Part 2: The Abuse of Church Discipline at The Village Church

“Your body is a temple, not a daily dumping ground for another person’s pain, anger, betrayal, judgment, hypocrisy, denial, games, jealousy or blame. When you are being psychologically, spiritually or emotionally abused by a person, and they don’t care how it hurts you, then it is time to leave what is polluting your relationship with God.” ― Shannon L. Alder link

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Questions

This has been a hard series since it has involved sifting through a lot of information. Today, I hope to finish the narrative but will be writing lots more on the subject in the next week or so. I wasn't sure where to start and then it hit me. Let's talk about the annulment and then finish the narrative. Since Jordan has confessed to using internet child sex abuse depictions, I will drop the word alleged when referring to it.

Fraud is cause for an annulment.

A number of folks have commented on Karen's decision to get an annulment of her marriage. In fact, TVC said they put her under *discipline* because she sought the annulment without going through steps of reconciliation. As I have pondered this for the last 4 hours, unable to write a word, it hit me between the eyes. TVC was demanding that Karen continue a marriage which was invalid in the eyes of the law.

Here is a link to the basics of annulment law in Texas. In The Basics of Annulment in Texas we learn that annulment is allowed when a marriages is entered into without full disclosure. Here is one of those items which is what happened with Karen.

Fraud – one spouse lied about or hid something essential to the marriage.

An annulment means that you were never married.

Read this next statement carefully. Unlike a divorce, which recognizes the marriage, an annulment means your marriage was not valid. In that same document:

When your marriage is declared void, it is like you never had a marriage to begin with. Legally, you can say you were never married to your former spouse.

Jordan Root is most likely in violation of federal laws.

Jordan Root hid his usage of internet based child sex abuse depictions. His use of this is breaking Federal laws as seen at this link. Here is  a relevant section.

Notably, the legal definition of sexually explicit conduct does not require that an image depict a child engaging in sexual activity.  A picture of a naked child may constitute illegal child pornography if it is sufficiently sexually suggestive.  Additionally, the age of consent for sexual activity in a given state is irrelevant; any depiction of a minor under 18 years of age engaging in sexually explicit conduct is illegal. 

Federal law prohibits the production, distribution, reception, and possession of an image of child pornography using or affecting any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce (See 18 U.S.C. § 2251; 18 U.S.C. § 2252; 18 U.S.C. § 2252A).  Specifically, Section 2251 makes it illegal to persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for purposes of producing visual depictions of that conduct.  Any individual who attempts or conspires to commit a child pornography offense is also subject to prosecution under federal law. 

 Federal jurisdiction is implicated if the child pornography offense occurred in interstate or foreign commerce.  This includes, for example, using the U.S. Mails or common carriers to transport child pornography across state or international borders.  Additionally, federal jurisdiction almost always applies when the Internet is used to commit a child pornography violation.

Jordan deliberately lied about his illegal activity and entered the marriage without telling Karen about his behavior.

Since Jordan did not disclose his graphic habit, he was in violation of federal laws. Therefore, his marriage to Karen was declared invalid. Is TVC actually suggesting that Karen ignore the law stating that Jordan should not have married her without advising her that he was involved in potentially felonious activity?

Annulment nullifies husband /wife confidentiality which divorce does not.

There is also another interesting fact to consider and that has to do with husband-wife confidential marriage privileges. Intimate confidential communication is usually not admissible in court in many civil or criminal cases.

Whether a case is civil or criminal, either spouse holds a privilege to refuse disclosure of a confidential communication made between the spouses while they remained husband and wife. Both spouses hold the privilege, and it does not matter which one is party to a case. Either spouse may refuse to allow the other to testify as to a confidential communication, or refuse to personally disclose the contents of the confidential communication between the spouses during the marriage. The law aims to promote communication and trust between husbands and wives. 

Both spouses hold the privilege. Either spouse has the right to refuse disclosure of the confidential marital communications, or to prevent another person from disclosing the communications. However, this privilege only protects against the disclosure of marital confidences in testimony, not against cooperation with law enforcement officials by one spouse against the other or against one spouse turning over evidence against the other spouse. See United States v. Giavasis, 805 F.2d 1037 (6th Cir. 1986).

Now read the next section carefully. If Karen had remained married and then divorced, those communications would not be admissible in many situations. However, they ARE admissible if an annulment is sought. if Jordan were to be eventually arrested and tried for federal crimes, Karen would not be allowed to disclose their intimate communications. Think about it. Is this one of the reasons that his attorney pushed for reconciliation? The attorney that is a member of TVC?

For the privilege to attach, the communication must have been made during a valid marriage. Unlike the spousal immunity rule, divorce does not terminate the privilege retroactively – even if a husband and wife divorce, their confidential communications made during the course of the marriage will still enjoy protection from disclosure. Divorce, however, will terminate the privilege when it comes to future communications between the former husband and wife.

Attempts at reconciliation could nullify the ability to annul the marriage.

Attempts at reconciliation after discovery of the fraud may negate the individual's request for an annulment. Again from the Texas document,

A Texas court won’t grant annulment for fraud, duress or force if the spouses continued to live together after the fraud was discovered .

When Karen learned of the fraud in December of 2014, plans were made  for Jordan to return to Texas ASAP. From that point forward, Karen was obligated to continue with the annulment since any sort of reconciliation could have put a damper on the annulment.

TVC does not respect Texas law when it comes to annulment.

So, it appears that TVC does not recognize or respect the law which allows annulment for fraud. Yet, the law says that Karen did not have a valid marriage. In other words, there was nothing to divorce or reconcile. It did not exist except in the eyes of some controlling church leaders.

Jesus allowed for divorce in the case of adultery.

What the heck is pedophilia/internet child sex abuse if not a heinous form of adultery? This comment came from Mirele- a reader at TWW. If she is thinking this, I can be sure that many others are thinking the same thing.

I’m sorry but when a party has confessed to viewing child pornography, the marriage is over. It is a kind of adultery. Karen Hinkley did the right thing by leaving Jordan Root and asking for an annulment.
I said it above, and I’ll say it again: In the state of Texas, once you find out about the fraud, you must no longer cohabitate with the other spouse to get your annulment. This is what Hinkley apparently did. (I want to give an ATTABOY to whoever gave Karen this advice.)

In my opinion, in my very personal and private opinion, I have the sneaking suspicion that the leadership of TVC wanted to put Karen and Jordan back together so that Karen would be in an impossible position: either forced to stay in the marriage or tainted with the stain of divorce. Because if she had gone back to Jordan and cohabitated with him, she would have lost her right to an annulment. And the reason why I think this? I honestly believe the leaders of TVC are so deluded that they believe Jordan Root has repented and is cured. WRONG.

Now, back to the rest of the story…

Karen arrived back in the US and looked to her church and church friends for support.

Take a walk in her shoes. Her marriage was a fraud and her mission assignment, which she thought to be lifelong, had ended. She needed to assess her options and future calling in a fairly short period of time. She began to research the possibility of an annulment because Jordan clearly married her under false pretenses. 

In fact, I wonder if Jordan married her to give himself greater cover to continue with his evil habits. I asked Karen about this and she said that she truly does not know. (I hasten to add that this is my personal thought.)

A chronology of events surrounding her dealing with TVC upon her return

The following chronology and statements are taken from the  documentation on Amy Smith's blog unless otherwise noted.

December 20, 2014: TVC appeared to be protecting Jordan Root, presuming him innocent.

Before returning to the States, Karen received an email from TVC Dallas. There are some disturbing comments in the email which raise some red flags about how the church was perceiving the seriousness of the situation. In this note, they want to protect Jordan's reputation and ask that Karen not send any notes to her supporters until TVC can figure out a unified way of communicating the information. TVC did not want to mention any possibility of molestation.

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December 20: TVC alerted TVC members to a sin issue with Jordan and said the Roots were returning home.

TVC communicates with members that there is a problem with the Roots but do not mention what it involves. They mention sin but also spiritual warfare. They promise that the Roots would receive counseling and asked the members to "love on them."

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December 28: Email to the Roots long time home group attempting to control conversation.

TVC sends a message to the Roots home group,  advising them how to talk with Jordan. Apparently TVC members cannot be trusted to be appropriate in these situations.

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January 18: Karen meets with an elder and pastor at TVC

At the meeting were Pastor and Mrs. Richard Brindley and Elder Matt Younger. She was told she could separate her finances from Jordan's finances and that they would help them do this. Younger said that Karen's unique role would be to walk beside Jordan through this. He made the comment that all sin.

He also said that he had observed in these situations that in 100 out of 100 times, when a couple both agreed that one of them was 100% to blame for a problem, there is more to the story. Karen felt he was insinuating that perhaps she had something to do with Jordan's perversions. She pushed back and he appeared to walk back what he had just said.

It was becoming evident to Karen that the church was not going to allow her to leave the fraudulent marriage.

January 20: Karen initiates a phone conversation with Pastor Brindley.

Richard Brindley said that they had decided that she not separate her finances since it was a step towards divorce. She is told that when there is a marriage under the *care* of the church, every aspect of the marriage is now subject to the elders input, including finances.

January 21: Another phone conversation in which Karen is told that TVC is her final authority.

Karen told Elder Matt Younger that she had counseled with trusted Christian friends and counselors and was thinking through her decisions with  careful thought and prayer. He told her that she could not  trust herself or any other counsel except that of TVC which was her spiritual authority. He said that they were the only voice at the table. He claimed that they were there to hold her hand and tell her what to do.

February 9: SIM Child Safety Team concluded that Jordan was a risk to children.

SIM Child Safety Team releases a report which corroborated that Jordan had viewed nude child images on the Internet and that they believed this  was not only a moral and spiritual breach but that the conduct posed a serious risk to children. He was removed from his position at SIM.

February 11: Karen resigned from TVC. She was not under any discipline at this time.

 Read this excellent letter that she wrote. Note that she asks for no further communication from the church.

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February 11: Karen inadvertently received a concerning email.

Karen is inadvertently copied on an internal memo. These guys use concerning language. Note the phrase "pushing her under our care."Also, they stated the they were trying to find out where she lived. This could be construed to be threatening language.

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February 11: Karen was not allowed to attend her long time home group to say good-bye and answer questions.

Karen was told that she couldn't come to her long time home group to say good-bye. Instead, Pastor Brindley attended the group and talked to them for a long time.From that point on, Karen did not hear from many of her former friends and supporters. 

February 20: Karen is put under retroactive discipline for the annulment and she was told she couldn't resign from the church.

This date is important. Here is an except from the letter sent to her by Pastor Matt Younger. He stated that it was her decision to get an annulment which caused them to put her under discipline. She was not allowed to resign from the church either. Note: she was NOT under discipline when she wrote her resignation.

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 bylaws, you are prohibited from voluntarily resigning membership while subject to the formal disciplinary process. We cannot, therefore, accept your resignation.

…We know this is a step of faith and that many questions have yet to be answered. We will seek to answer each question in time. Until then, your elders are pleading with you to patiently submit to our leadership. Should you choose not to return to The Village Church, we will move forward to the next step in the process of disciplining you as a member. Please hear our appeal. The last thing we want is to lose the privilege of caring for you in this difficult season. 

February 22: Karen told Matt Younger to stop harassing her.

Karen responds to Matt Younger  that she was not under discipline when she resigned. She asks them to stop harassing her.

February 25: SIM notified the supporters of the Roots.

SIM sent a letter to the supporters of Jordan and Karen Root. They stated that they had applied disciplinary policy and terminate Jordan from SIM. Karen was continued on active status.Here is an excerpt which is important.

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March 11: Pastor Steve Hardin called a church meeting to answer questions about Karen Root.

Pastor Steve Hardin sends a note to members of TVC and Karen's supporters that he would hold a meeting on March 14 in the church cafeteria to address concerns. This is 2 weeks after Karen told them to stop harassing her.

March 13: Pastor Steve Hardin declared Jordan Root to be walking in repentance.

Pastor Steve Hardin sends out his "our hearts are heavy" communique to all of the members. He communicates the results of the SIM Child Safety Report of 2/9. He reports that Jordan has been removed from ministry and had not been placed under discipline. They claim that Jordan's actions were reported to unnamed authorities in January. But they do not say who made the report.

He claims that they *grieve* for Karen. They restrict Jordan's access to the children's ministry and say he must be accompanied to all services by a *covenant* member. They make a typical church CYA stating that Jordan never served in any formal capacity with children at TVC.

Jordan is declared to be walking in repentance so he doesn't need church discipline even though he signed the annulment.

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April/May: Karen continues to receive texts from Pastor Hardin despite asking them to leave her alone.

2 months after Karen asked the church to leave her alone, Pastor Steve Hardin began texting her on her phone
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May 24: TVC's claimed to tell their side of the story

An 8 page missive was sent to 6000 TVC members this weekend. Karen has evidence to prove that many of their statements were wrong. She is planning a full response tomorrow on Amy Smith's blog, Watchkeep. She will be supplying documentation to back up her concerns.

Questions for astute people to ponder:

  • Where is Jordan's computer from the mission field?
  • Since Jordan is a pathological liar, how does the church *know* he is walking in repentance after a few short months?
  • Better yet, how does the church know that they have his full story since it seem to get worse as time goes on?
  • How does the church know that Jordan has not purchased a new computer?
  • Do they think they have full access to his spending reports?
  • How do they know he is not accessing the internet outside of his assigned living quarters?
  • Why does the church claim that they haven't helped Jordan when he is living with a well known lawyer who is a member of TVC?
  • Why did Matt Chandler tweet that he loved Karen when he didn't respond to her email and never spoke with her? 
  • Does he consider Karen just another one of those zeroes?
  • Did TVC actually contact the police and FBI or did SIM?
  • Why did Jordan not receive any church discipline? 
  • Better yet, why did Karen, who is trying to get the word out about Jordan's interest in children,  get disciplined?
  • Is TVC abusive for disciplining Karen who is been through an enormous stress?
  • Were the folks in Karen's home group told she was dangerous and that they should shun her?
  • Why doesn't TVC understand that a man who has surrounded himself with children is highly likely not telling the full story?
  • Does TVC believe that their little counseling group is equipped to handle a manipulative and charming liar?
  • Why did TVC attempt to control the narrative by telling Karen to coordinate with them before sending out emails?
  • Was TVC concerned that Karen may have said more about what happened than they would?
  • Does TVC realize how unloving they appear to outsiders? 
  • Why didn't Matt Chandler reach out to Karen? Was he too busy traveling?
  • Was Jordan disciplined for signing off on the annulment?
  • Why did the church keep contacting her when she asked that they stop?
  • What do they mean about "pushing her under their care?"
  • How can you retroactively discipline someone? 
  • For those Covenant members reading this…Don't you feel, deep down inside, that something is wrong with this entire situation?

Once again, join me in praying for Karen Hinkley who is one brave woman. Carry on, my friend!

Comments

Part 2: The Abuse of Church Discipline at The Village Church — 418 Comments

  1. Dee, another question: Since Jordan also signed the annulment documents, (Which XianAttny found online) why is he *also* not under church discipline?

    Great job tonight.

  2. That they thought they could tell her how to manage her finances in the situation she was in-jet lagged, culture shocked, grieving, heartbroken, betrayed and abused-is such pomposity I have no words.

  3. Melody wrote:

    That they thought they could tell her how to manage her finances in the situation she was in-jet lagged, culture shocked, grieving, heartbroken, betrayed and abused-is such pomposity I have no words.

