By now many news outlets have reported on Pastor Jack Schaap of First Baptist Church of Hammond Indiana, who has plead guilty to sexual relations with a 16-year old girl who attended his church. The affair, which was uncovered at the end of July, rocked the 15,000 member church and sent shockwaves through the Christian news world. While this appears on its face to be another case of a pastor “falling into sin” of a sexual nature, there is far more to this situation than meets the eye. The fact of the matter is that Jack Schaap should have never been in a position to have this inappropriate sexually abusive relationship with this young girl in the first place. As this article will show, for years, Schaap has held to unbiblical, heretical and perverted doctrines that he has preached from the pulpit of his own church. Doctrines so evil that based on Biblical standards, should have removed him years ago. In fact, if the believers attending First Baptist Church used proper Biblical discernment, they could have predicted a scandal of this magnitude would happen. Schaap is the textbook example of why allowing pastors to ignore basic Biblical principles will inevitably lead to wolves in sheep clothing entering in and bringing disaster into a church.
The Jack Schaap Sex Scandal
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication..” – 1 Timothy 4:3
In August it was reported that while preparing for a ministry service in the church auditorium, Schaap left his cell phone at the pulpit. A deacon of the church found the phone and while taking it to Schaap a text message appeared on the screen with a photo of the Pastor kissing the 16-year old girl in question. The Deacon reported the inappropriate photo to the Deacon’s board and a hearing was held in which Schaap confessed to the illicit affair:
“The Board of Deacons addressed the scandal at a church meeting Wednesday night, WGN-TV revealed, and said that Schaap, 54, has admitted to the inappropriate relationship with a church member who was not named. The girl, currently 17, was 16 years old when her relationship with Schaap began.” (source)
The 54-year old Schaap, who is married, was then fired as Pastor and the church released a statement to the press:
“At this time, we deeply regret the need to announce that First Baptist Church has dismissed our pastor, Dr. Jack Schaap, due to a sin that has caused him to forfeit his right to be our pastor. First Baptist Church is in full cooperation with our local authorities in their investigation of this matter. Our church grieves over the need to take this action and the impact it will have on our people..” (source)
Although not a minor by Indiana law, the young woman was considered a minor in other states which Schaap traveled with her to on three occasions, prompting a criminal investigation by the FBI for criminal activity across state lines. The Deacons Board at First Baptist Church very responsibly, notified the authorities of the Pastor’s potentially criminal activates.
Schaap was charged with inappropriate behavior and taking a minor across state lines for the purpose of sex, and faces up to 10 years in prison. Shortly after the charges were filed, he reached a plea agreement, waiving a trial in exchange for a guilty plea and what he hopes will be a lighter sentence:
“I have agreed, as set forth in a separate filing with the Court, to wave my right to Indictment by a federal Grand Jury with respect to the charge of transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and to plead guilty to that charge,” reads Schaap’s plea agreement in court documents obtained by The Christian Post.
The court document also states that the expected sentence for such a crime could be up to 120 months, or 10 years incarceration. (source).
The plea agreement allows the Pastor to avoid having all the sordid details of the sexual sins and behavior of Schaap with this teenage girl who he was counseling, as well as any other indiscretions from coming to light in court. The scandal rocked First Baptist Church and Hyles-Anderson College, a legendary Bible college in the Midwestern U.S. Baptist world, of which Schaap helped run.
So how could the congregation and leaders at First Baptist Church should have known something like this was going to take place and taken steps to prevent it from ever happening? The answer lies in Scripture. Because for years Schaap, through his doctrine and preaching, has proven to be an apostate, false prophet who the Bible specifically warns about as being prone to sexual sins.
The Bible’s Warnings on False Prophets
The Book of 2 Peter is a stern warning to the all Christians about the dangers of false prophets. Chapter 2 is something that a believer should commit to heart when it comes to evaluating the spiritual influences in their life, whether it be Pastor, Christian author, mentor, or TV preachers. The Bible commands Christians to “test the spirits” and make sure that whoever is coming in the name of God, claiming to deliver a message from God, is truly in line with the Lord and not a deceiver.
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not…The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” – 2 Peter 2:1-9.
Notice that Scripture is clear that false prophets, who are not of God but actually of Satan, will enter the church. It is not a possibility, it is an inevitability. They will come in “privily”, in secret – it will not be obvious that they are false teachers by their appearance. But they still teach heresies that will lead people to Hell. This is the number one danger of false teachers and why Beginning and End will continue to expose apostate Pastors in the church. Because they are preaching doctrines that will not lead to Heaven. These false prophets act out of their own desires and “covetousness” and use “feigned words” meaning they will lie, to make “merchandise” out of their congregations, using the people in church for their own pleasure and gain rather than training them in the Bible and helping them grow as Christians.
