January '13 Chicago Mag article "Let Us Prey" reports on First Baptist Church of Hammond

Chicago Magazine: “Let Us Prey” (starts on page 78)

Updated with article in text format:

Let Us Prey: Big Trouble at First Baptist Church

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DrJamesAch's picture

And by the way, another example of the dishonesty, In October, Trisha Lacroix alleged she had audio tapes of Eddie Lapina admitting to a cover up of the Schaap case. We called non-sense on it and predicted when the week was up she would give an excuse for not providing the tapes. 

Sure enough, when the week arrived, she said they were in the hands of the grand jury. When another month rolled around, and no new charges or grand juries were convened, the question was brought up again, and this time she stated that the audio tapes were given to a publisher and would be posted in a famous magazine article in January (comment on DHRAC bullet #9:

"9. The recordings of Eddie Lapena are still in my possession. I have emailed the recordings to a few trusted individuals. I have also released a few of the recordings to a magazine who is writing an article about the corruption at FBC. At this point, I will not release the recordings on the wall because of people who run blogs who want it so badly. I refuse to allow them to hear what is said. But it will all be in the article that is coming out in January 2013"

Well that magazine was the January issue which is now availabe and not one hint in their of any audio tapes or even the accusation of a cover up. (And if she didn't want them to hear what was being said, wouldn't they hear about it anyway if it was being published in a major newspaper?)

This is part of what I'm talking about. If you want to nail someone for a cover up, then bring forth truthful information. Don't stoop to the same tactics that you accuse your enemies of.

Dr James Ach

What Kills You Makes You Stronger Rom 8:13; 7:24-25

Do Right Christians, and Calvinisms Other Side

Matthew Richards's picture

DrJamesAch wrote:

And by the way, another example of the dishonesty, In October, Trisha Lacroix alleged she had audio tapes of Eddie Lapina admitting to a cover up of the Schaap case. We called non-sense on it and predicted when the week was up she would give an excuse for not providing the tapes. 

Sure enough, when the week arrived, she said they were in the hands of the grand jury. When another month rolled around, and no new charges or grand juries were convened, the question was brought up again, and this time she stated that the audio tapes were given to a publisher and would be posted in a famous magazine article in January (comment on DHRAC bullet #9:

"9. The recordings of Eddie Lapena are still in my possession. I have emailed the recordings to a few trusted individuals. I have also released a few of the recordings to a magazine who is writing an article about the corruption at FBC. At this point, I will not release the recordings on the wall because of people who run blogs who want it so badly. I refuse to allow them to hear what is said. But it will all be in the article that is coming out in January 2013"

Well that magazine was the January issue which is now availabe and not one hint in their of any audio tapes or even the accusation of a cover up. (And if she didn't want them to hear what was being said, wouldn't they hear about it anyway if it was being published in a major newspaper?)

This is part of what I'm talking about. If you want to nail someone for a cover up, then bring forth truthful information. Don't stoop to the same tactics that you accuse your enemies of.

They actually posted another follow up article yesterday at Chicago Magazine.  Sounds as if it might be a series of articles in the online version througout January.  I suppose there is a chance that something about the recording could be written still.  Just an FYI for you.

 

Alex Guggenheim's picture

James,

I do not know of your own efforts so I cannot comment on them other than I will pay attention and gain a frame of reference. Frankly I do not find the how and what being discussed by Dow or Massi to be helpful, often.

This is not to say they do not have a point at times but so does the Devil, even when he lies. The question to me is what is the objective of bringing up the points?

Dow demonstrates a lack of restraint, an overflow of immaturity, in his efforts which discredits him as a reliable compass, particularly spiritually but even reasonably. Let me remind us all of a divine protocol, Psalm 1:1(NIV):

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

Dow does not employ the device of sarcasm judiciously as to make a point and then move to the more substantial issues as our Lord did and often observed by the Apostle Paul not to mention other Biblical writers. He is, like many who have joined this kind of chorus, one who sits in the seat and mocks, regularly. That is he does not move on but positions himself as a mocker. That is called taking a seat as a mocker.

Remember, the verse does not say the mocker or the counsel of the wicked do not have a point or several points. But simply having a point does not make one's approach or remedy (or absence of it) acceptable or even to be tolerated.