    Melody, when you do have words, sensors indicate they tend to be right on target. 😀

  4. The text messages were so infuriating! They were so condescending as they downplayed her position in this relationship. It was just a bunch of flowery Calvinist language the guy must have picked up in a John Piper book. What a bunch of BS.

  5. Regarding Mierle’s quote:

    In my opinion, in my very personal and private opinion, I have the sneaking suspicion that the leadership of TVC wanted to put Karen and Jordan back together so that Karen would be in an impossible position: either forced to stay in the marriage or tainted with the stain of divorce.

    If you read the new blog page at Watchkeep, TVC pressures couples who have already divorced (and due to adultery) to get back together again.

    You can read one guy’s story here:
    “Stories of The Village Church and other Abusive Church Survivors”
    http://watchkeep.blogspot.com/2015/05/stories-of-village-church-and-other.html

  6. Joe wrote:

    Should we text Steve Hardin our concerns…….we have his phone #….

    Joe, please send Steve Hardin a text. I just did!

  7. This is an example of why you do not communicate with your church / ministry by phone if there has been any issue arise. It needs to be email only!!!

    She did a good job using email as much as she did.

  8. Hi Dee, I don’t know if you’ve listened to JD Hall’s podcast regarding this…. http://pulpitandpen.org/2015/05/26/podcast-village-church-and-the-survivor-blog-gals/ I waded through it today since he supports TVC in their handling of this.
    Here are my impressions as I listened to JD Hall preach about this.

    According to JD Hall:
    – It’s time to stop being a victim, stop wearing the label, that goes not just for Karen, but for all survivors of abuse.
    – It’s wrong and sinful to cheer when churches and church leaders fail, and JD hints that Dee and Julie Anne (spiritual sounding board) may be doing this.
    – Rape and abuse should be capital offenses but JD himself could not “cast stones” or pull the trigger. Says he couldn’t even kill a pig for a pig roast he held recently.
    – JD doesn’t care about what state authorities say, or rule regarding marriage.
    – Yes there ARE abusive church elders that abuse their authority and shouldn’t be elders but that doesn’t undo what scripture teaches about the authority of church elders. (He didn’t elaborate on that, I took it to mean you’re under the elder’s authority even if they are corrupt?)
    – Church covenants aren’t cultic because churches are up front about their beliefs and ask you to abide by a covenant right away – where cults sucker you in first then ask you to sign a covenant.
    – NO ONE can resign from a church where they are a member – because they were voted in, therefore they must be voted out.
    – Dee at Wartburg Watch is a very nice lady, but he refrained to say what he really thought of Julie Anne of Spiritual Sounding Board.
    – You should “hear out” an elder, even if you believe his counsel is wrong. That was Karen’s sin, that she won’t listen to her elders. Her sin was not that she sought an annulment.
    – The Pulpit and Pen Blog is ALWAYS RIGHT whereas, some “survivor blogs” may be ruining their reputation by reporting false facts.

    The podcast was almost 2 hours long so there’s much more but I think that’s enough to get the gist of where JD Hall stands on this topic.

  9. Lydia wrote:

    Jordon signed the annulment? But that is ok with TVC? Very interesting.

    Oh Lydia, you are waaayyyyy too smart for The Village Church. As Gram3 would say you would “get keyed out of the church” (like Gram3, me, and any other saint with moxie).

  10. Robin wrote:

    Why do Neo Calvinists love the word ‘season’ so much?

    I’m currently living in a season of black-out rages. Pray for me, sister?

  11. Lol thanks. I’m just gobsmacked as they say where I grew up. It’s just sad. I’m starting to hear a timeline that definitely points to spiritual abuse-the abuser got welcomed while the abused spouse got further abused. This is not about anyone’s lack of forgiveness as someone has intimated on a thread at MPT’s blog, but about gross injustice. God sees and He will not stand for it. Confession is not repentance. The only way anyone can test repentance is over time, in fruits like radical transparency. Karen was not unforgiving by annulling her marriage-I despise the fact I have to say this-but righteously wise. There were Biblical grounds for separating finances and annulling the marriage and there are no grounds for church control of that painful process. There should have been love and support, whatever Karen’s decision. Instead there was love for the offender and cheap grace restoration. I’m just so glad for the state of Texas right now… 😉

    @ XianJaneway:

  12. Joe wrote:

    @ Michaela:

    I’ll text “hey Steve, I’m starting a band. Do you think Narcissistic Zero is a cool name?”

    LOL, Joe. You could certainly ask him that!

    I told him that The Wartburg Watch was publishing the articles about The Village Church’s despicable treatment of this dear saint Karen Hinkley, that their pastors/elders needed to read Pastor Wade Burleson’s advice to them, and they needed to ‘man-up’ and ‘fix-it’.

  13. Dee, thanks for this one. I really am slow on the uptake sometimes, and this story has been rough for me to wrap my head around. Seeing the whole timeline here is awesome and I’m getting a better picture of what went down. I’ll reread in the morning and possibly have a coherent thought.

    I’m getting the picture that they’re a Calvinist Bereaucrat-led church. We have our procedures and how dare you not play by the rules! You signed the covenant, darn it! Come back, come back! Jesus isn’t pleased! Except, of course, all in good gospelly lawyer-speak, not my petulant-child whiny voice.

    Your commenters in previous stories, again, are proving just as informative as the posts themselves. I’ve learned a lot. Thanks for doing what you do.

  14. Tweetie Pie wrote:

    Dee at Wartburg Watch is a very nice lady, but he refrained to say what he really thought of Julie Anne of Spiritual Sounding Board.

    Just nice? He didn’t say adorable?

    Tweetie Pie wrote:

    The Pulpit and Pen Blog is ALWAYS RIGHT whereas, some “survivor blogs” may be ruining their reputation by reporting false facts.

    I don’t suppose he gave the facts about the false facts? he needs to prove it.

    Tweetie Pie wrote:

    You should “hear out” an elder, even if you believe his counsel is wrong. That was Karen’s sin, that she won’t listen to her elders. Her sin was not that she sought an annulment.

    She did. She thought they were wrong. Case closed.

    I geard he called us the gal pal bloggers. Now, that was funny.

  15. Joe wrote:

    Should we text Steve Hardin our concerns…….we have his phone #….

    I guess you do. I never change anything I get in a screen shot because I could be accused of tampering. Steve decided he could harass Karen. So, he bears the consequences. Say hi to him from me if you do.

  16. dee wrote:

    Tweetie Pie wrote:
    Dee at Wartburg Watch is a very nice lady, but he refrained to say what he really thought of Julie Anne of Spiritual Sounding Board.
    Just nice? He didn’t say adorable?

    He said you were like the little old church lady in his boyhood years that would tell him his tie was nice and give him candy. That kind of nice. LOL.

  17. @ Melody:

    Darn straight. Wait until you all hear from her tomorrow. The picked the wrong lady to mess with.

    The Daily Beast has contacted her. This thing is going national, baby!

  18. Probably the single thing that most informs The Village Church’s policies on divorce is the fact that Chandler’s own dad was very abusive to his mom when he was young. But his mom stayed, endured the abuse, prayed a long time for him and he did eventually convert to Christ and stopped abusing her. So Chandler feels that since there was a good outcome for his parents; surely it is the best path for all. Such a naieve aporoach, unfortunately. My friend’s husband was abusing her terribly (she has a Masters degree in Psychology) and felt her life was in danger, but Chandler tried to force her to stay with the creep. She was told to leave the church if she did not reconcile. She left. Several of us had to escape Chandler’s madness.

  19. Robin wrote:

    he word ‘season’ so much?

    I think they all love CJ Mahaney and it was favorite word after “degifting” and” apostle.”

  20. This is really an outstanding post. All the issues are clearly laid out.

    I apologize in advance for another long post, but my heart is breaking for Karen and the other victims out there.

    Honestly, I don’t understand how anyone can want to turn over his or her life over to the judgment of others. Doesn’t Karen know Scripture? (yes). Doesn’t the Holy Spirit dwell in Karen and inform her choices (yes). Why does she need anyone but Jesus? Why should a pastor assume that he has more wisdom than another Christian?

    And too many church leaders do not understand pedophilia. All sins are not the same. Some, like possessing images of child sexual abuse or child molestation are crimes. They people who commit them present a serious danger to others. These behaviors are compulsive and repetitive. Therapists have no idea how to treat pedophilia in adults. There has been success in treating young people who have themselves been abused and are acting out with younger children but no success with adults. Some therapies – like group therapy – has been found to actually increase recidivism. If therapists cannot treat pedophilia and correctional counselors cannot predict who will reoffend (and they can’t), why do pastors think they have special insight?

    Pastors are going to insist that God can remove the criminal desires of repentant pedophiles (or the violent impulses of domestic abusers or anyone else who victimizes people). They want us to agree that He could. And He could, just like he could pick up my house and put it on a nice lot in Southern California but He doesn’t do things like that and I would be a fool to expect it.

    I am at an impasse with this kind of thinking. I cannot infantilize myself with these unBiblical covenants and I cannot believe that pastors have knowledge about pedophilia that no one else has, can accurately discern true repentance from manipulation and that the Holy Spirit works instantly like magic without active cooperation and committed work on the part of offenders.

  21. dee wrote:

    @ Melody:

    Darn straight. Wait until you all hear from her tomorrow. The picked the wrong lady to mess with.

    The Daily Beast has contacted her. This thing is going national, baby!

    Awesome!

  22. @ Tweetie Pie:

    Oh, just…get over horrific, life- altering abuse, just like that?

    I saw some cousins, a bit more fundy than the rest of the family recently. We discussed the Duggar case, and their response was, “You just don’t know how hard it is to be a guy “….what, you and Josh Duggar have it hard?
    White, middle class males, born in the United States? Because its so hard to keep your urges in check?

    It must be so, so, incredibly nice to be so, so, incredibly ignorant of what it’s like to be subject to another’s power, manipulation…abuse.

    Why/how is it so hard to empathize even just a little bit with people who have had so incredibly much stolen from them? Why is it so easy to vilify them, and not their abusers?

    Can it really come down to that shared privilege- can that make them that blind?

  23. XianJaneway wrote:

    Dee, another question: Since Jordan also signed the annulment documents, (Which XianAttny found online) why is he *also* not under church discipline?

    Are you freaking kidding me???!! Jordan signed the annulment papers yet isn’t under church discipline like Karen is? Never mind he should be under church discipline for child pornagraphy. GOOD GRIEF!

  24. “They’re pointing out the enemy to keep you deaf and blind,
    They wanna sap your energy incarcerate your mind”

    Great post! It is clear that TVC, with their soul-sucking ‘covenant’ wants total control over the lives of their covenant peons. The only reason they put Karen under church ‘discipline’ is that she refused to be a party to hushing up a heinous crime. If Karen would have submitted to them you can bet your last dollar they would have forced her to reconcile with the pedophile, submit to his headship, keep her mouth shut, and would have been transformed into a traumatized she’ll of a human being. On the other hand, a ‘repentant’ pedophile they can groom to trot out on the conference circuit is gold, which is where it looks like this is heading, actual repentance being irrelevant to the narrative.

    There is NOTHING Biblical about how TVC operates, they preach and act on a ‘gospel’ of oppression, without the faintest hint of love. Matt Chandler’s more of a disciple of L. Ron Hubbard rather than of Jesus Christ.

  25. dee wrote:

    @ Melody:
    Darn straight. Wait until you all hear from her tomorrow. The picked the wrong lady to mess with.
    The Daily Beast has contacted her. This thing is going national, baby!

    YES! YES! (I probably just disturbed the neighbors with my clapping and shouting.)

  26. I agree. But in this alternate reality he cooperated with TVC whereas she did not. Ergo, sin.

    Bridget wrote:

    XianJaneway wrote:

    Dee, another question: Since Jordan also signed the annulment documents, (Which XianAttny found online) why is he *also* not under church discipline?

    Are you freaking kidding me???!! Jordan signed the annulment papers yet isn’t under church discipline like Karen is? Never mind he should be under church discipline for child pornagraphy. GOOD GRIEF!

  27. @ Tweetie Pie:
    Love the screen name!

    In view of this, I have no choice but to rescind my overestimation of J.D. as an idiot. Seriously, this man is losing his grip. I think the entire movement is disintegrating into the absurd. And that is as charitable as I can be.

    When someone chooses to focus on trivia like “she signed a covenant so she’s a covenant breaker”, it is certain that they do not want to see what is important. It may show something far graver.

  28. Would they be so gracious to the average pew sitter who looked at these vile images? What about the minister down the road at the Methodist church? Would they be given the same grace? I doubt it. I have heard enough of these guys pronounce hell on innumerable people because of sin in their lives. But, when it comes to their own, someone in the hierarchy, all of a sudden the person is repentant and we can just move right along because there is nothing to say here. I am so dismayed.

  29. Tweetie Pie wrote:

    JD doesn’t care about what state authorities say, or rule regarding marriage.

    Guess all that preaching they do about submitting to the governing authorities whom God has appointed doesn’t apply unless J.D. approves of what said governing authorities do? Please try for some semblance of consistency, J.D. I once gave you the benefit of the doubt when you were supposedly repentant. Silly me.

  30. Most of the members are very young at The Village Church. They simply don’t know what they don’t know. Chandler’s wife is a cutie and frequents pintrest. Matt is everyone’s digital, funny older brother. There’s a sexy, fun vibe at the church. All the cool kids go there. And that’s how such a covenant like that gets passed around and signed. So sad.

  31. And in fact, leaders can never be deceived, have wrong motives, make mistakes, or gasp, sin. That is the pivotal problem with the Acts29 authority movement. Oh and with JD Hall et similar.

    Melody wrote:

    I agree. But in this alternate reality he cooperated with TVC whereas she did not. Ergo, sin.

    Bridget wrote:

    XianJaneway wrote:

    Dee, another question: Since Jordan also signed the annulment documents, (Which XianAttny found online) why is he *also* not under church discipline?

    Are you freaking kidding me???!! Jordan signed the annulment papers yet isn’t under church discipline like Karen is? Never mind he should be under church discipline for child pornagraphy. GOOD GRIEF!

  32. Lydia wrote:

    @ Robin:
    Because it is winsome and vague. :o)

    Being winsome is how they love on you and what brings them joy because they have a servant’s heart.

  33. Gram3 wrote:

    Being winsome is how they love on you and what brings them joy because they have a servant’s heart.

    I couldn’t read that with a straight face.

  34. Joe wrote:

    Should we text Steve Hardin our concerns…….we have his phone #….

    Please no. Don’t even kid about this.
    I would request that the phone number be obscured for future reference.
    Let’s not give Hardin a cheap excuse to pull the victim card (a la Driscoll).
    Stay classy, guys.

  35. Michaela wrote:

    As Gram3 would say you would “get keyed out of the church” (like Gram3, me, and any other saint with moxie).

    This is so confusing. I get keyed out and Karen gets keyed in for daring to question The Spiritual Authorities. Where is Jonathan Leeman when we need some clarification? Does a woman standing up to a pretense of authority lock her in or lock her out of the Kingdom?

  36. Gram3 wrote:

    @ Tweetie Pie:
    Love the screen name!
    In view of this, I have no choice but to rescind my overestimation of J.D. as an idiot. Seriously, this man is losing his grip. I think the entire movement is disintegrating into the absurd. And that is as charitable as I can be.
    When someone chooses to focus on trivia like “she signed a covenant so she’s a covenant breaker”, it is certain that they do not want to see what is important. It may show something far graver.