The Chapter continues with descriptions of the traits of false prophets:
But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
The first trait of the false prophet is “walking after the flesh in the lust of uncleaness.” Perverse, worldly behavior and desires will drive this person. This could be sexual desire, desire for material wealth or other Earthly pursuits. False prophets are so dangerous and contrary to God’s will that their destruction is described in detail. They will “sport and carry on their false doctrines right among their congregations. And they have “eyes full of adultery” to the point that they cannot stop themselves from sinning. Here Scripture is proclaiming that false prophets are always looking to engage in adulterous affairs. It is a part of the sinful nature of the false teacher. The passage goes on to say that these false prophets will also seek to beguile those who are unstable, meaning the immature or spiritually weak members of the church. Now given this very detailed warning and “profile” of a False Prophet, let’s examine the doctrine and teachings of Pastor Jack Schaap.
Here are clips from his sermon “Half-Baked Christianity.”:
Click here for clips from Jack Schaap’s sermon “Half-Baked Christianity”.
Notice the sexual nature of Schaap’s preaching from the pulpit. This was a Sunday morning service and Schaap is speaking in completely inappropriate terms about women, their effect on him and their appearance. This is fulfilling the red flag warnings from the passage from 2 Peter above.
Here is another clip of Schaap criticizing women for gaining weight after marriage:
None of this “advice” to women is ever in the Word of God and neither is there any justification for the angry, condescending tone Schaap takes regarding learning theology from women.
The following clip is from a July 2012 sermon Schaap gave in which he discusses how he often speaks to teenage members of the church about their sexuality and sex lives in graphic detail, even over protests of parents who complained that the pastor was too sexually explicit with their children.
Notice how Schaap brags that he knows about the sexual activity of children even when their parents do not. And then he encourages the parents to send their children to him to talk explicitly about their sexual behavior. The Book of Jude offers another solemn warning to Christians about false prophets. The hallmarks of sexual perversion are listed again:
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [perversion], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. …. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.– Jude 1:1-8.
In this clip we see that Schaap makes it his role as pastor to speak to teens about their sexual behavior. He boldly states that “Are you safe in how you act? That’s my most common questions.” Is it the Pastor’s role to ask teenage girls if they’re having sex or how often? Should a pastor ask a teenage boy if his girlfriend’s “good in bed?” or that in reference to a girl say “if I was your age, I’d date her too?” All these statements, being made in a Sunday sermon before a church of 7,000 people, should be an enormous red flag that a false prophet has “crept in unawares.” Like 2 Peter, Jude describes false prophets as sneaking into churches with the appearance of being Godly. If you are in a church, it is your duty to follow scripture and be on the lookout for this type of deception. In most cases, it is not hard to find.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. — Ephesians 4:29.
In what is extremely disturbing tone, Schaap even claims that the language of John Chapters 15 and 17 is sexual. With respect to John 15, Schaap, using a deep voice, speaking slowly in what is supposed to be an obvious sexual tone says: “If you abide in me…and my words abide in you…I in you and we in the Father.. Jesus is saying ‘can I put it in language everyone can understand’” implying that Jesus is seeking a sexual relationship with believers.
He then says Jesus’ point is: “I want to be the most intimate of intimates with you.” This is blasphemy and disgusting behavior for a Pastor or any church member. The context of Jesus’ statement in John 15 starts in John 14, where Jesus is discussing that He and God the Father are one:
Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. — John 14:8-13.
If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. — John 14:13-20.
This passage discusses the connection that comes between a believer and Jesus Christ at salvation through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is “the Comforter” that indwells a new believing Christian. Jesus was giving assurance to His disciples that although He was going to die shortly and then leave for Heaven after His resurrection, He would still be with His disciples through the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead which is the Spirit of God. Thus the Father, Son and all those who believe in Jesus are connected via the same Spirit. There is nothing sexual whatsoever in this relationship. John 17 continues the exact same idea as Jesus prays for the church to remain Holy and faithful to The Lord. Yet Schaap very incorrectly and perversely tries to make it sexual.
This stunning blasphemy continues in his book, Divine Intimacy (which was published in 2005):
“When a person takes the bread during the Lord’s Supper, he is not actually eating Christ’s body. That person is saying, this element represents something. The person who deeply loves Christ understands that when he receives Christ as Saviour, it is a spiritual intercourse. A person receives the body of Christ. A Christian is the female gender in the spiritual realm, and God is the male gender of the spiritual realm. When a person receives Christ as Saviour, he is receiving Christ as a lover.” (Schaap, The Divine Intimacy, p.42) [Emphasis mine].
This is a blatant misuse and twisting of Scripture. Jesus Christ held the Lord’s Supper at the Passover meal before His crucifixion. He made the point of the Lord’s Supper abundantly clear and it had nothing to do with sex:
And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God…And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. — Luke 22:14-20.
