Truth from Arkansas! Sunday sermon series, #58

It’s Two-fer-Tuesday, my friends, which means two new sermons from the brethren down in Arkansas.

First, we have Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana preaching from Genesis 41:41-43 on “Handling Success Successfully.”

Next, we have Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaching from Galatians 5:16-26 on “The Battle Between Spirit and Flesh.”

Both of these sermons were delivered on Sunday, November 1st.

Pastor Roger Copeland – Handling Success Successfully

Pastor Cody Andrews – The Battle Between Spirit and Flesh

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday sermon series, #57

It’s Two-fer-Tuesday, my friends, which means two new sermons from the brethren down in Arkansas.

First, we have Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaching from Genesis 40:14-15, 23 on “The Pain of Loneliness.”

Next, we have Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaching from Matthew 8:5-13 on “We Have a Problem.”

Both of these sermons were delivered on Sunday, October 25th.

Pastor Roger Copeland – The Pain of Loneliness

Pastor Cody Andrews – We Have a Problem

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday sermon series, #56

It’s Two-fer-Tuesday, my friends, which normally means two new sermons from the brethren down in Arkansas.

We do have Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaching on Sunday, October 18th from Genesis 39:1-6 on “Beating the Odds.”

However, a sermon from Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City wasn’t uploaded to YouTube for that week.

Pastor Roger Copeland – Beating the Odds

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday sermon series, #55

It’s Two-fer-Tuesday, my friends, which means two new sermons from the brethren down in Arkansas.

First, we have guest speaker, James Taylor, delivering the sermon, “Welcoming Sinners” at Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana.

Next, we have Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaching from Luke 10:25-37 on “Who Is My Neighbor, Anyway?”

Both of these sermons were delivered on Sunday, September 11th.

James Taylor – Welcoming Sinners

Pastor Cody Andrews – Who Is My Neighbor, Anyway?

Even our good deeds are like filthy rags, like showing off at church!

“We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.” – Isaiah 64:6

All of the world’s major religions teach that a person may merit Heaven/Paradise/Nirvana/Jannah by becoming increasingly good and moral. The exception is Biblical Christianity, which declares that everyone is a sinner and no one can merit salvation. Only by repenting (turning from rebellion against God) and accepting Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone can a person be saved.

The Bible says in Isaiah 64:6 that even our “good deeds” are tainted by sin and are as “filthy rags” in God’s sight. But how can that be?, people ask. I do A LOT of good things!, people object. However, even the “good” that we think we do is routinely motivated by sin. I can think of one humorous example.

My wife and I began attending a Gospel-preaching church right after we were saved back in the early-1980s. Things were done differently at church back then. Everyone brought their Bibles to church and we also used hymnals. These days, Scripture passages and CCM song lyrics are shown on the auditorium overhead, so many attendees leave their Bible at home (if they even have a hardbound Bible). But back then, everyone brought their Bible to church. If you showed up to church without a Bible, boy oh boy, you were judged to be spiritually lax or immature. Whoops, I’m already pointing out how our “goodnesses” are tainted and I haven’t even gotten to my example yet. Okay, let’s proceed.

Throughout the course of his thrice-weekly sermons, the pastor had us constantly picking through our Bibles. “Turn in your Bibles to…” was a regular instruction. When you’re a new believer, it’s very difficult to navigate through the Bible with its 66 books and odd sounding book names. Most new Christians had to resort to…argh…the index. But over time, the new believer became better acquainted with where all of the different books of the Bible were in conjunction with each other and could join in the race. The race? Every time the pastor called out the passage that we were to turn to, everybody in the congregation began flipping determinedly to the desired spot. Some cheaters had Bible tabs and automatically disqualified themselves. Those who got to the passage first gloated with pride. “Do I know my Bible or what,” they silently and self-satisfyingly beamed as others still noisily and frantically flipped through the pages of their Bibles. Nobody wanted to be last in the race, a sure sign to everyone around them that they did not know their Bible. Yup, I pridefully tried to win that race many times myself.

So even going to church and reading Scripture along with the pastor and the congregation involved a bit of prideful sin.

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday sermon series, #54

It’s Two-fer-Tuesday, my friends, which means two new sermons from the brethren down in Arkansas.

First, we have Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaching from Genesis 39:1-5 on “Coping with Change.”

Next, we have Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaching from 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 on “The Four Promises of Jesus.”

Both of these sermons were delivered on Sunday, October 4th.