    And if I could post a picture here, I’d show you a screenshot of JD Hall today saying that the “Survivor Bloggers” (referring to Dee and Julie Anne) were “wild-eyed, unhinged professional victims”. Now isn’t that a great way to refer to your sisters in Christ who have suffered abuse and may or may not have been able to overcome it?

  37. This is bringing out the sarc in me. Seriously though, praying for truth and justice as well as grace, and for the Church to get educated about abuse. Thanks again to Karen and all those who are exposing this stuff in love for God’s people. You all encourage me so much.

  38. Mandy wrote:

    Robin wrote:
    Why do Neo Calvinists love the word ‘season’ so much?

    I’m currently living in a season of black-out rages. Pray for me, sister?

    We’ll come along side you and help you press into your rages. Let’s run to Jesus together.

    I’m having flashbacks.

  39. @ Marsha:

    Thanks for this. Wow. It’s not necessarily comforting to know this about adult pedophiles, but really, dispensing with the BS is a good thing. These guys need to stop pretending the “gospel” and church authority unlocks every spiritual and physical door on demand if we just apply it right, like some kind of spiritual skeleton key. Let the scientists do their work, and the therapists & psychologists do theirs, and be a darned servant to your people.

  40. Gram3 wrote:

    Tweetie Pie wrote:
    JD doesn’t care about what state authorities say, or rule regarding marriage.
    Guess all that preaching they do about submitting to the governing authorities whom God has appointed doesn’t apply unless J.D. approves of what said governing authorities do? Please try for some semblance of consistency, J.D. I once gave you the benefit of the doubt when you were supposedly repentant. Silly me.

    JD has also said that gun owners are not bound by the constitution to hand over their guns if required to by law. Okay so I’m Canadian and I don’t know much about USA law and I know gun control is a touchy subject – but just showing that’s not the first time JD has said that Christians don’t have to abide by the laws of the land and he says your crazy if you think you have to in those cases.

  41. I spent hours last week and hours and hours Sunday and yesterday transcribing interviews for a documentary (and boy were they interesting interviews but I can’t say anything more about it). Not even a chance I’d spend one second on JD Hall. Seriously, what a waste of time that would be. If he wants people to see what he said about the Deebs and Julie Anne, he can write it down and put it on his website.

  42. Tweetie Pie wrote:

    JD Hall today saying that the “Survivor Bloggers” (referring to Dee and Julie Anne) were “wild-eyed, unhinged professional victims”.

    LOL, the hypocrisy in that is ridiculous.

  43. Tweetie Pie wrote:

    dee wrote:

    Tweetie Pie wrote:
    Dee at Wartburg Watch is a very nice lady, but he refrained to say what he really thought of Julie Anne of Spiritual Sounding Board.
    Just nice? He didn’t say adorable?

    He said you were like the little old church lady in his boyhood years that would tell him his tie was nice and give him candy. That kind of nice. LOL.

    Why, bless his little heart! (I am in California but am learning the charming ways of our Southern hostesses, Dee and Deb.)

  44. “Why does the church claim that they haven’t helped Jordan when he is living with a well known lawyer who is a member of TVC?”

    TVC’s registered agent is the law firm Christman, Kelley and Clarke. That firm is right inside Highland Village. They handle mostly civil litigation defense. It’s a small firm. Christman and Kelley are big players who say they are active in their local church but don’t name the church.

    Steve Goodspeed from the much larger and more prestigious firm, the Church Law Group, is an active member at TVC. The Church Law Group specializes in crisis management and many of the biggest churches and non-profits use them during times of trouble. IF Jordan is living with the Goodspeeds or if the Church Law Group is now representing TVC on this matter could someone please leave a note on this post? If they are involved I have some relevant information regarding the Church Law Group’s policies which are strongly anti-victim that could really help enlighten readers. A lot of times reactions to PR disasters are determined by these lawyers. Their personal perspectives on how they perceive victims is germane to this topic.

  45. dee wrote:

    The Daily Beast has contacted her. This thing is going national, baby!

    So glad to hear that! I emailed Dr. Drew at HLN/CNN regarding this. have been praying it would get someone’s attention.

  46. dee wrote:

    The picked the wrong lady to mess with.

    I would say they have picked a fight with a bunch of Jezebel Daughters of Eve/Stan and Minions of Satin that they are not prepared for. When all they can do is sputter about a signed extra-biblical document, they have surely lost this battle.

  47. @ Tweetie Pie:

    I provided them with a link to one of your Tweets about this on the last thread. :)

    Thank you for providing a summary of Hall’s podcast. I was thinking about listening to it but don’t think I would have the stomach for it.

    There are several things I could say based on your summary, but what I’ll say for now is I find it amusing that men who are preachers or commentators on these issues bother to comment or criticize spiritual abuse blogs, especially ones maintained by women.

    He and those like him must feel that such blogs are winning a wider audience or pose some sort of threat, otherwise why bother commenting on these types of blogs on their blogs or podcasts?

    They say in a round about way in their blog posts about gender roles that women’s opinions have no value, but there they are, getting irate about women’s opinions.

    He and his authoritarian church buddies lack empathy and damage people, leaving those people with little outlet but to seek online communities of other hurt Christians and ex-Christians where they will be understood and validated.

    Guys like Hall are making blogs like this one (and Julie Anne’s and Watch Keep, etc.) necessary in the first place.

  48. Bridget wrote:

    Jordan signed the annulment papers yet isn’t under church discipline like Karen is? Never mind he should be under church discipline for child pornagraphy. GOOD GRIEF!

    I suspect that the difference is that Jordan got their permission. And that tells us that this is all about the power of the ELDERS being flouted by a rebellious woman. Karen has confirmed their narrative about the nature of women as rebels who want to “buck” authority. It is the original sin which is not covered by the blood of Jesus.

  49. Daily Beast. Yikes. This is what I was thinking when y’all were criticizing Brandon Smith and Samuel James (Jones?). This blog criticizes churches while affirming Jesus. A blog could discuss every topic we do, except with the message of this is why you should never go to church. It’s a remarkable and valuable encouragement for me and many other Christians and that’s why I participate. But a source with a firmly secular and culturally liberal standpoint were to get into a church’s underbelly, those guys would, probably literally, cry for their mommies without the “be a real Christian and shut up” line.

    It may be that the whole Village Church is about to be delivered to Satan for its spirit to be restored.

  50. Gram3 wrote:

    Karen has confirmed their narrative about the nature of women as rebels who want to “buck” authority. It is the original sin which is not covered by the blood of Jesus.

    Wait, wait, wait…WHAT?

  51. gram3, we can only hope the movement continues to desintegrate. I simply cannot find the scripture that tells me as a pastor I run a totalitarian state. Submission is voluntary , it cannot be coerced, at least not biblically.

  52. From the OP,

    #1 Why did the church keep contacting her when she asked that they stop?
    #2 What do they mean about “pushing her under their care?”
    #3 How can you retroactively discipline someone?

    Because in the future, when they were rolling off the assembly line, these Village Church T-800s were programmed this way by Sky Net.

    Kyle Reese explained it like this:

    Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there.
    It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear.

    And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are [reconciled with your abusive or pedo spouse and return to the church that has you under discipline].

    Though I will say point #2 has a Star Trek Borg feel to it, once you are assimilated, you can never leave the Cube ship.

  53. Good grief!

    That’s basically all I say anymore. I read posts and comments about this and the Duggar debacle and about every three sentences I say “Good grief!” out loud.

    Also, I can hardly wait for Doug Wilson to share his opinions about the situation at TVC said no one ever.

  54. The same JD Hall who sought council from the Dee and Debs here? He didn’t seem to think she was so wild eyed when he had a personal crisis.

  55. LT wrote:

    Steve Goodspeed from the much larger and more prestigious firm, the Church Law Group, is an active member at TVC. The Church Law Group specializes in crisis management and many of the biggest churches and non-profits use them during times of trouble.

    Wasn’t Goodspeed the same guy who filed the TX organization documents for Mark Driscoll’s first “rebound” attempt mis-aptly named Learning For Living back in Dec 2014?

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/12/23/mark-driscoll-launches-new-official-website/

  56. Tweetie Pie wrote:

    wild-eyed, unhinged professional victims

    First, it is quite possible that the sisters in Christ part may be open to question, and I don’t mean that the way J.D. would mean it. As for the “wild-eyed, unhinged” part, we’re probably seeing an eruption of projection. He doesn’t know much about being professional nor does he care about victims. He is a power junkie who thinks he is what he imagines he is.

  57. I’m having black-out rages and flashbacks, as well. So thankful for this community of advocates. As a side note, I received a text from a Villager friend of mine after posting something about this on my personal Facebook page, and it was full of the flowery dialect of Christianese that TVC is known for. I was eating dinner at the time I received the text, and it almost didn’t stay down. Tempted to create a word search or a similar sort of puzzle for all of the buzzwords. I am far removed from ‘the’ church (not TVC, a general term), at this point in my life, but seeing a wall of text appear on my phone, full of that BS, sent me back to some awful times. I wonder what the purpose is in using this sort of language that no one outside the church gets. Is it to separate oneself as ‘different’ or even ‘holier’ or ‘more right’ than non-Villagers/non-Christians? It just seems like this sort of language is really over the top at TVC, compared to other Christian communities I’ve been a part of or have known. Do they really think they’re communicating in a way that is actually helpful to others, by talking like this? It seems to me that it is a function of the ego.

  58. Melody wrote:

    This is bringing out the sarc in me.

    There are times, such as Paul’s confrontation with the Galatians where he told them to go ahead and cut it all off, where sarcasm is the most appropriate response. People who have made a mockery of what Jesus accomplished and who he is deserve to be mocked. Maybe it will wake them up so that they can see how ridiculous their thinking is.

    However, I predict that is not what will happen. I predict that we will get a lot of whining about persecution and people wanting to tear down Matt Chandler. Just like Mahaney and Driscoll. They cannot see that they have devoted themselves to an idol.

  59. To prosecute – or to not whole-heartedly protect Root from consequences – will ruin his life. Bu also to allow him to be in any way defamed will demonstrate that And VC leaders are impotent to prevent this sin or even to detect this sin in someone whom they have examined and declared worthy to pay him a salary and send him out to proselytize.

    The VC cannot admit that there are any exceptions to the divinely-mandated authoritative nature of their Covenant, otherwise it would lose psychological force and no one would be emotionally, religiously or by conscience bound to it. This Covenant surely requires 10% tithing. If the Covenant becomes unenforceable to its signatories, there is no remaining means to cajole, shun, or intimidate tithing from those who might happen to stop. There is a – now clear – mechanism for extorting tithes: not tithing places Covenant Members into disciplinary status, and disciplinary status prohibits them from resigning (even after the fact); members therefore cannot formally enter any other participating church without clearing their debts and their spiritual record with VC (and for some, excommunication may be the equivalent to condemnation to hell).

    I don’t know their financials, but as the roughest of guesstimates, if there are 6,000 Covenant Members with an average household annual income of $50,000 the resultant tithes to VC may well be as much as $30 million annually. If the campuses each require a third of a million annually to maintain, and 80 paid staff receive $50,000 annually, then the top 10 divide $25 million dollars a year however they wish in salaries, perks and capital to leverage.

  60. JeffT wrote:

    If Karen would have submitted to them you can bet your last dollar they would have forced her to reconcile with the pedophile, submit to his headship, keep her mouth shut, and would have been transformed into a traumatized she’ll of a human being. On the other hand, a ‘repentant’ pedophile they can groom to trot out on the conference circuit is gold, which is where it looks like this is heading, actual repentance being irrelevant to the narrative.

    Those were my takes on it as well, especially the first part. I feel if Karen had gone along with the church, they would have pressured her into staying with the guy.
    They care more about maintaining their reputation than in her welfare, or what is best for her.

  61. @ Bridget:

    Lol I know, I was just replying with more Christianese phrases the elicit eye-rolls from myself.

    I don’t really have black out rages, either.

    Just rages.

  62. Gram3 wrote:

    When someone chooses to focus on trivia like “she signed a covenant so she’s a covenant breaker”, it is certain that they do not want to see what is important.

    Jesus warned against that, too.

    Jesus was telling the Pharisees that they nullify God’s intent of the law by being inflexible and nit picking over carrying it out to the letter, in his discussion about corban, Mark 7:8-13.

    V. 9 / 13 of that reads,
    “And he [Jesus] continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! … you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down”

  63. Mandy wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    Praying for a hedge of protection and travel mercies along the way!

    I just want to, just, thank you, just, just, for taking me before the throne of grace.

    We are going to have to quit or I am going to totally lose it.

  64. Bridget wrote:

    @ Mandy:
    Gram3 was full of sarcasm when she said that.

    Oh I think I confused which one you were talking about.

    The one with the original sin comment? I realize that, as well.

    I was more reacting the the info regarding the view of women as rebels who want to buck authority. Like, are these church leaders saying women inherently are sinful/rebellious because they question…why am I even typing this sentence? I guess I know the answer already, really. It was badly communicated, feigned surprise.

    My point being I wasn’t taking that as a serious statement/idealogical viewpoint from Gram3.

  65. Another question: why aren’t TVC members FURIOUS that a pedophile was brought back into their midst without their knowledge and that they were encouraged to invite him into their home and “love on him”???????????

    I attend an A29 church. I am so sickened by this.

  66. @ Mandy:
    The narrative is that the Woman sinned by stepping out from under the Man’s authority by speaking with the Serpent. She usurped his authority. Therefore, that was the *real* Original Sin. The first sin was the sin of the Woman against the Man. You probably thought that the Original Sin was eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree. And, sister, that is because you are a Daughter of Eve who is born desiring to be a usurper and to take the Man’s place.

    See Susan Foh on Genesiss 3:16. Or WayneGrudemGoWayneGrudem anyplace. Or Ray Ortlund in RBMW where he helpfully reconstructs what God meant to say instead of what is actually in the text.

  67. Flicker wrote:

    I don’t know their financials, but as the roughest of guesstimates, if there are 6,000 Covenant Members with an average household annual income of $50,000 the resultant tithes to VC may well be as much as $30 million annually. If the campuses each require a third of a million annually to maintain, and 80 paid staff receive $50,000 annually, then the top 10 divide $25 million dollars a year however they wish in salaries, perks and capital to leverage.

    Since The Village Church has been a member of ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) since 2010, their overall financial profile is available on the ECFA website.

    P.S. From the evident public passivity of ECFA regarding serious organizational issues at Mars Hill Church in 2014-2015, I for one am doubtful that “certification” of meeting ECFA standards is a particularly meaningful measure of anything. (Mars Hill was an ECFA member, and also used in several ECFA promotional brochures, and Executive Pastor Sutton Turner was on their advisory panel for their first “stewardship survey.”)

  68. Gram3 wrote:

    Mandy wrote:
    @ Gram3:
    Praying for a hedge of protection and travel mercies along the way!
    I just want to, just, thank you, just, just, for taking me before the throne of grace.
    We are going to have to quit or I am going to totally lose it.

    Ok, I covet your forgiveness for any insanity I may have induced. Inadvertently.

  69. That Bad Dog wrote:

    Also, I can hardly wait for Doug Wilson to share his opinions about the situation at TVC said no one ever.

    Has anyone ever seen Doug Wilson and the WomanWhoShallNotBeNamed in the same place at the same time? Just asking.

