What One IFB Apologist Thinks of People Who Claim They Were Abused

if you didn't see it it didn't happen

If You Didn’t See It, It Didn’t Happen

When Jack Schaap, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana — now a convicted felon — was accused of having a sexual relationship with a teenager in his church, apologists for the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church movement and the Hyles/Schaap crime family came out in force to defend their own. They told me things like:

  • He is a man of God and he wouldn’t/couldn’t do such a thing
  • The girl was a whore
  • The girl seduced him
  • The girl was “almost” of age
  • If Schaap hadn’t taken her across the State line, the sex would have been consensual

Here are some of the messages that Schaap sent the girl:

From a birthday card

I can’t get you out of my mind. I keep thinking about how much I enjoy talking with you, how great you look when you smile, and how much I like your laugh. I daydream about you off an on all day, replaying pieces of our conversation . . .laughing again about funny things you said or did. I’ve memorized your face and the way you look at me . . . it melts my heart every time I think about it. And I catch myself smiling when I imagine what will happen the next time we’re together. You must be something really special, because I can’t remember the last time I felt so strongly about someone. Even though neither of us knows what the future holds, I know one thing for sure – you’re one of the very best things that’s happened to me in a long time.

From a handwritten letter

Hi [Jane Doe],

Because my time with you is so limited, I find great comfort in writing to you. Certainly it is no substitute for being with you – nothing is – in fact, being with you is unlike anything I have ever experienced.

You have a gift of making me feel more alive and more happy than I have ever felt! THANK YOU! I’ve been doing much thinking about you – our brief journey together has been like a spiritual allegory (a story that illustrates a truth . . .

Your life began to deteriorate w/ actions + activities that were self-destructive + that would have brought great tragedy eventually. Then, as your Pastor, I began to counsel you [unintelligible] you to God, the truth, and to a better path of living – that’s what we call Righteousness. Almost immediately, I felt such a profound tug in my heart for you – an intense desire to pull you away from destructive habits + to pull you into pure love + acceptance. I felt the only hope I had to truly make that difference was to pull you 1st to myself – if I could get you to trust me + open your heart to me. I could not have anticipated or hoped for what happened.

You opened your heart wide to me – you made me more than a Pastor/Rescuer – you made me your friend your confidant, your beloved. You gave me your trust, your heart, your love, + your affection. [Unintelligible] must feel when a sinner makes Him more than a Savior – he/she makes Him a beloved lover + friend. I have never felt so truly loved in my life. It is a feeling that is incomprehensible! (off the charts)In our “fantasy talk,” you have affectionately spoken of being “my wife.” That is exactly what Christ desires for us. He wants to marry us + become eternal lovers!

I tried to craftily catch your heart so that I could lead you into a better life. You have caught my heart + I have never felt so loved by anyone! Thank you[Jane Doe]. Thank you for the privilege of helping a struggling teenager. Thank you for opening your heart. Thank you for your trust. Thank you for your love. My hope and prayer is that someday you will comprehend what an impact you have made on your Pastor and friend.

[Jane Doe] you have such a wonderful life ahead of you. I must be careful not to spoil that with any of my selfish fantasy desires. It would be grossly unkind to you for me to hold you captive in any fashion. When we get scared, Jesus sends His spirit to live within us. But He does not personally live with us. He waits until we have fully matured before he takes us to Heaven to live with Him. Yes, there are exceptions, but they are exceedingly so – sorta like [name redacted] (sp?) or a young child dying too young.

I must follow the example of Christ. I have espoused you to Him as a chaste virgin. You are pure + lovely + perfect in His eyes. Now you must mature in His grace until the time he brings you to Himself. Until then, I am here to guide you + help you. [Unintelligible] your heart.

I could only wish you would carry my love for you with you + in you forever. For me to wish for more would only be hurtful to the beautiful life He has planned for you. I will die 10,000 deaths knowing I cannot have you in my life as I would desire. But I would far rather die those deaths than to hurt you in any way by injuring your future.I would gladly do anything for you + I must lay down my life – my desires – for you

I will ALWAYS be here for you [Jane Doe]!! Always And I will carry you in my very soul as a part of me forever. I ‘ve never met anyone like you. Please keep on becoming what you are becoming now. I’ve tried to point you in the right direction. PLEEEAASSE don’t ever go back to what you were when we found each other. That would put my soul in Hell!

