Tuesday, August 28, 2012

If You Want Your Life to Change, You Have to Change Your Life

This is another blog post where I discuss my thought on another blog post. This one is from Marc and Angle Hack Life, “9 Reasons it’s Time to Move On”- http://www.marcandangel.com/2012/08/27/9-reasons-its-time-to-move-on/#more-499 .

It happens to you slowly as you grow.  You discover more about who you are and what you want, and then you realize that there are changes you need to make.  The lifestyle you’ve been living no longer fits.  The people you’ve known forever no longer see things the way you do.  So you cherish all the great memories, but find yourself moving on.
This article is very timely for me. I mentioned my fundie upbringing in a recent post- “Take Heed Lest You Fall”- but what I didn’t mention is that I have still been attending an IFB (Independent Fundamental Baptist) church, although I don’t think it is as extreme as the ones I attended in my pre-teen and teen years. Still, as the opening mentions, I have been living a lifestyle that no longer fits.
In fact, yesterday at church a girl (and she is still a girl) in her early twenties asked me how I had managed to accept and be content being single when I was in my twenties, after all, every girl wants to get married and have babies. As gently as I could, I said that not all women do feel that way and it happens at different ages for some than for others. My biological clock did not overcome my fears until I was in my (very!) late twenties. (I’ll post more about my fears at some future date I’m sure.) But as to how I had accepted it, I told her that if you want your life to change you have to change your life. I was too scared to change my life and I am a practical enough person to know that. It wasn’t about accepting it; it was just fact. Still, I knew what she was really asking me was for some sort of formula to make her feel better about her life and I couldn’t help here there. I got a job, a real job, with health insurance and paid vacation, but I know that may not be possible for her because of mental and physical limitations. In my junior year, I ditched my non-accredited degree program and re-started my bachelor’s degree at an accredited University. I’ve also discussed this with her before and know that she wants to go to a fundie college and is not willing to compromise with online courses. Maybe I should have told her to get on the internet and start looking for programs that would help her to be able to become more independent. I am sure that they exist.
When I realized that she is looking up to me as an example of how she should act as a single woman in an IFB church, I felt badly that I did not go on to mention the fact that I am making changes because I realize that my life won’t ever change if I keep doing the same things I’ve always done. While getting a job and going to school was a great start, it wasn’t enough. I started reading and listening to differing opinions. About ten years later than the average person, I started making decisions, finding out what I believed, learning who I really was.
Here are nine reasons it’s time…
  1. You can learn from your history, but you can’t live in it. – You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.  Sometimes we avoid experiencing where we are because we have developed a belief, based on past experiences, that it is not where we should be or want to be.  But the truth is, where you are now is exactly where you need to be to get to where you want to go tomorrow.  Read The Power of Now .
  2. Some things aren’t meant to be. – Everything from your past does not belong in your present.  To hold onto relationships and circumstances that have already moved on without you is to stay stuck in a place and time that no longer exists.  Moving on doesn’t mean you completely forget the wonderful things from your past, it just means that you find a positive way of surviving without them in your present.
  3. Life is shorter than is often seems. – While you are complaining about all the little problems in your life, somebody is desperately fighting for their right to live.  You own every minute that you pass through, and that it is up to you to make the best use of each one of them.  Because someday, suddenly, there will be no more minutes.
  4. Holding on to pain is self abuse. – Your past has given you the strength and wisdom you have today, so celebrate it.  Don’t let it haunt you.  Replaying a painful memory over and over in your head is a form of self abuse.  Toxic thoughts create a toxic life.  Make peace with yourself and your past.  When you heal your thoughts, you heal the health of your happiness.  So stop focusing on old problems and things you don’t want in your future.  The more you think about them, the more you attract what you fear into your everyday experiences – you become your own worst enemy.  Read Full Catastrophe Living .
One of the changes that I am making is that I am leaving my fundie church. Because of past pain that I experienced in IFBx church, I purposely became less than I could be in order not to draw attention to myself. I was punishing myself for something that never happened just because people believed that it had. My leaving will hurt some people, including this girl who is looking up to me.
  1. Some things are out of your control. – No matter what happens, no matter the outcome, you’re going to be just fine.  Let the things you can’t control, happen.  Allow the universe to bless you in surprising and joyful ways.  What if, instead of pushing so hard to make life happen, you decided to let go a little and allow life to happen to you?  What if, instead of trying to always be in control, you sometimes surrendered control to something bigger than yourself?  What if, instead of working so hard to figure out every last answer, you allowed yourself to be guided to the solution in perfect timing?
But some things are in my control. I have spent too much time letting go and letting life happen to me. Right now is the perfect time to make this change while I have an “acceptable” explanation for extricating myself from the few areas of service that I allowed myself, areas where I was one of many so all I had to do was not stand out. In my efforts to make my life hospitable to becoming a single mom, I have taken on a second job to help me clear my debt faster. Since this work takes place on weekends in another town, I have just said that I will be attending church there instead. For this girl that looks up to me, maybe this is the best way that I can be an example. Maybe she will find the inspiration to change. If she does not, do I have any responsibility for “failing” her?
  1. The past never changes. – You can spend hours, days, weeks, months, or even years sitting alone in a dark room, over-analyzing a situation from the past, trying to put the pieces together, and justifying what could’ve or should’ve happened.  Or you can just leave the pieces in the dark and walk out the front door into the sunlight to get some fresh air.
I don’t know why my life took the path that it did. I do know that I am tired of staying where it is constantly brought back up to me, even if the person who keeps bringing it up is me.
  1. Moving on creates positive change. – You may blame everyone else and think, “Poor me!  Why do all these crappy things keep happening to me?”  But the only thing those scenarios all have in common is YOU.  And this is good news, because it means YOU alone have the power to change things, or change the way you think about things.  There is something very powerful and liberating about surrendering to change and embracing it – this is where personal growth and evolution reside.  Read The Noticer .
I certainly hope that it will be a positive change for me. The problem is that it seems like when life is at its best that is just when the other shoe drops.
  1. New opportunities are out there waiting for you. – Nobody gets through life without losing someone they love, something they need, or something they thought was meant to be.  But it is these losses that make us stronger and eventually move us toward future opportunities.  Embrace these opportunities.  Enter new relationships and new situations, knowing that you are venturing into unfamiliar territory.  Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to experience something or meet someone that just might change your life forever.
There really are. Despite this girl thinking that I was so accepting of being single, there are so many times I cried myself to sleep and wondered what was so wrong with me that I wasn’t worthy of a second look from the opposite sex, nights where I cried because someone younger had gotten married or gotten pregnant and I had no hope. Now at a new church in a different or non-denomination, I don’t have to let my past follow me. Maybe there is a guy out there for me. But if not, I know that through the miracle of modern science, I can still have a child if that is what I find that I need to achieve contentment with my life. Maybe I will find contentment in being single and childless.
  1. The world needs you to let your light shine. – The powers above added one more day in your life today, not necessarily because you need it, but because the world still needs you to let your light shine.  So starting today, fall in love.  Not necessarily with a person, but with an aim, an ambition, a passion.  What would be your reason to wake up every morning with a smile?  That’s what you need to start working on today.
The person that I hurt the most by trying to be invisible in my church was myself. I’m not saying that I am a superstar at work or school, but I make good grades and I get excellent recommendations from my coworkers and frequent praise. I know I have the ability to be an asset to a church and not be someone who is invisible. Many who leave their fundamentalist churches find they need the time to sit back and be invisible but I have spent the last fourteen years being invisible and I am ready to let my light shine.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Making News Not About Me All About Me

