Jack Schaap Gives the Creepiest Sermon You’ll Ever See, and Maybe the Second-Creepiest

A year before the ex-pastor of Hammond’s First Baptist Church committed the Mann Act violation he recently pled guilty to, he appeared briefly in an ABC investigation of Independent Baptist churches… and hung hellfire on the network for questioning the idea that women aren’t the reason man is fallen.

My colleague Bryan Smith has a remarkable, gripping investigative piece in this month’s Chicago about the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. You may recall it from the arrest of pastor Jack Schaap for taking a 16-year-old girl across state lines to have sex with her; he pled guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

But Smith’s piece goes deeper, to paint a portrait of “what some call a deeply embedded culture of misogyny and sexual and physical abuse at one of the nation’s largest churches": “Multiple websites tracking the First Baptist Church of Hammond have identified more than a dozen men with ties to the church—many of whom graduated from its college, Hyles-Anderson, or its annual Pastors’ Schools—who fanned out around the country, preaching at their own churches and racking up a string of arrests and civil lawsuits, including physical abuse of minors, sexual molestation, and rape.”

The lede is vivid, an account of Schaap’s “Polished Shaft” sermon. It’s as profoundly creepy as Smith describes.

If you’re counting, that’s simulated masturbation, a giant knife, and a compound bow and arrow set. As Smith writes, Schaap was given to surprisingly, shockingly sexual sermons, quoting one member as saying “it was so vulgar sometimes that it was just a grief to my spirit.” Schaap’s defense of this… was not any less creepy:

I want to say to my fellow brethren cremate me over this. Absolutely destroy me on the blog pages. Massacre. We’ve lost lost scores of HAC students because pastors get furious when I talk about this. But who wrote the book on sexuality folks?


Nobody wants to be more intimate with you than God does. The language that Jesus Christ used when he talked to his Father about what he wanted for his people. Read John 17 mom and daddy and tell me how intimate he wanted your kids to be with him. Read John 15 and ask me if Jesus Christ just wanted to shake hands. [whispering] If you abide in me, and my words abide in you. I in you. You in Me. We in the Father, the Father in us. Don’t try to reach some ambiguous theological nonsense in that. Jesus was saying, can I put it in language that everybody understands. He says “I want be the most intimate of intimates with you.”

Here’s John 15 and 17. The meaning seems clear enough to me, straight out of the KJV: “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you…. I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." 

But it gets more disturbing, at least from a moral perspective. Before Schaap was arrested, ABC’s 20/20 did an investigation into the Independent Baptist/Independent Fundamental Baptist church movement, a loose-knit, theologically simpatico group to which the Hammond church belongs, and allegations of abuse and misogynistic fundamentalism among the churches. Schaap appears briefly, criticizing wives: “it irritates me and bothers me when a man falls in love with a beautiful woman God made and she just lets herself go… you keep what you were when you caught that man. And you stay at that…. Good grief! Touch that man’s heart! Motivate that man! Inspire that man to do something big for God!”

They also capture Schaap preaching “it’ll be cold day in hell before I listen to a woman tell me about theology.”

After ABC contacted Schaap, he hung hellfire on 20/20.

Some highlights:

He said “Don’t you think that’s kind of think that’s demeaning to the genders?”

I said, “Ask Adam what he thought about getting his theology from a woman." I said, “It damned the whole world. The reason your sorry soul is going to Hell is because a woman told Adam what God thinks about things.”


I wouldn’t get theology from a woman. I don’t mind if mamma teaches the kids, I don’t mind a strong lady, and a wise woman, and a gracious godly woman, that follows the lesson and teaching of the pastor.


No woman ever got me involved in ministry. I didn’t follow a woman into ministry. A woman didn’t write this book. No woman wrote the scriptures right here. A man wrote the Bible – got it from God. A man hung on the cross. His name is Jesus Christ and God called a man to lead the church here. Hey! I’m glad I’m a man!

