Does Jack Schaap Deserve to Go to Jail?

by Bruce Gerencser

If you are unfamiliar with the Jack Schaap story, please read these posts.

In a few weeks, we will all learn exactly how long Jack Schaap, disgraced Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, will be behind bars.  Some people think Schaap should be castrated and locked up for life. Others  think  Schaap is a good man  who did one bad thing and shouldn’t receive a long prison sentence.  A few people think that the good Schaap did outweighs his one bad act and he should not be imprisoned at all.

I am quite indifferent to the question of what punishment Jack Schaap should receive.  Schaap broke the law and he should be sentenced according to what the law prescribes for such and offense.  Schaap  should not receive better or worse treatment because of who he is.

I want to give my opinion on several issues that continue to swirl around Jack Schaap, the girl he had sex with, the ethical requirements for professionals that deal with  public, and the legal process as a whole.

First, I don’t believe that Jack Schaap’s  behavior is an isolated event. I don’t think for one moment  Jack Schaap got up one morning and said, I think this is a good day to have sex with a seventeen year old girl in the church I pastor.   In cases like this, there are almost always other illicit acts and behaviors that led up to the person doing what they did.

Second,  Jack Schaap is old enough to be the girl’s father or grandfather.  The girl is a young woman but not a grown woman. She  attended First Baptist Church in Hammond and went to the Christian school.  We do not know how wise she was to the things of the world. Knowing what I know about Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches and their schools, it is quite possible this girl was naïve about sex and the fact that when men old enough to be your father or grandfather start sniffing around you, you should run.

Third, to suggest the girl “seduced” Schaap is ludicrous.   Jack Schaap is a grown man and he could have kept this from happening.  The fact that he didn’t proves the old adage, a stiff prick has no conscience.  (This reminds me of the Tina Anderson case)

Fourth, Schaap could have had an affair with a woman that was not a minor or he he could have sought out the services of a prostitute.  If he had done this he would have broken no laws.  Being caught doing this would have been embarrassing,  and like Ted Haggard he would have been disgraced, but he would not have faced criminal charges.

Fifth, in most states, when a doctor/pastor/counselor/teacher/professor or any other person in a place of authority has  a professional relationship with a person they can not use that relationship to take advantage of the person.

While these laws are often ignored or misapplied, they do exist to protect people from being manipulated into doing things they wouldn’t normally do.  Schaap, as a pastor who counseled countless people, knew the ethical rules that govern the relationship between the counselor and counselee and he ignored them.

Illinois law states that professionals are forbidden from having sexual relationships with their clients:

The commission of any act of sexual misconduct, sexual abuse or sexual relations with one’s client, patient, student supervisee or ex-client within 24 months after termination of treatment;

Indiana law states something similar in detailing impermissible sexual conduct between the professional and their client:

Sexual intercourse, deviate sexual conduct  or any fondling  or touching intended to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the individual performing the fondling or touching or the individual being fondled or touched.

These statutes forbid any sexual contact regardless of age, Granted these are not criminal statutes that could result in an offender going to jail. A professional found guilty of violating these statutes would likely be reprimanded, suspended, or have their license revoked.

Here’s the problem in most states; pastors are exempt from licensing requirements. Pastors are free to counsel church members on anything they want and don’t have to be licensed to do so.  In most states, pastors are required to report sexual or physical abuse but, even then, they often hide behind the notion that the relationship between a pastor and a church member is sacrosanct and any discussion between them is privileged.

Personally, I think pastors should be licensed in order to counsel church members on ANYTHING other than spiritual matters.  Unfortunately, in the IFB church movement, pastors are treated as demigods who are endued with knowledge on every subject known to man.

I can’t tell you the times I gave advice on matters I had no business giving advice on.  It was expected of me…I was God’s chosen man, and armed with an infallible Bible and powered by the Holy Ghost, I dispensed advice on everything from sex to running a business.

I am shocked by how  the devoted followers of Jack Schaap still try to defend or justify his behavior.  They have drunk the IFB Kool-Aid that Schaap’s father-in-law Jack Hyles started serving 50 years ago.  They can not see that the men they revere are anything but gods and that there is no difference between Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart, Jack Hyles, David Hyles, Bob Gray, or Jack Schaap.