I just got the exciting news that I am going to be an aunt again! To make this all about me, one reason I am so excited about this is because if I do become a SMC (or if I meet Mr. Right and become a mom by other means) it would be nice for my kids to have cousins their own age. Granted, I am at least three years out from being able to seriously pursue my desire- which is good, because, as a single woman with only a moderate income, deciding to have a child is not something to undertake lightly!- but this would at least make my child a little closer in age than to the cousins who have already arrived. Of course, I have a younger sibling also, so if he decides to settle down, maybe we would be having kids at the same time.
This is important to me because I want my child to have familial roots and if I am only able to have one child, I want him to have someone else that he can be close with. S/he will likely lose their grandparents and even parent (me) at a younger stage in life than many his/her age and will need that link to someone else.
You will likely be hearing much more about my thoughts on family as I’m currently taking a course about the family. As much as I believe that it is possible to become so close to someone emotionally that they are like family, if your interests diverge, you may grow apart. With family there is something else there that keeps you coming back even when you have virtually no common interests. I want my child to have that bond as well as the bonds with his/her like-family-friends. I truly want to give him/her a full-blood sibling that he will be close to in both ways, but we all know that siblings don’t always have the friendship-bond and I’m not sure I’ll be able to afford this once much less twice!
Of course, I am also just excited to have another niece/nephew (I do already know but it isn’t my news to share). I really love my nieces and nephews and have gotten to enjoy them much more as a single auntie than I ever would have if I already had children of my own.

