Jack Schaap Sentencing Memorandum: A Deceiver From The Beginning

Posted: March 15, 2013 in IFB
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Former pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Jack Schaap, will be sentenced on March 20, 2013 in federal court for having sex with a 17 year old girl having crossed three state lines in the process of the commission of his crime.

Our website has received hundreds of comments and e-mails with different tails of these events both in support of Schaap and adamantly opposed to him. Some stories that we read which showed apparent inconsistencies led us to believe there was a possibility that this “rebellious” girl had a connection with a popular so-called victim’s rights advocate and may have targeted Schaap.

After reading the sentencing memorandum, nothing could be more further from the truth. The documentation provided in the sentencing memorandum paints a picture of the events of Schaap’s crime that neither those in support  of Schaap nor those who have attributed Schaap’s acts as representative of all of fundamentalist churches seemed to be privy to.

As we explicate certain facts within this memorandum below, we urge not only followers of certain “Do Right” groups to reevaluate the trust they have put into the leaders of these groups who have apparently made bogus claims about their involvement with this case, but also to members of First Baptist Church who appear to support Schaap without having known the entirety of Schaap’s depravity in this matter.

As Christians, we need to extend forgiveness to all, and that includes Jack Schaap. However, extending  forgiveness does not mean minimizing the natural consequences of his actions or upholding him as a man of integrity and or a representative of the gospel of Christ nor any fundamental Baptist church. Jack Schaap should be allowed to live with the stigma that he has created for himself, and if he is restored, in my opinion that would only occur after he has capitulated on his false doctrines, and demonstrated a genuine display of repentance. Nevertheless, he should NEVER pastor another church.

Claims That Do Right Hyles Anderson Made Taking Credit For Schaap’s Arrest.

Those who followed this case, and read the numerous media articles are well aware that Trisha Lacroix of Do Right Hyles Anderson, and Jocelyn Zichterman, have taken credit for Schaap’s arrest and touted such as their crowning achievement in exposing abuse within the IFB. Not only did they claim credit for this, but accused all of the staff of First Baptist Church of covering up the incident and refusing to “do right”.

The documented court evidence proves otherwise.

Not one single mention is made of the FBI being tipped off by an outside source in 23 pages of documentation.

What the report does state is that FBC staff became increasingly concerned about Schaap’s behavior but did not yet have evidence of a crime. The report shows they repeatedly warned Schaap about how much time he was spending with the girl. Page 6, Sentencing Memorandum. Jack Schaap called a meeting to chastise his staff for their assumptions (which demonstrates that they were trying to find out what was going on) and then within a few days, a staff member found evidence of Schaap’s crime in which the sentencing report states led to Schaap’s “firing and law enforcement investigation”.

The report does show that a secretary was complicit in Schaap’s actions, but does not state whether she knew what Schaap’s intentions were, or that other FBC staff knew that the secretary was assisting Schaap. Although one would have to wonder why a secretary transporting a pastor with a 16-17 year old would not raise red flags. This is one example where trusting your pastor does not mean checking your brains at the door.

The report clearly shows that FBC staff did not let up on Schaap, and eventually found evidence and not only fired him but contacted law enforcement.

Now we do not deny that perhaps Jocelyn Zichterman called the FBI, but the report makes it clear that it was FBC staff that initiated the contact with the police, not Jocelyn Zichterman, nor Trisha Lacroix. One could argue “well maybe they are trying to protect their informants”. Not likely considering that they went to national media outlets taking credit for this.

Whatever FBC staff could have done better which is highly speculative, the actions that they DID take are certainly not the same picture that was portrayed to everyone from the anti-fundamentalist groups according the court record.

Jack Schaap’s Manipulation and Heresy

Never in my life have I seen a person use such manipulative grooming tactics as Schaap did with this 17-year-old girl.

The record shows that this girl had been traumatized and emotionally damaged prior to talking to Schaap, and this fact was known to Schaap because it was e-mailed to him, printed out and handed to him by his secretary in April of 2012. Page 8, Sentencing Memorandum. 

Schaap begin with an initial counseling session which led to him spending personal time with her outside of the church and office.

Within 2 months of Schaap’s relationship with the girl, he wrote her the following in a birthday card:

I can’t get you out of my mind. I keep thinking about how much I enjoy talking
with you, how great you look when you smile, and how much I like your laugh. I
daydream about you off an on all day, replaying pieces of our conversation . . .
laughing again about funny things you said or did. I’ve memorized your face and
the way you look at me . . . it melts my heart every time I think about it. And I
catch myself smiling when I imagine what will happen the next time we’re
together. You must be something really special, because I can’t remember the last
time I felt so strongly about someone. Even though neither of us knows what the
future holds, I know one thing for sure – you’re one of the very best things that’s
happened to me in a long time.

Page 9, Sentencing Memorandum

Not only was Schaap a married man, but this was a 17-year-old girl whom he demonstrated “romantic” feelings for after only 2 months.

