going to take credit for their numbers as proof that they are fulfilling the Great Commission, then they also must take credit for their numbers as proof that they are NOT fulfilling the great commission.

    I think that is what Gordy is trying to say. And I agree with you, Anvil, that obedience to the Great Commission is not found in the result with the hearer, but in the faithfulness of the Evangelist.

  4. October 10, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    Thank you Dave for translating for me 😉 That is what I was trying to say. And I agree that obedience is not found in the results, but in the faithfulness. We cannot force people to be baptized and discipled. I do believe, though, that those who repent and trust Christ will want to be baptized and discipled. The disparity between the number of professions, baptisms, and church members is cause for great concern over the method used to extract (I think that would be the best word) those professions.

  5. October 10, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    Extract is a “most excellent” word, Gordy!

  6. Tom Sullivan
    November 7, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    The landscape of a believer’s life is measured not only by peaks and valleys, but by traffic lights and breakdowns…and often, these are “stall outs” that are wholesale rubber stamped as false conversions by hysterical Lordship types. LET GOD WEED THEM OUT! “Just” Lot vexed his righteous soul during every foolish moment he was mentioned in the Bible– and yet he was declared JUST. There needn’t be much reading between the lines to grasp God’s statement:” I’ll say who’s saved and who isn’t.” The most thorough, point-by-point soul winning I have ever heard has been at FBCH– and some of the most flimsy I have heard has been at the same place. That’s what happens when a place draws people by the thousands…because something good is going on there. Some of you need to shut up, turn off your computers (advice I live by– this is the second blog I’ve answered in a year) and go soul-winning!

  7. November 7, 2007 at 5:17 pm


    You give a fairly reasoned answer. I’d like to consider what you’ve said.

    First, I’ve never met a hysterical Lordship person. Lordship, I’ve found, isn’t popular. Maybe you could point me to one of these types. I’d like to think I’m bold about Lordship.

    Second, Lot was vexed. That was true. I would at least expect vexation among those who are “stalling out.”

    Third, Much of the NT has been written for judging the tares from the wheat, so we’re responsible for providing that kind of examination regularly—it isn’t just God’s responsibility.

    Fourth, I’ve found FBCH to be very thorough in their methodology, but I’ve shown based on materials of Hyles that I’ve read on my computer (someone must have been uploading that material at the exclusion of soulwinning), that his doctrine is false and damning. If I went out and preached what Hyles said to preach, I’d produce droves of false professions. And that’s just the start of the damage.

    Fifth, They aren’t drawing people by the thousands because something good is going on there. It’s just the opposite. I’ve never thought it difficult to get a crowd. In six months, I could have 1000 people coming if I decided to use unscriptural methods.

    Thanks for coming by to visit Tom.

  8. Tom Sullivan
    November 8, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    Your tone seems to be a sincere one, not knee-jerk accusation, which is refreshing. However, I believe you have misunderstood the doctrine of repentance (μετάνοια, or “metanoia” in most key NT passages– “to think differently”). It seems that your distrust of Dr. Hyles’ doctrine in large part hinges on this, so I will address it.

    Firstly, I believe that saving faith works. The book of James teaches that “faith without works is dead”, but as it dovetails harmoniously with Paul’s inspired writings (i.e., Romans 10:13 – “for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”), James’ emphasis is for the benefit of human eyes, not heavenly ones. God needs no convincing; men do. Either I’m saved, or I’m not. John said in John chapter 3, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” So what is belief?

    The command for salvation is to LOOK AND LIVE– as Jesus said in John 3, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Jesus, of course, referred to the events of Numbers 21: “And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
    And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.”
    Jesus never made a vain OT reference– the serpent on the pole symbolized Christ, and His future work: these bitten (guilty) sinners “looked”… they “beheld”… and were spared. In other words, the act of beholding constituted “thinking differently”. A mercy far greater than the one you seem to ascribe to.

    Doesn’t seem fair, does it? A mercy so ridiculous, it says “if I just TURN (look on) to Christ, He’ll RUN to me”. That spots the landscape with a lot of lazy, good-for-nothing believers. And yet, this very truth is the one that penetrates me deepest. This grace and mercy has compelled me to serve in 3 jail ministries, 10 years in children’s ministry, 8 years in a nursing home ministry, and 3 years in an inner-city chapel. I’ve seen well over 1000 people bow their heads and knees and ask Him to be their Savior. God knows who really meant it…my x-ray machine is broken. I’m as busy today as I ever was– no glory to me, ALL to Him.

    But I didn’t lift a finger for God until 4 years after I was saved. I continued to drink and rock-on, dude. I was shockingly UN-separated. Fortunately for me, the quiet, inner-workings of the Holy Spirit often frustrates the “keen analysis” of spiritual bean-counters. You would have dumped me on Lot’s scrap-heap… and I might not have blamed you.