And these kind of things will continue to happen in the IFB church movement because of their core belief system that promotes an unhealthy form of Christianity.   Manipulation and emotional and mental abuse will continue to happen as long as people willingly submit themselves to men who think they are God’s right hand man.

If there is one piece of advice I could give to people who are members of IFB churches it would be this: RUN!! There are healthier forms of Christianity that you could be a part of.  See a professional counselor and get some help. Long term exposure to the IFB does cause emotional and mental damage.  You may not see this…but your counselor will. (and don’t seek out a Biblical counselor. They will only reinforce the belief system you are trying to leave)

When men like Schaap spend decades being treated like a demigod, it is easy to see how their morals and ethics get twisted. They begin to really think they are God’s man and that they can do no wrong. It is not too hard then for them to justify having sex with a young girl they have a professional relationship with.

Comments open below

Read everything by Bruce Gerencser!

Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network member, Bruce Gerencser blogs at The Way Forward.

Bruce Gerencser spent 25 years pastoring Independent Fundamental Baptist, Southern Baptist, and Christian Union churches in Ohio, Michigan, and Texas. Bruce attended Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan. He is a writer and operates The Way Forward blog. Bruce lives in NW Ohio with his wife of 32 years. They have 6 children, and five grandchildren.

The Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce

 

About Suzanne Calulu
  • madame

    “Personally, I think pastors should be licensed in order to counsel church members on ANYTHING other than spiritual matters. ”
    Most of the pastors I’ve had anything to do with believed that every aspect of life is “spiritual”, so their counsel will always be spiritual, and they are “anointed” and “have authority” to counsel you.

    I agree that independent churches tend to treat their pastors as little gods, as well as charismatic and pentecostal churches, who tend to be very keen on spiritual authority, anointing rather than proper study and qualifications, and believe very strongly in that “touch not mine anointed” principle. When a pastor is caught abusing his flock, other members of the denomination will comment on how the devil is attacking “the anointed”, and how we must pray more for them. Personal responsibility doesn’t seem to apply when it comes to “the anointed”.

  • revsharkie

    Well, I think that in most places seeking out the services of a prostitute is actually breaking a law…

    I do not do counseling. I have told people that if they want an ear to bend, a shoulder to cry on, a place to vent, I am happy to listen; but if they appear to need more in-depth help, I am going to refer them. I’m not a therapist. I don’t have the skills, training, or spiritual gifts (for those comfortable with that language) to be a therapist and I think it’d be malpractice if I didn’t refer folks who need therapy.

  • madame

    Revsharkie,
    the church would be a much safer and healthier place if all pastors, priests and other authority figures were that humble, and if people didn’t expect them to hold the answers to every problem.

  • Matilddaa

    One thing is sure – those exposed a sexual predators very rarely have just one victim. That one victim who speaks out has usually been told never to speak of it so he/she thinks they are the only one.
    Be they priests or pastors or the late famous Jimmy Savile in the UK, they need to be brought to justice asap to stop further attacks and untold suffering on the part of the victims. I repeat, it’s rarely an isolated event on the part of the perpetrator.

  • Wesley

    I agree wholeheartedly with you in your assessment of the Schaap debacle. Your points were intelligent and thorough.

    That said, I’m saddened that you choose to stereotype all Independent Baptists as you do. I’ve attended an IFB church for over 30 years. My pastor has never once claimed to be the final authority concerning things spiritual and he is most definitely not treated as a “demigod.” Do we love and respect him? Of course. He’s our pastor. Do we seek his advice? Of course. He’s our pastor. Do we always agree 100% with everything he teaches? Of course not. He’s a sinner saved by Grace just like we are.

    It’s a philosophy of balance and, contrary to what people like you think, most of us knuckle dragging, backwoods, IFB’ers subscribe to it.

    Categorizing millions of people based on the actions of a few is a timelessly ignorant thing to do.

    • chervil

      You don’t like how your church is portrayed? You know what? Too bad. Bruce owes you precisely nothing, no deference, no respect, nothing. He doesn’t owe it to you to differentiate amongst the IFB churches. You have a problem with the fact that the “actions of a few” is ruining your good time? Then deal with it instead of coming here where it’s all safe to complain and call people “ignorant”. Start doing the hard work of restoring your standing in society yourself, if you can, instead of whining when other people point out its hypocrisy. Unfortunately for you, calling people names is a pretty shitty way to try to enlighten people about what a stellar organization you’re part of.