Massi, well her case seems prima facie but I won't assume as much. There are those who live to bleed that they may protest injury, always. Their cuts never heal, this is their trade and it justifies their crusades. Again, does she have a point or some points? I doubt anyone would deny that but having a point or points, again, does not validate one's approach or remedy and hers is of the worst kind in my opinion. She does not minister as I see it, rather she exacerbates and crusades to recruit those with whom she and they may perpetually commiserate.

There is an appropriate dialog to be had about these remarkable failures both in doctrine and practice. But their models are, in my view, destructive to a truly helpful process. It is dominated by antagonism, a refusal of mercy and forgiveness and a desire not to reconcile but to simply shame. It may fill their belly and the belly of those in their circle with laughs and the self-satisfaction that their constant mockery and crusading has a desired effect but frankly all such an imbalance agenda does is teach cynicism, hatred, a refusal to forgive, and a narcissistic preoccupation with self with aggressive stereotyping and hyper or over-identification with real or imagined victims so that arrogant and self-serving crusades may be waged. That isn't Christianity either.

Actually, in the end, the Dows and Massis of the world are no different than those against whom they crusade. They form their own Mutual Admiration Society and have little tolerance for dissension.

But that is the way of the world these day. Forgiveness, mercy and reconciliation is not the norm. It is the "Nancy Grace" era of outing, vengeance and perpetual victim hood. Is there a place for shame when egregious sins by leaders or movements are discovered? Certainly and the Bible has a prescription for how they are to be treated but the way the above respond is not that prescription.

DrJamesAch's picture

Matthew Richards wrote:

DrJamesAch wrote:

And by the way, another example of the dishonesty, In October, Trisha Lacroix alleged she had audio tapes of Eddie Lapina admitting to a cover up of the Schaap case. We called non-sense on it and predicted when the week was up she would give an excuse for not providing the tapes. 

Sure enough, when the week arrived, she said they were in the hands of the grand jury. When another month rolled around, and no new charges or grand juries were convened, the question was brought up again, and this time she stated that the audio tapes were given to a publisher and would be posted in a famous magazine article in January (comment on DHRAC bullet #9:

"9. The recordings of Eddie Lapena are still in my possession. I have emailed the recordings to a few trusted individuals. I have also released a few of the recordings to a magazine who is writing an article about the corruption at FBC. At this point, I will not release the recordings on the wall because of people who run blogs who want it so badly. I refuse to allow them to hear what is said. But it will all be in the article that is coming out in January 2013"

Well that magazine was the January issue which is now availabe and not one hint in their of any audio tapes or even the accusation of a cover up. (And if she didn't want them to hear what was being said, wouldn't they hear about it anyway if it was being published in a major newspaper?)

This is part of what I'm talking about. If you want to nail someone for a cover up, then bring forth truthful information. Don't stoop to the same tactics that you accuse your enemies of.

They actually posted another follow up article yesterday at Chicago Magazine.  Sounds as if it might be a series of articles in the online version throughout January.  I suppose there is a chance that something about the recording could be written still.  Just an FYI for you.

 

I believe the follow up article was merely to reflect an omission in the original article as reflected in the reason for the reprint given at the end of the revised article.

There was another "fellow journalist" that published an article but I believe that was a reaction to Bryan's article. The statement Trisha made implies the information would have been a planned injection into the story, so I doubt the information would be a sandbag for a reactionary piece. And if there is a follow up, it wouldn't come out until February and it was alleged several months in advance that this information would be out in the January 13 edition. 

SInce Bryan spent 7 pages documenting the history from A-Z, I would have thought that if there was any veracity to her claim that such a smoking gun would have been included in the article. One of the first things they teach you in legal and journalistic writing is to use your strongest arguments first, not save them for follow up articles. 

Therefore I still remain skeptical.

Dr James Ach

What Kills You Makes You Stronger Rom 8:13; 7:24-25

Do Right Christians, and Calvinisms Other Side

DrJamesAch's picture

Alex Guggenheim wrote:

James,

I do not know of your own efforts so I cannot comment on them other than I will pay attention and gain a frame of reference. Frankly I do not find the how and what being discussed by Dow or Massi to be helpful, often.

