1977 Fundamentalist Fissure

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Jerome, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. Jerome

    Jerome
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,604
    Likes Received:
    44
    This magazine article references a 1977 conference that divided fundamentalists.
    Does anyone remember this?
    Who exactly were the controversial non-fundamentalist invitees?
    Was this the Sword Conference where Jack Van Impe railed against a fundamentalist "hate movement" that had it out for him?
     
    #1 Jerome, Jul 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2010
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,208
    Likes Received:
    192
    I remember the conference. I worked at the Sword at the time, but didn't go to it--was directed to stay at the office and edit. By all accounts it was a great one. As for the GARB, I'm not sure many of them were JRR fans in the first place. At any rate....

    According to the Viola Walden bio, John R. Rice, "The Captain of our Team", the speakers were: JRR, Falwell, Hyles, A. V. Henderson, Lee Roberson Gary Coleman, Greg Dixon, Jack Van Impe, Ray Batema, E. J. Daniels, Curtis Hutson, Bob Gray, Tom Wallace, Truman Dollar.

    The only name I see in there a 1977 fundamentalist might object to is E. J. Daniels. Someone may correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Daniels was SBC.

    There was a huge crowd, 175 exhibitors, a 500 voice choir, 30 called to preach when Lee Roberson preached. Many were saved in the services and outside, many preachers got right with God. JRR was filmed preaching "You Must Be Born Again," which was subsequently shown on 250 TV stations to 188 million, according to "Miss V." as we called her. That figure sounds inflated though. (Miss V. was John R. Rice's executive secretary and 2nd biggest fan--yours truly taking the #1 spot.)

    Sounds like the GARB folks missed out. :flower:
     
  3. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wasn't there either, but remember the reports. Daniels was SBC but there were a number of SBC evangelists and pastors who were regularly featured. Dr. Hyles had R.G. Lee at Hammond at least one time.

    Falwell was not SBC at the time but there were lots of IFB people who thought that Falwell was a compromiser also.

    Dr. Rice just had a better understanding of who and what fundamentalists are than any of his "successors".
     
  4. Bob Alkire

    Bob Alkire
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    3,134
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wasn't there either, but as you remember the reports.


    Jerry crossed into many a different camp. I always enjoyed hearing him preach.
    I know I was talking to W.A. Criswell one time when he and John R. Rice were at odds over Criswell staying in the SBC and ask him a bout Dr. Rice and all he did was praise the man, said somerthing to the effect that he was sold out to his Lord and Savior.

    I loved R.G. Lee and would drive from Daytona Beach to Memphis or other places he was preaching, just to hear him. I would drive a good ways to hear these me preach, Criswell, Lee,, Rogers, Rice, Ralins, and Janney.
     
  5. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think this was the year that Van Impe preached his now infamous message on Heart Disease in Christ's Body, wasn't it? It definitely took a softer view towards separatism.
     
  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,208
    Likes Received:
    192
    There was still a lot of contact between John R. Rice and his friends and the SBC in those days.

    I may be wrong, but in my memory the objections to Falwell began with the Moral Majority, in which he cooperated with Catholics and other heretics. The MM was founded in 1979, and it was that year that I attended a meeting and was shocked to hear a Catholic priest leading in prayer.

    At the John R. Rice funeral in January, 1981, Falwell was one of the speakers, sharing the platform with Lee Roberson, Bob Sumner, Bill III, John Rawlings, Tom Malone, Curtis Hutson, Jack Hyles. Lesser lights including my father and the other 5 sons-in-law. (I still have a program.) Of those men, Bob Sumner was GARB connected, though I don't know if he was GARB per se.
    Amen to that! :thumbs:
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,208
    Likes Received:
    192
    They were friends to the end. I'm sure you know about the story of Criswell being at a Rice meeting at age 12 and telling Rice, "When I grow up I'm going to Baylor and getting a Baylor belt buckle like you have."
     
  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,208
    Likes Received:
    192
    I think you're right. Then of course he wrote his book with that title, as nasty an attack against fundamentalists as I remember reading--all in the name of Christian love, of course! :rolleyes:
     
  9. Bob Alkire

    Bob Alkire
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    3,134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I've heard Dr. Criswell say that many times as well as in his biography, Standing on the Promises has it in there.
     