A little more than a year later, Schaap began his relationship with the 16-year-old girl, whom he was counseling.




2 years ago
Posted by Tere

A godly woman named Priscilla taught theology to a young Christian called Apollos, who later became a leader in the early church. She was a highly respected friend of the Apostle Paul.

2 years ago
Posted by KHo

"Isn't the best sex really the sex you have with the Lord?" http://snltranscripts.jt.org/92/92bsunday.phtml

2 years ago
Posted by SMD


2 years ago
Posted by Sindy

Maybe Jack Schaap should have asked his wife before taking a child across state lines to take advantage of her. Using his position as a Pastor counselling a young lady, he is a disgrace and the worst form of predator. As the legal system breaks him and throws him in prison.....I say NEXT!

2 years ago
Posted by Cynthia McClaskey

I remember when this sermon came out on youtube. I was appalled at the arrogance and audacity of this man to say such heresy. The first thought that came to mind for me was something I read in a book called, Biblical Literacy, by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin. Here it is and, the emphasis in caps throughout, is mine:

"Every significant hero in the story of Moses' early life is a WOMAN. It is Moses' MOTHER, not his father, who keeps him hidden and alive during the first months of his life, then prepares the basket in which to float him. It is Moses' SISTER, not his brother, who negotiates with the princess on his behalf. And it is Pharoah's DAUGHTER, not his son, who takes pity on the infant." (Telushkin, 1997 p. 96)

When I remembered this quote, another thought came to my mind that I would like to share with you. My belief was that if it wasn't for WOMEN whom God called and used, there would be NO Bible and NO Lawgiver. Let that sink in for a minute. If it wasn't for WOMEN used of God, Moses might have died! It also makes one ask, "Who was more responsible for his THEOLOGICAL upbringing, Pharaoh or his MOTHER, who was allowed to raise him?" Moses did not have access to his father, so it was his MOTHER's THEOLOGICAL teachings that made Moses the man that he was!

Throughout the scriptures, God used WOMEN in great ways. Miriam was a prophetess who helped Aaron and Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt (Micah 6:4). Huldah was a prophetess (2Kings 22:14). Rahab was used to save the Israelite spies (Joshua 2). Esther was instrumental in saving Israel from being wiped out as a nation. According to Telushkin, Deborah was "a judge in Israel AND the GENERAL of the Israeli Army" and "under Deborah's leadership, the land was tranquil for 40 years".

So, who is this man to go against God and insinuate that God does not use women to teach theology? God didn't even go to their their HUSBANDS to ask permission to use these women! God can use whomsoever he chooses - yes, this includes women. I could say so much more on this subject. Hopefully, I have made my point.

Cynthia McClaskey - Author, Religion's Cell: Doctrines of the Church that Lead to Bondage and Abuse; The TRUTH About Tithing; Poetry for Those Who Are Hurting.

2 years ago
Posted by Evelyn Huckaby

Earlier this year while watching the infamous "polished shaft" video, my teenaged son walked past and saw/heard what was on my computer screen. His eyebrows shot up and in a disgusted voice he said, "Ewww! MOM!!! That is nasty - turn that off!!" He had no idea what I was watching, only that the sound and the motions were so bad that he didn't want me seeing it - especially if he was in the room with me. Yet, an entire congregation of youth pastors (along with the young folks they'd brought to this conference) sat mutely as Schaap orgasmed in front of the entire crowd. And the crowd stayed for more.

2 years ago
Posted by Chucklestravels

Jack Schaap preached “What Mom and Dad Don’t Know Will Hurt Him” on July 8, 2012. Schaap made some very bazaar, shocking statements about teen age girls during the message referred the second "message" mentioned in this article.

The recording of the majority of Schaap's "sermon" was recorded by me, and posted on our blog on July 31, 2012

Warning: Graphic Speech by Schaap concerning teen girls.
Listen at your own peril by following the link below.