This is not to say they do not have a point at times but so does the Devil, even when he lies. The question to me is what is the objective of bringing up the points?

Dow demonstrates a lack of restraint, an overflow of immaturity, in his efforts which discredits him as a reliable compass, particularly spiritually but even reasonably. Let me remind us all of a divine protocol, Psalm 1:1(NIV):

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

Dow does not employ the device of sarcasm judiciously as to make a point and then move to the more substantial issues as our Lord did and often observed by the Apostle Paul not to mention other Biblical writers. He is, like many who have joined this kind of chorus, one who sits in the seat and mocks, regularly. That is he does not move on but positions himself as a mocker. That is called taking a seat as a mocker.

Remember, the verse does not say the mocker or the counsel of the wicked do not have a point or several points. But simply having a point does not make one's approach or remedy (or absence of it) acceptable or even to be tolerated.

Massi, well her case seems prima facie but I won't assume as much. There are those who live to bleed that they may protest injury, always. Their cuts never heal, this is their trade and it justifies their crusades. Again, does she have a point or some points? I doubt anyone would deny that but having a point or points, again, does not validate one's approach or remedy and hers is of the worst kind in my opinion. She does not minister as I see it, rather she exacerbates and crusades to recruit those with whom she and they may perpetually commiserate.

There is an appropriate dialog to be had about these remarkable failures both in doctrine and practice. But their models are, in my view, destructive to a truly helpful process. It is dominated by antagonism, a refusal of mercy and forgiveness and a desire not to reconcile but to simply shame. It may fill their belly and the belly of those in their circle with laughs and the self-satisfaction that their constant mockery and crusading has a desired effect but frankly all such an imbalance agenda does is teach cynicism, hatred, a refusal to forgive, and a narcissistic preoccupation with self with aggressive stereotyping and hyper or over-identification with real or imagined victims so that arrogant and self-serving crusades may be waged. That isn't Christianity either.

Actually, in the end, the Dows and Massis of the world are no different than those against whom they crusade. They form their own Mutual Admiration Society and have little tolerance for dissension.

But that is the way of the world these day. Forgiveness, mercy and reconciliation is not the norm. It is the "Nancy Grace" era of outing, vengeance and perpetual victim hood. Is there a place for shame when egregious sins by leaders or movements are discovered? Certainly and the Bible has a prescription for how they are to be treated but the way the above respond is not that prescription.

.

Please don't take my assessment of Dow and Massi as compliments. Dow even got the attention of authors who are not considered fundamentalists in an article titled, "The Evangelical Hate Machine". Dow denies having a biased agenda but I think proof to the contrary is "in the pudding". No honest Christian welcomes the views of atheists with enthusiasm, particularly on a forum that claims to be for "survivors" of church abuse. It's like inviting radical Muslims to join a cause to change bad US politics and justifying the unions because of a common ground (i.e., hatred for American policies).

But my first post was largely a reaction to "what can we do about it" and the rest merely a reply that didn't necessarily imply an objective; more of a long-winded 'amen' to your post. But the "what can we do about it" part must begin by receiving accurate information. "Doing" something implies somebody has information that a party is taken in a fault. The reaction of the anti-IFBers has been to welcome accusations first, shoot second, and let God sort the mess out later. But even a broken clock is right twice a day. When Jesus rebuked the Pharisees in Matthew 23, He told them what they said observe and do, but do not do after their works (23:3). Sometimes the source may be biased but the information is correct, and at least in the case of Massi and Dow, the information is for the most part correct even though their Biblical views are heretical and occultic. 

Whereas in the case against Trisha, both the source and the information provided have been unreliable, and considering much of the information used to prosecute some of the offenders in the IFB have in large part been derived from these groups, it is imperative that if there is to be a correction or "do something" scheme, than the information needs to be reliable. The Do Right Hyles Anderson group has on several occasions had an attorney in their group warn them about the information they have posted and encouraged them to retract it. But in this information age once the information is posted, it doesn't take long to cause lasting damage and I believe that the potential damage caused due to reckless postings is of no consequence to these groups who appear to have a crucify- them- by- any- means- necessary motive.