  10. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2000
    Messages:
    9,622
    Likes Received:
    310
    I'm not surprised the GARBC wasn't represented at the conference. It came out of the NBC in mid 30s. Those Fundamental Baptists coming out of the NBC had\have little in common with those coming out of the SBC (since the 1830s). Further, from their experience with the NBC, they had little confidence (in the 70s) in the re-taking of the SBC.
    This conference just exacerbated the differences.
     
  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,208
    Likes Received:
    192
    In those days the GARBC was pretty exclusive anyway. As you know they had their approved schools and mission boards. I usually didn't even bother trying to go to their churches on deputation. I knew they wouldn't support me, even though Dad pastored a GARB church for 5 years. Ironically, they eventually asked my board to become a GARB approved one, and we turned them down!

    So, for the author of the article linked to in the OP to say that fundamental unity was damaged by the speakers John R. Rice had at Detroit is kind of like Bill saying to Joe, "I don't want to be your friend anymore" when they weren't friends in the first place, just casual acquaintances! Bill should have said, "I don't want to become your friend!"
     
    #11 John of Japan, Jul 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2010
  12. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Aside:
    Looking at the list of the "who's who" in fundamentalism from that conference is sobering

    Jack Hyles - moral/parental failure
    Greg Dixon - lawbreaker
    Jack Van Impe - lunatic
    Ray Batema - ran off with another woman
    Bob Gray - pedophile
    Truman Dollar - homo/suicide

    We should all look back at the conference and shake our heads that we were duped by men like this as "leaders" of a pseudo-fundamentalism.

    Back to topic
     
  13. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    On the flip side there were speakers who lived - and are living- impeccable lives, as far as we know:

    Rice, A.V. Henderson, Lee Roberson, Gary Coleman, E. J. Daniels, Curtis Hutson, Tom Wallace.

    I believe that Henderson, Coleman and Wallace are the only ones still alive.

    Some would include Falwell and some would not due to his shenanigans with the PTL mess and finances at LBC.
     
  14. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,208
    Likes Received:
    192
    Good point! :thumbs: I know Dr. Wallace and am supported by Dr. Colemen's church--both good men of God and wonderful preachers. Dr. Roberson was a wonderful man of God and I'll always thank God for him.

    And Van Impe left fundamentalism, and was pretty solid at the time of the conference, so no one should be able to blame him on fundamentalism! And Greg Dixon may be technically a "lawbreaker," but then so were Peter and John. Was Greg Dixon sinning? I'm certainly not his judge.

    Concerning Jack Hyles, I'd say that his son Dave is certainly a blot on his parenting, but his daughters turned out pretty well. Concerning his moral failure, some would say it's his word against that of Vic Nischik. At the time I read all the stuff coming out from both sides. I felt deeply sad for Vic at the time (still do), but at the same time hoped Dr. Hyles was innocent. I'm afraid I have to let God be the Judge in the matter--He does a much better job than man.

    I was caught in the middle of that issue, being supported at the time by FBC Hammond. Hyles sent out a statement for all us missionaires to sign promising that we were completely behind the ministries of FBC and HAC. i refused to sign as did other missionaries I know, but Dr. Hyles was gracious enough to promise to hold off dropping our support until we were on furlough, 4 years from then. No other pastor who dropped us has ever done that. Furthermore, under Jack Schaap, the missionaries dropped under Dr. Hyles were taken on again. :type:
     
    #14 John of Japan, Aug 9, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2010
  15. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    NO one says the opposite. Praise God some of the men of that conference continued a God-honoring life.

    But the list of "big names" of that brand of SotL pseudo-fundamentalism is tainted by a GREAT NUMBER of really evil people. I would think some not even regenerate.

    We did a look at the big 1970 (I think) Sword Convention in Detroit. Someone posted the front page of the SotL with pix. 75% men showed their true nature in the next decades with assorted immoral, filthy and criminal activities.

    I walked away from that crowd and never looked back (although, like you, some are still my personal "heroes")
     

Share This Page

Loading...