The Lord’s Supper was a symbol of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, where He took the punishment of the sins of humanity so all people who believe in Him could receive forgiveness. The bread represented Jesus’ body which was beaten, tortured and crucified for the world. The wine represented the blood of Jesus which was literally shed as a sacrifice to pay for all of our sins. The Lord’s Supper is a beautiful picture and reminder of what Jesus did to save the souls of the world. It is not “intercourse” and for Schaap to preach that this is somehow an intimate, sexual act, is gross heresy at its worst. But he does not stop there:
“Psalm 119:30 says, ‘I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.’ That word laid is a sexual term which literally means the same thing as a man laying with a woman. God was saying that God’s laws should be as intimate as a marriage partner in a sexual liaison.” (Schaap, The Divine Intimacy, p.42).
“In the next verse [Ps 119:31], David gets more graphic. ‘I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.’ That word stuck means the act of a man entering his wife; it is sexual intercourse. God says that the Word of God should be the Christian’s lover, and nothing should be closer to him than the Bible. The Words of God are supposed to be the most intimate lover of his life.” (Schaap, The Divine Intimacy, p. 44).
Once again, as Jude states, Schaap is “.. turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [perversion], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Schaap’s level of perversion is just as bad if not worse than many of the contemporary pastors or seeker-sensitive churches who are doing “sex sermons” and “sex challenges” for their congregations. Additionally, Schaap engaged in perverted demonstrations at the pulpit and even used the N-word in a sermon that was trying to condemn racism. Based on Scripture’s warnings, is it any surprise he was caught up in a sex scandal? This level of false teaching should have disqualified any Pastor from their office years ago. When addressing sexual immorality in the church at Corinth, the Apostle Paul instructed the church to: “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus..” But rather than correct and reprove Schaap, his church stood by idly for years while he continued to teach false doctrine.
The Apostasy Can Enter Any Church
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. – Romans 16:17-18.
Independent Fundamental Baptist churches have a reputation for being Bible-believing and following sound Biblical doctrine (B&E: this author attends an independent, fundamental Baptist church). First Baptist church was not preaching the Prosperity Gospel, performing signs and wonders, or teaching New Age methods. The point is that no specific type of church or denomination is immune from the invasion of false teachers and wolves in sheep clothing who have come to attack the church from the inside. And as the verses above from Romans 16 state, rooting out false pastors is a command for Christians. According to 2 Timothy 3:
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, — 2 Timothy 3:1-6.
Notice again the false Christians “creep” and sneak into the church and there is again a connection to adultery and sexual lust. Schaap was certainly a blasphemer, boastful and unholy. He preached false doctrine and was filled with lust even at the pulpit. So again, the Bible tells Christians on the signs of a false teacher and that adultery will always follow them around.
Christians Should Use Discernment
Evaluate the doctrine of your pastor — “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so”. – Acts 17:10-11. The Bereans of the first century were praised for not just listening to the preaching of the Apostle Paul but checking in their Bibles to make sure the things being preached were true and that the use of Scripture by Paul was accurate. Christians today have the same responsibility.
Test the spirit of your pastor by taking time after sermons to look at the context of Scriptures being quotes and evaluate the Biblical support for his message. Is he preaching his own doctrine? Is he basing his sermon more on opinions and worldly knowledge than the Bible? Does he use scripture in context? All of these are important questions to ask. And if your pastor has published a book, read it. You are entrusting this person with your spiritual growth and in some case the spiritual growth of your spouse or family. Take the time to do this important “background check” to see if you are receiving true Biblical preaching.
Do Not Idolize Pastors – The job of a pastor is demanding and challenging and they deserve a great deal of respect, support and prayer for their hard work. However a pastor is just a man. They should never be held in a position where they are beyond questioning or scrutiny.
As recommended in our article on sex sermons, in this day and age there is no excuse for a 54-year old male pastor to be discussing sex with a 16-year-old girl. Especially with a church membership of 15,000 people. Appoint Godly women, who are trained and experienced in the Bible to provide counseling and mentorship to teenage girls. Additionally, no youth activities at a church or offsite should involve teens and their counselor/minister of the opposite sex spending time alone. Simple steps can go a long way towards ensuring that pastors and those involved in ministry
If there is a sensitive matter that does require that pastor’s involvement, or if the teen has something “secret” that they truly feel compelled to share with the pastor, he should have his wife with him during the counseling session.
No church is ever going to be perfect. And a scandal can certainly take any congregation by surprise. But when it comes to a pastor’s doctrine, when it is so heretical and inappropriate a congregation needs to take action. Not only can people be harmed, but the spiritual state of new people who enter the church are at stake. Pray for First Baptist Church and the victim in this case to heal and maintain their faith in this travesty. And pray for Jack Schaap to repent and believe the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is real Biblical doctrine: as horrible as his crimes were, Schaap can be forgiven because of Christ’s sacrifice. This is how much God loves us and hopefully one day Schaap will learn this and even preach it.