Thinking Out Loud

August 6, 2012

Alleged Scandal at High Profile U.S. Baptist Church

I was going to save this for the link list on Wednesday, but this is a developing news story that is worthy of some attention now.

Normally, I don’t re-blog news events reported at Stuff Fundies Like, which is a site/blog devoted to people who grew up in ultra conservative Evangelical churches or more strict Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches, mostly because they usually involve people only known in that milieu, and while sexual scandals do occur — as they do in mainstream Evangelicalism and mainline Protestantism, too — they often take place in obscure churches in relatively backwater locations.

But Jack Schaap is a superstar in that movement, and First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana (south of Chicago) is the church pastored for many years by Schaap’s father-in-law, Jack Hyles. (As a child, I actually attended a service there once with my parents; and remembered the massivefleet of buses and assembly-line-styled baptisms.) On Wednesday night, CBS News in Chicago reported, “The longtime pastor of a northwest Indiana church has been dismissed due to an ‘improper relationship with a young woman.’Dr. Jack Schaap, who has been pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond for 11 years, was removed Tuesday, according to a church spokesman.”

While Darrell has done an amazing job with a handful of posts over the past few days at Stuff Fundies Like, those of you unfamiliar with Schaap or fundamentalism in general, might want to start with this summary at BDBO.

Note: At SFL there’s are highlights of an audio feed [Note: Mature Content] of a sermon that Schaap did on teen sexuality. While hindsight is always 20/20, I’d like to observe here that if your pastor is obsessed about sex, or extremely explicit about sex in his sermons –whether it’s Ed Young or Mark Driscoll — that might be a red flag. 

Also at SFL today there is a video of a talk that Lynda Hyles Murphy did after media reports — which she affirms — that FBC Hammond was a cult. The similarity between this and the audio feed of the interview with the granddaughter of TBN founders Paul and Jan Crouch is uncanny.

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