So I guess to clarify any potential objective I may have had in the first comment, I would say that if the desire is to correct the actions of abuse within the IFB, that the information that leads to the scienter of the abuse needs to  be reliable, and not just reactionary or accusatory. As far as the doctrinal positions of these sources (Massi, Dow, Lacroix et al), I wouldn't give them the time of day. Their doctrinal expositions have been shallow, allegorical and eisegitcal. Instead of providing Biblical exposition based on sound principles of hermenuetics, their conclusions appear to be based on whatever is the OPPOSITE of what an IFB church teaches.

Dr James Ach

What Kills You Makes You Stronger Rom 8:13; 7:24-25

Do Right Christians, and Calvinisms Other Side

DavidO's picture

The title of the article is actually "The Anti-Evangelical Hate Machine".

 

Dow even got the attention of authors who are not considered fundamentalists in an article titled, "The Evangelical Hate Machine".

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Dan Burrell wrote:

So if it didn't happen to you in your context it didn't happen? 

It was consistently on the list of "largest" whatevers for 40 years.  Hyles sold more books than most any other CGM guru to date.  Tens of thousands "worshipped" him at his Pastor's Schools.  And you were never approached by anyone in your congregation about him?  How did you pull that off?


Don's already answered for himself, but I want to give you a slightly different perspective, though similar in some ways. I've spent most of my life on the east coast of the US. I've been involved in fundamental churches from the time I was about 7 until now. I'm not a pastor, but I am one of those in the congregation who would ask the pastors questions if a topic interested me. I assume that where I've been is likely to have been a bit more connected than where Don is, since I have been a good deal closer to Indiana than 3000 miles, and even spent a few years in Greenville, SC, but still I've been quite a ways away from Hammond.

In spite of the fact that I'd heard of Hyles' large church and supposed great influence, etc., I can recall hearing Hyles speak only once when I was about 8 years old, so circa 1971 or so, which I believe, is prior to when many of his problems were well known. From what I remember from his sermon, which isn't a whole lot, due to the lapse in time and my age, I do remember it containing a lot of the bluster that was common in fundamental speakers of the time. I remember nothing at all of how scriptural his message was, and I'm sure I wasn't qualified to judge, at that age, and I'd only been saved about a year anyway. I can only figure that the churches I was in were just not part of the regular Hammond orbit.

Since that speaking engagement until 2005, I have run into a few Hyles-Anderson students, have heard about Hyles' fall, a little about his doctrinal issues, and that's about it. In all of that, including 4 years at BJU, I hardly heard anything about Hammond or the ministry there, and certainly did not know much about Hyles' fall and how it was handled, what type of replacement man the pastor was, etc. As I said in my last post -- it was simply not on the radar. And I'll bet that was common among the non-pastors and those who didn't go to a lot of conferences.

If it hadn't been for joining SI in 2005, and connecting with a lot more people from various areas, I doubt I'd have heard much more by now. And no, I'm not someone who cuts himself off from the world. I've been on the Usenet/internet since the late 80's, and there wasn't much about Hammond or FBCH in the news, though I didn't use my connectedness to seek out the "fundamental scandal sheet" information. Obviously, in the past 7 years, through SI and other blogs, I've heard much more about Hammond and the issues there, but I would guess that knowledge about Hammond is still not common amongst the congregations of many churches in more of the "historic fundamentalism" segment. Even here in NC, not too far from where you are, I think I could count on one hand the number of times I've heard anything through the churches I've attended about Hammond in the past 20 years.

I'm not trying to say that none of it happened, but it's more reasonable than you think it is to have no idea about what is wrong with that place, and you don't even have to live on an island. It's reasonable to assume that people like Binney and Hamilton should have heard more about them in their travels, but it's also a fact that most of us in various congregations didn't have enough knowledge to be "outraged" when those men did go to Hammond (which I also only heard about through SI). So if you are wondering why there isn't more outrage toward Hammond, it's because most just didn't know.

Dave Barnhart

Jay's picture

DrJamesAch wrote:
That in a nutshell summed up the entire website I had on the anti-IFBers at Do Right Christians (although I remain KJV, but will refrain from that debate here). There are legitimate claims in both sides of the debate, at least by "sides", the "deformers" and the IFB who have NOT been participants in cover ups and scandal who don't appreciate being labeled as a cult.