  • J Myers

    I was a student at Hyles Anderson College for 4 years in the early nineties. I was a member of a singing tour group that Jack Schaap was involved with. He helped pick our dresses and before we were able to preform in them we had to turn in a circle before him so he could decide if they were modest enough. I was basically brainwashed at the time to believe he was chosen by God and would never have anything but our best interest in mind. But I remember feeling especially odd when he had us stand with our backs turned to him and said he thought the skirts were too tight and would encourage men to have impure thoughts about us. Later that day he pulled me aside and said I looked just like Karen Carpenter and he used to have a crush on her when he was a teenager. I was 17 and had grown up in a fbc household with no tv or secular music so I had no idea what he was talking about. I just said thanks and went on my way. Looking back on this as a 40 year old woman I definitely see the signs of his future downfall in his actions then. If we needed to have our outfits scrutinized for appropriateness shouldn’t a woman have preformed the inspection? Also he was my teacher in several Bible classes and our chaperone on a few singing engagements. He was in a position of authority over me and his comments were overly familiar for a married man by his own continuously preached values. I write this to say I think his bad behavior with teenage girls has been going on for over 20 years by my own experiance and is not a 1 time thing.

  • BagelDogs

    I agree with most of this article, and I’m Independent Baptist. What I don’t agree with is that everyone involved needs to run from IFBs. If you see a problem, and it’s not being dealt with, find another church. But there are good ones and bad ones, just like every religion. Unfortunately, the more conservative you are, the closer you are to the legalists. But that doesn’t automatically make you one. Many times, people will leave an IFB church, because they don’t like something, and they become bitter. It then, seemingly, becomes their ultimate goal in life to take down all IFBs.

    Having said that, I knew Jack Schaap. He was a good man. However, he allowed his thinking to become screwed up, and because of that, obviously thought he was untouchable. Another thing I disagree with – I don’t believe, for a second, that he justified it and thought it okay to do what he did. He knew it was wrong, but did it anyway.

    It’s a sad story, but you’re right… he shouldn’t be treated any worse, or any better than anyone else in that situation.

    • chervil

      “they become bitter”. Yeah, they must “become bitter”, after having been through some sort of abusive situation, you just keep telling yourself that they’re “bitter”, so you can justify your own inaction.

      “Jack Schaap was a good man”. Of course he was a real sweetie pie. That’s how he gets unwitting parents to fork over their fluffy little chicks, deliver them right to the wolf.

      You exactly like the kind of person Bruce described, you sound no different from all the rest. Another abuse apologist.

      • BagelDogs

        Chevril, being rude doesn’t help your argument. I didn’t even imply that everyone who leaves an IFB church is bitter. I was accused of being bitter, for uprooting my family and leaving one, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Leaving doesn’t automatically mean you’re bitter. However, when someone leaves, and then suddenly, is on a mission to discredit everything associated with IFB, and takes no caution as to avoid lumping every single church, and church leader, together in their onslaught of hate… they’re letting their bitterness get the best of them. Move on, forgive (as Jesus teaches you to do) and then don’t allow it to happen again. There’s also nothing wrong with warning others, but in a way that doesn’t make you come across as hateful.

        Jack Schaap was a good man. I stand by my opinion, based on knowing him in the past. But, somewhere along the way, he decided he didn’t have to live up to the standard he preached. He started believing he was above the law, and then became a hypocrite and a liar. He screwed up royally. What he did is disgusting. I’m not defending it by any means. He not only committed gross, immoral sin, but he willingly broke the law. He deserves whatever comes his way from this.

        What I try to avoid doing is throwing a bunch of people under the bus, because of this person or that person’s actions. Do you speak for all people who dislike IFB churches? Of course not. So I won’t assume they’re all sarcastic and rude, like you.

        • Chervil

          I speak for me. As a taxpayer. My hard earned tax dollars go to these churches, through faith based initiatives and churches receive special tax privileges. Because these churches cost me miney, I don’t owe it to them to be kind. They suck up money from hardworking taxpayers, and continue to “not live up to the standards he oreached,”. And continue to receive breaks and given special treatment.

