The Backflow Of The Schaap Tsunami

When the wave of the tsunami flows back to sea you are left with destruction. If you walk through the muck and look closely you can start to understand the ruinous conditions wrecked upon the landscape. I’ve looked. Two days ago I wrote   The Tsunami of Jack Schaap and I can’t believe what I see. This post has nothing to do with Mr. Schaap per se, but what is going on in Independent Baptist churches.

Two hideous things jump out. First, people who love the Lord and desperately want to do right are at a complete loss with how to handle an abusive pastor. My wife and I have received calls and emails  asking, “what can we do?” The answers aren’t easy. As a pastor, I know you don’t want to make petty criticism fashionable. You know the type–that’s the wrong color of paint, that’s a stupid song to sing, that’s an inferior way to illustrate that point, or even it’s criminal to have a service at 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. We pastors can take a little abuse too!

But pastors becoming enraged, engaging in verbal battles, and threatening their church members is epidemic. Of course there are many wonderful pastors serving selflessly. I know some of them. On the other hand, we’ve heard stories of chest bumping, yelling, and threatening to have you shunned.  I am well aware of troublemakers, but I am referring to people who are torn because they fear hurting the church and hurting others while knowing that type of pastoral behavior is unreasonable and unchristian. It should be dealt with, but how?

I’m still thinking it through, how to balance pettiness and real issues. I imagine the answer lies in the Biblical qualifications of a pastor (1 Timothy 3). Things like “brawling” are sufficient to opening the discussion of a man being disqualified to pastor. As it is now, it seems “husband of one wife” is the only one that counts. The Bible, however, makes no such distinction. If a real qualification is breached, it must be dealt with. If it’s something less than a stated Biblical qualification, let it go. Lord, give us wisdom.

The other rotten thing that I see is the treatment some wives, particularly pastor’s wives, are enduring. Tyrants at church are likely ruthless at home. There are reasons some of these wives so rarely smile. The keep the stiff upper lip as they have been told they will be guilty of destroying the husband’s ministry and shaming the family. It’s manipulative and dishonest, but some ladies are rather selfless and take it for the others. Even when the scandal breaks out, some have the audacity of blaming them! (BTW, anyone who blames Cindy Schaap in the current scandal is far out of bounds).

Even if you, as I, think highly of the office of the pastor, we must honor it further. We must not sully its call, nor corrupt its beauty. We must hold it accountable to protect its great honor. And may God help us.

(My wife, Alicia, has written something to help the ladies in light of the response these blog posts have had. I encourage you to read what she has to say. Alicia’s blog post).

6 thoughts on “The Backflow Of The Schaap Tsunami

  1. Pingback: The Tsunami of Jack Schaap « The Reagan Review

  2. I have been in a situation with an abusive pastor. With the abuse came extreme secretiveness. He gave very shallow unclear financial reports and said “If any one wants to look at the books you can make an apointment to do that.” but when someone did they were told “You don’t trust me??? I can’t believe you would disrespect me.” He brawled with several members and made it impossable for them to remain in the church,and then explained their absence to the church with His own slant. (One of the last cases being my brother in law so that I had no choise but to see both sides.) We prayed often what to do. We were very tempted to leave the church (even though my mom is on staff and I am a missionary sent out from the church.) About a month later, the pastor did resign and “suggested” a new pastor for the church. The new pastor has turned out to be a good man, but he is just now learning the hurt and distrust that he has inherited in the church. God can work out the problem to save His church, but it is very painful to wait for HIm to do it. A pastor should be called by the people and the people should have the ability to ask him to leave if there is a Biblical reason… Unfortunatly, many church members feel helpless in confronting these abusive pastors. They are not happy, but know that if they speak up (about even the simplest things) they will be run off. The situation is very difficult and must always be bathed in prayer and fasting.

  3. Pingback: A Right Response to the Jack Schaap Scandal « P4G

  4. Pingback: What Happens When Your Pastor Becomes Your God | The Reagan Review

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