I promised you I would do anything to help you – and I have shown you what I mean by that. I still promise you I would do anything TO HELP YOU but I be me let + can you when see to by stop time- time from Text you! hurt would that anything do>part of your life + decision-making. But live your life – the life God has for you. Be 17 + enjoy this great stage of life. I’ll always be watching + always be pulling for you. I will always love you –

FOREVER! Your BFF, Pastor.

From another handwritten letter

Hey Baby, Hope you slept well.

I’m sitting at my table reading the Words that help me through powerful emotions that are surging through me. I miss my Bible Reading partner. It was fun to have our Bible Study yesterday morning. I Have my good music on – “I will trust in You” + the “Power of the Cross.” Good music drives me to the Scriptures to find the strength to go forward when my emotions want me to “freeze” time + go back to yesterday.

No matter how glorious the past, the future is the only direction we can go without dying inside. The past 3 days w/ you were beyond my imagination :! But what I hope you take from this wk. is more than the “magic” we enjoyed but also some better understanding of how incredibly important + special + awesome you are to Jesus! I wanted you to feel + know how much He loves you! I wanted to let some of the hurt + headache – the bad hurt – out of your heart.

This week, [Jane Doe], I tried to climb into your heart and write the graffiti of the Gospel on the walls. I wanted to spray paint in Neon colors that you are Priceless + Precious + are “off the charts” important – yes – to me personally -but especially to OUR Savior Jesus Christ. I’m reading my Bible now to draw a little closer to God – even if it’s a millimeter closer – because if we both get a little closer to Him, we also get closer + stronger + deeper w/ each other.

Every relationship not built around that truth eventually must die – that’s what happened w/ you + J. And that’s why afterwards you pursued “dead” things + “dead”relationships. My passion this week was to show you a living relationship + how to keep it alive! [Jane Doe], however, whenever God takes our love, we never have to[unintelligible] to each other. Keep pursuing Good and we keep living because He is Life!!

I have a special gift for you that I want to give you Sunday if you would stop by my office when you arrive. Also, I really want you to download the App Olive Tree Bible Reader when you get it, I’ll teach you how to use it.These days w/ you are tattooed on my heart + in my mind – Forever!

But these days, also gave me great insight to the profound needs of my teens + young adults. You’ve helped me. Finally, I want to thank YOU for giving me something I was not planning to receive. Through you, I have felt very loved by God. I gave Him my heart when I was 5, I gave Him my life when I was 17. And yes I love Him + know Him +understand much about Him, but, sometimes I just need to “feel” His love in away that only He can provide . . . and this week, through you, I have “felt” His love.

I absolutely cannot thank you enough!! It is obvious to me that God must trust you very much. He gave you the work of caring or ministering to His servant- just as the angel ministered to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemine. Of course,you have been given enormous responsibility. The Scriptures do not tell us what the Angel said, how he arrived or how he left + apparently no one knows to this day – 2000 years later – what happened. That’s a very wise Angel! And so are you, Baby! 1432444!!!!!

From the Sentencing Memorandum of Jack Schaap.

Jack Schaap is not an outlier when it comes to sexual misconduct and abuse in the IFB church. His father-in-law Jack Hyles and his brother-in-law David Hyles preceded him at First Baptist in Hammond. Jack Hyles had a least one inappropriate sexual relationship and David Hyles had dozens.  The list of abusers and predators that were trained by Jack Hyles and Hyles-Anderson College is long. Taken cumulatively, it is hard not to think there is something very wrong in Hammond and  other IFB schools and churches.

bill wininger

Bill Wininger, former pastor of Kingsway Baptist Church

In 2013, Bethany Foeller Leonard alleged that Bill Wininger, pastor of King’s Way Baptist Church, Douglasville, Georgia, molested her 20 years ago when he was the pastor of North Sharon Baptist Church, Grass Lake, Michigan. Several other women came forward and added their voices to the accusation. Due to the statute of limitations, Wininger will never face justice for what he did in Michigan, but Leonard”s accusation did result in his resignation from King’s Way. Last year, in an unrelated case, Wininger was arrested and charged with four counts of misdemeanor battery of a female church member. He will likely receive probation and court ordered counseling.

When Leonard first made her accusation, apologists for Pastor Bill Wininger loudly defended him and said Leonard was lying. Some of you may remember the comments and emails I received when I first wrote about Bill Wininger being outed as a sexual predator.

