1. Paul

    I’m again reminded of this article. It’s an amazing statement, and all the more when it was written by one of Christianity Today’s own writers. “So we have a system in which pride and hypocrisy are inevitable,” writes Mark Galli in an article titled, “The Most Risky Profession.” And there’s more, all the way from ambitious churches lusting for size and that we have shaped the American pastorate so that the sin of arrogance is “impossible to escape.” It’s a “red pill” moment as this article offers us the choice to see things as they really are or to drift back into the illusion that we can just make the best of a bad system. It’s like standing in the middle of busy highway knowing we will be hit. Instead of getting out of the road (in this case changing the “system”) we offer the solution that “we need to pray.”


  2. bob

    I don’t want to “pile on” the tragedy that happened at FBH. I do however, have some first hand experience with this organization. My ex-wife was enmeshed in a church-cult led by a man from FBH. The church idolized Jack Schaap and FBH. I did some digging into the history of this church and found a lot of bad stuff, even worse than what was shown on the video that was posted.
    The sad truth is that this kind of thing could have been avoided if the church had followed the biblical pattern for appointing elders. Jack Schaap was never qualified to be an elder. He covered up known sin for Jack Hyles. He failed to speak up and expose serious problems in the church he would one day “inherit”. This points to a character problem that is bound to show up somewhere , sometime.
    I hope the good people of FBC ( if there are any left) that love God and want to follow Him in truth will insist on following the Biblical pattern of structure and function within the church. Otherwise, they should expect more of the same.
    Also, some of the things that are taught with authority at FBH, should make a true believer want to run for his life. So, if you are from FBH and you know Christ as your own Savior, I only have one thing to say, RUN!

  3. greg

    The writing was on the wall for anyone to read regarding this monster for years!

    As Bob mentioned he covered up for his father-in-law Jack Hyles, and it is hard to tell who else, there are folks that have documented much of the sexual abuse that has come from “Men of God” that came out of Hyles-Anderson college and FBH, it is quite a list!

    Scapp seemed fascinated talking about sexual sin and alittle too interested! In one of his crazy books he talked about the intimacy that God wanted with us was likened to a man and his wife’s sexual life! You can’t make this stuff up! But as he continued to get more bizarre (you should see his sermon on a polished shaft, UNBELIEVEABLE) and presented more and more warning signs, the sheeple continued to nearly worship this pervert, because he was their man of God, the one with ALL the answers!

    I do feel for the church folks, but it is high time for them to come to reality and realize that this man-worship must stop, that predators like Schapp and his father-in-law are attracted to these positions, like moths to light.

    I appreciate this site and others like it that offer help for folks coming out of these abusive situations. It is the way the IFB is structured that allow these type of monsters to operate and even flourish.

  4. John

    Being a pastor of an Independent Baptist Church, I’d like to say first of all that even before this incident came to light, there are many IFB pastors including myself who refused to associate with this man. There are many views that he held which were just outright unbiblical. I am not defending this man; he should be tried for the child abuse he committed. I just think it is unfair to imply in any way that this church is a good representation of what a true, historical, Independent Baptist Church is supposed to believe. You wrote, “…I need to report yet another significant event in the Independent Fundamental Baptist community that SHOULD (but probably won’t) shake the very foundation of their belief system.”

    This church has not represented the foundation for our belief system. True Baptists believe that the Bible is God’s Word and is inerrant. Schaap held that the Bible contained errors as posted in numerous videos and excerpts. He placed a higher priority on music and dress preferences (not standards) than the Bible. He associated communion with the sexual relation between a man and wife. And, the list could go on. His teachings are not generally accepted in the “Independent Fundamental Baptist Community”.

    I would appreciate if you reconsidered the wording of this.


    • Consider it reconsidered, however, what you describe of Schaap pretty much described every IFB I’ve ever attended so I’m afraid that I can’t be very sympathetic to your plea.

      By the way, I’m not sure I like the way you distinguish “preferences” and “standards”. That sounds like a manipulative game of semantics to me.