2 years ago
Posted by purpleflamingoishot

Thank you SO MUCH for this article. I am an advocate against IFB Corruption and run the "Do Right Hyles Anderson" group on Facebook. My name is Trisha LaCroix. Please know there are thousands of churches and pastors just like Jack Schaap across the United States and we need more awareness on this cult like and perverted mentality. Please help us to continue to get the word out. To shed a spotlight on this issues. We have a corrupt church in the greater chicago land area... Northwest Bible Baptist Church in Elgin, Illinois. Their Pastor, Keith Gomez is one of the most controlling and cult leaders I have ever dealt with... Please help us. We need to continue to shed a spot light on these men who think they are gods.

2 years ago
Posted by BALAAM

I was there when he spoke about John 15 and John 17 being about sex. I decided somewhere in the middle of that sermon that I would never come back again. In about two weeks he was arrested.

My biggest problem is not that schaap is a pervert both psychologically and theologically but that this church and platform was covered with so called "bible professors" from hac who in a translike state walked down the aisle with their families to pray after this sermon and said on their facebook accounts what a wonderful and needed sermon it was. God Help US!

2 years ago
Posted by JoJoMcG

Thank you to Chicago Mag for drawing this place out into the light - please continue to help break down the walls of this cult and free those who are spellbound by the FBC. Schaap is where he belongs.

2 years ago
Posted by nc1989

In defense of both sides.I was there for those sermons. Make sure that you read within context. I understand what is conveyed here and I do not give one minute of agreement to the error done by a person but lets not make it a point to create a wound that is not needed. Our goal is to help the person(s) get back on their feet. I believe in our judicial system and I also believe in the Holy Spirit. I do pray for all of the parties involved. I want to make sure people on here understand that what was done is wrong but lets work together to do right.

2 years ago
Posted by Reformed Baptist

I left FBC a few months before the scandal came out. Bro. Schaap just wasn't the same. I knew something was wrong because he would make statements that would literally grieve my spirit. Many things that he said completely contradicted the things he taught just five years ago. I would go home almost in tears begging God to restore him. I had no idea that he had fallen so deeply.

I regret not praying for him more. I can't help but wonder if I had spent more time asking God to keep him from sin, that he wouldn't have fallen prey to his own pride.

Those who say that Bro. Schaap was always that way don't know him that well. He used to preach against people making him the ultimate authority. Towards the end, it was almost the opposite.

Watching what happened to him strikes fear in my soul. If he can fall so rapidly, anyone can. I know that we all have our flesh, and that it is the enemy of God, but this whole experience has made that truth so much more vivid to me. I pray almost every day that God would humble me and those I love so that our hearts may always be His throne.

I hope that we all continue to pray for Bro. Schaap and all the victims that have been hurt. Only God can make anything good come from this.

2 years ago
Posted by Sonnygirl

Checkout the thief "brother" George Ranft. Boy are they running a racket there "helping" drug addicts. They ROB those people of their monies and kick them out to the curb with no place to go. Most live in other states. He keeps ALL of their belongings and then asks the other boarders to split the goods amongst themselves. Also, a bunch of those boarders have gotten ill from the lead in the water! It looks clean, but dig deeper. Roaches, rats, expired food just to name a few! Unfathomable living conditions courtesy of the First Baptist Megachurch! They get these addicts jobs and keep ALL of their monies and the addicts don't even get to see their paystubs. So what happens when they file their W2s, folks? The RU Home kept their wages!! THIEVES AND CHILD MOLESTERS IS WHAT THAT CHURCH REPRESENTS!!