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Comments on a Blog

Today I am sharing a blog that I frequently read and my thoughts on the post. The blog is found at: http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2012/08/atis-mindset-can-damage-your-career/
Now, I did not grow up in the ATI sect of fundamentalism, but the same general  ideas permeate throughout all of the sects and you end up hearing the jokes begun in one sect retold at another so it is obvious that there is much crossover between the sects. As with the author, I found that some of the ideals that we were told would make us the best of the best of employees did not actually work when put in to practice.
·         Ask permission. As Dr. Lois Frankel says in Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, when a person asks for permission, “she diminishes her stature and relegates herself to the position of a child.” Children ask permission. Employers don’t want children working for them. They want adults who are confident and who can make decisions. It is very true that employers are looking for capable people. While you do need to ask permission when you are dealing with a substantial project, not every little thing needs to be reviewed. In that case, your employer might as well be doing the job themselves since they must take time from their busy schedule to micromanage you.
·         Don’t make decisions on your own. Part of this relates to asking permission. Part of it, however, relates to not making mistakes. If you refused to take final responsibility for a decision, then you were not the one in trouble if something went wrong. And since there was always a spiritual aspect to any correction of mistakes at IBLP, you did not want to be the one in trouble. So you passed even trivial decisions up the line to the highest possible level. Again, you do need to make decisions on your own. Your employer had enough confidence in you to hire you to make decisions. You need to determine where your authority ends by finding the confidence to be able to ask, “Do you want me to check with you before I do thus and so?” or “Would you like me to update you weekly on the progress?”
·         Check and re-check until a project is perfect before you release it.  The expectation of perfection and the fear of severe repercussions for mistakes fed my already problematic perfectionism until I was nearly paralysed with fear when I had to let go of a project. Nothing was ever perfect enough. In addition, some of my employers have complained that they don’t need, or want, perfection. They are perfectly happy with “good enough.” And they would very much like for me to learn when “good enough” is good enough, so that I don’t wear myself out striving for unnecessary perfection. (This one really shocked me. Who would have thought that you could be reprimanded or penalized for always turning in perfect work? But perfection slows you down, and sometimes fast and imperfect is, apparently, preferable.) No matter how hard you try, there will always be something that you missed or something that is perceived differently than you intended. While you should do your best to ensure that your product is as correct as possible, you need to learn to let go of self-blame if it is not. This is still a very hard one for me. I still need to find the balance between thinking something is good enough (and then finding an error I should have caught) and agonizing over every detail that has already been checked. First, if you are truly worried, have a peer look over your work. If you offer to do the same for them, they are usually willing to assist you. Secondly, when an error is made, if it is your fault, say so. If it is not your fault, do not take all of the blame. You can say that you wish you would have noticed John Doe’s error, but you did not and you will take care of letting John know so that you can both be aware and ensure that it is not repeated.
·         Authority is always right. That’s just not true. Ever. Authority may be right. But there is no one in authority who never makes mistakes. And a good leader is always open to question and input. It is only a poor, insecure leader who objects to being asked “why” or who resists suggestions for improving either processes or morale. Thinking authority is always right is a dangerous path to go down. Most likely your employer does not consider him/herself your “authority” and will likely welcome your input. Learn to work with your employer as part of his/her team.
·         Let other people praise you; never “toot your own horn.” This simply does not work in the business world. If you don’t toot your own horn, you will never get ahead, other people will take credit for your work, and you will not be recognized as a valuable and contributing member of the corporate team. It is okay to let other people praise you and when you are praised, accept it. When you have the opportunity to toot your own horn, maybe during your annual review, do it! Your employer is a busy person and may not have time to keep track of your accomplishments, but if you remind them at an appropriate time it is likely that they will remember and will note that in your evaluation.
·         No means no. Despite the teachings on the “wise appeal,” the overriding message that one got in working at IBLP and ATI training centers was that once you got an answer, that was it. No was no. Don’t ask again. Several employers have told me that one of my most frustrating habits is not pushing back when something is important to me or when I get additional information that might change their decision. There is nothing wrong in saying, “I know that we considered doing this before and decided against it, but I’ve reworked it and making these changes, I still think that this is a really good idea that could work for us.” Your employer may say no again or they just might say yes.
·         “I am here to make you successful.” I will never forget the first (and last) time I actually said this to a boss. He was embarrassed and stunned. Had no idea what to say. In his eyes, I was there to do whatever work he needed done. His success, or lack thereof, was his own concern. I differ from the author on this. Perhaps it is because my job is that of a supporting role. My job is to make them look good. A good employer will realize your contributions to his/her success and you will be carried along with his/her success. If you don’t have an employer that sees that, then start looking for one.
