Here’s a little bit of a lighthearted reality check.
The fundamentalist NON-network is so obvious that I could dish this thing out without even having to go to the library or call conspiracy experts.
*David Gibbs, III is, last I heard, Chuck Phelps’ counsel. David Gibbs is the son of David Gibbs, Jr. who is a good personal friend of Jack Schaap, the creep highlighted on the 20/20 show yelling at women to stay as thin as they were when they got married. Jack Schaap is the son-in-law of Jack Hyles and pastor of the infamous First Baptist Church of Hammond that still venerates the deceased heretic. John Vaughn is the president of the FBFI that, commendably, said about Jack Hyles in resolution,
The FBF further encourages true Fundamentalists to have no company with Jack Hyles due to these divisive tactics and teachings. We further acknowledge that this unfortunate and disgraceful use of God’s Word is the expected and logical consequence of a long-standing pattern of arrogant and dictatorial demands for unquestioning loyalty to himself and his teachings, rather than to the Word of God. The FBF holds such teaching as evidence of a cultic mentality that claims the name of Fundamentalism while actually being a mere caricature of true Biblical Fundamentalism. (source)
Despite what the FBFI thought about having no company with Jack Hyles in 1995, John Vaughn had no problem having “company” with Jack Schaap in 2010 (progress?) who deifies Jack Hyles and is every bit the heretical nutcase this father-in-law was, if not worse. This meeting was at Crown College where Clarence Sexton is pastor. Clarence Sexton was a featured speaker at the Bob Jones University Bible Conference just in 2009. At the same conference were featured speakers from Northland International University. Matt Olson is the president of Northland and the pastor to whom Chuck Phelps sent Tina Anderson (the young woman featured on ABC’s 20/20). Chuck Phelps is a board member of Bob Jones University and also in 2003, I think, hosted the Annual FBFI meeting. Phelps took a brief hiatus of board member duties at Bob Jones University to be the president of Maranatha Baptist Bible College. One might be tempted to ask, “Why bother?”
Phelps was a keynote speaker at the Annual FBFI meeting in 2009 and the following year the Annual FBFI meeting was held in the very same church that Matt Olson pastored when Tina Anderson was there. Tina Anderson recently left Tri-City where the current pastor is on the board of the FBFI and the church is a supporter of the FBFI. Does anyone really wonder why Tina would want to leave?
Connections matter, my friends. I know whereof I speak.
I was born on the campus of BJU (literally), grew up listening to Jack Hyles, lived under the false teaching of Bill Gothard, went to Sword of the Lord Conferences, attended Northland, took a grad class at Maranatha, and was a member of the FBFI. I was even featured in the FBFI’s latest magazine celebrating 20 years of writing on the issues alongside J.B. Williams (eulogized by an FBFI resolution as a great fundamentalist leader), Bob Jones III, and Arno Q. Weniger (former president of Maranatha Baptist Bible College where Chuck Phelps was later president). In this culture associations matter, particularly for negative labeling, but I demand some respect as an authority on issues within fundamentalism since I have been associated with the above leaders!
I was, so to speak, a Pharisee of the Pharisees!
A couple of years ago, my grandmother was rewarded by Bob Jones University for having more descendants attend the university than any other family in the history of the school. When I was at Northland, Dr. Bob Jones Jr. was visiting for the first screening of a movie that they had partially filmed on the Northland campus. I was selected to be his personal valet, something I considered to be quite an honor. My personal interaction with Bob Jones, Jr. was always pleasant and lighthearted. He had the uncanny and commendable gift of remembering everybody’s name. Anyway, he asked me why I did not follow good family tradition by going to “the University.” Thinking about having been born on the campus, I said, “Well, Dr. Bob, the first time I showed up on campus I was buck naked. I’m too embarrassed to go back now. I’m afraid people would recognize me!” He laughed heartily and told me it was the best excuse he had ever heard. Bob Jones III asked me to tell that story when I spoke there in 2001. It was a chuckling matter, after all, since many people referred to Northland as “BJ North.”