Apologists for the IFB church movement and Bill Wininger couldn’t call Bethany Foeller Leonard and the other women sluts, whores, home wreckers, or church destroyers. After all, they were little girls, the age my granddaughters are now, when the abuse took place. So, they had to take a different approach when defending the most holy IFB church and  Bill Wininger. They attempted to use the time honored if you didn’t see it, it didn’t happen defense to silence those of us who aired Bill Wininger’s secret.

Take Jason, a young man who vociferously defended the IFB church movement, King’s Way Baptist Church, and Bill Wininger, even though he said he was not a part of the IFB church movement.  Here is what Jason had to say about the accusations (spelling in the original, emphases mine).

First Comment

Wow. I haven’t heard this much wining in a long time. It’s sad when Christians contribute to the pussifacation of America. I would be ashamed if this is how I had to get 15 mins of fame. When I first saw this I thought this was a joke but then I realized you people are serious. There are consequences that come with attacking a man called by God. Everyone who is pointing a finger needs to realize that no person is blameless. I have not seen one bit of proof that proves any of these theories. My advice… Shut up and worry about your own life and let ALMIGHTY GOD worry about everyone else

Second Comment

The definition of pussifacation is the state in which a society becomes less and less tough. As a whole men and women in America are becoming this way. For example I recently read about a man who’s daughter was allegedly molested. 20 years later he decides to say something about it. To me this man has no backbone whatsoever and has joined many others in the realms of weak and pathetic. Maybe you should talk to ________. She has shown more backbone in here by standing up for herself and the people she loves. My father taught me to be a man. You asked me what if this happened to your daughter. Let me explain that it would never happen to my daughter simply because child molesters target weak people. This is how they get away with what they do. There would be no getting away with anything should this happen to my daughter and justice would not begin 20 years later. IF any of your accusations hold any truth which I doubt considerably then you should get real life smoking gun evidenced and prosecute. Obviously you dont have this or you wouldnt be wasting time here.

Third Comment

Actually I am not in the ifb. I know this crushes your idea of how narrow minded I must be. However I do not see the point of targeting them out specifically or even more so targeting a single church which seems to be what is happening here. Cassandra the point is that without physical evidence of child molestation BW is innocent of this accusation. Without physical evidence of rape BW is innocent of this accusation as well which means that IF another woman was involved it was consensual.

Bruce how else would a woman excuse a relationship with a married man but pawn it off as “molestation”? In this day and age nothing is personal cultural suicide. You give me the evidence that supports these accusations and I will have concern for these alleged victims. Until then I will support innocence until proven guilty by a court of law. I will not take your moth to the flame approach just because someone made an accusation. Didn’t you say “After all, the lies told about a person always make for better news than the truth”? Sounds to me like you have your own koolaid for people to drink. I stand by my words. A year from now they will not be foolish nor will they 10 years from now. You dont want to hear what I have to say because you cant combat it. You deflect everything like you have no idea what to say. Its obvious that you have no idea what to do about my voice so you dismiss me. Sorry to ruin your pity party but there are 2 sides to every story. Here is a thought for you. Instead of blasting away at a man or a church or an entire religion why not open a thread that actually helps people who are truly victims? If your intentions are pure it would not matter what religion or church or person it happened with. Not all victims are from a church or a specific religion. You may even sound like you really care about them instead of sounding like a bitter ex-church member who is using this to harp on the ifb.

Let the words of the greatest preacher since the Apostle Paul, the late Jack Hyles, state the official IFB position on abuse:

fake church sign first baptist

If you have not read the post If You Didn’t See It, It Didn’t Happen, I encourage you to do so.

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22 Comments

  1. Connie

    I recognize some of the phrases and catch words used by Jason. His primary focus is the molestation and rape allegations which makes me believe Jason is part of the Voice for Men crowd.

    I read about this variety of human at We Hunted the Mammoth. Not a pretty sight.

    Thank you for exposing the icky sides to the open air where healing can begin. Before humans can move forward they have to learn that dehumanizing even one person dehumanizes us all.

    If you didn’t see it it didn’t happen. /evil laugh. Are you SURE you want to throw me into that briar patch?

    Reply
    1. lclass003

      Hmmm, I can’t imagine why people don’t share things with you. Shut up. You don’t know what you are talking about.

      Reply
  2. Connie

    Ok. I was so focused on Jason I forgot to address the creepy stalker over the top harlequin romance letters.

    I’m left aghast that a grown man would think the words spewed were anything close to appropriate. I guess he learned his craft from his Master well. The guy lied. I’m positive he is deeply confused as to the nature of the deity he serves.

