Home > Jack Schaap, Preaching, Voegtlin > My Thoughts After a Visit for Myself

My Thoughts After a Visit for Myself

October 22, 2007

I originally posted this on my own blog on July, 28, 2005. I have edited it slightly for presentation here:

I was at the First Baptist Church of Hammond last night and, WOW, I have never heard such horrible preaching.  Maybe I shouldn’t say never, but if I have, it’s been a long time.  The message was supposed to be about the will of God and the lust of the flesh.  Most of it was about the will of God and most of that came from nowhere in the Bible. It was hardly even a motivational speech.  What made it worse, was the terrible twisting of Scriptures.  Dr. Schaap did yell a lot and threaten that if you didn’t follow him, you would be in big trouble (because you’re not in the will of God).  He also said the way to follow the Spirit of God is to follow someone who is following the Spirit of God.  I wondered, “Where does that end?”  (How does the one that’s following the Spirit of God follow the Spirit of God?) I’m not against pastoral authority or example, but when does someone begin to follow the Spirit of God for himself?  He also said (and this is a classic) that he had more mercy than God did!  I don’t know if the over 2,000 present there caught that, but it was a shocker to me.  I didn’t think anyone could come close to the amount of mercy God has shown.  Well, the preaching was very shallow — no teaching, except falsehoods, and lots of yelling, threatening, and persuasion.

Real preaching must have teaching in it to be preaching.  Just repeating ourselves loudly won’t “cut it.”  As a preacher, I can only stand on the authority of the Word of God.  Just because I’m in the pulpit doesn’t give me more or any autonomous authority.  My authority comes from the Word of God, therefore, I must speak/preach from it.  If there is no teaching of the facts of the Word, I cannot make claims and application?

I decided that I must return sometime in the future for the entertainment factor if for nothing else. I haven’t been back yet, but it’s still on the long list of things to do.  I would add, going there challenged me to always Preach the WORD, not just always to PREACH.

  1. October 22, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    I would add, going there challenged me to always Preach the WORD, not just always to PREACH.

    That’s good!

  2. October 23, 2007 at 7:40 am

    That is a great truth for us preachers to learn.

    Another one is this: God called me to preach the Word, not sermons!

  3. Amy Nelsen
    October 23, 2007 at 7:57 am

    You are scouffer’s. Bless God we will all be held accountable. Like the little children in the bible (KJV) that made fun of Elijah ( look it up). God punishes people for messing with his men. Good luck with that!!!!!!!!!! Please, Stop before God’s rath is kindled against you.

  4. October 23, 2007 at 8:15 am

    I forget who made the comment the other day about the spelling problems that rear their ugly head with the Hylots but they were right. There does seem to be an amazing link between these folks and lousy spelling. What is up with that, anyway? I had never heard of FBC or Jack Hyles or Schaap before this summer so I had no preconceived notions but as I started reading more and more in the blogosphere, this was a glaring oddity among most of the IFBx’ers. Just an observation.

  5. October 23, 2007 at 8:52 am

    They is unlearned and ignorant but they has more people in they’s bathrooms than you has in your whole building.

  6. Cathy
    October 23, 2007 at 8:54 am

    This for Ms. Amy Nelson and Ms. Jennifer Dye

    You claim Mr. Schaap and Mr. Hyles are great men of God. Do you know who the last person is they (when Hyles was alive) not only went door to door soulwinning, but lead some one to the Lord and that person is still serving God today in church?

    Being a personal cheerleader in the pulpit, doesn’t make someone a pastor, or a great man.

  7. Jennifer dye
    October 24, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    look at how many people go to that church moron.So Ms mary magdalene do you know the last person you led to the Lord you have a heart problem.GET RIGHT WITH GOD LOSER.Before you make a post make sure it makes sense before you hit submit……

  8. October 24, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    Wow – Jennifer, you just showed how unChristlike you are! Even if someone disagrees with someone else being exposed, how do you jusify the nature of your evil comments?!?

  9. Anvil
    October 25, 2007 at 5:51 am

    Jennifer, I’m not 100% in agreement with the men on this site either, but at least they deal with issues from the Word and what it says. If your comments are typical of those who attend Hyles’ church or those that are like it, then it’s pretty obvious that the fruit of that ministry speaks for itself.

