Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Jack Schaap of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church Dismissed And Sheriff's Office Investigation Ensues

 Updated 4Apr12

Reports have just surfaced stating that Jack Schaap of the Independent Fundamental Baptist network of churches (IFB) has been dismissed from his position.  

Yet uncorroborated social media sources allege that he had a sexual relationship with a girl who was involved with the church and affiliated college bus ministry. There is some question as to whether the teenage girl was under the legal age of consent, as the activity allegedly took place in two locations in two different states with two different age cutoffs for statutory rape.  

When employed as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, a position he was dismissed from a few hours ago, Schaap oversaw Hyles-Anderson College for the IFB. One of their notable ministries promoted picking up disadvantaged children in their remote neighborhoods in order to bus them to church, hence the school offered classes in "bus ministry.”

The social media allegations made against Schaap suggest that he revictimized a young woman who previously suffered sexual abuse and sought counsel from the church. Similar cases of this this pattern of repeated abuse suffered by young women who seek out help after molestation and rape were highlighted by Elizabeth Vargas in 20/20's Shattered Faith episode last year, first airing in April 2011. (View the entire episode HERE.) Perhaps ABC will revisit this pattern of abuse on upcoming broadcasts? 

This mindset and teachings shared by Jack Schaap appear in the ABC investigation on the 20/20 Shattered Faith episode concerning Tina Anderson.  For a short time after the program's airing, video of Schaap appeared on YouTube wherein he scoffs and brags about his position. Those videos quickly disappeared. (One of them does still appear HERE on the Internet Archive, however.)

4Aug12 Update:  It has also been reported in social media that the attorney who has often been called upon as counsel for IFB pastors and abusive ministers addressed the congregation, advising the abused to report details to the church, saying nothing about about contacting law enforcement.  You're supposed to talk to the defense attorney for the church and perhaps for Jack Schaap that you were abused in their church?  Note this advice that the attorney gave to churches in a publication earlier this year.
View the entire image of the article HERE.

The allegations first appeared on a Facebook page entitled Do Right Hyles-Anderson, but the church has apparently released a statement to the press. (Note more details about the Do Right BJU protest below.)  The matter has been noted by the media where you can access a copy of First Baptist Church of Hammond's official statement.  Please take note that any other additional information that has not been reported in these major media press sources has only been alleged and appears in social media only.   4Aug12 Update: One of the most rounded articles I've seen thus far has appeared in the Chicago Tribune.   The Huffington Post, The New York Daily News, The Daily Mail, and other sources now confirm additional details noted initially in the social media outlets.   The Examiner.com also now features an article that explores the far reaching effects and harmful aspects of the ideology that facilitates abuse in religious settings. 

Initial Reports

Along with many other blog entries, a very brief history of the Tina Anderson story can be found HERE on this site. It also includes a very short introduction to the problem of demoralizing and abusing women in the IFB which often results in a secondary molesting of girls who are seen as "bruised fruit" (after their virginity is gone) when the go to clergy or others in the church for practical help and emotional support. These molested children are believed by many within the IFB to be complicit in their own sexual abuse and are held accountable as the first cause in the chain of events that solicit their own sexual and psychological trauma. Along with others in the IFB network, Ron Williams of Hephzibah House preaches a Doctrine of the Strange Woman that facilitates this type of abuse. Sectors within the IFB teach a very low view of women which relegates them not only to subservience but also demoralizes them as lesser moral creatures, a growing problem within many other sectors of the evangelical church, a position advanced by the late John R. Rice.

Doctrines of “complementarianism” within the Southern Baptist Convention also foster similar problems, as the learned evangelists for their unique twist on the same ideas defines women as having lesser essence and purpose by teaching that women are merely the “indirect” or the “derivative” image of God. Men are more purely connected to God in their essence, and women are lesser because she was taken from man's source material. Women are one step removed from God and are said to be more given over to deception, sin, and error, necessitating a male protector and intercessor before God.

As valiant survivors like Susan Grotte have pointed out so well, many within the IFB also teach a view that corporal punishment of children results in spiritual purification. Augmented by a literal interpretation hermeneutic and the view that the King James Version of the Bible is the only inspired and authoritative version of the text, far surpassing the original languages or older translations, proverbs from the Old Testament are interpreted to teach that bruising and physical discipline bring about salvation. Ron Williams also preaches a sermon regarding the efficacy of corporal punishment as a salvific method that parents must employ to save their children from eternal hell (Read the sermon HERE.) A fine example of the literal interpretation which is used as a proof text for striking crying infants can be found in Proverbs 20:30:

The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil:
so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.

(I suppose that we should all be grateful that they don't teach parents to feed shards of glass to their children to produce internal injury in the stomach, too. Perhaps such a method could turn all of their children into new versions of Billy Sunday and John R. Rice?)

When you place more value on the purity of others than you do on people, and when you vilify women and use them as scapegoats, this kind of thing seems to be a logical conclusion. When the virginity of a molested girl becomes more important than the girl and her great value to the world and to her Creator, it is a logical conclusion. And when young women are seen as "damaged goods" because of "sexual impurity" inflicted by another, she merely becomes another thing to be used for a man's gratification. The men can appease their consciences by telling themselves that their lack of self-control and compassion really fall to the inherent fault of women (or the children that they violate). 

What a sad day.

Additional Reading:

Read Redeeming Dinah HERE, a refutation of the Strange Woman Doctrine on UnderMuchGrace.com.

All posts on UnderMuchGrace pertaining to Tina Anderson's rape and the Do Right BJU protest that ensued can be found HERE, but they are not indexed, and you will have to scroll through many. 

Visit the Do Right BJU Protest on Facebook for more information about that protest. Following the airing of the ABC 20/20 Episode concerning the problem of covering up sexual abuse within the IFB, Bob Jones University appointed the pastor who covered up the rape featured in the episode to their Cooperating Board. In protest, students and alumni joined in a protest by wearing red to chapel in December 2011. (See BJU's Tankmen of Tianamen Square at UnderMuchGrace.com) The student who organized the protest was expelled a few days before graduating. (Also read Kicked Out of College for Watching Glee.)

Link HERE to an index of links and helpful information about the abuses at Hephzibah House and other IFB reform homes for teenagers. To view many posts that scroll through CNN's “Ungodly Discipline” report series on the abuse within these IFB homes, link HERE, though please note that the link also includes shows and transcripts concerning the child training methods and deaths related to Michael Pearl's corporal punishment system.

All references to the IFB that appear on UnderMuchGrace.com may be accessed HERE.

2Apr12 Update:  Chuckles Travels Blog has posted some insightful articles as well.  This one about Schaap points out details of a recent, very offensive sermon advising parents concerning sexuality and teens.  This post offers wise advice and words of warning to other abuse survivors at Hyles Anderson College and those within the IFB.  (Allegedly, the congregants at Schaap's former church of record were advised to take matters concerning abuse to the church's defense attorney who may possibly be acting as the defense attorney for Schapp.)

Hanna Thomas also noted some important advice for victims, and the comments under this post as well as her post about the Schaap scandal are followed by interesting and telling comments.