·         Don’t watch the clock. Work until the job is done. The problem is that when you are an hourly employee, they want you to watch the clock, because, most of the time, they would rather you finished the job tomorrow and clocked out on time, so that they don’t have to pay you overtime.  And if you are salaried and you don’t watch the clock, you can easily end up being taken advantage of, especially if you enjoy the work you are doing. I have been in positions where I worked 80 hours in a week with no extra compensation “because you are salaried and that’s what it took to get the job done.” One of the ways that businesses have tried to save money in this economy is to “outlaw” overtime. If you truly can’t get your task done in your allotted hours, let them know that you will need more time, help, or paid overtime. Good employers- or at least smart ones- don’t want you to work unpaid time. Lawsuits aren’t good PR.
·         People are more important than projects. Not if the project has a deadline they aren’t. I’d have to disagree with the author here. People are more important than projects. Find an acceptable balance.
·         Character is more important than skills. Not if you want to keep your job for more than a week or two. I remember another former ATI student who struggled to get and keep a job in the “real” world after marrying and leaving the program. He said, “Character may get me in the door, but when my skills don’t match their needs, character won’t keep them from kicking me out.” Both are equally important. If you are a whiz at the skills, but lack the character to show up on time, there will be problems. But showing up on time isn’t going to keep your job if you can’t do the work. Lack of character or skills can get you into the unemployment line rather quickly.
·         Integrity and following the rules will get you noticed. Okay, yeah, they will get you noticed. But often for the wrong reason. For example, it is against the law for a notary to notarize a document unless the signatory is present; in some states, it’s a felony. Several of my supervisors have been incensed when I refused to notarize documents that their spouse signed and sent to the office to be notarized. I’m  known as “overly conscientious” about notarizing. It’s a standing “joke” at the office — but there is a sharp barb of irritation nestled in that joke. Very true. In the scenario the author describes, you have to decide which is more important, being liked or following the law. Personally, I don’t think jail time is worth being liked and your co-workers should respect you enough to not to ask you to break the law. That is their problem not yours.
·         Always wear a smile. There is, as The Preacher said, a time for everything. And there is a time to smile and a time not to smile. Inappropriate smiling sends a wrong message and can confuse the people you’re talking to. If you’re firing someone or trying to get your boss to take your ideas seriously, it’s not a time for a smile. This is one that is dear to my heart. So often on reviews, thank you notes, letters of reference, etc., I am described as “always with a smile”. While it has worked for me, I guess, the reason behind the smile is what breaks my heart. “A Christian has no reason to frown.” “If you’re really saved, try letting your face know it.” “If you don’t have a smile on your face right now, you should check out your salvation.” “God has given me the ability to tell just by looking at your face that you are not really saved.” These are the messages preached at me during a time when my family of 6, one of whom was in college, was living on a $7 an hour salary. One week we had only $12 for food. We had no cushion if there was an emergency. Maintaining a smile was difficult. But I learned to fake it and now it is as natural to me as breathing. So while the smile works for me, I have had to learn that it is okay not to smile, to have a bad day. I don’t think that Jesus was smiling when he came to Lazarus’ tomb and wept. He wasn’t smiling when he wielded a whip and threw the money changes out of the temple or when He called the Pharisees a “generation of vipers” (Matthew 23:33). I don’t think He was smiling while He shed sweat “like great drops of blood” (Luke 22:44). I don’t think that Jesus was smiling as He said, ”Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” Luke 23:34. While we should do everything we can to leave work at work and home at home, there is going to be some spillover. If you are able, take the day off if you feel that you will not be able to control your emotions while at work. If that is not an option, tell your employer that you aren’t having a good day. A good employer will understand because they have good and bad days too, and you have likely had to have some patience with them on one of their bad days.
One of the hardest things I have had to and still am working to overcome is being assertive. I was raised to be submissive but as mentioned in the first two items, employers don’t really want submissive. They want someone capable. I have been let go from a position because I was not assertive enough. Granted they had given me duties that had been taken from someone who was very capable simply because they did not get along with the new boss. I wasn’t assertive enough but neither should I have been given those responsibilities when I lacked the build-up in experience needed to be confident in my abilities.
Another ideal that doesn’t work is that loyalty to a position or company will pay off in raises and promotions. While the business world did once work in that way, it does not now. You are expected to take charge of your career. If you want a promotion you apply for it, either at your company or at another. Your employer does not consider it their job to advance you in your career.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Meaning of a Baby in a Drawer

