On today’s podcast we are once again taking a gaze into the dark underbelly of fundamentalism. I know some might be offended right off the bat with that description, but we have to admit there is a dark side that many in the Independent Fundamental Baptist Movement wish were not there. While much of this has been swept under the rug in years gone by, this age of both mass media and social media, secrets are harder to hide. Much light has been shed on horrible theology, pastoral misconduct, scandal, and even physical abuse. Right in the middle of this mess stands the First Baptist Church of Hammond, IN. Just months ago Pastor Jack Schaap was taken away in handcuffs as an affair with a 16 year old girl was discovered. As bad as this tragedy is, we see this not as an isolated incident but as a long train of abuses in a culture of pastor-worship and even includes Schaap’s predecessor at First Baptist, the late Jack Hyles. Here to talk about this issue is Dr. Jerry Kaifetz, author of the book Profaned Pulpit: The Jack Schaap Story.
Here are just a few of the questions posed to Dr. Kaifetz:
- What about Jack Schaap in particular? You were his friend and business partner. He even did your wedding ceremony. You spoke highly of him as a homiletics professor. What happened?
- Many Fundamentalists are quick to charge that this is not a denomination, association, movement or as 20/20 called it, a “network.” Yet, these same people are quick to brag about their own fundamentalist credentials in terms of pastors they’ve preached for, colleges they attended or recommend and those personal conversations with the likes of Lee Roberson, John R. Rice or fill in the blank with the heavy-weight preacher name in your little neck of fundamentalism. They travel in the same circles and condemn those outside of it. That’s a network if I’ve ever heard one. So why do you call it a movement?
- Are there parts of fundamentalism that is salvageable? I think fundamentalism contains several circles from the Hyles circle, to the BJU-type circle and everything in-between. Should we be calling out the whole movement? Are there some within the movement that are unstained in all this or are they too guilty of at covering this all up?
You can purchase a copy of Profaned Pulpit on Amazon. To check out more from Dr. Kaifetz log on to www.jerrykbooks.com or www.profanedpulpit.com. You can also here Dr. Kaifetz’s testimony dramatized on the Unshackled broadcast. Click here and scroll down to program number A2948.