The Village Church, Child Pornography and a Hero Makes a Statement

The story has broken. We will write the narrative on Monday. Amy Smith has posted the documents as well as Karen's statement. Matt Chandler has already been doing damage control on Twitter. Here is the link to the documents. I will write more tomorrow. Please pray for Karen.

She Speaks: The Village Church protects a confessed pedophile and "disciplines" his wife, a brave young woman and missionary

Why does stuff always happen when I am on vacation?

Update 5/21/15 3:39 pm:

The child porn abuser's activities in some form or another were reported by the missionary agency. It is possible that TVC reported it as well. However, just because someone isn't arrested does not mean that he didn't do it. Remember, much of what happened was discovered while he was overseas. Also, he had been reportedly involved in this activity for years prior to leaving for the mission field. The evidence was on a computer which is *somewhere*.

There is no evidence: only a confession which involved the pornography and also activity in the past. It is evident that TVC knew all about this when, in a documented email, they said that Jordan knew he could be arrested at any minute. But, TVC is taking good care of Jordan because he is reportedly *repentant*. Kind of like he was repentant in the past… However, the narrative will have to wait until Monday since I am the one who has been in contact with Karen and Amy, and I am on vacation with my whole family.

Please read the documentation over at Amy's blog. Matt Chandler has responded on Twitter in which he claims to love Karen and to have done nothing wrong. However, we disagree with him and will be writing about the aspects surrounding this travesty.

Pray for Karen. She is one brave woman.

Comments

The Village Church, Child Pornography and a Hero Makes a Statement — 434 Comments

  1. Well, this is disturbing: “Jordan Root is currently a licensed professional counselor in the state of Texas, License Number: 68895.”
    I am hoping that his license can/will be revoked.

  2. This is monstrous what this church is doing to Karen. Karen seems to have dotted all the ‘i’s and crossed all the ‘t’s and played it completely straight in the eyes of the law and the church and for this she has been betrayed by this church. She was defrauded into marriage by a pedophile and this church thinks she ought not file for an annulment unless they tell her she can? That is so bad I can hardly believe it. And now they want her to submit to their ‘care’ and they continue to harass her about that? What a horror.

  3. So the pedophile is NOT under church membership but the blameless wife is? Makes a lot of sense to me. And telling her not to contact parents of possible victims? That in itself should be a crime.

  4. Any time we can, we should repost Amy Smith’s excellent question:
    “Karen was placed under church discipline because she filed for an annulment after Jordan’s confession of pedophilia and withdrew her church membership. (TVC has yet to accept her membership resignation.) Jordan was not placed under church discipline. The *sin that Jordan has confessed to, use of child pornography, is defined as a crime. Why won’t The Village Church call it that?”

  5. I just returned from reading the entire linked page, and can’t believe (except that I can, because it really happened) how backwards this clearly is.

    If anyone doubts what you’ve been saying about these membership “covenants” being contracts that can and will be used against you at the church leadership’s whim, may the record show that they will.

  6. nmgirl wrote:

    So the pedophile is NOT under church discipline but the blameless wife is?

    The pedo is MALE.
    The blameless wife is FEMALE.
    Q.E.D.

  7. So the REAL crime here is that Karen won’t let the Village Church elders boss her!

    OMG!!! There just are not words!!!!

    I do not recognize the God I serve in the dealings or mentality of these men.

  8. From Steve Hardin’s text:
    “We know and Jordan knows … that he is at great fault and sin here and knows that at any minute he could be taken in and jailed.”
    It’s deeply concerning to me that the pastor of this church cannot* tell the difference between a sin and a crime. For example, it is a sin for me to call my neighbor an idiot, but it does not qualify as a crime.
    *Or, maybe in a misguided effort to be “pastoral” towards Jordan Root, he refuses to call it what it is. Of course, that removes any possibility for pastoral concern for the rest of the congregation.

  9. Josh, Doctor of Pulchritudinousness wrote:

    If anyone doubts what you’ve been saying about these membership “covenants” being contracts that can and will be used against you at the church leadership’s whim, may the record show that they will.

    Nothing more need be said.

  10. Why was The Village Church waiting for the results of the SIM report? Karen Root was right there in Dallas. Why was The Village Church not interacting with Karen who, as the wife, would know as much as anyone what was going on with her husband? I am presuming that she is the person that reported the information to SIM in the first place.

    Anyone can see from the communications that TVC views marriage as some sacred cow. Karen got married under false pretenses on her ex-husbands part and TVC is placing “the marriage” in a place of most importance. The marriage is more important than Karen. When will these men acknowledge that marriage is an institution to serve men and women. Men and women were not created to serve the institution of marriage.

    Another problem is the amount of control that TVC wants to exert over Karen. They want to control everything that is going on regarding his situation, without giving Karen the freedom of conscience to do what she believes she should do. It is quite unbelievable.

  11. Tim wrote:

    How a church establishes membership procedures and carries them out reveals a lot about whether its doctrine of ecclesiology is sound or not.

    Tim, as you said in the comment section….grace is something no longer to be found is it?

  12. Through a glass darkly wrote:

    The *sin that Jordan has confessed to, use of child pornography, is defined as a crime. Why won’t The Village Church call it that?”

    Your whole comment was what stuck out to me as well. Why is TVC treating Karen like the criminal? Did they even report Jordan”s crimes? Perhaps not, seeing that they didn’t even see fit to put him under formal church discipline.
    What is wrong with Matt Chandler?

  13. Well, that’s horrifying. A quick summary for those of you who don’t have time to read all those documents:

    Foreign missionary couple. The husband is a consumer of child porn. Their sending agency received a complaint, investigated, the husband confessed to being sexually attracted to prepubescent girls. Their agency sent them home.

    Their home church, The Village Church in Texas (5 locations) told the husband he was banned from the children’s building and that he needed to have someone with him when he went to worship services. You’ll notice that they didn’t mention that his sin is a CRIME or make any attempts to warn parents of children who may have been exposed to the husband.

    They tried to control all communication between the wife and her supporters. The wife decided to resign her membership of the church and in her resignation told them that she did not want to be at the church that was providing pastoral care for her husband. She also told the church that she had filed for an annulment based on fraud and that it would be quickly granted in their state.

    The church told her she couldn’t get an annulment without their say-so and that she couldn’t resign her membership because she was now under church discipline for having the temerity to make independent decisions.

    Church and church leaders continue the standard harassment. The criminal husband is not under church discipline, but the former wife (annulment has been granted) IS even though she is legally not a member and she could sue for harassment and win.

    It’s all so horrifying, yet familiar.

  14. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    Through a glass darkly wrote:
    The *sin that Jordan has confessed to, use of child pornography, is defined as a crime. Why won’t The Village Church call it that?”

    Your whole comment was what stuck out to me as well. Why is TVC treating Karen like the criminal? Did they even report Jordan”s crimes? Perhaps not, seeing that they didn’t even see fit to put him under formal church discipline.
    What is wrong with Matt Chandler?

    But Jordan said he repented! And he has willingly placed himself in a subordinate position, under the guidance of the elders.

    Karen is just plain a rebel.

    Nothing wrong. Nothing to see here. Move along.
    (answering the question “What is wrong with Matt Chandler?”)

  15. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    Did they even report Jordan”s crimes?

    According to the linked documents, they reported to the “appropriate legal authorities” in early January.

    However, it still seems like something is missing. There is mention of “pedophilia” in addition to “child pornography”. That seems like a more serious charge but I don’t know what that term actually covers.

  16. Does anyone know if pastors are considered mandated reporters under Texas law? As a Michigan pastor I would be obliged to contact Child Protective Services with any knowledge and evidence I had about the activity of a pedophile who was a member of my church or on the pastoral staff. If Texas law defines pastors as mandated reporters it is likely that Chandler and whoever else is included in decision-making at TVC have broken the law and a complaint should be filed.

  17. It is clear from these documents what these men worship. They worship the organization of The Village, and they worship themselves as the rulers of The Village. Karen is a rebellious daughter of Eve who will not submit to their authority. They will not be a shirker like Adam was, and they will put the Woman back in her rightful place under their rule. King Jesus does not rule either Karen or the Church. They rule, and they will not have King Jesus to rule over them.

    Even Dr. Fundy could not find their collective kephale.

  18. TW wrote:

    It becomes more evident why preachers like Chandler rallied behind Mahaney.

    Yes, it certainly does. The most important thing in the world to those men–every single one of them–is to protect their System and their position in that System. The children who are harmed and the men and women who are harmed simply Do.Not.Matter.

    This is a clear example of the deception of the evil one at work.

  19. They did not learn from Mahaney or Driscoll or any of the others. They cannot learn because they have set themselves above all those who could teach them. Their wisdom has made them fools.

  20. For info on mandated reporters of known/suspected child abuse, search for the **Child Welfare Information Gateway**. Then search for TEXAS statutes, and in the TOPIC section check the box on MANDATORY REPORTERS OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT.

    Here’s the info from the last time I looked this up for Texas statues. Sorry, I didn’t have time to double-check that the text at this site is the most current available:

    http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/txstatutes/FA/5/E/261/B/261.101

    Boldface added

    Citation: Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 261.101

    PERSONS REQUIRED TO REPORT; TIME TO REPORT

    (a) A person having cause to believe that a child’s physical or mental health or welfare has been adversely affected by abuse or neglect by any person shall immediately make a report as provided by this subchapter.

    (b) If a professional has cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected or may be abused or neglected, or that a child is a victim of an offense under Section 21.11, Penal Code, and the professional has cause to believe that the child has been abused as defined by Section 261.001 or 261.401, the professional shall make a report not later than the 48th hour after the hour the professional first suspects that the child has been or may be abused or neglected or is a victim of an offense under Section 21.11, Penal Code. A professional may not delegate to or rely on another person to make the report. In this subsection, “professional” means an individual who is licensed or certified by the state or who is an employee of a facility licensed, certified, or operated by the state and who, in the normal course of official duties or duties for which a license or certification is required, has direct contact with children. The term includes teachers, nurses, doctors, day-care employees, employees of a clinic or health care facility that provides reproductive services, juvenile probation officers, and juvenile detention or correctional officers.

    (c) The requirement to report under this section applies without exception to an individual whose personal communications may otherwise be privileged, including an attorney, a member of the clergy, a medical practitioner, a social worker, a mental health professional, and an employee of a clinic or health care facility that provides reproductive services.

  21. gardencurate wrote:

    Does anyone know if pastors are considered mandated reporters under Texas law?

    Yes, they are. But that doesn’t bother them. Some seem to think themselves above the law as well as any moral responsibility.

  22. I don’t even know where to begin. This is beyond nauseating. I sit here in my car in a Sam’s Club parking lot in south DFW, unable to move. Many, many friends and family who idolize TVC. Who attend TVC or Acts 29 affiliated churches. As I’ve mentioned before, I abruptly bailed on an Acts 29 church in DFW last year, much to the dismay of my husband. Taking the good Lord daily err never signed the ridiculous membership contract.
    Posted Amy’s blog to Facebook first thing this morning. Received a great response from a friend who also attended the Acts 29 church we left. He’s appalled and thinks it should hit mainstream media. TVC has far, far reaching tentacles in DFW, and beyond.
    Karen, thank you for telling your story. Amy, the Deebs, thank you for facilitating Karen’s story. May all who have ears, hear. May all who have eyes, see.

  23. First off. So sorry for your experience Ms. Hinkley. That is dreadful. My sympathies on your recent troubles.

    Wow, that church isn’t half pushy is it? More obsessed with maintaining their discipline and power then allowing a woman move on after such a horrible experience. That is just mind boggling. That is some sharia or Hasidic type religious control there. She said leave me alone, just leave her alone. Also what is their obsession with coming before the Lord in prayer together? Especially right away. If they want reconciliation, fine maybe they realized they screwed the pooch. But what’s wrong with waiting a while? The pastors communications to her are so bizarre and filled with Christianese I can’t really tell what he’s trying to do beyond remind her she can’t leave and that he just wants to pray with her and he loves her.

    Again, so sorry this is happening to you Ms. Hinkley.

  24. According to a couple sources I just checked, failure by a mandatory reporter (which includes clergy) to report suspected child abuse or neglect is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of up to 180 days and/or a fine of up to $2,000. The link below includes a link to the Texas Family Code, Chapter 261. Section 101 is on mandatory reporting, section 109 is on failure to report.

    https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/victims/childabuse.shtml

    Sec. 261.109. FAILURE TO REPORT; PENALTY. (a) A person commits an offense if the person is required to make a report under Section 261.101(a) and knowingly fails to make a report as provided in this chapter.

    (a-1) A person who is a professional as defined by Section 261.101(b) commits an offense if the person is required to make a report under Section 261.101(b) and knowingly fails to make a report as provided in this chapter.

    (b) An offense under Subsection (a) is a Class A misdemeanor […]

  25. Through a glass darkly wrote:

    Well, this is disturbing: “Jordan Root is currently a licensed professional counselor in the state of Texas, License Number: 68895.”

    Others have commented that the Texas legislature is very reluctant to interfere when Jeesus(TM) is invoked for justification. Closing ranks against Antichrist Secular Humanism and all that.

  26. Gram3 wrote:

    Yes, it certainly does. The most important thing in the world to those men–every single one of them–is to protect their System and their position in that System. The children who are harmed and the men and women who are harmed simply Do.Not.Matter.

    Just like the Soviet Communist Party.

  27. Gram3 wrote:

    It is clear from these documents what these men worship. They worship the organization of The Village, and they worship themselves as the rulers of The Village.

    “You are Number Six.”
    “Who is Number One?”
    “Be Seeing You!”

  28. Through a glass darkly wrote:

    Well, this is disturbing: “Jordan Root is currently a licensed professional counselor in the state of Texas, License Number: 68895.”
    I am hoping that his license can/will be revoked.

    Wait a minute — “licenses professional counselor” is also the Pedo?

    Perfect position for Grooming more Prey.
    And to block and cover up if need be.

  29. Nancy wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    That is exactly right. Let us hope that this situation will help people to understand that.

    For any who don’t know what my comment was about, it was an attempt to demonstrate that the actions of these men flow directly out of their doctrine. It seems incredible to those outside, but they are being absolutely consistent with their doctrine of Man and their doctrine of the Church.

    Yesterday or something, I commented that whenever these guys do something ridiculous or outrageous, it is because they are being consistent with their doctrine. I had no idea of this example of that principle.

    That is the toxicity of the doctrines. They are applied mindlessly and with no regard for wisdom, common sense, or the sense and teaching of the Bible and the example of the Lord whose name they claim. Their tassels are growing exceedingly long, and they are tripping over them as well as causing many to stumble.

  30. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    I can’t really tell what he’s trying to do beyond remind her she can’t leave and that he just wants to pray with her and he loves her.

    A friend of mine, and also an ex-member of our former cult, was told to substitute the word “control” every time they used the word “love.” So, ” . . . he just wants to pray with her and he controls her.” It’s a far more accurate description of what’s going on.

  31. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    The pastors communications to her are so bizarre and filled with Christianese I can’t really tell what he’s trying to do beyond remind her she can’t leave and that he just wants to pray with her and he loves her.

    Albequerque, that is the densest Christianese I have ever read or heard outside of a spoof. (And 40 years ago, I was exposed to a lot of Christianese-speakers.) Dotting all the “t”s until the eyes cross to the point even I couldn’t understand it. It literally sounds like a spoof (or a Christianese version of that fake scientific paper presented as a psych experiment to see if proper jargon could carry total nonsense).

  32. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Others have commented that the Texas legislature is very reluctant to interfere when Jeesus(TM) is invoked for justification. Closing ranks against Antichrist Secular Humanism and all that.

    Two words: Lester Roloff

  33. Gram3 wrote:

    For any who don’t know what my comment was about, it was an attempt to demonstrate that the actions of these men flow directly out of their doctrine.

    “Doctrine” or “Ideology, Comrade”?

  34. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    You are the pop culture guru. Wasn’t there something back in the 60’s or 70’s about The Village where the people had to conform mindlessly? That is the first thing that struck me after the outrage of what they have done. They don’t even refer to themselves as a church!

  35. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    gardencurate wrote:
    Does anyone know if pastors are considered mandated reporters under Texas law?

    Yes, they are. But that doesn’t bother them. Some seem to think themselves above the law as well as any moral responsibility.

    Laws of Man vs Word of GAWD and all that.

  36. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Albequerque, that is the densest Christianese I have ever read or heard outside of a spoof.

    One result of groupthink is the slide into self-parody. I asked someone on another thread if there is a script or a lexicon somewhere, because they all talk the same way, and it is very weird. I just cannot imagine Peter and Andrew speaking that way. Or Paul. Or Jesus, except in the movies.

  37. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Albequerque, that is the densest Christianese I have ever read or heard outside of a spoof. (

    If that level of word salad showed up in my usual circles we’d call Poe in a second.

    Except in an Age of Extremes like today, no matter how crazy you get as a spoof or Poe, there’s going to be some True Believer out there twice as crazy and Dead Serious.

  38. Did I read correctly Jordan Root is currently a licensed therapist with the state of Texas? I assume his license is current. Does anyone know if he is practicing at this time? Here’s my thought. At a minimum, TVC and those in the know should have reported these findings to the licensing arm for Texas therapists. I am of course going off the assumption this was not done? (Perhaps it has since been reported).
    Let me give you an example. I worked with a therapist/counselor in the Plano, TX area for years. Years. He specialized in sexual addiction (among other specialities, but this was an area he claimed to have PREVIOUSLY struggled in..porn etc). I attended a session as normal. Sat on his couch in his office which was directly across from his desk and computer. As we were beginning the session, he turned around in his chair at his desk (back to me) to close out what was on his screen. As he was minimizing/closing the various windows, guess what was on his screen? Yep. Porn. Clear as day. At least two naked women and a man. I presumed then as I do now they were adults..regardless, he was viewing porn on his work computer during the work day and most likely between sessions!!!!
    Let me tell you what I did. I immediately out of sheer nervousness, confusion, fear and embarassment looked down at the ground as if I was busy fumbling through my purse. It was an elephant in the room. We continued with the session. I can’t believe I did that. I have no clue what I discussed as it was literally like an out-of-body experience. Did I just see that? Did I REALLY just see that? The thoughts going through my mind. All that I had shared with him over the years of my own struggles, some of which were with porn (yes, women struggle with the sexual sin of pornography too). I paid for the session. $125. I left. I ran to my car and cried. Cried and cried. The violation felt was indescribable. I didn’t know what to do. I called him after about a half hour of deliberating and he answered. I confronted him with what I saw and he confessed. He did not deny it. He went on and on about still struggling, being a sinner blah blah blah. He wanted me to come back in for another session (on my dime) to discuss it!!!!!!
    Long story short, I told another therapist I was working with (a woman) what I witnessed. She reported this to the state of Texas. I never saw him again. I heard his license was suspended for a period of time while he was mandated to attend his own therapy. He was prohibited from working with women (I don’t know for how long). This occurred a handful of years ago and I do not know what the final outcome was.
    I say all of this to say – the state of Texas, if it hasn’t been alerted already, must be alerted. There must be an investigation by the state. He should not have the ability to practice again. Certainly not ever, ever with children.

  39. gardencurate wrote:

    Does anyone know if pastors are considered mandated reporters under Texas law? As a Michigan pastor I would be obliged to contact Child Protective Services with any knowledge and evidence I had about the activity of a pedophile who was a member of my church or on the pastoral staff. If Texas law defines pastors as mandated reporters it is likely that Chandler and whoever else is included in decision-making at TVC have broken the law and a complaint should be filed.

    Yes. Clergy are mandated reporters within 48 hours but in TX every citizen is a mandated reporter, and that’s been the law since 1971. http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/scanned/sessionLaws/62-0/SB_149_CH_902.pdf

  40. Gram3 wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Albequerque, that is the densest Christianese I have ever read or heard outside of a spoof.
    One result of groupthink is the slide into self-parody. I asked someone on another thread if there is a script or a lexicon somewhere, because they all talk the same way, and it is very weird. I just cannot imagine Peter and Andrew speaking that way. Or Paul. Or Jesus, except in the movies.

    I’m sure it’s acquired culture. I remember thinking how curious it was, when I first joined a group that prayed together out loud (college fellowship), the way that “Lord” or “Jesus” occurred every third word, as if God had ADD and His attention was going to wander if you didn’t remind Him who you were talking to, at frequent intervals.

    And then, going out into the world after college, I found it to be common practice in every prayer group I participated in.

    You pick up the language by living in the group of people using it. Like a church group calling a potluck “Pot Providence” or “shared meal” (because “luck”, you know, is an evil word). Pretty soon, you’re using “shared meal” when you talk to people who are outside the group, because it has been incorporated into your thought patterns.

  41. Melissa wrote:

    I don’t even know where to begin. This is beyond nauseating. I sit here in my car in a Sam’s Club parking lot in south DFW, unable to move. Many, many friends and family who idolize TVC. Who attend TVC or Acts 29 affiliated churches. As I’ve mentioned before, I abruptly bailed on an Acts 29 church in DFW last year, much to the dismay of my husband. Taking the good Lord daily err never signed the ridiculous membership contract.
    Posted Amy’s blog to Facebook first thing this morning. Received a great response from a friend who also attended the Acts 29 church we left. He’s appalled and thinks it should hit mainstream media. TVC has far, far reaching tentacles in DFW, and beyond.
    Karen, thank you for telling your story. Amy, the Deebs, thank you for facilitating Karen’s story. May all who have ears, hear. May all who have eyes, see.

    The Dallas Morning News had this story written and ready to go. That’s what we were waiting on. But then last week they pulled it and decided not to run it. It was going to be front page Sunday news we were told. If anyone would like to share this story with DFW media, please do!

  42. @ Melissa:

    I’m in Dallas too, but I’ve had no direct experience with The Village or Acts 29. I just am acquainted with people who have. I’m taken aback as well. And I will agree that they are influential throughout the city.

    TVC has always had a problem with total versus utter depravity. No one is a normal person who has made mistakes, everyone is “broken”. So the 9Marks church discipline is used to uphold their high moral standards and enforce works for members.