The religious rhetoric that Schaap used to groom and bait this girl are beyond appalling and blasphemous. In another handwritten letter to the girl, Schaap writes:

I’ve been doing much thinking about you – our brief journey together has
been like a spiritual allegory (a story that illustrates a truth 🙂 . . . Your life began
to deteriorate w/ actions + activities that were self-destructive + that would have
brought great tragedy eventually. Then, as your Pastor, I began to counsel you +

you to God, the truth, and to a better path of living – that’s what we
call Righteousness.

You gave me your trust, your
heart, your love, + your affection. [Unintelligible] must feel when a sinner makes
Him more than a Savior – he/she makes Him a beloved lover + friend.

In our “fantasy talk,” you have affectionately spoken of being “my wife.”
That is exactly what Christ desires for us. He wants to marry us + become eternal
lovers

Page 9-10, Sentencing Memorandum (emphasis added)

The repetition of  “spiritual allegories” and seductive language couched with Biblical overtones is so reprehensible I am surprised he was not struck down by God Himself as when God killed Herod for blasphemy in Acts 12:23.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, Schaap writes the following blasphemous heresy:

When we get scared, Jesus sends His spirit to live within us. But He does
not personally live with us. He waits until we have fully matured before he takes
us to Heaven to live with Him.

I must follow the example of Christ. I have espoused you to Him as a
chaste virgin. You are pure + lovely + perfect in His eyes. Now you must mature
in His grace until the time he brings you to Himself.

Jesus sends His spirit when we get scared? He does not “personally live with us”? ARE YOU SERIOUS?? If Jesus waits until we all “fully mature” before taking us to live with Him, then NOBODY is getting into heaven. Furthermore, the Bible is clear that believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit the moment we are saved. Eph 4:30, Eph 1:13. Moreover Jesus said of the Holy Spirit in John 14:17,

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

How this man ever snookered his way through an ordination inquest baffles me.

Schaap Knew He Was Wrong 

I have seen letters where some argued that Schaap had medical problems, suffered stress or other abnormalities. However, that would only serve to alter his state of mind where it could be claimed that he was delusional IF any medical evidence could substantiate that such health factors could be a proximate cause of such behavior.

Yet Schaap downloaded an “I-Phone” app that was designed to erase evidence. Page 3, footnote, Sentencing Memorandum. This clearly shows that Schaap was aware of his actions the entire time. Not only that they were sinful but that they were criminal. Schaap also arranged meetings with the girl on a “forest reserve”. If Schaap truly believed his actions were just, why the secrecy?

A Plea To Pastor John Wilkerson and FBC Staff

Probably the biggest complaint I have heard against FBC is that they have been alleged to show a lack of remorse for the victim and her family, and according to the court report, even banned them from FBC. This is not a case where refusing to discuss the matter in public or to the church is best for the “cause of Christ”. I believe that the public who look up to members of First Baptist Church need to hear how FBC feels about the victim and her family, not just about how this event has brought shame to the church.

First Baptist Church is now pastored by John Wilkerson. I have listened to several of his sermons, and he appears to have a very gentle and meek character. If he hasn’t done so already, I would plead with Pastor Wilkerson to reach out to this family and offer condolences, sympathy, and your regrets for what occurred at the hands of the leader of the church.

Churches across the world should mark actions and teachings such as what was propagated by Schaap, and learn from it. Now I am no expert in sexual abuse prevention in the church. If a person is set to do evil, he/she will do so regardless of what preventative measures are in place. But I do not believe it is appropriate for a male to ever counsel a female, and I am confident that I am familiar enough with the Bible to recognize false doctrine when I hear it, and a married man who falls in lust with a 16-year-old girl within a 2 month time period is someone who demonstrates he has long held to erroneous doctrines that either could or should have been recognized by others.

Even we at Do Right Christians were quick to judge when this story first came out, but the evidence has shown that we were hasty and our sincere apologies to the victim and her family if we have written anything that contributed to their suffering.

We hope that all Bible believing Christians will remain in prayer for First Baptist Church of Hammond, for the victim and her family, and be humbled by this experience and let it move us to seek the Lord and His righteousness to teach the truth in love, to respond to crisis according to God’s prescriptions, to hold our leaders accountable, and get back to the business of reaching a lost world for Jesus Christ.

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Comments
  1. Linda Langston says:

    I am a member of FBC Hammond and was “positive” it had to be a set up. After reading the fbi memo I am shocked at how gullible I was. “He that answereth a matter before it is finished…” is very real in my life too. I did not publicly say anything but still was wrong in what I said privately.

    • drjamesa says:

      It takes some guts to admit that. Of course, the anti-fundamentalist crowd will find every way they can to spin that, but that’s because they have attained a state of sinless perfection and consider their opinions to be more authoritative than God Himself.

  2. George says:

    I have read a few of your blogs and think that you should not preach about being meek or gentle when you act like homosexuals are “demon possessed”. You will lose the gay community’s respect if you do not show more love than you do here. Just sayin’

    • drjamesa says:

      First of all, this article is not about homosexuals.
      Secondly, I could care less what the homosexual crowd thinks about what I say or how I say it.
      The “gay” community is not only an extremely minor percentage of the population who only think they have a broader audience than they really do, and even if that were different, I would not cater to that audience any different than any other sinner that needs Christ.
      Losing any respect from the gay community won’t cause me to lose any sleep or make my guitar play in B Sharp.

