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Mar 20, 2013

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Bruce H.

Peter,

I do not know the particulars of this case, but it was your comment at the end that perplexes me. Our duty to God and this former pastor is show compassion and mercy. We are buying into the worlds thinking that somebody may get away with something and they must pay. If he repented he needs our love because the world isn't going to give it to him. Let's not throw this man out without attempting to restore him as a brother and heal the body of Christ. WWJD?

peter lumpkins

Hi Bruce,

Why would celebrating justice in our legal system perplex you? Justice being served does not cancel love--at least not the way I see it.

You also suggest that "If he repented he needs our love." Does that mean he needs our love only on the condition he repents? I don't think so.

Restore? Restore to what, Bruce? Restore back to ministry? To counselling young girls?

Further, please explain how glibly "restoring" a child molester "heals" the body of Christ?

Bruce H.

Peter,

Do we, as Christians, have certain sins we expel brother's in Christ from our fellowship and expose their sin to the world? I just do not see that anywhere in scripture. Even when someone sins against me and I go to them and they repent, I forgive and it is over. I don't go talk to others about it to expose their forgiven sin either. This was a Hammond, IN matter that has been exposed through this media. Do we shoot our own? I say NO.

Yes, restore. This man has lost everything, including his name. I can't imagine that. His loving wife will be without a husband and the embarrassment his children face will be unbearable for them. They love him and want this kept quite. He can be restored to fellowship with forgiving believers and he can serve in some capacity some day. Like David, his sin is ever before him and I'm sure he lives daily in a circle of regret.

Exposing him is like not forgiving him. By the way, this was a "sex crime" not a rape. She was under age, but at 17 you know what you are doing. This was not child molestation. I am not trying to reduce the sin, just putting it in perspective. Bottom line, it was adultery. Either way, my heart goes out for him and we should have compassion on him, his family and the name of Christ at this time.

peter lumpkins

Bruce,

A) You never answered my question. I asked, "Why would celebrating justice in our legal system perplex you?"

B) You asked, “Do we, as Christians, have certain sins we expel brother's in Christ from our fellowship and expose their sin to the world?” This is not about either expelling brothers from fellowship or exposing their sin. Rather it’s about a convicted criminal receiving justice—Christian or non-Christian. Even so, yes there are particular sins worthy of expelling from church fellowship and congregational exposure (1 Cor 5).

C) You say, “Even when someone sins against me and I go to them and they repent, I forgive and it is over.” You may do as you wish. But do not expect parents whose children were sexually assaulted to follow your personal preference. There is a distinction between forgiveness on one hand and reconciliation on the other. Frankly, you do not need to go someone to forgive them since forgiveness is both a unilateral and inner process. Reconciliation, however, demands at least two people. What you appear to be doing is convoluting forgiveness with reconciliation.

D) You say, “This was a Hammond, IN matter that has been exposed through this media. Do we shoot our own? I say NO.” First, this wasn’t “exposed” through the media. Schaap’s verdict was decided in a court of law and reported in the media. Nor does it matter it was Hammond. Nor is this about  “shoot[ing] our own.” It’s about keeping criminals off the streets and in this case, away from underaged girls.

E)  You say, “This man has lost everything, including his name. I can't imagine that. His loving wife will be without a husband and the embarrassment his children face will be unbearable for them. They love him and want this kept quite [sic]”. Bruce, this is not only speculation on your behalf (at least about what the family wants), it is pure nonsense. He ought to lose everything for sexually messing around with young girls! He ought to lose his name. He ought to be embarrassed. And, contrary to your sympathy for their supposed “privacy,” when one becomes a criminal in our justice system, then so far as keeping it a secret is hardly an option.

F) “Exposing him is like not forgiving him.” I’m not sure how to even respond to this. How strange. Would you please tease this out?

G) Nor did I suggest it was a “rape” even though a moral case could be made it was rape. I specifically alluded to Schaap’s conviction as a “child-sex crime.” As for your assumption that it was neither rape (“at 17 you know what you are doing”) nor “child molestation” I’m sorry but neither the Bible nor our justice system supports such ridiculous assumptions.

F) You say, “I am not trying to reduce the sin, just putting it in perspective.” Given the reasoning you’ve offered thus far:

--Schaap lost his name

--Schaap lost his job

--Restore Schaap

--Love Schaap

--Forgive Schaap

--Sympathize with Schaap

--Don’t embarrass Schaap

--Schaap only committed adultery

--The girl Schaap had sex with was 17 and knew what she was doing


Well, given that rationale, Bruce, I’d say you’ve done a marvelous job “reducing the sin” whether you intended it or not. 

