Why I Left the DR-HAC Group

I left First Baptist Church of Hammond in 1989.  I had graduated from Hyles-Anderson College in 1986 and from Hyles-Anderson Seminary in 1988.  I was a rather high profile individual in this institution since shortly after my arrival there in 1983.  I had been a professional skier and traveled the world for many years, and  I brought that same level of intensity to my dedication to the Christian life and cause.
Along with my experiences in the business world as the C.E.O. of a California solar company, that all allowed me to fit right in to the ministries of the church and to establish ties and friendships with its leaders.

In 1990 I read the book, Fundamental Seduction, and everything changed for me.  I immediately realized that I could not be a part of a morally corrupt institution.  I had much to lose.  I had won every award they offered for evangelism.  I was best friends with the heir apparent to the Hyles empire, Jack Schaap.  (My wife and I were the first couple he married in 1985.)  I had been the only student to ever be asked to teach at Pastor’s School and taught over 1,000 pastors there my method of evangelism.  I had written a book in 1989 entitled “World Class Truth” and Jack Hyles had written the introduction.  I was speaking in conferences with the full backing of the church.  Once I became convinced that my pastor was an adulterous man, none of that mattered and I left, leaving a promising future behind.

At that time, I was writing a regular newspaper column for the Gary Post Tribune, a paper with a readership in the hundreds of thousands in Northwest Indiana.  I dedicated an entire column to outing Jack Hyles.  The battle lines had been drawn, and the war was on.  I have been a major player in that war ever since.

With the advent of the Internet, the battles took place in a new and different venue: forums.  They were intense, and the participants were exceedingly polarized.  There was no censorship in those days.  Nobody “owned” these venues, and the slugfests were both regular and intense.  These places were not the province of the fragile.  There were no self-appointed censors, and everything and everyone was fair game.  I absolutely do understand the need to protect victms from further abuse, but oh my, how things have changed.

As still more scandals erupted out of Hammond, I seemed to always find myself at their center.  When a church deacon there by the name of A.V. Ballenger molested a young girl in the Sunday School, I found myself closely allied with the victims’s family.  I sat through the three day trial with them.  I counseled with them for untold hours at their kitchen table.  My wife and I befriended their children and we did everything we could for them.  We understood their pain.  We shed many tears for them and with them.

When former Hyles-Anderson student Andy Beith became a Christian high school principal and kidnaped an eleven year old girl and took off with her on a sex filled cross country escapade, I became very close with the girl’s family and spent every day, all day in their home as their media representative and counselor as satellite television trucks lined their street.  I was daily in front of those cameras on their behalf.  We literally prayed together for hours every day, working with the F.B.I. moment by moment until their daughter was safely brought home.  We have remained friends to this day. I was at the mother’s funeral and I believed this ordeal ended her life prematurely.

Around then.  I wrote my book, “Clouds Without Rain” about dysfunctional churches and how to fix them.  I had never stopped being a center of controversy in Independent Fundamental Baptist circles, and my new book fueled that perception, along with helping many churches who wanted to do better.

In the summer of 2012, the man who had once been my best friend and business partner, Jack Schaap, was arrested and pled guilty to having sex with a 16 year old girl from his church.  I had reached out to him since he became the pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond imploring him to come clean on behalf of the church so that the church could be restored after the damage and destruction they experienced under Jack Hyles.  He ignored every one of my letters.

Jack Schaap’s arrest was the impetus for a Facebook Group called “Do Right Hyles-Anderson College” to be launched.  Schaap had been the chancellor of the college.   I welcomed this venue, as it purported to be primarily a victim advocacy group.  I soon learned, however, that this was not an entirely accurate description.  I found that this group was home to many different kinds of individuals who has come out of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Movement.   I was upon joining that group immediately challenged by an atheist who wanted to personally debate atheism and evolution with me.  I told him that this was not what I was there to do and referred him to my many post blogs and video series on that subject.  I was chastised for that.   Before long, I was publicly called “a penis-brain, IFB wannabe” by a woman there.  That comment was left to stand.   When I addressed the moderator concerning this, I made the mistake of using the term “loose monitoring.”  I was summarily banned from the group at that instant because I wanted to “debate theology.”

It was then that I wrote my book, “Profaned Pulpit—The Jack Schaap Story.”   The book was released in November of 2012 and has done well.  Many, many victims and pastors have expressed to me and in reviews and correspondences that the book has been enormously helpful in their healing, as well as in the arduous task of re-balancing  their lives.  Reviews from pastors across the country have been very positive, with only the die hard “Kool Aid drinkers” of the IFB Movement having anything negative to say about the book.  (That will surely change now as the DR advocates see my divergence as an “attack,” their default setting to any expression of criticism).  Nevertheless, quite a number of references to the book did not survive the scalpel of the admins on the Do-Right HAC Facebook Group.  It was only after a peace was brokered between the leadership of the group and a third party that I was allowed back in.  Meanwhile, I had started a Facebook Group under the title of my new book, Profaned Pulpit.  (It was not long before I was warned by Trisha LaCroix that members of the DR Group had gone to Facebook and complained of “cyber bullying.”  Two days later an entire thread critical of Trisha LaCroix was mysteriously removed from the Group.  (There are no admins on the Profaned Pulpit  Group but me, at least for now.)

Even with all of that, this was  yet a manageable situation for me.  I had been in many wars before, and I am fully capable of articulating my views and defending my position.  The matter of chronic censorship on the DR Group, however, surely did impose additional burdens.  When every subtle disagreement is characterized as an “attack” and constant references are made expressing “I own this group,” then I come to the place where I must ask myself a very painful and delicate question: how are we any different than the IFB Movement from whence we all came? Were they not patently intolerant of criticism?  Were they not lightning quick to label anyone expressing the slightest nuance of disagreement with them?    Did they not demand absolute authority and compliance? (“Loyalty.)   Did they not plaster their images and pictures everywhere, including the side of a building?  Was there not the notable absence of a path for divergent views?  The answer to all those questions was for me as startling as it was disturbing.  Those who had “come out from among them” were becoming just like them! Still, I reasoned and knew from the many notes of support and appreciation that I was receiving every week that the cost/benefit analysis of remaining in the DR Group still tilted for me in favor of having a presence there.