  3. Elsie says:

    how is it you say it takes guts to “spin” what Jack Schaap has done? It’s pretty black and white whether you’re a Bible believing Christian or an atheist. If you have a working brain, no one has to spin anything to see what has happened here.

    • drjamesa says:

      There’s no comment that says there was a spin on what Schaap had done. Apparently you didn’t read the article which is typical of most anti-fundamentalist crowds:ignore the things we say and focus on the most minute detail and take it out of context. The article itself is titled about Schaap being a “Deceiver From The Beginning” and there’s no possible way a Bible believing Christians or an atheist could read that article and think we put a spin on what he did.
      The “spin” comment was directed toward someone spinning another persons comment, not what Schaap did

  4. TidesofTruth says:

    as was posted March 20, 2013 in the comment section of The Times under the article of Jack Schaap’s sentencing

    I am a Member of the First Baptist Church of Hammond.
    I am not an employee.
    I am not a deacon.
    I hold no official position.

    I cannot speak on behalf of the church.

    I have been a resident of Lake County for 48 years
    I have been a member of First Baptist Church of Hammond for a total of 44 years.

    I must apologize to the Northwest Indiana Community for the wickedness that was done by of our former pastor. I sincerely apologize and ask your forgiveness. I apologize for the scorn that it brings on the good people of our community. I apologize for the scorn it brings on our state and any of our leaders. I apologize for any scorn it brings on the city of Hammond. I apologize to the other believers and churches throughout the region and the difficulty and confusion that has been wrought on the message of the gospel of Christ through the hypocrisy that has been lived out in front of the public. And most importantly I apologize to this girl and the family of this girl. I have children. I know what I would have done had this happened to my daughter. I don’t advise for your sake to do what I would have done but I know the anger I would have and I do not think I could have controlled myself in the admirable manner in which you have done.

    There is not any excuse for sin, ever. I will not make an excuse for it and our church has made a formal statement making it clear that we reject Jack Schaap’s excuse for it. There is never any excuse for the heinous wickedness and blasphemies done by our former pastor as reported by the prosecutor. It is the very opposite of everything we say we believe, teach and train our members and our young to be. Sins are not to be put on a scale against our supposed righteousness in which we are weighed to see if we can avoid the consequences of the wrong we did. How many homeless does one need to feed in order balance it out if we decide to kill one person we dislike? The Sentencing Memorandum written by Paul Stracci is the exact opposite of everything I have ever believed and been taught. The only good we do is credited to Jesus Christ and is His righteousness alone. Our sins are only forgiven because they were paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ. And our civil crimes must bear the punishment that the public justice demands.

    While there will always be individuals who may fail, the heartbeat of the everyday members of the church is to try to live as Christ would have us live. We live among you. We work with you. We pay our taxes and bills like you and while we believe to be fair and honest in all our dealings and we believe and teach marital fidelity and sexual purity, there will always be those who may not live up to what they say they believe. When we fail to live up to what we say we believe again I apologize. If we ever made you feel like we thought that somehow we were better or more righteous than anyone else, I apologize.

    I appreciate the work of Judge Rudy Lozano and admire the work and honest and diligent response of the prosecutors United States Attorney David Capp and Assistant United States Attorney Jill Koster and their team. What fine and good public servants these people are. I believe these people should be praised as public servants meting out judgment for the good of our community and I praise their diligence and help to keep our community safe. Justice is a Godly act.

    I apologize for the letters written on behalf of the defense that I can only believe were made out of a sense of past friendship but not having yet appreciated the full wickedness that was purported and the detail of deviancy that seemed out of character of what we heard from the lips of Jack Schaap. After further review of the details it makes it abundantly clear the full extent of the wickedness and the construction of a scheme to defraud a girl who was to be protected by those of us who portray ourselves with pure motivations and a desire to provide Godly guidance.

    I cannot begin to express the gut wrenching sickness I felt as I read the prosecution report. It is not who I believe we are, what we teach and what we seek to be. Not because there is anything good within us but because we believe that we are to be people who follow Jesus Christ, claim His name, tell the good news of His saving grace through His shed blood and try to do good work on His behalf.

    I love the people of First Baptist Church of Hammond. I have been taught how to live a Godly life by many good Teachers and Sunday School Teachers from the time I was very young. I have been taught by many good pastors who have lived Godly lives. I have been taught to be a good citizen, pay my bills on time, pray for our leaders and public servants and do good works in the community,. Never were we taught to use God as a ticket to commit sin. I have admired those who have reached out to the community and worked to help those in need. I hurt deeply for our people and I hurt deeply for Christ. I also hurt deeply for anyone who would use this as a reason to shun the God we believe in. This is not a representation of Who God is nor Who Jesus Christ is and I would beg you to not allow this to cause you to reject Jesus Christ and what He did for all of us that we might be saved from our sin.

    I humbly apologize and beg your forgiveness.

    Just a member.

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