  5. John

    Perhaps there is a larger percent of IFB churches that believe this way than I thought. I have only seen this to be true in maybe 5-10% of the few dozen I’ve been around. Either way, I placed extra emphasis on preferences over standards because I believe their stance goes well beyond what the Bible says anything about. For example, the Bible never tells us we have to abstain from certain genres of music or that women have to wear dresses. Yet he placed a greater emphasis on his preferences over what the Bible actually says. A preference is set by man and a standard comes from the Bible.


    • I’ve never experienced an IFBer make such a distinction between preferences and standards. Interesting. So then would you equate a standard with a conviction or absolute?

  6. greg

    So which IFB would be a good, historical example of what a Baptist church should be? I think most any answer would be a subjective one.

    It has been discussed often here, but what happens because of the lack of “biblical eldership” leadership in IFB’s is that you end up with a “pastor” being the “undershepherd” right beneath God, exactly how this system comes from the bible is somewhat mysterious, as we consistently see the role of “elders” downplayed and the role of pastor lifted up beyond biblical recognition in most all IFB’s. What happens in many if not most IFB’s is that the pastor surrounds himself with “Yes” men, and the pastor then becomes “king” of “HIS” IFB domain! Now if this simple man has a heart for God and for people, as I’m sure some do, then you may have a somewhat healthy functioning body, unfortuanately this system of “power” is one few men can handle, and then the “fall” comes, hurting many folks in the process.

  7. Kathy

    ” Either way, I placed extra emphasis on preferences over standards because I believe their stance goes well beyond what the Bible says anything about. For example, the Bible never tells us we have to abstain from certain genres of music or that women have to wear dresses. Yet he placed a greater emphasis on his preferences over what the Bible actually says. A preference is set by man and a standard comes from the Bible.”

    I think that what he is trying to say here is that a standard is an absolute that comes from the Bible such as “Thou Shall Not Steal”. Pretty clear……….we aren’t supposed to take what isn’t ours. A conviction is something that is someone’s preference, but not a clear Bible edict. He gives music and dress as an example because those are 2 of the BIG ones that most IBF churches put so much emphasis on. They will say that it isn’t a requirement, but they sure will preach about what they think it should be such as women not wearing pants. In the former “church” (CULT) that we attended, if you wear a lady and had pants on you were treated as if you were a leper. Still, after almost 7 years of leaving that place (still live in the same town) when I run into MOST of them that go there, that is the first thing that they will do is check to see what I am wearing. Pretty sad that that is their biggest concern. So many hurting, damaged Christians and all they are concerned (and judging your spirituality by) about is if you are wearing a skirt! Don’t be concerned about all of the known sexual abuse that went on there and was covered up by all in leadership, lets just make sure that we are all in skirts to our ankles. Of course, these dress standards don’t apply to the “MAN OF GOD” and his family when they aren’t in the church or around town where congregants can see them! Another example is “no mixed bathing”, ie, swimming with the opposite sex in the same water. BUT, when the BIG MAN and his wife would go away out of town, THEY swam in the pool and enjoyed the hot tub in the hotel where they stayed. And no, the “FIRST LADY” (please!) didn’t wear culottes and a dark T-Shirt either as was required of anyone participating in swimming activities. She wore a SWIMSUIT. Or snow skiing; no culottes over her ski pants (or her daughter’s), but looked like any other snow bunny on the hill. Is it any wonder that there are VERY FEW of the young people stay there. The vast majority run as soon and as fast as they can because they can see all of the differences and don’t turn a blind eye to it.

  8. John


    Yes, a standard is set by God in His Word. For example, God clearly forbids murder. That’s a standard. Music genre, since not clearly defined in the Bible, is a preference. At least that’s the distinction I make.

  9. John


    I’m sorry you had a bad experience in an IFB church. Perhaps I’m just associated with a different circle of IFB than you have been exposed to. To be honest, most of the women in my church wears pants and that doesn’t bother anyone. Most of the IFB churches I’ve been a part of have not pressed issues of dress and music to the extreme that is being described. And the only one that DID hold that stance actually excommunicated me for wanting to leave the church to go to seminary. They had their own huge set of problems that were completely unbiblical and was not typical of the IFB churches I’ve seen. And, I’ve seen a few dozen of them.