  70. Tweetie Pie wrote:

    dee wrote:
    Tweetie Pie wrote:
    Dee at Wartburg Watch is a very nice lady, but he refrained to say what he really thought of Julie Anne of Spiritual Sounding Board.
    Just nice? He didn’t say adorable?
    He said you were like the little old church lady in his boyhood years that would tell him his tie was nice and give him candy. That kind of nice. LOL.

    He had very nice comments about Dee when I spoke with him on the phone.

  71. Gram3 wrote:

    @ Mandy:
    The narrative is that the Woman sinned by stepping out from under the Man’s authority by speaking with the Serpent. She usurped his authority. Therefore, that was the *real* Original Sin. The first sin was the sin of the Woman against the Man. You probably thought that the Original Sin was eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree. And, sister, that is because you are a Daughter of Eve who is born desiring to be a usurper and to take the Man’s place.
    See Susan Foh on Genesiss 3:16. Or WayneGrudemGoWayneGrudem anyplace. Or Ray Ortlund in RBMW where he helpfully reconstructs what God meant to say instead of what is actually in the text.

    Ooooooooh, ok. No, I totally did not pick up on that. Goes to show why I need a man to lead me well.

  72. Tweetie Pie wrote:

    “Survivor Bloggers” (referring to Dee and Julie Anne) were “wild-eyed, unhinged professional victims”

    Once again, did he mention that I may be unhinged but I am the cutest unhinged blogger you have ever met. I have to admit this stuff makes me giggle. How can one keep a straight face and say this stuff.

    Hey JD -you know you love me!!

  73. Gram3 wrote:

    As for the “wild-eyed, unhinged” part, we’re probably seeing an eruption of projection.

    HA, he “unhinged” 2 tweets in a row and I tweeted back the same thing as you suggested. Who’s unhinged? LOL

  74. Julie Anne wrote:

    He had very nice comments about Dee when I spoke with him on the phone.

    i would imagine his opinion of me fluctuates like the market. But you know that he really loves us but must pretend he doesn’t so his friend at Theoblogy doesn’t get unhinged.

  75. Mandy wrote:

    Goes to show why I need a man to lead me well.

    Dadgum women-always trying to screw things up for the menfolk.

  76. Gram3 wrote:

    That Bad Dog wrote:
    Also, I can hardly wait for Doug Wilson to share his opinions about the situation at TVC said no one ever.
    Has anyone ever seen Doug Wilson and the WomanWhoShallNotBeNamed in the same place at the same time? Just asking.

    I’ve seen the Woman . . . commenting on Wilson’s blog.

  77. @ brad/futuristguy:
    Did you catch this?

    The Village Church exists to bring glory to God by making disciples through gospel-centered worship, gospel-centered community, gospel-centered service and gospel-centered multiplication.

    I think I am going to name my next gospel rescue pug, gospel pug to remind myself to use the word gospel as much as I use the word alleged in my posts.

  78. Gram3 wrote:

    This is so confusing. I get keyed out and Karen gets keyed in for daring to question The Spiritual Authorities. Where is Jonathan Leeman when we need some clarification? Does a woman standing up to a pretense of authority lock her in or lock her out of the Kingdom?

    I believe Jonathan Leeman is on a road trip with John Piper. At present, they are lost. They’ve passed a couple of women who didn’t look submissive enough to give them directions.

  79. Gram3 wrote:

    And, sister, that is because you are a Daughter of Eve who is born desiring to be a usurper and to take the Man’s place.

    hunh. I never realized before how power-hungry and ambitious I was. :)

  80. Daisy wrote:

    They care more about maintaining their reputation than in her welfare, or what is best for her.

    Here is the irony. If they had done what they should have done, I don’t believe we would be discussing this. The Village would have provided for another church to work with Jordan under close supervision as he works through his repentance. The Village would have protected Karen and helped her with the annulment and getting her life and her life’s work back on track.

    But their ideology and arrogance tripped them up, and they have brought a big dose of Righteous Reality down on their own kephales. This outcome was inevitable, and I don’t mean that in the Calvinistic sense. It is a predictable trajectory given the way that these folks apply their doctrines which are idols to them. How many times have we seen this movie?

  81. Gram3 wrote:

    I just want to, just, thank you, just, just, for taking me before the throne of grace.

    I’m dying here. lol. I cannot tell you how many prayers I have sat through with the ‘justs’.

    MOD Edit: Forbidden topic removed.

    But I am laughing my sarcastic arse off.

  82. @ brad/futuristguy:
    Thanks. Net assets are $40 million. Still $15+ million in annual expenses. Beyond power, water, structural maintenance, and missions support, a lot of this could be expense accounts and salaries. Where would I find the expenses breakdown? Just curious.

  83. Daisy wrote:

    you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down”

    Exactly. Gospel math is don’t add to it and don’t take anything away from it or it isn’t Gospel.

  84. Mandy wrote:

    Therefore, that was the *real* Original Sin. The first sin was the sin of the Woman against the Man. You probably thought that the Original Sin was eating of the fruit of the forbidden tree.

    So there was sin “before” the original sin then? They never seem to realize that God never said anything about Eve not submitting to Adam. It was the eating of the forbidden fruit that God took issue with. Adding to scripture is such a scary thing.

  85. Michaela wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:
    This is so confusing. I get keyed out and Karen gets keyed in for daring to question The Spiritual Authorities. Where is Jonathan Leeman when we need some clarification? Does a woman standing up to a pretense of authority lock her in or lock her out of the Kingdom?
    I believe Jonathan Leeman is on a road trip with John Piper. At present, they are lost. They’ve passed a couple of women who didn’t look submissive enough to give them directions.

    You guys and gals are so fun :)

  86. Michaela wrote:

    They’ve passed a couple of women who didn’t look submissive enough to give them directions.

    One of those women was also very muscular, so John Piper didn’t feel comfortable even approaching her.

  87. dee wrote:

    gospel pug

    Wait … I thought elders of the Gospel were not supposed to be pugnacious (1 Timothy 3:3, NASB).

    What does this mean for [prospective] Gospel Pug?

    Then again, the name could turn out to be a hit …

  88. Bridget wrote:

    So there was sin “before” the original sin then? They never seem to realize that God never said anything about Eve not submitting to Adam. It was the eating of the forbidden fruit that God took issue with. Adding to scripture is such a scary thing.

    This reminds me…I had heard something on the radio recently about Satan’s Fall…that “his” sin was only made possible by “our” sin?
    I don’t feel my brain is limber enough for the mental gymnastics required to understand this?
    Maybe it is simpler that I realize?

  89. Daisy wrote:

    Michaela wrote:
    They’ve passed a couple of women who didn’t look submissive enough to give them directions.
    One of those women was also very muscular, so John Piper didn’t feel comfortable even approaching her.

    Maybe God will speak to them whilst they drive in circles :)

  90. Bridget wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    Michaela wrote:
    They’ve passed a couple of women who didn’t look submissive enough to give them directions.
    One of those women was also very muscular, so John Piper didn’t feel comfortable even approaching her.
    Maybe God will speak to them whilst they drive in circles

    I was going to say, they may be ok if they have GPS, but if it is a female voice…she does sound pretty “uppity”, so they don’t have a chance… :'(

  91. dee wrote:

    She whose name must not be spoken.

    Can we dub this person a feminine version of the name Voldemort?

    Voldemort-ina? Voldemor-ticia?

  92. Mandy wrote:

    I had heard something on the radio recently about Satan’s Fall…that “his” sin was only made possible by “our” sin?

    I thought the Bible teaches that Satan fell into sin prior to God even making humanity? That there was an angelic revolt prior to Adam and Eve?

  93. dee wrote:

    A transgendered Jezebel-it s got play.

    This just made my week.

    I just don’t want to be left out. How about a son of Haman or Herod?

  94. Bridget wrote:

    Adding to scripture is such a scary thing.

    It certainly is, but remember these are very brave and manly men. Someone who is not audacious would never think of telling everyone that what is in the text is not actually what God meant. And that the Man’s authority is necessary to “picture” the Gospel. I’m still looking for the command to “picture” the Gospel, and I can’t find where that is essential or what hierarchy has to do with it. But I’m not as smart as they are.

  95. Gram3 wrote:

    I’m still looking for the command to “picture” the Gospel, and I can’t find where that is essential or what hierarchy has to do with it.

    Isn’t all the animal sacrifice stuff by the Temple priests in the Old Testament a foreshadowing, and picture, of the Gospel?

    Some also see a picture of the Gospel or Christ in OT stories like Joseph being sold into slavery, Noah on the ark, etc. Esther risked her life to save the Jews… that is somewhat Christ-like, but she was a woman, so in their universe, that must not count.

  96. Daisy wrote:

    I thought the Bible teaches that Satan fell into sin prior to God even making humanity? That there was an angelic revolt prior to Adam and Eve?

    That was always my understanding. I think someone had asked the question- was the original sin really Adam and Eve disobeying God, or the angelic revolt?
    And the answer of the man on the program (I am not sure what it was called, just that it was on BOT radio) was that no, our sin caused their sin. But I don’t see how.

  97. Daisy wrote:

    Esther risked her life to save the Jews… that is somewhat Christ-like, but she was a woman, so in their universe, that must not count.

    It doesn’t count according to Driscoll :roll:

  98. Tweetie Pie wrote:

    Here are my impressions as I listened to JD Hall preach about this.

    Thanks for the notes, you have a strong stomach to wade through 2 hours of it

  99. Gram3 wrote:

    And that the Man’s authority is necessary to “picture” the Gospel.

    It’s all about the man in their manly world. They twist and add and add and twist to make it so. It seems they even usurp Christ’s place.

  100. Daisy wrote:

    Can we dub this person a feminine version of the name Voldemort?
    Voldemort-ina? Voldemor-ticia?

    Vol de Mortina would make a great drag name. But the thought of me in a dress and heels is already giving me nightmares, so you all can take comfort that the world will be forever spared that sight!* 😮

    * Unless some minion of Satin gets ahold of a picture of me and a copy of Photoshop. Beware!

  101. Mandy wrote:

    Bridget wrote:
    Daisy wrote:
    Michaela wrote:
    They’ve passed a couple of women who didn’t look submissive enough to give them directions.
    One of those women was also very muscular, so John Piper didn’t feel comfortable even approaching her.
    Maybe God will speak to them whilst they drive in circles

    I was going to say, they may be ok if they have GPS, but if it is a female voice…she does sound pretty “uppity”, so they don’t have a chance… :'(

    The “heros” of our road trip story, Jonathan Leeman and John Piper, are sadly still lost. They passed by the women who knew The Way: the unsubmissive women,
    the muscular women, and they turned off the uppity female on the GPS. Jon & John’s car is now out of fuel. They have pushed the car – license plate 9Marx – to the side of the road. They are getting ready for the night. They have unpacked their luggage: Hotel California sleeping bags, pillows and HC pillow cases, HC bathrobes, and those darling little HC soaps. They have taken out their HC flashlights and pens and are making additional notes to the “Hostage” – I mean “Membership” – Covenant to make it ‘iron-clad’.

  102. Daisy wrote:

    Isn’t all the animal sacrifice stuff by the Temple priests in the Old Testament a foreshadowing, and picture, of the Gospel?

    Christians are not in the Old Covenant which was a mere shadow of the New Covenant. We are called to imitate Christ, not picture the Gospel. In my opinion, we picture the power of the Gospel in our reconciled relationships. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and as a result we have the power through the Holy Spirit of being reconciled to God and to one another.

    That is also why the hierarchy/authoritarian teaching is not about the Gospel at all. It is difficult to picture the reconciliation of the Gospel when all you talk about are staying in rigid role boxes. Two or more people dwelling together in unity of spirit is truly radical in a way that hierarchy is not.

  103. Gram3 wrote:

    Mandy wrote:

    Praying for a hedge of protection and travel mercies along the way!

    I just want to, just, thank you, just, just, for taking me before the throne of grace.

    We are going to have to quit or I am going to totally lose it.

    Dear Father Lord God, I just want to lift up this sister’s unspoken request before you tonight.

  104. Michaela wrote:

    Why, bless his little heart! (I am in California but am learning the charming ways of our Southern hostesses, Dee and Deb.)

    practice practice practice, its hard to get that sweet southern accent down

  105. A serious question: Does anyone know where the rules or protocol for marriage reconciliation are spelled out? They are not in the membership covenant or the BYLAWS as far as I can tell. How could Karen know she was violating the procedure if the procedure is not spelled out in what she signed?

    Maybe I’m jumping ahead to another post, so my apologies if this is a premature question. I just thought I would see if I could find the rules that she supposedly broke. I suspect that the only rule she broke was in not begging for their permission.

  106. Corbin wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:

    Being winsome is how they love on you and what brings them joy because they have a servant’s heart.

    I couldn’t read that with a straight face.

    I just had an awful thought. They claim to have servants’ hearts. Jesus said the first will be last, and the last will be first. Ergo, their justification for lording

  107. Michaela wrote:

    They’ve passed a couple of women who didn’t look submissive enough to give them directions.

    The “asking for directions” is an old and very tiring joke but thanks for giving it a new spin, even I got a laugh.

  108. Corbin wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:

    Being winsome is how they love on you and what brings them joy because they have a servant’s heart.

    I couldn’t read that with a straight face.

    I just had an awful thought. They claim to have servants’ hearts. Jesus said the first will be last, and the last will be first. Ergo, their justification for lording it over others.

  109. Flicker wrote:

    Where would I find the expenses breakdown? Just curious.

    Sorry Flicker, but you’ll have to carry out your own research, as I do not have time/energy available to do so right now. But this should get you started, if you haven’t done this kind of investigation on tax-exempt non-profits before.

    It looks like “The Village Church” is a sort of dba/doing business as name for:

    First Baptist Church Of Highland Village in Flower Mound, Texas.

    They are registered with the IRS and their EIN (Employer Identification Number) which is public information for non-profits is:

    EIN 75-1709756

    Check sites like GuideStar and CitizenAudit and National Center for Charitable Statistics and see what you come up with …

  110. Mandy wrote:

    And the answer of the man on the program (I am not sure what it was called, just that it was on BOT radio) was that no, our sin caused their sin. But I don’t see how.

    My personal theory as maybe one reason God created humanity was as a lesson for Satan.

    God knew humanity would rebel, He would have to fix things, and He also knew that some humans would choose to believe in and follow Him, which would leave Satan without an excuse.

    Satan knew God face to face, had access to his throne room, but humans who know God in the here and now do not have that ability.

    They have to trust God without seeing God in person. God requires faith from humans, which makes Satan’s rebellion a little less excusable.

  111. Gram3 wrote:

    Michaela wrote:

    As Gram3 would say you would “get keyed out of the church” (like Gram3, me, and any other saint with moxie).

    This is so confusing. I get keyed out and Karen gets keyed in for daring to question The Spiritual Authorities. Where is Jonathan Leeman when we need some clarification? Does a woman standing up to a pretense of authority lock her in or lock her out of the Kingdom?

    Easy. It’s the opposite of whatever the woman wants.

  112. Bill M wrote:

    Michaela wrote:
    Why, bless his little heart! (I am in California but am learning the charming ways of our Southern hostesses, Dee and Deb.)

    practice practice practice, its hard to get that sweet southern accent down

    I’ll just have to start by making a North Carolina lemon pie and offer slices to folks in a charmin’ Southern accent.

  113. @ Josh, Doctor of Pulchritudinousness:

    Oh, I meant that lady who used to post here. People don’t like to use her screen name, lest it summon her appearance. But you are welcome to that name if you like. :)

    Someone I used to work with says that strippers use the name of the first street they ever lived on plus the name of the first pet they ever had to come up with their stage names.

