You Think You Know Him? Look Again . . .

This isn’t Roosh but it sure could have been.  The resemblance is astonishing! 

It got me to thinking:  What if Roosh is another Frank Schaeffer?  It could happen.

As Gail said, Frank was/is an aberration. But, here, I’m going to go out on a limb and say “as God wills” and extend him some courtesy. Maybe even suggest that he will hear the words “well done, thou good and faithful servant” someday.

Why do I say this? Because I personally know many people who have been brought into the faith because of Frank Schaeffer. I’ve heard of literally dozens of others whom I do not know, as well. Missions have been planted because of Frank’s preaching.

Now don’t get me wrong: I’ve had my own dustups with Frank in the past (and am hurt because of them) but I feel for him, not because of his spiritual immaturity but because what he did then was a benefit, not only to the Body of Christ, but to himself, as well. I hope he can accept that.

As such, I’m saddened when I consider where he is now. It’s not a good place but I don’t think it reflects ill on his previous evangelism.

On the other hand, consider the incalculable damage that has been done to the Orthodox Church by a particular primate who upended the entire ecclesiology of the Church to do the bidding of deeply unspiritual men. And for no good reason but because he’s jealous of others. This man and his minions are still in the Church and bear their vainglorious titles and live off of the largesse of their congregations.

As a layman, I can do nothing about the incipient schism nor the rampant theological errors that are being trumpeted left and right by this particular section of our Church. (Nothing at all except perhaps, pray.) As someone who has been involved in evangelism though, I can say that it is all but impossible, in the present milieu, thanks to what has transpired in Ukraine.

I despair for where Frank is now, his “atheist who loves God” shtick is beyond infantile in its illogic. He doesn’t fool his new-found friends on the secular left; he is merely a useful idiot to them. I sense an existential crisis whenever I come across these “atheists” who are disgruntled moralists. And as somebody who came to know and like him as more than an acquaintance, it hurts me to know that.

Regardless, his apostasy doesn’t mitigate against what good he accomplished at one time. Yes, the GOA should have been more spiritually adept when they gave him the keys to the car –but that’s on them. That’s what happens when you have bishops who yearn for “the greetings in the marketplace”. But it’s not because of Frank that the Overton Window for Orthodox evangelism has been slammed shut.

So, let’s not be so quick to write off Frank’s contribution to the Church and remain open to other aberrations, like a pick-up artist for example, who have the ability to pry open malleable hearts so they can be used by God. 

God chooses whom He will.         


  1. Johann Sebastian says

    I looked up his blog and there are little bits of lucidity strewn about his otherwise incoherent and reactionary ramblings:

  2. Ronda Wintheiser says

    Indeed it was Franky who introduced me to the Church.

    I spent about a decade as a pro-life activist in the Twin Cities, from 1980 until 1991.  I was an evangelical all that time; I had graduated in 1979 from a Bible college in the western suburbs that, at the time, was known as St. Paul Bible College.  Now it’s called Crown College.

    I got married in 1980, and moved into my new home in a western suburb of Minneapolis and my neighbors enlisted me to attend a precinct caucus.  Eventually I found myself elected a delegate, and that began the first phase of my pro-lifery.   I went to conventions, was thrilled when Reagan was elected, and then my sister and I started picketing local abortion clinics at the behest of a Catholic organization founded by some Franciscan brothers in St. Paul.  At the time it was called P.E.A.C.E. — People Expressing A Concern for Everyone.

    Finally, in 1983 I found myself pregnant for the first time and thrilled to death about it.  To cut to the chase, though, in the first week of the 8th month of that pregnancy, I was in a head-on car accident that resulted in the death of my unborn son, whom we named Adam Lincoln. 

    Adam’s death catapulted me into a much more intense commitment and involvement in the pro-life movement.  Over the year it took for me to recover from my extensive injuries and surgeries, not to mention the anguish of feeling that my womb had become someone’s grave, and screaming at God for taking Adam away, I also thought a lot about women who choose abortion.