    My opinion is that they won’t consider that a creep took advantage of this system from the beginning to cultivate a super-righteous image of himself as he did very dark deeds. That would be them admitting they as an institution are flawed by sin (real total depravity), and that 9Marks, TGC, Chandler’s fame, etc. has not made them one of the few, proud, elite “healthy” churches. Not to mention, they were had. Instead they will hold the ridiculous position that pedophilia, a sin named as such by the pagans, is a go and sin no more issue and Jordan should be protected from the consequence of a justifiable divorce among other things. And, this position fits in the narratives they had in the first place.

    I am posting from mobile and copy-pasting links is tricky, but The Village’s membership documents are easy to find. Search “The Village Church membership” on Google to some of what I’ve talked about.

  43. The TX Dept of State Health has a roster of all LPCs, and sure enough, there is Jordan Root’s name on line 13801. In other words, there are PLENTY of others to choose from, folks. Especially if you have children, but even if you don’t, please stay away from this man. Column J is for “Attribute1” – it’s a shame we can’t update this spreadsheet to include “pedophile” in cell J13801.

    https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/counselor/lpc_rosters.shtm

  44. Amy Smith wrote:

    Melissa wrote:
    I don’t even know where to begin. This is beyond nauseating. I sit here in my car in a Sam’s Club parking lot in south DFW, unable to move. Many, many friends and family who idolize TVC. Who attend TVC or Acts 29 affiliated churches. As I’ve mentioned before, I abruptly bailed on an Acts 29 church in DFW last year, much to the dismay of my husband. Taking the good Lord daily err never signed the ridiculous membership contract.
    Posted Amy’s blog to Facebook first thing this morning. Received a great response from a friend who also attended the Acts 29 church we left. He’s appalled and thinks it should hit mainstream media. TVC has far, far reaching tentacles in DFW, and beyond.
    Karen, thank you for telling your story. Amy, the Deebs, thank you for facilitating Karen’s story. May all who have ears, hear. May all who have eyes, see.
    The Dallas Morning News had this story written and ready to go. That’s what we were waiting on. But then last week they pulled it and decided not to run it. It was going to be front page Sunday news we were told. If anyone would like to share this story with DFW media, please do!

    Do you know why they pulled it and decided not to run it? That’s crazy.

  45. Does anybody know what law enforcement is doing about the kiddie porn pedo….oops, repentant sinner?

  46. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:
    It is clear from these documents what these men worship. They worship the organization of The Village, and they worship themselves as the rulers of The Village.
    “You are Number Six.”
    “Who is Number One?”
    “Be Seeing You!”

    Sorry, missed this. Gramp3 informs me this is a reference to The Village I was thinking about. Again, I need to get out more.

  47. Amy Smith wrote:

    The Dallas Morning News had this story written and ready to go. That’s what we were waiting on. But then last week they pulled it and decided not to run it. It was going to be front page Sunday news we were told.

    Are any top editors at Dallas Morning News (or any major advertisers/money men) either Village Church big-tithers or allied GCB Megachurch big-tithers? “Doing The LOORD’s Work(TM) against those Heathens and their Antichrist System,” you know.

  48. Folks.

    One of the rules here is discussion of moderation is not allowed. Some topics will trip up moderation more than others. We will release appropriate comments as we get to them. Talking about it just means that there’s more work to be done in freeing up moderated comments.

    GBTC

  49. @ gardencurate:this will all make sense when I write the narrative. Understand that he was using child porn in a foreign country. Although Jordan knows exactly what he did ,the evidence is unavailable.
    This stuff has been reported at least by sim

  50. Through a glass darkly wrote:

    The TX Dept of State Health has a roster of all LPCs, and sure enough, there is Jordan Root’s name on line 13801. In other words, there are PLENTY of others to choose from, folks. Especially if you have children, but even if you don’t, please stay away from this man. Column J is for “Attribute1″ – it’s a shame we can’t update this spreadsheet to include “pedophile” in cell J13801.
    https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/counselor/lpc_rosters.shtm

    Well, we can’t update the spreadsheet, but I certainly contacted them and included a link to the blog with all the documents. Hopefully, they will take action. Children need to be protected from this man.

  51. Dawn Mathis, a former member of The Village Church commenting on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stuffchristianculturelikes/posts/10153996800528782?comment_id=10153996940798782&offset=0&total_comments=9&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R0%22%7D

    This makes me sick. My husband and I used to be members and even leaders in TVC and although we were never “under church discipline,” I sat in on a discipline meeting as a support person and knew people and heard stories of others who were disciplined. This is absolutely the way they control and silence their members. Their practices should be exposed. I went through the membership class and I don’t think it’s clear to people becoming members that this kind of treatment is what they’re signing up for. It’s spiritual abuse, not “love.” I’m so glad she saved the emails and documented everything so they can be exposed. Women get the short end of the stick in this system and are blamed for men’s behavior. There is no reason for a church to have this kind of influence on its members. Especially when they say they trust God.

  52. So according to Village Church, offending the elders is a bigger sin than pedophilia. Good to know. Because I’m pretty sure it’s not those who offend the elders that Jesus said deserved having a millstone tied around their neck and being cast into the sea.

    This extreme example proves clearly that the so-called “membership covenant” of the Village Church is entirely inconsistent with Scripture. They are simply imposing the rule of man, and no member of the body of Christ is in any way obligated to obey their extra-Biblical instruction.

    Leave this church and don’t look back.

  53. You want a real fright, consider the fact that the SBC through the NAMB is planting hundreds of ACTs 29 knockoff churches. Matt Chandler and The Village is the gold star standard for how to run a church and it’s what all the “preacher boys” coming out of Southern and the other seminaries are taught is the “correct” model for how to run a church. Millions of dollars from the SBC to further what is really a cult mentality.

  54. Gram3 wrote:

    It seems incredible to those outside, but they are being absolutely consistent with their doctrine of Man and their doctrine of the Church.

    Yes, this is accurate. On the inside, all of this seems perfectly normal, which is why they are quick to assure us that we don’t know “the whole story”. They are confident all we need is more information to “get it”, not realizing that “the whole story” doesn’t make sense at all. Reading through these documents this reminds me of how my church handled my own divorce, only much less over the top. Still, I received text messages after the fact that just hurt, and I honestly think they were trying to be loving, but they didn’t understand that their failure to regard me as a person made it worse (they regarded me as an application of their theology).

    I had to be very practiced not to argue back, but just to responded with “please stop.” It did work after a few times.

    But I think a lot of the evangelical church lives in an echo chamber where there is just this distorted view of what real life looks like because all they are doing is listening to their own words. And they can’t understand what is immediately apparent to anyone on the outside.

  55. Good grief. I mean, when did “pastoral care” become “crazy stalker behavior”? Because that’s all this is. I take that back; it’s worse. It’s “crazy stalker behavior in Jesus’ name amen”.

  56. Has anyone called law enforcement? Has anyone contacted whatever agency issued this guy’s counseling license. Surely at least that could be revoked, and quite possibly criminal charges of some kind might be brought. And surely CPS might be interested if the church knowingly allowed him access to kids.

    Given the unlikeliness that the church will do anything, this seems like the best bet. A good subpoena or two might bring to light quite a bit.

  57. Here’s part of the problem that needs to be known. Dee ran into this situation with her child sex abuse situation with Providence Baptist in Raleigh. The Raleigh News & Observer was supposed to report and cover the sex abuse scandal but a big wig in Providence Baptist who worked for the North Carolina power company called the News and Observer and threatened to pull advertising funding from the paper if they covered it. Thus Providence was able to shut down the story from being reported. Something similar happened here…

    Originally Amy Smith and Karen Root contacted the Dallas Morning News. The Dallas Morning News (DMN) was originally to break this story. The DMN investigated it, and had all the documents. The attorney for the DMN signed off on all the paperwork. This story was supposed to be broken by the DMN this Sunday. Then what happened is that some powers from a company or coproration that be at The Village Church contacted the DMN and in all likelihood threatened to pull advertising funding if the Dallas Morning News published the story. As the print media is dying the Dallas Morning News scrapped the story and decided not to run it. Thus, The Village Church thought they squashed the story.

    Karen is a brave, brave woman. This story highlights many things to include:

    Problems in Neo-Calvinism
    Problems in church discipline
    Problems in Mark Driscoll’s DNA all over the Acts 29 network
    Problems in church membership covenants
    Problems in churches following the law.

  58. Jeff S wrote:

    On the inside, all of this seems perfectly normal, which is why they are quick to assure us that we don’t know “the whole story”. They are confident all we need is more information to “get it”, not realizing that “the whole story” doesn’t make sense at all.

    This explains Matt Chandler’s tweets. Thanks for the clarification.

  59. I’m dumbstruck. Anything other than care and concern for the betrayed wife is the first and only point of action. To start throwing their supposed authority around and demanding her compliance to their dictates is boggling.

    I would think that even if these leaders didn’t care for this woman, which they obviously don’t, they would at least have the understanding how their actions are going to condemn them in the court of public opinion.

    In this case even extreme profanity doesn’t suite these leaders, they appear utterly corrupt, and to top it off they must use the same public relations firm as Kim Jong-un.

    Hopefully Karen Hinkley will have some people that will provide the caring and support she needs, a capability the “leaders” of her former church are so sorely missing.

  60. Eagle wrote:

    Karen is a brave, brave woman. This story highlights many things to include:

    Mainly problems in the hearts of men who call themselves leaders/pastors/elders.

    How many “men” in leadership at TVC know about this situation but didn’t act differently than the majority? It really is scary to think about it.

  61. refugee wrote:

    Jeff S wrote:
    On the inside, all of this seems perfectly normal, which is why they are quick to assure us that we don’t know “the whole story”. They are confident all we need is more information to “get it”, not realizing that “the whole story” doesn’t make sense at all.
    This explains Matt Chandler’s tweets. Thanks for the clarification.

    Who will push back against his tweets?? Tweets get tweeted to your friends, or those who think along the same lines. These leaders live in bubbles!

  62. Dee wrote:

    @ Amy Smith:
    It is interesting that the story got pulled after the news told us they contacted the village church. Absolutely fascinating

    We know of other church leaders who have made use of blackmail to stop the flow of information. Is it possible that TVC should be added to the list?

  63. Bill M wrote:

    I would think that even if these leaders didn’t care for this woman, which they obviously don’t, they would at least have the understanding how their actions are going to condemn them in the court of public opinion.

    I suspect they know exactly how the public is going to view it. That’s probably why the DMN isn’t running the story after contacting TVC.

  64. There is so much wrong with this story. I am so sorry this lady had gone through this.

    One thing that stood out to me (out of the hundreds of wrong things in it) were the creepster text messages one of the church preachers kept sending her.

    She quit their church, and two months later, one of the preachers is texting her.

    She makes it clear in response to the first text she wants nothing to do with him / the church (her quitting two months prior should have been clue enough), but every so often, he keeps texting her anyway, days apart.

    He comes across like the creepy, mentally unglued ex-boyfriend who keeps stalking you, who won’t accept the relationship is over, even though you have broken things off and have made it clear you want nothing more to do with him.

    In one of the texts, the preacher says that he heard or found out that she was moving away from Dallas – so he’s spying on her too (that’s how it looked to me). Creepy.

    He wrote, “Some mutual friends have shared with me that you are making plans to move away…”

    What is the deal with the continued pressure on her to meet with him (the preacher)? He keeps asking her over and over to meet with him, and later adds she can bring a friend if she wants.

    He tells her in one text, “I do not mean to cross any bounds here.”

    Too late. That was in his second or third text, after she had already told the guy in a civil fashion to buzz off. Bounds had already been crossed.

  65. Eagle wrote:

    Problems in Neo-Calvinism
    Problems in church discipline
    Problems in Mark Driscoll’s DNA all over the Acts 29 network
    Problems in church membership covenants
    Problems in churches following the law.

    Problems in complementarianism
    Problems in 9Marks
    Problems in spiritual elitism and church idolatry

  66. As someone who is not firmly planted in the Christian faith any longer (I’m only somewhat Christian these days), a small thing that troubled me about this, was the fake-sounding, pious, Christianese terminology in the preacher’s writing.

    This kind of thing may not have bothered me as much in the past, but now the preacher’s Bible Guy sounding delivery makes me roll my eyes or cringe – it sounds cheesy, insincere, and manipulative to me now.

    The preacher used churchy phrases with her such as, “…for our Fathers glory I would like to hear your heart,” “we have counseled him to trust in the Lord in facing the consequences…,” “until then, may be Christ be exalted in all things,” and “continue to know our Fathers mercies are new every day.”

    That no longer sounds to me how a person would write or talk in every day, regular correspondence.

    It sounds more like how someone living in the evangelical bubble would communicate. It sounds Stepford Christianish.

    Do evangelical preachers take courses in seminary called “Overly religious, cheese ball, Christianse Rhetoric and Correspondence 101”?

    Followed by: “How to Sound Like A Robot Who is Programmed With Religious Phrases and Vague Biblical References 202”?

  67. Elizabeth Lee wrote:

    Through a glass darkly wrote:
    The TX Dept of State Health has a roster of all LPCs, and sure enough, there is Jordan Root’s name on line 13801. In other words, there are PLENTY of others to choose from, folks. Especially if you have children, but even if you don’t, please stay away from this man. Column J is for “Attribute1″ – it’s a shame we can’t update this spreadsheet to include “pedophile” in cell J13801.
    https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/counselor/lpc_rosters.shtm
    Well, we can’t update the spreadsheet, but I certainly contacted them and included a link to the blog with all the documents. Hopefully, they will take action. Children need to be protected from this man.

    How can we report the Church’s Pastors for failure to report? I’ll ring from England if I need to. The likelihood of Jordan’s offences being soley screen based are very small given his extensive contacts with children, & his choice of a career giving him access to vulnerable and young children, despite him (surely) understanding this was wrong. Karen is right to keep repeating her warning as those Pastors are naieve imbeciles. Jordan needs the American equivalent of a MAPPA & someone with half a brain keep a very close eye on him WHEN HE GETS OUT OF THE PRISON HE SHOULD BE IN.

  68. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    A friend of mine, and also an ex-member of our former cult, was told to substitute the word “control” every time they used the word “love

    Good one…that is so helpful!

  69. @ Daisy:
    It’s called “living in a bubble.”

    I have spent too much time on this today, but some of it brought back past experience and I had to process it over again. It’s still painful, but the processing part is getting clearer to work through. I now go to tend to other things. Thank you, Dee and Deb and Julie Ann and Amy and others, for shining light on these matters.

  70. Karen,

    Thank you for having the courage to come forward with your incredible testimony. Keeping you in my prayers.

  71. refugee wrote:

    @ Daisy:
    It’s called “living in a bubble.”

    Just one more thing. I know at least a couple of pastors who would talk like the guy in the text messages, and they would see it as being concerned and caring. They would want to be “understanding” of her hurt and have a chance to set things right (because now somehow they are the wronged party, because she left without “leaving well” and giving them the chance to have their say…).

    And now my throat is closing tight again, and that familiar feeling of dread is arising, that plea to “reason together” — which to *them* sounds eminently reasonable, and to me feels like trying to fasten the chains on again, that fell off when I was set free. (See “And Can It Be?”, a hopeful hymn where I get shivers, singing about the dungeon flaming with light and the chains falling off)

    But I can’t sit here any longer, avoiding the things that need to be done, while the past tries to grab me. Even though I know that church is still out there, and friends are trapped there and cannot see their way free.

  72. Jeff S wrote:

    But I think a lot of the evangelical church lives in an echo chamber where there is just this distorted view of what real life looks like because all they are doing is listening to their own words. And they can’t understand what is immediately apparent to anyone on the outside.

    I think another facet to this story and the Mahaney one is that this is a guy who is a product of the System, but is nevertheless a failure. He is the personification of the deficiency of their Perfect System which keeps all the Bad Stuff from happening and which produces only a wonderful Mingling of Souls. [retch] This guy Root is the defeater of their entire argument. I’m assuming he went to Cedarville, which is now an SBC university/college. He’s an Insider. He proves that the guarantees given to men that they will be cured and to women that they will be protected from predatory men are all lies. And worse, they are lies of law rather than Gospel truth.

    I spent some time on Chandler’s twitter feed. Oh my, what a mess of arrogance, self-importance and promotion and pious drivel. Besides the passive-aggressive swipes at Karen–at least that’s how they come across–he had one that he wrote in between a funeral and a wedding that proclaims that they are both celebrations! Well, yes, a funeral is a celebration, but seriously that is the wrong time to tweet to the world your neat little theology. It is not what a pastor does. It is what an idealogue does.

    There is also a video where Lauren tells a woman whose husband has sexually sinned that the woman (Karen) needs to remember that she has failed, too. Isn’t this right out of the sin-leveling playbook? There is something seriously, deeply wrong here, and it is crystal clear to me that Chandler is Driscoll for North Dallas.

  73. refugee wrote:

    I know at least a couple of pastors who would talk like the guy in the text messages, and they would see it as being concerned and caring. They would want to be “understanding” of her hurt and have a chance to set things right (because now somehow they are the wronged party, because she left without “leaving well” and giving them the chance to have their say…).

    And now my throat is closing tight again, and that familiar feeling of dread is arising, that plea to “reason together” — which to *them* sounds eminently reasonable, and to me feels like trying to fasten the chains on again, that fell off when I was set free.

    When I read some of the comments at TWW I think that we must know the same people. Or there is a master script somewhere. The way you describe the feeling of dread and the chains is so vividly true to me.

  74. Jeff S wrote:

    they are quick to assure us that we don’t know “the whole story”

    I may not know the whole story, it can never excuse the following paragraph written by Matt Younger, a “pastor” at the church, to Karen:

    “In addition, we have been perplexed by your decision to file for an annulment of your marriage without first abiding by your covenant obligations to submit to the care and direction of your elders. As I mentioned in my first letter, this decision violates your covenant with us–and places you under discipline. Per section 10.5 of The Village Church bylaw, you are prohibited from voluntarily resigning membership while subject to the formal disciplinary process. We cannot, therefore accept your resignation.”

    Simply incredible. Perplexed?
    She’s violating her covenant?

    Her ex violated his covenant with her, big time. How many covenants are these “leaders” violating by their actions?

    “places you under discipline”

    “you are prohibited from voluntarily resigning membership”

    just wow, fascist churchianity

    Anyone still want to sign a membership “agreement”?

  75. Gram3 wrote:

    Well, yes, a funeral is a celebration

    Eh, I’ve always disagreed with this view. As Christians, we do not celebrate death. Death is a product of the fall and something we were not designed for. We can celebrate that there is hope and Jesus has overcome death, but a funeral is not the place for it. Death SHOULD be sad for us because it is completely against our created design.

    Now AFTER a death is perhaps the time for dancing . . .

  76. Bill M wrote:

    She’s violating her covenant?
    Her ex violated his covenant with her, big time.

    Read closer. She violated her covenant to THE CHURCH by not seeking their wisdom before her choice to annul the marriage. They aren’t mad (yet) that she left. They are made she didn’t get their permission first.

  77. Daisy wrote:

    As someone who is not firmly planted in the Christian faith any longer (I’m only somewhat Christian these days), a small thing that troubled me about this, was the fake-sounding, pious, Christianese terminology in the preacher’s writing.
    This kind of thing may not have bothered me as much in the past, but now the preacher’s Bible Guy sounding delivery makes me roll my eyes or cringe – it sounds cheesy, insincere, and manipulative to me now.
    The preacher used churchy phrases with her such as, “…for our Fathers glory I would like to hear your heart,” “we have counseled him to trust in the Lord in facing the consequences…,” “until then, may be Christ be exalted in all things,” and “continue to know our Fathers mercies are new every day.”
    That no longer sounds to me how a person would write or talk in every day, regular correspondence.
    It sounds more like how someone living in the evangelical bubble would communicate. It sounds Stepford Christianish.
    Do evangelical preachers take courses in seminary called “Overly religious, cheese ball, Christianse Rhetoric and Correspondence 101″?
    Followed by: “How to Sound Like A Robot Who is Programmed With Religious Phrases and Vague Biblical References 202″?

    Daisy, as a seminary alumni, I really wonder what they are teaching now? They don’t know their Bible. they don’t know Church History….the theology is questionable at best….I think some of these seminaries are pseudo-business schools.

  78. Jeff S wrote:

    As Christians, we do not celebrate death. Death is a product of the fall and something we were not designed for. We can celebrate that there is hope and Jesus has overcome death, but a funeral is not the place for it.

    No, we don’t celebrate death, but at a funeral we can (I have) celebrate the life of the one who has gone on ahead. I once had a Christian give me the “we can all be joyful” treatment right after I had to say goodbye to someone very dear to me. To say that was inappropriate would be a gross understatement, and it was very hurtful because it denied the legitimacy of my grief. It’s almost like they think that grieving is a denial of the hope of the Gospel. But I think it is an indicator of how shallow our “theology” really is when it can be reduced to a trite little soundbite. Jesus didn’t do that.

  79. Jeff S wrote:

    She violated her covenant to THE CHURCH

    Or I could argue that her “pastors” violated their part of the covenant to protect her, so they nullified it before she nullified it. Or maybe pastoral responsibility is not in their “covenant.” Basically “pastor” has been re-defined into “boss.” Same as “husband” has been re-defined.

    Maybe elastigirl will start a list of terms that have been re-defined. Conveniently.

  80. Jeff S wrote:

    We can celebrate that there is hope and Jesus has overcome death, but a funeral is not the place for it.

    I’ve always loved a good jazz funeral.

  81. Gram3 wrote:

    but at a funeral we can (I have) celebrate the life of the one who has gone on ahead.

    I agree. I think this is an option available to the attendee; however, I think far too many this perspective is pushed on them and they are denied the chance to grieve.

    I have led worship for funerals, so I understand myself that there is/can be an element of celebration to a funeral. But it’s not a word I’d use to characterize the entire event.

    Anyway, sorry to take this off track. 😀

  82. Jeff S wrote:

    a funeral is not the place for it

    Re-thinking this- it’s not quite right. We *can* celebrate the life ahead, but it’s not the entire characterization of what a funeral is.

  83. Bill M wrote:

    Simply incredible. Perplexed?

    I don’t know if you have been inside this particular church neighborhood, but this is how they speak. I’ve been in those “perplexed” meetings. What it means is that she has usurped their authority to direct her life. It is their way of putting the problem on her. Her husband is the Good Person in their view because he is submitting to them. She is the Bad Person because she is taking action independently of her spiritual Directors. That is something that is far worse than pedophilia because her “sin” is an echo of their definition of the Original Sin which they claim is the Woman’s usurpation of and rebellion against the Man’s authority. It is the idolatry of Man which makes them such blind guides.