    So, if you grew up around the French Quarter, you could be “Fluffy La Rue” or something.

  114. Gram3 wrote:

    The Village would have provided for another church to work with Jordan under close supervision as he works through his repentance. The Village would have protected Karen and helped her with the annulment and getting her life and her life’s work back on track.

    This simple remedy is worthy of a TWW elder, much appreciation

  115. Michaela wrote:

    The “heros” of our road trip story, Jonathan Leeman and John Piper, are sadly still lost. They passed by the women who knew The Way: the unsubmissive women,
    the muscular women, and they turned off the uppity female on the GPS. Jon & John’s car is now out of fuel.

    As Gramp3 remarked, what if John Piper were an airline pilot and the controller were female? Does his proximity rule apply, or does it not? She is using her voice instead of a written manuscript that he is reading, so does that rule govern? We could not come to an agreement, so I submitted.

    Wherever they are, they need to get to Dallas pronto.
    I suspect that they are on the way to Dallas for a rescue.

  116. @ Bill M:
    That really is a Piper illustration of how asking a woman for directions threatens his manhood. I know it’s hard to believe…

  117. @ Gram3:
    I didn’t know that and you’re right, hard to believe, I’d be embarrassed. Most of these guys were not on my radar 6 months ago, I thought politicians said dumb things, that was before I found out about celebrity pastors.

    I still marvel at Piper’s one hit rule on abusing your wife, just amazing. It doesn’t say much for the student if this is the teacher, hopefully they sleep through the sermons.

  118. refugee wrote:

    I just had an awful thought. They claim to have servants’ hearts. Jesus said the first will be last, and the last will be first. Ergo, their justification for lording it over others.

    Closer to the truth than I’d like to think. Being a shepherd is tough work, but the power you get over the dumb sheep is well worth it.

  119. There are parts of this sordid tale that I simply cannot fathom——like the whole “membership covenant” nonsense——and others that I worry will send my blood pressure into stroke territory. This is made worse by the fact that I’m in the OPC (actually part of the Presbytery of the SE, if Dee and Deb want to get in touch), and I was a minister for nearly a decade before going back to seminary. I keep reading this verbiage about TVC wanting to “care” for Karen. Really?!

    Let me tell you how you care for her, TVC, since clearly you’re clueless on this one. You let her leave and heal. And you leave your offer to care for her open; if she takes you up on it later, that’s great. If she doesn’t, she doesn’t. You don’t lose anything in this situation by letting your “care” for her be on her terms, but you gain an awful lot. The way TVC has gone about this smacks of a desire to control her——NOT care for her.

    Moreover, and let’s be clear about this, she doesn’t need the elders permission for *anything* regarding her finances and whether or not to pursue an annulment. Honestly, I don’t know why the elders need to take time to deliberate and consider matters here. He’s a flipping pedophile! What in the world is there to consider?

  120. dee wrote:

    @ brad/futuristguy:
    Did you catch this?

    The Village Church exists to bring glory to God by making disciples through gospel-centered worship, gospel-centered community, gospel-centered service and gospel-centered multiplication.

    I think I am going to name my next gospel rescue pug, gospel pug to remind myself to use the word gospel as much as I use the word alleged in my posts.

    I think they got their ‘gospel’ at the store all wolves use to purchase sheeps clothing

  121. Michaela wrote:

    Mandy wrote:

    Bridget wrote:
    Daisy wrote:
    Michaela wrote:
    They’ve passed a couple of women who didn’t look submissive enough to give them directions.
    One of those women was also very muscular, so John Piper didn’t feel comfortable even approaching her.
    Maybe God will speak to them whilst they drive in circles

    I was going to say, they may be ok if they have GPS, but if it is a female voice…she does sound pretty “uppity”, so they don’t have a chance… :'(

    The “heros” of our road trip story, Jonathan Leeman and John Piper, are sadly still lost. They passed by the women who knew The Way: the unsubmissive women,
    the muscular women, and they turned off the uppity female on the GPS. Jon & John’s car is now out of fuel. They have pushed the car – license plate 9Marx – to the side of the road. They are getting ready for the night. They have unpacked their luggage: Hotel California sleeping bags, pillows and HC pillow cases, HC bathrobes, and those darling little HC soaps. They have taken out their HC flashlights and pens and are making additional notes to the “Hostage” – I mean “Membership” – Covenant to make it ‘iron-clad’.

    reposting so i can read it again! rofl rofl rofl

  122. Bill M wrote:

    It doesn’t say much for the student if this is the teacher,

    Correction, it doesn’t speak well of the education if Piper is the teacher. The rest remains.

  123. ‘We continue to see growth numerically and spiritually baptizing over 250 people in our weekend baptism services.’http://www.ecfa.org/MemberProfile.aspx?ID=27219

    now that they put this in print they have to grab unsuspecting people every weekend to keep the numbers up! ‘HEY YOU-Come here, the lord needs you! Splash!’

  124. I keep thinking about something Govpappy or Govdaddy (cant remember name sorry) said yesterday. If a murderer really repented wouldnt he tell everyone who he killed and where the body was?
    If a pedophile really repented wouldnt he tell the police and the victims families that he did it and to whom?

  125. sam wrote:

    Michaela wrote:
    Mandy wrote:

    Bridget wrote:
    Daisy wrote:
    Michaela wrote:
    They’ve passed a couple of women who didn’t look submissive enough to give them directions.
    One of those women was also very muscular, so John Piper didn’t feel comfortable even approaching her.
    Maybe God will speak to them whilst they drive in circles

    I was going to say, they may be ok if they have GPS, but if it is a female voice…she does sound pretty “uppity”, so they don’t have a chance… :'(

    The “heros” of our road trip story, Jonathan Leeman and John Piper, are sadly still lost. They passed by the women who knew The Way: the unsubmissive women,
    the muscular women, and they turned off the uppity female on the GPS. Jon & John’s car is now out of fuel. They have pushed the car – license plate 9Marx – to the side of the road. They are getting ready for the night. They have unpacked their luggage: Hotel California sleeping bags, pillows and HC pillow cases, HC bathrobes, and those darling little HC soaps. They have taken out their HC flashlights and pens and are making additional notes to the “Hostage” – I mean “Membership” – Covenant to make it ‘iron-clad’.

    reposting so i can read it again! rofl rofl rofl

    Dear Sam,

    We are glad you like our story from here at The Hotel California. Please let us know when you would like to check-in. We’d LOVE to have you. Why, no, of course you can NEVER leave. Don’t be silly. Because, Sam, we really, really, really CARE about YOU. [Look of puppy eyes sincerity.] Sign right here…

    Signed,

    The Front Desk at The Hotel California

  126. Jeff P wrote:

    Submission is voluntary , it cannot be coerced, at least not biblically.

    And yet, so many churches do try to enforce it. I was told to submit to the “godly leadership” of my fellow elder, even though he was bullying and abusing me. If I couldn’t submit I was “advised” to resign.

  127. @ Tweetie Pie:
    The length of time, and the fact that I didn’t want to get angry yesterday, are the only reasons why I didn’t listen to that.

    Love you name, BTW. :)

  128. @ Tweetie Pie:
    Considering they don’t make a cent from this, I find that hard to verify. 😛 Does he work for free? No??? You mean pastors PROFIT from the GOSPEL????

  129. Daisy wrote:

    From the OP,
    #1 Why did the church keep contacting her when she asked that they stop?
    #2 What do they mean about “pushing her under their care?”
    #3 How can you retroactively discipline someone?
    Because in the future, when they were rolling off the assembly line, these Village Church T-800s were programmed this way by Sky Net.
    Kyle Reese explained it like this:
    Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there.
    It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear.
    And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are [reconciled with your abusive or pedo spouse and return to the church that has you under discipline].
    Though I will say point #2 has a Star Trek Borg feel to it, once you are assimilated, you can never leave the Cube ship.

    I officially love this.

  130. Of indirect relevance to the topic in hand: A brief note on this idea of the authority of church elders.

    Nowhere in the new testament is there any evidence of a man being commissioned, employed, appointed or in any other way designated as an elder.

    The word simply means “more old”, with the corresponding implication of being more experienced and more wise – or at least, of having had longer to become wise. The concept of tribal, village, or community elders carrying responsibility, and a certain amount of dignity, remains widespread in tribal cultures today and certainly had been prevalent throughout Israel’s history. So, when Paul writes to Titus about what is expected of an elder (an elder must be blameless, monogamous, etc etc) he is not setting out the qualifications for the job, such that a man who doesn’t feel he can meet them may withdraw from eldership. He is setting out the normal expectations for a mature and experienced member of the Church community. In other words: as you spend longer and longer following Jesus, you are expected and required to demonstrate more and more of his likeness. Past a certain point, for which there is no hard-and-fast definition, and assuming you live long enough, you’re an elder whether you like it or not. Equally to the point: you’re an elder whether the other elders like it or not. No one man, however “gifted” or “anointed”, gets to mould the local church in his image.

    This isn’t onerous, as it might sound, because if just for one moment we agree to accept all that c**p about God actually existing and the Holy Spirit actually sharing the life of a believer, we’ll see that the process is quite natural.

    The reason that Mr Hall (cited by @ Tweetie Pie above), among many others, is confused about this lies in the fact that “the local church” is not, today, the gathering of all the followers of Jesus in a locality, but a humanly-constituted association. It may or may not be profit-making; but sadly, it often is. And the word elder (meaning, an older member of the Christian community) has quietly become synonymous with the word manager (meaning, a person deemed by the influential members of a corporate hierarchy to be suitable for achieving the corporate plans and goals).

  131. I am really enjoying the fact that these guys’ gospelly manliness just got decked by the State of Texas. And regardless of the problems either way, thank God that the state and not the church is in charge of the legalities of marriage, or in this case non-marriage.

  132. the outward behavior of Matt Chandler is so similar to Mark Driscol it makes me wonder about if other things in his church are the same. And are they the same in all Acts 29 churches. Hoping someone from TVC will be reading here and answer a few questions…

    Do the members write their sins down on paper to be held against them later?
    Do they have ‘demon trials’?
    Are the womens electronic communications monitored by the husbands?
    Are the husbands electronic communications subject to monitoring at the whim of the elders or group leaders?
    Do staff have to sign a non-compete agreement?
    Do staff, or members have to sign a non-disclosure agreement?
    Is the power divided between elders/pastors, or is it a small minority at the top that has all governance authority like what happend when Mark Driscoll re-wrote the governing bylaws, which caused petry and meyers to get fired for questioning it?
    Do they lose retirement or severance pay if they resign under church discipline?
    Is there regular public shunning of members?
    Is there regular ‘taking peoples sins before the congregation’ if the member is deemed ‘unrepentant’? (which in worldly terms would be known as blackmail to cause other members to never speak up)
    Is there bullying by Matt Chandler such as Mark Driscoll did to staff that questioned his authority. (if the annonymous critic video is any sign of bullying, i would guess Matts staff is intimidated regularly also)

    Mars Hill had alot of that subtily written into the membership covenant and many at Mars Hill didnt speak up for years after the Petry Meyer episode. i believe that all Acts 29 churches are run the same way but we dont see it until the top guy gets so much power that he cant control himself publicly. I think alot of them cant control it all the time but do so publicly most of the time. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  133. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Of indirect relevance to the topic in hand: A brief note on this idea of the authority of church elders.

    Nowhere in the new testament is there any evidence of a man being commissioned, employed, appointed or in any other way designated as an elder.

    The word simply means “more old”, with the corresponding implication of being more experienced and more wise – or at least, of having had longer to become wise. The concept of tribal, village, or community elders carrying responsibility, and a certain amount of dignity, remains widespread in tribal cultures today and certainly had been prevalent throughout Israel’s history. So, when Paul writes to Titus about what is expected of an elder (an elder must be blameless, monogamous, etc etc) he is not setting out the qualifications for the job, such that a man who doesn’t feel he can meet them may withdraw from eldership. He is setting out the normal expectations for a mature and experienced member of the Church community. In other words: as you spend longer and longer following Jesus, you are expected and required to demonstrate more and more of his likeness. Past a certain point, for which there is no hard-and-fast definition, and assuming you live long enough, you’re an elder whether you like it or not. Equally to the point: you’re an elder whether the other elders like it or not. No one man, however “gifted” or “anointed”, gets to mould the local church in his image.

    This isn’t onerous, as it might sound, because if just for one moment we agree to accept all that c**p about God actually existing and the Holy Spirit actually sharing the life of a believer, we’ll see that the process is quite natural.

    The reason that Mr Hall (cited by @ Tweetie Pie above), among many others, is confused about this lies in the fact that “the local church” is not, today, the gathering of all the followers of Jesus in a locality, but a humanly-constituted association. It may or may not be profit-making; but sadly, it often is. And the word elder (meaning, an older member of the Christian community) has quietly become synonymous with the word manager (meaning, a person deemed by the influential members of a corporate hierarchy to be suitable for achieving the corporate plans and goals).

    i like this Nick

  134. @ sam:

    If more people looked at it like this, there would be less compulsion for certain mega pastors to beat their children (or wives) so that they can qualify as ‘ruling his own household’ The standards you mentioned have become so legalisticly binding in the eyes of many pastors/churches that actual abuse happens, emotional and or physical. There was a certain american pa$tor who i wont name but he does have $ in his name, that beat his daughter and got a pass by the evangelical crowd here, ‘he was ruling his household with all gravity’

  135. sam wrote:

    There was a certain american pa$tor who i wont name but he does have $ in his name,

    I think I know to whom you refer. But I have no yen to pound on that particular drum – it would make no cents. #enoughbadpuns

  136. Nancy wrote:

    thank God that the state and not the church is in charge of the legalities of marriage

    It’s a little-mentioned fact that for over a thousand years the church had little or no religious interest in overseeing marriage, and certainly the early church did not conduct weddings. Marriage during NT times was a purely civil contract, and since women didn’t count, it was purely to do with establishing which of a man’s offspring was/were legitimate in terms of inheritance. The church only took over that function when it got into bed with the imperial authorities, and it kept it on after the fall of the Roman empire; but it still didn’t consider marriage to be a sacrament. #thatcamelater

  137. I posted a blog this topic. It is mind blowing. In my profession, if you had been caught with ” kiddie porn” not only would you have been thrown under the jail, you would have been fired, lost your teacher’s certificate, pension, the local churches would be asking you NOT to attend.

    And Nick, on a personal note, we loved Scotland so much, we are already discussing a return trip…

  138. I always thought the Village church was started from scratch. Was Chandler hired by First Baptist Highland Park and turned it into the Village?

  139. Gram3 wrote:

    And that tells us that this is all about the power of the ELDERS being flouted by a rebellious woman.

    The fact that they are being called out by a woman drives the members of the religious boyz club into a state of apoplexy. This is as much about a vendetta against an ‘uppity woman’ as it is their control over marriages.

    Check out Story 2 over at Watchkeep

    http://watchkeep.blogspot.com/2015/05/stories-of-village-church-and-other.html

    “Steve Hardin in particular is very cruel when it comes to “caring” for his flock. While members of TVC, and attenders of the Dallas campus, my husband and I were subjected to “discipline”, after Steve Hardin heard me say , “Oh hush” to my husband.”

  140. I saw this passage mentioned somewhere, might have been on this site, but it’s one one many that L. Ron Chandler seems to have overlooked in creating TVC’s polity:

    So Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’

    Mark 10:42-45

  141. Anyone know how old Steve Hardin is? He behaves like a teenager who was given way too much power too young.

    Sadly, history is littered with such examples.