    Reply
  3. Angiep

    A teenage girl can be a very fragile being indeed. Schaap alludes to her inappropriate prior behaviors, which are a clue that her home life was not great. Add to that background Schaap’s romantic overtures, coupled with the religious pressure he applied as her “pastor” and “confidante,” and you have a recipe for the destruction of a girl’s psyche. His writings would have confused the hell out of me at that age, while at the same time thrilling me with his adult attention. Just too creepy for words. I hope she will be able to emerge into the light eventually.

    Reply
  4. Marlena

    These people don’t seem to understand that it does not matter if the underage girl was completely naked, saying “take me now”. As an adult and as a person of authority in the kid’s life, the preachers need to exercise restraint and keep it in their pants.

    Reply
  5. Tony Lopez-Cisneros

    I Tend To Agree With The Above Marquee Of The FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH Which States:

    “…JACK HYLES: THE BEST PREACHER SINCE THE APOSTLE PAUL”

    As, The Highest ROTH$CHILD$-/-ILLUMINATI Druid High Priest To EVER DEFECT THE SATANIC-ILLUMINATI Said Of JACK HYLES Back In The 1970s:

    “THE MOST FEARED MAN IN THE WORLD IS A BAPTIST FUNDAMENTAL PREACHER BY THE NAME OF
    JACK HYLES…”–JOHN TODD

    Truthfully, Honestly, Sincerely Yours And Faithfully Recorded & Submitted,

    Tony Cisneros

    2002/2004 Candidate For Congress,
    U.S. House Of Representatives,
    4th Congressional District,
    State Of Illinois,
    United States Of America.
    Republican.

    Reply
  6. Everybodhi

    I have to assume this guy thinks all those boys that were abused by priests and didn’t say anything until they were adults were liars too.
    And since many of those men filed civil suits and received settlements they must also be “gold diggers”.

    Reply
  7. Aslanforever

    Comment deleted

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      If you have evidence for your claims I’d be glad to look at it.

      Reply
  8. Tara

    Ya know, I KNOW that many pastors are sexually warped. I KNOW that hypocrisy abounds. I KNOW that the double standards abound.
    These letters, though.
    Jack Schaap is a sociopath. A narcissist. In the clinical sense. The utter manipulation and comparisons of he and her to Christ and the church? Flabbergasted.
    So now I know.
    Now I know how the pedophile Rev. Paul Nugent of DeQuincy LA and others like him may have reconciled his own crimes with what the “good book” clearly discourages. Oh- wait. Never mind, there is all kinds of contradictory instruction in there, too.
    How sneakily Mr. Schaap was… telling his victim that she was ministering to God’s faithful servant and other such bullshit.
    No matter how many times I think I can’t be shocked anymore by the IFB preachers, I get corrected.
    Wow. Just wow,

    Reply
  9. Lucas

    IF YOU ARE CHRISTIAN SAVED BY THE GRACE OF GOD.YOU WOULD KNOW THAT OUR JOB IS NOT TO LOOK AT THE FAULTS OF OTHERS, BUT TO DO GOOD TO ALL MEN AS IS WRITTEN IN THE (KJV) BIBLE. I’M NOT AT ALL CONDONING WHAT ANY OF THESE MEN HAVE DONE. I’M MERELY SAYING QUIT JUDGING DON’T BE CRITICAL. WE MAY NOT DO WHAT THESE MEN HAVE DONE BUT JUST THE SIMPLE THOUGHTS YOU HAVE OF THESE MEN IS SIN…GOD IS NO RESPECTOR OF PERSONS. HE WILL NOT SAY ONE SIN IS SMALLER OR BIGGER THAN THE OTHER. SIN IS SIN REGARDLESS OF ITS INTENT, NATURE OR RESULTS. PRAY FOR PEOPLE DON’T CRITICIZE

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      You don’t really believe all sin is the same. Are you married? Do you have children? If someone murdered your wife or molested your children, do you think their sin is no different from that of a teenager who swipes a candy bar from the local convenience store? If your answer is yes, you really need to get a new religion.

      Turn off the CAPS. We are not deaf. Well, on second thought, maybe we are. We have heard drivel like your comment hundreds of times. Maybe we are deaf to any voice that says molesting children is no different from any other sin.

      Reply
    2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      You do realize that you are criticizing and judging my criticizing and judging. Doesn’t that make you a hypocrite?