          And these aren’t just “people” behaving badly. They are leaders, representatives of their congragation, supported and beloved by their congresgation. This is the face of your church.

          People have a legitimate reason to discredit the IFB, just as you have for defending it. Going around telling everyone what a swell guy Schaap was certainly isn’t going to help your cause though.

        • chervil

          ” I didn’t even imply that everyone who leaves an IFB church is bitter. ”

          No. You didn’t even imply it. You said it.

          “Many times, people will leave an IFB church, because they don’t like something, and they become bitter. ”

          “So I won’t assume they’re all sarcastic and rude, like you.” I am sarcastic and rude, totally, proudly. Especially where my wallet meets church hypocrisy and church abuse. I’m glad you read my post and noticed. But at least I’m honest.

          • BagelDogs

            Seriously, you cannot be that naive. The words “many” and “everyone” are spelled differently, and used differently for a reason. They mean different things.

            By the way, you’re not being honest. I didn’t see it at first, but it’s become obvious that you’ve got a chip on your shoulder. Let it go, and move on. If you want to keep tabs on all the IFB stories floating around, and point out it’s flaws, that’s your business. But, you’re always going to be a cranky, miserable person if you don’t get over your issues.

          • chervil

            Seriously? You’re going the semantics route? Alright. Where does the word “everyone” appear in my post?

            You think I have a chip on my shoulder? Well, I do have a thing about people who defend abuse. You’re so right. It’s really must be a horrible trait on my part. On the other hand, I live honestly and with integrity, I am sincere and I don’t surround myself with flim-flam men playing confidence games. So I don’t have to try to convince myself that anyone I deemed a “good guy” just went astray just that one eensie time. It must be hard to come to that realization that you’ve been suckered by a con artist. I understand.

            I don’t owe it to anyone to let it go. Ever. Why should I? I don’t believe in this Christian cycle of “deception/abuse/forgiveness/forgetting”. That’s how the Schaaps of the world go right on Schaaping little girls. I mean, you can defend him all you want, say, he was a real swell feller, the court documents disagree apparently. And this is just vulgar and weird. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr0UpQXYkGs.

    • http://calulu.blogspot.com Calulu

      Are you aware that the FBI yesterday released information on emails they have been Schaap and the victim where he is telling the victim that Jesus wants them to have an affair? He’s a manipulative snake. Too bad he plead out because I’d like to see him do maximum time for his offenses, just like counselors that are caught doing the same thing should do. Anyone in a professional position of authority over someone else that chooses to use that power to sexually abuse someone in their care is the lowest of scum. For every sexual predator that is caught with a victim there is usually a trail of at least 117 unknown victims that same predator has abused that have not come forward.

    • madame

      For what it’s worth,
      Bagel Dog, I agree with you.

      Chervil, I think you are misunderstanding BD. I don’t read his comment to be supportive of Schaap or abusive pastors. In his own words, Jack Schaap “deserves whatever comes his way for breaking the law and committing gross sin”. He is NOT supporting him.
      Your tax dollars are funding a lot of stuff that is more questionable than the church. I doubt anyone is happy with the way every single tax dollar (or Euro, in my case) is spent.
      Power corrupts. A man (or woman) who started out with a good heart can be corrupted by power. It happens all the time, and those who believed him will be hurt the most. Does it help to point at them and call them stupid for being sad that a “good man” turned bad?

      • chervil

        I understand what you’re saying. However, I do not believe that Schaap was a good man turned bad. I think that is a dangerous line of thinking and a recipe for abuse.

        I do believe that any time someone says about someone who has proven to be a con artist, a predator, was a good man at some point isn’t seeing the whole picture and is enabling abuse to continue. That person Isn’t seeing a pattern of predatory behavior over a lifetime, and the reality that predators always come across as good people. They have to. They don’t turn bad. They ARE bad. That’s how they play the game, how they operate. Building trust, grooming the victim. You don’t just suddenly learn that skill, like any other skill, it takes time, practice, trial and error. That’s why churches are convenient places for men like Schaap to plant themselves. People are taught to implicitly trust their pastors, to follow what he says, whatever he says, who would question him? Power corrupts because people allow it to happen.