  10. Jennifer dye
    October 25, 2007 at 11:46 am

    that statement is typical of people you go to FBC.Lady i don;t know were you go,i’m jens Aunt i’ve been going to FBC since 1976 and never heard such criticism about are church if you don’t like whats going on their thats for choice leave everyone else alone!!!!!!!!!!

  11. October 25, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    I wish I knew what she was saying. We need a Hylesetta Stone to interpret.

  12. Gary Johnson
    October 25, 2007 at 12:15 pm


    I am learning more and more about FBH as the followers are responding this month. Receiving instruction. Also, some of the followers of FBH are finding out that not everyone goes along with what their leaders have proclaimed from the pulpit. Rather, we search the scriptures to see whether those things are so. Acts 17:11. They would do well to follow the scriptural example, and not just throw out some emotional outburst.

  13. November 1, 2007 at 6:39 am

    It’s unfortunate that you had to spend an entire evening there listening to absolute rubbish. Try spending several years of your life listening to mere sensationalism sermon after sermon. Interesting, informative and funny post.

    Again, before all of the defenders come on here I know that we did not have the same “numbers” as you this past Sunday, or the same amount of “baptisms” or the same amount of “buses”. Boy….if we could just have the “power” like Hyles and Schaap have??? (Rolling my eyes while slapping my forehead)

  14. Cathy
    November 1, 2007 at 9:37 am

    I guess what I truly don’t understand is if FBCH is reaching so many souls for Christ, why is Chicago and the surrounding area in such a horrific shape? Shouldn’t they all be saved by now?

  15. Marc Barnes
    November 3, 2007 at 7:54 am

    “They is unlearned and ignorant but they has more people in they’s bathrooms than you has in your whole building.”

    That’s great — as usual with IFBs, the numbers are so important. I’d bet Lakewood in Houston (the largest church in America with 47,000 attendees each week) has more people in their bathrooms than the auditorium of First Baptist Hammond can hold. I guess that means that we should assume that everything coming out of Lakewood is 100% by the Book and should be blindly followed?

    WAKE UP! Let God out of the little box you’ve put Him in! Many IFB and IFBX churches world would be radically transformed (for the good) if the leaders of those churches would earnestly seek God and “rightly divide the Word of Truth!” Not to mention what could happen if the borderline cult groups they call churches would do the same.

    Jesus was a radical and shunned by the old fashioned, fundamental church leaders of His day. Modern day IFB and IFBX churches (not all, but many) are the equivalent of the Pharisees of the New Testament. That being the case, I’m sure I’m wasting my breath even saying so …

  16. November 3, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    Thanks Marc. I was joking. I was playing the part of a typical Hyles advocate.

    Let me say though that I don’t think that there is a problem with being:
    fundamental—strict adherence to a standard
    Baptist—historic Christianity with certain Scriptural distinctives

  17. David T.
    November 3, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    What has captured my attention lately with this crowd is how they send their kids to 3rd rate “Bible” colleges that charge 1st rate tuition. I know a girl who went to one year of “Bible” college and it took her almost two years to pay it off. Her friend who is trying to finish has $9000 in “Bible” college debt and works 30 hrs a week or more. And all you get is Hylesish indoctrination and a degree that is worthless.
    And you marry your Bible college sweetheart and end up with 4 kids that you can’t support because you have no real skills or education. I have seen it!
    This is just the tip of the iceberg when I comes to the “sham” that is IFBx “edukation”, reaching all the way back to IFBx church-run grade schools.
    For IFBx people, education is not about learning it is about indoctrination.

  18. Marc Barnes
    November 9, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    Sorry Kent B., I didn’t know you were joking. I’m sure if I’d been reading here longer I would have known you better and known it was a joke. However, it is a very good joke, and a realistic imitation of the real thing.

    As a former HACker, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard the “numbers argument” to defend the “Preacher”, whether what he’s doing is Biblical or not. I’m also a fan of independent churches, as you defined them, sans the Baptist title …

  19. Michael Marshall
    November 9, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    Somebody please ‘splain to me what an IFBx’er is??????

    I get the IFB part, but WHAT is the X?