  10. Kathy

    I still go to an IBF church, but it is not like the CULT that we came out of. Dress and music “standards” are preached, but no one treats people like trash if they don’t adhere to them. The first time my pastor came to m y house and I was in jeans, I told him to “come on in if you can stand to see me dressed like I am” to which he replied “what you wear is your own business…….it is between you and GOD, not me”. We all went out for lunch and he wasn’t the least bit concerned at how I was dressed. So while those preferences are taught and preached, we aren’t made to feel like we don’t belong if we don’t adhere to them. I can deal with that.
    It is the double standard stuff that makes so many people doubt that ANYTHING that these supposed MEN OF GOD say. The place where we went has a college and the “pastor” preached that EVERYONE should make their college age child go to college (his, of course) for at least 1 year and that they needed to make them live in the dorms so that they could experience college life. BUT, when it came time for HIS kids to go to college, his oldest son went to college, but DIDN’T live in the dorms, but stayed at home. His second son didn’t go to college at all and then his daughter did both because she WANTED to. So many other things were done the same way that just reinforced the idea that there were the “rules” for the peons, but they didn’t apply to him or his family!
    I am glad that you haven’t had the experience that a lot of us have had in IBF churches. I feel like mine that I am at now is good and I will stay there until I no longer do.

  11. Kevin

    It was over 20 years ago I got saved and started attending a KJVIFB church. I would encourage anyone reading from this or another site about a “kinder, gentler” KJVIFB church they pastor/attend to keep in mind how a cult or religious sect begins. It begins with the slow but sure replacement of the presence and preeminence of the Holy Spirit over the church as a whole and as individuals, with a man made program with its “preferences”, “standards”, “convictions” and general modus operandus, all the while proclaiming no such thing is happening whatsoever, and using the Bible to “prove” it. This happens due to the inherent carnal nature of us humans as sinners, and how it is so much easier to follow flesh rather than spirit while calling it the opposite. This all makes for a nice, predictable, “sanitary” environment, if you will, all nice and just alike one another they are with no icky differences. Cookie cutter people just like humans like, and little to none of the inevitable unpleasantness that comes with real sinners really getting saved and really struggling as they really grow in our very real Christ. So when folks like John say “We’re totally different” I promise you it’s nothing more than a cougar saying it’s not a mountain lion. No offense, and I’m not saying they’re lying(they genuinely see themselves as the exception)but the KJVIFB is what it is, and that’s a man made and man controlled cult that has the plan of salvation from the Bible just right, but self-willed and self-worked cookie cutter Christianity as everyday implementation of Gods will for our lives.

    • John


      I’m so glad you can make that claim having never been to my church. So what about my church is cookie cutter? How am I creating “a nice, predictable, ‘sanitary’ environment, if you will, all nice and just alike one another they are with no icky differences”? I can assure you I only try to place the emphasis where the Bible places the emphasis: on knowing Christ and the one true God. But, I’m sure you already knew that, just as you knew everything else. Perhaps a good psychic like yourself could give me the winning lottery numbers and make yourself useful. Oh wait, you are probably aware of the “preference” I didn’t know I had against gambling…


      And, just so you know, I’m not “an IFBer”. I am a follower of Christ and His teachings in the Bible. I happen to associate with an IFB (at least in name) church because doctrinally, I line up with the church.

      • Kevin

        I don’t need to taste every type or brand of root beer to know it is just another root beer. It may be bottled different, or canned, more or less calories, more or less quality; don’t care. Still a root beer.

        Your testy little sarcastic manner in responding reveals boatloads.

        Your response is not unlike one a teenage girl would give after being told her skirt looks ugly.

        You cannot possibly expect me to take you seriously after your response.


      • Hey John,

        Sarcasm notwithstanding, it seems you’ve contradicted yourself – twice.

        1. You say that you’re “a follower of Christ and His teachings in the Bible“, but then go on to say that you’ve chosen a church because you align with their doctrine. I hate to tell you, but if you’re lining up with a church then you are a follower of that church not the Bible.

        2. You say your not an IFBer, but you admit going to an IFB church and aligning with their doctrine which would be the very definition of an IFBer.

        You may want to rethink your logic.