  84. Jeff S wrote:

    We *can* celebrate the life ahead, but it’s not the entire characterization of what a funeral is.

    I don’t think it is off-track at all insofar as it illustrates the problem we have with elevating abstract theology over people and their needs. That’s what happened with you in your situation and what happened with me in my situation though the details are different. The mistake is the same.

    My God is big enough to hear “Thank you that he/she is with you” and “Why did you take him/her away from me!” Sadly I think that some people worship a God who is small-minded and brittle with OCD/NPD characteristics.

  85. A funeral is for the living, not the dead. It is the living who are hurting. To make light of that is totally not acceptable. I do think that Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus.

  86. Through a glass darkly wrote:

    Well, this is disturbing: “Jordan Root is currently a licensed professional counselor in the state of Texas, License Number: 68895.”
    I am hoping that his license can/will be revoked.

    Is it just me, or does this appear to be the same Jordan Root from Dallas, Texas that was involved with a special organization dedicated to “…victims and survivors of child sex trafficking.”

    https://twitter.com/belovedaughters

  87. I think the U.S. Department of Justice needs to be contacted. If the guy was looking at child porn overseas, he had to do it on a computer. What are the chances that computer came back to the states? What are the chances that he brought that computer back with him? Or put that stuff in a Dropbox or other file sharing service? Seriously, if the guy is a US citizen looking at kiddie porn overseas, I’m thinking the Justice Dept. would want to know.

  88. @ Mr.H:
    Mr.H wrote:

    Is it just me, or does this appear to be the same Jordan Root from Dallas, Texas that was involved with a special organization dedicated to “…victims and survivors of child sex trafficking.”

    Most likely yes. You may want to check out Cedarville University in which he started groups dedicated to helping victims of sex trafficking.

    Imagine that? He shows *concern* for victims while participating in child porn which is the hotbed for sex trafficking. Think about the psych issues involved with this one.

    And he isn’t the one disciplined-his ex wife is. Blech!

  89. Jeff S wrote:

    Read closer. She violated her covenant to THE CHURCH by not seeking their wisdom before her choice to annul the marriage. They aren’t mad (yet) that she left. They are made she didn’t get their permission first.

    I did understand that, the actions by her ex precipitated the whole thing. I was implying her decision was completely justified and these “leaders” are not.

    You do point out a central issue. These leaders think they have total control over her life and that she cannot, does not, have the ability to act as an independent person and must seek their approval for her actions no matter how justified she is.

    Some may now imply that the because she is is a she and not a he, that the things would be treated differently for a he. I would share that asumption.

  90. I’m wondering how many more stories will come out about the Village Church? There’s always more where that came from.

    I am curious, too, about how much Karen being a woman is interplaying into how she has been treated on top of the poor understanding of church polity and church discipline and all the other bubble-like things they are doing. People have already made good points here and I only nod in agreement.

    A clue into the culture of the Village and women there: Lore Ferguson is a woman from the Village who has suddenly (and oddly) been pushed to the forefront of Christian celebrity culture. She comes across really codependent and brainwashed in her blogs, and her writing is not that good and she is being marketed in a way that seems strange to me. See this about how she perceives herself and the Village Church:

    http://sayable.net/2015/03/the-loveliest-church-in-all-the-land/

  91. Gram3 wrote:

    She is the Bad Person because she is taking action independently of her spiritual Directors

    You apparently made the point before I did.

    The amazing part is you are not resorting to hyperbole, I know of no other way to interpret their actions. They are putting themselves up as gods over us when even the true God doesn’t micromanage our lives as they demand to do.

  92. Amy Smith, you and Karen are freaking heroes.

    I’m exhausted. I’ll see you all tomorrow. <3

  93. Emily wrote:

    See this about how she perceives herself and the Village Church:

    Never forget the Matt Chandler’s friend, CJ Mahaney, called his SGM church “the happiest church on earth.” Bizarre shepherding lingo.

  94. @ Albuquerque Blue:

    Another super creepy, stalkerish sounding part:

    LET THIS SINK IN. Pastor Steve Hardin of The Village Church inadvertently copied Karen on an email intended for TVC pastors Richard Brindley and Matt Younger after receiving word of her letter to withdraw her church membership:
    —–
    Any back story on her email? Where is she living? Have we tried to help push her under our *care?

    “Push her under our care?” Asking about her where-abouts? 😯

  95. Brian wrote:

    BeenThereDoneThat wrote:
    Did they even report Jordan”s crimes?
    According to the linked documents, they reported to the “appropriate legal authorities” in early January.
    However, it still seems like something is missing. There is mention of “pedophilia” in addition to “child pornography”. That seems like a more serious charge but I don’t know what that term actually covers.

    Pedophila is generally defined as sexual attraction to children, which in and of itself is not a crime. However, the word is sometimes applied to those to act out on those attractions, which becomes one of the following crimes: child sexual abuse, child pornography.

  96. @ Gram3:

    I didn’t get the kind of support I needed or wanted my mother died a few years ago, not even from Christians.
    My grief was, and still is, being (mis)characterized by some Christians as self-absorption, or I was told by others to stuff the feelings down and go help other people. I also got churchy, Bibley platitudes from yet other believers.

    If one more Christian tells me to go volunteer at a soup kitchen to cope with the fall-out of the death, I may punch a hole in the wall.

    (I have done volunteer work before, and it’s not the salve Christians make it out to be, or, I don’t believe in living in denial and doing “busy work” to stuff pain down.)

  97. Gram3 wrote:

    refugee wrote:
    I know at least a couple of pastors who would talk like the guy in the text messages, and they would see it as being concerned and caring. They would want to be “understanding” of her hurt and have a chance to set things right (because now somehow they are the wronged party, because she left without “leaving well” and giving them the chance to have their say…).
    And now my throat is closing tight again, and that familiar feeling of dread is arising, that plea to “reason together” — which to *them* sounds eminently reasonable, and to me feels like trying to fasten the chains on again, that fell off when I was set free.
    When I read some of the comments at TWW I think that we must know the same people. Or there is a master script somewhere. The way you describe the feeling of dread and the chains is so vividly true to me.

    Perhaps it’s taught at those leader conferences, you know, the ones that only men attend.

  98. @ Daisy:
    Yes, and she does not want those control types at TVC to know where she is living. They send her texts on her phone late at night. We have seen those texts ourselves.

  99. dee wrote:

    Emily wrote:
    See this about how she perceives herself and the Village Church:
    Never forget the Matt Chandler’s friend, CJ Mahaney, called his SGM church “the happiest church on earth.” Bizarre shepherding lingo.

    If I say it enough times and hear it enough times, it must be true. Magical thinking.

  100. dee wrote:

    @ Daisy:
    Yes, and she does not want those control types at TVC to know where she is living. They send her texts on her phone late at night. We have seen those texts ourselves.

    Could she sic the phone company and possibly the cops on them for phone harassment? (Or has TVC made sure the cops are on in their pocket a la ToJo & Bob Greiner?)

  101. Dee wrote:

    @ Amy Smith:
    It is interesting that the story got pulled after the news told us they contacted the village church. Absolutely fascinating

    News media: Bought and Paid For, Praise The LOOOOOORD(TM).

  102. dee wrote:

    You may want to check out Cedarville University in which he started groups dedicated to helping victims of sex trafficking

    Oh, my goodness. He started a group called Broken Chains.
    http://digitalcommons.cedarville.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1068&context=cedars
    (Scroll down to the article titled “Ministry Reaches Modern Outcasts.”)

    Is there a name for this behavior? I’m not sure if it is technically grooming, but I don’t know.

  103. @ dee:

    I read a book by Lundy Bancroft about spouse abuse.

    As Bancroft explains (and gives examples), some abusers perform mental gymnastics to justify their own failings while simultaneously condemning the same (or even lesser) failings done by other abusers. He would see this on a regular basis in the group therapy sessions with spouse abusers.

    Maybe the same holds true for people who prey on children.

    I also see a slight similarity to Mark Driscoll on that point.

    Driscoll has said in sermons or blogs how deeply he cares about abused women, he has told men to stop looking at naughty magazines and so on, but then he turns around in other sermons, blogs, and books and essentially tells married women they are nothing but play things and blow-up dolls for their husbands.

    Driscoll both condemns and supports the exploitation of women – at least by their husbands. Looks like the same dynamic to me.

  104. @ Bridget:

    I will never again purchase a Dallas Morning New paper, and if I learn who the advertiser(s) was (were) who caused the pull, I will boycott them as well. Can anyone tell us who that was?

  105. Brian wrote:

    According to the linked documents, they reported to the “appropriate legal authorities” in early January.

    Thanks, Brian.

  106. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    dee wrote:
    You may want to check out Cedarville University in which he started groups dedicated to helping victims of sex trafficking

    Oh, my goodness. He started a group called Broken Chains.
    http://digitalcommons.cedarville.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1068&context=cedars
    (Scroll down to the article titled “Ministry Reaches Modern Outcasts.”)
    Is there a name for this behavior? I’m not sure if it is technically grooming, but I don’t know.

    Yeah, did you notice the T-shirts? 🙁 It’s disgusting.
    I think Dee’s including this on Monday.

    Gosh, I have to lock up the computer if I want to stay away.

  107. XianJaneway wrote:

    Gosh, I have to lock up the computer if I want to stay away.

    No kidding! I’ve been trying to follow the convo on two blogs plus google and read on the breaking Josh Duggar story.
    Go get some rest.

  108. gardencurate wrote:

    Does anyone know if pastors are considered mandated reporters under Texas law? As a Michigan pastor I would be obliged to contact Child Protective Services with any knowledge and evidence I had about the activity of a pedophile who was a member of my church or on the pastoral staff. If Texas law defines pastors as mandated reporters it is likely that Chandler and whoever else is included in decision-making at TVC have broken the law and a complaint should be filed.

    Good question: helpful chart on page 3 of this report:

    https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/clergymandated.pdf

  109. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    That is just mind boggling. That is some sharia or Hasidic type religious control there.

    What’s really ironic in the Texas-Oklahoma Bible belt is that the drive to get anti-Muslim and anti-Sharia laws on the books are fueled in large part by these same fundagelicals who want to practice their own form of Sharia with impunity.

  110. I think the chances that this man refrained from molesting children are virtually zero. Were he attempting to substitute looking at child pornography (the possession of which is a serious felony itself) for sexual contact with children, he would not have chosen to work and volunteer with them. In fact, if he were really motivated to refrain from acting on his attraction to children, he would be avoiding both.

    How those pastors can tell Karen to stay quiet because her ex SAID he didn’t molest any child is beyond me. It is unconscionable when in all likelihood there are children who need help. Of course everything about how they handled this crime is unconscionable. Instead of trying to discipline Karen, they should be following her example. She is the true Christian leader. As is Amy.

  111. @Beakerj,

    Just a note to let you know how much I appreciate your advocacy efforts for youth, children, and others in need — all of the way from across The Pond
    in the U.K.

    I also love your testimony, love for the Lord, sense of justice, and sense of humor.

    Kudos from California!

  112. Bill M wrote:

    Bill M wrote:
    They are putting themselves up as gods over us
    duh thanks for your patience with me, I’m coming around.

    Sorry, I’m missing what you mean about patience and coming around. The language and thinking is Situation Normal for me, but it must seem like the Twilight Zone to some folks.

  113. K.D. wrote:

    I think some of these seminaries are pseudo-business schools.

    Oh gosh, please don’t lump my environment in with these people. I teach BBA and MBA students at an AACSB-accredited state business school, total uni enrollment 20,000+. We have standards, we enforce them on the students, often much to their chagrin (I fail or force into dropping up to 25% of my students each semester), no one is gifted a degree (such as in many seminaries, particularly the rigid-agenda ones where academic standards are low and getting through is more a matter of internalizing the party line than developing an active, flexible, well-educated mind). We do not have party lines and rigid dogma: some professors are right wing, some are left wing, some believe in group projects, some (such as me) despise them, some are Keynesians, some are Chicago School, some of my law faculty colleagues learn more towards the Living Document Theory, some (such as me) are Originalists. We are from all over the country and the world, our beliefs and styles are all over the board, we probably represent a diverse Body, such as described by Paul in I Cor., more than any neocal or SBC church in the country.

    I know you meant no harm or offense, and truly none taken, K.D., but let me tell you, those seminaries would do well to become like a state business school!

  114. Those emails are really bad. TVC knew he had looked at child porn, and yet describe the situation as merely “awkward” and invite church members (and presumably their families, which could include children) to hang out with Jordan? And this advice (seemingly) stands for 3 whole months before the email explaining what Jordan had actually done (and it was obvious from the earlier emails that it was something REALLY bad). But then in the 3/13 email they say Jordan’s access to children had been restricted since December. If that’s the case, those restrictions must have been communicated internally or verbally, because there was nothing in any of the previous emails to congregants.

    You are in no position to make these decisions apart from your covenant community and the leadership God has provided you for your growth and protection.

    Well that pretty much sums it up right there, doesn’t it. This is worded as if she’s a legal minor (i.e. a 6yo) who just doesn’t understand that eating pizza and cookies three meals a day for the rest of her life would be bad for her.

    The last thing we want is to lose the privilege of caring for you in this difficult season.

    Replace “the privilege of caring for you” = “control of you” and we appear to have another good summary of how this church operates. I have serious doubts about whether a church refusing to recognize a membership withdrawal, would stand up in court.

    Have we tried to help push her under our care?

    Wow. That’s so…stunningly up-front.

  115. dee wrote:

    @ Mr.H:
    Mr.H wrote:
    Is it just me, or does this appear to be the same Jordan Root from Dallas, Texas that was involved with a special organization dedicated to “…victims and survivors of child sex trafficking.”
    Most likely yes. You may want to check out Cedarville University in which he started groups dedicated to helping victims of sex trafficking.
    Imagine that? He shows *concern* for victims while participating in child porn which is the hotbed for sex trafficking. Think about the psych issues involved with this one.
    And he isn’t the one disciplined-his ex wife is. Blech!

    So appalling. Words fail.

    Praying for Karen and her kids, and for those victims affected by Jordan – both in the pornography itself and possibly in person.

    I remember last year when Acts 29 kicked out Driscoll and MHC, and a bunch of Acts 29 defenders came out of the woodwork claiming that Acts 29 culture is not the same as Mars Hill Church culture, and that Chandler is very different from Driscoll.

    It’s beginning to look like the culture of The Village Church isn’t very different from Mars Hill Church or SGM churches…

    For the record, in my former Acts 29 church, there were a number of men who confessed to pornography addictions, and a couple that involved domestic abuse – both verbal and physical – and in almost every case, the approach was similar to what we are seeing with TVC’s handling of Jordan Root’s situation:

    – slow to action
    – err on the side of the husband
    – a declaration of “repentance” from the husband means that the wife must “forgive”
    – the wife’s “forgiveness” means that she must stop dwelling on the issue, or raise further concerns/critiques
    – the husband is praised for his “openness” and “humility” while the wife, if she cannot move on, is “sinning”

    Maybe not all Acts 29 churches are the same, but it sure does look like there are some common dysfunctional patterns that are woven through the warp and woof of Mars Hill Church and Acts 29.

  116. @ dee:

    The Duggar perfection is showing cracks.

    I agree the Duggars are full of cracks, but I’d wait a bit on that particular story about Josh. The source seems to tabloid-y – even the commenters at NLQ think so and they’re usually all over Duggar juice. Could be true, but I’m not going to pay much attention until something more reputable does some digging.

    Then again, the National Enquirer was nominated for a Pulitzer for its John Edwards coverage, so who knows…

  117. dee wrote:

    Most likely yes. You may want to check out Cedarville University in which he started groups dedicated to helping victims of sex trafficking.
    Imagine that? He shows *concern* for victims while participating in child porn which is the hotbed for sex trafficking. Think about the psych issues involved with this one.
    And he isn’t the one disciplined-his ex wife is. Blech!

    Jordan Root actually participated in sex trafficking, albeit from a computer. Granted, we don’t know if anything further occurred. But his demand for child pornography contributed to the supply of it. A large, large number of these children are sex trafficked. It’s more than a psych issue. Did he become involved in this type of organization for other, dubious desires? As a cover for his own pedophile self?

  118. Daisy wrote:

    @ Gram3:

    I didn’t get the kind of support I needed or wanted my mother died a few years ago, not even from Christians….If one more Christian tells me to go volunteer at a soup kitchen to cope with the fall-out of the death, I may punch a hole in the wall.

    @Daisy,

    I am sorry you weren’t supported by Christians in your grief after your Mom died. That is a common failing of many Christians; they tritely toss Scripture verses out like they were playing a game of darts.

    There is something to be said for the Jewish mourning period shiva and for the older traditions of wearing black when a loved one died.

  119. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    According to the linked documents, they reported to the “appropriate legal authorities” in early January.

    Thanks, Brian.

    There are questions being raised about whether TVC reported to authorities in early January as insinuated in their communications. To Karen’s knowledge, NO, TVC has not reported Jordan. SIM did and TVC tried to take credit.

  120. I think that the elders at The Village need to submit to the governing authorities of the State of Texas who have determined that the marriage no longer exists. ISTM that the “covenant of marriage” as well as the “covenant of membership” were breached by Jordan Root and by The Village well before Karen took any action regarding either of those covenants.

    The motto/mission statement of The Village uses “gospel-thisorthat” numerous times, but there is nothing of the Gospel in what they have done.

  121. Ms. Hinkley,

    if you are reading here I want to tell you that I am in awe of your courage and professionalism in this matter. I just read through the documents on watchkeep’s site and want to thank you for going public. You have no idea what that means to someone like me. Your handling of this situation will prove to be a model for others in these closed authoritarian systems who wake up.

    You have paid a HUGE price and your world is forever changed. My hope and prayer for you is that you will find authentic people to support you instead of the cheesy phoney “love” these misguided young men called elders are constantly presenting of themselves. It is so obvious from the documents their only real concern is their authority, power and position. Of course they call it biblical and the Gospel. It is all they know because they have been groomed/indoctrinated to think that way. Only in their world is it biblical to discipline a woman because she seeks to leave a church where they are NOT disciplining her missionary husband, a child pornographer. And all because this long time professing Christian, who was doing missions work while viewing child porn, said he repents. That is all it took for these “loving” elders. That IS sin leveling and it is a horror in real life application. It is evil called good and good called evil. It is that simple.

    They have turned you into the sinner for not obeying THEM. There is only one way to deal with such grandiosity: Get as far away as possible from that thinking. It is a culture of death for those who buy into it unless they are in the inner ring and benefiting from the power. But their consciences are seared with deception and lies about good/evil.

    I am so glad you are out of there and standing your ground against their “loving” harrassment. You may not feel like it right now but rest assured YOU are the role model for what is right in this situation. You are the one behaving as the “spiritually mature”. YOU are the “elder” in this situation.

    God bless you.

  122. Another thing about the Dallas Morning News dropping the story. It need not be pressure from The Village or Matt Chandler, but it could be pressure from any number of other Usual Suspects in the Dallas area who are influential and who have a lot to lose if this case stirs things up for them. Places like Prestonwood, Gateway, etc. I’ve come across the “There but for the grace of God go I” excusing of bad behavior before.

  123. I’m not surprised by the Duggar thing, sad to say. They are a family that are sex-obsessed, in a different way to how that is normally thought of. Female bodies are both the most wanted & the most forbidden thing to their heterosexual male children, & in their culture sex is highly prized for its outcome & totally unavailable to the unmarried. Reminds me a bit of a British Public school where the female is the unknown & the craved after… leads to young men with very very mixed feelings, & only illicit ways of fulfilling those needs. What a mess. In his culture it is also the case that victims must forgive… so he would only ever get temporary consequences from anything he did. Poor girls.

  124. Daisy wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    I didn’t get the kind of support I needed or wanted my mother died a few years ago, not even from Christians.
    My grief was, and still is, being (mis)characterized by some Christians as self-absorption, or I was told by others to stuff the feelings down and go help other people. I also got churchy, Bibley platitudes from yet other believers.
    If one more Christian tells me to go volunteer at a soup kitchen to cope with the fall-out of the death, I may punch a hole in the wall.
    (I have done volunteer work before, and it’s not the salve Christians make it out to be, or, I don’t believe in living in denial and doing “busy work” to stuff pain down.)

    I am so sorry, Daisy. It sounds like a sizeable portion of Christian incompetence was placed on top of the already-difficult grieving process.

    If I may, allow me to make a few suggestions for some resources that I and those close to me have found helpful (but not always easy or simple) during times of mourning and loss:

    Sacred Sorrow by Michael Card:
    An honest and raw look at the “lost discipline” of Lament among Christians.

    http://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Sorrow-Reaching-Language-Lament/dp/1576836673/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1432244428&sr=1-1&keywords=sacred+sorrow

    A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis:
    A very personal and insightful look into loss and mourning by one of my favorite authors and thinkers, following the death of his wife.

    http://www.amazon.com/Grief-Observed-C-S-Lewis/dp/0060652381

    Lament for a Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff:
    A detailed expression of grief from a Christian philosopher who lost his young son in a climbing accident. In particular, I have found this work to be helpful in that Nicholas has an incredible way with words and expression, to the extent that he is able to express in words the same things I was thinking and feeling, but unable to express.

    http://www.amazon.com/Lament-Son-Nicholas-Wolterstorff/dp/080280294X

    Daisy, I know that books are no substitute for a good friend or a shoulder to lean on, but I hope that maybe one of these may provide some small amount of help.

    (Sorry if this is too off-topic and needs to be moved…)

  125. Michaela wrote:

    I also love your testimony, love for the Lord

    Michaela, you’re lovely & this made me laugh as it shows you may not have been around here long… My current testimony is that God dropped me when I was grieving & I have no way of being sure he’s good in any meaningful sense. Everything else was bang on 🙂
    I’m currently dealing with a lot of child protection & safeguarding issues & this wholesale failure of churches to actually protect children makes my brain feel weird. How could they possibly? Language fails me.

  126. Hester wrote:

    Could be true, but I’m not going to pay much attention until something more reputable does some digging.

    In Touch Weekly has a copy of the police report. Do you think it might not be real?

