Jack Schaap is largely missing in “The Jack Schaap Story”

Profaned Pulpit: The Jack Schaap Story
By Jerry P. Kaifetz, Ph.D.
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012, 192 pp.

1 Star

Argh! How many times do I need to buy a self-published book before I wise up?

Recently, I’ve been delving into some of the history of the independent fundamental Baptist (IFB) movement and have posted some critical articles on former IFB leaders, John R. Rice (see here) and Jack Hyles (see here).

I stumbled upon the Kindle edition of this book about another IFB celebrity pastor, Jack Schaap (pronounced “skop,” rhymes with “pop”), a few years ago and finally got around to reading it.

Jack Schaap was a student at Hyles-Anderson College and after graduation became a teacher there of sermon homiletics. Schaap caught the eye of Cindy Hyles, Jack Hyles’ daughter, and the two married, an important career move for Schaap. Jack Hyles was both pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana (FBCH) and founder and chancellor of Hyles-Anderson. After Hyles died in 2001, Schaap succeeded him as pastor of FBCH, which boasted of a weekly attendance of 15,000 and a membership of 50,000, making it the largest IFB church in the country.

Capture56Schaap took homiletics into new territory, even by IFB standards, with his screaming and bullying from the pulpit. The arrogance was palpable. Members of FBCH cowered in fear of their pastor. How stunned they all must have been when the 55-year-old Schaap was arrested in 2012 for transporting a 16-year-old girl he was “counseling” across state lines for the purpose of having sexual relations. In March 2013, Schaap was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison. In hindsight, Schaap had time and time again interwoven God-dishonoring, perverted sexual themes into his sermons (see here) and into his books (see here), but nobody spoke up. The FBCH deacon board had been cowed into submission by autocratic Jack Hyles decades prior and were nothing more than ceremonial “yes men” and bobble heads.

FBCH continues on under the pastoral leadership of John Wilkerson. Were lessons learned after the Hyles and Schaap scandals? I imagine many members and attendees of FBCH dropped away. What became of them? Did they look for a solid church or did they allow pastoral malfeasance and scandal to draw them away from the Lord and shipwreck their faith? Been there, done that.

Author Kaifetz was a student at Hyles-Anderson in the early and mid-1980s and had associations with both Jack Hyles and Jack Schaap. When evidence of Hyles’ extramarital affair began surfacing in the late-1980s, Kaifetz initially defended the pastor (he began the “100% for Hyles” counter-scandal campaign), but he left FBCH in 1989 when the proof had become undeniable.

Kaifetz boasts that after learning about Schaap’s arrest in 2012, he sat down at his PC and banged out this book in only five days. I’m surprised it took him that long. Structurally, it’s one of the worst books I’ve ever read. Kaifetz does share a few memories of his personal encounters with Hyles and Schaap, but most of the information that’s presented can be gleaned off of the internet. This book is deceptively mis-titled. There’s actually very little information about Jack Schaap. Mostly, it’s just Kaifetz’s meandering criticisms of the IFB in general. IFB pastors are arrogant. Yup. There’s very little humbleness in IFB preaching. Yup, I get it. Save yourself the money, time, and effort and avoid “Profaned Pulpit.”

The bottom line of this post is to pray for your pastor and encourage him in his ministry.

27 thoughts on “Jack Schaap is largely missing in “The Jack Schaap Story”

      1. Sorry about that video, Crissy, but it really demonstrates just how carnal Schaap was. It didn’t even occur to him that what he was doing was totally inappropriate. That video was just a short snippet of the “theatrics.” Did you happen to catch the startled face of the deacon to the left of Schaap? He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. I’m sure every deacon was thinking the same thing. But I’m also sure not one critical word was said to Schaap after that “sermon.”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That deacon’s jaw-dropping reaction typified the horror of everyone at that service. But they were all too afraid of Schaap to confront him. There’s also a video on YouTube of the service immediately following Schaap’s arrest when the deacons broke the news to the membership. One of the staff members said that he sensed there was something wrong, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. Sheesh!

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie. Yes, pastors are prime targets of the evil one. They need our prayers, encouragement, and sometimes even admonishment. If we put men on pedestals, they will surely fall and disappoint us.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow what a crazy pastor. I’m often concerned for loud and proud pastors, their pride will be their downfall and their arrogance lead them to permit them to do things that shouldn’t be done. Self published can be so mix bag! Sorry about that

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “loud and proud pastors”
      That’s an excellent descriptor. I can say from experience that IFB preaching was/is generally loud, proud, arrogant, and manipulative. IFB congregants love their pastor, but are fearful of him at the same time. They’ve seen him unleash his fury on non complient members from the pulpit and never want to be in that position.
      RE: self-published books
      Thanks! I think this the third or fourth self-published book I’ve read and all were pretty bad.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pastors were put waaaaay up on pedestals in the IFB and manipulation via coercion was a widespread and accepted practice. I can’t imagine an IFB pastor NOT being coercive.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yup, there’s enormous pressure within the IFB movement to conform to acceptable styles, behaviors, standards, and practices. IFB congregations would probably reject a new pastor who didn’t follow the coercive model.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m definitely on a bit of an IFB roll with my reading lately. I’m ambivalent about the movement. My “roots” are in the IFB and there was actually a lot of good things associated with the movement, but the pride and arrogance were also breeding grounds for guys like Schaap and Steven Anderson.

      Liked by 1 person

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