Poor, poor Jack Schaap

David R. Brumbelow

It depends on the situation, but at times we are to follow the advice of
1 Timothy 5:20
Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.

And brothers, pastors, we should fear, and walk humbly before God.

Robert L. Sumner well said, “An army does not shoot its own wounded, but it does shoot traitors.”

Forgiveness and being qualified for ministry are two separate issues.
Forgiveness and consequences are two separate issues.
David R. Brumbelow

Bruce H.

Peter,

Very thorough response, however.....

A. Celebrating justice is one thing, celebrating it toward a brother in Christ is yet another. I neither celebrate it or condemn it. Looking at a brother in Christ being convicted and looking at a sinner being justly condemned to hell have similarities. My heart goes out to both until I am in heaven.

B. In the Kingdom he is not a convicted criminal. He is a brother forgiven and the sin is covered by the blood of the Lamb. That is how Christians must view it. Exposing a convicted criminal is worldly. Will you visit him in prison?

C. Jesus said in Matthew 6:15, "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." When forgiveness is present with a brother there has to be some form of reconciliation even if they must part ways. Our forgiveness must focus on the forgiveness we have in Christ that reconciles us to God.

D. He is a criminal in the law of the heathen, not us. In Christ, one is capable of change.

E. Yes, I am speculating a little based upon how I know children will always love parents. Abusive parents have kids who still love them no matter what because it is mama or it is daddy. That is just the way it is and my speculation is closer to right than you think. There are many ways this can go but it is the responsibility of the church to encourage forgiveness within the family and help them through this mess.

F. What sin of a sinner should we expose on the bulletin board of the church or internet that everyone already knows sinned? Is there a list? In the Bulletin: "John and Mary got a divorce because Mary was seen with a male choir member! Justice was served!" That is how your statement came across. Sin is sin and we just do not expose it. That is the world's philosophy, not Christ. Jesus just knows that the world will expose it.

G. It was adultery with a young woman. What was the assumed age of Mary when she was espoused to Joseph? I thought it was 15. They are young adults. We use 18 year old's to fight a war. What happens between 17 & 18? Aren't women suppose to be more mature than men?

F. The law of Jesus day was to stone (kill) the adulteress. That was the law. In John 8:11b, Jesus said to the adulteress, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." The law condemned her but Jesus had compassion on her. That is what I am talking about. We cannot prevent future sin but we can show compassion. That is all we can do no matter what the sin. Jesus didn't reduce the sin at all, He just didn't do anything but die for her.

I do not look at him the way you do. Our society has categorized sins for us to hate. Maybe you hate sexual sins against young women more than you hate other sins. Both pastor and 17 year old are to be blamed and dealt with inside the church. If the church lets the girl go without addressing it it will be wrong. If he broke the governing laws of our land he is required to submit to the punishment. My hope is that the people of that church will support him and visit him till he gets out (his family too). My hope for the 17 year old is that the church address her as a responsible adult and make her take responsibility for her actions and repent.

Thomas

For one in my life, I agree with Peter lumpkins. This is a sad case

Max

"Forgiveness and being qualified for ministry are two separate issues. Forgiveness and consequences are two separate issues." Amen David Brumbelow.

"For unto whomever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more" (Luke 12:48). The prosecutors asked for 10 years - the judge game him 12.

Mary

Bruce, you seem to be saying the only consequences this man should face are those imposed by a court. That ain't Biblical. God forgives me much but there are times I've screwed up that I still had to live with the consequences of my sins. Forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same thing. Reconciliation is a process that only comes about when repentance is seen and amends are made - part of reconciliation is accepting the consequences of the sin.

This isn't just an issue for Hammond, IN, as it happens to be all over the news. Christians have to take a stand on whether we agree that this action of the courts was right or wrong. Peter, didn't expose this man - his church and then the authorities and now news orgs have. We can't just sing la la la and pretend it didn't happen. Tell Paul that he shouldn't have exposed the sin of the Corinthian church.

