This month Jack Hyles’ daughter Linda Murphrey published an “Open Letter to First Baptist Church of Hammond.” Following is an excerpt which documents the fact that Hyles was a cult leader rather than a true pastor of a New Testament church. If Linda were the sole voice testifying of this matter, her witness could be rejected.
It is a fact that children of pastors have attacked their fathers unjustly out of bitterness and anger. But many voices have been lifted since the 1980s to testify of Hyles’ ministry-disqualifying moral indiscretions, his gross hypocrisy, and his cultic style of leadership. Linda’s voice is only the latest, as we have documented in The Hyles Effect, which is available as a free eBook from www.wayoflife.org.
“[My father] taught you to adore him above all else. He insisted that you trust him, no matter what rumors you heard. He frightened you to the point that you dare not be disloyal to him. He required obedience without question. ... As I’ve said publicly, based on the definition of a cult, I believe my father’s church evolved into a cult. Everything revolved around my dad as he used God and the Bible merely as tools to glorify himself. When I was in my mid-twenties, I remember sitting in that huge auditorium one Sunday morning and carefully observing you--the people in the congregation--and the looks in your eyes scared me. As I mentioned in the recent Chicago Magazine article, you looked like zombies--sounds extreme, but in that moment as I looked around me, it was extreme.
It had gone beyond just intently listening to your pastor. It had gone beyond merely ingesting a sermon. It had crossed over into complete worship of your pastor. You were spellbound. You were in awe. You were mesmerized. Not by Scripture. Not by God. Not by Biblical teaching. But by a man. Jack Hyles.”
(Friday Church News Notes, March 22, 2013, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)