    I couldn’t fathom the horror and the guilt a woman who chooses that experience for herself and her child must live with.  I became more determined to try to prevent that for as many women I could. 
    When I was able to ambulate again, using a walker, I went back to the abortion clinics in the Twin Cities and spent hours each week outside them, offering literature, help, support, compassion to any women who would speak to me.  My sisters and I did that together. 

    I also took a job working for a small, nonprofit perinatal bereavement agency called the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Center.  We offered support, education, and resources to families who experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant death.  It seemed to me to be the “back door”, if you will, of the abortion issue, and I considered it part and parcel of my pro-life activism — picketing, volunteering at a crisis pregancy center/adoption agency, manning a hotline, and also continuing working at the legislative level.  I managed to get PILC to work in tandem with pro-life organizations in the Twin Cities on two pieces of crucial legislation that eventually passed.  One was a fetal homicide bill, and the other was a fetal disposition bill.  Those laws are still on the books here in Minnesota. 

    Eventually the Franciscan brothers invited me to serve on the board of directors of PEACE, and at that time I was the sole evangelical on that board.  Consequently they asked me if I would contact Franky Schaeffer, who at that time was still an outspoken, ardent pro-life activist, and invite him to the Twin Cities to participate in rallies and demonstrations we had planned — one in particular a demonstration against Harry Blackmun, who was scheduled to speak at the University of Minnesota.  (Also, we had decided to change the name of the organization.  It is now known as Pro-Life Action Ministries, and their office is located in St. Paul, less than a mile from where I live now.)

    Franky agreed to come to the Twin Cities if I would agree to act as his agent; he had just published a book — I believe it was the last book he published as an evangelical — titled SHAM PEARL FOR REAL SWINE.  It’s a good book, it really is.  Take a look at it. 

    He wanted me to arrange a week’s worth of radio or TV interviews and book signings in exchange for his participation in the things we had planned, all in lieu of payment.

    I agreed; I arranged for him to stay in a bed and breakfast in Excelsior.  My sisters and I chauffeured him around all week to these various speaking engagements, book signings, rallies, etc.
    In between each event, we would find a pub or a coffee shop and sit and talk, but the only thing he was interested in talking about was something he called the Orthodox Church.  He was a catchumen at the time.  I had never heard of such a thing, even though as a child I had lived in two native Alaskan villages that each had an Orthodox church in it. 
    I graduated from SPBC with a degree in Missiology; I had intended to be a missionary, but that did not materialize, and since my graduation and marriage and divorce, as well as my experience of the incredible diversity of theology that exists in Christian churches that are not Orthodox, I had essentially thrown up my spiritual hands in dismay and given up trying to figure out what the Truth was, and what It wasn’t. 

    In fact, I had married again, and my second husband, a lapsed Catholic, and I had purchased 80 acres of woods in the Brainerd area and we were clearing a site in order to build a log cabin and move up there.   I wondered whatever happened to the early Church I had studied in Bible college.  Where was it, anyway?  Why did Christ promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church if it wasn’t possible to find Her? 

    I intended to live in the woods, have a garden, maybe a goat and some chickens, have babies, run around barefoot all day, and worship God however I could.

    Listening to Franky talk about the Orthodox Church and the priests he was dealing with as a catechumen was earth shattering.

    At the end of the week, he suggested that I read Gillquist’s book BECOMING ORTHODOX, and he flew away back home. 

    As soon as I read it, I knew.  I had finally found the New Testament Church.  The gates of hell had not prevailed.

    My sisters and I started attending a Greek Orthodox parish in south Minneapolis, and I became a catechumen, along with my now ex-husband.  After a year and a half, I was chrismated.  My then-husband declined to convert, but he agreed that our kids could be baptized Orthodox, and so we baptized our first little girl before we went ahead and moved up to the Brainerd area into the log cabin we had built.  For ten years we lived there, far from any Orthodox presence, although eventually I was able to organize a little Orthodox fellowship…
    But that’s another story.  After Franky’s initial visit, I arranged for him to come back to the Twin Cities a couple of times to speak in chapel at SPBC, and also to speak at the Greek Orthodox parish where I had been a catechumen.

    We kept in touch over the years; occasionally writing letters back and forth. 