Many people expressed to me,  and I respectfully and as graciously as I knew how expressed to Tricia LaCroix that we had handed a gift-wrapped and sizable gift to the leadership of First Baptist Church of Hammond.  We had made it possible and indeed accurate for the DR Group to be described as a haven for homosexuals, atheists, agnostics, gratuitous profanity, and of course the inexpressibly damaging photos of the Trisha LaCroix  groping the genitals of the Hyles statue.  (I admit that at first that humor was not entirely lost on me.)  What I specifically said to her was that all these things by which the DR Group would now forever be known had served the purpose of firebombing the bridge that needs to be in place for future victims to cross over to the Victim Advocacy Movement.  It is my belief that as long a Victim Advocacy Movement remains publicly identified with expressions that are highly offensive to the very people we are trying to reach,  then groups like  DR HAC Group are seriously at odds odds with their own professed mission.   The  flow of victims to such support groups will cease and the group becomes a closed system of mutual support without the ability to reach out to any appreciable number of other victims.

As I write this, I am SURE that my words will be construed as “an attack.”  It is NOT!   They are the “faithful wounds of a friend.” I have read Trisha’s story of abuse and I was repeatedly moved to tears by it.  I understand exceedingly well the compelling desire to throw everything overboard that smacks of IFB.  However, they did not get everything 100% wrong.  They were correct about the deity of Christ, the inspiration of Scripture, salvation by grace through faith, the bodily resurrection, and other things.  Now did they live that way?  Positively NOT!   (See the chapter in Profaned Pulpit, “Don’t Throw the Baby Out With the Bath Water.”) I fully understand that some dishonest people will not be able to resist the temptation to label me as an IFB supporter for saying this.  Thanks the Lord, the temptation to respond to those criticisms has always been beneath me.

Now I come to the principal reason why I am leaving the Do-Right HAC Group.  I CAN tolerate every single thing that I have described above.  The e-mails and personal messages I receive every week leave no doubt in my mind about that.  Yes!  It has been worth it all, up to now.  Tragically, however, something happened on Feb. 7, 2013 that changed all of that for me.

It is one thing to have people express beliefs that I deem to be wrong and contrary to the Christian faith.  That is the right and privilege of every American.  There was a time when I surely could have expressed my opposition to those individuals in a more gracious way.  (I came out of the IFB world just like many of you did, and graciousness 101 was not in the college curriculum, as I recall.)  But, I have learned, and I continue to learn.

There came a point yesterday, however, when I saw a line drawn in the sand that froze me in my tracks.  I stopped what I was doing.  I looked at it again, desperately hoping that I had misread what was before me on the DR Group.  I read it again, and again, and again.  I had not misread.

Before me was a post on the DR-HAC Group; it  was a cartoon.  It was a caricature of God on a psychiatrist’s couch.  Next to Him was presumably his analyst with a notepad and wearing thick glasses.  Here are the words attributed to God in that cartoon: “I ONCE MADE A WHOLE NEW PLANET AND POPULATED IT WITH LITTLE VERSIONS OF ME, BUT THEY WERE NAUGHTY, SO I DROWNED MOST OF THEM AND I HAD SEX WITH ONE OF THEM AND MADE A BABY ME, BUT I KILLED HIM SO THE OTHERS WOULD LOVE ME.”

I sat in stunned silence, realizing that this was an expression blasphemy that had perhaps gone beyond anything I had come across in my lifetime.  God was being mocked here and His actions described as murder and fornication.  Then that big wrecking ball swung back and hit me even harder: THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST ON THE CROSS WAS BEING DEPICTED AS THE MURDEROUS ACT OF A JEALOUS FATHER FOR HIS OWN SELFISH PURPOSES.  As I write this, it has been going on 24 hours, and that cartoon is still there.  I simply as a Christian cannot be a part of such an outrageously blasphemous public expression.  How any professing Christian now in an abusive church environment would knowingly come to group capable of something like this is an unthinkable notion to me.  As a Christian (slap any other label of your own choosing on me that that you care to), I come face to face with something God says every believer should incorporate into worshiping Him: FEAR.  (I know . .. . not one of the decals available in “Bumper-Sticker Christianity”…) If someone chooses to create a God after their own image, and fear doesn’t fit into that plan, then I have no cause against that person.  We live in a free country.  For me, however, calling God a murderer, a fornicator, and attributing the death of my Savior on the cross to a capricious and vain expression of divine jealousy is someplace I cannot go . . . nor can I associate myself with those who are comfortable pitching their tent there.  Some dishonest folks will surely contend that that means that I am deep down a repressive IFB type.  Again, that sentiment does not deserve to be dignified.  There is plenty of ground between adhering to the basic tenets of the Christian faith and being another Jack Hyles.

I fully expect to be labeled, vilified, marginalized and hear people say that I was “one of them” all along.  The problem with that characterization is that I have a 24 year history with hundreds of thousands of published words, an appearance in a television documentary about FBC, numerous television interviews on every network TV affiliate in Chicago and a scathing book about an IFB leader with another soon to be released that tells a far different story.  Those of you ready now to put your label machine on full-auto, perhaps you should consider this: will it not bother you at all that you will then have the entire IFB world as your ally in maligning me?  That is a tough question to ask, I know.   I hope you can come up with an honest answer . . . . . . Take your time . . . .

