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Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists


(Chapter 1 of 33 chapters-Go to SOLVECHURCHPROBLEMS.COM to order-Thought provoking chapters)


Franklin D. Roosevelt was a great leader, but
he caused America to become more of a centralized
government by starting various co-op programs. The
Bible says that God will supply all our need according
to His riches. So, why do we need a denomination? I
will tell you exactly why we do not need a
denomination. We lose some of our faith in God. What more could we want than, Lo, I am with
you alway, or, For where two or three are gathered
together in my name, there am I in the midst of them,
or, upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates
of hell shall not prevail against it.

My heart aches for what has happened to
churches across this nation. Many churches that call
themselves Independent Baptists are not really
Independent Baptists.
When Dr. H. A. Ironside was the pastor of the
Moody Church in Chicago, he decided to form a
group of men to run the business of the church. He
basically turned the leadership of the church over to
that group of men and decided that he would just do the preaching. 



Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists

It worked beautifully because these
men loved him, and wanted to please him, but when
he died, he had created the machinery for the
destruction of their soul-winning program. What
happened? A good pastor and some good men set up
some bad machinery that worked as long as they
were alive, but self-destructed when they died.
I must make a confession. There are certain
words that, when I hear them, send up red flags in my
mind. They are words that are usually misused or
used in a self-serving manner. One such word is
“legalism”. When I hear it, I usually can predict what is
coming next. The person is making their case against
“standards” or, more often, defending their lesser
ones. They have them, but they are usually not as
strong as the person they are judging in motive or
heart. The word “preferences” is another. I always find
it interesting that people can decide what my
preferences are versus my convictions; however,
none of these words are what I want to address in this
“Unity” is the word I would like to discuss which
absolutely sets off sirens in my mind. It is especially
disconcerting when I read an article by a stalwart in
the Independent Baptist world lauding it. Recently
such an article was sent to me and upon completion
of reading it, I found myself very concerned. I read the
article very slowly, carefully, and prayerfully to make
certain I was not reacting. I waited a few days before
responding wondering … hoping that I had read it
wrong. Then another man I respect sheepishly asked
me if I had read the article. I confirmed I had. All he
said was, “It concerns me.”
The author is a good man. He is in no danger
of being a heretic or falling off the fundamental ledge.


Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists

He is sincere and a man I greatly love and admire. I
would not separate with him over this article for he
has stood faithful for too long for me to doubt him. I do
not write this even as a rebuke towards him. This is
more of a mild warning … a nudge, so to speak. I will
not call him out and I will not attack him. Allow me to
speak in principled terms.

1. Unity is almost always a misunderstood

Satan loves the world “unity,” but that does
not make it a bad word. Unity appeals to the flesh of
people. If you want loud choruses of “AMENS” just
speak of unity. The weak will love you for it. The
women will praise you when you speak of it.
Unfortunately, the word is far too often a cry for
compromise rather than a plea for oneness.
Unity comes from the word union. It is a sister
word to unify. Therefore, I must be careful with whom
I want to have unity with. Satan loves unions. If he
can get us to form unions, he has a better chance to
pervade us. He takes independent men, brings them
into unity, and destroys the very thing that made them
strong. We don’t need his kind of unity, but he is great
at making it look and sound so appealing.

2. Unity is most often a word used to
describe an ordained relationship. 

We should be in
unity with God. We should have unity in the home as
well as in the local church. However, that is where
most unity should end. To have unity anywhere else
means I must be in a union with you. Forgive me, but
outside my relationship with God, my family, and my
church, I am not much interested in forming unions or
having unity.

3. Unity necessitates sameness. 

If I unite, I
am typically agreeing to accept you and your beliefs,
or you mine. Unions are typically political and require some control.


Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists

That is not what God wants for me. My
independence requires that I avoid unity. My beliefs
and principles do as well.

4. Satan loves to make us think we have
lost something we once had. 

One statement that
greatly concerned me in the article I read was that we
were once unified more than we are today. Now, I
don’t know what history book that man has been
reading, but in my study I have seldom seen much
unity between independents. Don’t buy into that!
Study the unity between the great Christian leaders of
the past and you will find that they fought over many
issues and some of them were even minor. They
were not unified. Paul and Barnabas were not. Paul
and Peter were not. I could follow that all the way
throughout church history.

5. I think this man mistook unity for

I love to be in harmony because then I can
be what I am and you can be what you are and we
can be harmonious about it. I do not want unity in the
Republican Party because that means compromise;
nor do I want it in fundamentalism.
We can have harmony, however. We can be in
harmony over doctrines of the faith. Harmony allows
me to write this article. Unity would not. I seek to be in
harmony with fellow fundamentalists, but that does
not mean we will not separate over certain things. I
can separate with you and still be in harmony with
you. Dr. Jack Hyles used to call it “agreeing to
disagree.” Dr. Hyles stopped preaching with a certain
man who he still supported financially, for he could
not be in unity, but he could be in harmony.

6. Who are you to say what my preferences

Dr. Hyles strongly believed in women not
wearing pants. That was a belief or a conviction. You can call it a preference if it is not your belief, but it was his belief. He did not separate over it, but he did try to be consistent about it.


Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists

One year, Dr. Hyles invited a couple to Pastors’
School to teach. Later he discovered that she openly
wore pants. He explained his position to them in a
sweet and loving letter. There was no condemnation
in his letter and, in fact, later spoke highly of their
ministry.He included a more than generous love
offering check that was far more than he would have
given normally. These dear folks were gracious and
understanding because of the kind way Brother Hyles
handled the situation.
Now, you can say it was a preference, but who
are you to tell him what his “preference” was? That is
prideful and arrogant.
Some men call things preferences because
they changed. What you call preferences I call a
conviction. You are certainly not practicing what you
preach when you attempt to define my beliefs. That
said, not all of my convictions are based upon what I
expect you to believe. Therefore, I want harmony, but
not unity.
I would not have some people speak for me
who I would support. A conviction is something I have
been convinced or convicted of for my life and my
ministry. It is wrong to call another’s convictions
preferences and high time we threw out the word.

7. Unity requires me to accept friends I
would not otherwise accept because of where I
think they may lead. 

Let me give you an example. I
have strong feelings against calling the Sunday
morning preaching service a “worship service.” I think
it is unscriptural and I believe it is going the wrong
direction. I am not a proponent of one who uses a “worship team” to replace the old-fashioned adult church choir. 


Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists

I will not condemn you for it, I will not
call you out personally, but rest assured I would not
form a union with you.
Some make fun of positions like this because
they do not see the bigness I see and the
dangerousdestination I see. We are following a
hazardous trend. Unity says some of it really doesn’t
matter. I beg to differ. It does matter because of
where the trend started and to where it will lead.
Do not miss this statement. I will not have unity
with someone who has unity with someone I deem to
be spiritually menacing. If you are getting your ideas
from someone I think is unpredictable spiritually, then
I do not want to even get close to you. If you are
willing to be influenced by someone I do not want to
be influenced by, then it may be best for me to stay
away. I do not hate you and I do not want to fight you,
but I do not want to catch the ideals to which you are
exposing yourself.

8. Do not talk to me about fellowship. 

will tell you that we need unity so we can fellowship.
Why? I don’t get it! There are certain good men with
whom I do not intend to fellowship. Frankly, I am
scared of them. They hang out with and read from the
wrong people and I do not want to like them too much
or I may be attracted to them and follow them off the
cliff. Dr. Hyles often said, “I do not fellowship with a
man based upon where he is, but rather upon which
direction he is going.”
For example, I do not plan on fellowshipping
with a man who attends Rick Warren’s conferences or
has his staff meet with the staff of the Crystal
Cathedral in order to glean something useful. I refuse
to allow Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, or Robert Schuller to influence me either directly or indirectly. 


Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists

I plan to have no unity with those who allow these
men to influence them even in the slightest manner.
Admiration leads to influence and influence leads to
compromise in direction. I will be in harmony, but not
unity. I will be kind to them, but I am not going to
fellowship with them. As Dr. Hyles used to say, “I
may like them too much and I don’t want to like them
too much because they may affect me.”

9. Individual camps. 

We have always been in
camps and should remain in camps for the sake of
independence. My friend’s article criticized camps.
However, camps are good not bad.
Fundamentalism has many camps, all of which
have their own unique personality and flavor. It has
always been that way. These camps are all doing
good and trying to reach souls and take a stand as
they see it. Stop attempting to unify them because
once you do, we will sink to the lowest common
Splitting is what preserves us. We are all part
of a split, not a union. We divide and then multiply.
We divide and conquer not unite and conquer!
10. Real movements have no headquarters.

They may have many outposts, but no Vatican. Some
establish their outpost in various places around our
Are we supposed to unite and hope we do not
all lose the distinctiveness God has given each of us?
Certainly this is an antithesis of all God had in mind.
Now, lest I am accused of missing the point of
the article, may I humbly submit that I did not! I get it
loud and clear and it was not accurate. In fact, it was
important enough that I knew I had to address it. I
love my dear brother very much, yet in truth, he has chosen to distance himself from me and he knows it. 


Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists

He would not preach with me, endorse me, or agree
with my last book, When Principle Was King, about
Dr. Hyles. His refusal to cooperate with me is
perfectly fine, yet his writing is an appeal for unity.
Amazing! I cannot help but wonder if what he is
asking is for all of us to unify with him and his group. I
must say, I sense some serious hypocrisy here.
That said, I have chosen never to react to his
rejections of me. Nonetheless, I cannot let this article
go without a loving warning of its flawed content. This
is not about personality; this is about principle. I
welcome his call and would do anything within my
power to show him my friendship. He is a good man
and his opinion of me does not negate the good he
has done. Yet, I cannot allow the misrepresentation of
this word to go unchallenged.
Unity, in the right context is wonderful, but
apart from it is dangerous and potentially lethal to
what we are and what we believe.

11. Direction determines destination. 

means we are walking together and I may not want to
go where you are going. Amos 3:3 says, “Can two
walk together, except they be agreed?” Sometimes
secondary separation is necessary to protect me from
the influence of who is influencing you.
I must protect the integrity of my influence;
therefore, I cannot unite with those whose influences
may hurt the ones I influence. I cannot go to Rick
Warren’s conference because, while I may be able to
discern between the good and the bad, those I
influence may not.
Some methods come from flawed ideology.
Accept the method and eventually you will accept the
ideology. A goodexample is “worship” talk. The words “worship service” may not be bad, but they are attached to flawed ideology as well as flawed theology.

Satan’s Attack On Independent Baptists

Just because there is good food in the
dumpster does not mean I am going to feed my family
from the dumpster. Good ideas may come out of the
dumpster of the liberals, but do I really want to build
my church on dumpster ideas? No!
The hottest guy out there may not be the guy
with whom I want to be joined. I may sense troubling
trends that make me keep my distance. I am not
going to fight him, but I am not going to be told I
should unite with him.

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