It’s pretty bad when the guy giving the PR sounds like he doesn’t even believe the spin himself.
Through the last few years, SFL has generally taken a light-hearted approach to the issues surrounding fundamentalism and hopefully we’ll get back to that satiric dialog and gentle mockery within a few days. However, as the saga continues to unfold at FBC Hammond it continues to demonstrate and validate things that have been discussed on this site and others in a very real way.
For starters, David Gibbs and the CLA immediately became involved giving the lie to the idea that the CLA’s main focus is on being “legal missionaries” to help churches who are being oppressed by the forces of liberalism. Although there is demonstrably no persecution of the church here (because the harm was done by the church itself) yet the CLA still shows up to provide legal counsel. Part of this counsel has reportedly been to have the church staff start calling up people who had previously made allegations against Schaap in hopes that showing them concern now will keep them from suing the church. There is no doubt in my mind that the CLA continues to serve as the “fixers” of fundamentalism.
Part of this role as “fixers” at Hammond now involves conducting an internal investigation with all the unbridled energy of men building their own gallows. As the video above demonstrates, the internal investigation itself is more than a little troubling since church members are being told to contact in-house counsel with their concerns and information instead of being told to take that information directly to the police. In some other place with some other people that might not seem to ominous but with a group of people who from the outset have been less than truthful about this situation it smacks of trying to control what facts get out and who is told what. If you’re a member of FBC Hammond or a student at Hyles Anderson University, I’d strongly advise you to talk to the police first and talk to David Gibbs as little as humanly possible.
Although they are claiming to make “transparency” their watchword right now, truth certainly does not seem to be of much concern to the folks at FBC Hammond. First the church was told by Eddy Lapina that Schaap was sick and on medical leave. He apparently said this from the pulpit with a straight face even while he must have known by that point what the real reason for Schaap’s sudden departure was. Once the story broke, however, what does the church do but put the man who just lied to them all in place as interim pastor. Of course they did. Why wouldn’t they? If history is any judge then being able to lie well is practically in the job description.
I’m sure there’s much more to follow on this story as it unfolds and I don’t intend to make this venue a place to report on every gory detail (that’s what Facebook is for!) but it is rather validating to see the corruption of Hyles writ large upon this place through these events. It’s validating, and more than a little sad.