  127. Gram3 wrote:

    That is the toxicity of the doctrines. They are applied mindlessly and with no regard for wisdom, common sense, or the sense and teaching of the Bible and the example of the Lord whose name they claim. Their tassels are growing exceedingly long, and they are tripping over them as well as causing many to stumble.

    They really do view themselves as specially anointed and appointed by God. So when you dissent, you are disobeying God. I mean this stuff is thought reform 101. The docs are nothing but thought reform. How do you position coercion and tyranny as “loving”? How do you make a heinous sin (and crime) sound trite? How do you make dissent sound like evil sinning? Those docs are a clue as to how it is done. Imagine those sorts of convos in person. It is even worse when presented with the body language and phoney concern. (You might see why I am a bit harsh when it comes to these guys. I live around this stuff)

    Oh,and the docs sounded familiar in another way: I read the same cheesy platitudes in SGM wikileaks.

  128. Michaela wrote:

    There is something to be said for the Jewish mourning period shiva and for the older traditions of wearing black when a loved one died.

    Indeed, sitting shiva can be a beautiful expression of mature compassion and solidarity. One of the traditional guidelines for shiva is that those “sitting” are not to speak to the mourner(s) unless spoken to. In practice, there is often talking that takes place, but if a mourner so wishes, he/she can simply enjoy the comforting presence of family/friends without any awkward or trite cliched conversations. (Interesting to note the connection between the traditional practice and the book of Job).

  129. Lydia wrote:

    Oh,and the docs sounded familiar in another way: I read the same cheesy platitudes in SGM wikileaks.

    Bingo! And also similar to stuff coming out of Mars Hill Church.

    “We want to love you well,” etc. etc.

  130. It does not surprise me the Dallas News folks did not run with the story after contacting Village. I am sure they were “very” cooperative and did many end runs around the legal/investigative problems with running the story right now. And they probably have some media locals attending there. Perhaps some big advertisers attend there. It was always the car dealership owners thst helped us back in the day. They spent a fortune in local media.

    This makes Karen Hinkley going public even more courageous.

  131. Law Prof wrote:

    ….some believe in group projects, some (such as me)despise them….

    Oh my! I think I love you!!! I despise student group projects and even corporate team building. (even though I am a long time certified facilitator)

  132. @ Law Prof:

    What you describe sounds much like a group I used to work with in a college system for many years. We had a blast debating and traveling together. It is a real treat to take such disparate views and build on the strengths each one can bring to the table. NO conforming to a group. This is where individual creativity blossoms and ideas are hatched. There is so much group think everywhere we turn that it just oppresses me to no end. It oppresses creativity, invention, freedom, etcc. There are too many thinking unity means conformity. Or disagreement means hate or sin.

  133. Beakerj wrote:

    My current testimony is that God dropped me when I was grieving & I have no way of being sure he’s good in any meaningful sense. Everything else was bang on
    I’m currently dealing with a lot of child protection & safeguarding issues & this wholesale failure of churches to actually protect children makes my brain feel weird. How could they possibly? Language fails me.

    @Beakerj,

    I must have missed some of your posts, regrets, including the one about this:
    “God dropped me when I was grieving….” I am sorry.

    I agree with you about churches and childrens’ safety. I was excommunicated/shunned from my church of eight years for refusing to go along with the pastors/elders who put their friend a convicted sex offender into positions of trust and leadership, welcomed him as a new member, and didn’t tell members or parents about any of it. I found his crimes while doing research work for a prosecutor. His supervising law enforcement agency disagreed with the pastors/elders and said the entire story the pastors/elders told me was “all lies”.

  134. Daisy wrote:

    I didn’t get the kind of support I needed or wanted my mother died a few years ago, not even from Christians.
    My grief was, and still is, being (mis)characterized by some Christians as self-absorption, or I was told by others to stuff the feelings down and go help other people.

    Oh yes…Christians don’t like emotion. Especially if it’s a woman who is expressing any of them. Most of us have never heard a sermon on weeping with those who weep.

    The length of grieving time is different for each person so it’s so inappropriate to try to hurry the process along according to predetermined timetable of our design.

    I’m sorry, Daisy, that you didn’t get the support you needed while you were grieving over your mother’s death. 🙁

  135. “I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.” – Josh Duggar

    __________________________________

    I, my, me, I, we, I, my, my, me, my, I, I, I, my

    “I would end up ruining MY life”

    A whole lot about him, Josh Duggar, precious little about those from whom he robbed a childhood. This is not a teenage boy anymore (whom we would expect to be narcissistic) this is a balding, wrinkling man moving into middle age.

    If J. Duggar really did craft this statement rather than a Hollywood spindoctor, it would seem that it is not just a sign of a poor grammar education that when referencing counseling, he begins with “me” before including the victims, it reads more like a sign of a monstrously self-centered attitude.

  136. Lydia wrote:

    Imagine those sorts of convos in person. It is even worse when presented with the body language and phoney concern.

    Well, I don’t have to imagine them. This story has gripped me because I have seen this same M.O., but I did not experience it in the context of grieving over the betrayal of my husband as she did. My husband has been very supportive and even more outspoken to others than I have been. Believe it or not, I’m the introvert.

    So, I cannot imagine how Karen feels being betrayed by her husband whom she trusted and then by her pastors/elders whom she trusted. They have brought disrepute on the name of Jesus, and they should repent. I am thankful that SIM was active in the situation and made it clear that Karen is still a missionary in good standing there. Apparently they have learned the lesson from the SGM disaster.

  137. @ BTDT:

    In Touch Weekly has a copy of the police report. Do you think it might not be real?

    My extent of reading about this this morning consisted of only the earliest post at NLQ:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2015/05/news-josh-duggar-sexual-abuser-rumors-possibly-true/

    …in which they specifically said they could not at that point vouch for the truth of the story. I see now that they’ve posted multiple updates to the situation and that it’s a real thing. Thanks for updating me. I was out all day and hadn’t seen the updates.

  138. And now Josh Duggar has resigned from the Family Research Council. I wonder if it has yet occurred to Anna that his ability to make a living may have been materially damaged.

  139. @ Law Prof:
    Also Josh ends with, “I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged…I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”

    He doesn’t even bother making his victims human–they are just “those”. And his gratitude is to God for His forgiveness, nothing for the quick forgiveness from his sisters and babysitter.

    The guy hasn’t faced anything. Travesty unfolding.

  140. Regarding the police report in the Duggar molestation situation, one of the victims requested that the unredacted report be destroyed to protect her privacy. A judge granted that request today.

  141. Not to generalize too much but why does it seem that women are often the ones standing up for the kids in these situations and the men well they are sitting around measuring the cost / benefit to the organization? Of course, there are brave men out there doing the same but it does seem a bit disproportionate in my observation. Karen was / is brave and she should have been cared for. I wonder, if a person was in a fire or other immediate dangerous situation would the elders of this church discipline them for getting out before they got hurt or should they stay and burn or until they are told it's ok to run by said leadership.

  142. Patrice wrote:

    The guy hasn’t faced anything. Travesty unfolding.

    And he “hasn’t faced it” in fluent Christianese.

  143. Lydia wrote:

    They really do view themselves as specially anointed and appointed by God. So when you dissent, you are disobeying God.

    “If you question what I say to you,
    YOU REBEL AGAINST THE FATHER TOO…”
    — Steve Taylor, “I Manipulate”

  144. Lydia wrote:

    It does not surprise me the Dallas News folks did not run with the story after contacting Village. I am sure they were “very” cooperative and did many end runs around the legal/investigative problems with running the story right now. And they probably have some media locals attending there. Perhaps some big advertisers attend there. It was always the car dealership owners thst helped us back in the day. They spent a fortune in local media.

    And MONEY TALKS.

  145. We have further statements from Karen regarding whether or not things were reported by TVC. There is some question whether they did or whether they just glommed off of the missionary society report.

    In the meantime, Jordan has his counselor's license, and we know he likes to hang around with kids.

    TVC-will he give up his counselor's license?

  146. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Patrice wrote:
    The guy hasn’t faced anything. Travesty unfolding.
    And he “hasn’t faced it” in fluent Christianese.

    None of that teevee money was given to him for a seminary education and he’d not yet spent enough time at Family Research Council to pick up the patois.

  147. Karen, you are simply impressive! I wouldn’t have been able to keep that firmness and clarity throughout. Kudos!

    Also it seems that SIM proceeded properly and that is relieving.

  148. Patrice wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Patrice wrote:
    The guy hasn’t faced anything. Travesty unfolding.
    And he “hasn’t faced it” in fluent Christianese.
    None of that teevee money was given to him for a seminary education and he’d not yet spent enough time at Family Research Council to pick up the patois.

    He may not have the fraudulent christianese verbiage down, but the utterly self-obsessed “me-ism”, even in the face of doing something to young, innocent others which typically has the effect of nigh killing them emotionally, he has that down cold.

  149. Law Prof wrote:

    He may not have the fraudulent christianese verbiage down, but the utterly self-obsessed “me-ism”, even in the face of doing something to young, innocent others which typically has the effect of nigh killing them emotionally, he has that down cold.

    Well, the Duggars are disciples of Gothard. “Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.”

  150. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    Well, the Duggars are disciples of Gothard. “Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.”

    As I recall they were also quite tight with Doug Phillips. There would seem to be a pattern of behavior that makes me think the whole lot of this “Look at Me, Ain’t I Holy?” Crowd is fraudulent, abusive, corrupt.

  151. Gram3 wrote:

    Sorry, I’m missing what you mean

    Sorry, I was thinking out loud. I’m still adjusting to these revelations and coming to the conclusion there is a lot more corruption than I imagined even recently. First I found the church had a dark underbelly six months ago, now I’m becoming aware how prevalent it is.

    These guys are inexcusably and horribly wrong.

  152. Law Prof wrote:

    some believe in group projects, some (such as me) despise them

    Amen to that, I am in the introvert camp but can function as an extrovert when needed. I am well aware how some like the hurly burly of group activity but it destroys the creativity and energy of a lot of great people. Some organizations are so dumb about it that they do group interviews for jobs that will not even be in a group environment.

    It may be another thing with megachurches as the extroverts seem to rise to the top and then think everyone should be like them.

    Susan Cain has written some good stuff on the subject.

  153. Is it me or is there an explosion of sexual abuse cases in the Christian world? Or has it just been hidden? I think the Josh Duggar case is so very sad. Maybe if they had dealt with it with the authorities honestly it wouldn’t have come back to haunt him. But it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  154. Former CLC’er wrote:

    Is it me or is there an explosion of sexual abuse cases in the Christian world? Or has it just been hidden? I think the Josh Duggar case is so very sad. Maybe if they had dealt with it with the authorities honestly it wouldn’t have come back to haunt him. But it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    I always thought it odd in the Duggar Family new house building episodes that all of the sisters wanted to sleep together in the same bedroom and not spread out and have their own rooms. Now it makes sense: Safety in numbers.

  155. numo wrote:

    @ Patrice:
    I would bet money that he was preying on his sisters.

    Yeah, I believe you. That kind of thing doesn’t go away, either.

    How crazy-making to be pressured into “forgive&forget” (to the point that one of the sisters asked that the report be destroyed) and also face their older brother’s eyes day in/out, surrounded by the Gospels of Gothard, Pearls, Doug Phillips, while mom/dad keep producing more kids. Not even safe in sleep! A deeply twisted over-sexualized environment. Gah!

    I hope they will have a chance to break free, someday.

  156. I’ve been working my way back through the documents again because it was unclear to me who’s who. So, it seems that we have yet another man, a very young and inexperienced man, who thinks he is God’s gift to the church and is authorized to tell an adult woman how to proceed in the wake of her husband’s failure. Matt Younger has been married approximately 7 years. He has lived in two places: Suburban Dallas and College Station. In other words, he has practically zero life experience. He has been at The Village for approximately the past 8 years. The authoritarian cult of MarsHill/Acts29/9Marks is all that this pup knows.

    Matt, if you are reading this, wise up and repent of what your part has been in what has been done and is being done to Karen. Read the stories from the repentant elders and pastors at MarsHill. They were just as blinded by Mark Driscoll and the MarsHill/Acts29 myth as you are. Wake up before you spend any more of your young life destroying others. You want to make a difference in the church and represent Christ to the nations? That’s great, and an excellent place to start is by representing Christ to Karen and defending her against the slander you and the other pastors there have perpetrated against her. Is what you wrote to her what you think Jesus would have written to her? Are you sure? Think about this. Please get outside the bubble of groupthink and consider what you are doing to a precious daughter of the King. You do not have the authority to do to her what you are doing to her and what you and the others at MarsHill/Acts29 have done to so many others. Learn from the examples of the other men at MarsHill so that you do not waste your youth on idolatry. That’s what it is, Matt. If it’s about The Village, then it’s not about Jesus.

  157. I just feel so sad and so disappointed all around. One of my friends has been so saddened by the things that happened at CLC, and she loves the Duggars. Not looking forward to when she hears this news.

  158. @ Elizabeth Lee:

    “The church told her she couldn’t get an annulment without their say-so and that she couldn’t resign her membership because she was now under church discipline for having the temerity to make independent decisions.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    a paraphrased complaint I have heard from women at Mars Hill: we just wanted to be participants in our own lives.

    maybe this is an Acts 29 hallmark.

  159. @ Bill M:

    I allowed myself to see the dark underbelly 10 years or so ago. Only a few sites were daring to talk about any of it. Now things are very different. Yes it is worse than I thought at first but people are talking and spreading the word.

    At some point, people decide to be willfully ignorant. This is about more than authoritarian “spiritual leaders”. It is also about why people are so willing to blindly follow leaders and let them do their thinking for them. I am constantly shocked how few people even want to see a budget for the church where they give their hard earned money. They should demand a vote in how money is spent.

  160. @ Mr.H:
    Thank you, Mr. H for your kindness and book recommendations. I have jotted down the titles of the books.
    Thank you also to Michaela for your compassion.

  161. @ Daisy:
    Sorry, Daisy, I missed this earlier. One thing I discovered is that grief is usually a complex of emotions that only you can identify as you work through the good things and the bad things that are part of our lives together. In my own experience the time is measured in years. There isn’t a timetable or a right way to grieve, and what other people try to put on you is their problem. Your relationship with your mother is as unique as the two of you are unique, and therefore no one else can possibly know the loss that you are grieving. I think that seeing another’s grief up close makes people very uncomfortable for very many reasons and the ways that other people cope with their own discomfort can make things much worse for the people who are grieving though I also believe that they usually mean well. As I’ve said before, some of the things you write remind me very much of a young woman I know.

  162. @ Patrice:
    Who else would he have had access to, and so (apparently) easily at that? It has to be them, or mainly them.

    This makes me feel sick.

  163. brian wrote:

    I wonder, if a person was in a fire or other immediate dangerous situation would the elders of this church discipline them for getting out before they got hurt or should they stay and burn or until they are told it’s ok to run by said leadership.

    I don’t know about that church specifically, but with other Christians:

    This School [Pensacola Christian College] Has the Worst Fire Safety Policy You’ve Ever Seen
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/05/17/this-school-has-the-worst-fire-safety-policy-youve-ever-seen/

  164. dee wrote:

    Why do things heat up whenever I am on vacation??

    Murphy’s Law.

    My Mom used to have the funniest cartoon illustration of “Murphy’s Law” that she kept in the kitchen in one house we lived in.

    I think the version my Mom had hanging up read something like,
    “Anything that can go wrong will, and at the worst possible moment”

  165. @ Gram3:
    I know Matt and i would consider him a friend, although we haven’t spoken in several years. I remember him as one of the most joyful people i’ve met — he always had a smile on his face and made you feel better about your day when i ran into him in between classes or whatever.

    That being said, I am appalled by the letter. Was this his doing? I’m assuming he was just a yes man for Steve Hardin and Matt Chandler.

    There is SO much insular thinking in that community. Groupthink is the perfect way to describe it. I was too in that “circle” and it was like a breath of fresh air to have a brother in Christ point me to house church guys, pentecostals, and main line protestants who were saying amazing things (that would never appear on the TGC website).

  166. @ Gram3:

    Thank you for your reply.

    I’ve noticed that many I’ve gone to (family and Christians in area churches), there are repetitive themes, which are, to deny or repress the grief (and to do so by working at charities), or to make me feel ashamed for feeling or talking openly about grief, so I should just pipe down about it.

    I don’t think many Christians (or other people) are comfortable with people who are hurting deeply and who don’t hide it.

  167. brian wrote:

    I wonder, if a person was in a fire or other immediate dangerous situation would the elders of this church discipline them for getting out before they got hurt or should they stay and burn or until they are told it’s ok to run by said leadership.

    Remember that girls’ boarding school fire in Saudi a couple years ago?

    Where the religious police drove the girls back into the burning building with their whips because they weren’t properly & modestly veiled?

  168. @ justin:
    It’s possible he got sucked into the system because it seemed godly or serious or for some other reason that seemed right to him. I know lots of young people like that who are caught up in it thinking it is the solution to sin when it just makes everything so much worse because the impulse to exert power over another and oppress someone made in the image of God while invoking God’s authority to do that is almost beyond describing. Maybe Matt and some other young people will wake up and stop this insanity that is holding the conservative church hostage. I’ve been a Christian for a very long time, and this idolatry is shocking and perverse. It is a tragic waste and misuse of youthful passion and zeal.

  169. Daisy wrote:

    I don’t think many Christians (or other people) are comfortable with people who are hurting deeply and who don’t hide it.

    Those Christians perhaps think that Christianity is like the pagan religions where you participate to ward off evil and bring blessing. So, when the difficult times come, they wonder what is this all about, anyway, and why isn’t this working? If we have that kind of mistaken view of what the Christian faith is, then it is very frightening to realize that it is not magic. Instead, it is real and sometimes and exceedingly difficult walk of faith that is not straight and not level either and there is sometimes very little light along the way. But the One who walks with us is faithful.

    There are many Christians who go through very dark times when we cannot see God or hear his voice, and when that happened to me I was very, very angry and despondent. It took a lot of time for me to even begin to heal from one grieving thing right after another.

    I don’t know what helps you, but one thing that have helped me were old hymns of the faith when I could not read the Bible because I was emotionally and spiritually exhausted. Another was gardening. I had never been interested in that, but seeing the way that God has ordered his world so that he brings life from the earth helped me. This afternoon when I was so upset by this shameful horror, I went out and stuck some more cuttings from my butterfly bushes. Because God makes roots and leaves and flowers sprout from sticks.

  170. Bill M wrote:

    Michaela wrote:
    Now it makes sense: Safety in numbers.

    I think there are other plausible explanations

    I don’t.

    Girls have a pretty good knack for talking amongst themselves about creepy people and learning not to be alone with said creep.

  171. Working my way through the folks involved, I came to Steve Hardin. He is actually old enough to be an elder, though I don’t know of his other qualifications. He has two daughters. So here’s what I would ask Steve:

    Steve, if either of your two daughters were in Karen’s position, would you want another man to treat your daughters whom you love like you have treated Karen? Why or why not? Somehow, I think that your view of godly behavior by elders who claim to speak for Jesus might be much different than the way that the elders and pastors of The Village are treating a woman who has already been betrayed by her husband. What if your daughters are betrayed by their husbands? Would you play the church discipline card and the covenant card on them? I don’t think that you would.

    You were Karen’s elder. In your mind, you still are. You had the opportunity to be like a father to her. But that is not what you did. But you can still do that and in doing that you can be an example to the younger men, including Matt Chandler who has totally lost the plot in so many ways and who is using his many gifts to lead others in the wrong path. Speak up for the little people instead of going along with the powerful and their system of oppression.

  172. __

    Pushing ‘a faithful & godly woman’ and ‘devoted member of Christ’s body’ under the AXE29(TM) mini-bus?

    🙁

  173. Law Prof wrote:

    “I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.” – Josh Duggar
    I came here to write exactly this – that’s all I saw when I read his statement. The self-centredness is nauseating.

    __________________________________

    I, my, me, I, we, I, my, my, me, my, I, I, I, my

    “I would end up ruining MY life”

    A whole lot about him, Josh Duggar, precious little about those from whom he robbed a childhood. This is not a teenage boy anymore (whom we would expect to be narcissistic) this is a balding, wrinkling man moving into middle age.

    If J. Duggar really did craft this statement rather than a Hollywood spindoctor, it would seem that it is not just a sign of a poor grammar education that when referencing counseling, he begins with “me” before including the victims, it reads more like a sign of a monstrously self-centered attitude.

    Former CLC’er wrote:

    Is it me or is there an explosion of sexual abuse cases in the Christian world?

    I think, sadly, there’s always been a lot of abuse everywhere. People feel more able to speak up now maybe? There’s an old village saying (from the days when England was mostly villages, in the pre-car era): What do you call a 12 year old virgin? A girl who can run faster than her brothers.

  174. Hmmm, something went awry there – I was also trying to respond to LawProf to say that I’d come here to say the exact same thing – it’s all about him, he is the victim of his own actions, far more than those he assaulted. Nauseatingly self-centred. I wonder if there would have been different rhetoric if he’d assault3ed his brothers not his sisters? After all those girls are just designed to be touched by men. They’ll get over it, no harm done.

  175. “Genuine bravery for a writer…. It is about calmly speaking the truth when everyone else is silenced, when the truth cannot be expressed. It is about speaking out with a different voice, risking the wrath of the state and offending everyone, for the sake of the truth, and the writer’s conscience.”
    ― Murong Xuecun

  176. “Christians tell me that they love their enemies, and yet all I ask is—not that they love their enemies, not that they love their friends even, but that they treat those who differ from them, with simple fairness.

    We do not wish to be forgiven, but we wish Christians to so act that we will not have to forgive them. If all will admit that all have an equal right to think, then the question is forever solved; but as long as organized and powerful churches, pretending to hold the keys of heaven and hell, denounce every person as an outcast and criminal who thinks for himself and denies their authority, the world will be filled with hatred and suffering. To hate man and worship God seems to be the sum of all the creeds.”
    ― Robert G. Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses

  177. One thing I’m wondering about this shameful situation is what would have happened if the roles were switched. Let’s say the wife was a paedophile (fairly rare, I know, but not unknown) and the husband annulled the marriage. I somewhat doubt that the husband would be put under church discipline. A clear case of double standards?