About Jerry Kaifetz

Christian author, c.e.o. Omega Chemical Corp.
This entry was posted in Fundamentalism And Church Cults, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Why I Left the DR-HAC Group

  1. Samantha says:

    Glad that you took a stand. I backed out of the group a while back because I was screamed down by one of the victims. I too was a victim, but he was the “bigger” victim and suffered more than me, so my perspective was completely shot down. Saying that, I did still read there but it has become quite old because there are some people there with an agenda, and heaven forbid if you don’t just go along with it. I am much like you. I denounce 90% of what IFB stands for, I am sickened by the abuse of power in the IFB movement, etc. However, like I have always told my daughter, while I disagree with them on so much, I do agree with salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. The cartoon that you referenced is still posted on the wall, and it is nothing short of blasphemy. Good for you for calling it exactly what it is.

  2. Jo says:

    I think the cartoon is off now. At least I can’t find it. I was the first to comment “Not funny.” Within seconds several others chimed in, and then the poster said she was taking it down.

    I am not surprised at your ultimate response, Jerry. I saw it coming for a week or two. Call it my intuition, a gut feeling, or maybe just the discernment that has come from giving up the kool-aid! “Da region” was producing it by the trainload. I’m originally from Hobart, Crown Point, and Valpo.

    Blessings to you and your family. I trust you’re loving it in TX.

  3. Tammy says:

    The “this is my house” comments are reminiscent of the post of the pastor humiliating the person who talked during his sermon. I do not see a difference. The cartoon broke my heart. Safe for victims who toe the line, perhaps, but not for anyone else. Thanks for letting your house be ours too, Jerry.

    • With all the emphasis on victims feeling “safe,” somehow their proliferation of “F-Bombs,” gratuitous profanity, homosexual advocacy, bikini pictures & New Age religion, they forgot about how that would make those feel who had thrown out a little less baby with the bath water. They became so much like the ones they daily condemn.

      • Kia says:

        I do agree with you that that can happen a LOT… It is sad. That is why- I created a group where the ONLY rule is to ask yourself, “does this show love?” I wanted that to be a safe place where people of ALL walks of life could unite in a COMMON place of Love, and Acceptance… Where we could set aside our differences, and focus on loving others more fully… THAT after all was what Christ was teaching… Love is the most important thing… You are welcome to join there if you would like… Again- things like what I posted in DRHAC wouldn’t be ok there… I would first ask as “Admin” I guess the intent behind the post to give the person a chance to explain, because maybe they didn’t mean it the way I took it, and if the post in question was hurting anyone, it would be removed with an explanation as to why… I think that is fair… It gives the post-ee a chance to explain, while preventing others from being offended… But the thing to remember is that INTENT is important…

        • (In reply to Nikkia’s post of 2013/02/09 at 12:30 pm)

          Nikkia, I approved your post because I believe it was said in sincerity and honesty. That being said, I will give you my thoughts on what you have said; please understand that my intent is to speak the truth as I understand it after thirty years as a Christian, including over ten years in full-time study and more than that in ministry.

          Nikkia, the issue for me and so many others was not at all with you. It was about our association with a group that created a climate where the vilest imaginable blasphemy was permitted and maintained. Few Christians that I have ever known would be “made to think” upon hearing God called an adulterous murderer and having the death of Christ on the cross depicted as the capricious act of a God jealous over His own Son would receiving more love than He did. This is not excusable, Nikkia, regardless of your intent or personal belief. Those are well outside the scope of our reasons for our reaction to your cartoon. Nobody came to you, Nikkia, because you were not the issue. The issue was that this outrageous expression of such a vile blasphemy was just another offense in a climate where bashing Christian beliefs was fostered again and again.

          Nikkia, this level of blasphemy against God is unprecedented in my Christian life. You cannot excuse it simply by saying, “I am human.” Your act is not mine to forgive. You did not blaspheme me, you blasphemed God. I cannot begin to express to you how seriously I believe God takes something like this. I am not qualified to forgive this expression on God’s behalf. I would never presuppose such a thing. The fact that you offended so many people so deeply is not the issue either. The issue is with the content and that it was consistent with what the DR Group has a history of expressing and tolerating. Because of that, I would never go back to that group. It is a group that has now become the near perfect expression of the very movement from which they all came. They are an intolerant personality cult. Only the faces and names have changed, not the methods. They label, vilify and marginalize anyone and everyone that disagrees with Trisha LaCroix in any way. Instead of Jack Hyles face plastered everywhere, it is dozens of bikini pictures of Trisha LaCroix that so many have grown tired of seeing every day.

          I do fervently hope that you will understand the seriousness of this issue as I believe God sees it. Our God is a loving and forgiving God. I would be more than happy to help you understand that if you should choose that path. I hope that you do. I am not here to condemn anyone personally, Nikkia, but I will always apply judgments established by God on His behalf. I do not believe that I should shirk that responsibility, regardless of what people like Trisha LaCroix think about it. Yes, people who get their theology from Oprah and those like her will have problems with my position, but that to me is little more than a confirmation that I am doing the right thing. My record in that endeavor has been established for 24 years and is a matter of public record. Being called “hate filled” by newcomers to the IFB Victim Advocacy Movement is 100% inconsequential to me and always will be.

          Nikkia, you will never draw closer to God while in the DR Group. Those who control the agenda there are not Christians for the most part. They do not operate on the basis of the principles of righteousness. Their “religion” is made to conform around their own individual lives, and sadly not the other way around. That is not the path to truth, understanding or peace. Yes, there may be some comfort there for IFB victims, but there is poison in the pot from which they feed others, no matter what the aroma may at first seem to be. There is a price to be paid in the eyes of God for seeking comfort from atheists, lesbians, humanists, Buddhists, and Neo-Evangelicals.