  142. dee wrote:

    @ brad/futuristguy:
    Did you catch this?

    The Village Church exists to bring glory to God by making disciples through gospel-centered worship, gospel-centered community, gospel-centered service and gospel-centered multiplication.

    The question is, “which gospel”?

    “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” (Galations 1:6-9)

  143. Dee’s et al.

    While I greatly appreciate this current string, and this blog in general, I am concern it is getting off target. I CAN NOT comprehend how the TVC is so focused on the ex-wife, and not the confessed pediphile!! In addition to his admitting his viewing illegal, disgusting videos, the ex-wife clearly outlines a HUGH amount of disturbing behavior that needs to be investigated!!! Covering it up, or “not sending parents into a panic” is the MOST SERIOUS sin in all of this!!! IF abused by this pediphile, those kids deserve to have counselling, to help the kids come to grips with how FUNDAMENTALLY they were violated. These kids, if they were abused, were abused IN THE NAME OF CHRIST!! IT DOES NOT get any worse than this in my book.
    Either the leaders of TVC do not understand how BAD this type of SIN is, or they are just focused on their own power and position, which is probably the second worst SIN behind pedophilia in the name of Christ!!
    IT does not matter if the the pedophile did not do it to any of the kids under the TVC authority, the leaders of TVC, if they are truly followers of Christ, and are concerned with ALL believers and the Christian witness, will seek to protect children, and help to undue any damage this guy did!!

    Instead, all I see if the TVC concerned with their power structure, and it sounds all legalese to me… which further wants to make me throw up! I am the father of three kids, and I can not comprehend these TVC leaders not caring about the kids!!

  144. lydia wrote:

    I always thought the Village church was started from scratch. Was Chandler hired by First Baptist Highland Park and turned it into the Village?

    Highland Village is not Highland Park. Highland Village is a small middling suburb closer to Denton than the center of Dallas or Fort Worth.

    I feel pretty confident that if an uneducated pastor like Chandler rolled into a Highland Park church full of lawyers, doctors, and hedge fund managers who know exactly what a signature does, things wouldn’t quite get this far.

  145. Story 2 from watchkeep:
    “Steve Hardin in particular is very cruel when it comes to “caring” for his flock. While members of TVC, and attenders of the Dallas campus, my husband and I were subjected to “discipline”, after Steve Hardin heard me say , “Oh hush” to my husband. After several months of ridiculousness, we changed locations and finally severed ties after our move to [redacted]. Matt Chandler does not get involved unless it involves friends of his or friends of friends of his.”

    In hierarchical systems the buck stops with Chandler. When the SGM scandals hit, they tried to play it off at first that CJ had no idea or was not involved. When you see you this level of control be sure that Chandler approves. yet, like SGM, he would not hesitate to throw another guy under the bus to save his own position if it comes to that.

    Hardin might want to read sgmwikileaks. Same cheesy love for the brothers was bandied about as we see in this situation. it did not take long for them to start throwing each other under the buses.

    It is all so fake.

  146. @ Stan:
    Thank you! I lived in Dallas for a year many moons ago and I could not wrap my head around this crew and Highland Park. But things change so you never know.

  147. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    ! Covering it up, or “not sending parents into a panic” is the MOST SERIOUS sin in all of this!!! IF abused by this pediphile, those kids deserve to have counselling, to help the kids come to grips with how FUNDAMENTALLY they were violated. These kids, if they were abused, were abused IN THE NAME OF CHRIST!! IT DOES NOT get any worse than this in my book.

    I agree and since they have taken this on with a membership covenant and all that entails, they need to take Jordon back through his resume and contact everyone he was invovled with. Jordon is well aware of his victims and those he groomed. Repentance is serious business and requires more than words. But I doubt TVC understands that definition of repentance.

    TVC is now responsible for Jordan’s past and future behavior. they wanted this level of control. they need to walk the talk and get busy.

  148. Rob Burnett wrote:

    dee wrote:

    @ brad/futuristguy:
    Did you catch this?

    The Village Church exists to bring glory to God by making disciples through gospel-centered worship, gospel-centered community, gospel-centered service and gospel-centered multiplication.

    The question is, “which gospel”?

    Try this little experiment: substitute the word “cult” for the word “gospel” and read it again.

    “The Village Church exists to bring glory to God by making disciples through cult-centered worship, cult-centered community, cult-centered service and cult-centered multiplication.”

    How about one more change: Man seems to have the priority over God at TVC.

    “The Village Church exists to bring glory to Man by making disciples through cult-centered worship, cult-centered community, cult-centered service and cult-centered multiplication.”

    There. I fixed it. Now you can understand the leaderships actions and motives more clearly.

  149. I wish I could say that TVC’s wickedness in this situation was surprising, but it isn’t. As TWW has documented time and again, “membership covenants” are nothing more than control mechanisms. The really salient point in this story is that Karen resigned her membership before being placed under church discipline. That wasn’t enough for TVC, though – the covenant is there to protect the church, not actually serve the body of Christ. So they essentially broke their own agreement. I sincerely hope I see legal action in this case. It would begin to set a precedent to avoid future abuses of this sort.

  150. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    I very nearly agree with all that you say in this excellent comment. Cf.

    @ Ken:

    My only quibble would be in reacting against the professional, institutional “pastor” we accidentally get rid of any leadership or authority in the church at all. My mind went immediately to Titus in the RSV This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you, …, where ‘amend what was defective’ means ‘set in order’ or similar. This may not really be ordination as commonly understood today, but there is some basic structure involved in a church appointing mature believers to responsibility.

    I’ve often wondered if church admin should be full-time, and the pastors and teachers remain in secular employment so their heads are in heaven but their feet firmly on the ground!

  151. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    Instead, all I see if the TVC concerned with their power structure, and it sounds all legalese to me… which further wants to make me throw up! I am the father of three kids, and I can not comprehend these TVC leaders not caring about the kids!!

    Jeffrey,
    You (and everyone else in Christendom) need to get past the shock and start to understand that these organizations (modern mega churches) primarily exist to glorify and enrich the lucky few at the top, and all actions taken are to further enrich and protect those elite few. All at the expense of the masses, who are there to work for free and give $$$ while never challenging the status quo.

    Now are some good works done? Sure. Are there genuine pastors and sheep there amongst the wolves and the tares? Sure. But the dominant purpose becomes more and more selfish control of money and power by a small group of insiders.

    There might have been a semblance of “caring” at some point by some people, but after the money grows, and the levels of bureaucracy get added, the pattern is the same. These organizations operate more and more like a corporation, and less and less like an ekklesia that Paul wrote about.

    The mistake that so many people make is that they assume that the leadership really cares about the people and thinks of others first. They by and large, don’t. Once you understand that you are a “giving unit” and must be “disciplined” by their fraternity house rules, you can start to better understand the massive deception that is being played out for $50 BILLION a year.

  152. lydia wrote:

    I always thought the Village church was started from scratch. Was Chandler hired by First Baptist Highland Park and turned it into the Village?

    Following are some notes from basic preliminary research I did yesterday evening on The Village Church. (As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I won’t be continuing research on TVC due to lack of time/energy — I’m in the middle of deadline projects.) This may help piece things together but other people will need to go with it from here … A lot of it may seem to be just minutiae, but if you’re doing any kind of researching into non-profits, the public records from state and federal sources become important for locating and verifying all kinds of other information.

    TWO CHURCH NAMES: Federal non-profit information is listed under First Baptist Church of Highland Village, while Texas state information is listed under The Village Church. The history of the two different names is in the link below. “2002. Highland Village First Baptist Church became The Village Church after Matt Chandler became lead pastor.”

    http://www.thevillagechurch.net/about/history/

    NCCS DATABASE. Profile for First Baptist Church of Highland Village in the NCCS database is linked below. NCCS is the National Center for Charitable Statistics, and their information comes directly from the IRS database on non-profits.

    http://nccsweb.urban.org/communityplatform/nccs/organization/profile/id/751709756/popup/1

    EMPLOYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER for First Baptist Church Of Highland Village in Flower Mound, Texas, is: EIN 75-1709756.

    TEXAS COMPTROLLER RECORDS.

    http://comptroller.texas.gov/taxinfo/exempt/exempt_search.html

    Put in “The Village Church” and “Flower Mound” into the Organization/City spaces in the search, and click Submit. That takes you to screen that shows their Taxpayer Number as 17517097568 [note similarity to EIN number,75-1709756.]

    Click on the “Request Verification” link and you’ll see that (1) the official address is 2101 Justin Road, Flower Mound, TX — same as for First Baptist Church of Highland Village in the NCCS database — and (2) certain Texas state tax exemptions go back to 1984. “The Village Church” may be a dba/doing business as name; if there was an official name change to the non-profit, my understanding is that this would be reflected in the IRS information in the NCCS database.

    ECFA WEBSITE PROFILE. This is for The Village Church, which states it was founded in 1979 (the church history page says 1978 for founding of Highland Village First Baptist Church). TVC has been an ECFA member since 2010.

    http://www.ecfa.org/MemberProfile.aspx?ID=27219

  153. TVC makes a big deal out of wanting to “care” for Karen. In TVC speak “care” is a euphemism for “control.”

  154. @ Jeffrey J Chalmers:
    I wholeheartedly agree! Where is the outrage from not only the leaders of TVC but the members against the atrocity of child sex abuse/pornography? If Jordan harms one of their little ones, they will only have themselves to blame.

  155. sam wrote:

    I keep thinking about something Govpappy or Govdaddy (cant remember name sorry) said yesterday. If a murderer really repented wouldnt he tell everyone who he killed and where the body was?
    If a pedophile really repented wouldnt he tell the police and the victims families that he did it and to whom?

    I’ll accept Gov Daddy.

  156. Rob Burnett wrote:

    Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:
    Instead, all I see if the TVC concerned with their power structure, and it sounds all legalese to me… which further wants to make me throw up! I am the father of three kids, and I can not comprehend these TVC leaders not caring about the kids!!
    Jeffrey,
    You (and everyone else in Christendom) need to get past the shock and start to understand that these organizations (modern mega churches) primarily exist to glorify and enrich the lucky few at the top, and all actions taken are to further enrich and protect those elite few. All at the expense of the masses, who are there to work for free and give $$$ while never challenging the status quo.
    Now are some good works done? Sure. Are there genuine pastors and sheep there amongst the wolves and the tares? Sure. But the dominant purpose becomes more and more selfish control of money and power by a small group of insiders.
    There might have been a semblance of “caring” at some point by some people, but after the money grows, and the levels of bureaucracy get added, the pattern is the same. These organizations operate more and more like a corporation, and less and less like an ekklesia that Paul wrote about.
    The mistake that so many people make is that they assume that the leadership really cares about the people and thinks of others first. They by and large, don’t. Once you understand that you are a “giving unit” and must be “disciplined” by their fraternity house rules, you can start to better understand the massive deception that is being played out for $50 BILLION a year.

    Robert, you hit the nail on the head….. I also think that TVC is setting itself for future liability… if the pediphile EVER does something again, and they did not do there best to prevent it???

  157. TVC’s involvement in the legal aspects of this matter are reminiscent of SGM’s involvement in the proceedings against those in the their churches who had molested children.

    What is it with church’s like this? Not only picking sides – wanting to help the molester more than the victim, but also interjecting themselves or trying to engineer legal aspects of the case.

    This is very weird.

  158. JeffT wrote:

    I saw this passage mentioned somewhere, might have been on this site, but it’s one one many that L. Ron Chandler seems to have overlooked in creating TVC’s polity:

    So Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’

    Mark 10:42-45

    Yes, but for the elders and pastors, serve has come to mean “care”. Let us care and watch out for your souls so you don’t have to!

    It’s all in how you break down your terms.

  159. Rob Burnett wrote:

    You (and everyone else in Christendom) need to get past the shock and start to understand that these organizations (modern mega churches) primarily exist to glorify and enrich the lucky few at the top, and all actions taken are to further enrich and protect those elite few. All at the expense of the masses, who are there to work for free and give $$$ while never challenging the status quo.

    This is it. It sounds simplistic and harsh but it really is true. people really have no idea how much of it is basically a huge ego trip.

  160. Anonymous wrote:

    TVC’s involvement in the legal aspects of this matter are reminiscent of SGM’s involvement in the proceedings against those in the their churches who had molested children.
    What is it with church’s like this? Not only picking sides – wanting to help the molester more than the victim, but also interjecting themselves or trying to engineer legal aspects of the case.
    This is very weird.

    Not really weird if you look at it from the perspective of the TVC leaders.. They clearly are talking like they are the “priests” between those that sign the covenant and G$d. There really is no difference in practice, between TVC and the Roman Catholic Church!! A massive ego trip for TVC…. at the expense of molested children.. note, viewing that disgusting stuff is as bad as doing it since the viewer is supporting the industry..

  161. As a cradle evangelical, this whole thing is so confusing to me. What would Chandler and crew say the gospel is? I thought it was pretty straightforward (basically the creeds), but things keep getting added and added, and elevated to primary issues. I believe in the PCA, if you are excommunicated (which it seems like what they are doing), they consider you an unbeliever. Is that what they are saying about karen?

  162. XianJaneway wrote:

    Dee, another question: Since Jordan also signed the annulment documents, (Which XianAttny found online) why is he *also* not under church discipline?

    Jordan is MALE.
    Karen is FEMALE.
    Do I need to say anything more?

  163. Tweetie Pie wrote:

    – Church covenants aren’t cultic because churches are up front about their beliefs and ask you to abide by a covenant right away – where cults sucker you in first then ask you to sign a covenant.

    ^(just to keep in context since the comments are flooding in, this is Tweetie Pie summarizing/quoting JD Hall)
    This is giving me flashbacks to my first week at Teen Mania’s internship, formerly in East Texas, where we were told all the “core values”, made to memorize a load of jargon on “Honor”, quickly run over the “rules” and rushed into a “Commitment Banquet”. Finally, with our right hand in the air, we made a vow we knew nothing about. To quote another commenter from the TM alumni recovery blog, “…from the time of the commitment banquet (which makes you feel so pressured to commit to them), throughout the rest of the HA you can see that the HA breaks that commitment themselves. Look at everything that both parties are “committing” to and you will see that Teen Mania NEVER keeps their end of the commitment, but tries to bully and guilt trip you into keeping your end. If they have broken the commitment, then the commitment becomes invalid.”

    If you are asked to make a verbal or written SPIRITUAL commitment or covenant with a church, ministry, or group, RED FLAG. STOP. Ask yourself WHY in the world you are interested in making big, complicated, sweeping promises instead of working on letting your yes be yes, and your no be no? Why not take baby steps and leave behind the hype of signatures and swears and social clubs?

    Thank you to all who contributed here and other places, especially Karen! I am so burnt-out by friends, family and “church leaders” who are part of TVC, Gateway, & other mega and half-pint churches in DFW that put their own pastors and churches and cultures so high up on a pedestal they fear their necks will snap if they were ever required to come down.

    I can’t tell you what it means to me that you see these investigations through.

  164. Anonymous wrote:

    What is it with church’s like this? Not only picking sides – wanting to help the molester more than the victim, but also interjecting themselves or trying to engineer legal aspects of the case.
    This is very weird.