  20. Michael Marshall
    November 9, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    Cathy, the numbers DO NOT add up. But no one will ever hold them accountable for that. Look at the mentality of Amy and Jen, if you question them or thier “man of God” a bear will come out and eat you. WIth thier group it will more likely be a guy named Guido saying “how u doin'” while he busts your kneecaps to teach you some respect.

    Thier ministry is not based on biblical principles, but on spiritulistic hysteria, and humanistc principles. I work for a bank, the 5th largest in the world actually, I am so important to them that the world would stop if I…… Oh I forgot, my name is Mike, not Jack.

    Anyway, I really do work for the 5th largest bank in the world, and it is a sales culture, and it is all about the numbers. And if you are not producing numbers, you are A LOSER. Jen’s statement was straight out of the world as is Hyles methods.

    In my own opinion, Jack’s entire doctrinal position; against repentance, accepting worldliness, excusing sin, was all an elaborate attempt to justify his own wickedness. It makes sense to me that the natural mind would rationalize this. Since I did not repent, it must not be required for salvation. Since I am worldly, it must be alright, and so on. When you add up the sum of his positions, it is clear to me that this was a grand scheme to justify his own sins, and if he were ever caught, give him an out for them.

    I’ll give you an example: He said that the works of the in Galatians was not sin, the bible never says in this passage that they were sin. Hello, McFly??????? What work of the flesh is not sin? It is Clintonese (before Clinton-ese was even invented). But this gives him an out for his adultery. I have also been researching all the sermons of his I could find and to my knowledge he has never preached on the sin of adultery.

    The power trip and threatening is designed to drive people to fear even questioning him. He makes himself a god in the eyes of the people, and you cannot question God. This reminds me of Jude 1:16.

    People may think me harsh, but his actions line up far better with Jude and II Peter 2 than any other part of the bible. I have read some of his materials searching for his testimony, and although I have yet to find that , I did discover that he was no “deep thinker”.

    Let me throw this last jab before Guido gets here. What is the EASIEST way for a lost person to convince themselves they are “saved” then to get others “saved”. It equals self-justification. I must be saved becuase I have ‘fruit’, and I am winning souls so I am ‘wise’ and I must be ‘right with God’, and we all must be since so many people get ‘saved’.

    The entire enterprise there is built on self-justification based on production, and absolute SS style Hilterlistic loyalty to thier Commander in Chief, who sadly, is not God.

  21. Michael Marshall
    November 9, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    TO Mark Barnes.

    Mark, I take exception to statement that numbers are so important to the IFB Crowd. Not true on two counts: Not true because numbers are not important, and not true because Hylot churches do not represent IFB’s. They get the publicity, we take the flack for it.

    Secondly, The organization you mentioned down Houston is not a church. Just food for thought, and another discussion thread…..

  22. November 10, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    Curious, how do you get the verses (or links) to open in a new window in the comments? I know the html coding (target=”_blank”), but normally you can’t use that coding in comments.

    I will try it here to see if it works: Faithful Men Of God

  23. Marc Barnes
    November 10, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    Mr. Marshall:

    I agree with you that Hylot churches (what does Hylot mean, by the way, or where did that term come from?) do not represent IFBs, they actually represent, for the most part, IFBx (which is short for IFB extremists).

    Regarding numbers being so important to IFB and/or IFBx churches, I spoke too generally about them in that part of my post. As you’ll note later in my post, I was careful to say “not all, but many”, which I should have said also regarding the importance of numbers to the IFB crowd. Numbers may not be important in your IFB church, but they are important in many, including many that never get any publicity.

    Finally, I’m curious to know why you would not classify Lakewood as a church. Why isn’t it a church?

  24. Michael Marshall
    November 10, 2007 at 8:20 pm


    That’s a great question. I will try to be brief and not hijack the thread.

    I hold a very narrow view of the Church. It is ekklesia, a called out assembly, and I think it is important that we look at who called it out, why it was called out, and what it was called out to do.

    First, who called it out? Jesus Christ did during his earthly ministry. He gathered born again baptized believers in John chapter one, organized them into a group and sent them witnessing (Luke 11), gave them authority to baptize (John 4), and so on.