There was a law in Leviticus that if a person witnessed or even knew of a crime and remained silent, he was guilty of the same. Lev 5:1. The lawyer-up first mentality was astonishing and the manner in which these crimes are being handle all over the country dumbfounds me...

However, what many forget (or perhaps don't know) is that most of the information about Jack Hyles CAME FROM A BAPTIST via Robert Sumner in the Baptist Evangelist as far back as 1989 and other IFB pastors spoke out about Hyles issues with his secretary back in the 70s. So it wasn't like all IFB churches had a conspiratorial cover up conference. The IFB were the loudest before there was ever a "do right" group, a Jocely Zichterman, Jeri Massi or Darrell Dow.

...And certainly there is a bias among the most outspoken groups, mainly the "do right" groups being the worst. I have my own disagreements with Darrell Dow and Jeri Massi due to differing doctrinal issues, but I can not say that they have attacked the issues with the same dishonesty and lack of integrity that are behind some of the "do right" groups. When I showed evidence that Trisha Lacroix claimed to have a marketing degree from Hyles Anderson and used that on resumes that she gave to companies to obtain employment for 10 years while attempting to create a group called Fundamental Revolution that intended on selling merchandise and the only thing on the site that was operational was the PayPal tab, 'Do Right' members scoffed in the same way FBC members scoffed when accusations about Schaap and Hyles surfaced.

...Therefore the question that I have seen asked "what can we do about it" and the angry responses at those who even dare ask that question, I think is legitimate. Certainly as David Cloud has espoused, separation from these groups should be in the top of that list, but when there are groups that are aggressively attempting to label all of the IFB churches cults, and those groups are made of up atheists, skeptics, homosexuals who have obvious agendas against churches as a whole, it has to make one wonder whether the revelation of crimes perpetrated by these churches has been a convenient platform for these groups to launch a crusade against fundamentalist churches, and that brings into question the credibility of any legitimate claims that may arise.

It is counter productive for the antagonists against the fundamentalists to succumb to the exact same tactics and rhetoric that they vilify their opponents for. Was it necessary for the actions of FBC to be exposed in such mass media fashion? I would have to say yes, because you can't tell the world "we will handle it in-house like the Bible says" and then watch in astonishment as Jack polishes his shaft and sends player-posed pictures to teenagers as a birthday card. Am I disappointed that groups of non-Christians are mounting a successful attack against the churches? Somewhat, I am disappointed in the methods but not the results, but the question for the IFBers that are frustrated about that ...what choice did you give them???

Dr. James-

What a great post.  

I appreciate the aim of the Do Right groups - as you noted, we (as Fundys) must police our own house when it comes to dealing with heretics and bad apples (going to the police when criminal acts occur or are suspected).  We largely do not do that - erring or problematic brothers just become the people that we don't talk about a whole lot.  The problem that I have with the Do Right groups is essentially their member composition.  Alumnae of BJU (to pick the largest group) have a legitimate duty and obligation to keep an eye on the school; those groups should not be composed of 'haters' or people who have no relationship to the school (even if they did graduate 5 years ago).   When I last looked at the DRBJU group (around the time of the Anderson/Willis trial), it seemed to be composed largely of haters and anti-BJU people and not as much for people who were already in alignment with the school and who were legitimately serious about the school "doing right".

It is an embarrassment and a shame that unbelievers and apostates have to 'police' our movement for criminal behavior.  Brethren, these things out not to be.  I'm not really sure, though, that there IS a better solution, which is also unfortunate.

I've had some personal dealings with Jeri Massey - we were on another discussion board back in 2002-2003ish.  I haven't read a lot of her stuff lately, but she does seem to be the best of the bunch - documenting and exposing the bad apples with an eye towards cleaning up the mess and making sure that justice is rendered for pastors who commit crimes and sins against their flocks.  I don't know anything about her doctrinally, but I have no problem with her doing the work that she does, and am actually quite thankful for her and what she does.  The rest, however, seem to be more preoccupied with their fifteen minutes (Christopher Peterman), making money, or wallowing in their own anger/bitterness, so I take them with .00000008912 of a grain of salt.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Bob Hayton wrote:

 But it would be more of a case by case basis, and I personally see greater danger in the cultic, personality-driven, shallow doctrine, legalistic (or close) side of things, than the conservative evangelicals who aren't ready to write everyone off as instantly and permanently as fundamentalists often do.