You have a valid point when you want to distinquish between a sexual crime against a 17 year old and a 7 year old. Those are too different pathologies and crimes. But you run off the rails in the end acting as if the 17 year old is somehow equally culpable. First this situation didn't start when the girl was 17 but younger. Second it doesn't matter if she's 17 or 21, this man was in a position of authority over her and we have no idea what was going on her head when he is preying upon her. You cannot dismiss the power in this situation is completely on one side. Statutory rape is statutory rape is staturory rape. We have such crimes of statutory rape for a reason - even if a girl thinks she is consenting because of her age and situations like this her mind may not be at all able to process exactly what is happening. You have no idea whether this girl felt self to say no, whether this man preyed upon a vulnerable girl who was looking for something she was missing at home - there is so much that you don't know and yet you assume that somehow she's lil mis Lolita all the while you're feeling sorry for a sexual predator. No everything you said just gets thrown out the window when you make assumptions about this girl. You obviously know nothing about what it's like to be a woman in a vulnerable postion or know anything about sexual predators who prey on vulnerable women of any age. You're showing more sympathy for a sexual criminal than for a victim of a sex crime and the victim of the most serious clergy abuse.

peter lumpkins

Bruce

A. “Celebrating justice is one thing, celebrating it toward a brother in Christ is yet another.” Excuse me, Bruce. Care to tell me what the difference is between Christian justice and non-Christian justice? Second, you seem to assume Christians can celebrate social justice as long as social justice is carried out on non-Christians. However, when “brothers” are involved, we should treat them differently which is morally and societally absurd.   Third, to not celebrate social justice is morally repugnant. But I have a hunch that, like most other people, you may very well have a different view altogether toward societal justice  were it your daughter or granddaughter who was sexually assaulted.

B. You say, “In the Kingdom he is not a convicted criminal.” Pardon me. Which Kingdom are you referring to?  Christians are presently citizens of two Kingdoms. Further, you assert without proof “He is a brother forgiven and the sin is covered by the blood of the Lamb.” What evidence do you offer to support your assertion, Bruce? All we know for sure about Jack Schaap is he is going to spend 12 years in prison for sexual crimes against a minor.   “That is how Christians must view it.” Pardon me again: this is how you view it.   Don’t lump all Christians into your nonsensical position. Finally, you assert '”Exposing a convicted criminal is worldly. Will you visit him in prison?” Yes, and I suppose Paul was “worldly” when he said, “Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them” (Eph 5:11).

C. You say, “Jesus said in Matthew 6:15, "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." When forgiveness is present with a brother there has to be some form of reconciliation even if they must part ways.” Pardon me again. You’re convoluting forgiveness and reconciliation. The two are not the same.

D. “He is a criminal in the law of the heathen, not us. In Christ, one is capable of change.” First, no, he is a criminal of our justice system, and an exposed worker of evil within the church—unless you’d like to argue sexually assaulting an underaged girl is not morally evil. If you do want to argue such a morally repugnant position, do it elsewhere. I’m not going to waste another minute exchanging with you about it.

E. “Yes, I am speculating a little based upon how I know children will always love parents.” Well, children do not always “love parents” but even if they do, you’re assuming loving someone excludes condemning someone’s actions as morally reprehensible. If love excludes the condemnation  of morally questionable behavior, then God remains the most loveless Being imaginable. 

F. You ask, “What sin of a sinner should we expose on the bulletin board of the church or internet that everyone already knows sinned? Is there a list? In the Bulletin: "John and Mary got a divorce because Mary was seen with a male choir member! Justice was served!" That is how your statement came across. Sin is sin and we just do not expose it. That is the world's philosophy, not Christ. Jesus just knows that the world will expose it.” Bruce, this is pure nonsense.  Once again, the present piece isn’t about “exposing” anything. Rather it is about justice being served on a sexual pervert. And, you twist Christ’s words into meaning exactly the opposite to what the Apostle Paul said.

G. “It was adultery with a young woman. What was the assumed age of Mary when she was espoused to Joseph? I thought it was 15. They are young adults. We use 18 year old's to fight a war. What happens between 17 & 18? Aren't women suppose to be more mature than men?” First, we can suppose all kinds of things about Mary’s age. But the Bible is silent. Second, The evidence showed Schaap manipulated the young girl…making her think it was God’s will…he was God’s gift, etc. He clearly abused his authority. And, now you want to make Schaap’s circumstances analogous to Mary and Joseph?  This is just barely under two pints shy of blasphemous.

F. “The law of Jesus day was to stone (kill) the adulteress. That was the law. In John 8:11b, Jesus said to the adulteress, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." The law condemned her but Jesus had compassion on her.” Yes, he did and sent her away to sin no more

G. “I do not look at him the way you do.” Obviously.  “Our society has categorized sins for us to hate.” Correction: God has categorized all sin for us to hate, Bruce.   And if you think he needs, visiting, then trek to the prison and do it. Finally, o not come back on this site and defend Schapp in one breath and turn around condemn the 17 year old girl on the other---“My hope for the 17 year old is that the church address her as a responsible adult and make her take responsibility for her actions and repent.” Make her repent?  Make her?  Are you serious?