    Why He called it out and what it was (is) to do: After His resurrection He gave His disciples standing orders: Win souls, Baptize Believers, and Teach them all things, whatsoever I have commanded you. This church won souls (like at Pentecost), gave men authority to start other churches (like Paul and Barnabas), and authority for Baptism, and that is the model that we were given to follow. Every true church after that began out of that church. I believe this is called Apostolic succession. One church starts another church.

    This first church also gave us a model for doctrine. Repentance and remission of sins was the requirement for Baptism, and Baptism was a requirement for membership. It also had to be John’s Baptism, not any other. The charter members of this church all had John’s baptism. Even the Lord submitted to this. Why? Because John was the only one authorized by God to do it, and Jesus’s submission to him was evidence of that fact. They also had a true gospel, preached the real Jesus, believed in eternal life, and so on. There was no leaven in their doctrine.

    I believe that if the evidence were not literally burned out of existence by Rome and others, we could find an unbroken line of succession all the way back to Christ. We cant though, that evidence is long destroyed. My case our church can only go back about 3 or 4 “generations” of church, back to the late 1800’s. So we have to go on what we know. We are doctrinally sound, etc. Once a church apostates doctrinally, it is no longer a church.

    So let’s look at Joel Oseteen’s organization.
    1. Do they have a true gospel? No, he preaches the gospel of prosperity
    2. Do they have any requirement, any standard for baptism? No, anyone who has been “baptized” in any church can join (I don’t know if he even requires it at all).
    3. He does not even preach on sin (per a Larry King Interview), so how can people there be converted?
    4. Where did he get authority to start his church? Hmm.. From dad? I really don’t know, that is not an easy question to find an answer to. But I fairly confident of this: churches of like faith usually only give authority to churches of like faith. I cannot imagine any doctrinally sound church giving him authority, unless they got duped.
    5. Even if they did, once a church apostates, God writes Ichabod on it. But I doubt the Holy Spirit has ever been there in the first place.
    6. The Holy Spirit will not stay in a place where open heresy is practiced and taught. I don’t believe personally the Joel is a believer, he’s in it for the money.

    So, they are not fulfilling the Great Commission, they are teaching open heresy, they had no authority (that I know of) to start with, which means they have no baptism, and that means they are not a church.

    Let me take this back to Hyles. We do not accept his church’s baptism. At one time (and maybe even today) he would accept anyones baptism as valid baptism. If you were dunked, you were baptized. We do not accept this. We will not accept his members without them submitting to baptism. Do I consider them a church? Well, the more I learn of the rank hereseys that Hyles taught, I am really beginning to doubt it. I don’t think God has been there for a long time.

    People may think I a hypocrite or jealous, but so what. I was at a meeting this fall with Dr Brandenburg. A preachers meeting, with about 60 Pastors there. Not a Pastor there had a congretation of more than 100 to 150 people. It was an incredible meeting, absolutely incredible. Some of the best message I have ever heard, and Dr B can testify to that. 20 sermons and not one dud (not even Dr B!) I’m on a road trip next week and will be listening to all 20 again on mp3.

    Ill end with this. My Pastor used to work for Delta Airlines. One day he was called to push a wheel chair. It was Dr Martin L King Senior. He Pastored the largest black church in Detroit. Pastor began to talk with him about how he got saved, and about his church. He began to weep, and said ‘I wish we were back in the city with the building that had dirt floors and no bathrooms. We had power then.”

    So back to Joel and Lakewood: No known authority, false gospel, corrupt doctrine, corrupt book, no standards, all adds up to it not being a church.

  25. Marc Barnes
    November 11, 2007 at 1:52 am

    Mr. Marshall, I think we’re definitely hijacking this thread …

    I won’t defend much about Lakewood, because I’ve never even watched more than 15 minutes or been to a service, and know very little about it except that it’s large. However, you have not convinced me that it isn’t a church, and I doubt I’ll convince you that it is.

    The term you use, ekklesia, refers to the entire body of believers from beginning to end, for which Christ gave Himself (Eph. 5:25). This is essentially an unseen church, visible only to God, as He is the only one who knows without a doubt who is a believer and who is not (2 Tim. 2:19). Ekklesia is not the gathering of born again believers that you describe as occurring in John 1, but is actually the entire assembly of believers throughout all time – this is the eklessia which God sees, and it is unseen to us.