        And how else are people ever going to stop this cycle, of trust, deception, abuse unless we point it out to them, that yes, they have been be fooled by charlatans? It’s understandable, it happens all the time. However, it isn’t like Bagel Dog took this opportunity to say “How did this happen. I trusted this man. What was it about him that made me trust him. How can I recognize this and prevent it in the future.” The scandal didn’t do it. The trial didn’t do it. There was no soul searching, no questioning, nothing other than “well, he WAS a good guy. He just lost his way”. That is willfully turning away from the real issue, not standing up and facing your own poor judgment, and if there’s another way to point out that someone was duped, well, I guess I missed that life lesson.

        I understand that BagelDog would like to see Schaap receive punishment through the criminal justice system. That’s what he wrote. But the rest of his words contradict that statement, although he may not realize it. Particularly his dismissal of people who left the church as just being bitter. BagelDog is very much against lumping people together, which is understandable, however it seems that he has no interest in doing otherwise with this particular group. “they become bitter” is what he wrote. It doesn’t seem that as individuals he reached out to them to find out any more than that, it’s easier to call them bitter than to seek unpleasant answers. Although BagelDog may not see it, saying “Schaap was a good guy turned bad” it is still treating Schaap as something special, as a regular member of the flock would never be treated this way, it was only that his “thinking got screwed up”. A regular person would be shamed, humiliated, cast out, told that Satan got a hold of him and all kinds of reprehensible things, a girl would be treated worse, but Jack? A mere slip of the mind. And it all adds up to the fact that it isn’t necessary for me to buy into his assertion that “we’re not all like that so stop lumping us together” because to me it doesn’t sound that way at all. It actually sounds kind of like the opposite.

        And yes, my tax dollars go to a lot of things that are unappealing. That’s no reason not to bring it up. It’s a valid point and I am as outspoken about those things as I am about this. And I put my money where my mouth is.

        Churches have no oversight, get special treatment, take tax dollars from honest, hardworking taxpayers, women, and gays, and turns around and trashes them in God’s name. They consider them the enemy, women who choose a different lifestyle aren’t just wrong, they’re evil. Gays are evil, but their money is lovely. Feminists are doubly evil, fork over the cash, ladies. I know that BagelDog doesn’t like to see people painted with a broad brushstroke and I agree, but then that’s exactly what I see coming out of these churches. And unless these churches decide to make a go of it on their own, I see no reason why I shouldn’t have a say in how these churches behave, even here.

      • BagelDogs

        Thanks, Madame. I appreciate you understanding, and sharing.

        And Chervil… I don’t know why you’re trying so hard to paint me as something I’m not. The reason I went the “semantics route,” is because you told me I said “everyone who leaves an IFB church is bitter” and then used my quote “many times, people will leave an IFB church, because they don’t like something, and they become bitter” to verify that statement. The problem is, those quotes say two different things. One says everybody who leaves become bitter, and the other says many who leave become bitter. If you were to say, “everyone who leaves an IFB church, leaves because they’re abused” I would say you’re an idiot. However, if you said, “many who leave…” I wouldn’t think twice. In fact, I’d agree with you.

        Again, I stand by my opinion that he was a good man. By no means does that mean, he was a good man, and then he sexually abused a 16 year old girl. If that’s what you think my view is, I seriously question whether or not reasoning with you is even possible. He didn’t exit the womb a sex offender. It sounds ridiculous, but when you claim he was never a good man, it’s similarly absurd. You said yourself that he didn’t just suddenly learn how to be that way, that “it takes time.” Something happened to him, and he chose not to rise above it. Instead, he gave in and sank deeper and deeper into filth. Because of that he’s now effecting, hurting, thousands of people. I would say this about any normal church member. He’s not getting special treatment.

        The fact that, after a few comments, you claim to know exactly how I’ve responded to this over the past year, and how I’ve dealt with friends/acquaintances who have left the church, is a sign of your arrogance. It’s become pointless to discuss this with you, because you refuse to accept the fact that anyone else could have a differing opinion from you, without it being stupid. You’ve said over and over how you, or the author of this article, doesn’t owe anyone anything. Seriously, I shouldn’t have to give you examples from my personal life, to verify that what I’m saying is taken from personal experience. One would think people, who willingly involve themselves in a discussion, would accept the fact that it’s possible they haven’t viewed the situation from every angle. That it’s possible someone might have a valid point from the opposite end.