  178. Former CLC’er wrote:

    Is it me or is there an explosion of sexual abuse cases in the Christian world? Or has it just been hidden?

    I’m from the UK, where many historic cases of abuse have recently come to light (and I’m sure there’s more to come out). It’s clear that sexual abuse (of women or children) has not been taken seriously for many years. And it still isn’t taken seriously – see this link from today’s news.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32827731

    It’s sadly the case that the church is no different to wider society, so there will be abuse and cover-ups. And again, I suspect we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg.

  179. Another thought.

    Whilst the way that The Village Church has treated Karen is sickening, at least they, and Serving In Mission, took Jordan’s behaviour seriously. I’m not an expect in how these things should be handled, but SIM seems to have responded well by firing Jordan and making it public. TVC at least has passed SIMs statement on to its members.

    Yes, there’s a lot that could be better, but I wonder if we’d have seen this level of response 10 or 20 years ago. If you look up “John Howard Yoder” and “Christian and Missionary Alliance abuse” you’ll see cases where abuse reports were not handled properly. So, looking at the big picture, perhaps things have improved somewhat. Whilst I do get the impression that some in the church would still want to cover up sexual abuse (especially of leaders), the climate is such that they wouldn’t dare to do this as their own reputations would be destroyed (as well as facing legal implications from mandatory reporting laws).

    [I am in no way defending TVC’s treatment of Karen, which I regard as spiritual abuse.]

  180. As to the question of whether it is better now than it was before, or not. All I know is that when I was a kid we were taught that potential sexual abuse/attack potentially lurked around every corner and that we had to be extremely careful because of that. I am assuming that, in fact, that was the case.

  181. So this a.m. my roommate, who still attends CLC (and we obviously think VERY differently on a lot of things) brings up Josh Duggar. I spent all last night just grieving over this, and she starts going off about how people are trying to ruin his life. I was speechless. I do understand that he was 14, but sexual abusers only get worse with time if it’s not addressed. She said the people who needed to know knew. I told her that once the Duggars decided to be on T.V., their rights to privacy were gone.

  182. @ Former CLC'er:

    Your roommate's reaction (that people are trying to ruin Josh Duggar's life) is NOT NORMAL.

    It will be interesting to see what TLC does in light of this shocking revelation. They have been running Duggar marathons. Who watches that crazy stuff???

  183. Lydia wrote:

    Ms. Hinkley,
    if you are reading here I want to tell you that I am in awe of your courage and professionalism in this matter. I just read through the documents on watchkeep’s site and want to thank you for going public. You have no idea what that means to someone like me. Your handling of this situation will prove to be a model for others in these closed authoritarian systems who wake up.
    You have paid a HUGE price and your world is forever changed. My hope and prayer for you is that you will find authentic people to support you instead of the cheesy phoney “love” these misguided young men called elders are constantly presenting of themselves. It is so obvious from the documents their only real concern is their authority, power and position. Of course they call it biblical and the Gospel. It is all they know because they have been groomed/indoctrinated to think that way. Only in their world is it biblical to discipline a woman because she seeks to leave a church where they are NOT disciplining her missionary husband, a child pornographer. And all because this long time professing Christian, who was doing missions work while viewing child porn, said he repents. That is all it took for these “loving” elders. That IS sin leveling and it is a horror in real life application. It is evil called good and good called evil. It is that simple.
    They have turned you into the sinner for not obeying THEM. There is only one way to deal with such grandiosity: Get as far away as possible from that thinking. It is a culture of death for those who buy into it unless they are in the inner ring and benefiting from the power. But their consciences are seared with deception and lies about good/evil.
    I am so glad you are out of there and standing your ground against their “loving” harrassment. You may not feel like it right now but rest assured YOU are the role model for what is right in this situation. You are the one behaving as the “spiritually mature”. YOU are the “elder” in this situation.
    God bless you.

    Amen. Your comment bears repeating.

  184. Law Prof wrote:

    He may not have the fraudulent christianese verbiage down, but the utterly self-obsessed “me-ism”, even in the face of doing something to young, innocent others which typically has the effect of nigh killing them emotionally, he has that down cold.

    Yep. A while back, Boz careful parsed a video of a woman predator’s “confession”, showing the pattern of denial inside these types of public statements. Now I can see it very quickly and I am grateful to Boz for that–it helps me feel safer.

    The same pattern has been used against Karen by the Village Church. When one does not face one’s own destructiveness, one responds instinctively and conventionally. No originality about it. Even an institutional response will be the same.

    And yah “cold” is the defining characteristic. It is evil, and I look hard to see through to the human who is there, because it is important for me, for the perpetrator, and for the community to remember how evil works within us. Not an easy task for someone who’s been recipient, but paramount, IMO.

  185. Ian wrote:

    Whilst the way that The Village Church has treated Karen is sickening, at least they, and Serving In Mission, took Jordan’s behaviour seriously. I’m not an expect in how these things should be handled, but SIM seems to have responded well by firing Jordan and making it public. TVC at least has passed SIMs statement on to its members.
    Yes, there’s a lot that could be better, but I wonder if we’d have seen this level of response 10 or 20 years ago. If you look up “John Howard Yoder” and “Christian and Missionary Alliance abuse” you’ll see cases where abuse reports were not handled properly. So, looking at the big picture, perhaps things have improved somewhat.

    I want to agree with this. When I read the story on Amy Smith’s blog, I was prepared for another story about the long-term, systematic coverup of abuse. Because of that, I was pleasantly surprised by the way SIM handled the situation: they took the allegations seriously, terminated the overseas assignment, informed TVC, and don’t seem to have held Karen responsible. (I might be reading too much between the lines on that one; I took the sentence at the end of their letter that said that Karen remained a part of their organization as a good thing). I’m less impressed with how TVC handled things–they don’t seem to have taken the situation seriously enough, and this seems to have quickly become about Karen, which is a huge problem. [Incidentally, this blog has convinced me to never sign a membership ‘covenant’. Well done].

    That said, I think the fact that I was pleasantly surprised is indicative of a much larger problem. Churches, missions organizations, and parachurch organizations should be places where abuse isn’t tolerated and where victims are taken seriously and supported. The fact that the more normal story in cases like this is that there is usually a significant history of enabling abusers, blaming victims, and covering up allegations suggests that there are huge systemic problems in church culture and that they need to be addressed. In other words, SIM’s actions should be expected and normal, not remarkable.

  186. @ Daisy:

    Good post. Flakiness language…..nobody really communicates like that, except the ” exalted” holy men….gag.

  187. Was the fraud that he confessed to be a viewer of child pornography, which is a crime? Texas annulled the marriage based on fraud. Sorry if I’ve missed several points.

  188. Karen, good for you! and I hope the FBI has been informed about the child porn. Highland Park police won’t do anything.

  189. Does anybody know which church Matt Younger attended while at Texas A&M? We would have been there at approximately the same time. I can confirm that that is when he would have become a Matt Chandler junkie, most likely while volunteering with Breakaway, an on-campus worship service where Matt Chandler got his preaching career off the ground. I just wish I knew which church Younger attended because I could give you all more background on how he would have gotten sucked in to this nonsense. There are some wonderful healthy churches in the Bryan/College Station area and there are others that breed this level of fanaticism.

    To Karen, my deepest apologies for what happened to you. You deserve much better from your family in Christ. I pray you find comfort and support.

  190. @ Godith:
    If I have it right, the guy is a longer viewer of child porn, from even before they married but he kept it secret from her.

  191. Nancy wrote:

    As to the question of whether it is better now than it was before, or not. All I know is that when I was a kid we were taught that potential sexual abuse/attack potentially lurked around every corner and that we had to be extremely careful because of that. I am assuming that, in fact, that was the case.

    What period (roughly) was that?

    But I don’t think it was the case in the way you seem to be describing.

    I remember well receiving similar warnings as a child (in the 1970s/80s), including cringeworthy government films telling us not to go off with strangers. But back then, society didn’t realise that sexual abuse generally takes place in situations where abuser and victim know and trust each other (eg friends, family, church, school, clubs, etc). In the UK, I think the requirement for organisations to have child protection policies only began in the 1990s. And our system of background checks for those working with children was weak and ineffective until the early 2000s.

    The stereotype of dirty old men in raincoats hiding in dark alleys to kidnap and abuse children was never true. Rather, paedophiles are regular people who work their way into positions where they can groom their victims over a long period before molesting them. We now understand this and have made it much harder for paeophiles to have access to children, and we take reports of abuse far more seriously.

  192. @ Megan:
    I thought the same thing about SIM. what they did should be the normal.

    As to TVC response, they have elevated Josh Root over innocent children who are exploited and Hus defrauded ex wife. in these cases, the “Christian” perp becomes the protected. All he had to do is say, I repent. Forgetting he was a fraud the whole time masquerading as a Christian missionary. He said the magic words.

    The victims? Oh, never mind about them.

    And TVC thinks we should trust that they know best for others?

  193. @ Nancy:
    That is pretty much how I remember it, too. I was taught the same thing. And my value– so that if I was uncomfortable in any such situation it was not me that was the problem.

    Perhaps the difference is we did not grow up in similar authoritarian type churches where we were taught not to question the leaders? Perhaos our parents simply modeled independent thinking when it came to church? I don’t know.

    However, I do remember our Catholic neighbors being in awe of anything the priests said. and we later found out the horrible, massive implications of trusting priests unconditionally.

    Can we learn that such unchecked power and trust is dangerous?

  194. The evidence was on a computer which is *somewhere*.

    Crushed and in a landfill and You Can’t Prove a Thing.

  195. @ Megan:
    Thanks Megan. I also felt that SIM hasn’t blamed Karen for Jordan’s crimes.

    Generally speaking, I think the days of systemic problems are over. Both society and the law no longer tolerate sexual abuse. Hence, for example, the widespread outrage at Grant Layman for not reporting Nate Morales to the police. But SGM is a special case, and they are a somewhat cultic organisation. The communications revolution makes it very difficult to keep your problems secret any more. It’s now the case that not taking child protection very seriously will result in huge reputational damage to an organisation, and no-one is going to risk that.

    I think what we are seeing with Karen is primarily calvinista authoritarianism and complementarianism taken to its logical conclusion.

  196. nmgirl wrote:

    Karen, good for you! and I hope the FBI has been informed about the child porn. Highland Park police won’t do anything.

    Are Highland Park police members of TVC?
    Or do the TVC Pastor-Elders(TM) include a Police Chaplain?
    Or just closing ranks for The LOOORD against the Heathen?
    Code of Blue, remember.

  197. lydia wrote:

    in these cases, the “Christian” perp becomes the protected. All he had to do is say, I repent. Forgetting he was a fraud the whole time masquerading as a Christian missionary. He said the magic words.

    The victims? Oh, never mind about them.

    Simple.
    Who has the JUICIER Testimony?
    And who has Bragging Rights at the Great White Throne about Saving such a Spectacular Soul?

  198. Law Prof wrote:

    As I recall they were also quite tight with Doug Phillips.

    Oh, yes. In fact, Vision Forum sponsored the Baby Conference where Michelle Duggar was presented the “Mother of the Year” award in 2010. Doug Phillips couldn’t gush enough about her. And why not? Michelle “knows her place.” Which is, obviously, being driven home to the other females in the Duggar family.

  199. If you haven’t read Mary DeMuth’s Washington Post article, you should! Wise words. wapo.st/1Ajx3Vh

  200. Nancy wrote:

    She was defrauded into marriage by a pedophile and this church thinks she ought not file for an annulment unless they tell her she can? That is so bad I can hardly believe it. And now they want her to submit to their ‘care’ and they continue to harass her about that?

    Because controlling the narrative is more important than loving people.

  201. Elizabeth Lee wrote:

    Church and church leaders continue the standard harassment. The criminal husband is not under church discipline, but the former wife (annulment has been granted) IS even though she is legally not a member and she could sue for harassment and win.

    So here is the thing – Chandler and TVC are using cult tactics. Mark Dever has been advocating cult tactics for years. Now those cultic control methodologies are being used in wicked ways in decidedly mainstream evangelical contexts. These folks are bringing shame to Christ and the church through their actions, but they will never see that. Anyone deceived enough to think exercising this measure of control over a person is a good thing is probably too far gone to understand anything other than power.

  202. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Highland Park Police or Park Cities Police are in charge of protecting an extremely wealthy enclave from the outside world. If you don’t know anything about HP, it’s where the maid drives the Mercedes.

  203. We can’t have that ghastly woman meddling with her own life.

    Because women deciding how to live their own lives and making their own decisions ia an insult to our authority as pastors and an affront to male headship.

  204. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Anyone deceived enough to think exercising this measure of control over a person is a good thing is probably too far gone to understand anything other than power.

    That is my view. Engaging them in this context is a waste of time. Better to engage the pew peons by taking it public. Some of them are suppressing their instincts in order to be in the group. Been there done that.

  205. Ian wrote:

    What period (roughly) was that?

    My parents started telling me this from as early as I can remember, that would be the late 1930s. When we got old enough to ‘get in a car with a boy’ we were told the same sort of thing in (believe it or not) church and school sex ed (hygiene) classes. When I first went into nurse’s training in 1953 they took a class period early on, before they ever let us go onto the floors, and told us that sometimes patients try to do the following (oh my goodness!) and how to avoid the possibility of such a situation and how to handle it if it happened. When I worked as a public health nurse in approximately 1958 or so they told us the same thing about the dangers one might encounter during the home visits which we did.

    When my children were in school they were told the same things at home and school and church. I know this for a fact because the parents were notified of the content of the class. And now my children watch their children like hawks for reasons of safety and also both of the school age girls (grandchildren) have been told this in school-or at least they said they had.

    And no, nobody ever told anybody that it was just stranger danger. The idea of if something bad is going on at home you should tell the teacher was drilled into the heads of my children and grandchildren by the schools. This of course included more than just sexual abuse but also physical abuse and drug use.

  206. From The Village membership covenant:

    If at any time an individual member feels as though the corporate church body is not remaining faithful to the requirements of the covenant, it is the responsibility of the individual member to lovingly and humbly express concerns to the leadership of the church. If the church elders are unwilling to change and pursue covenant faithfulness, then the member is freed from his or her membership obligations and encouraged to seek membership elsewhere given the church’s disobedience. In addition, certain circumstances may provide sufficient and righteous grounds to transfer membership elsewhere.

    Obviously they do not really mean this or else they mean that the “covenant faithfulness” of the pewpeons is more important than the “covenant faithfulness” of the Authoritative Leaders.

  207. Gram3 wrote:

    Obviously they do not really mean this or else they mean that the “covenant faithfulness” of the pewpeons is more important than the “covenant faithfulness” of the Authoritative Leaders.

    And the expression “covenant faithfulness” is a favorite of another control-freak group, Doug Wilson’s Federal Visionists. They don’t use it in this way, but it means the same thing: obey the law or else.

  208. @ Jeff S:

    “Still, I received text messages after the fact that just hurt, and I honestly think they were trying to be loving, but they didn’t understand that their failure to regard me as a person made it worse (they regarded me as an application of their theology).

    I had to be very practiced not to argue back, but just to responded with “please stop.” It did work after a few times.

    But I think a lot of the evangelical church lives in an echo chamber where there is just this distorted view of what real life looks like because all they are doing is listening to their own words”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    i’m sure this is true.

    This is what I also think: “IN THE BIBLE WE TRUST”

    I think Christians, who do things as are being described, have comprehension issues on what it means to know God, have faith in God. It’s like they’re holding on to the side of the pool with a firm, secure grip and doing their leg kicks with commendable determination and observable strength.

    They just don’t know to let go of the side of the pool and swim. As if that is a ridiculous proposition, because what would happen? They’d have no control.

    IN THE BIBLE WE TRUST, in the same way as trusting in that concrete side of the pool that is solid and doesn’t move and you can touch and hold on to. And this, as the meaning of walking that narrow road means you apply it in ever stark black & white terms, absolute terms.

    Where’s the whole “abide in me, and I in you”, thing? The thing where Holy Spirit, who’s like the wind who comes & goes & you can feel it yet you see it not, whispers and counsels and illuminates in the moment? And perhaps even more importantly in this context, the corollary that Holy Spirit ‘abides in others, and they in Him’.

  209. nmgirl wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Highland Park Police or Park Cities Police are in charge of protecting an extremely wealthy enclave from the outside world. If you don’t know anything about HP, it’s where the maid drives the Mercedes.

    Is TVC in Highland Park?

  210. Gram3 wrote:

    don’t know what helps you, but one thing that have helped me were old hymns of the faith when I could not read the Bible because I was emotionally and spiritually exhausted. Another was gardening. I had never been interested in that, but seeing the way that God has ordered his world so that he brings life from the earth helped me. This afternoon when I was so upset by this shameful horror, I went out and stuck some more cuttings from my butterfly bushes. Because God makes roots and leaves and flowers sprout from sticks

    Thank you for writing this out, Gram3. It helps.

    And Daisy, *hugs*

  211. Gram3 wrote:

    Obviously they do not really mean this or else they mean that the “covenant faithfulness” of the pewpeons is more important than the “covenant faithfulness” of the Authoritative Leaders.

    Rank Hath Its Privileges.

  212. Nancy wrote:

    And no, nobody ever told anybody that it was just stranger danger.

    Though when I was in grade school in the 1960s, Stranger Danger WAS the main emphasis.

  213. Gram3 wrote:

    Another was gardening. I had never been interested in that, but seeing the way that God has ordered his world so that he brings life from the earth helped me. This afternoon when I was so upset by this shameful horror, I went out and stuck some more cuttings from my butterfly bushes. Because God makes roots and leaves and flowers sprout from sticks.

    I recently found something along those lines to engage myself with. I used to make sourdough bread a few years ago. I gave it up when my life spun into turmoil. Last week I got another starter going and began making bread and waffles. It’s become an interesting science project for my youngest son. It’s amazing what the abundant microbial life that surrounds us can do. I found it helped me to reconnect with . . . something. Sort of like elastigirl has talked about experiencing God in a beautiful sunset or sunrise. (She mentioned it a long time ago.)

  214. nmgirl wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Highland Park Police or Park Cities Police are in charge of protecting an extremely wealthy enclave from the outside world. If you don’t know anything about HP, it’s where the maid drives the Mercedes.

    Highborn Enclave, no Lowborn allowed. (“I MAKE MORE MONEY IN ONE SNAP OF *MY* FINGERS THAN YOU WILL EVER SEE IN YOUR COMMONER’S LIFE!”)

    And the Police are their Bannermen to keep the Lowborn from contaminating their presenct.

    Hope they treat them decent — the local Highland Park (Irvine) is known for treating their own police and firemen (who cannot afford to live in the city) with Highborn-to-Lowborn contempt. (as in “HOW! DARE! YOU! DO YOU KNOW WHO *I* AM?”)

  215. Gus wrote:

    Because women deciding how to live their own lives and making their own decisions ia an insult to our authority as pastors and an affront to male headship.

    “The Man PENETRATES! COLONIZES! CONQUERS! PLANTS! The woman lies back and accepts.”
    — Doug Wilson, God’s Anointed (or was that Ramsey Bolton re Sansa Stark?)

  216. Christianity Today has more quotes from Karen.

    Viz – She said that after she arrived in Dallas, she was told by a pastor that the elders were instructing her not to separate her finances from her husband’s because it “felt too much like a step toward divorce” to them and they were “not ready to approve any steps that would bring further separation to our marriage”.

    “When I asked why the elders felt as though my choices about personal finances were within the scope of their authority, I was informed that ‘In a marriage separation, every aspect of your marriage is under the authority of the elders of the church’,” she said.

  217. @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:
    True. There are women (and probably men, though in that crowd women don’t mix a whole lot with men) of my acquaintance who would have seen those text messages from the older elder as simply expressing loving concern.

  218. May wrote:

    Christianity Today has more quotes from Karen.
    Viz – She said that after she arrived in Dallas, she was told by a pastor that the elders were instructing her not to separate her finances from her husband’s because it “felt too much like a step toward divorce” to them and they were “not ready to approve any steps that would bring further separation to our marriage”.
    “When I asked why the elders felt as though my choices about personal finances were within the scope of their authority, I was informed that ‘In a marriage separation, every aspect of your marriage is under the authority of the elders of the church’,” she said.

    It’s just hard to believe that these people would ever get to this place starting from a simple faith in Jesus as Lord of all, the same one Who told us: “”Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.” I just have to wonder if they even care about Jesus.

  219. Bridget wrote:

    Is TVC in Highland Park?

    That would explain why Dallas Morning News killed the story. (Not News — doubleplusunnews.)

    Dallas Morning News: BOUGHT AND PAID FOR.

    P.S. Where’s the comments about OLIGARCHY?

  220. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Though when I was in grade school in the 1960s, Stranger Danger WAS the main emphasis.

    I wonder why? Do you think it was a part of the overall cultural change that was starting to happen about then or do you think it was geographical? Or were you in private school?

  221. What occurs to me is that reading Karen’s story is uncannily similar to reading one of those tragic SGM stories – of which there are countless – on the SGM Survivors’ Blog. And that leads me to a couple of thoughts

    1. Matt Chandler, just like CJ Mahaney, manages to stay aloof from the issue, keeps his hands clean and appears to get the minions to actually handle these cases/ do the dirty work. Thus, he can claim like CJ that he had nothing to do with it. Correct me please – I may be wrong on this

    2. God is using WOMEN to raise issues of abuse and to hold men to account. I know a poster said this upthread. Amy Smith and the Deebs have broken this story. Just like Kris did on the SGM Survivors blog. Karen, as has been said, is the ultimate hero here. Women are prepared to step up, care for the hurt, be brave, and refuse to be invested in the precious ‘system’.

  222. Nancy wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    I just have to wonder if they even care about Jesus.
    Let me put your mind at ease. They do not.

    Something I very much wonder about. Are they really warped Christians who started down a wrong path and lost their way or are they just vicious, power mad monsters for whom Jesus is merely a prop and a method of gaining access to believers so they do far more damage to
    them than your average satanist.