Bob,

I am borrowing this statement not to necessarily directly respond to you but to this idea with a recent event. Here is a sexual abuse case from a church which had received the "Church Health Award from Purpose Driven Ministries":

Sex charges rock Purpose Driven 'healthy church'
Warren's model pastor accused of manipulating woman for 'perverted pleasures'

So here we have a Pastor who received a healthy church award from the Purpose Driven Rick Warren organization and yet what do we have? Right, no outcry from Evangelicals or Conservative Evangelicals.

Didn't anyone see this coming. How could this have gotten by?

James Sundquist has a suggestion:

James Sundquist, author of “Who’s Driving the Purpose Driven Church?” is one of the voices in a new video by producer Elliott Nesch called “Church of Tares,” which asserts Warren has built his organizations upon secular business management philosophies rather than the foundation of Jesus Christ, resulting in “a great compromise of the Great Commission.”

“In all fairness to Rick Warren, there is no direct connection between him and what this pastor is being sued for regarding sexual exploitation,” Sundquist told WND. “But there is an indirect connection in that Purpose Driven pastors are pastor as master and [are taught] psychotherapy and enforced covenants, [which can be] used to exploit a vulnerable member. McFarland’s struggles are not unique to Purpose Driven churches, but PDC is a template for abuse.”

Again, someone not only observes abuse by a Pastor but one at a church which received a health award. Something is wrong. Sundquist suggests that the model is flawed. What protests, what analysis and discovery is made and what conclusions formed to help us understand how this happened by Evangelicals and Conservative Evangelicals? Right, nothing which registers anything noticeable if at all.

 

Dan McGhee's picture

Dan Burrell wrote:

Yeah, Don....that's what I want to do.  Name a few names to give you ammunition to flame me.

No thanks.

I'm not interested in the bait.  I'm fairly sure most everyone else on this board at least knows a few worthy nominees. 

Merry Christmas.

Hi Dan. I know you don't want to go down this path, but I'll go down it a little ways for you Smile

 

Having grown up in Baptist Fundamentalism and having ministered inside the Harvest Bible Fellowship lead by James MacDonald, I can tell you for a fact that the same tactics of manipulation, intimidation, and cult-like followership of a vibrant personality are alive and well in that movement, just like they have been at FBC Hammond. 

 

This really became apparent when Elephant Room 1 and especially ER2 went down this last year. Let me tell you, they can "circle the wagons" with the best wagon circlers that fundamentalism has to offer. 

Matthew Richards's picture

I will state the obvious here but feel like it needs to be said.  There is a great gulf fixed between the likes of FBC Hammond and those in the BJU orbit.  I have spent considerable time in both "worlds" and I could write a book on the differences.  I am no longer in either "camp" but make sure that I speak up when someone wants to throw them all in the same pile.  Not saying anyone here is doing that, but just wanted to make the point.  

Matthew

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Dan McGhee wrote:

Dan Burrell wrote:

Yeah, Don....that's what I want to do.  Name a few names to give you ammunition to flame me.

No thanks.

I'm not interested in the bait.  I'm fairly sure most everyone else on this board at least knows a few worthy nominees. 

Merry Christmas.

Hi Dan. I know you don't want to go down this path, but I'll go down it a little ways for you Smile

 

Having grown up in Baptist Fundamentalism and having ministered inside the Harvest Bible Fellowship lead by James MacDonald, I can tell you for a fact that the same tactics of manipulation, intimidation, and cult-like followership of a vibrant personality are alive and well in that movement, just like they have been at FBC Hammond. 

 

This really became apparent when Elephant Room 1 and especially ER2 went down this last year. Let me tell you, they can "circle the wagons" with the best wagon circlers that fundamentalism has to offer. 

Well, at least here we have an idea how the Hyles kind of leaders rise. Someone raises their voice from first hand experience and no one expresses concern. Sorry all you who are supposedly concerned about FBCH and demanding fundies police themselves while claiming Evangelicals don't have these problems. Your silence speaks volumes.

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