    No matter what information we have, we are unable to definitively judge whether Joel Osteen or anyone in the visible Lakewood church (I’ll explain what I mean by visible church later) are part of this unseen church (ekklesia) – only God can make that judgment. We can decide if we think (not know) a person is part of the church (ekklesia), but only God knows definitively.

    You said that “Every true church after that began out of that church” which you describe Christ starting by gathering believers in John 1. This is quite interesting, as that statement closely resembles the stance of the Roman Catholics against the teachings of Martin Luther and John Calvin. The Roman Catholics at the time also argued that their church was the only true church because their leaders could be linked by direct succession back to the apostles themselves. Oddly enough, I think (but am not sure) that Catholic records can probably show a direct link back to the apostles and the first church started by Christ himself. However, I’m sure we’d both agree that Catholics who do not believe in the doctrine of salvation we believe to be taught in the Bible are not part of the ekklesia.

    While the ekklesia that God sees cannot be seen by us, the Bible obviously teaches that there are visible churches. This teaching is obvious, as Paul’s letters to various churches shows there are visible churches that are seen and attended by believers. John’s writing to the churches in Revelation also show this fact. However, I cannot find anywhere in the Bible which says or even implies that “Every true church began out of that church”. Is that a conclusion you’ve made because believing anything other way would mess with your view of your church and its supremacy over other churches or denominations? I’m not assuming that it is, but am just asking the question.

    Based on your narrow view of a true church, you should not be calling your own church a true church if you are unable to trace its links directly back to the original New Testament church. Please don’t think I’m saying your church is not a true church, I would actually assume that it is. I’m actually saying that based on your true church requirement that “every true church began out of that church”, you are being quite presumptive if you say your church is a true church without evidence that it is a direct descendant of that New Testament church.

    The determination of a true church is not in its physical connection to the original, visible New Testament church started by Christ, but rather in its teachings on 1) Salvation, 2) Baptism, and 3) Communion. Additionally, the determination of a true church cannot be made by whether or not all its members are baptized by immersion, or even that they are all saved. The New Testament churches Paul wrote to had unsaved members, as described in his letters to them. Given the fact that the visible churches (not the unseen ekklesia) included unbelievers, they obviously also included people who had not been baptized, or correctly baptized, but that did not mean they were no longer true churches, as the inspired Word of God itself calls them churches (even the lukewarm Laodicea in Revelation).

    With regard to who gave Joel Osteen the authority to start a church, I’m not sure that’s even applicable, as he didn’t start Lakewood. I assume that God started Lakewood by putting a burden on the heart of his father, but I don’t know because I was not there when it happened.

    So let’s look at Joel Osteen’s organization, this time with my comments added to your own:

    1. Do they have a true gospel? No, he preaches the gospel of prosperity

    I can’t say definitively whether they have a true gospel or not. I have not heard enough to be as sure as you are. Their web site indicates a salvation message, and it would surprise me if that message weren’t preached from the pulpit.

    2. Do they have any requirement, any standard for baptism? No, anyone who has been “baptized” in any church can join (I don’t know if he even requires it at all).

    I couldn’t find anything that said they have no requirement or standard for baptism. I did find several references to water baptism happening weekly at the church.

    3. He does not even preach on sin (per a Larry King Interview), so how can people there be converted?

    I don’t know if he preaches on sin or not. I have not seen the interview with Larry King. How can people there be converted? I’d imagine God’s Word and the Holy Spirit are quite capable of leading people at Lakewood and anywhere else to faith and repentance without any assistance from Joel Osteen at all. Regeneration does not occur exclusively due to a preacher who preaches on sin.

    4. Where did he get authority to start his church? Hmm. From dad? I really don’t know, that is not an easy question to find an answer to. But I fairly confident of this: churches of like faith usually only give authority to churches of like faith. I cannot imagine any doctrinally sound church giving him authority, unless they got duped.

    As I said earlier, Joel Osteen didn’t start this church. And the only authority that is required to start a true church is God Himself.

    5. Even if they did, once a church apostates, God writes Ichabod on it. But I doubt the Holy Spirit has ever been there in the first place.