Now, this is it. I have no more time to give in exchanging over whether we should celebrate justice being served in a case involving a pastor sexually abusing and assaulting an underaged girl.

Lydia

Bruce and any others interested,

Check our Linda Murphrey's talk at Tedx concerning "Cult to Courage". She is Jack Hyles' daughter. One of his other daughter's married Jack Schaap who was groomed to take his place.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdtxM0rD86I

Seriously, if you really want to know what to know what Hammond/Hyles/Schaap Empire is really about, you need to listen before you defend Schaap at all. It is a cult.

I have not had time to read all the comments but a few things to consider:

Schaap preached some bizarre things. If you have not seen his "polishing the shaft" sermon then think again before you defend.

The girl he groomed and molested he was "counseling" because she had been previously molested. If you are not familiar with what happens, young girls who are raped or molested most often become very suseptable and even sexually active because they are now "dirty". Schaap took advantage of his position and power to revictimize her.

Schaap can be a born again believer inprison. I wish it were longer. There was so much evidence he would have been nuts to not plead guilty. I am not sure pleading guilty and saying sorry is repentance. I would prefer more time on that one. He used his cover as "a man of God" to do evil. Not sure why that is so easily dismissed by so many. Oh well. It is the new normal. Makes the blood cheap, though.

But Bruce if you really believe what you said above, I volunteer Schaap to chaperone your teen daughters when he gets out. You game?

Lydia

"Both pastor and 17 year old are to be blamed and dealt with inside the church. If the church lets the girl go without addressing it it will be wrong. If he broke the governing laws of our land he is required to submit to the punishment. My hope is that the people of that church will support him and visit him till he gets out (his family too). My hope for the 17 year old is that the church address her as a responsible adult and make her take responsibility for her actions and repent."

Bruce, You would fit in well at SGM.

Lydia

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-jack-schaap-sentencing-memorandum-20130314,0,4467793.htmlpage

Bruce, You might want to check out the sentencing memorandum, too. It is insidious what excuses he used and the careful time consuming planning and lies it all took. What is up with these pastors and their "second" homes?

Job

@Lydia:

That was a low blow.

Louis

I have appreciated the back and forth between Peter and Bruce and the other comments here.

I would mention that the New Testament teaches that God has ordained government to bear the sword to punish evil doers.

Even thought Schaap is a professing believer, he is an evil doer and needs to be punished by the sword.

Christians can be glad that we have a system of justice in this country that is by and large a fair one. Schaap had the right to have a lawyer, he had a right to be confronted by his accusers and to know what the charges were, and he had the right to contest those charges.

All of this is public matter. It is not private - between Schaap and the girl or between the two of them and the church.

Because a crime was committed, it becomes an offense against the commmunity (that's what the case was styled: State vs. Schaap.)

When an offense is committed against the community, it is a matter of public record. Talking about it a church is acceptable because it is already public.

The example of two adults in the church having an affair is not a criminal act, so that may be handled differently.

Also, because the recidivism rate of men who have sex with underage girls is shown to be very high (that means that they are likely to do this again), this kind of crime should receive public attention so that Schaap cannot get out and return to this church or go to some other church and prey on other underage girls.

It is a misapplication of scripture to compare Schaap to David. The similarity in sorrow could be accurate (we don't know), but the idea of restoration or Schaap not losing or being restored to his job is inapposite.

David was annointed by Samuel as king. God communicated that it was his will that David remain king.

Pastors in the New Testament are not annointed with the same kind of authority. They are gifted by God, but they are not annointed the way David was chosen and annointed. The local church must decide to let them serve in a given capacity. And there are New Testament standards for those who would be pastors (bishopes or elders.) One of them is that they must have a good reputation among those who are in the commmunity at large.

Schaap will never qualify. He may be gifted (I have no idea), but he does not meet the New Testament qualifications.

There will be many things that Schaap can do when he gets out to earn a living, and there may be many things that Schaap can do in the church that do not involve teaching and public leadership.

Also, one reason why this issue gets so much attention now in the church is that it needs to be given attention.

After the scandal involving the Catholic church where the primary motive appeared to be to forgive the perpetrator and try to save his career in the ministry, to the exclusion of other concerns, and the more recent public scandals in evangelical churches where there seems to have been a code of "let's handle this privately," rather than reporting the crimes of evil doers to the authorities so that God's ordained government could bear the sword against the evil doers, as the Bible teaches, it is appropriate that these kind of events get front page coverage. Peter, I am glad that you posted this.