  12. Please, let’s get the correct semantics here. A middle aged person does not “have an affair” with a teenager! A middle aged person “sexually abuses” a teen when they engage in a sexual relationship. It does not matter if the teen seemed to consent. The adult has the burden of realizing that this relationship is inappropriate and much as a toddler can not be trusted to make healthy food choices, a teen can not always be trusted to make healthy sexual choices.

  13. John


    You’re completely ignoring what I’m trying to say. I’m saying I came here with the understanding I agree with this church doctrinally. Denomination makes no difference to me. Only what a church believes to be true. Had God lead, I would have gladly joined myself to a non-denominational church or some other church of a different denomination. My doctrinal position (and preferences are not a doctrine) does not agree with all IFB churches. And, I certainly do not agree with Mr. Schaap’s church.

    You said, “You say that you’re “a follower of Christ and His teachings in the Bible“, but then go on to say that you’ve chosen a church because you align with their doctrine. I hate to tell you, but if you’re lining up with a church then you are a follower of that church not the Bible.” I’m telling you I would not join myself to a church that did not adhere to Bible teaching. Paul joined himself to the church at Antioch. Was he a follower of that church? That would be an absurd notion. He joined himself with those who had a like faith.

    You also said, “You say your not an IFBer, but you admit going to an IFB church and aligning with their doctrine which would be the very definition of an IFBer.” No, an IFBer is someone who will ONLY join himself with this ultra-conservative brand of Christianity you are describing. My church, and many others I’ve been to, are not like that at all. I HAVE been to those kinds of IFB churches and I agree that it’s revolting.

    I do not need to rethink my logic sir.


    I gave you sarcasm because your claims are outrageous and very presumptuous. I’m sorry if I cannot take your claims seriously. At least Steve is willing to have an intelligent conversation. He’s not living with the Dunning–Kruger effect. It may indeed reveal that I’m not perfect by a long shot, but, if you show me no respect, do not expect any back from me. I believe the golden rule is found in the Bible. Use it sometime.


    • John,

      I’m not sure why you’re being so hostile, especially to Kevin. You seem to be taking this personally and I don’t know why. No one ever attacked you or your church and no one disrespected you. I would say the opposite is true – you responded to us by attacking Kevin with your passive aggressive sarcasm. I think Kevin showed great restraint and offered a clever logical analogy, to which you again replied in a very disrespectful and condescending manner. Please go back and re-read how this conversation has progressed and I’m sure you’ll see what I mean.

      If what you say is true then you have no reason to be so defensive and sarcastic. A simply explanation of why you disagree would suffice. Then we could have an open dialogue about the issues. There’s no need for such a strong aggressive response. I recommend that you rethink how you’re communicating. My personal opinion is that you owe Kevin an apology.

      If you want to be part of these discussions then drop the attitude and sarcasm. Present your argument in a rational, respectful way and we’ll be glad to discuss the issues. If you’re not willing to do that then go away.

      • Kevin

        Steve, my experience with many people who are affiliated with the KJVIFB movement have anger issues, some more hidden and subtle, or passive-aggressive than others; particularly among the ministers. I’m not going to try to analyze why, I just know I want to be away from it. “Sarcasm is angers hateful little sister” as they say, and notice how he blames me for it. He had to behave a certain way because of me; so you see, really it’s my fault, not his. If I would have had dinner ready like I was supposed to, I wouldn’t have had to get punched in the face. If he becomes this way so easily in some internet forum, imagine dealing with his pastoral authority. It becomes easier to agree and say his behavior is your fault, and just keep your mouth shut, and call it suffering for His sake. I say get OUT of there. Jesus may call you to martyrdom, but for the sake of the gospel, not for some pastor with latent (or not so latent) anger/control issues.