        Nope. Not you. You started out so vehemently strong, that now your pride won’t let you veer from your warpath. You’re reasoning skills are laughable.

        • chervil

          Alright. I’m not buying what your selling. That’s all. Call me arrogant, an idiot, prideful, laughable, name call all you want if it helps you. However:

          “The reason I went the “semantics route,” is because you told me I said “everyone who leaves an IFB church is bitter” and then used my quote “many times, people will leave an IFB church, because they don’t like something, and they become bitter” to verify that statement”

          and

          If you were to say, “everyone who leaves an IFB church, leaves because they’re abused” I would say you’re an idiot. However, if you said, “many who leave…” I wouldn’t think twice. In fact, I’d agree with you.

          See, I never said that. I never said “everyone who leaves an IFB church is bitter” . Please, find that statement for me. Never said it. In fact, I quoted your very words. In quotes. Now you’re calling me an idiot based on something I never wrote, it’s unbelievable. Let me repeat:

          ““they become bitter”. Yeah, they must “become bitter”, after having been through some sort of abusive situation, you just keep telling yourself that they’re “bitter”, so you can justify your own inaction.”

          Where does it say what you’re claiming I said? Where does it say “everyone who leaves an IFB church is bitter”? You’re quoting something that doesn’t exist, and using it to call me an idiot.

          The entire purpose of this paragraph is to highlight the popular Christian use of the word “bitter”, used as a method to de-legitimize people’s feelings and keep others in line, to keep others from questioning the church. I wasn’t doing a headcount. So it would seem that you misread, misunderstood, or just decided to change the story, I don’t know.

          Now that I’ve had a really good glimpse into the IFB world, it doesn’t seem very Christian to me at all. It just seems sort of … regular.

          • madame

            Chervil,
            Bagel Dogs said:
            If you were to say, “everyone who leaves an IFB church, leaves because they’re abused” I would say you’re an idiot. However, if you said, “many who leave…” I wouldn’t think twice. In fact, I’d agree with you.

            He uses a third conditional and does so for a reason. He is setting up an hypothetical situation for you to understand the point he is trying to make. He is explaining WHY he went down the “semantic route”.
            You seem to not want to understand him, Chervil. He is not calling you an idiot. Not implying that you said “everyone is bitter”. He is just explaining his semantic route for you: some is not equal to everyone or all.

            I agree with you on the use of the word “bitter”, but I don’t think Bagel Dogs was using it that way either. I don’t see him implying that we should just forgive and forget and go back to abuse, but he is pointing out that is healthier for a victim to see the abuse and get the heck out of it, even warning others of what is happening, but it makes no sense to try to destroy an organization because one leader was abusing his position.
            Here are Bagel Dogs’s words:
            ” I was accused of being bitter, for uprooting my family and leaving one, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Leaving doesn’t automatically mean you’re bitter. However, when someone leaves, and then suddenly, is on a mission to discredit everything associated with IFB, and takes no caution as to avoid lumping every single church, and church leader, together in their onslaught of hate… they’re letting their bitterness get the best of them. Move on, forgive (as Jesus teaches you to do) and then don’t allow it to happen again. There’s also nothing wrong with warning others, but in a way that doesn’t make you come across as hateful.”

            I think Bagel Dogs’s response to the abuse happening in his church was the healthiest one. Not all of us are able to heal so quickly, and maybe that is because some of us are hurt more deeply by spiritual abuse, but trying to destroy the whole movement is not going to help heal the wounds.

          • madame

            Bagel Dogs,
            I hope that you and your family are happy in your new church, and I hope that your new church doesn’t expect you to have blind faith in the pastor. The girl’s father’s attitude, as expressed in this paragraph from a post below, is very dangerous!
            “My wife and I raised all of our children in a Baptist home. The rule of our house
            was that the pastor was God’s representative on earth. Always do what the pastor
            says. We taught our children to have implicit faith and trust in pastors. I never
            imagined such emotional and psychological harm could be inflicted on our
            daughter and family by a man and Church I respected and trusted.”