      Reply
    3. Brian

      SIN IS SIN REGARDLESS OF ITS INTENT, NATURE OR RESULTS. PRAY FOR PEOPLE DON’T CRITICIZE

      Lucas, you are idiotic, free of reason and living in your feelings.
      Fuck off! Do you understand that feeling? That you suggest what I have pasted from you above is proof enough that to enter your abode of faith is sick and simply wrong. You do not understand what I am saying because you are a blinded one. Look into the light and walk away….

      Reply
    4. John Arthur

      Hi Lucas,

      “… SIN IS SIN REGARDLESS OF ITS INTENT,NATURE OR RESULTS. PRAY FOR PEOPLE AND DON’T CRITICIZE”

      You don’t really believe this, do you? Are you asking us to turn a blind eye to pedophilia or adultery committed by church leaders who are meant to live a different lifestyle than this?

      Surely, it is the responsibility of citizens to critique what is happening in churches and seek measures to minimize the risk of these events continuing at the rate they seem to be occurring now. Churches need to get their act together. To forgive these sexual monsters who hide under the cloak of the “grace of God” is appalling. They need to suffer the full weight of the law if they have committed pedophilia and need to be sacked from their churches if they have committed adultery. Praying to God and forgiving these beasts won’t prevent these events from happening again . Genuine repentance, over an extended period of time, needs to be demonstrated to others.

      These people should not be given the opportunity to pastor again but should look for another job and demonstrate proper relationships with others based on dignity and respect for the other.

      Shalom,

      John Arthur

      Reply
    5. Jada

      “GOD IS NO RESPECTOR (sic) OF PERSONS.”

      Well you at least got that right. If ‘it’ were real at all, it would respect no one, ever.
      It has made that crystal clear.

      Reply
  10. Monty

    After Geronimo was convicted and sentenced to 20 years for molesesting 2 girls, aged 11 and 13 at the time, someone close to him (A woman no less) claimed the girls wanted the sex. WTF?
    AND, during the trial, his uncle, while on the stand, said that what the girls were doing to Geronimo was “Not very Christian”. Again, WTF?????

    Reply
  11. Angiep

    This term “pussifacation” is EXTREMELY offensive, inappropriate and misogynistic. How a christian or pastor can use this term in public is mind boggling. It’s a reference to the female genitalia, stated to create a shock value response that makes the speaker somehow more relevant to younger people. I think its use started with the Washington state megachurch pastor…? They need to just stop it. It’s insulting to women in general.

    Reply
  12. TONY LOPEZ-CISNEROS

    IN A KAZILLION YEARS, I WOULD RATHER LIVE & DIE THE LIFE THAT JACK HYLES LIVED & DIED;

    THAN,

    LIVE & DIE THE MISERABLE LIFE & DEATH OF +++THE CHILD OF THE DEVIL+++ “BILL GERENCSER” ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    Truthfully, Honestly, Sincerely Yours And Faithfully Recorded & Submitted,
    TONY LOPEZ-CISNEROS

    Reply
    1. Geoff

      Sr Lopez-Cisneros

      If you have to ‘shout’ a response via capitals (which invariably indicates a paucity of substance), then try and get names right. By Bill Gerencser I assume you mean ‘Bruce Gerencser’.

      Go and write it out a hundred times. Then get back to your molesting ways, or whatever other debauched behaviour suits you, and which you seem so eager to support.

      Reply
  13. Brian

    Thank-you for your capital response, Tony. I believe you.

    Reply
  14. TONY LOPEZ CISNEROS

    YOU’RE WELCOME: BUT YOU BRIAN, LIKE GROSS-GERENCSER ARE GOING TO BURN IN THE EVERLASTING LAKE OF FIRE & BRIMSTONE (WHICH IS THE SECOND DEATH) EXCEPT & UNLESS YOU ARE BORN-AGAIN SPIRITUALLY BY THE ONE & ONLY HOLY SPIRIT OF THE ONE & ONLY HOLY TRIAD/TRINITY/TRIUNE/GOD OF THE TRUE KING JAMES HOLY BIBLE:

    +++FOR THERE ARE THREE THAT BEAR RECORD IN HEAVEN, THE FATHER, THE WORD, AND THE HOLY GHOST: AND THESE THREE ARE ONE.”–1 JOHN 5:7 ! ! !

    MARVEL NOT THAT I (JESUS CHRIST/GOD-IN-THE FLESH) SAID UNTO THEE: YE MUST BE +++BORN-AGAIN+++.”–JOHN 3:7

    Reply

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