          Your contrition and spirit of apology is something that I believe God can work with, Nikkia. In fact, I think He very much wants to do that. There are those in our group who will lovingly help you along that path. The first step, however, is up to you. There are some choices and decisions that are now yours to make. You have my prayers in the hopes that you will take that step in the same admirable spirit that you have begun to express here. If you want to be closer to God, stay away from those who have redefined Him according to the world’s preferences and standards. That is not the path to God. They can pin any label they want on that. That position is the foundation and core of the entire Bible.

          • Kia says:

            Ok. I am not trying to start a fight, or attack, but just expressing how I feel right now- This might be jumbled, and not make a whole lot of sense… Hopefully I can express this in an intelligent manner, without being offensive…

            You say that the problem isn’t me- but I am the one being attacked, and it seems to me as tho you are supporting these people by saying I was never a christian to begin with if I questioned my faith- after being hurt by “Christians” Yes. I am coming out from among them- by them, I mean those who have hurt me- because I Don’t want to hurt others… but that doesn’t mean i am not a Christian… As for others who have left the faith- I ask, can someone truly walk away from God- I don’t think so- I think people who leave Religion turn from the “God” of the IFB to “Not the God of the IFB”… They may not recognize what they have found as “God”, but I truly believe God will not forsake His own… Even if we question Him… I think He will lead us to a different understanding, maybe, and some won’t believe that what they have found is actually God- but in the pursuit of finding what God is- love, peace, light- that God isn’t what we have inadvertently found… I think 1 John 4 supports this concept …

            I have always valued being authentic and real… not being a hypocrite… and while I have as a result of all of this- been convicted about some of my posts- I really don’t like that i feel like I have to sensor what I say now, because people don’t believe my apology because I don’t believe exactly what they do, or I support someone you don’t agree with… I acknowledge that you do not like Trisha… ok- you don’t have to… but she has never personally offended me. To treat her badly or believe the worst about her, because of what you or anyone else is saying goes against my beliefs… Like I said- I am truly sorry for offending people, (especially since I am now considered to be “blasphemous” of God- for posting something that I didn’t actually agree with, because people didn’t “love/respect” me enough to talk to me about the post in question to see if I actually meant what they thought I meant…) If I am honest- I have been offended today too- that people have assumed the worst about ME. That people are talking badly about me because I supported Trisha… How is that Christ like- to talk about us behind our backs? To degrade us and make us feel “Less than” because we believe differently… Trisha has been NOTHING but supportive of me, and has actually given me personally some very Godly advice… My own personal experiences with her have been very positive. I honestly believe that ALL Christ asked of us was to LOVE- and in saying that the law and the prophets were fulfilled in Love God and love your neighbor- It is basically saying that the Law points to Love… look at the 10 commandments- they are all about loving God and loving others… I have found healing in DRHAC- while I don’t agree with everything posted, I have found a lot of LOVE and acceptance and freedom and healing there. For me- I LOVE that Trisha advocates for the victims- for the outsiders… I might not do it the way she does- sometimes she can come across a bit abrasive, but her heart on the matter I TRULY believe is pure. She GENUINELY wants to help people… But she doesn’t put up with people attacking others or making other people feel inferior… And that is actually a GOOD thing- Being a Christian ISN’T about being Better than other people- The Bible talks about this… It admonishes the Jews for being elitist… Check out Romans 10… The Message puts it this way- “When you see God reach out to those
            you consider your inferiors—outsiders!—
            you’ll become insanely jealous.
            When you see God reach out to people
            you think are religiously stupid,
            you’ll throw temper tantrums.

            Isaiah dared to speak out these words of God:

            People found and welcomed me
            who never so much as looked for me.
            And I found and welcomed people
            who had never even asked about me.”

            What does that say to you? Perhaps that God might just love people that The Christian Elite find unlovable… I see this, and it makes me think of the way I was raised… There was definitely the attitude of being better than other people- and I know a lot of people that have this very same attitude- that they don’t want to have to share heaven with the “low-lifes”… but Christ accepted the thief on the cross… Christ accepted Peter- who denied him 3 times in ONE DAY… Why? Because HE Loved THEM…

            THIS is my path- Love… Loving those who others deem unlovable… The outcasts- after all- isn’t that what Christ did? did HE throw stones at the adulterous woman? Did HE condemn the Samaritan woman at the well who was on her what- 5th husband?! Zacchaeus the tax collector…No- He sought them out- He had a conversation with them… he LOVED them… That is what I want to show- that GOD loves EVERYONE no matter where they are in their lives. And I honestly believe that Trisha’s mission is pretty much the same as this…

            I know all of this is a bit jumbled and maybe hard to read, but basically I say all that to say this: I am not interested in “picking sides” in this- I will however follow MY heart, and LOVE. Love you, and believe that you truly think you are doing the right thing, and Love them and believe they truly think they are doing the right thing… and just do what I truly believe is the right thing -FOR ME… Follow where I personally am being led… one step at a time…

      • brother j says:

        Jerry,what do you feel to gain by outing what you claim to be true. Do you not think nobody has been blessed by the ministry of FBC. I remember you in school and now you look old and very tired. I saw thing s ther that disturbed me as well,but I do read the book of Psalms and know the life of King David and ask the Lord,how could you use him. I am not one to cover things up,but also have realized people are wicked sinners even in high places.I say this as a friend and not one to land any blows.

        • I think the ministries of FBC have only rarely been blessed of God. They have been led by corrupt and immoral men, numbers have always been the goal, and those numbers have been cooked every week for 50 years. A Gospel without repentance is a false Gospel. I almost NEVER saw converts return, and everyone was too busy chasing numbers to ever follow up on them.
          A corrupt tree cannot bear good fruit. Your implied suggestion that I ease up on condemning egregious sins and corruption in high places is repulsive to me. God has commanded us to “reprove . . the unfruitful works of darkness.” I will always take that commission seriously, and the fact that you are offended by that does not speak well of you morally. As for being “old and very tired,” I hear that only from people trying to diminish me personally. In fact I am very fit, work out 2-3 times a week for 2 hours each time, still ski competitively, run 7 miles a week, eat right, and love my new sport of racecar driving. So it looks like I will be around for a long time sizzling your sacred cows. (I don’t think you are going to like my new book either: “Called Unto Liberty.” ) More sizzling is on the way . . . . !