    Is Lakewood an apostate church? I haven’t seen the evidence of that, but would be willing to see it if it exists.

    As I said in the beginning, my purpose is not really to defend Lakewood, or to defend Joel Osteen for that matter. However, I can recall experiencing the conviction of the Holy Spirit (not the guilt trip of men which is often misinterpreted as the move of the Holy Spirit in IFB circles) while still a part of the IFB movement. This leads me to believe that if the Holy Spirit can work in often (not always) legalistic, man-centered IFB circles, He can also work in what you have described as an apostate church. Thankfully, He’s not limited to working in churches which are 100% doctrinally correct, otherwise He wouldn’t be at work in any church that I know of.

    6. The Holy Spirit will not stay in a place where open heresy is practiced and taught. I don’t believe personally the Joel is a believer, he’s in it for the money.

    I know this first statement is not true. I was for many years in IFB places where open heresy was practiced and taught, and yet the Holy Spirit was there with me all along, nudging me to the place where He wanted me to be. Pretty amazing to me how the Holy Spirit won’t be confined to that tiny little box it appears you’ve put Him in. (notice I said it appears … I cannot say definitively that you have done this)
    I can’t say for sure if your second statement here is wrong, but I can say that it’s puzzling to me how you can be so sure of this. You said quite definitively that “He’s in it for the money.” I’d definitely be open to looking at evidence of that, if there is any.

    Anyway, to sum it up, my main purpose for this entire response and every post I’ve made on this site is to expose what I have experienced personally, and what I believe still exists as a problem in IFB circles, regarding the often closed-minded, judgmental, legalistic teachings which simply have no foundation in the Word of God.

    You can say that is not how your church is or how you believe, and I will try to avoid living in the flesh and assuming otherwise, although it is probably evident in some of my writing above that I am not entirely successful in that area. I have read through this post repeatedly trying to make sure I do not make false accusations or assumptions. I sincerely hope you will point out any false accusations or assumptions I have made, to which I will be glad to respond with my most sincere apologies.

    The Holy Spirit has used my experiences in the IFB movement (both IFB and IFBx) to make me a person who questions everything I hear, no longer following men blindly into lunatic beliefs which cause more damage than good.

    In simple words, God used IFB practices to teach me not to trust what people say as gospel. I’m quite thankful to say that I am not a Baptist, nor do I claim, or want to claim any other denomination. I am a Christian, period. Now if I could just be perfect, like so many other Christians I know …

  26. Michael Marshall
    November 11, 2007 at 7:07 am


    There are some things here we will disagree on.

    First. The Church, from the work Ekkelsia. Used 118 times, 110 of which are always specific to a local visible body of believers. I think you are confusing the church with the Kingdom of God. All born again believers are part of the Kingdom, but all born again believers are not part of a Church. The concept of a universal church simply does not fit the scriptures. You could go to Pastor Brandenburg’s blog for a full debate on that topic.

    Secondly. If you are saved, then the Holy Spirit can work in you, regardless of where you are at. God will still honor His word, regardless of who says it. As far as putting the Holy Spirit in a box, I do take offense to that. I hear it all the time because I make statements like I did previously. I don’t have the Holy Spirit in a box, but I do take God at His word. He will not bless a work in which a man teaches heresy. He may still save some souls there, because He is longsuffering. He may work in some hearts, such as yours, because He loves you and wont hold you accountable for another mans sin. He will however lead you out of that place. John 16:7-11 tells us exactly what the presence of the Holy Spirit will cause. The very first thing that happens when we come into the presence of God is that His Holy Spirit convicts us of sin. Every single person in the bible had that experience. Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, John on Patmos, and so on. In every case they fell on their face. The Holy Spirit also will never glorify itself, but rather, always Jesus Christ. So when I hear people talking about how the spirit did this, and the holy spirit did that, I line it up with the book. I try the spirits.

    God clearly did do great things through men who were not Baptists. Billy Sunday, DL Moody, et al, were not Baptists, but they preached a true gospel and souls were saved. They did not, however, build churches. But then there is Shubal Sterns, Obadiah Holmes, Daniel Marshall, John Clark, men whom Fundamentalists never talked about. Names most Baptists have never even heard. These men build churches Marc, and lots of them. Shubal Sterns, started over 1000 churches. The entire “bible belt” is the outcome of the work he started.