        I have to say though, I liked the Dunning-Kruger insult; he got a chance to slam me while subtly showing off some education there! I had to look it up and learn what it was lol

        I have spoken to quite a few pastors of different denominations, and the IFBers have the market cornered on this “Watch out I’m easily ticked off and offended and will lose my cool with you” stuff. So much for “Great peace have they which love Thy law and nothing shall offend them”, much less 1 Peter 3:9

  14. John

    Kevin said,

    “So when folks like John say “We’re totally different” I promise you it’s nothing more than a cougar saying it’s not a mountain lion. No offense, and I’m not saying they’re lying(they genuinely see themselves as the exception)but the KJVIFB is what it is, and that’s a man made and man controlled cult that has the plan of salvation from the Bible just right, but self-willed and self-worked cookie cutter Christianity as everyday implementation of Gods will for our lives.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t cougars just as dangerous as mountain lions. And, he is basically accusing me of lying, though he says otherwise. Regardless of what I say, I’m branded as being part of “man made and man controlled cult that has the plan of salvation from the Bible just right, but self-willed and self-worked cookie cutter Christianity as everyday implementation of Gods will for our lives.”; A group that is very destructive. If I am reading this wrong, let me know. Although, I guess his statement wasn’t entirely true. Yes, my church is IFB. Independent from denominational rule and leadership. True to the fundamentals of what the Bible teaches. And, Baptist according to the historical Baptist stance that baptism is for believers by immersion. (which is what I personally believe the Bible teaches) But, no, it isn’t KJVIFB.

    I do, however, apologize Kevin. My attitude was unwarranted and just outright wrong, though I still feel like I’ve been disrespected. It frustrates me when I get painted with the same universal brush as the brainwashed, ultra-conservative group that you’re describing. I am not an IFBer, though I do go to an IFB church (although, it seems to function more as a Regular Baptist church). My common ground is on their stance on Bible doctrines. IFBer seems to suggest loyalty to the IFB denomination. I hold no such loyalty. My loyalty is to God’s Word.

    Perhaps I’m wrong about the IFB denomination as a whole. I don’t know. I just know my personal experience (with IFB churches in 5 different states) has lead me to come to know pastors and churches that hold the denomination title IFB that do not act in any such way as is being described. It has been my experience that churches like FBC of Hammond (and it’s graduating clone army) are really the exception just as Westboro Baptist in no way holds the standard view of IFB churches. Maybe I have just been fortunate enough to come to know the ones that resisted this way of thinking.

    I do however agree with you in one area. I do see this denomination starting to become more cult-like within small sects with its extra-biblical stand on music, dress, etc. (which are not Bible doctrines btw) as well as its spirit of judgmentalism. When those small sects were all I knew, I actually considered breaking ties with the denomination as a whole. But, personal experience has shown me over time that the denomination, as a whole, is not like that.

    • Kevin

      Apology accepted; I’ve lost my temper before, lots of times, used sarcasm, cuss words, etc. It’s part of the sin nature in us all, and hence our need for Jesus.

      So okay, I’m still confused with something: Steve pointed it out, and here it is. How in the world can you be Independent, Fundamental, and Baptist, but not an Independent Fundamental Baptist…?!? No, you are indeed an “IFBer”, and that’s fine, after all it’s just a way to use initials and shorten the term…

      Keep in mind, the website is called “Baptist Deception”, not “Baptist Fellowship” or some such thing, so those who may have some issues with the type of church you pastor will come up. Be ready to have your practices challenged, even attacked.

      I have a lot of growing to do in the Lord. He leads me along, as He does all His dear children. You need it too; this is obvious. 20 years ago I would have been a staunch defender of the KJVIFB, attacking those who dare attack it, and advising you to take a stronger stand for Jesus. 10 years ago I would have been banned from this site for abusive language against you as I lashed out in bitterness. Now, I want to inform the naive, help those harmed, and expose both truth and falsehood. Of course I don’t know what your specific church is like; but I know what the IFB(whether KJV or not) is like as a rule.

      Forgiving you for a little sarcasm is super easy; like I said, my temper can flare just like anyone elses!

      What troubles me is this– now John you’re not gonna like it, but oh well– a God called preacher/minister(not a self called one) has a certain fire inside. We all have the Great Commission given to us of course, but for a real man of God it’s, well, like a man addicted. He can’t help himself. He’s just gotta win the lost to Christ, and bring that stray sheep into the fold, can’t help it. Sad thing is, I didn’t see that in you.

      First instinct from you was to defend and counterattack a perceived/real attack on your church/beliefs/person. Some would say that’s just fine. I don’t, and am confident neither would the Lord.

      First instinct should have been along the lines of what I mentioned God’s man is ALLL about– give yourself to God to be used to rescue the perishing, care for the dying.