  4. Ken Reamy says:

    Tried commenting earlier but the power surged in the motel and I lost it. I did not see the cartoon so I can’t comment on it. Although your description is graphic. I still hope to talk on fb, and I enjoy reading your blog. I’m still in Texas but hope to be home within a few days. My wife told me your book has arrived, and I will get the two we discussed in the mail as soon as I get home. I’ll miss you on DR HAC, but will enjoy your posts on my fb page. Regading the cartoon, I think sometimes people post things before they give any thought to how it might be viewed or received by others. Same for things we say. No wonder James wrote that we should be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath. Ken Reamy

    • Kia says:

      Ken, 🙂 That is exactly what happened… I thought my intent would be conveyed with the statement of my initial reaction to the cartoon of “wow…” As I posted in DRHAC, my husband pokes fun at me all the time, because I forget that people don’t live in my brain… Then I do or say stupid things that people either don’t understand, or misinterpret…

  5. Todd says:

    Jerry,
    Yes, it sadness to me about the Cartoon….I was talking with a co-worker and I totally agree about throwing the baby out with the bath water. I was gone comment on the cartoon….but had to go to work…I could not find it there any more. I would have stated you are blasphemy God and saying God can sin….YES< the line is drawn with that….you can reject Christ, have your own "lifestyle" but God's word is true and blasphemy God judges no matter who you are… I have decided to follow you in leaving. Gal 5 states we must put on the truth belt….I can do that with love, but I will not be one that walks by like the crowd that day and "spit" on CHRIST!

  6. Steve Feezor says:

    Wow! I did not realize all that you went thru Jerry. I did not see the picture but I am glad that I didn’t. Glad that you spoke up.

  7. Debbie says:

    Jerry, I have been seriously thinking about this very issue for a while. I was seriously upset, several weeks ago, when I told several members that I was hurt by their comments, connotations and outright attacks on people who are overweight. They responded by not even acknowledging my post and continued. I requested admin. intervention and was told it was Ok for folks to perpetuate hate towards that population, but don’t say anything about homosexuality, atheists, etc.

    I saw the cartoon that you’re talking about yesterday. When she posted it on the DRH site, it posted on my personal Facebook page as well. Like you, I read and reread it several times as I couldn’t believe that someone would really feel it was ok to totally trash Jesus like that. I followed through with my gut response and hid it so no one would see that on my wall. That wasn’t the only post this person made yesterday to which I was offended. She also posted a picture of a duck billed platypus captioned, “Go Home God You’re Drunk,” and another post of a picture of a car that had been in a collision. The car had a banged up vanity plate that stated; God is my co-pilot. The caption reads, “When Jesus took the wheel.”

    I am at a place in my life where, because of the drh group, I’ve come to realize that a lot of, (not all); the ifb garbage that was forced down my throat was just that, garbage. I had judged myself so harshly and became clinically depressed and suicidal several years ago. I seriously had no idea that they were wrong; I wasn’t the loser Christian they all said I was. Here’s where I am, today with all this. I am trying to make some kind of sense of my life and redefine who I am spiritually. This has proven to be a lot more difficult than I thought; challenging 54 years of ifb indoctrination. One of the things I’ve done is to research and identify who Jesus says is, and how He has manifested each attribute in my life. I’ve gotta tell ya, my husband and I have been through some really awful events in our lives. They say hindsight is 20/20, and now, looking back, I can honestly say that He had me the whole time, even through the 14 years of literally hating Him because He allowed these events to happen to us. So, today, I am reestablishing a new relationship with Him as I continue this journey of discovery, and figure out who I am as a Christian. I’ve decided, for myself, not to turn my back on Jesus. The Holy Spirit is leading me now to see and experience a whole new, healthy, relationship with Him.

    The cartoons, perpetuated and condoned hate, etc. have made me question the true reason for the drh group. I have hidden several drh posts that also posted to my personal Facebook page because I was very offended. I continue to question my beliefs and convictions, thinking that maybe my thoughts are a result of ifb indoctrination, so I’ve continued as a member; however not wanting to stifle the prompting and voice of the Holy Spirit. Jerry, your decision to leave the group, as well as the reasons you’ve shared is an absolute confirmation that the Lord is leading me in the same direction.

    My Life’s Verse…Micah 7:8 “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.”

    Jerry, I sincerely thank you for your dedication and testimony by the way you live your life. Jesus used you today, my friend, to Hold/Be His Light.

    • Debbie, what an inspiration your words are! You have risen to a lofty place in your perceptions and wisdom. I am so blessed by your words and humbled at the same time that I have been able to be a blessing. It is just a cheap imitation of Jesus on my part, but soon we will have Him by our side and “We shall know Him for we shall be like Him.” Until then, thank you from the bottom of my heart for standing up with me against those who blaspheme His holy name.

    • Tammy says:

      Debbie, I saw the posts that hurt your feelings so. I also noticed how they ignored your pleas and kept going. My dear lady, I pray that God continues to show you an identity so firmly rooted in him that all this pain will be a distant memory. I’m here for you!

    • usefull says:

      I have recommended the book written last year by Steve Brown to several others who are struggling with past IFB indoctrination. It is called “Three Free Sins: God is Not Mad at You” and I think you will find it very healing. The title pretty much says it all. It is the very best book on Grace that I have read.