    Thirdly, when it comes to Joel Osteen, I have no problem saying that is not of God. Marc, God did not start the Catholic church, God did not start the Mormon Church, God did not start the Jehovah’s witness, and yes, since I am sure you are thinking it, God did not start every Baptist church either. But Jesus did start the church Marc, the original Church, the Local visible assembled body of believers. He gave us there an example of what a scriptural church is, and I believe it there for us to adhere to, and to judge other by.

    Is there a spirit present in those churches that Jesus did not start? Yes, but Jesus said try the spirits. I have a very simple, biblical approach to this. How do you know a wolf in sheep’s clothing? By their tracks. Do they lead to the Cross of Christ, or away? Jesus said by their fruits ye shall know them. What kind of “fruit” does Lakewood produce? Does it produce the changed lives that the bible says will result from true salvation? No, it does not. Very much like the Hyles church, who has huge membership, but no changed lives. In their case they do not even teach that you need to change. That is simply not scriptural. If Lakewood is of God Marc, Houston should be one of the cleanest cities in America. They should be closing down the bars and the strip clubs left an right, and the same with Hammond. But they are not Marc.

    Now the name, Baptist. Marc, I am a Baptist. I am not part of a denomination, or a movement. I realize that today there is a denomination called Baptist, and it looks and feels just like any other protestant religion. But that is not me, Marc, nor is it my church, or the churches I fellowship with. Sarcastically, we call those protestant baptists BINOS, Baptist In Name Only.

    I did not pick the name Marc, my forefathers in the faith were given that name by their enemies. They were given that name because they rejected man centered authority, they rejected the authority of the Pope, they held to the biblical belief that the church was always local and always visible, and that there would be no hierarchy over them. They held to the biblical standard of Baptism, they held to the right of having discipline over the membership of their church, they held to the Deity of Christ, salvation by grace through faith, and that the fruit or proof of that would be a changed life (repentance). These are but a few of the things they held to.

    I have said all of this to make this point: I am not part of a movement. I have never been part of a movement. The fundamentalist movement came out of a ecumenical gathering of believers who only agreed on 5 points, so they banded together to create this fundamentalist movement. I am not part of that.

    Marc, I am well aware that many which are called by the name Baptist today have become what their forefathers once stood against. What you are witnessing and apparently have experience for yourself, is the death of name. Baptist is not a name we took for ourselves, it is a name our enemies imparted on us. But as with everything on earth, tares grew among the wheat, and now you have a bumper crop of “Baptists” who think that this name is their “ark of the covenant”, their symbol of power, yet in practice they deny all the things those who were given the name stood for. The name has become their Idol. They are independent from everyone, including God.

    I would like to respond to more of your statements but I have to go. For now at least.

  27. Marc Barnes
    November 11, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    Mr. Marshall:

    You are correct, not about the church, but about the fact that we will disagree. I think you are calling the Kingdom of God what is actually the biblical doctrine of the church. I won’t bother re-stating here the scriptural foundation of the universal church you claim does not exist, as I know that you and the other folks posting on this blog have heard it again and again.

    I have actually just seen the page on this blog which identifies some of the key people involved, and now realize that I am actually stomping around in someone else’s yard, so I’ll mind my manners and avoid diving into the theological fray with you and the other posters here after this post, as I’m sure we would just go around in circles, rehashing what has already been covered so well in many other places.

    That being said, my final comments will be regarding this statement in your last post. You said: “What kind of “fruit” does Lakewood produce? Does it produce the changed lives that the bible says will result from true salvation? No, it does not. Very much like the Hyles church, who has huge membership, but no changed lives. In their case they do not even teach that you need to change.”

    It never ceases to amaze me that staunch IFBs can speak with such authority on something about which they can only speculate. I will gladly rescind this statement if you can meet the following criteria and offer undeniable proof of your statement above: 1) be a longtime member of Lakewood; 2) tell me that throughout this longtime membership, with God as your witness, you never met a single person who has experienced a changed life that is a result of true salvation; 3) also be a longtime member of First Baptist Church of Hammond; and 4) tell me that throughout this longtime membership, with God as your witness, you never met a single person who has experienced a changed life that is a result of true salvation.