Last night I dreamed that I had a drawerful of babies. Literally a drawer. But the one that my heart chose was the deformed baby- spina bifida maybe? It was a dream so I guess my mind didn’t get too specific. I just remember that baby was a fighter and my heart went out to it. I have no idea where the dream was leading or what it was supposed to mean.
The very few people who know my feelings about having a child of my own after 35 might be surprised by my “choice” though. I have been adamant that after 35, I wouldn’t consider having a biological child because of the increased likelihood of genetic problems like Down’s Syndrome. So perhaps they would wonder why in my dream I chose the baby who was not normal when I am so opposed to taking a chance of bringing one into my life?
I would love any child. My feelings have nothing to do with a rejection of what is not “normal”. My feelings have to do with that fact that if I am already in advanced maternal age, my child will have an older parent. If my child has physical difficulties and needs full-time care, I might not be physically able or even around to provide it. As a single woman, would my income be up to caring for a child with medical needs? I’ve been told that is a lack of faith. In the Bible, Sarah and Elizabeth both had babies at an advanced age and their babies were just fine so mine would be too. Unfortunately, my faith in God doesn’t work like that. My God isn’t Santa Claus. He doesn’t give me what I want to reward me for having faith. He set up the laws of nature that cause the likelihood of abnormalities to increase in children born to women who are over 35. No one is so “special” that they are exempted from those laws, certainly I am not.
While if given the option, I might not choose a child with a disability, my choice would stem mainly from a worry about what is best for the child. Every child is a gift no matter their challenges and if God gave me a child with issues, I would do everything possible to give that child the best life that he or she could have. But is it wrong for me to do everything humanly possible to decrease the likelihood that it will even be an issue? I don’t think so. I don’t think it is a lack of faith in God; actually, it is faith in God’s character as I know it- He is no “respecter of persons”.
That is why I embrace the possibilities. There are many ways that I can have a child without using my own DNA. Those possibilities kept me sane as my 35th birthday came and went.
Will I pursue those possibilities? I don’t know. Part of me is already acting, getting a second job to pay off bills and save up for medical costs, finishing school, wondering how my house can be reconfigured or added to, making room for a child or children while the other part of me laughs because it knows I don’t have the guts to do it. I don’t know which part will win, but the part with feet is certainly on its way and the part that laughs is laughing more quietly.

Pictured is Taya Kennedy, a model with Down’s Syndrome. Photo by Bruce Adams. Her story can be read at:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Take Heed Lest You Fall

I wasn’t going to talk about growing up fundie just yet. But I can’t let this day go without addressing the latest. This is a big one. IFBxers(Independent Fundamental Baptist extremists)  joke that First Baptist Church of Hammond and its college, Hyles-Anderson,  is their Mecca. Mecca is going down in flames.  Jack Hyles, Schaap's father-in-law, is the most recognized name in IFBdom.  Jack Schaap himself is well-known. And this is far from the first time that sexual scandal has touched this family and church.
Hammond Megachurch Leader Removed From Pulpit As Authorities Investigate His Relationship With Teenage Girl
The First Baptist Church of Hammond, Ind. fired its pastor, Jack Schaap, Tuesday for committing “a sin that has caused him to forfeit his right to be our pastor.” In a press release, First Baptist said they’re in “full cooperation with local authorities in their investigation of this matter.” It doesn’t take a mind-reader to figure out exactly what was the nature of the sin.
According to the Times of Northwest Indiana, Schaap admitted to having an extramarital affair with a member of his 15,000-strong congregation. Lake County (Ind.) Sheriff’s authorities and the FBI are trying to determine if the female in question was 16 at the time Schaap initiated the relationship. Times of Northwest Indiana columnist Mark Kiesling reports that the girl was transported to a Cook County Forest Preserve and Michigan for interludes with Schaap, which would explain the FBI's involvement. Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said the investigation involves the church and Hyles-Anderson College, which it operates.
Church spokesman Eddie Wilson told the Times its deacon board made the decision to remove Schaap and that the relationship was a dismissible offense under the church’s bylaws.
Schaap is the son-in-law of First Baptist’s founder, Jack Hyles, who built the church into one of the largest in the country using a massive bus ministry that incorporated carnival antics with testimonials, targeting Chicago’s South and West sides: a program that exists to this day. In the mid-1970s Time magazine quoted First Baptist as having the “world’s largest Sunday school” and up to 14,000 people attended services weekly.
This is not the first time First Baptist has been involved in a sexual scandal. A 1997 lawsuit claimed that a 42-year-old woman who attended the church was raped and beaten multiple times between 1991 and 1996; Jack Hyles was named as a defendant because he failed to protect the woman.
Schaap has often been criticized for his misogynistic and sexist approach to Christianity. His teachings and writings have consistently referred to a relationship with God in a sexual context, with God being the male in the relationship and man the female in a “spiritual intercourse.” He’s also preached that God said that men must be the dominant partner in a marriage.
* Please note that while this article states “extramarital affair” and I don’t know why the church would have reacted as they did if intercourse had not occurred, so far, to my knowledge,  no official statement has been made that intercourse did occur, just that Schaap had committed “a sin that caused him to forfeit the right to be our pastor”.
Also see:
If social media (i.e. the internet rumor mill) is to be believed, like Tina Anderson (featured on 20/20- http://abc.go.com/watch/2020/SH559026/VD55121488/2020-48-victims-forced-confession ), this girl had been sexually abused in the past. Did that somehow make their rapists (see above*) rationalize their abuse, “The girl's already "dirty" so it's really okay? It's not like I'm taking their virginity?” I am a Christian who believes in purity before marriage but when your focus is on hymens not loving God so much you don’t want to do anything that would sadden Him, is this what you get? Damaged goods are fair game? Even if the law decides that this girl was of the age to consent , I was raised in this type of environment.  You do what the man of God tells you to no matter what, so even if she "consented" it would still be rape in my book.