    I wondered about that, too. I mean, clearly this (JR) is a reasonably intelligent predator, I am sure before he left Asia he would think to wipe his hard drive, knowing he would have to speak with legal authorities (assuming reporting of the crime was immediate) soon after he arrived.
    There have been many times I’ve heard of people suspected of child porn not being charged because evidence had not been recovered, but they had a heads up in some way that they were being investigated.
    The ones who didn’t, didn’t have time to do so, so were charged.
    So, then, to harp on a certain point…how do TVC leaders ignore the fact that this person who admitted viewing such disgusting stuff, for TEN YEARS, and could describe it in detail to his (ex) wife, curiously, not have any of it on his laptop?
    So, either, like has been said, they are being willfully ignorant and naive about his “repentance”…or, ugh I don’t even like to think it- not that he would need someone to tell him, but could he have also been ADVISED to do so?

  165. Before a pedophile could be deemed repentant beyond any reasonable possibility of recidivism, it would be necessary to remove their ability to sin. It is interesting to note that Jesus’ teaching about cutting off one’s hands and and gouging out one’s eyes, to avoid sin, immediately follows his warning about offending children. Mt 18:6-9. I will not go so far as to suggest that Jesus had pedophilia specifically in mind. Had his concern been limited to pedophilia, there is one more surgical procedure he would have mentioned.

  166. In response to Lydia’s question on Chandler and First Baptist Highland Village, yes, he came into an established church that became the Village. IIRC he had a large ministry to college students at the time. To his credit, he was upfront with the search committee about his theology, to some degree according to him because he was not sure he wanted to pastor the church and thought if he would be forthright about his beliefs they would be turned off and stop the process. They were interested in his beliefs instead and had him talk to them more in-depth about his beliefs and he was eventually hired. One of the reasons TVC grew so rapidly is because many of the college students (about 1000 IIRC) followed Chandler to the Village. This gave him an instant strength in numbers that enabled him to shape the direction of the church more quickly than the average church.

    I would be interested to learn at what point Covenant Membership became a part of TVC. I would bet it wasn’t there from the beginning but I could be wrong.

  167. Anonymous wrote:

    TVC’s involvement in the legal aspects of this matter are reminiscent of SGM’s involvement in the proceedings against those in the their churches who had molested children.

    I think that SGM is the model for many of these church networks or multi-site churches. Watch a video of Chandler preaching and a video of Mahaney preaching, and I think you will see the family resemblance. Same with David Platt and Mahaney. These men have patterned themselves after another man rather than Christ, and it comes out.

  168. Rob Burnett wrote:

    Now are some good works done? Sure. Are there genuine pastors and sheep there amongst the wolves and the tares? Sure. But the dominant purpose becomes more and more selfish control of money and power by a small group of insiders.

    The tables in Vegas pay off every now and then. It’s still a con and the house always wins.

  169. andrew wrote:

    As a cradle evangelical, this whole thing is so confusing to me. What would Chandler and crew say the gospel is? I thought it was pretty straightforward (basically the creeds), but things keep getting added and added, and elevated to primary issues. I believe in the PCA, if you are excommunicated (which it seems like what they are doing), they consider you an unbeliever. Is that what they are saying about karen?

    You are right about what the Gospel is. But “gospel” has become a word that operates as an all-purpose shield for what they are really saying. Sort of like “green” or “organic” is in other contexts. And I won’t pursue that discussion. Or others use “safety” as their cover for what they really want. Once you realize this, a lot of things become clear. The hardest step is realizing that there are people in the camp who do this.

    If they followed their discipline dogma to its logical end, they would indeed call the disfellowshipped person an unbeliever. They don’t do that, in my experience.

  170. “Karen told Elder Matt Younger that she had counseled with trusted Christian friends and counselors and was thinking through her decisions with careful thought and prayer. He told her that she could not trust herself or any other counsel except that of TVC which was her spiritual authority. He said that they were the only voice at the table. He claimed that they were there to hold her hand and tell her what to do.”

    NO. NO. NO. JUST NO.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31g0YE61PLQ

  171. @ js:

    thank you, js. I am always interested in how these places get started. I am noticing the same thing happening with churches here. new YRR pastor brings seminary students and/or college students with him. I even know a few who come from other cities and teens in their youth group graduate and follow them to the new city hoping to attend college while working at the new church. Many are hired on.

    This scenerio plays out often. During the process of Mars Hill cracking up, several known staffers were hired by an Acts 29 church here. And the same with some SGM folk. The recycling has already begun. I have no idea how these churches afford so many staff pastors that are not really megas.

  172. Sadly churches do not understand the legalities of most things, including annulment. (The Catholic Church has their own ecclesiastical annulment that is not that of state governments, so I am not talking about that). Churches think they have to take the place of the Holy Spirit in deciding what people can or cannot do in their lives. I believe they should give what they consider biblical advice, but the choice is not theirs to make. And why the word “season”. It’s another of the Christianese words that shows where your heart lies–what groups you associate with. I’m sure they don’t consider Karen an unbeliever, they are fuming that she didn’t give them the control they wanted. I think this may be the thing that finally blows the lid off church covenants and membership vows once and for all.

  173. Gavin White wrote:

    @ Nick Bulbeck:
    Sorry Nick but Titus 1:5 has Paul sending Titus out to appoint/ ordain elders.

    Paul informed Titus what Paul expected Titus to do. And that was to finish Paul’s work which had not been finished at Crete, including identifying elders in each town. This was not a mature church with many mature Christians. I think it is unlikely that the people appointing themselves as authorities over the flock are doing so at the instruction of an apostle.

    You really love authoritarianism, Gavin.

  174. Lydia wrote:

    new YRR pastor brings seminary students and/or college students with him. I even know a few who come from other cities and teens in their youth group graduate and follow them to the new city hoping to attend college while working at the new church. Many are hired on.

    This is exactly what I’ve observed. It is the SGM model being followed which is a colonization strategy. They don’t build things unless they are using other people’s money to “plant churches” in under-churched upper-middle-class suburbs. As if those exist. Otherwise, they colonize.

  175. Gram3 wrote:

    I think it is unlikely that the people appointing themselves as authorities over the flock are doing so at the instruction of an apostle.

    Well, actually, because of the evolution of church hierarchy since the time of Christ, I believe that most leaders in the church today do in fact believe this. Just like Gavin.

  176. I have first-hand experience with elders out there playing church. They are not old, wise, or surrounded by the old, wise people they should be. Some are novices, i.e., recent converts who have no business being in the ministry. I do not believe in a minute that if elders give what they consider wise advice to someone and that person does not follow it, that God will hold the elders responsible. I think that the whole notion of a Controlling God (as opposed to a Loving, Just, and Wise One) is behind the current movement to control people’s lives. Thank you TWW for giving us transparency, as you did in the Mark Driscoll case.

  177. justin wrote:

    “Karen told Elder Matt Younger that she had counseled with trusted Christian friends and counselors and was thinking through her decisions with careful thought and prayer. He told her that she could not trust herself or any other counsel except that of TVC which was her spiritual authority. He said that they were the only voice at the table. He claimed that they were there to hold her hand and tell her what to do.”
    NO. NO. NO. JUST NO.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31g0YE61PLQ

    If does not sound like cult like behavior, I do not what else does? Matt is her “sole authority”… Really??

  178. Bridget wrote:

    I believe that most leaders in the church today do in fact believe this. Just like Gavin.

    I think that they believe that they are apostles with the authority to make pronouncements and the authority to re-write the texts God gave us. Isn’t C.J. an apostle? And now Piper is an apostle to the world! Oh, goody.

  179. justin wrote:

    “He told her that she could not trust herself or any other counsel except that of TVC which was her spiritual authority.”

    This is straight out of the Shepherding Movement playbook. When my husband faced a massive, business financial crisis, our shepherding cult counseled him to file for bankruptcy. He consulted with several local businessmen and bankers and a financial planner who all advised against bankruptcy. Our ministers were so incensed that he sought advice outside the “church” that they disfellowshipped him.

    My heart goes out to Karen. This can be a tough thing to deal with initially. In the end, though, it feels great to be done with the sociopaths.

  180. Gram3 wrote:

    But “gospel” has become a word that operates as an all-purpose shield for what they are really saying.

    This, a thousand times. The gospel is Jesus Christ, crucified, risen and coming again. Full stop, nothing else. What Acts29 sets up is ecclesiology, basically how church works. Elevating their personal ecclesiological choices to the level of the gospel is blasphemous. It says that their preferred way of doing church is equivalent to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And I am so done with people who think that.

  181. TVC bigwigs appear to think it is appropriate to treat members like children, to the point of imposing their (perverse) version of sanctified living. Really, I think they have all missed their callings. They ought to have signed up for employment at one of the places courts send youthful offenders–places that are intended, not so much as places of punishment, but as places where young offenders lives can be reformed. Problem is, there is no way these erstwhile wardens would get away with taking up the cause of an inmate that perped on another inmate, all the while insisting that the perp’s victim forgive, forget, reconcile, and generally submit to the perp’s further predations.

  182. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    He consulted with several local businessmen and bankers and a financial planner who all advised against bankruptcy. Our ministers were so incensed that he sought advice outside the “church” that they disfellowshipped him.

    Both this and the bad counsel of TVC to Karen, which demonstrates total ignorance/neglect of Texas law, show the arrogance of these church elders in assuming that they can provide serious business and legal advice when they have no expertise in these matters. Members who take these contracts seriously are essentially agreeing to follow advice on legal and financial questions from completely untrained advisors. And that’s just stupid.

  183. rike wrote:

    Elevating their personal ecclesiological choices to the level of the gospel is blasphemous.

    We must now add a sixth sola, sola ecclesia.

  184. Karen has evidence to prove that many of their statements were wrong. She is planning a full response tomorrow on Amy Smith’s blog, Watchkeep. She will be supplying documentation to back up her concerns.

    Ooh, I bet that post will be a doozy. Boy, I wish I had some popcorn. And some time to actually, y’know, sit down with it and really take in the whole story on these great blogs. Stupid day job! (And paperwork… TV… need for sleep…)

    Give ’em hell, Karen!! I’m praying for you! (I wonder if those two thoughts are incompatible… 😉 )

  185. rike wrote:

    The gospel is Jesus Christ, crucified, risen and coming again. Full stop, nothing else.

    Yes. Using the word as an adjective has become problematic. I think someone thought is was cute at some point. Now, there is no thinking about how the word is used at all.

  186. Gram3 wrote:

    This is exactly what I’ve observed. It is the SGM model being followed which is a colonization strategy. They don’t build things unless they are using other people’s money to “plant churches” in under-churched upper-middle-class suburbs. As if those exist. Otherwise, they colonize.

    After colonizing, then they conquer?

  187. The comments I have received from my blog on the topic, this morning, and remember, I am in Deep East Texas, which is a fundamentalist area….
    ” sounds like a cult”
    ” I’ve never heard of a ‘ contract’ to join a church.”
    ” this has to be about money? “

  188. rike wrote:

    BeenThereDoneThat wrote:
    He consulted with several local businessmen and bankers and a financial planner who all advised against bankruptcy. Our ministers were so incensed that he sought advice outside the “church” that they disfellowshipped him.
    Both this and the bad counsel of TVC to Karen, which demonstrates total ignorance/neglect of Texas law, show the arrogance of these church elders in assuming that they can provide serious business and legal advice when they have no expertise in these matters. Members who take these contracts seriously are essentially agreeing to follow advice on legal and financial questions from completely untrained advisors. And that’s just stupid.

    Amen

  189. The business of preachers giving out legal advice is not new. It used to drive my father to distraction. By the time the client ended up consulting Dad (a lawyer) there was often a trail of mess right back to the preacher. The difference is, of course, you have to pay the lawyer but the preacher’s advice is free. And it is worth every penny of it.

  190. I am wondering what TGC is going to do about this situation. Chandler is the darling of this crowd. I think Chandler has more charisma than John Piper. Given the two powers that be, I think more people are enthralled with Matt Chandler over CJ Mahaney because he is younger, more energetic and dynamic in the end.

  191. Has any word issued forth from the Gospel Glitterati about this yet? Maybe they are sulking because their preemptive silencing attempts did not work on the rebellious women who refuse to be silent.

  192. @ Gram3:
    Years back I did some indepth research into the concept of “appointing” elders in the NT and with those passages. I don’t have it in front of me but that Greek was also used in some instances to communicate “hand stretching” which we would call “voting”. So there is some indication there might have been a consensus on who was the most mature and Timothy getting the process started. Christianity was relatively new and they would need such types. We have had 2000 years to get it right but here we are: Authoritarianism. Diotrephes in charge.

  193. It doesn’t matter to TVC what date Karen sent her resignation letter, and that she wasn’t under discipline at that point. The way TVC is spinning this is that she was under discipline the moment she pursued the annulment without their permission. It’s like they declared it retroactively. The letter & FAQ to the 6,000 members says: “Karen immediately entered the formal church discipline process after filing for legal annulment, forgoing any attempt of reconciliation, disregarding her Membership Covenant and pastoral counsel, and breaking fellowship with the body. […] While Karen did send a letter attempting to withdraw her Covenant Membership in early February, she was already subject to the discipline process and therefore committed to seeing that process through.”

    Personally I doubt it would have mattered if she had sent her resignation letter the moment she learned of Jordan’s deception and pedophilia. They would have found some way to spin/interpret and claim that she couldn’t leave and needed to stay under their thumb. All the more reason it was smart of her to get out, and stick to her guns. Ultimately there’s nothing they can do to stop her. And in the meantime, they’re demonstrating clearly what kind of “care” (control) their members will get in crisis, and why it’s a bad idea to sign a covenant like this in the first place.

  194. Gary W wrote:

    rike wrote:

    Elevating their personal ecclesiological choices to the level of the gospel is blasphemous.

    We must now add a sixth sola, sola ecclesia.

    Ain’t these mini-Popes usually rabidly anti-Catholic to boot?

  195. @ Gram3:

    Yes, the Nicolaitans. Those who conquer the people.

    This is something for folks to take serious as a warning (2x) to the churches in Revelation.

    We have all been promised the Holy Spirit. We don’t need Matt Chandler or the Steve Hardins of the authoritarian evangelical set. People are not doing them any favors by going along with them.

  196. Godith wrote:

    I think that the whole notion of a Controlling God (as opposed to a Loving, Just, and Wise One) is behind the current movement to control people’s lives.

    Like the Ayatollahs of Iran, the Mullahs of ISIS, and Handmaid’s Tale Commanders of Holy Gilead, they are being like their God — The Biggest Boot stamping on faces Just Because I Will It, nothing more.

  197. Eagle wrote:

    Would you be willing to share the name of the church you were involved with BTDT?

    It was Homestead Heritage in Waco. They’re not in any way connected with TVC, but they both require the same kind of submission to church authority.

  198. Ben Denison wrote:

    Ultimately there’s nothing they can do to stop her

    No. But she has options if they don’t leave her alone and stop having church wide gossip meetings about her.

  199. “NO ONE can resign from a church where they are a member – because they were voted in, therefore they must be voted out.”

    Just like we have to go back to the polls and vote out politicians when they resign, eh?

  200. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    In the end, though, it feels great to be done with the sociopaths.

    I totally agree. Done with covert agression, done with manipulation, projecting, fake humility, cheesy language, etc, etc. Give me a direct honest jerk any day of the week over these frauds masquerading as like Jesus.

    Once you are away from them long enough, you can sniff out those tendancies a mile away. You get your radar back. The people in the pews are desensitized to it.

  201. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Josh, Doctor of Pulchritudinousness wrote:

    After colonizing, then they conquer?

    Don’t forget PENETRATE! and PLANT!