I had spoken in the chapel services, special meetings, and conferences of most of these places before I was 32 years old:
- West Coast Baptist Bible College (You’ll notice that at their big 25th Anniversary that Phelps’ attorney’s father, David Gibbs, is a featured speaker). In fact Gibbs is highlighted as a “great man” endorsing the school. Featured music speakers at the same conference are the Hamiltons of Majesty Music, also featured at Jack Schaap’s church (the crazy featured on 20/20). My connection to WCBC was through John Goetsch, a graduate of Maranatha Baptist Bible College. Goetsch’s wife was a one-time member of the church where I pastored briefly, founded (I believe) by Clinton Branine (a Baptist World Mission board member and President of the KJV-only Indianapolis Baptist College for ten years, interviewed here by the extreme KJV-only David Cloud). Ralph Martin followed Branine at Memorial Baptist Church in Rockford, Il. Martin grew up in Richard V. Clearwaters’ church and attended the church’s seminary, Central Baptist Theological Seminary. Ralph Martin is also my father-in-law and was the Board President of Baptist World Mission when I joined the mission in 1991. Currently, the Executive Director of Baptist World Mission is Bud Steadman who is also on the Board of Bob Jones University and was honored by Ambassador Baptist College with a D.D.
(It will be of interest to outsiders that the Deputation Director of Baptist World Mission is Dave Canedy, a former pastor of Marquette Manor Baptist Church
that was featured in the ABC 20/20 show. Canedy
is a graduate of Bob Jones University and got an honorary doctorate from Maranatha Baptist Bible College. The former Executive Director of Baptist World Mission, Fred Moritz, is on the seminary faculty of Maranatha Baptist Bible College. He earned his B.A., M.Div., and D.Min. from Pillsbury Baptist Bible College, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, and Bob Jones University respectively. Mortiz’s two works on separation were published by Bob Jones Press.)
Is your head spinning? Remember, I’m just giving a list of where I have personally spoken. Let’s continue.
- Pillsbury Baptist Bible College
- Maranatha Baptist Bible College
- Northland International University, where Matt Olson, a graduate of Bob Jones University is the current president and whose former ministry was highlighted on the ABC 20/20.
- Bob Jones University I have the plaque to prove it. Apparently, some must actually hang those things up as trophies. Sermon here. I have a relative on the board currently.
- Clearwater Christian College, the current president is my friend, Dick Stratton, a graduate of Bob Jones University. There’s a building or hall named after Dick’s dad on the campus of Bob Jones University, but I’m not holding out for a building to be named after me.
- Central Baptist Theological Seminary
- Calvary Baptist Seminary
- Too many of their youth camps, youth rallies, conferences (i.e. SGI), and churches to remember.
When I joined Baptist World Mission, I was going to be a missionary with my friend, Torrey Jaspers, who recently was on staff at IBC which is the ministry of Tri-City where Tina Anderson was a member and where the pastor is a former student of BJU and
Calvary Baptist Seminary (mentioned above). Oh, by the way, I have a relative on the board of IBC too! Pastor Sproul (Tina’s former pastor) is also a FBFI board member
. Torrey is the brother of Dave Jaspers, the former president of Maranatha Baptist Bible College.
All those connections of mine. All those places I’ve been. Yet, I never felt like I stepped outside of the village, crossed the Rubicon, or stepped outside of fellowship until I chose to preach at a conference where a pastor from the heretical and compromised church that John MacArthur pastors was also a speaker! That was an outside move, friends! There is definitely an inside/outside reality and it really isn’t about doctrine; it’s about connections. And until one of the “elders” has approved the cooperation, one runs the risk of being labeled a non-fundamentalist.
The president of the FBFI can preach with Schaap, but God forbid that we do anything with John MacArthur!
If you can’t understand that, hire David Gibbs (father or son). One would think they are the only lawyer fundamentalists are allowed to have.
Anyway, enough of my tongue-in-cheek, good-natured observations about the NON-network. I just have two simple observations that all human beings really should understand about this NON-network (or any NON-network such as this):
1. Inbreeding causes retardation.
2. Anyone familiar with the species called homo sapiens would be crazy to assume that there is no good old-boys-network. Just crazy.
*I originally incorrectly posted that I thought David Gibbs (the father) was Phelps’ attorney. I have been corrected. It is David Gibbs, III (the son) who is Phelps’ attorney. This doesn’t substantially change my point, but it is a clarification.
Filed under: ABC 20/20, Fundamentalism