103 thoughts on “Pretending Everything Is Fine”

  1. I have met Eddie Lapina a couple times. I’m pretty sure I have a Bible somewhere with his signature in it . Anyway, I feel very burdened for First Baptist Church of Hammond, I think I will starve myself for a month in order to more effectively pray for that great ministry. Just Kidding! ๐Ÿ˜†

  2. So, the chairman of the deacon board hand picked all of the pulpit committee. That doesn’t look to promising for those wishing for either a voice or transparency.

    1. “Infectious excitement of the students”?

      Is that anything like the Infectious Excitement of North Koreans dancing Joyfully with Great Enthusiasm before Comrade Dear Leader?

  3. It’s funny, the standard reply Christians give (at least over here in N. Ireland) when asked “how are you?” is “Fine!”, no matter how lousy their life might be right then. I’ve done it myself. Now I had been considering banning that word from the Chrisian vocabulary. Then I realised it is a very handy codeword for “Feeling Isolated, Not Encouraged”. A LOT of Christians feel FINE a lot of the time. Especially if you are a Fundamentalist

      1. To a large extent much of 12 step culture is cultish too. Not all but much. The insistence on being “happy, joyeous and free” all the time and feeling guilty and hiding it if you really are not.

    1. And here I’ve always assumed “fine” is shorthand for “I know you really aren’t interested in what I’ve been up to so I’ll just keep it short.” ๐Ÿ™„
      Or to put less kindly โžก Never ask an old person how she’s feeling if you have anything else to do today. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Hundreds of souls saved every week? So…they should be starting to bulge at the seams, seating-wise, with all the new disciples they’re making and bringing into the church, right? I mean, it’d be silly to think they’re just getting people to pray and not actually discipling them, right? Because that’s what really matters. Right? Guys? …Anybody?

    1. Time to get out the FBCH-to-English Translator:

      Hundreds of souls saved every week = A lot of cars drive past our sign each week.

      He’s been fasting for 21 days = He turned down a second donut during coffee break.

      We haven’t set any records = Attendance and revenues are way, way down.

      There is just a youthful zeal and power here that’s infectious = Some of the HAC students haven’t figured out how to leave yet.

  5. Fasting is term that is thrown about loosely in the IFB movement. If you fast, you’re automatically in the stratosphere as far as spirituality goes.

    But some people’s idea of fasting is just skipping one meal. I’ve heard the story of a severely obese man who fasted for 40 days. At the end of the 40 days, he didn’t look any different. It was only because he was skipping breakfast. Needless to say, I’m pretty skeptical about the guy that spent 21 days fasting.

    I’m pretty sure when Jesus fasted, he didn’t eat at all.

    1. One definition of fasting is to refrain from anything for a period of time. For example, I’ve been fasting from kumquats lately.

      On the other hand, sometimes it means refraining from eating anything, or even from drinking anything, even water.

      During Ramadan (30 days), Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. They don’t eat, drink or smoke at all during the day (but they break the fast after the sun goes down).

    1. Robby,

      You said, “Iโ€™m seriously going to send my resume their way. Anyone want to be a reference for me?”

      No, Robby, keep your resume. The women would be jealous of your cute earring.

      Those who know you well who would qualify to recommend you would certainly hold their peace, reticent to recommend a man without the moxie or savvy to take that church where it needs to be spiritually.

      You have abdicated God’s pulpit to do what average grade schoolers do every day – write.

      Good choice to leave the pulpit, sir. God loves you as a Christian, but you are untrustworthy as a spiritual leader; is that not why The Lord removed you?

  6. I’m still waiting for the video that explains to the world and owns up to the truth about what jack schaap did and gives us a true apology and some sort of message from jack schaap!!

    My mother in California, who has been a fundamental baptist drone for over 40 years and presently attends Goddard’s Sect (church) of jack hyles religious standard, was told to “pray for one of our leaders who has fallen” but no mention of who this leader was.

    I don’t think it’s right! I honestly believe that jack schaap and the church should have delivered a message of admission and deep regret and apology to not only the people that were following this moG but also to all of us who were negatively effected by the very beginnings of jack hyles and the continuation of these controlling practices by jack schaap! Gosh… Neither of them were able to adhere to these teachings and yet they’ve had hoards of families live so stringently to the point of a miserable existence!

    So, correct me if I’m wrong, but is there such a video that professes accountability to this injustice? Is there? I wouldn’t expect explicit details of this man’s “sin”, but only to ask the world to pardon him, I mean, after all, he used the pulpit to boast of his amazing strength of character. Would it not be apropos to admit to his weaknesses also and in turn apologize?

    I remain…
    …still Disgruntled but only when I allow myself to think on the matter, otherwise free from this rediculous “religion of fundamentalism”!

    Please excuse my lengthy rant but I just had to get that off my chest!

    ~~~Heart ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    1. I agree with you, Heart.

      Even something along the lines of their reading aloud Daniel’s prayer from Daniel 9: “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shameโ€”the men of Judah and people of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you.
      O LORD, we and our kings, our princes and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against you. The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; we have not obeyed the LORD our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.”