  223. @ Law Prof:
    Actually, I don’t think they know Him. They might have brushed elbows with Him once or twice, which gave them bragging rights as to an intimate acquaintance. And He might have been aware that power went out of him when they touched His Robe…

    On the other hand, the woman with the issue of twelve years, who touched His robe, did so with a simple and beautiful faith, and so the power went out of Him, and he turned around and said, “Who touched Me?” (even though I figure He probably already knew the answer to that question…)

    If they even brushed elbows with Him, but weren’t seeking Him in faith, well… they might be among the ones in the crowd that He’ll address later, saying, “Depart from Me, for I never knew you.”

    Speaking metaphorically, of course. Don’t mind me, I haven’t had my quota of morning coffee yet.

  224. To be fair, I must add that there are men shining light on the darkness too – Boz Tchividjian springs to mind.

  225. I do not understand how it is that in America people can be convinced to sign away their rights? That is such a foreign an idea to me. At the same time we have people literally taking to the streets demanding rights side by side with people who sign away their rights and believing that they are pleasing God in doing so.

  226. Law Prof wrote:

    Are they really warped Christians who started down a wrong path and lost their way or are they just vicious, power mad monsters for whom Jesus is merely a prop and a method of gaining access to believers so they do far more damage to
    them than your average satanist.

    I think Mark Driscoll is like you describe here. Power hungry, narcissistic – it was always about him. As soon as he became a Christian, from what I can gather, he decided to start his own church. I mean, who does that?? A narcissist.

    Others I would like to think started out on the right path (a long time ago), got caught up in a twisted theology and a corrupt system, were given power which went to their heads, and ended up losing their way and losing their first love.

  227. Does anyone know where in east Asia Jordan Root was a missionary? I cannot find this online.

    Would it have been Thailand by any chance? (If it was, there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that he did not touch children.)

  228. May wrote:

    “When I asked why the elders felt as though my choices about personal finances were within the scope of their authority, I was informed that ‘In a marriage separation, every aspect of your marriage is under the authority of the elders of the church’,” she said.

    Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse. Gah!!

    It makes me wonder, were the elders also delving into the couples sexual life, as in where, when, what, and how much? It wouldn’t surprise me, and I don’t say this to be crude, but if they were concerned about the finances dring this time it seems that the sexual life of the couple would also be expected to be divulged.

  229. Law Prof wrote:

    Something I very much wonder about. Are they really warped Christians who started down a wrong path

    I’m not sure that anyone whose goal it is to amass a tourist trap megachurch was ever in it for Jesus to begin with.

  230. @ Law Prof:
    Speaking for myself, I was a sincere christian (I even taught precept bible studies, which required a fair investment of time during the week to do well, and involved more studying the actual Word, than what other people said about it) who was pulled off the track by something that looked and sounded good, something that had the appearance of a refuge, but was actually a trap.

    And men of my acquaintance have been pulled into this, partly (I think) by appeals to their “better nature” — being told that Patriarchy is the best picture of men protecting women. Doug Phillips milked this for all it was worth with his “Women and Children First” Titanic Society, appealing to men to feel all noble and protective.

    I read about a study once that said that men are in search of (I forget), while women crave security. It rung true to me at the time, as we were in a very insecure place, socially and economically. The church offered help, actually. It even salved our pride by saying that sometimes it is a blessing to others to be on the receiving end — it is a lesson (for us) in humility, and a blessing to others to be allowed to give.

    We know families who are living this patriarchy model, where the adult children appear happy and productive and have gone out to begin their own families. I don’t know what the difference is, between those families and our family (and others that show cracks and downright breakdown). Is it possible that the husbands love their wives as Christ loved the Church, better than the husbands who feel their authority is threatened and feel as if they have to double down? Or… Sorry, I’m getting muddled.

    I think that some families thrive in a Benevolent Dictatorship, with the emphasis on “benevolent”, but then, with my shattered dreams, my limping-along family, what do I know?

  231. May wrote:

    What occurs to me is that reading Karen’s story is uncannily similar to reading one of those tragic SGM stories – of which there are countless – on the SGM Survivors’ Blog. And that leads me to a couple of thoughts
    1. Matt Chandler, just like CJ Mahaney, manages to stay aloof from the issue, keeps his hands clean and appears to get the minions to actually handle these cases/ do the dirty work. Thus, he can claim like CJ that he had nothing to do with it. Correct me please – I may be wrong on this
    2. God is using WOMEN to raise issues of abuse and to hold men to account. I know a poster said this upthread. Amy Smith and the Deebs have broken this story. Just like Kris did on the SGM Survivors blog. Karen, as has been said, is the ultimate hero here. Women are prepared to step up, care for the hurt, be brave, and refuse to be invested in the precious ‘system’.

    I always loop back to Zipporah, daughter of a possibly pagan priest, who nonetheless had more wisdom than Moses her husband and had the temerity in that place/day/age to get in his face, upbraid him severely (“Husband of blood!” probably wasn’t a mild rebuke, I wouldn’t take it as such from my wife), take charge, do the right thing and literally saved Moses’ life, as the Lord was about to strike him dead for his disobedience. It seems to me that the men who make their wives and women generally into junior partners, pretty baubles, baby factories, pen– homes, or gardens to be fertilized and planted, are just begging to be wiped out. Just ask Driscoll, Phillips, and now, perhaps, Chandler and company.

  232. @ Bridget:

    What do you want to bet they would have ordered her to stay with him? And now they can’t even pin a scarlet D on her bodice because she got an annulment and not a divorce. Way to go, Karen.

  233. May wrote:

    Does anyone know where in east Asia Jordan Root was a missionary? I cannot find this online.

    On Amy Smith’s blog, a letter from TVC says Karen and Jordan were working among the Cheuasai people. (I don’t know if that helps. I’m still not finding much on google.)

  234. @ Bridget:
    Yes, let’s not forget the men (and women, following the company line) who teach that if a man strays sexually (and that can include porn), it’s his wife’s fault for not being available enough, or exciting enough, or “letting herself go”…

    I don’t remember anymore where that teaching originated, or who was known for it, but I know I’ve heard it down the years, and not just from men but from women, in women’s “bible” study groups, and christian marriage advice books.

  235. @ May:

    There is a country in East Asia where the church is growing fast enough to threaten the communist-ish political leadership who see it as western imperialism. This country also monitors the internet. Hint hint wink wink nudge nudge.

    My point is, it’s unlikely that Village is using the nonspecific term to hide that they were in one of the more depraved east Asian countries.

  236. Ben Denison wrote:

    If you haven’t read Mary DeMuth’s Washington Post article, you should! Wise words. wapo.st/1Ajx3Vh

    Excellent OP! Thank you!

  237. May wrote:

    Nancy wrote:
    Way to go, Karen.
    Hear, hear.
    Karen, you have handled this amazingly. Well done.

    Yes, Karen. Thank you for the stance you have taken in the face of much personal heartache.

  238. May wrote:

    What occurs to me is that reading Karen’s story is uncannily similar to reading one of those tragic SGM stories – of which there are countless – on the SGM Survivors’ Blog.

    Julie Anne just shared a link to an article written by Matt Redmond. In point number 9 he also makes a comparison to SGM:

    “9. And it will happen again. And again and again. The dude-bro will get a pass and his wife will be expected to fall in line. This is exactly what happened with SGM. The wife was expected to stay with the pedophile husband and if they did not, the wife was disciplined. And it kept happening.”

    http://mattbredmond.com/2015/05/22/some-thoughts-on-what-is-happening-at-the-village-church/

  239. @ Godith:

    The fraud was in not revealing that he was addicted to child pornography and a pedophile, which poses a risk that he had in the past or would in the future sexually abuse a child. Having the child porn on his computer is a crime, so his failure to disclose that before marriage is a fraud which also puts his wife at risk of arrest for being considered an accomplice to his crime.

  240. Nancy wrote:

    internet

    I think you are correct. They were already marking her with the correspondence they were releasing to others in the church.

  241. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    The evidence was on a computer which is *somewhere*.

    Crushed and in a landfill and You Can’t Prove a Thing.

    People like that can’t do without their drug of choice for long. I bet the current computer has some new kiddie porn.

  242. The need these church leaders have to exert power and control over others simply boggles the mind.

    This story points to one reason (of many) that “no women in leadership” is such a bad idea. The odds that a woman, assuming she actually had some power within the leadership group, would allow these guys to continue down the “we demand that you let us ‘care for you’ road” are probably a million to one. I just can’t see it happening. Every woman can imagine what it would be like to be the victim in this situation, whereas most men cannot. So having a woman’s perspective here (and everywhere else) would be incredibly helpful.

  243. Karen may have a legitimate claim for defamation if the church or a pastor made false statements about her, such as that she divorced, rather than received an annulment! And putting her under discipline is based on a lie by the pastors, so telling the church that Karen left under discipline is a false statement.

  244. @ elastigirl:
    🙂 I admire your way of connecting with God. I still have a difficult time even reading the bible. (Too many warped interpretations drilled into me.) Still, I keep trying to find something I can connect with.

  245. Elizabeth Lee wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    The evidence was on a computer which is *somewhere*.

    Crushed and in a landfill and You Can’t Prove a Thing.

    People like that can’t do without their drug of choice for long. I bet the current computer has some new kiddie porn.

    This is a very important comment. This guy, Jordan Root, has been addicted to child abuse pornography for many years (note how the word ‘abuse’ is normally left out: it shouldn’t be, because any sexual images of children are inherently abusive and never consensual.) Jordan Root will not simply ‘repent’ and desist from now on, and everything will be OK. That’s not how it works. He’s an addict. There is simply no way that he will just give it up.

    The fact that TVC fails to understand this is simply frightening. Yes, it means there will be more cases like this one. Yes, it means more children will be victims of abuse. Yes, the leaders of TVC are effectively enablers of child abuse.

  246. @ BeenThereDoneThat:
    i try to keep whatever praying I do to be very, VERY concise and brief. It helps. I suffered from paralyzing anxiety about “not doing it right,” due to the super-spiritual, revelatory “prayer times” that some people seemed to have. Me, I always found my mind drifting, or I feel asleep quickly, or whatever. Just did not “perform properly,” up to the standard that was drilled into my head in evangelical/charismatic territory.

    I do believe God was communicating with me, but not via those means. Through everyday things, yes. Through some kind of harsh spiritual regime, no. In fact, the opposite.

  247. To the moderator (s): please delete my comment timed 12;59 pm this date. I want to reword it. Thanks.

    MOD: Done

  248. @ GC:
    No, not necessarily. Stacy McDonald and Jenny Chancey come to mind, with their book for instructing daughters (Raising Maidens of Virtue), that we burned (to our teens’ great relief and satisfaction) when at least part of our family came out of patriarchy. I could name any number of patriarchs’ wives, who led “women’s sessions” while their husbands were off instructing the men and boys, at the annual seminars sponsored by our former church.

  249. @ Gram3:
    The elders get to define everything contained in the covenant from your humility to whether or not they responded appropriately.

    That is the catch.

  250. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Crushed and in a landfill and You Can’t Prove a Thing.

    Sooner or later the luck of the guilty goes south and you got nothin’ sometimes becomes something the DA’s office can make stick. Karma and her sister comeuppance are relentless and one way or another they’ll reset Themis’ balances.

  251. numo wrote:

    I suffered from paralyzing anxiety about “not doing it right,” due to the super-spiritual, revelatory “prayer times” that some people seemed to have. Me, I always found my mind drifting, or I feel asleep quickly, or whatever. Just did not “perform properly,” up to the standard that was drilled into my head in evangelical/charismatic territory.

    Same here. We were supposed to spend at *least* 30 mins a day in charismatic prayer. It became less about a relationship and more of a legalistic requirement.

  252. May wrote:

    I think Mark Driscoll is like you describe here. Power hungry, narcissistic – it was always about him. As soon as he became a Christian, from what I can gather, he decided to start his own church. I mean, who does that?? A narcissist.

    According to his own testimony, he decided upon a church-planting career (just like the Apostle Paul, doncha know) BEFORE he became a Christian, which would then become a means to his end.
    One of the Village pastors’ emails reminds me greatly of an evil email from a young Driscoll-protege “elder” (or *younger*) to the recently-fired and soon-to-be dismembered Paul Petry demanding that they be allowed to “care” for him. (The *younger* will here go unnamed, since he recently signed the apology letter to Petry.)
    You can KICK da Driscoll outada Acts 29, but you can’t TAKE da Driscoll outada Acts 29!

  253. @ May:
    I have been wondering about the financial aspect since they were missionaries and it sounds like TVC put up some support.

  254. I want to know what happened at that “Conversation With The Elders On Karen Root”. The one that took place on Sunday, March 14th in the Cambridge Cafeteria where the elders hosted an open conversation specifically as it related to Karen Root.

    What was said? How was she portrayed? What was the degree of spin, deception, ‘mis-speaking’, lying…

    (what a violation, to be discussed like this with a large group, through the lense of & being represented by the guardians of the institution and empire no less)

    Is there anyone who was there who can comment?

  255. May wrote:

    . Women are prepared to step up, care for the hurt, be brave, and refuse to be invested in the precious ‘system’.

    Thing is, women are more than capable of the same power and control issues. They just have had less opportunity, resources and have historically been “less than” men.

  256. Daisy wrote:

    As someone who is not firmly planted in the Christian faith any longer (I’m only somewhat Christian these days), a small thing that troubled me about this, was the fake-sounding, pious, Christianese terminology in the preacher’s writing.
    This kind of thing may not have bothered me as much in the past, but now the preacher’s Bible Guy sounding delivery makes me roll my eyes or cringe – it sounds cheesy, insincere, and manipulative to me now.
    The preacher used churchy phrases with her such as, “…for our Fathers glory I would like to hear your heart,” “we have counseled him to trust in the Lord in facing the consequences…,” “until then, may be Christ be exalted in all things,” and “continue to know our Fathers mercies are new every day.”
    That no longer sounds to me how a person would write or talk in every day, regular correspondence.
    It sounds more like how someone living in the evangelical bubble would communicate. It sounds Stepford Christianish.
    Do evangelical preachers take courses in seminary called “Overly religious, cheese ball, Christianse Rhetoric and Correspondence 101″?
    Followed by: “How to Sound Like A Robot Who is Programmed With Religious Phrases and Vague Biblical References 202″?

    Jesus didn’t talk like that.

  257. @ elastigirl:
    They were wrong to do this! She revoked her membership officially.

    I wonder if something like this could be a legal problem for them?

  258. lydia wrote:

    @ May:
    I have been wondering about the financial aspect since they were missionaries and it sounds like TVC put up some support.

    As a matter of fact, one of the TVC documents states that they plan to continue to support Karen through August.

  259. lMay wrote:

    To be fair, I must add that there are men shining light on the darkness too – Boz Tchividjian springs to mind.

    And there are men like Gramp3 who are mortified by this idolatry every bit as much as I am. Really, anyone who cares about the true Gospel should be horrified when it is defamed like this and made into an anti-gospel.

  260. elastigirl wrote:

    I want to know what happened at that “Conversation With The Elders On Karen Root”. The one that took place on Sunday, March 14th in the Cambridge Cafeteria where the elders hosted an open conversation specifically as it related to Karen Root.
    What was said? How was she portrayed? What was the degree of spin, deception, ‘mis-speaking’, lying…
    (what a violation, to be discussed like this with a large group, through the lense of & being represented by the guardians of the institution and empire no less)
    Is there anyone who was there who can comment?

    That the church did this is repulsive.

  261. Nancy wrote:

    Ian wrote:

    What period (roughly) was that?

    My parents started telling me this from as early as I can remember, that would be the late 1930s. When we got old enough to ‘get in a car with a boy’ we were told the same sort of thing in (believe it or not) church and school sex ed (hygiene) classes. When I first went into nurse’s training in 1953 they took a class period early on, before they ever let us go onto the floors, and told us that sometimes patients try to do the following (oh my goodness!) and how to avoid the possibility of such a situation and how to handle it if it happened. When I worked as a public health nurse in approximately 1958 or so they told us the same thing about the dangers one might encounter during the home visits which we did.

    When my children were in school they were told the same things at home and school and church. I know this for a fact because the parents were notified of the content of the class. And now my children watch their children like hawks for reasons of safety and also both of the school age girls (grandchildren) have been told this in school-or at least they said they had.

    And no, nobody ever told anybody that it was just stranger danger. The idea of if something bad is going on at home you should tell the teacher was drilled into the heads of my children and grandchildren by the schools. This of course included more than just sexual abuse but also physical abuse and drug use.

    Nancy, that’s quite fascinating, especially as it goes back to the 1930s. I presume you are in the US. I never heard anything as strong as that growing up in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s, and I’m sure my experience was typical. Instruction on personal safety was basically don’t go off with strangers and look both ways when crossing the road. As I said elsewhere, we’ve had lots of historic sex abuse come to light recently and I get the impression we didn’t really know how paedophiles operate. I’m sure today’s kids get warned about a lot more than we did, and I would agree with you that there’s now a bit of a climate of fear as every adult is seen as a potential abuser.

  262. Nancy wrote:

    Why would they do this? What on earth could be important enough to put themselves in this position especially when Jesus said what he said about someone who causes one of the little ones to sin?

    I’m not a psychologist, but the only thing that I can think of is that their system has become their god, and Jordan is an example of how their System does not bring in the New Heavens and the New Earth. Therefore there is a blind and desperate effort to make it all go away by any means necessary, up to and including the practical affirmation of pedophilia. It is a willful blindness because they have hung their entire identities on their System, and their System like any other idol must be protected and defended at all costs.

    If we go back to the post where Matt Chandler finally canned Driscoll, I said that it did not show any repentance on Chandler’s part for the corruption arising from their System. Chandler only dumped Driscoll because Acts29 was taking on water. Chandler was not a hero. I said all that not because I am a prophet but only because I have seen the fruit of this System and its hold on people up close. I’ve been in the meetings where I left and said “What just happened here?”

  263. May wrote:

    Elizabeth Lee wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    The evidence was on a computer which is *somewhere*.

    Crushed and in a landfill and You Can’t Prove a Thing.

    People like that can’t do without their drug of choice for long. I bet the current computer has some new kiddie porn.

    This is a very important comment. This guy, Jordan Root, has been addicted to child abuse pornography for many years (note how the word ‘abuse’ is normally left out: it shouldn’t be, because any sexual images of children are inherently abusive and never consensual.) Jordan Root will not simply ‘repent’ and desist from now on, and everything will be OK. That’s not how it works. He’s an addict. There is simply no way that he will just give it up.

    The fact that TVC fails to understand this is simply frightening. Yes, it means there will be more cases like this one. Yes, it means more children will be victims of abuse. Yes, the leaders of TVC are effectively enablers of child abuse.

    Agree totally. This is what paedophilia is like. It’s why offenders are not allowed to work with children indefinitely. And they are incredibly manipulative people who can come over as remorseful and repentant, often blaming the victim for “seducing” them (as if a child could seduce an adult). Churches simply do not have the very specialised skills and knowledge to work with paedophiles.

  264. lydia wrote:

    @ elastigirl:
    They were wrong to do this! She revoked her membership officially.
    I wonder if something like this could be a legal problem for them?

    If they talk on before the church about her alleged sins, it could be a legal problem, e.g., defamation. And even if what they say is true–i.e., not defamatory–they could still get into legal hot water by disclosing private facts about her that the reasonable person would object to the disclosure thereof–that would involve tort law.

    Courts are reticent, however, to interfere with the function of a religious non-profit regarding whether they want to keep her on membership rolls. I doubt a court would order the church to drop her from the roll, but of course, this is a distinction without a difference, because she could sue them for attempting to discipline her once she’s given notice of her intent to terminate.

  265. Gram3 wrote:

    It is a willful blindness because they have hung their entire identities on their System, and their System like any other idol must be protected and defended at all costs.

    People who are defending their idols typically defend them with greater vehemence and brutality than one who is trying to defend the Lord Himself, because one defending the Lord knows He needs no defense, He can handle Himself–but the idol, that is a creation of the one in idolatry, and must be propped up and defended at all costs and detractors destroyed by any means.

  266. lydia wrote:

    May wrote:
    . Women are prepared to step up, care for the hurt, be brave, and refuse to be invested in the precious ‘system’.
    Thing is, women are more than capable of the same power and control issues. They just have had less opportunity, resources and have historically been “less than” men.

    I agree with both of you. I think that if leadership were opened up to more people without the requirement for groupthink, then the additional perspectives would be very helpful.

    Each of these elders at The Village has a wife, I presume. Where are those women, and why are they being silent? Because they benefit from the System like the others on the conference circuit? They need to step up and be Deborahs, the “woman of torches.”

  267. May wrote:

    Nancy wrote:

    Way to go, Karen.

    Hear, hear.

    Karen, you have handled this amazingly. Well done.

    Another vote in the affirmative.

    The part I’m still grappling with is how many in that church know of Karen’s treatment and continue to stay and support the institution.

    At my the former church there were a number of people who were similarly very troubled over the same things I saw. For various reasons some stayed. I continue to see some of them, we no longer talk about it and if asked, the response is everything is fine. They truly don’t see it anymore. Read carefully, it isn’t they don’t want to see it, the don’t see it.

    What I see is not a grudging acceptance of things are wrong but I can’t change it. Instead I see there is only a short period of time, when you first see something wrong, if you don’t decide right then and instead decide to live with it, you soon become oblivious to it.

    Cognitive dissonance doesn’t quite explain it for me. One side appears to completely win out and awareness of the alternative disappears. If it is the corrupt system, the adherents lose all sense of its evils, they may even begin to defend it.

    How do you break through?

  268. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:
    Please let them know where their kephale can be found. They have lost it.
    In their πρωκτός of course…

    I was thinking perhaps the process had advanced beyond your scope. What is the remedy, Dr.?

  269. refugee wrote:

    lydia wrote:
    @ May:
    I have been wondering about the financial aspect since they were missionaries and it sounds like TVC put up some support.

    As a matter of fact, one of the TVC documents states that they plan to continue to support Karen through August.

    But I think another letter/email in February mentioned that they had not decided what to do about their/her support. When I read that, I thought they were using that as leverage in their “negotiations” over her withdrawal of membership.