  8. Kia says:

    Hi. I am the person who originally posted that picture/cartoon… If you had read the caption with it, it said “wow…” That is all. I did not say that I believed what the picture said… I was just as shocked as you were that someone had made that picture in the first place, However, the REASON I re-posted it, was because it made me think… TO the outside world- to those who don’t understand the grace and mercy and Love that IS the God of the Bible, THAT is what the Bible pretty much says… *Note: I do not believe God had “sex” with Mary. I DO believe that God did what He did, because He loves us and has a plan that is so much bigger than any of us.* But THAT is what some people think… YES IT is blasphemous. YES it is WRONG. YES it is Offensive… I fully admit that, and as soon as someone said anything about the post in question, I respectfully removed it, and made a public apology. The point of the post wasn’t to upset people, and for that- I AM SORRY. to you personally Jerry, for that. The reason I posted it was because it made me think… I personally try to see things from other perspectives than my own. I like to have an open mind… and I saw a perspective that was completely opposite to my own- that challenged what I believed, and again… It was thought provoking… I SHOULD have posted a description of my intent when I re-posted- actually, I probably shouldn’t have posted it at all, but I can’t change that… I did what I did… I wish that people would talk to ME about why I posted it… I think if you would have confronted me individually, instead of assuming my intent, the post would have been removed A LOT sooner, less people would have been offended, and you wouldn’t have felt the need to leave a group that is otherwise a VERY helpful place (or at least it has been for me…) I am truly sorry and I do feel bad about upsetting people… Debbie- I know you are probably going to disagree with me, and that is ok, but I happen to think that God does have a sense of humor… A platypus… really?! It is like a beaver, and a duck and a dog and about 10 other animals all put into one… Do I ACTUALLY think God was drunk when he made the platypus? NO- of course not… But I thought it was funny. Sorry if you were offended by that… And with the Jesus take the wheel picture… I THOUGHT it was funny… Mainly because I LOVE that song… It made me laugh… So I posted it… Again- Do I believe that Jesus was driving the car that wrecked… No… *altho- I do think some people are silly enough to take their hands off the wheel and expect JESUS to “take the wheel”…* My point is… I cannot control what you are offended by. I can however respond to that with humility and say, I am sorry. I will be honest and tell you, I am still trying to figure out my beliefs… I am a 26 year old who has just recently come out of the IFB- legalistic doctrines…. I don’t have 14 years of working thru this that you do… Personally, I have been struggling a LOT- I don’t know what to believe… I have looked into all sorts of “religions” and belief structures, and whatever else, because I was hurt by Christians… More so than ANY other group of people in my life. I think THAT is why Trisha removes post that upset the survivors… because while it might be what “works” for you, to believe in God, that isn’t the case with everyone… For some people, religion and all that is a safety net, for others, it is a cage… Simply having the capacity to understand that concept has really changed the way I look at a LOT of things… I think what God is showing me, is to search for HIM… not for Religion… So, yes… I say stupid things sometimes… I can be irreverent. I can be offensive… I am human, but I am in NO way trying to hurt people… And I am sincerely sorry that so many were upset by that post. If I could take it back, and not post it, I would change that split second decision in a heartbeat… but I cant. All I can do is say that I am sorry. I know that is all God expects of me, so I am hoping that is enough for you all as well… I can tell you that I will NEVER post anything like that on DRHAC again, so Jerry, if you wanted to re-join, you would be safe to do so- at least where I personally am concerned. I do want to say thank you- Thank you for helping me to see that I need to be more careful with what I post, and if I post something I DON’T agree with, I need to be better at expressing that… instead of just putting, “wow…”

    -Nikkia Kostner

    • Steve Feezor says:

      Good for you, Nikkia. I believe that took alot of courage and humility. That is how we grow. You would not believe all the stupid things that I said in my life (and still do) and I am an old man.

  9. Neal Johnson says:

    Jerry, I didn’t see the posts that were made on the DR-HAC group but I have been concerned about the direction the group as a whole has been going in. It seems nearly anything is becoming acceptable there but a Christian’s expression of their love for God. I enjoyed the discussions I had with you and several others. May our Father bless your future endeavors.

  10. Chaplain Mike says:

    I went back and tried to look at the DRHAC Group and found that it has become a private group. I am saddened by this turn of events. What started out to be a good thing ended up being a tool of those who are willing to throw every thing away because of the wrong of those in IFB Leadership. It is one thing to stand up for the victims – it is another to be blasphemous in pursuit of said defense of victims. Maybe the National Leader of the Ministry I am affiliated with and “chastised” me for the comments that I have made was right after all that these people really don’t want help. When we react in an ungodly manner we are just as wrong as those who perpetrate wrong. I had a conversation with one of my charismatic brothers and we were discussing religious issues in general and even he reminded me that there is much good about fundamentalism and not to discard it because of a few idiots. (I prefer the term ‘Conservative’ as opposed to fundamentalist.) Because of my ministry in the jail I am able to work across all denominational lines – which is anathema to most fundamentalists- but I work in the spirit of John 17. I do pray for the victims and hope that they do find “the peace that passes all understanding.” Thanks for the good work that you do here!

    • Kia says:

      I posted this in the group CARE… not long after I posted the pic in DRHAC. I think it answers kinda the idea behind why people get so upset by people posting Bible verse after verse… Just a disclaimer tho: I am still trying to figure out WHAT I believe on these topics… I am not claiming to have the “right answers” or anything… This is just me THINKING in a public setting…