      1. Pastor’s Wife,

        Yes, that would definitely ease the pain for everyone!

        That would certainly be the Godly thing to do, especially if delivered with a truly sincere and humble heart!

        The healing, for all, would be real rather than unsure and a faรงade.

        Thank you for sharing, because just reading it here was good!

        Sincerely,
        ~~~Heart ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2. Heart, you are right, AND there is Scriptural support for it – 1 Tim 5:20 (Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.)

      The context is talking about preachers who commit grievous sin and are caught.

      1. Guilt Ridden,

        Everyone here has been taught and knows the scriptures and the right thing to do right!? So then, jack schaap, having been one of those teachers, has abandoned, not only the rules against fornication, but now he disregards the rules of repentance?!

        Has his own human nature been the leader, all these years, in the proverbial battle of the sinful human nature vs. Christ-like spirituality? Can that be the reason he was caught in this “sin” and can this still be the reason that his arrogant demeanor in court and the absence of a proper address to the people has not been forthcoming?

        This is honestly how I see it and am in a quandary. How is it so impossible that these followers who profess loyalty to the man, do not see all of this for what it is?

        Obviously, the prospective pastor(s) who may possibly be contemplating stepping into the void, is assured that there are many blind followers to hail his leadership but a man willing to acquire such a task is surely mindful that there remains many questions to be addressed and church members who are spiritually damaged and need explanation or guidance having been “victims” of the faltering leadership of jack schaap, who has also abandoned all scriptural protocol in Biblical repenting!

        I’m so frustrated with all of this, especially when I see these people moving forward as though it was merely a bump in the road when it was actually a huge “bridge out”!

        Without reproach???? I think not!!!

        ~~~Heart โ—

    3. Heart –

      Thanks for this insight. This is the reason many of us have chosen to distance our families from this church. You can almost see through many of the doctrinal issues, but when they won’t even truly clean up their own house. For goodness sakes, the same deacons that elevated a mad man are picking his successor.

      Their only hope was to bring in an outsider and create some real change. But if you know anything about this cult, that’s the last thing that will happen.

  7. If FBC has been leading hundreds of souls to Christ every Sunday since….well I don’t know when, shouldn’t the entire state of Illinois be a Christian utopia by now?

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

  8. Pulpit committee hand picked by the head deacon – well, we know where the membership in general stand in that church. Pulpit committee men only – well, we know where women stand in that church. ๐Ÿ™„

  9. Yeah, I was kind of wondering about that “hundreds saved each week”… how many people can there be in the area who are both unsaved and willing to be saved, that they find hundreds every week, week after week?

    Also, if “youthful zeal” is “infectious”, he’s clearly developed an immunity. He’s got all the zeal of a Norwegian Blue that’s pining for the fjords.

    1. Cassandra: I always get this really left out feeling at Christmas time
      Hilary Faye: [to Patrick] Jewish.
      [Back to Cassandra]
      Hilary Faye: Well, if you decided to accept Jesus into your heart you and your people could join in on the fun!
      Cassandra: You know what you’re right! I want to join in on the fun. I don’t want a Hannukah bush this year, I want a Christmas tree.
      Hilary Faye: You’re playing me again?
      Cassandra: No, I want to start a personal relationship with Jesus. I want to be saved!
      Hilary Faye: Oh wow!
      [Gestures to Patrick]
      Hilary Faye: Patrick! Oh, I don’t have all my equipment! Ok, first, you have to confess all of your sins out loud.
      Cassandra: Well, there’s all the swearing, I mean, I have a Goddammed dirty mouth. And the sex I mean, are we talking oral
      Hilary Faye: [claps hand over Cassandra’s mouth]

  10. “Hundreds of souls saved every week”
    Is that all. Rubbish.

    “we’ve not broken any records”
    Yeah, got that right. Pffffffft. Rubbish. Must do better.

    “Red hot bible preaching”
    Not hot enough, fatty! We want the white-hot variety.

    “We have 40 people fasting and praying every day”
    Is that all? Rubbish! With all those hundreds being saved each week, you need to double that number. Get your lazy ass away from that comfy chair, fireplace and soft jazz!

  11. 1) Every time I hear the inane, pointless, and linguistically barbaric term “bathed in prayer”, it makes me want to punch someone in the face.

    2) He basically just said, “We have put a structure in place that ensures a continuing lack of transparency and empowerment of the powerful.”

    3) I won’t cry when God takes this cult down.

  12. I love it [slash hate it] that he is at such pains to point out how it is exclusively men who make all the decisions and do all the authoritative things.

    The last thing their dark lord satan would want is for them to involve women in decision making and leadership.

  13. This is really sort of a Dog-Ate-My-Homework video, isn’t it?

    The Schaap thing broke almost four months ago. No doubt some people are wondering why the church hasn’t named a new head pastor yet. This video is basically telling people to be patient for yet a while longer.

    Which raises a lot of interesting questions? Just how hard is it to recruit someone for the job in the present circumstances?

    For example, I’m wondering how much debt the new pastor is going to have to dig himself (not herself, they’re Fundies) out from under.