      Anyone can believe in and be part of something and then vehemently defend it, such as Democrat vs. Republican. That’s more like what you did(carnal).

      It takes Gods man to set aside what “attack” may have come from someone, and see what is obviously someone who has been hurt(spiritual). You should sympathize by relating how others you know have been harmed(from the IFB or some Moonie cult or whatnot), express regret, suggest that labelling doesn’t necessarily help matters, and hey, what about visiting our church sometime? Here’s a link to my website(or our church number, or our e-mail address), we’d love to have you visit!

      That should be priority ONE, dear man of God. Isn’t that what it’s really all about? After all, sick people vomit, right? So someone puked on your tie, so what? A good doctor tries to get him the help he needs, he doesn’t just puke right back on him… …unless he’s sick too…
      Now of course, “concerning a heretic, after one or two admonitions, reject”, and “receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to doubtful disputations”, so if after trying to reach out, all someone has to offer is venom and bile, well, time to move on. Their time to get healing may be with someone else at some other time…

      But your first instinct was your first instinct.

      Again you may feel like saying “well what about you; what about how I’m not perfect, and what about how bad some others are”, but John, you are in the MINISTRY, man.

      It’s like this– I deliver mail for a living. Now all of us are legally responsible to honor the “sanctity of the US mail”, so go get your mail from your box, but leave your neighbors alone, right?

      But how much more should I honor it, right??

      Bad enough to find out some guy across the street stole a check from your mailbox, but to find out the mailman did it??? Ouch. Soo much worse.
      So you’re an IFB guy(and yes, again, you are). So I said what I said against it. In a world of the lost and astray, who cares? Don’t battle flesh and blood; fight the spiritual battle 🙂

      • John


        I understand what you’re saying. And, indeed my short comings appear from time to time when perhaps I’m not in close fellowship with God as I should be. But, we have all been there at some point or another. Even the apostle Paul tells us his struggle with the flesh in Romans 7:18-25. I am not condoning my behavior, it is still sin. But, you have, in a way, helped me see where I was lacking in the heat of the moment. For that, I thank you.

        Your illustration of Democrat & Republican is a great example of why I do not consider myself an IFBer though I attend an IFB church. I intend to vote for the Republican candidate in this upcoming election for the presidency. But, I do not consider myself a Republican. It is merely the best choice we have in my opinion. I have no qualms about voting democratic or 3rd party if the candidate lines up with what I desire to see done. I am a true Independent politically. I am much the same way with churches. My alliance is to the Word of God. And, I will join myself to a church that holds my views as a whole (there will obviously always be at least some differences), whether the church be IFB, Southern Baptist, Methodist, Non-Denominational, whatever. So, though I attend a church that happens to be IFB in name, I do not cling to that denomination. The preacher with the greatest influence on my life happens to be part of the Southern Baptists (though trying to reform it) and does not use the kJV or hold the dress and music standards typically described on this site as common amongst IFB churches. His name is Paul Washer and I would highly recommend listening to some of his free resources online. He is an excellent preacher, though I do not agree with his stance on election or Calvinism. My point is, I will align myself with anyone who speaks or teaches what I believe truth according to the scriptures. That is why I can honestly say I attend a church labeled IFB but, am not an IFBer.

        Again, my whole point to posting here originally was to say that my experience has taught me that most of the IFB churches I have been to have not exhibited the behaviors and views that FBC Hammond did, which seems to be taken to be the standard for IFB churches on this site. I was just saying, we aren’t all like that. Quite the opposite. But, then again, I may have been fortunate enough to avoid those circles. I guess the bottom line is, I would like people like you, who have been hurt by an IFB church (or several) to still be able to give another IFB church a chance if the occasion arises, and not simply close your ears to them simply on the denomination. Again, if you choose another denomination, that matters not to me. The only thing that matters to me is that you believe in the teachings of the Bible in context. If you believe that, I would consider you a brother in Christ and a friend.

        I hope my explanation has given clarity to my viewpoint on the issue.

  15. Bruce Scheffler

    Somewhere in the above discussion (argument?) the comment was made that the Golden rule is in the Bible. Can someone give me the chapter and verse? I have never been able to fine it.


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