Jerry Kaifetz is concerned that we are over-reacting to the problem of child abuse within the realm of the IFB. His biggest fear is that we will become our own enemy. How will this be done? By accepting LGBT’s into our Facebook survivor groups and treating them as normal people instead of sinners who need repentance! He also doesn’t like it us spouting off liberal political or religious views. As far as he’s concerned, we’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater and the baby’s name is Jesus!
Profaned Pulpit: The Jack Schaap Story has been rushed into print by Jerry D. Kaifetz, Jack Schaap’s one time close friend. This comes on the heels of Jack Schaap’s arrest for taking a minor across state lines for sexual purposes. Jack Schaap is the former pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. Jack Hyles, who pastored the church before Schaap, is credited with being the ‘Baptist Pope’ of the Independent Fundamental Baptist movement. Hyles allegedly had an affair with a church secretary, but this pales compared to news he defended one of his bus captains, A.V. Ballenger, who was accused of molesting a bus kid by saying, “He just likes little girls!”
Jerry Kaifetz was there when some of these stories broke. He was with the bus kid whom A.V. Ballenger abused. No real details on what kind of conversation they had, but he knew them! He also knows that Jack Schaap’s sermon ‘The Polished Shaft’ was directed at one particular woman and comes within a breath of mentioning her name. It’s obvious he wants to out her to the public. I hope she has a good lawyer on her side.
Carrie, as he calls this woman, threatens to bring down the whole operation. She had been in an inappropriate relationship with Schaap and had knowledge of victims coming together to hold the church accountable. Schaap’s response was to allegedly call her out from the pulpit (without mentioning her name) and act like he was jerking off with a stick. Who wouldn’t?
Jerry Kaifetz is the man who designed and sold the 100% for Hyles buttons. He eventually read Fundamental Seduction (Voyle Glover’s book about Jack Hyles) but when he revealed this fact to Schaap in a public restaurant, Shaap’s response was to walk out on him.
Kaifetz could use that example and spend the bulk of the book talking about the tendencies of IFB leaders to stick their heads in the sand. It only gets a casual mention. Kaifetz believes the real problem with Schaap can be blamed on pornography. His evidence is pretty sketchy. It begins with Kaifetz taking Schaap to Perdue to witness to college students. Jack sees how the woman are dressed and, in a line that could have been out of Bible Madness (“She’s just a babe in Christ, and what a babe!”), remarks that the girls are walking around ‘in fishnets with no underclothing!”. That, and a mention of Schaap saying he came across a porno page on his laptop, is Jerry’s big proof! I think all of us, especially if you’re on Facebook, encounter this phenomena.
Jerry talks about pornography a lot! He could address some of the real reasons those of us, abused or not, have rejected the cruelty of fundamentalism. Can you imagine a victim of clergy abuse trying to make sense out of Lot and his daughters? Lot had sex with his daughters and is still regarded as a ‘just man’? His daughters were responsible? That makes it okay? Can just men abuse his daughters and still find God’s favor?
If we don’t have pornography as a whipping boy, we’re forced back to the bible where sexually dysfunctional men will tell us how obedience is prized over sacrifice to the point where even child molesters are regarded as holy men. To regard them as anything less is to have a ‘bad attitude’.
Jerry could talk about that, but instead goes on about porno instead of cruel and illogical preachers.
The only good part about Jerry Kaifetz’s porno obsession is he at least mentions the issues where the Dave/Brenda Hyles swingers ads are allegedly found. My biggest beef with the Dave Hyles swing ad controversy is in order to know it was Dave and Brenda, you would have to answer the ad to see if it’s really from them. And Dave, you would think, would be smarter than put his picture, or any other picture that people would recognize, in a swinger ad. Now I’ll have to find the ads and get back to ya’! They are: Adam Swing World, September ’89, June ’90, March ’91.
Jerry is disappointed in the 95% of fundamentalism that got caught, but he still believes there’s good in the movement. He still sees an honest need for fundamentalism. In a chapter detailing why he believes Hyles was successful, Jerry writes that men have this innate need to fight against PETA and the ACLU. Jack Hyles came along to fulfil this very natural need!
Jerry keeps looking for those honest fundies and keeps finding himself in one corrupt situtation after another. The book is short on details, but after he leaves First Baptist he goes to Fairhaven where he uncovers corruption with Roger Voegtlin who, like Jerry, was also anti-Jack. Surprisingly, Jerry has a controversy with Roger although since they’re birds of a feather it’s difficult to point out what that controversy is. Basically, if you ever see Jerry Kaifetz in your church, run or get a video camera! Get Anderson Cooper on speed dial because something’s about to go down! That man is turning himself into the Van Helsing of fundamentalism.
Jerry does depart from the IFB in a very surprising way: by doubting the salvation experiences of children.
Jerry realizes he has never heard Jack Schaap’s salvation testimony. He finally sees it on video. Schaap admits to getting saved at the age of five. Since Kaifetz now doubts whether five year olds can understand sin and salvation, he now doubts Jack Schaap was ever saved in the first place.
If there is one controversy that would send Hyles-styled fundamentalism into the mud it would be doubting the salvation experiences of children saved through the bus ministry.
You give up a lot when when you give up testimonies of children.
The vast amount of souls won on the Hammond Bus Ministry was because of the conversions of very young children. If we accept their testimonies of salvation as valid can we also accept their testimonies of abuse as equally valid? When a child remembers being sexually assaulted, it’s considered an event so out of the child’s scope that it’s very description is considered testimony of a truth that happened. If we reject a 5 year old’s account of being saved, should we respect their accounts of abuse?
Jerry doesn’t get into this, but I thank him for opening that can of worms. Between all the homophobia, fear of survivor groups, and all around lack of trust, Jerry recommends that we call the police, doesn’t he? I’ll go back and look at the book again. Not remembering a specific ‘call the police’ segment, but I’ll pretend one’s in there. Common sense must still rule.