Linda Murphrey: "The lies we had to keep were 'for the sake of the ministry'”

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Jay's picture

Wow. 

This is an amazing and breathtaking response.  My hat is off if Ms. Murphrey for not only escaping the pit of Hammond and for calling the situation what it is, but for acknowledging her own failure to step up and speak against Hyles and Schaap.  There's a lot here to chew on, but this passage, I thought, was the best.

To the thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, who have been negatively impacted by the tragedies at First Baptist Church of Hammond, please forgive me for my silence. Yes, I revealed the truth last year, but what took me so long? Fear? Shame? Avoidance of negative repercussions? Yes, yes, and yes. I allowed those things to stifle my truth.

Jack Schaap will be sentenced to prison this week and, as I type this, I am weeping for him and for my sister. When I think of him sitting in a jail cell right now, my heart can hardly handle the ache. Many people have an attitude of, “Who cares WHAT happens to him? He deserves LIFE in prison! He can burn in hell for all I care.” I've read numerous Facebook posts of people gloating about the horrible things that they hope will happen to him in prison. I DO understand the anger – you have every right to be angry. We all feel the anger together. Of course, Jack Schaap must be punished – he committed a horrible crime and justice must be served.

But am I happy for his demise? Do I feel any measure of joy that my little sister is living this hell? Absolutely not! I cannot find it in me to wish prison or destruction upon anyone. I cannot delight in the ruin of someone’s life, even though he brought these circumstances on himself. When I stop to think about it, I realize that Jack was once a victim himself – that does not at all excuse his crime, not in the least. But I see Jack as a victim-turned-predator like my brother. Both were victims of my dad. Both eventually mimicked the ways of my father and ultimately learned from the master how to prey upon innocent people.

Jack, if you happen to read this, surely you now realize that one of us should have spoken up years ago. I regret for all of our sakes that I did not. And shame on you and Cindy for staying silent, for perpetuating and preserving the false image of Jack Hyles. You knew what my dad was like. You had a front row seat to the hypocrisy. And you stayed silent, too, as we all did. You wrote me an email four years ago begging me to have a relationship with Cindy because she was in a deep depression. I declined, because I was unwilling to even step a toe back into the toxicity and dysfunction of your ministry and lives. You stated in that email that you knew things were horrible in our home as children and how difficult it was for you to lead the church based on those lies. Yet there you were – pronounced as the new King of fundamentalism. How do you resign that job? And how do you carry out the duties and step into the shoes of the King before you?

"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

Jim's picture

Consider:

 

In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam the son of Nebat, Abijam became king over Judah. He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maachah the granddaughter of Abishalom. And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him (1 Kings 15:1-3)

So Abijah (AKA Abijam) rested with his fathers, and they buried him in the City of David. Then Asa his son reigned in his place. In his days the land was quiet for ten years. Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God, for he removed the altars of the foreign gods and the high places, and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the wooden images. (2 Chronicles 14:1-3)

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

Why does it seem that statements like this are usually released the same time the person is releasing a book for sale?

jimfrank's picture

On many levels this may be the saddest personal letter I have ever read.   I take my hat off to Linda Murprhey and applaud her moral courage.   Her feelings of regret are understandable, but all of this is in God's timing.  Perhaps the saddest of all her statements was that the rest of her family will not likely admit that they were wrong.  As their dreams, hopes and life work lies in complete ruin about them, to not admit that it was sinful on all counts is delusional beyond comprehension.  Pride will do that to a person.  I'd also like to say something to First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana:  Tear down the statue and remove every reference to Jack Hyles from the church!   Only then will there be healing and restoration.

 

 

Matthew Richards's picture

I am very glad that Linda has found her voice and is speaking out.  Having spent many years under the Hyles regime, I can only imagine the difficult situation in that dysfunctional home.  Certainly there will be some who attack her and make assumptions about her motives.  Of all the Hyles clan, Linda is the one who did not use the Hyles name for her benefit.  Cindy did.  Dave sure did.  Becky and Linda did not and so I am going to give her the benefit of the doubt here.  I would encourage everyone to do the same.  

Matthew

Jim Welch's picture

I just finished writing Linda a thank you on her website.

Years ago, (early 90's) a leader in fundamental circles asked me what I felt we as a movement should do with Jack Hyles.  My response (as a former follower of Hyles) was brief:  "Declare them to be a cult!"

I wonder if Fundamentalism would be much healthier if we declared the truth about personality cult(s) that are within our movement.  God destroyed the Tower of Babel & I am sure the God hates the little Towers of Babel that He sees within our own movement.

I am still a committed historic Fundamentalists; but I have no time or energy for the kingdoms of men.

May others besides Linda, expose the sin that has plagued our movement for too long.

Jim Welch