I believe that there is a part of what Bruce is trying to say that is true. We should not rejoice in the downfall of another because we, too, are fallen and are capable of bad conduct.

But that should not cause us to shrink from our responsibility to report evil doers to the government, nor should it cause us to not talk about the just consequences evil doers receive when they are prosecuted. We should talk about it, loudly, as we did in the Sandusky case at Penn State.

Finally, I believe that Schaap will need to care of Christians and a congregation, both while in jail, and when he is released. I hope that he gets that, and I hope that his family gets even more. They have done nothing wrong, and will need help.

But the young girl in this case, who has now been taken advantage of by two sexual perpetrators, deserves the greatest amount of care and concern. She is still very young, and two people who were supposed to have helped her have instead betrayed that trust.

She is psychologically damaged for sure. I believe that by far the most sympathy, the most care, and the most resources should go toward her healing and betterment. Should she repent? Of course. But that is a very simplistic thing to say, and the way that it is said can often perpetuate the abuse she has suffered.

I would like to see more care and concern and prayer going her way.

Lydia

Job, I hear a lot about this instantaneous restoration for pedophiles and child molesters. Even a restoration to ministry. Nevermind there is rarely a repentance and confession before they are caught.

So I say to those who think that way, walk the talk. If you think the pedophile has been restored.... Then prove it by having them babysit your kids.

So Christians will pack the courtroom asking for leniency..... But they won't let them babysit their kids?

HaitiOrphanProj

I think I'm agreeing with Lydia, at least in this aspect (if I understand you correctly Lydia, and will wonders never cease?):

I think this person is permanently disqualified form pastoral ministry. Paul says,

"The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."

There seems to be some special note by the Lord for sexual sin. "Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body."

He may be restored spiritually and may can serve in some fashion for the church, but in my opinion and understanding of the scriptures he is permanently barred.

In addition, I cannot see how EVER he can serve involving children. In any way.

FWIW.

Les

Lydia

Peter, Sorry to put this here but I sent you an email about your book. Please let me know if it was received. I am having trouble with yahoo.

Lydia

Les, We were bound to agree on something at some point. :o)

hariette

Peter, this is so very sad for that poor girl and her family. May God give them the grace and strength needed to heal from all of this.
Lydia, read the link you gave on the plea. That was sick. Made my stomach churn. Had a hard time getting to sleep last night thinking about that poor girl. SHE is the victim.

peter lumpkins

Lydia

I did get your email & responded. Thanks!

Hariette,

So true...

When we become visibly more concerned over the embarrassment, reputation, and "restoration" of convicted criminals to places of ministry more than we show compassion, love, and sympathy toward the abused, the abandoned, the afflicted, and the victimized like Bruce appears to reveal above, we've forfeited our right to call ourselves the people of God...

David R. Brumbelow

For more background to the Jack Schaap story see Linda Hyles Murphrey, as has already been mentioned, including her Open Letter of several days ago,
and:

http://www.biblicalevangelist.org/jack_hyles_story.php

David R. Brumbelow

hariette

David... this is horrendous. absolutely horrendous. the Hyles 2 Years Later may never leave my mind. It was like reading some kind of wretched novel about the horror of an orphan under the slavery of monsters.

Lydia

David, Thank you for that link. Horrible. And think of 50,000 people being duped and paying these men to do such evil.

David R. Brumbelow

Hariette and Lydia,
Thanks. It is a horrible, unbelievable story.

Jack Hyles was the golden boy of independent Baptists and many Southern Baptists in the 1950s through the 70s. But he began to change into, as John R. Rice said, a monster. Now look at the legacy he has left behind. It seems Hyles’ kind of practice and belief breeds a culture of laxity and immorality.

Robert L. Sumner was fought viciously by Hyles supporters for exposing it all. Subscribe to Sumner’s paper, the Biblical Evangelist. It presents a view like no one else.
Also Sumner has some great commentaries and other books, especially his two volumes, Fights I Didn’t Start, And Some I Did. All Baptists would do well to read them.
David R. Brumbelow

Max

"... more concerned over ... embarrassment, reputation, and restoration ..."

It continues to amaze me that there are those in our ranks who immediately migrate to such position on this, the Mahaney mess, and other pulpit abuse. We can't flip past Matthew 18:6 when it comes to ministerial actions. Sins can be forgiven, but consequences remain.

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