    So when did on-lookers detect a pulse for God? When a mentor took me under his wing: a patient, loving (Hyles graduate) pastor who saw something when no one else did. He took me on visitation, taught me, encouraged me to study, trained me to teach junior church… all at the nudging of God. And I grew…through the expressed love and examples of others. Some of us are bamboo. Others, oak trees. But to indite two men (Dr. Hyles and Dr. Schaap) and this ministry– which is teaming with dedicated mentors– is hasty and irresponsible.

    FBCH is obviously imperfect. I am a current member, attending 3 times a week without apology, and count myself among their many imperfections. Every sunday, they run 250 buses throughout the Chicago-land area picking up thousands of kids…many of these go home on any given Sunday thinking they’re saved when many probably are not. So next Sunday, hundreds of students, staff and volunteers go out and tell ’em all over again. Some of them get baptized 3 and 4 times. The horror of it! Over 100 ministries at this gigachurch follow a similar pattern, some day in and day out. In a half-century of Hyles influence and leadership, the world is now blanketed with these peddlers of easy-believism, picking unripe fruit and throwing it onto statistical sheets…so that others might be fired up for the same erroneous cause.

    To think that God would ever honor such blind devotion.

    You said in your response to my note, “Third, Much of the NT has been written for judging the tares from the wheat, so we’re responsible for providing that kind of examination regularly—it isn’t just God’s responsibility.”

    Ecclesiastes 3:14 – I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

    Thanks for the hearing. –Tom

  9. Tom Sullivan
    November 8, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    Two brief Post Scripts-

    For context’s sake, Ecclesiastes 3:14 addresses God’s repulsion at any form of works salvation.

    Matthew 13:30… Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the REAPERS, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn…
    TARES look, sound and act like the real thing. That’s why he said “let them grow together until the harvest”– you or I can’t tell them apart. We are not the reapers. God’s angelic servants are. Exercising discretion about avoiding fellowship with unbelievers is different from “judging the tares from the wheat”, as you state it.

  10. Michael Marshall
    November 9, 2007 at 8:47 am

    Not to hijack a post, this really does go with the tares and the wheat.

    I have been looking for Jack Hyles salvation testimony. I am fiarly adept at internet searches but have come up empty. I have found is Bio, lots of book he wrotes, all his ecumenical friends, and so on, but not one word of his testimony of salvation or his baptism.

    If you know please share.

  11. Tom Sullivan
    November 12, 2007 at 8:27 am

    If you’re interested, you might consider Cindy Schaap’s book, “The Fundamental Man”. Rather than excerpt anecdotes, I might compel you to procure this biography (written by Brother Hyles’ daughter) and get to know the man better. If that is your mission, this should be good news. If, however, your mission is to rally the critics, this assignment won’t appeal to you.

  12. Charlie Brown
    March 2, 2008 at 1:09 am

    I’m not sure, but it seems that this site is really stretching some things to make Dr. Jack Hyles out to be a BAD guy. I am not a huge Dr. Hyles fan, however I do enjoy listening to him on occasion. I can assure you that I do not agree with everything he said, however I doubt that any of us could say that about anyone even our own pastors. There will be something at some point that you disagree with. I guess the reason I am posting this is because it’s crazy, you’re calling him such a bad guy (and you have a right to your opinion) and that seems to be your only objective. You aren’t teaching anyone anything, those who agree with what you have posted already know it, and those who don’t already know that. This site seems dedicated to making a man whose human body is in the grave and whose soul is (i believe) in heaven. If you disagree with him fine but go out actually do something instead of just being ticked off about it. If you think he wasn’t winning souls to Christ, then that is all the more souls out there for you and us to win. Do the work of God not the work of our sinful hearts

  13. April 17, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    lol..dr.jack hyles is a fundamentalist my friend mr.Kent Brandenburg..talk is cheap my friend..and jack hyles has done great things for the cause of christ..like the creation of hyles-anderson college..he even gives free sermons! audio sermons that i listen to everyday..and they are in fact very helpful in influencing my life..you have a right to your opinion..but why are u so angry about someone who has in fact won souls to jesus christ? huh?

    ephesians 4:26 “Be ye angry and sin not,and let not the sun go down upon your wrath..”

    Proverbs 12:16 “a fool’s wrath is presently known,but a prudent man covereth shame..”

    and i may add that Dr.Jack Hyles also influenced the life of Dr.Jeff Owens! who i may also add is a great prodigy of dr.jack hyles.


    i dont hate you mr.kent brandenburg. but as i said earlier,TALK IS CHEAP! GO WIN SOULS TO CHRIST!

  14. reglerjoe
    April 18, 2008 at 6:02 am

    Mr. Magno,

    Why is it whenever a scriptural rebuttal is made of Dr. Hyles’ theology or methodology that the Hyles fan base always assumes anger, hatred, or jealousy is involved? Can’t anyone disagree with Dr. Hyles out of pure motives?

    Leave off the allegations and disprove what Kent wrote, not what you think he feels.

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