Pastor Roger Copeland – Coping with Change

Pastor Cody Andrews – The Four Promises of Jesus

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday sermon series, #53

It’s Two-fer-Tuesday, my friends, which means two new sermons from the brethren down in Arkansas.

First, we have Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaching from Genesis 37:18-24 on “Lessons from the Pit.”

Next, we have Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaching from 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 on “Live for Heaven.”

Both of these sermons were delivered on Sunday, September 27th.

Pastor Roger Copeland – Lessons from the Pit

Pastor Cody Andrews – Live for Heaven

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday sermon series, #52

It’s Two-fer-Tuesday, my friends, which means two new sermons from the brethren down in Arkansas.

First, we have Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaching from Genesis 37 on “The Dreamer.”

Next, Pastor Cody Andrews at Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaches from Romans 10:14-15 on “What Now?”

Both of these sermons were delivered on Sunday, September 20th.

Pastor Roger Copeland – The Dreamer

Pastor Cody Andrews – What Now?

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday sermon series, #51

It’s Two-fer-Tuesday, my friends, which means two new sermons from the brethren down in Arkansas.

First, we have Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaching from Numbers 21:4-9 on “Look and Live.”

Next, we have Wayne Sewell substituting for Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaching from Ruth 1:6 on “Homecoming.”

Both of these sermons were delivered on Sunday, September 13th.

Pastor Roger Copeland – Look and Live

 

Brother Wayne Sewell – Homecoming

Jack Hyles: The Fundamental Man

Jack Frasure Hyles: The Fundamental Man
By Cindy Hyles Schaap
Hyles Publications, 1998, 528 pp.

Having started out at an independent fundamental Baptist (IFB) church as a new Christian back in the early-1980s, I have a continuing interest in the movement and its history.

Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001) was one of the biggest names in the IFB back when I was a new believer, with his First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana (23 miles from Chicago) being one of the largest churches in the nation at the time (15,000 weekly attendance). Hyles became a widely sought-after speaker and IFB pastors across the nation studied and emulated his methods. Hyles was the face of the IFB in the 1980s and 90s.

Cindy Hyles Schaap (photo left) wrote this adulatory tribute to her father three years before his death with Hyles’ full cooperation. God’s Word certainly exhorts us to honor our pastors, but this very handsomely-bound, 538-page, coffee-table book exemplifies the kind of leadership idolatry that’s prevalent within the IFB. Jack Hyles gets 95% of the glory in this book and Jesus Christ gets the scraps. I can imagine the apostle Paul’s reaction if someone tried to memorialize him in a similar fashion.

This lengthy biography presents an incredible amount of the detail from Hyles’ life, from his birth in Italy, Texas, to pastoring several small churches, to his break with the Southern Baptist Convention and his affiliation with John R. Rice and the IFB camp, to moving to Hammond and growing the largest church in America. As one might expect from a biography written by his daughter, this book is unabashedly hagiographical. Hyles most assuredly accomplished much good for the Lord as pastor of FBCH for 42 years, but there were also serious problems:

  • Hyles perpetuated and further popularized a preaching and pastoral style that was marked by arrogance, authoritarianism, intimidation, and bullying. Hyles was an absolute dictator at FBCH. There were very cultish aspects to Hyles’ pastorate at FBCH.
  • Hyles’ crusade to have the largest church in America turned conversions and baptisms into a numbers contest. Disingenuity and numbers-padding abounded.
  • Hyles promoted the popular and misguided notion of America as a Christian nation. His self-professed focus toward the end of his life was to “save America.”
  • Hyles’ arrogance and authoritarianism engendered an attitude of recklessness and entitlement. Scandal caught up with Jack Hyles in 1989, which Cindy Schaap refers to only briefly and without detail. She also circumspectly alludes to the scandal that brought down her brother, David Hyles, who had held a leadership position at FBCH. Cindy Schaap’s husband, Jack Schaap, succeeded Jack Hyles as pastor of FBCH in 2001 and emulated his predecessor’s arrogance and authoritarianism, but he was brought down by scandal in 2012, after which Cindy divorced him.

I enjoyed portions of this book despite its “rose colored glasses” perspective. I especially enjoyed the accounts of Hyles’ associations with John R. Rice, G.B. Vick, Lester Roloff, Bob Jones, Sr., and other prominent figures in the history of the IFB movement. Hyles’ history is a history of the IFB.

See my review of a book that took a much more critical view of Hyles here. One of Hyles’ other daughters, Linda Hyles Murphrey, presented a totally different view of Jack Hyles in this video.

I would recommend this idealized biography only for its revelations with regards to IFB history.