When I brought up the 20/20 show on IFB churches when it aired in April of 2011, IFB people said that it was sad such lies were being spread. But I knew they weren't lies. I attended a church where abuse was happening. When accusations were made and legal charges brought, we, the church members, were told it was an attack of the devil against the church. It was all lies. Support this poor man. I certainly wonder now if that man was innocent.

Will this newest revelation of abuse in IFB churches wake the members up? Schaap admitted to sin (though we don’t know conclusively what that was). Logic says that this cannot be shrugged off as "lies". But if you read the comments on the articles linked above, there are still poor people who think that this is an “attack of the devil”- “you are all a bunch of LIARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that is NOT NOT true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All Pastor Schaap is trying to do is get all of you BIG mouths from going to hell!!!!!! Get your nose out of First Baptist Church's business and start worrying about where you will spend eternity!!! Pastor Schaap is a GREAT man of God!!!!!!” (by “Emma” on the cbslocal.com page).

His victims are more than the girl that he took advantage of. His family members are victims. I don’t know if they were surprised by this news or if they had suspected, but either way, they have been deeply harmed by his actions. The church members that he led are victims, lemmings that sat there and “amen-ed” as he told them with relish about the sex lives of their teenagers and equated the Lord’s Supper and the Holy Spirit’s abiding in believers with intercourse and never wondered “what is wrong with this man?”, the college students who left their homes and churches and paid money to attend the revered Hyles-Anderson College are victims. The thousands of IFB pastors and church members who looked up to this man as the son in law of Jack Hyles, the one who took up Jack Hyles’ mantle are victims. As one commenter reported, “This changes everything.” If you’ve been following this “great man of God” instead of a “great God” this does change everything. You find out that the world that you’ve been living in is all a lie.

Listen to: 

Until 9:45, I’d agree with him and then suddenly it all falls to pieces. The Holy Spirit abiding in us is spiritual sex? Children should be sent to him for the birds and the bees talk? Purity rings?

 I am sickened for the victim(s) and so saddened to see an icon of my childhood fall, though not surprised. When you set yourself up as a god, you can expect a great fall. I don’t think that Jack Schaap sat down one day and said, “I will be like the most high”- Isaiah 14:14, but I do believe that he thought of himself as a “great man of God”. He was trained to believe that the man of God is not to be questioned and continued to train others in this belief. After all, doncha know, God sent she-bears to eat the children that made fun of the man of God, Elisha- 2 Kings 2:23-24.

I want to applaud the deacons who did not try to hide this even though in recordings of interviews played on the networks, PR spokesperson, Eddie Wilson, said they did not believe any illegal activity occurred. Too many times these abuses have been hidden, people suddenly “called to another ministry”, rather than revealing the problem. Thank you, deacons, for doing the right thing.

 “They conform on the exterior but they buckle on the interior.” Jack Schaap was right on the money there. And to myself I say, “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12