    Don’t assume that no one at FBC has experienced true salvation just because that church teaches a false salvation absent of biblical repentance – that would propagate the false notion that men, not God, are sovereign, and that salvation is man centered. The Holy Spirit through the Word of God is absolutely capable of leading the lost to true salvation, even at the altars of FBC.

    I’ll await your proof to back up your statements which I pasted above, but without a doubt will not receive any. If you would like to respond to me personally, my e-mail address is truthmadeplain @hotmail .com (without the spaces). I’ve heard statements like these so many times before, and in those cases, the words were based on what had been heard from others, mixed with personal stereotypical thoughts, with no personal experience to prove these generalized and judgmental statements. I suspect that may be the case here, but I’ll avoid saying that I believe definitively that is what’s occurring here, because I really don’t know you or much at all about you.

    By the way, the men you mentioned as having built so many churches, if they did so biblically, had a little help (I say that facetiously). God builds churches through a variety of men who are willing to obey him and who stand fast to the major doctrines taught in the Bible (not warped doctrines they’ve come up with minus the Word and the Holy Spirit). Remember that God is the center of church-building, not the men you mentioned, or any other man.

    Again, my point is not to defend Lakewood or FBC or any of the people who are involved or attend those churches. My purpose here was to simply point out the fact that in general, as you have proven here time and again, inherent in the IFB movement is the tendency to make generalizations about other churches or Christian groups without any personal experience to prove those statements. I can make this general statement based on my personal experience in the IFB and IFBx movements for more than 20 years.

    There may be an IFB or IFBx church somewhere that does not make these types of generalizations, but I haven’t found or been exposed to it yet. This judgmental spirit, thinly veiled under the guise of separation and defending the faith, is exactly the problem that God revealed to me, and that He has revealed to many recovering IFB’ers, leading these god-fearing and obedient Christians out of the IFB movement and into a more biblically-based view of Him and His purpose in our lives. I can say from personal experience that God has affirmed to me again and again, both through His Word and through real life experience He’s led me through, that the IFB movement in America has generally (not necessarily wholly) attempted to neatly tuck Him away into a little box which fits within its narrow-minded, exclusive and often unbiblical views.

    With that said, I’ll avoid further posts on this site, as there are definitely better things both of us can do with our time than debate doctrine via the web, particularly when it’s highly unlikely either of us will be convinced to believe the opposing “position” or change the way we live as a result. God bless …

  28. Michael Marshall
    November 11, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    Marc, thanks for the post. I don’t have an issue debating the issues. No, you will not change, not because I wont accept truth, but because I already have.

    You also missed the point, I am not in the IFB Movement. Never have been, never will be.

    Last, for clarities sake, I never stated the follow which you alleged I said. 1. I never said no one would ever get saved at Lakewood or FBC Hammond. If they do though, they will soon leave, as truth will not mix with error. Second, even if I gave you the proof you request you would not accept it.
    Third. You make allegations, suggestions, that because I am part of what you call the IFB movement, I have exclusive and unbiblical views. Of course, as with your other posts, you leave yourself and out, so you could say you did not intend it for me. When I quote I John 2:19, all of the sudden I am wrong, because that could possibly apply to. If God led you away, please stay away.

    last, if God does give me the evidence you request, what will you do? Will you come back on this blog and say “HE WAS RIGHT”. Somehow I dont think you have that in you. But if you do great, I will look for your evidence. But seriously, do I have to commit fornication to know that it is sin? Do I have to attend an apostate church to know that it is apostate?

    God will hand deliver it for you at the Judgment seat of Christ. I would assume you missed these points because you already had a set agenda and a jaded perspective on what I said.

  29. November 13, 2007 at 6:21 am

    The fundamentalist movement came out of a ecumenical gathering of believers who only agreed on 5 points, so they banded together to create this fundamentalist movement.

    No, this is not correct. Modern fundamentalism might be based on five fundamentals – the original movement was not. Take a look at the book, The Fundamentals – way more than five fundamentals covered there!

  1. October 29, 2007 at 5:26 am
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