  270. Bill M wrote:

    May wrote:
    Nancy wrote:
    Way to go, Karen.
    Hear, hear.
    Karen, you have handled this amazingly. Well done.
    Another vote in the affirmative.
    The part I’m still grappling with is how many in that church know of Karen’s treatment and continue to stay and support the institution.
    At my the former church there were a number of people who were similarly very troubled over the same things I saw. For various reasons some stayed. I continue to see some of them, we no longer talk about it and if asked, the response is everything is fine. They truly don’t see it anymore. Read carefully, it isn’t they don’t want to see it, the don’t see it.
    What I see is not a grudging acceptance of things are wrong but I can’t change it. Instead I see there is only a short period of time, when you first see something wrong, if you don’t decide right then and instead decide to live with it, you soon become oblivious to it.
    Cognitive dissonance doesn’t quite explain it for me. One side appears to completely win out and awareness of the alternative disappears. If it is the corrupt system, the adherents lose all sense of its evils, they may even begin to defend it.
    How do you break through?

    “We’re sorry. It’s not us. It’s the monster. The bank isn’t like a man. Yes, but the bank is only made of men. No, you’re wrong there—quite wrong there. The bank is something else than men. It happens that every man in a bank hates what the bank does, and yet the bank does it. The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It’s the monster. Men made it, but they can’t control it.” Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath

    Substitute “church” or, perhaps more accurately with this crowd, “local church” for “bank”.

    I think some members become cynical but stay for friendships or convince themselves they’re doing clandestine mission work, making a difference, being the light rather than cursing the darkness–insert favorite cliche.

  271. @ refugee:
    But that is vague. Is SIM supporting her through Aug? Her ex was fired. She has terminated her membership in the “sending” church. Is TVC supporting Josh since he is in good standing under discipline? Separate checks?

    With these guys you have to get specific. They live to create perceptions.

  272. Law Prof wrote:

    People who are defending their idols typically defend them with greater vehemence and brutality than one who is trying to defend the Lord Himself, because one defending the Lord knows He needs no defense, He can handle Himself–but the idol, that is a creation of the one in idolatry, and must be propped up and defended at all costs and detractors destroyed by any means.

    So true. Tribal loyalty to the tribes god.

  273. Gram3 wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    tribe’s. I know how to use apostrophe’s.

    I saw that, but I assumed you did. People have to overlook a lot of my typos also.

  274. Well, this is interesting. I received the following information which apparently is the elders trying to explain some changes at The Village regarding membership covenants.

    All we have done in the membership covenant is tried to sum up what Jesus has told us regarding following Him. We are not adding to Scripture, we are not negating grace, we are not promoting legalism, we are simply saying, “These are a few areas in which we have the opportunity to gladly obey the sweet commands of our Lord.” When you read through the membership covenant don’t think “I have to do this,” but instead think “I get to do this.” S Perspective is important.

    Many of you remember the 2007 events at Mars Hill when the elders changed the bylaws and there was a lot of pushback. Well, it seems that the elders at The Village needed to do some explaining as well.

  275. Can I offer a small observation from my position in the friendly opposition? Please avoid going down the Not True Christian™ road with these people. It seems to be one of the ways that helps hide these types. Because they’re obviously true Believers and everyone knows true Believers don’t do stuff like that. From what I know of one your faiths basic tenets, everyone has potential, inclination and agency to do bad stuff and being a True Believer™ even doesn’t stop that from occurring. Don’t blind yourselves, please.

    I wonder if the way churches do their self governance is going to have to change. Transparency is probably going to have to be upped. What’s a good way to organize in those sort of environments as the American Protestant church?

  276. Gram3 wrote:

    Perspective is important.

    S (Scriptural?) Perspective is quite important. We have the perspective of having seen many examples of the abusive and anti-scriptural use of such covenants in a manner that is the very opposite of “sweet” or anything that the Lord has commanded us coming from organizations such as Acts 29. Scriptural perspective is what precisely drives our response to Mr. Chandler and his associates.

  277. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    Can I offer a small observation from my position in the friendly opposition? Please avoid going down the Not True Christian™ road with these people. It seems to be one of the ways that helps hide these types. Because they’re obviously true Believers and everyone knows true Believers don’t do stuff like that. From what I know of one your faiths basic tenets, everyone has potential, inclination and agency to do bad stuff and being a True Believer™ even doesn’t stop that from occurring. Don’t blind yourselves, please.
    I wonder if the way churches do their self governance is going to have to change. Transparency is probably going to have to be upped. What’s a good way to organize in those sort of environments as the American Protestant church?

    I understand where you’re coming from, and you’re right. I have, as a believer in Jesus, done some awful stuff; I have yet to find one like myself who has not done awful stuff. That’s a central tenet of our faith, as you correctly identify.

    But… When I see people who come in the name of God who do stuff diametrically opposed to anything Jesus taught and doing so persistently without seeming to notice or care, when I see that these people almost invariably target for abuse those who claim to have a faith in Jesus, I am left to wonder what exactly they do believe.

    The Bible that tells us we all fall short also more-or-less tells us some people are fakes and frauds and simply hang with us so that they might harm us more efficiently.

  278. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    From what I know of one your faiths basic tenets, everyone has potential, inclination and agency to do bad stuff and being a True Believer™ even doesn’t stop that from occurring. Don’t blind yourselves, please.

    You’ve put your finger on one of the problems. The blindness comes from not really believing that we are still prone to do bad stuff. We’ve think we’ve outgrown that. We have learned enough from the right people that we no longer have a need to watch ourselves and our lives as individuals. It is a trap.

    I don’t know what the organizational fix is.

  279. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    I wonder if the way churches do their self governance is going to have to change. Transparency is probably going to have to be upped. What’s a good way to organize in those sort of environments as the American Protestant church?

    This is true IMHO, and in fact, is a subject for some upcoming research I want to engage in.

  280. Law Prof wrote:

    S (Scriptural?)

    The S is a typo which I somehow added in the combox. But your point is right on target.

    An examination of their website might turn up some more interesting and sweet things. Yeah, “sweet” is another one of those tooth-curling sweet words I’ve heard a lot.

  281. Gram3 wrote:

    Each of these elders at The Village has a wife, I presume. Where are those women, and why are they being silent? Because they benefit from the System like the others on the conference circuit? They need to step up and be Deborahs, the “woman of torches.”

    I had an online discussion with the wife of a convicted pedo from SGM about this very subject. The wives of the leaders were of no help. The wives were around to support their husbands every decision. In other cases, wives are not even aware of the issues in the churcb until said issues come out in the general public. Women are trained to suspend their instincts, logic, and reason. They are also trained to NEVER publicly disagree with their husbands.

  282. Gram3 wrote:

    An examination of their website might turn up some more interesting and sweet things. Yeah, “sweet” is another one of those tooth-curling sweet words I’ve heard a lot.

    Reading about the Mormon polygamy cult — that word is constantly used in relationships.

  283. Gram3 wrote:

    We have learned enough from the right people that we no longer have a need to watch ourselves and our lives as individuals. It is a trap.

    In environments like SGM, Mars Hill, 9 Marks –sin sniffing is foundational to their doctrine.

  284. Ian wrote:

    I think what we are seeing with Karen is primarily calvinista authoritarianism and complementarianism taken to its logical conclusion.

    Agreed.

    These CBMW-types always harp on how the man’s “authority” is to “protect” the woman. But why, then, do we consistently see this “authority” used to protect the man and to neglect or even hurt the woman?

  285. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Elizabeth Lee wrote:
    Church and church leaders continue the standard harassment. The criminal husband is not under church discipline, but the former wife (annulment has been granted) IS even though she is legally not a member and she could sue for harassment and win.
    So here is the thing – Chandler and TVC are using cult tactics. Mark Dever has been advocating cult tactics for years. Now those cultic control methodologies are being used in wicked ways in decidedly mainstream evangelical contexts. These folks are bringing shame to Christ and the church through their actions, but they will never see that. Anyone deceived enough to think exercising this measure of control over a person is a good thing is probably too far gone to understand anything other than power.

    Amen!

  286. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    If you think of it, please let me know what you find out. I’m always interested in that sort of stuff. Once a poli sci geek, always a poli sci geek.

    Would be very glad to. I was thinking about writing some ponderous academic article on church or religious nonprofit polity models and the relationship between them and the propensity to commit fraud.

  287. @ Ian:

    I have a couple of theories. One has to do with the impact of the cultural revolution of the 60s and 70s. Over here there were massive changes in attitudes about a lot of things (like drugs) and there were also individuals and pockets of individuals who were digging in about some things and not changing. I am thinking that we over here became a nation even more divided during that time. Maybe this is one area where there was cultural change.

    My other theory is that UK and US are different in more ways than we want to talk about. For example, we have that second amendment thing and that kinds of looks different. And we do not have any official state church(es). And some of us grew up idolizing the frontier days as an heroic era and playing childhood games related to the wild west and some little child who allegedly shot some ‘bar’ and saved the day. Perhaps we do not expect ‘civilized’ behavior as much as you all do, or perhaps we do not even define it the same way. This is just conjecture.

  288. @ Gram3:
    I didn’t go back to look at the particulars, but what I remember reading might have been taken as leverage, as I recall.

  289. lydia wrote:

    @ refugee:
    But that is vague. Is SIM supporting her through Aug? Her ex was fired. She has terminated her membership in the “sending” church. Is TVC supporting Josh since he is in good standing under discipline? Separate checks?
    With these guys you have to get specific. They live to create perceptions.

    If I remember right, one of the men at TVC said they had committed to support her through August. This might have been early on in the correspondence, before she resigned her membership (as a reassurance, perhaps?), or it might have been after (as a veiled attempt to reassert control?). Sorry I don’t have time to go back through and look.

  290. Gram3 wrote:

    Each of these elders at The Village has a wife, I presume. Where are those women, and why are they being silent?

    Ever heard of the term “Queen Bee”?

  291. @ Bridget:
    Yes! I was not in an SGM church, though our former church has similar leanings. However, this is a very good description of the women of the leaders there.

  292. Stan wrote:

    There is a country in East Asia where the church is growing fast enough to threaten the communist-ish political leadership who see it as western imperialism. This country also monitors the internet. Hint hint wink wink nudge nudge.

    If that’s the country I’m thinking of, it also has a 2000+ year cultural trope of “Not Invented Here”. As in taking over 1000 years to accept Buddhism as anything other than a FOREIGN(TM) faith from India.

  293. refugee wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    Yes, let’s not forget the men (and women, following the company line) who teach that if a man strays sexually (and that can include porn), it’s his wife’s fault for not being available enough, or exciting enough, or “letting herself go”…
    I don’t remember anymore where that teaching originated…

    My guess is porn.

    It sounds like a basic building block of porn, where the woman has to always be available, always be exciting, always be knockout-bombshell in the looks department, and NEVER object or hesitate to anything the author/reader/viewer Self-Insert (or the Urges in his Areas) wants to do to her.

  294. @ Beakerj:

    Excellent comment Beaks. Maybe the Evangelical culture needs to rethink the whole human sexuality paradigm in terms of a responsible and real life pragmatism instead of an iron-clad and non-negotiable ideal of ‘purity’.

  295. May wrote:

    I think Mark Driscoll is like you describe here. Power hungry, narcissistic – it was always about him. As soon as he became a Christian, from what I can gather, he decided to start his own church. I mean, who does that?? A narcissist.

    Others I would like to think started out on the right path (a long time ago), got caught up in a twisted theology and a corrupt system, were given power which went to their heads, and ended up losing their way and losing their first love.

    “It’s not that Power tends to Corrupt. Power tends to attract the Already Corrupted and the Easily Corruptible.”
    — Frank Herbert

    “But the hearts of Men are easily corrupted, and the Ring of POWER has a Will of its own.”
    — J.R.R.Tolkien(?)

  296. Nancy wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Though when I was in grade school in the 1960s, Stranger Danger WAS the main emphasis.

    I wonder why? Do you think it was a part of the overall cultural change that was starting to happen about then or do you think it was geographical? Or were you in private school?

    No, it was public school. Rio Hondo Elementary, in South Arcadia, CA, probably around 1960-62. White suburbia in the First 1960s, when things were just starting to loosen up from the Nifty Fifties but well before “overall cultural change” hit Critical Mass around 1968.

  297. refugee wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    I didn’t go back to look at the particulars, but what I remember reading might have been taken as leverage, as I recall.

    In the third Scribd window there is a Feb. 20 email from Steve Hardin. Though the document seems to have a date in the upper left of 3/31/2015 so I’m not sure the timeline, but this is what Steve Hardin wrote about in the “Removal of Financial Support” paragraph:

    “The Village Church will make our decision on whether or not to reestablish support pending an ongoing conversation we’re attempting to have with Karen.”

    The timeline would be very interesting because this seems to make her support contingent on her compliance with their demands for her to stay in the marriage or go through their procedure. Creepy.

  298. @ Nancy:
    I actually have spend a bit of time in the UK over the years – lived there as a child (dad’s work took us there), went back a few times since. I live in Canada, so I am outside both places.

    Here is the main difference, but it isn’t obvious at first. In the UK, anyone with authority and money tends to have a higher level of education. There is less upward mobility. People expect people in power to be knowledgable and show credentials. The internet age may change this, I don’t know. So, church leaders come from a more academic background – for the most part. If they don’t, they don’t garner a huge following.

    In the US, being business person can garner a lot of wealth, without much education or further credentials. Half the colleges these Gospel Coalition pastors attend wouldn’t even be allowed to be called universities or colleges in the UK – the standards are much higher for what is higher education. More state control, less private enterprise. Being successful in the US means popular and wealthy. Being successful in the UK means being admired by prestigious people or institutions. NT Write was a Bishop, that was his credentials, Piper and Driscoll and Chandler’s credentials are having a big church with lots of unqualified attenders to attest to their “greatness” and lots of money. See, to the Brits, anyone can lead a ship of fools, but can you impress the intelligent and studied crowd? In the US, money and fame are credentials that Driscoll bragged about (I saved 10 thousand, I had 10 thousand internet followers – likely sock puppets -, I grew a huge church) and people thought that meant something.

  299. @ Val:
    Not being critical – I think any one can be a great preacher, but the only measuring stick the Gospel Coalition seems to use is $$ and followers. What about Piper’s heresy? Driscoll’s butchering of most of the gospel? His complete lack of Biblical knowledge, etc.? No one called him for that. People thought he was a great preacher because he said he was, no further investigation necessary. He plagiarized a lot, when he spoke I found hundreds of small inaccuracies, but even people who knew better shrugged and said “oh well”?

    That wouldn’t fly in the UK. If you want power, you’ve got to prove yourself to a lot less approving audience. The US could use more UK hesitance at claims to greatness. Not going overboard and having no poor or less educated people move up the ranks, but it would do well to question authority more, without trashing it.

  300. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    My guess is porn.

    Oh yes indeedy do. And my guess is that the guys who want to provide cover for those guilty of internet sexual abuse of children may be into some stuff online themselves, or at least have some sympathies for those who are. How any man who was the father of children himself could rally behind somebody who is admittedly into this stuff, and oppose the spouse who deals with the situation correctly (as Karen has)–that needs some explanation. And how any christian could advocate the degradation and humiliation of wives like some of these people do-they got that idea somewhere and my guess is also porn.

  301. @ Val:

    That makes sense. We do rather admire the rags to riches stories; born in a log cabin; pulled himself up by his own bootstraps; self-made man and all.

  302. Val wrote:

    See, to the Brits, anyone can lead a ship of fools, but can you impress the intelligent and studied crowd?

    You might wanna use more brushes to paint with than just that big broad one there Val. We Americans are not composed solely of the ignorant lot you allude to.

  303. What also chills me is that I bet that TVC would have wanted Karen to stay married to a man who has paedophilic desires which he has acted on in his viewing, slept with him, treated him as her ‘head’ etc. Makes me shudder. Their conception of marriage really has no room in it for the welfare of both parties, particularly the woman. I am so proud of Karen for taking the actions she took – she was indeed duped into her vows by his false representation of himself & that annulment is well deserved. TVC would have kept her tied to a liar & paedophile to show the amazing gospelly glory of the trinity no doubt.
    Karen, you are a star in so many ways.

  304. Beakerj wrote:

    What also chills me is that I bet that TVC would have wanted Karen to stay married to a man who has paedophilic desires which he has acted on in his viewing, slept with him, treated him as her ‘head’ etc. Makes me shudder.

    And then have kids with him? Totally weird.

  305. Gram3 wrote:

    refugee wrote:
    @ Gram3:
    I didn’t go back to look at the particulars, but what I remember reading might have been taken as leverage, as I recall.

    In the third Scribd window there is a Feb. 20 email from Steve Hardin. Though the document seems to have a date in the upper left of 3/31/2015 so I’m not sure the timeline, but this is what Steve Hardin wrote about in the “Removal of Financial Support” paragraph:
    “The Village Church will make our decision on whether or not to reestablish support pending an ongoing conversation we’re attempting to have with Karen.”
    The timeline would be very interesting because this seems to make her support contingent on her compliance with their demands for her to stay in the marriage or go through their procedure. Creepy.

    Ah, I must have missed that one in the reading. I read through the whole website in one sitting. The one I remembered must have come earlier, because I remember it being to Karen from one of the church people, assuring her of their support through August.

    Unless I dreamed it somehow…?

  306. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    refugee wrote:
    @ Bridget:
    Yes, let’s not forget the men (and women, following the company line) who teach that if a man strays sexually (and that can include porn), it’s his wife’s fault for not being available enough, or exciting enough, or “letting herself go”…
    I don’t remember anymore where that teaching originated…
    My guess is porn.
    It sounds like a basic building block of porn, where the woman has to always be available, always be exciting, always be knockout-bombshell in the looks department, and NEVER object or hesitate to anything the author/reader/viewer Self-Insert (or the Urges in his Areas) wants to do to her.

    Maybe so. But this was teaching *within* church and christian homeschooling circles. It was in self-help books, and marriage enrichment materials.

    And I remember hearing, in some church-sponsored teaching or homeschooling marriage workshop, that a wife who truly loves and respects her husband never says “no” — if it’s the wrong time of the month, she finds other ways to ease his urgings. (Sorry to be so crass. I’m sure it was delicately phrased to avoid searing our sensitive sensibilities.)

    Perhaps it was Gothard’s influence, or Doug Phillips, or Doug Wilson? I know that all of those heavily influenced christian homeschool leaders and homeschooling churches.

    Or maybe they all read that “The Total Woman” book, I don’t remember when that came out, but I remember some of the controversy about it.

  307. @ Val:
    I’m willing to bet that most of these so-called “colleges” would never pass an actual accretitation review here in the US, either, and that very few of them are accretited.

    Just curious: have you ever lived in the US? Because some of what you say makes me feel,as if you aren’t as familiar with us as you might believe, though in saying that, i realise that this is true many times over re. typical views of Canada Down Here. (MAinly as some sort of ectrnsion of yhe US.)

  308. @ Val:
    The class barriers that were still firmly in place in the UK prior to WWII have bern steadily eroding since then – about time, too. I do (largely, though not entirely) agree that many people who attend the most famous public schools and most prestigious Oxbridge colleges end up having influence, but state-run unis have bern surging ahead for the past several decades, and Britain is *far* more ethnically and culturally diverse than at sny time in its history. If anything, in the arts, some of the most notable people are of African, Caribbean and South Asian ancestry – very often, they are the children of immigrant parents at that.

    I do not think that the Tories are going to be able to keep a lock on things for vety long, either, though the rise of racist groupd like Ukip is very troubling.

  309. May wrote:

    2. God is using WOMEN to raise issues of abuse and to hold men to account. I know a poster said this upthread. Amy Smith and the Deebs have broken this story. Just like Kris did on the SGM Survivors blog. Karen, as has been said, is the ultimate hero here. Women are prepared to step up, care for the hurt, be brave, and refuse to be invested in the precious ‘system’.

    I have one idea or theory about it, and maybe it’s totally wrong, and I’m not sure how to explain it.

    Since a lot of these men in these denominations and churches prohibit women from ministry, leadership positions, or believe that women are in some way inferior to men, they really leave women no other avenues but to discuss these problems on blogs and forums.

    The church men keep all the leadership roles for themselves, so women are not in places of power to confront abusers directly and with abuse that crops up.

    (Even in the progressive churches and denominations that permit women clergy, I’ve read that the women are not afforded as much respect from the men in those churches or circles. That may explain in part why progressive guys like Tony Jones get away with things too.)

    If you’re in a system that basically tells women to sit down, shut up, and ‘we won’t permit you to run things or have any say-so,’ women don’t have much to lose – it’s not like they have any power or rank to lose, since they start out with none in the first place in these churches or in that type of theology.

    And if the churches won’t deal with this stuff correctly in-house, it leaves the ladies little recourse but to get the news out themselves, and these days, that’s blogging, or forums.

    I was reading a book about why people leave church, and the author mentioned in one chapter that blogging is one area where women can speak out as much and as loudly as they want, and men and churches can’t do anything to stop it.

    Maybe those are at least a few reasons why this phenomenon is happening?

  310. @ Gram3:

    Those are all good suggestions. I’ve tried different ways to cope or calm myself down if I’m upset. I like going on bike rides while listening to songs on an mp3 player, is one thing.

    It would be nice to have a friend or two I could talk to in real life or on the phone who understandm who won’t judge, but everyone I’ve approached has blown me off, just quoted Bible verses at me, or shamed me and basically told me to forget about it and go volunteer at charities.

    I’ve tried to find hobbies or things to deal with the sad feelings.

    I appreciate your thoughts, thank you 🙂

  311. @ Daisy:

    Excellent points, Daisy. A couple advantages to women’s voices on blogs and forums are; 1) they reach a much broader segment of the population as opposed to one local church and 2) no one can accuse them of having anything to gain other than justice for victims and accountability for abusers.

    Even books and conferences don’t reach as many (worldwide) as bogs and forums.

  312. refugee wrote:

    The one I remembered must have come earlier, because I remember it being to Karen from one of the church people, assuring her of their support through August.

    I think that reference to August came in the text messages from Steve Hardin which were at the very end, IIRC. So maybe somebody thought about the whole thing a little more and realized that the veiled threat (or what could be perceived as a veiled threat) was not a very good idea. That said, I may have totally mangled the timeline of events. This is so infuriating and utterly unbelievable. Except I totally know this is how these guys think!

  313. Victorious wrote:

    no one can accuse them of having anything to gain other than justice for victims and accountability for abusers.

    Oh no no no no no. We gain a voice for our bitterness. We have a means to gossip and tear down God’s men. Yeah, I’ve been in a meeting where one of the Usual Suspects was defended from The Blogs. So, the ones who want to control the mic will always find something wrong with anyone else who dares to disagree.