            Do IFB churches teach that you must have implicit trust in the pastor? Do they teach that the pastor is God’s representative on earth? If so, I hope all are aware of what happened in your former church and learn to see their pastors as falllible human beings who shouldn’t be given absolute power or unwarranted trust.
            I take your word that Schaap was once a good man, but from the little I have seen of him (segments of preachings on Youtube), he didn’t sound like a man who viewed women as equally valuable. He said it would be a cold day in hell before he listened to a woman teaching doctrine or discussing doctrine with him in his office. ( Would he listen to his wife if she tried to correct him?) He also picked on women for “letting themselves go”, partially blaming them for their husband’s escapades. The videos are not to be found. They disappeared when the scandal began.
            A man who shows signs of pride, who isn’t teachable, and who thinks he can’t learn anything from some members of his church is not a man to be trusted. I have only seen Schaap “gone bad”.

          • chervil

            “You seem to not want to understand him, Chervil. He is not calling you an idiot. Not implying that you said “everyone is bitter”.”

            You’re quite right, he didn’t imply it. He stated it.

            ” The reason I went the “semantics route,” is because you told me I said “everyone who leaves an IFB church is bitter” ” I told him that everyone who leaves the IFB church is bitter? Never told him anything remotely like that. In my original response to him, you will not find those words that he is attributing to me, in quotes, anywhere, or anything like that. I actually used his own words in my statement, and I cannot believe that I have to repeat this yet again.

            But I truly hope BagelDogs is happy in his new church too, and that he’s careful, for his sake, and his family’s, I wish him all the very best.

          • BagelDogs

            Okay, Chervil. I’m going to try to reason with you once more. This time, I’ll do a recap of our entire conversations.

            The main problem you had with my original post was the statement, “Many times, people will leave an IFB church, because they don’t like something, and they become bitter.”

            Your response was, “‘they become bitter’. Yeah, they must ‘become bitter’, after having been through some sort of abusive situation, you just keep telling yourself that they’re ‘bitter’, so you can justify your own inaction.” You immediately attempt to deny the possibility that I could be correct. That there’s no possibility that anyone I’m talking about could be struggling with bitterness. Your response suggests that I have no clue as to the reason anyone is leaving.

            My response, “I didn’t even imply that everyone who leaves an IFB church is bitter.” Expounding on the fact that I’m not speaking for everyone who leaves. I even go into detail about my own experiences with leaving, to shed some light on the reasoning for my statements. Some of these people are my friends, people I’ve shared stories with. Who are you to tell me I’m wrong about what I’ve witnessed first hand? But, you proceed to ignore my point.

            Then you start leaving logical discussion. You say, “‘I didn’t even imply that everyone who leaves an IFB church is bitter.’ No. You didn’t even imply it. You said it. ‘Many times, people will leave an IFB church, because they don’t like something, and they become bitter.’” There’s no other way around this, Chervil. You’re wrong. You can’t prove something was said, by using a quote that doesn’t say it. That’s nonsense.

            I respond with, “The words ‘many’ and ‘everyone’ are spelled differently, and used differently for a reason. They mean different things.” Obviously, to point out your error in claiming I said “Everyone who leaves an IFB church is bitter.”

            Again, crazy talk. “Where does the word ‘everyone’ appear in my post?” Even though, your previous post quotes me using the word “everyone.”

            Then, Madame chimes in, I respond, then it becomes obvious that you’re failing to see the point altogether, because you begin to change the argument. You begin to change it from you accusing me of saying “everyone who leaves an IFB church is bitter,” to me accusing you of saying it. That never happened. Read the comments over again. Nobody ever accused you of saying it. What you’re being accused of is being wrong in your accusation that I said it.

            Your own comment shows the error. Compare these two sentences…

            1.) “The reason I went the ‘semantics route,’ is because you told me I said ‘everyone who leaves an IFB church is bitter.’”

            2.) “See, I never said that. I never said ‘everyone who leaves an IFB church is bitter.’”

            You’re upset at something that never happened. Nobody accused you of saying it. You were accused of claiming I said it. Then you go on a rant, using this piece of false information, and claiming I called you an idiot for doing it. Another error, or your part. I said, “I would call you an idiot if…” Again, you’re reaching for something that isn’t there.

            And the fact that you’re claiming I’m the one changing the story? Absurd. You’re confused.