    Eventually we lost touch and it was a long time before I found out what had happened to him.  I have had a number of private conversations with him via Facebook about his current state of mind, and I also had some macabre fun for awhile, engaging members of the  massive sycophantic group of Leftists that gorge themselves on his rage on a daily basis.

    He never commented on any of those conversations; he used to interact with his followers, but he doesn’t any more.  I finally sent him a private message, told him I loved him and that I would stop tormenting his followers.  Then I unfollowed him.

    It’s heartbreaking.

    I also hope, George, that someday he will come back Home.  Lord, have mercy on him.

  3. Joseph Lipper says

    My first encounter with the name Frank Schaeffer was seeing the strange paper he published entitled The Christian Activist. I asked my priest about it. He sort of chuckled and said something to the effect of, “This guy is on a mission to save the Orthodox Church, but someday he’ll realize that it’s actually him who needs to be saved.”

    I think Frank finally saw through the big evil lie of the so-called “Pro Life” movement and how it functions as the self-important political cause and political machine that ignores and/or gives tacit approval for U.S. involvement in Zionist wars and the destruction of countless young innocent souls. Perhaps Frank having his own son in the military was a wake-up call to this.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Joseph, I too, was first made aware of Frank’s name through that very fine paper. I loved it. (Later, I discovered another like it called Books and Culture, more Evangelical but very high-brow.) I credit The Christian Activist for strengthening my faith and I’m sure it did the same for many others.

      I must gently take issue however with two of your opinions (which may be correct btw). First, that the pro-life movement was/is a shell-game, a front so to speak, for Christian Zionism. While there is in fact a great overlap between these two philosophies, the pro-life movement stands on its in its reason for being.

      Second, if Frank somehow “saw through” this, that it was merely a front for neoconservatism and came to the horrific conclusion that he was ready to sacrifice his own son to the Military-Industrial-Complex, then he has been very quiet about it. Unless I am gravely mistaken, in the interim, I have only seen Frank disparage –in the most vituperative language possible–the Bush 43 Administration and never the Obama Administration.

      This is strange in that Bush took us into two wars while Obama increased the number of wars to seven. Yet there was nary a peep from Frank about Obama’s war-mongering. Now I will charitable and state outright that Obama was a reluctant warrior and that he was hornswoggled by the Globalist establishment to expand American adventurism but the fact remains that it was on his watch that we destabilized the Middle East and North Africa –and all in the name of some ephemeral ideal.

      I also must question Frank’s bona fides in another way: while he crapped all over Bush 43, he never once questioned the driving force behind neoconservatism. As a typical Northeastern Yankee, it seems that he shrinks from criticizing the Puritan spirit behind American military interventionism. It’s almost as if those who hold this view never want to completely discredit the neoconservative drive to go overseas “looking for monsters to slay” because that would discredit neoliberalism and we would never be able to invade foreign countries in the name of feminism, homosexualism, and “democracy”.