      “Do you ever wonder how we look to the outside world when we base everything we believe on one Book and expect others to do the same? This is something I have just started to think about… reaching the lost without the Bible… is it possible? I think it is… to say that the Bible is the only way- i think limits God… the Bible is a book about God, perhaps God breathed, but I don’t think quoting verse by verse from the Bible does anything for those who don’t believe… {or those who have been hurt by the Bible–edit…} because if they don’t believe in God, why should we expect them to believe the Bible? So if the Bible isn’t the answer in reaching out to them and showing unconditional love (which is what I think God is- at a basic level) – what is the answer? GOD is so much bigger than the Bible… the Bible is just a glimpse- not even- of his being… God just IS… beyond human comprehension and definition… we cant even begin to understand Him… and just about the time we think we have wrapped our heads around Him- He shows us more… SO: have you ever tried to take the concepts you have learned in the Bible- love, peace, the inner man- and contemplate the concepts without the “for the Bible tells me so” mentality? I have… the Bible had been used to hurt me, so I had reason not to trust… but when I separated myself from the “Bible”, I was able to see the real life, applicable truth behind the words I was reading.. and now as I have entered back into reading Scripture, I am finding those concepts that helped me OUTSIDE reading the Bible are actually in there… it is confirming and strengthening the beliefs I have developed over the last few years when I stepped away from what I was taught by men and opened my heart to be taught by God.. A couple years ago; I asked Him to lead me to His truth- not a man-made, agenda-driven “truth” but what He was saying… and I am finding that the Bible isn’t the only place that has answers. He lead me outside “religion” and trust me was that scary… I found the peace that passes all understanding when I stopped looking to which “Church” had the right answers… I asked God if I could cut out the middle man, so to speak, and just listen to Him… this led me to books such as, The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle; Be Your Potential, by Joseph Clough. Meditation- as in the practice of clearing your mind completely, which I think might even be a Buddhist practice… I am finding tidbits of truth in all sorts of places, which makes me question the exclusivity of the “Christian Elite”… does anyone else have thoughts on this idea?”

      I think that shows- we WANT HELP… But you don’t HAVE to use the Bible to do it… Use the concepts learned in there for sure… but you don’t have to quote verse by verse… IF people are upset by the “Bible”- why shove it down their throats? INSTEAD, why not take the things that have helped you from the Bible, and use those to teach to guide… WITHOUT it turning into a Spiritual Battle… Because there are a LOT of people who- for whatever reason, don’t trust the Bible as absolute truth, so quoting scripture to those people ISN’T helping…

      Does that make sense? Is it shedding any light on how the victims of Spiritual abuse can feel when “confronted” with the Bible? Because just to be sure we are clear, THAT is my intent with this post… HELP us By ALL means- Help, but if you know the “Bible” is going to be an issue, don’t quote verse and chapter and expect people to respond favorably… maybe instead try breaking down the concepts into useable practical truths and share those instead, and just trust God to lead people to a new and better understanding of the Bible as He did in my life recently…

      I do like to believe the INTENT is good when people post Bible verses that have helped them- that it isn’t done maliciously… Same as the picture I posted- while highly offensive wasn’t posted maliciously… I think there should be a mutual respect- ESPECIALLY in a group about healing from Spiritual/Religious Abuse…

  11. Jade says:

    The wording was – “I ONCE MADE A WHOLE NEW PLANET AND POPULATED IT WITH LITTLE VERSIONS OF ME, BUT THEY WERE NAUGHTY, SO I DROWNED MOST OF THEM AND I HAD SEX WITH ONE OF THEM AND MADE A BABY ME, BUT I KILLED HIM SO THE OTHERS WOULD LOVE ME.” Ok, let’s think about this a minute. In it’s most very basic form…isn’t that pretty much the story? Isn’t that BASICALLY what the Bible says happened? So, why did anyone jump off the deep end? Why am I upset? One person, who was trying to work through getting their feet back under them was VICTIMIZED by people who know what it is like to be a victim! How did their actions help a baby victim? All they did was grab their cult-fed IFB mentality and their little sand bucket, throw sand in that poor girl’s face, and then take their bucket and run. THAT blows!

    • (Reply to Jade’s post of 2013/02/09 at 6:16 pm)
      “Isn’t that BASICALLY what the Bible says happened? ” NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, and a thousand times NO! It is a bibllically bankrupt, insane and inexpressibly vile and twisted position to hold that God is a murdering fornicator who murdered His own Son in a capricious fit of jealousy. I have never heard anything more wicked in my entire life, or even close. To vigorously oppose that atrocious notion is not to “jump off the deep end.” I will never, but never cut anyone holding this view of God any slack or give them any quarter. This will be the end of any postings holding forth that image of God.

    • Jo says:

      No, Jade, that is NOT what the Bible says at all. Those very few words are about the most blasphemous thing I have ever read–to say nothing of portraying God on a shrink’s couch. That makes it even worse, if that were even possible.

  12. Rally Forth says:

    I knew when she started posting photos of herself humping a pole and then posted photos of herself with her breast showing that she was going to crash and burn just like Jocelyn did.

    Trisha started with a lie by telling victims she was working for the FBI. And she had Voyle defending her ever time she abused the trust of another person.

    People looked the other way for far too long while Trisha let all the attention go to her head.

    Voyle, you did her no favors at all by pretending like her sexual innuendo, posting nearly nude photos, blasphemies and embrace of homosexuals was ok.

    You gave Trisha LaCroix far more leeway to abuse than you did Jack Hyles. For that you should be ashamed.

    Jerry, you are a man among men for taking the right stand.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I believe I had no choice when my God and Savior were so viciously demeaned. I think if a Christian does not draw the line there, that no line will ever be drawn anywhere.
      To be fair to Voyle, he has been in this fight for a long time & Fundamental Seduction remains the “Nuclear Bomb” of the war for righteousness, accountability and advocacy for all IFB victims. I trust Voyle that he has his reasons and methods. This time, they are not my personal methods, but everyone has do what they believe is right. Sometimes you have to go into some very uncomfortable places to do what you believe you have been called to do.