          • BagelDogs

            Madame, I have since found a good church. Thank you. It’s an IFB church, but a good one. The main focus here is on the community. Not on the pastor, or the numbers, etc. I’m happy.

            I’m very sad to see this happen. I attended Hyles-Anderson College. I made many friends there, and learned many valuable lessons. Were there problems? ABSOLUTELY. That much is evident. The man who ran it is going to prison. But there were many things I took from there that have been beneficial to me in life. I’ve come to find, that you must learn to be able to take the good and leave the bad. Because, let’s be honest, no situation is 100% good.

            I hope you’re in a good situation as well!

            God bless.

          • chervil

            I know full well that Many and Everyone have 2 different spellings. Now that I reread what you wrote, that one sticky wicket sentence, and I see how you meant it to come across, and I apologize. It seemed to me at the time that you thought I had accused you of something that I hadn’t and I was defensive about it. I completely misread it. Now I’m rereading the same thing again, quietly, over the weekend. I was wrong. You didn’t imply what I thought you were implying. Again, I apologize.

            All I care about it that here is that on a spiritual abuse recovery website, we’re careful about talking about bitterness and how that word can be used against people. All I care about is that people are very careful about who they trust as their leaders.

            Again BagelDogs, I owe you a huge apology, sincerely, again, best of luck to you and your family in your new church.

  • john doe

    1111 1st hammond in you make it like the world is coming to the end! Get a life!

  • BagelDogs

    ^^^ what does that even mean?

  • Dee

    @Calulu Think Milgram Experiment. People should really read the results of this thoroughly before believing in the complete authority of others. The niavete of religious followers amazes me more and more.

  • Bene D

    The prosecutor sentencing memoradum to the judge in the Schapp case is online, through CBS Chicago.
    http://cbschicago.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/schaap-prosecution-memo.pdf

    Any, and I mean any of the 140 people who wrote letters of support about Schaap need to read what the prosecutor lays out. He addresses the parishoners who don’t have a clue how sordid and despicable Schapp’s grooming and conduct with his victim was. Nor do the letter writers have a clue about how many people have been harmed. From the memorandum:

    “Having said that, the letters submitted on Defendant’s behalf go beyond describing
    Defendant’s commendable conduct – they also urge the Court to show leniency to Defendant
    when sentencing him for the instant offense. For that reason, the government wishes to make
    two brief points for the Court’s consideration about the letters and the individuals who wrote
    them. First, it is clear from the content of the letters that the writers do not know the full extent
    of Defendant’s criminal conduct in this case and therefore cannot appreciate the magnitude of the
    harm that conduct has and will continue to cause the victim and her family. In the words of
    Martin Luther King Jr., “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and
    conscientious stupidity.”

    This graph underscores the blind faith toward leaders taught in IFB churches. This is in the letter to the court written by the young womans father:

    “My wife and I raised all of our children in a Baptist home. The rule of our house
    was that the pastor was God’s representative on earth. Always do what the pastor
    says. We taught our children to have implicit faith and trust in pastors. I never
    imagined such emotional and psychological harm could be inflicted on our
    daughter and family by a man and Church I respected and trusted.”

    • Al

      Having escaped the IFB church movement, I knew of several folks in my former congregation who did and believed everything the pastor said. When about 15 people finally woke up and exited the church after we did, there were still a few die-hard defenders who stood by the man. It’s like, until the pastor does something to them personally they are not going to really “see” and wake up. Pastors who prey on people love people who don’t question and who stick by them through everything, making excuses for him like, “Well, he’s just a human being…” It’s sickening how some people’s minds are literally taken over and their white matter gets sucked out their ears by men like this who have never have had the chance to take on a powerful position. There will be those who will defend men like this to the death, thinking themselves as doing a saintly duty. Too bad they don’t read their own KJV and know what it says, what it warns of men like these.

  • Al

    Amen, Bruce! A very good article. If only the brainwashed followers of Schaap and men like him would see the light.

  • BagelDogs

    No worries, Chervil! I understand. Apology accepted. I also apologize if the way I wrote anything was confusing at all.

    I have a great respect for people who will look at a situation and admit any fault. Now, I know, you simply misunderstood and it wasn’t personal.

    Thanks!