  314. @ Daisy:
    I hope you find some comfort. I didn’t mean to suggest that what comforted me will comfort you. But what I can say is that you should not worry about what other people say you *should* do and just do whatever gives you some measure of healing and glimmers of joy. I hope that you will find a true friend who can walk with you through this.

  315. Gram3 wrote:

    Oh no no no no no. We gain a voice for our bitterness. We have a means to gossip and tear down God’s men.

    It just occurred to me that abusive church leaders call dissenters “bitter” to shut down all legitimate discourse in the way that a cheating spouse says “you’re just jealous!” Pin the blame on the other person so you never have to own up to what you’re doing.

  316. Gram3 wrote:

    Oh no no no no no. We gain a voice for our bitterness. We have a means to gossip and tear down God’s men.

    Oh silly me…I completely overlooked our bitterness and gossip tendencies. And you are right…we are trying to usurp their authority. 🙁

  317. This is very tragic the way Karen was treated. It’s extremely sad that it was at the hand of a church that is supposed to feed and care for Jesus’ sheep. But, this is a great example of how The Village Church pastors operate. Keep in mind these are seminary educated men. They are not stupid. Karen pointed out to them that they were remiss, in believing that a pedophile was telling them the whole truth, when he said that he hadn’t harmed any children. But they already knew that such people can’t be trusted. The fact is that they didn’t want to go public with the information thatT they had a pedophile in their midst, because it could have tarnished their image, and that might affect the mega-church franchise that they are building. Karen’s situation is significantly more tragic than my experience with The Village Church pastoral group, but I was similarly and intentionally deceived for years, when I asked questions on theological issues. The pastors at the Village Church also don’t want to reveal what they believe (and they are clearly under orders from the top to do so) about specific Bible doctrine, because they know it will be controversial, and they could lose members (i.e., it would hurt their business model). My experience with The Village Church can be read here:

    http://www.praythendo.com/why-i-left-the-village-church/

    When I told the campus pastor at The Village Church that I was resigning my membership, I was met with the same response that Karen got. Essentially, they threw the Covenant Membership Agreement that I had signed at me. They told me I couldn’t resign and that I had to meet with them about my blog article above. I asked that they write up what issues they had with my article before we met, and they refused to put anything in writing. So I refused to meet with them. I was then told that I was not suitable for membership in any other church, because they could not release me from the covenant I had signed. I did just as Karen did, and told them the covenant didn’t apply to me, as I was no longer a member of the church. I remember thinking at the time about the unbiblical nature of such covenants, and that Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2:5 that, “There is one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ.” But, the Village Church doesn’t see it that way. They see themselves in the role as a second mediator. The pastoral group at The Village Church is on a sad and sorry power trip, and they will continue to hurt people along the way.

  318. This couple was missionaries in Asia, but there is also talk of a church in a very wealthy neighbourhood.
    The kind of connection that rich churches tend to have to missionaries is financial: Rich Church say the couple are Rich Church’s missionaries, and pay them for working in Other Country, while a missionary organization that actually has experience of Other Country oversee the missionaries.

    In this case, Karen and the missionary organization seem to have acted right, while I assume that it is the group that paid Karen (and her ex)’s salary that are all unhappy that she does not obey them. But no employer has the right to tell an employee to stay married to a criminal, which she married not knowing of his crime, which she probably have done youth work with while not knowing he also has other plans with the youth.

  319. @ David Bruce:

    Wow. I almost did not read through your entire post but I am glad I did. I kept having the feeling that these people’s theology regarding covenant might be a kissing cousin that would fit right in with dominionism / reconstructionism. Did you get that impression from them?

  320. 3
    Muff Potter wrote:

    Val wrote:

    See, to the Brits, anyone can lead a ship of fools, but can you impress the intelligent and studied crowd?

    You might wanna use more brushes to paint with than just that big broad one there Val. We Americans are not composed solely of the ignorant lot you allude to.

    Even though we speak the same language there is a historical chasm in how we approach certain class distinctions that comes into play without often realizing it. Just one example of what I am referring to was when I was studying economic history it became obvious that a form of socialism was totally necessary in Britian to break the hold of the aristocracy. It had been long thought one was smarter, credentialed to govern others and had moral fiber if one were born into certain families. It took two world wars to wipe out that thinking. Still, we are assualted with William and Kate every time we go to the grocery check out line. You would think Americans would find that too ironic. :o)

    And I speak as something of an Anglophile. I love the British and have dear friends there.

  321. David Bruce wrote:

    They told me I couldn’t resign and that I had to meet with them about my blog article above. I asked that they write up what issues they had with my article before we met, and they refused to put anything in writing. So I refused to meet with them.

    Good for you! I wish everyone would insist on their concerns in writing. They win when they can get you in a “star chamber” room of elders to “dicuss it”. Oh how I wish I could convince folks not to go into those meetings but people feel obligated to do it not realizing the full agenda. They still have hope and “think the best” instead of protecting themsevles.

    But, it almost always makes the situation worse for their victim in the long run and drags it all out unnecessarily. And there is another advantage to being male when you refuse when we look at how they think.

  322. Val wrote:

    That wouldn’t fly in the UK. If you want power, you’ve got to prove yourself to a lot less approving audience. The US could use more UK hesitance at claims to greatness. Not going overboard and having no poor or less educated people move up the ranks, but it would do well to question authority more, without trashing it.

    One of the things that totally shocked me about SGM (and now Captiol Hill, ex Mars Hill, etc) were all the very educated people that got sucked in. I could not for the life of me figure it out. But I am educated and got sucked into the seeker mega movement years ago. (Of course, it was a source of income, too)

    This blog helped me see a different view. How could PhD’s and others like them from SECULAR prestigious Universities get sucked into these groups? A very important reason IS upward mobility. Americans are extremely transient. They are apt to move far away from family for their careers. They might be really smart in physics or law but they get lonesome for community just like anyone else. And these groups are experts at love bombing and early acceptance. Going to church has, in the past, been a large part of our culture. So people move and look for a church or are open to visiting a church when invited. And they are targeted by these churches. They market just like any other consumer business.

    This makes total sense and even I had not really connected those dots even though I was heavily involved in marketing demograhpics for seeker megas back in the 90’s. DUH. Church is much more of a business here than you might imagine.

    Just because someone is very educated in certain areas does not mean they are not suseptible to those overtures. Especially when a lot of that marketing is directed at their kids having community.

    Being educated does not necessarily correlate to being wise. Abraham Lincoln was wise but not credentialed because he was self educated. On the other hand, legend has it, Einstein had to paint his door red to find his house.

  323. Nancy wrote:

    I do not understand how it is that in America people can be convinced to sign away their rights? That is such a foreign an idea to me.

    And yet, people are doing so, and not just in Acts29. I hope this link isn’t too far off topic, but I found it timely — another example of a “church” that demands all members sign on the dotted line, and sign away their rights. I wonder if Chandler and his cronies have been taking notes from Hubbard and his lawyers…

    http://tonyortega.org/2015/05/22/dox-how-scientology-ensnares-the-unsespecting-in-a-series-of-binding-contracts

  324. Lydia wrote:

    This blog helped me see a different view. How could PhD’s and others like them from SECULAR prestigious Universities get sucked into these groups?

    Another reason I have observed is elitism. If I think I am one of the elite, then I will associate with others who I perceive are elites and with those who affirm my belief that I am elite. Why do rich people listen to the Robert Morrises of this world? Because he tells them their riches are a result of God’s blessing them. The hook is that what Morris says is true in a sense, but Morris turns it into a transactional thing. But that appeals to the rich because it makes them into the elite which God has blessed.

    I’ve seen hard science Ph.D./PhD people get sucked in because they believe they are among the elite thinkers and testers. So, the appeal to them is that the church is made up of deep thinkers who test the Scriptures. The trouble is that the Scriptures are *not* used to test the insider doctrines but only the outsider ones. However, someone who already thinks they are elite is affirmed in that belief. To test the system that affirms them is to put themselves on trial.

    It’s pride, and appeals to pride can be very subtle while also being very effective.

  325. Gram3 wrote:

    Another reason I have observed is elitism. If I think I am one of the elite, then I will associate with others who I perceive are elites and with those who affirm my belief that I am elite.

    C.S.Lewis, “The Lure of the Inner Ring”…

  326. refugee wrote:

    Perhaps it was Gothard’s influence, or Doug Phillips, or Doug Wilson? I know that all of those heavily influenced christian homeschool leaders and homeschooling churches.

    I’m sure a thorough hack-and-search of their hard drives would show some very INTERESTING (nudge nudge wink wink know what I mean know what I mean) files.

  327. Val wrote:

    See, to the Brits, anyone can lead a ship of fools, but can you impress the intelligent and studied crowd?

    Have you factored in the “Intelligence 18, Wisdom 3” phenomenon?
    As a former Kid Genius, I’m familiar with that one from both the outside and the inside.

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  329. Lydia wrote:

    Being educated does not necessarily correlate to being wise. Abraham Lincoln was wise but not credentialed because he was self educated. On the other hand, legend has it, Einstein had to paint his door red to find his house.

    That’s the true true* Lydia. I’ve seen a New Hampshire stone mason with an associates degree think rings around the chair of a world class university engineering department with his simple and yet elegant method of placing a 70 ton obelisk into position without modern technology.

    *apologies for cribbing lines from David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas

  330. Val wrote:

    NT Write was a Bishop, that was his credentials

    I was not going to mention this, because I have read some of what Wright has to say and benefited from it. But being a bishop is not the issue, not even if honored by a term as Bishop of Durham. His credentials are academic and his credentials are his massive intellectual output and his status as a world class theologian, all of which he earned and none of which were conferred on him as some sort of recognition from church officials.

    So, yes, we over here may be thinking quite differently about what it takes to merit an audience. Except I imagine that the Brits tend to think along similar lines about this man. Just a guess.

  331. @ Gram3:
    There is also an emotional high going when they decide to become members, tremendous pressure (like used car salesmen), the thought that the contract protects you from bad, etc… I experienced it firsthand and almost fell for it. There is one churchin College Station that wont even let you attend a Bible study without becoming a member first, even for college students. The pressure to join is ridiculous. It doesn’t surprise me at all that even “smart” people sign these membership contracts.

  332. Nancy wrote:

    Val wrote:

    NT Write was a Bishop, that was his credentials

    I was not going to mention this, because I have read some of what Wright has to say and benefited from it. But being a bishop is not the issue, not even if honored by a term as Bishop of Durham. His credentials are academic and his credentials are his massive intellectual output and his status as a world class theologian, all of which he earned and none of which were conferred on him as some sort of recognition from church officials.

    So, yes, we over here may be thinking quite differently about what it takes to merit an audience. Except I imagine that the Brits tend to think along similar lines about this man. Just a guess.

    I was going to make a similar comment as well. Being a bishop in the UK doesn’t really get you any status other than in the Anglican world – and non-evangelical bishops will basically be ignored by evangelicals. NT Wright’s status comes from the quality of his theological work. If anything, his reputation has grown since he retired as a bishop.

  333. Mr.H wrote:

    Is it just me, or does this appear to be the same Jordan Root from Dallas, Texas that was involved with a special organization dedicated to “…victims and survivors of child sex trafficking.”

    https://twitter.com/belovedaughters

    it appears to be his, i cant confirm that though. Very disturbing that a foreign missionary with a pedo porn addiction would be following all the national and global missions that help child sex victims, perhaps he did act out, as his wife was concerned about. what better place to abuse children than as a helper of children that have been abused. or he is so very very sick that the photos of abused sex trafficked girls turned him on. Matt Chandler gets part of the ‘wish i had a millstone around my neck while drowning in the sea’ prophecy in this case i believe, for aiding and allowing and protecting the abuser.

  334. @ refugee:
    Hi refugee – You are right, and I agree that not all women would do the right thing in this situation either. But I do think that most women who are outside the complementarian/patriarchal system would look at those emails and texts to Karen and recognize immediately that the writers had lost their minds. And if those women had any sort of power, I think that many of them would speak up. Women “leaders” who are within the comp/pat system gain their power and influence from working to maintain the system; any attempt to challenge it would lead to loss of power and influence (or worse).

  335. I am sick at this news, literally ill. How long will our children be raped while the nice men in power protect their rapists? How sickening! I have been off here for months to get away from all the evil men do in our churches. It is too much to fathom, praying for this brave woman as she stands up and gives them all the hell they deserve.

  336. @ BeenThereDoneThat:

    BTDT — i’m touched.

    I totally know what you’re talking about. the only things I can read in the bible anymore are psalms and ephesians 1. as a result of ‘downsizing’ things, I’ve come to discover psalm in a new way. because ‘Paul’ isn’t drowning everything else out (including Jesus) in my hearing and in my mind, I have more gray matter (brain, spirit, intuition, etc.) available to just crunch and chew my way through psalms. like psalm 23. I get so much out of that one. psalm 34, too.

  337. GC wrote:

    I do think that most women who are outside the complementarian/patriarchal system would look at those emails and texts to Karen and recognize immediately that the writers had lost their minds.

    I agree totally. Do you (or anyone else) know of women or men who are defending The Village elders? It is inconceivable to me that anyone would be so bold as to defend this. Silence or deflection I expect and have experienced. But I cannot see how this is defensible on moral, ethical, or Biblical grounds. Though I would love to see Jonathan Keys Leeman try.

    As an aside, I have told a young woman about this situation, and she checked out Matt Chandler’s Youtube on God’s “beautiful design.” She said it was cringeworthy and gag-inducing along with some other things I will not repeat. And she is spreading the word to her Christian friends. This absolutely must stop. It is ungodly and shameful.

  338. rebeccalynn wrote:

    I am sick at this news, literally ill. How long will our children be raped while the nice men in power protect their rapists? How sickening! I have been off here for months to get away from all the evil men do in our churches. It is too much to fathom, praying for this brave woman as she stands up and gives them all the hell they deserve.

    @Rebeccalynn,

    Just remember that we can do something: We can file reports with the U.S. Department of Immigration Customs & Enforcement (I.C.E.), a division of Homeland Security. They have an entire unit devoted to tracking sexual predators around the world. U.S. citizens face stiff criminal penalties for engaging in child exploitation (including being brought back to the US and prosecuted for crimes committed in other countries).

    http://www.ice.gov/predator

  339. Christy, formerly mandy wrote:

    There is one churchin College Station that wont even let you attend a Bible study without becoming a member first, even for college students. The pressure to join is ridiculous.

    So glad you did not get trapped in that. I don’t think it is a coincidence that cults target college-age students. Idealism sometimes overcomes critical thinking, and we think that we will be the ones to make a difference in the world. I wish I still knew as much as I did when I was in college. I used to know pretty much everything.

  340. @ Dave A A:

    “One of the Village pastors’ emails reminds me greatly of an evil email from a young Driscoll-protege “elder” (or *younger*) to the recently-fired and soon-to-be dismembered Paul Petry demanding that they be allowed to “care” for him. (The *younger* will here go unnamed, since he recently signed the apology letter to Petry.)”
    ++++++++++++++

    yes, I remember that, too. I’ll never get over that one. Spoken by a 24-year old (or so it appeared). unnamed, as you say.

  341. Dee,

    Wow, talk about straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel.

    Is this Karen Hinkley/Village Church story the upcoming famous church membership story you were talking about recently?

  342. That Bad Dog wrote:

    Good grief. I mean, when did “pastoral care” become “crazy stalker behavior”? Because that’s all this is. I take that back; it’s worse. It’s “crazy stalker behavior in Jesus’ name amen”.

    This is so true.

  343. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Others have commented that the Texas legislature is very reluctant to interfere when Jeesus(TM) is invoked for justification. Closing ranks against Antichrist Secular Humanism and all that.

    No. It’s “Jeezus(TM)” with a Z.

  344. Beakerj wrote:

    I’m not surprised by the Duggar thing, sad to say. They are a family that are sex-obsessed, in a different way to how that is normally thought of. Female bodies are both the most wanted & the most forbidden thing to their heterosexual male children, & in their culture sex is highly prized for its outcome & totally unavailable to the unmarried.

    I agree with you.

  345. Michaela wrote:

    Former CLC’er wrote:

    I always thought it odd in the Duggar Family new house building episodes that all of the sisters wanted to sleep together in the same bedroom and not spread out and have their own rooms. Now it makes sense: Safety in numbers.

    That always bothered me, too. But you are so right, this is, sadly, the probable explanation.

  346. GC wrote:

    But I do think that most women who are outside the complementarian/patriarchal system would look at those emails and texts to Karen and recognize immediately that the writers had lost their minds.

    That’s a very perceptive point, but let me take it a step further. Most of us are part of the christian or evangelical subculture, which in many ways is a different world where different rules apply, because of The Gospel ™. This can often blind us to crazy things that wouldn’t be tolerated elsewhere.

    I have a friend who became a christian a few years ago from a totally non-christian background. She’s observed that, within evangelicalism, there are all sorts of weird and unbalanced people. She’d much rather hang out with her non-christian neighbours who she regards as far more normal than the christians!

    Yes, obviously the gospel message is radical and revolutionary, but at the heart of it is love – the love of God to us, and the love we are to show to one another. And if all our faith and theology doesn’t lead us to love people more (or even just to treat them with basic human decency), there’s something very wrong.

  347. Another thought from across the pond.

    I find it deeply distressing that, in her time of need, Karen has been forced to leave her home church (where she will have lots of friends) because they have basically welcomed Jordan with open arms, believing his claims to be repenting (and paedophiles excel at pretending to be remorseful – it’s all part of their manipulative nature).

    I was thinking that, in a situation like this, where a marriage has broken down because of one party’s behaviour, the correct approach has to be for the church to support the victim and require the offender to leave. TVC should have said to Jordan, “We are sorry, but because of your crimes and sins, it is not appropriate for you to remain at our church. Your presence will cause huge distress to your ex-wife, and it’s not right that you cause her any further suffering. So we will find you a new church that will support you and help you work through the consequences of your actions”.

    I’m sure that TVC is treating Karen so badly because she’s a woman. Complementarians believe women are followers, not leaders, so they are inherently inferior to men in this twisted worldview. If the roles were reversed and it was a wife who was the abuser, I find it hard to believe that a complementarian church would treat her in the way that Jordan has been treated. Rather, they would be come down on her like a ton bricks. It’s a clear case of double standards – one rule for the men and one rule for the women.

    (And incidentally, TVC doesn’t seem to realise that an annulment is not a divorce – it’s a declaration that the couple were never married from the outset).

  348. I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m a bit slow on the uptake sometimes – it takes me forever to get a little clarity on some things. This has been one of them. The way some have defended this church’s decision has had me second-guessing my instincts and what I was reading.

    Oddly enough, it was a comment by a defender that helped me out immensely. Basically they said something to the affect of, “Karen signed the contract, and now she just doesn’t want to deal with what that means.”

    Huh. Well, along those same lines, Jordan is a US citizen. If she needs to get in line and just submit to her church, then Jordan needs to get in line with his country’s laws and turn his b#tt into the police. That’s being a good citizen, and that’s also what repentance looks like for you, bro. Yeah, that’s hard to do. You know what else is hard? The lives of the children you helped abuse.

    The fact that the church is enabling him is indefensible. He’s repented? Really? Has he turned himself in? Then no. He hasn’t repented. Since when was the church in the business of removing the consequences of gross sin?

    Yeah. I’m pretty slow sometimes. So I thank you, unknown kind ma’am/sir who in your callous defense of the church helped me see things clearer.

  349. I understand how this woman must feel, and I’m sad that she could not wait out the process she signed up for (which reveals her trauma). Unlike my situation at Pleasant Valley Bible in Camarillo CA, where I was asked to leave my church because I filed for divorce. I waited for the elders to approach my husband, who was having a 2 year affair with a married woman, and he refused pastoral counseling and chose to stay pursuing another man’s wife. Thankfully, the Lord led that assistant pastor out of the ministry, but the senior pastor never followed up with me (and this is a tiny church). It sounds like Pastor Matt was trying to work with her within the covenant process, but she wouldn’t have it. In a situation where there is trauma for the woman, it can be difficult for her unless she is supported WAY MORE than the victimizer.

  350. I was a member of the Village Church from 2003-2014. Well, really until 2012, but that’s because my membership was revoked because of theological differences. I tried to convince them I was all-in for TVC and God’s mission through the church, but one minor difference in doctrine was too much for them.

    The irony is that I called a meeting with some pastors because my wife and I were community group leaders and needed some advice (as we were 25 at the time) on how to walk a couple in our group through their troubled marriage. They were contemplating divorce. But when my wife and I showed up to our meeting that we called with the pastors, they were more interested in my one doctrinal difference than the lives of these two people and their two kids. It was nauseating.

    We tried to stick it out and be the better persons for two years, but it was too painful. Plus, we began to notice the cycle of spiritual abuse there. We noticed that those pastors we loved best were pushed out of the staff. Our good friends who were in the mission field were pulled back because of lies told by a non-member of TVC who was overseeing their mission. It’s not a place where you are allowed any influence unless you are on the “inside”, in the “club”, as we were for many years. It’s not healthy.

    The level of dehumanizing we saw at the church in the name of “doctrine” and the “pursuit of holiness” was just heartbreaking. Add to that, the level of MC’s ego continued to rise. He even became self-deprecating about it, to the point where it shined all the more. And his ego trickled down to the other high ranking staff members.

    A church built on a hierarchy with a legislative rulebook/covenant of membership, it’s inevitable that relationship with the congregation are approached in binary terms first.

    I believe deep down all these persons in leadership at TVC actually have well-meaning hearts, but they are blinded by so many things. I hope it changes. But the pattern we saw just got worse and worse.

  351. And you know what, it appears that I was blessed that TVC revoked my membership before we left. It seems impossible to get out of voluntarily.

  352. It appears to me that TVC may have violated laws by disciplining Ms. Hinkey and publishing information about her personal matters after she submitted her resignation. Also refusing to allow her to resign violates her First Amendment rights. There is a brief synopsis of a couple of case law precedents in the link:

    GUINN V THE CHURCH OF CHRIST OF COLLINSVILLE
    HANCOCK V THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTERDAY SAINTS

    Both of these cases were found for the plaintiff against the respective churches. Ms. Gunn was awarded $390,000, Mr Hancock settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

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