      • Irene says:

        Jerry, I read your book Profaned Pulpit because I have a friend somewhat connected to HAC/Jack Schaap’s ministry who is devastated w/ the recent events. I very much appreciate your heart to, in whatever way, warn and help those either in the movement or struggling after being damaged and leaving. I understand why you used facebook- as a means to reach many more than just those buying your book. And unfortunately, the “system” of facebook can be abused. I pray you’ll find an effective way to spread the truth. Someone brave has to do it and I’m so thankful you’ve been willing to take many costly stands against this ridiculous hypocrisy and sin. I am so thankful that after what you went through in your “exodus” from this IFB group, that you were able to discard the folly and sin of men but not budge at all on the truth and love of Christ and His Word- this lack of “dividing” of the two has been the downfall of so many leaving this and other abusive church situations. Fight the good fight, brother.

  13. Cheryl Abner says:

    Thank you for taking a stand. I have always enjoyed reading your posts. I have been out of town and so I missed the post of the cartoon. I will be removing myself from the DRHAC site.

  14. Rhonda Stahlman Bell says:

    I left months ago because some victims were more important than others. I remember the Post and Comments that Debbie mentioned and was saddened by them at the time. There was a complete lack of consideration or live there, even when Debbie Tried to make them aware of what they were doing. There were other Posts that cut down other survivors where the chosen few piled on. It was almost like you had to go along to prove your loyalty or be part of the cool crowd. Unnecessary.

    I’m afraid that Trisha suffers from the same ego that many IFB leaders possess. And there is the kissing up to her and too much of a cult-type followship. Perhaps it is right for them but I don’t think that they will have a ministry with those who have not yet taken the leap and are looking for some reasoned, sincere support that does not require total agreement and loyalty.

    That being said, I would not want the job of trying to walk that fine line of showing support for everyone. You just can’t please everyone all of the time. But why is it that the ones who get pleased are the politically correct ones and those of us who don’t want to follow lock-step are left feeling isolated. The answer for me was to find support elsewhere.

    Please let me add that I really appreciate Nikkia’s efforts to explain her thinking at the time and subsequent thoughts regarding the Post. I’m wondering if it was not just the Post but the attitude of acceptance that it received. It always seemed that the more conservative thoughts were the ones that were expendable.

    • Jo says:

      No, Rhonda, it was the post itself. Nikkia’s explanations only made it worse. She still doesn’t get it. There was no excuse for that trash. It should not be ‘acceptable’ in any way for any reason, and if non-acceptance comes across as a bad attitude, so be it.

      • thkn_b4_spkng says:

        Jo,

        Nikkia appears to be seeking the truth through many religious and philosophical venues. I agree with other postings that she will not ultimately find what she is seeking through that approach. I also agree with the general consensus here; regardless of intent, somethings are never acceptable.

        Speaking directly about a matter is not wrong; however, speaking in a manner that is ungracious is rarely right. That said, I encourage you to let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt. People will see much more of Christ in you when this occurs. I think as Mr. Kaifetz would agree, grace is abjectly lacking in “Independent Fundamental Christianity.” (The root cause of this is in the first word, independent, which equates to a complete lack of accountability.)

        Ironically, there is also little opportunity for biblical accountability in a blog, but I encourage you to make sure that graciousness is Nikkia’s experience outside the “IFB” environment–at least in this situation.

  15. For the record, I invested hours and hours of time in e-mail correspondences with Nikkia. I extended to her a great deal of respect and consideration, all the while trying to get her to see the the real reasons why her cartoon post was so offensive to so many people. Unfortunately, she took a very combative posture throughout, and I could see that she was not at all open to anything I had to say, even though I honestly do not think that I could have expressed any of it in a more gracious manner. What I saw in her was anything but the “fruit of the Spirit.” This only confirmed for me personally that anyone who could have for ANY reason and under ANY pretext posted a cartoon calling God a murdering fornicator and explaining the death of Christ on the cross as the capricious act of a petty God was not within the reach of any measure of the Holy Spirit of God available to someone like me, and thus beyond the reach of any attempt or method outside of the miracle of prayer.

  16. Randy Henry says:

    The word that comes to me regarding the cartoon is not blasphemy; it’s mockery. Seems Kia’s heart was drawn fondly to it because she choses to sit in the seat of the scornful. God mockers never have a good life. They’re as far as one can get from the peace that passeth understanding. One of the casualties of the abused class of FBCH, is that only the most rooted and grounded survive. (e.g. Joseph) It is not enough for them to mock and scorn the HAC/FBCH system, they find room in their heart to mock the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost too. Thanks Jerry for this opportunity to weigh in. PS: It was my YouTube videos of Schaap that ABC 20/20 used 4/8/11. Schaap forced a take-down six days later.

  17. Jeff Ayers says:

    Jerry,

    You wrote, “A Gospel without repentance is a false Gospel”.

    Is the Gospel of John a false Gospel?

    Is it possible to read and believe the gospel of John and be saved?

    What portion of John or Galatians tells us about repentance? (Remember Galatians is Paul’s Sine Qua Non of the essence of the Gospel – justification by faith without the deeds of the law).

    Just a thought.

    Jeff

    • By Gospel I am not referring to a book of the New testament, but to the gospel as in the “good news” of plan of salvation. That absolutely must include repentance.

    • You seem to be unclear on the full meaning of the term “Gospel.” It is far more than the title of four books of the NT. The gospel is literally the “good news” delineating Christ’s vicarious death for us and what it means. It is distinct in large part from salvation. Salvation requires repentance. That is a biblical fact, and I have no intention of doing your homework for you here. Neither will I will engage in a proof text battle to underscore what is both foundational and obvious in the body of Systematic Theology.

  18. Marty McCoy says:

    Jerry,

    I was going over the appendixes to your outstanding book, Profaned Pulpit, and came across this post of yours. I am absolutely in agreement with your assessment over the caricature of our God as being on a psychiatrist couch and what is attributed to him saying. How can anyone be so blasphemous to our God as this?? What Hyles and Schaap have done is inexcusable, but so is garbage as this cartoon. These people need to “repent in sackcloth and ashes”. God is not the one who has done wrong in the IFB movement, it is PEOPLE and people who are blasphemers will not escape his judgment.

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