      • cynthia curran says

        That’s not surprising about Franky have a double standard about Bush versus Obama when it came to wars. Also, most evangelicals including Baptist were not interested in the pro-life movement until Catholics got them into it in the late 1970’s. In fact modern evangelicals have not throw all gays into prison for being gay like Oscar Wilde was so I never understand the left on thinking they are against homosexual activity compared to the old Justinian and common law codes on the subject. In fact, outside of gays beefing about not getting hired for a hair stylist or a mangers in the south is the only think I see that they have a case on not a case for marriage. Franky has had an ax to grind for years. Can God use, such people yes, at times, probably not now as much.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        George,  please forgive the delayed response. 
        Perhaps the central goal of the “Pro-Life” movement is to overturn the 1970 judicial ruling of  “Roe vs Wade”.  Of course “Roe vs Wade” was not a political decision. Yet in contrast, the “Pro-Life” movement in the U.S. is primarily a political movement and with the chief purpose of galvanizing political support and votes for ostensibly “Pro-Life” candidates.  Of course the great hope is that the “Pro-Life” presidential candidate will have the opportunity to nominate U.S. Supreme Court Judges who will somehow overturn the 1970 ruling on abortion.  Who knows?  Perhaps it will even happen someday.  Yet the Supreme Court judges are nominated for life, and they could probably care less about politics after their approval by Congress.  The Supreme Court is not meant to be swayed by the tides of political opinion.  
        Yet as a vast and bankable political machine, the “Pro-Life” movement has a tendency to focus primarily on a single issue, and equating the “sanctity of life” with our nation’s abortion laws.  It doesn’t matter so much that the “Pro-Life” president sends U.S. teenagers overseas to war in places like Iraq to kill innocent civilians and to die or be horribly mutilated, and not specifically in defense of our own country’s borders, but rather to preserve U.S. “interests” abroad (which basically equates to the defense of the “almighty and sacred” U.S. Dollar.)   As is often the case in politics, it’s an evil game of bait and switch.  
        Yet anti-abortion laws are not even specifically Christian anyways.  Perhaps the countries in the world with the strictest anti-abortion laws are Islamic.  Indeed, Islam tends to have an inordinate focus on law, and it could be said that the “Pro-Life” movement as a political movement tends to be an Islamification of Christianity with an inordinate focus on law.  As the Apostle Paul wrote, the law brings death, but the spirit gives life:  “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”  As Christians, we live by the Spirit, not by the Law.  Yet, the “Pro-Life” movement, like Islam, has a tendency to reverse this.
        As for Frank Schaeffer, it seems that he might be a Democrat.  I’m not.  I haven’t been a registered voter for over 25 years now.  Instead, I hold to our duty as Christians to support our government’s authorities and armed forces in daily prayer and with whatever taxes I owe.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Joseph, thank you for your reply.  A particular point:  just because Moslem countries have the most restrictive laws re abortion is no reason why ostensibly Christian countries in the West should continue to push for more infanticide.  In fact, it should encourage us to be more attune to the Gospel.
          In other words, as far Islamic countries are concerned good on them.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            George, it would be very interesting if the U.S. “Pro-Life” movement actually took an active interest in preserving and protecting the Islamic countries because of their strict anti-abortion laws. That would at least be consistent, and it’s within the political realm of possibility. If the U.S. took that approach, then there likely wouldn’t be so many Islamic refugees and immigrants today fleeing their destroyed homelands.

            On the other hand, these same Islamic refugees and immigrants are now “enriching” the world with their anti-abortion ethos. Perhaps the U.S. “Pro-Life” movement simply needs more Islamic immigrants and converts here to join with them and support the “Pro-Life” cause. Perhaps Donald Trump could nominate a “Pro-Life” moslem for Supreme Court Justice?

            • George Michalopulos says

              Joseph, the Oligarchy is doing what it can to facilitate the “enrichment” of Western countries as it is. The traditionalist ethos which they bring in –which will be to the detriment of feminazism and homosexualism–is not an unacceptable side-effect. I’m not speaking here mainly of us Trads but on behalf of the anarcho-tyranny ideology of the Oligarchs.

              Think about it: Western countries are spiraling out of control; as Gail likes to put it “women are running amok”. Our present course of all-things-liberationist is unsustainable. Islam, whatever it’s civilizational deficits, tends to put things aright.

              Also, our minority grievance system of “rights” (in reality set-asides and quotas) will be quashed by more Moslem immigration.

              It’s almost as if it’s all by design.

    • Michael Bauman says

      The Christian Activist was a strange paper but it convinced me beyond doubt that abortion was not a choice, but evil.  I grieve for him.  Indeed I think he reveals the war in most of our souls between the modern and the real. The ideological and the true. The “passionate” and the peaceful.  

    • Archpriest Alexander F.C. Webster says

      RE: “the big evil lie of the so-called ‘Pro Life’ movement”

      Mr. Lipper do you support or, to put the question another way, oppose restrictions on abortion for all or any reasons?

      No waffling or equivocating, please: a simple yes or no will suffice.

    • Joseph at al,

      would it be fair to say that Frank’s big leap from God to atheism is somehow related to:

      He that loveth … son … more than me is not worthy of me.”(Matth.10,37)?

      This is a warning to Frank and all of us.