2 years ago
Posted by lhoward

I spent around 20 years there - childhood to beginning of college. i was there every time the doors were opened. Today, I am serving The Lord, loving The Lord and hold no bitterness toward anyone there. i am opposed to those who left there but continue to live there lives dwelling on that place and blaming it for every problem, bad dream, or tear that falls from their face. I met good folks there, kept the good, learned from the bad and try to "in everything, give thanks" although I don't always succeed. Jack Schaap clearly needs mental help. He needs to come to terms with his arrogance and self grandizement but beyond that, he is mentally ill. Too ill for jail, is mental illness the "out" here? No not at all, I don't care about all the letters written in his support. These folks are blind to the bigger issues, the extreme double life- not the hypocrisy that we all are guilty of at one time or another but i am speaking of the validation of an amazing double life of foul tongue, threats, demands for basically worship of him. Since, according to secular standards, girls are sexually active at much younger ages than 16 or 17, i am not overly surprised at the actions of either party- rather I am sickened by the blindness of these folks that wrote these letters to the judge, Most of the folks I know quite well, WAKE UP. numbers, successes, prosperity do not always equal God;s approval or favor. I don't know jack schaap;s heart, I don't even know my own according to God;s Word but Jack needs some time to learn that he is not above the law....yes jack, you knew you were breaking the law, nor are you entitled to favor of the judge because of all YOU have done. YOU YOU YOU....no , a thousand times no! Any good that flows from any of us is to God be the glory. God doesn't slow down His work because you are in jail, Remember God's words to Joshua when He said ":Moses my servant is dead"- a clear lesson that God brings in a willing soul to pick up where the departed through death or sin, left off. Can Jack be forgiven sure....should he one day be given a change to do something for Christ outside of jail, of course (though not in the pastorate) is he deserving of love and grace and mercy, oh yes. Should he service the full sentence, YES

2 years ago
Posted by MrDJ

Jack Schaap should serve a life sentence for what he did. All child molesters should. They should never be turned back out into society & given the chance to do this again. That being said, I'm sick & tired of the exaggerations of what I call the gotcha crowd. This is not happening in thousands of IFB churches as one has claimed. Most - not all by any means - are good churches led by good pastors. And it happens in denominational churches as well, not just IFB churches. But that's always conveniently left out. Where's the proof that it happens in thousands of IFB churches? And where is the proof against Keith Gomez? Solid evidence, not baseless allegations. Slanderous accusations cannot be allowed to stand. As to the "Polished Shaft" sermon, one small portion posted on YouTube out of context. If that's all I saw & heard not knowing the whole story I'd be shocked & abhorred. I was there in person. I saw & heard the message in its entirety. In its proper context & in its entirety it was a good solid message. Nothing evil or vulgar about it. Do you really believe that many adults & teenagers would sit there through the entire thing otherwise? If you were not there, your comments on it have no authority or validity. All this is not to say that the IFB movement is infallible & flawless. Far from it! Obviously there needs to be much better accountability. Some do have that. The church I am currently in has that. The pastor does not believe himself to be a god. He has made himself accountable for anything he says or does as pastor. There are multiple checks & balances for all staff. He welcomes questions & discussion. You are not branded a heretic or blasphemer for doing so. There are many women involved in this church in various positions. In fact, our youth pastor's wife has taken a very active role with the youth group in all the activities, unlike other churches I've been in.

The actions of "bad apples" should not be heralded as what happens everywhere. Where there are problems, they should be immediately dealt with swiftly & decisively, not covered up or ignored. Where there is criminal activity, it should be revealed & punished to the fullest extent of the law. But DO NOT use the actions of the guilty to condemn ALL. Just because SOME men are rapists doesn't mean we condemn & lock up all men. Just because SOME mothers are meth heads & crack addicts doesn't mean we lock up ALL mothers & put their children in foster care. If there is PROOF of wrongdoing of any kind by a staff member in a church, I will be the first to call for their removal & the appropriate action to be taken against that individual. But what I will not do is sit idly by & watch while someone tries to sabotage & smear an entire group over the actions of a few.

2 years ago
Posted by ron

I know a young man that went to Hammond and College and Really never wants to go back to any church

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