    1. My admittedly depraved imagination wonders if the reason for the long delay isn’t something like this:
      Interviewer: Now, you realize, you’re not supposed to have sex with the students.
      Candidate: Sure, sure, not supposed to. Got it. Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more.
      Interviewer: No, really. You can’t. We won’t cover it up for you.
      Candidate: Uhm… so, not on campus, then?
      Interviewer: No. Not anywhere.
      Candidate: What if they’re really hot?
      Interviewer: No. We can’t take another scandal.
      Candidate: Right, I don’t think this job is where God is calling me to be. Toodles.

    2. Although it doesn’t make the situation and the church are any less despicable, I do have to point out that 4-6 months is actually the average length of a pastoral search for a church of any size.

  14. If the camera frame widened at the end, we’d be able to see the Jack Daniel’s and the bucket of Xanax on his end table.

    Hey Eddie, I know you just said that God is in your midst, and inspiring the preaching, but since I know you thought the same when Schaap was in the pulpit stroking a 7 iron, maybe your God-o-meter might need recalibrated.

  15. @BG – I agree. I think their biggest issue is financial, followed closely by legal and civil. They need somebody that’s cool possibly dealing with attorneys and ongoing investigations for the next 5 years. That’s why they did the mass firings at the beginning of their school year.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve already found their guy, but the guy is probably looking at the financials telling them they have to get above water, so he doesn’t have to come in and be the bad guy that fires everyone.

  16. This update is classic fundamentalist thinking. It’s amazing how stupid these people are. After many days in fasting and prayer, the man selecting the pulpit committee decided to choose himself. No really….that’s great…what could possibly go wrong with the men, who were fooled by the last two spiritual whores, deciding who the next one will be.

  17. “And when you fast, donโ€™t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get.” Matt. 6:16

  18. I felt like he droped the f-bombs (fasting) way too much. Like, “Ok everyone…we’re just fine- we’re FASTING so we’re better than good.”
    “Red hot Bible preaching”? Does this mean the “new” preaching will actually be an expository study of the Bible, or is it still the shallow, topical crap for which you are accustomed?? ๐Ÿ™„ ๐Ÿ˜•

    1. This is Fundydom, so the volume of the speaker (not the content of the sermon) determines how “hot” the preaching is…the louder, the hotter. How sad (but true) is that?

      1. “He has NO Book Larnin’, and he is LOUD!”
        — Highest praise you can give to a rural Kentucky preacher-man, according to an old Internet Monk comment

  19. Who in the world is advising these people from a PR perspective? Huge mistake with these videos. Who would possibly believe any of this. As someone who does marketing and communications for a living they are digging a deeper and deeper hole. If PR is what they want put another face out there at least.

        1. Yep. Those under the spell of Hyles could be looking right at it and not see it.

          “This is not the door you are looking… move along.”

  20. I think you people aren’t giving this poor dude enough credit. His statement wasn’t that they “are seeing hundreds of souls [get] saved every week”. Clearly, his statement was that they “are seeing hundreds of souls, [who are] saved, every week”.

    It’s not his fault you interpreted the statement to mean they are winning hundreds of new converts every week and thus are growing by leaps and bounds instead of dying a slow death while clinging to their power structure with a desperate tenacity, is it?

    #Fundiegrammartricks

  21. I’m surprised that no one has commented on the statement that “…the preaching is just what it always has been” — isn’t that the thing that got them into trouble in the first place?

  22. I don’t profess to know what is going on behind the scenes of FBH, but this guy does not believe a word he is saying. His body language is screaming that he has๏ปฟ no faith in the pulpit committee and the guy who appointed himself chairman. Wow. It’s not often you see body language that clear.

    1. Not to mention all the tension evident in his voice. There are several points where it sounds as if he’s either about to sob or scream in panic. ๐Ÿ˜•

      Slightly unrelated: I grew up thinking I didn’t know how to read people well, because I would pick up on body or voice cues that said one thing, but the carefully arranged pleasant features and assurances everything was “fine” had me thinking I was crazy. Turns out, I read people better than your average Joe! Dealing with Fundies probably honed my skillz. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. He seems to be speaking into the camera like a hostage in the Hanoi Hilton, being forced to tell everyone how wonderful he is being treated. Perhaps there has been a power grab by the deacons and he’s afraid of his head being put on the chopping block.

  24. Dear SFL Reader:

    A pulpit committee selected by one man. From a polity standpoint, it seems that these dear folk have learned nothing a thousand times.

    Christian Socialist

      1. My experience is that fundie churches are never democracies, even in a “crisis” like this one. Couple that with the background of that church and the self-appointed committee leader is a given.

  25. How is it that a church this size doesn’t already have a plan in place for who the pulpit committee is? Most churches I have been a part of has defined in it’s constitution who will be a part of the committee in the event a pastor needs to be found. If it’s not been defined, then the members vote for a committee of 12ish people, depending on the size of the church.

    Sidenote: This is the guy preaching Sunday Mornings?! I about fell asleep during this 4 minute video. No way he’s any better when he’s preaching.

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