The past several days Terrie and I have been in Australia ministering in local churches and at a national pastors’ conference. While here, I have been getting reports of a fallen pastor back home. The disgrace of these situations is always grievous, no matter what the faith or denomination.
The pastor involved in the current situation is Jack Schaap from Hammond, Indiana. Some years ago, a number of us realized we could not fellowship with him due to some of his teachings and practices. (I clearly stated our philosophy which outlines the basis for our fellowship in a book I wrote fifteen years ago, Guided by Grace). Sadly, when well-intentioned men tried to warn him, he would not receive it.
Most of us who travel a bit know that his influence with most pastors has been very limited. Still, because First Baptist of Hammond is a well known Baptist church, there are those who have asked our thoughts.
I’m not a great “blogger,” so I called my dear friend and associate pastor of twenty-two years, Cary Schmidt. I said, “Cary, I’m in another time zone getting bits and pieces of this tragedy. Should I comment on it?” As he explained responses from various groups and “camps,” I sensed the burden that was building in his heart. When I checked email today, weighty questions and burdens relating to this issue came in, and I again sensed the Holy Spirit prompting me to share how I feel at times like these.
Today, I’m sharing the four overwhelming responses in my heart to this tragedy. When I return to the States, I may share practical suggestions for churches who want purity and revival. (more…)