This weekend my son Eric and his wife Leslie were visiting us for a few days. And on Sunday we attended the 39th Annervisary of Victory Baptist Church in West Portsmouth. My father-in- law organized the church. The church has had five preachers over its history. Bob Temple founded the church in 1967 after he graduated from Bible Baptist Seminary in Arlington, Texas, in 1966. I mention this because in 1966 I arrived as a freshmen of Bible Baptist Seminary. He was leaving in
May, and I came in August. So both of us have a World Baptist Fellowship background, which is influenced still today by Dr. J. Frank Norris. As a foot note, I married his daughter Charity in 1969, and was his associate pastor for fourteen months. Bob is a KJV, independent, fundamental, soul winning, Bible preaching preacher. He still loves the Lord at the age of 74, even though you would think he is in his 60's. A further footnote, the church is still pastored by a fundamentalist Hyles’s-style pastor, with soul winning, bus ministry, and great eating fellowship, and KJV preaching.
Over the past several months while visiting the blogshere I have discovered several Fundamentalist blogs that have addressed the Norris-ite kind of fundamentalism. They address their concern about the manner in which fundamentalists conduct ministry. (Independent Baptists which I would think would include those in the WBF, BBF, IBFI, those of the Hyles Group, and the Falwell group well as the Southwide group, the John R. Rice group. I would also put in here the GARB group (even though they are not of the Norris group), I will throw in some Southern Baptist groups as well because they have the same idea., and I am sure a lot of other Baptist who would say they are independent Baptist. Since I have attended all of these groups over the last forty years, I do know something of their points of view.
I have been on the staff of these fundamental churches, be it WBF, GARB, BBF, or SBC and attended their schools and gone to their Soul Winning Conferences, so I have been rather indoctrinated into their form of thinking over the last forty years. I have learned the John R. Rice point of view, read his hundreds of books and pamphlets, as well as attended the Jack Hyles Pastor’s School. I have heard them preach and talked to them personally, so I will say, I know them and their points of view. I loved Oliver B. Greene and Lester Roloff, how that’s for a firm foundation for Christian service. Was I scarred for life knowing these men?
So I should be a recovering Independent Fundamentalist, Norrisite, Hylesite, Riceite. These were men who had a love for the Lord and the Word and a desire to see lost people come to Christ. How could that be wrong to have such love for the Lord and ministry? What did J.Frank Norris, teach that so influenced the thinking of those who sat under him? While he died in 1954, his influence was strong in 1966 when I started seminary, and even today he has a strong influence. Jack Hyles was in control in 1979 when I attended Hyles-Anderson, and while he died in 2001 yet he still liveth in 2006.
If you look at my first post, and view the churches that I have been on the church staff, or have attended their churches, all of them have had their training at one of these schools in which one of these men have had their influence. You will note the length of ministry was about fourteen months in many of these churches.
So if these churches and pastors love the Lord, love to see lost people saved and baptized, love kids and people that need to be in church, love to preach from the KJV, love to teach separation from the world, why do some think we need to go to an Independent Fundamental Detoxification Center? A recovering fundamentalist!
How is it wrong having a preacher who is preaching from the 1611 KJV, and the Gospel is still being presented, having a Bus Ministry, still singing from the hymn book, still having Just As I Am as the invitation song, still having a choir with no drums, still having soul winning visitation, the pastor still wears a suit when he preaches, most of the women still wear a dress, and the men in leadership still wear a shirt and tie, and still have missionaries come to the church. What is the matter with that?
Our next post will address this idea.