    That’s it. Y’all are both under church discipline.

  202. Shannon H. wrote:

    “NO ONE can resign from a church where they are a member – because they were voted in, therefore they must be voted out.”

    Just like we have to go back to the polls and vote out politicians when they resign, eh?

    Sems to me they are more than welcome to vote folks out AFTER they have resigned. Hee Hee The problem is they have NO legal, moral or even ethical control over people resigning except for what people allow them to have.

    ( people like JD crack me up—the common sense of a gnat)

  203. Robin wrote:

    Why do Neo Calvinists love the word ‘season’ so much?

    It’s just the current Christianese fad. Don’t worry, it will pass after a se… oh, never mind…

  204. Stan wrote:

    I feel pretty confident that if an uneducated pastor like Chandler rolled into a Highland Park church full of lawyers, doctors, and hedge fund managers who know exactly what a signature does, things wouldn’t quite get this far.

    Yes. It’s no accident that these churches intentionally target an 18-35 demographic. Too young in the faith to really understand the spiritual ramifications of these membership covenants, and too young in life experience to really understand the legal ramification. Preying upon the lambs, they are.

    Those who say that the lambs should know what they are signing should remember who is given the “greater condemnation”. Just as Mark Driscoll’s was, so Matt Chandler’s condemnation in these matters is appropriate, great, and growing.

  205. justin wrote:

    “Karen told Elder Matt Younger that she had counseled with trusted Christian friends and counselors and was thinking through her decisions with careful thought and prayer. He told her that she could not trust herself or any other counsel except that of TVC which was her spiritual authority. He said that they were the only voice at the table. He claimed that they were there to hold her hand and tell her what to do.”
    NO. NO. NO. JUST NO.

    Have you noticed there is no Holy Spirit in that movement except for the “spiritual leaders”? They must be Karen’s Holy Spirit for her. She is not capable of seeking and being guided by the Holy Spirit herself.

    Everyone at TVC needs to understand this. If you stay there you will be festing on baby bottles with the TVC branded formula because their egos need for you to be immature have them tell you what to think, believe and do. They will never release you to meat because it would not serve their purposes for themselves. They do not want you to be spiritually mature.

  206. Ben Denison wrote:

    The letter & FAQ to the 6,000 members says: “Karen immediately entered the formal church discipline process after filing for legal annulment, forgoing any attempt of reconciliation, disregarding her Membership Covenant and pastoral counsel, and breaking fellowship with the body. […] While Karen did send a letter attempting to withdraw her Covenant Membership in early February, she was already subject to the discipline process and therefore committed to seeing that process through.”

    Has anyone found the automatic trigger language in the membership covenant or BYLAWS or anywhere else such that Karen had knowledge that she was breaking that covenant by seeking an *annulment*? I cannot find it, and I am forced to conclude that the ELDERS are making stuff up, throwing it all over Karen, and hoping some of it will stick.

    To all the fanboys of the Gospel Glitterati: kindly point me to any resemblance to Jesus in the behavior of the ELDERS.

  207. Ben Denison wrote:

    They would have found some way to spin/interpret and claim that she couldn’t leave and needed to stay under their thumb. All the more reason it was smart of her to get out, and stick to her guns.

    I believe that the evidence shows this is likely exactly what they would have done. Women are in a no-win position in these patriarchal/Complementarian churches.

  208. Michaela wrote:

    I believe Jonathan Leeman is on a road trip with John Piper. At present, they are lost. They’ve passed a couple of women who didn’t look submissive enough to give them directions.

    Are they approaching the Grand Canyon?
    (citing Thelma & Louise)

  209. Lydia wrote:

    This is something for folks to take serious as a warning (2x) to the churches in Revelation.

    I believe that the letter to the church at Ephesus applies as well. These men are in love with themselves as kings and not the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church.

    I don’t think they know what real love is, judging by what they call love.

  210. Deb wrote:

    @ Jeffrey J Chalmers:
    I wholeheartedly agree! Where is the outrage from not only the leaders of TVC but the members against the atrocity of child sex abuse/pornography? If Jordan harms one of their little ones, they will only have themselves to blame.

    We all need to keep pushing on this pediphile in their midst!! He admits to over 10 years of watching child porn!!! And he created “ministries to the abused”, just like Jerry Sandusky did!! TVC is really trying to divert attention from the real issue!! But, if they lose their covenant power, I guess that is the real issue to them??? If my kids had been around this ped, I would want to know, and I would expect the church to tell me!! But then, I guess these Elders are “Apostolic” and speak for G$d?? I really do not think JC would have worried about covering his behind and “looking good”. He specifically tells us to look out for the children and oppressed… exactly the opposite of this Elder…

  211. Pingback: Five Signs that a “Membership Covenant” = “Cult” | The Thoughtful Pastor UNITED STATES

  212. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Josh, Doctor of Pulchritudinousness wrote:
    After colonizing, then they conquer?
    Don’t forget PENETRATE! and PLANT!

    According to their branding, they do gospel-centered planting, but I don’t know about penetrating. Unless possibly penetrating churches and seeding those churches with false doctrines of men.

  213. dee wrote:

    The picked the wrong lady to mess with.

    The Daily Beast has contacted her. This thing is going national, baby!

    Sounds to me like the diarrhea is about ready to hit the fan at high velocity in a much broader audience than just the faith-based blogosphere. Keep us posted!

  214. OK folks, I will be back to commenting. I have been up until way past 1 AM the past two nights trying to carefully document everything you have read with the help of both Karen and Amy Smith. This has been one of the most difficult stories to write since it is being read all over the world at this point.

    I hope to have more time to get back to what I love the most-dialoging with all of you. But first, off to the grocery store.

  215. I actually listened to the entire 1 hour and 41 minutes of the Pulpit and Pen/JD Hall blathering. I can totally understand why some would not due to triggering and overall not wanting to waste his/her time. I decided to take the risk, so he could STFU about people not listening to the podcast.

    Here is what I noted:

    1. He said rape should be a capital crime and then asked the listeners to be his shrink. Really.
    2. He said some of the survivor bloggers are just as abusive as the abuse they are trying to prevent.
    3. After insulting survivor bloggers, he said he is glad there are survivor blogs that speak to these matters, reveal information, and act as advocates. He does this often – goes back and forth from insulting survivor gal pals to talking about how glad he is they exist.
    4. And oh, he said he doesn’t mean “gal” in an offensive or pejorative way ::snort:: and then goes on to be dismissive of people’s names or names of their blogs, as he can’t be bothered to remember them, and tells you to just go back and listen to the podcast again. But he’s all about the facts. Yes, we’ll get to the FACTS.
    5. Many have already mentioned this statement from JD Hall, but it bears repeating. He said he thinks just because you’ve been victimized doesn’t mean you have to play the external victim for the rest of your life. Newsflash, JD Hall: If you mention your comment might be insensitive on your podcast, most likely it is. He goes on to compare branding animals to branding yourself as a victim. “QUIT BRANDING YOURSELF.” He encourages people to be an advocate for the abused, but “victimhood gets old”. How supportive, said no survivor ever…
    6. JD Hall indicated concern for Jordan’s previous access to children and actions. And no, he wouldn’t have any male as a babysitter, because humanity is dark and disgusting.
    7. He said there are people that are gleeful and happy when any church is scandalized in any way, and are trying to create a scandal where there is none.
    8. Richard from TVC’s email dated 12/20/2014 – JD Hall really wants us to focus on how these are Richard’s “initial thoughts”, before we “judge harshly”.
    9. JD Hall suggested no more needed to unfold in order to announce the sin details. He acknowledged he is not an expert to determine if it would traumatize children unnecessarily to ask them about their interactions with Jordan Root.
    10. Echoing TweetiePie: Nope, JD Hall cares not what the state says about marriage, because it’s not up to them.
    11. Next, JD Hall said this is where it gets #survivalbloggy, throws in terms in like “hyperbole” and “victim” in his condescending voice.
    12. JD Hall clearly does not believe Karen is being harassed. “Who is harassing you,” he asked?
    13. According to JD Hall, church discipline is not jail, not the end of the world, and doesn’t mean Karen can’t come to church.
    14. JD Hall does not believe a church covenant is cultish, draconian, or a secret.
    15. JD Hall stated he thinks the survivor blogs believe the church covenant is “Da Man’s way of controlling you.” Yes, he changed it to “da” as a way to seem…more stupid?
    16. Echoing TweetiePie again: church covenants are not cultish, because you know everything up front (the kinds of controls and restrictions they will place upon you…what’s wrong with that? ::insert sarcasm::)
    17. According to JD Hall, church covenants are common and normal, and elder led governance is thoroughly biblical. Although, he does admit terrible elders exist.
    18. He said Karen violated her covenant and can’t just leave. Echo TweetiePie again: “They come by vote. They need to leave by vote.”
    19. JD Hall stated Dee and Julie are wrong. Here JD clearly enjoyed saying how kind and gracious and encouraging Dee was while he paused, laughed, and decided to “move on” without offering much about Julie, other than Dee and Julie are different.
    20. He stated Karen is being disciplined not for divorce, but for not consulting elders she covenanted to ::yaddayaddayadda::
    21. I’m just going to leave this here: “WE ARE THE ROLEX OF WATCHDOGS! OUR FACTS ARE RIGHT! WE ARE RIGHT ON! WE REPORT TRUTH!”
    22. JD Hall: “As we champion Karen’s right to divorce and have biblical divorce, because Jordan committed adultery of heart – by that standard, every marriage in the church could receive a so-called biblical divorce.” Good excuse to insist a woman married to a pedophile should not divorce him without the full consent and blessing of her “covenanted” elders.
    23. JD Hall: “If the cross can reconcile you and me with God, why can’t the cross reconcile two sinners, even if one has radically hurt the other?” I’m sure we’ve heard this one before…
    24. JD Hall to the survivor bloggy bottom gals: Let your criticism be correct!
    25. JD Hall’s last thought: The Bigger Picture is Divorce ::slams head on desk::

  216. Corbin wrote:

    I couldn’t read that with a straight face.

    Gram3 can really sling the Christianese when she gets warmed up! 😉

  217. Eagle wrote:

    Given the two powers that be, I think more people are enthralled with Matt Chandler over CJ Mahaney because he is younger, more energetic and dynamic in the end.

    Chandler is the younger, new, and improved (mileage may vary) version of CJ Mahaney. He, afterall, got that covenant contract thingy down pat early on.

  218. dee wrote:

    The Daily Beast has contacted her. This thing is going national, baby!

    Too bad for the Dallas Morning News. Thank goodness the Daily Beast doesn’t care squat about Dallas politics.

  219. Honestly, I just don’t understand the whole covenant thing. If you don’t want to attend a particular church, then don’t. Why would a pastor want someone there who doesn’t want to be there? I don’t get what the point is. If someone is moving from church to church to avoid being confronted by a sin in their lives, then the fact that they are uncomfortable reveals that they are in fact being poked by the Holy Spirit. In God’s timing, the sin will be dealt with. It is probably all about numbers, and money, and it doesn’t benefit the average person.

  220. Eagle wrote:

    I am wondering what TGC is going to do about this situation.

    Considering the praise that several TGC council members heaped upon C.J. Mahaney a couple of years ago, I expect they’ll do nothing that would be considered productive. Don’t forget that Mahaney and Joshua Harris remained on TGC’s council until they quietly resigned a few days after Nate Morales’ conviction last year.

  221. roebuck wrote:

    Corbin wrote:
    I couldn’t read that with a straight face.
    Gram3 can really sling the Christianese when she gets warmed up!

    Warmed up does not capture how infuriating this is. I am what I imagine Paul was when he heard about the Galatians.

  222. Bridget wrote:

    Chandler is the younger, new, and improved (mileage may vary) version of CJ Mahaney. He, afterall, got that covenant contract thingy down pat early on.

    Also got the flyswatting gesticulation and hyper pacing from C.J. Along with the weird…cadence of…his…sermons.

  223. I used to be a member at TVC and just wanted to say that despite the serious offenses committed against members or breaking the covenant, my husband and I were never harassed for not tithing. We even made 100k our first year of marriage, so 10% was no small chunk of change. They have a history of a large percentage of young members, often college students. Money has never been an issue that required harassment. If there was a need it was stated and members generously met that need. Please don’t make this about money. That isn’t the issue here. @ Flicker:
    @ Flicker:

  224. @ Lydia:

    And Timothy certainly would not have known the character and life of the men in all those cities. To think that he walked in and appointed men without taking into consideration the knowledge of the believers who lived and knew the men is ridiculous. I think that even 2000 years ago the people would have raised the alarm. The other important point is that the appointed men were men in their midst, not men who came from afar as we see happening in denominations and non-denominations today.

  225. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    I am concern it is getting off target.

    I don’t think the target should be just one thing. This story is an intersection of many bad trends, child sex abuse, male domination, cover ups and silencing, demands of submission, signed memberships and covenants, authoritarian leadership, and plain old incompetence.

    I’m sure you can add to the list but it is not just one thing. You are right the abuse represented here, whether the encouragement of human trafficking by engaging in online pedophilia, or the abuse suspected, is very important. This is why it is so maddening these leaders at TVC went after Karen instead of the perpetrator.

  226. Through a glass darkly wrote:

    Why would a pastor want someone there who doesn’t want to be there?

    I can think of a lot of reasons. They aren’t Christian ones, of course, and perhaps that is a clue to something important.

  227. Rob Burnett wrote:

    The mistake that so many people make is that they assume that the leadership really cares about the people and thinks of others first. They by and large, don’t. Once you understand that you are a “giving unit” and must be “disciplined” by their fraternity house rules, you can start to better understand the massive deception that is being played out for $50 BILLION a year.

    Or to use the kind of precise words that HUG might, “follow the money”…

  228. @ Gram3:

    When I get home from work Gram3 I will publish my Open Letter to Matt Younger. He’s going to be spanked big time. One of the things I write about is that TVC doesn’t know the difference between an annulment and a divorce. They are two separate things. TVC is treating the annulment as if its a divorce. That’s what they are doing.

  229. Muff Potter wrote:

    Sounds to me like the diarrhea is about ready to hit the fan at high velocity in a much broader audience than just the faith-based blogosphere. Keep us posted!

    Remember the last verse of Warren Zevon’s “Lawyers, Guns, and Money”?

  230. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    dee wrote:
    The Daily Beast has contacted her. This thing is going national, baby!
    Too bad for the Dallas Morning News. Thank goodness the Daily Beast doesn’t care squat about Dallas politics.

    Not sure how I feel about this….the daily beast will undoubtedly do a hatchet job on christianity in general, using this as an example of how unhinged we all are. They’ll talk about how influential TVC is, and how chandler is largely respected among christians. I kind of wish this wasn’t the forum that it would be done in, but maybe Karen feels it’s her only outlet. The flip side, I’m pretty sure a publication like christianity today wouldn’t touch this with a ten foot pole for fear of upsetting the wrong people, so that in and of itself is an indictment of the state of the church. Kind of interesting, the reformers weren’t afraid of calling to task the religious elite, but this new crew of pastors seem to think they’re beyond reproach. Maybe they’ve created the perfect system/church and the reformation is complete?

  231. Gram3 wrote:

    Bridget wrote:

    Chandler is the younger, new, and improved (mileage may vary) version of CJ Mahaney. He, afterall, got that covenant contract thingy down pat early on.

    Also got the flyswatting gesticulation and hyper pacing from C.J. Along with the weird…cadence of…his…sermons.

    How about the Captain Picard haircut and the HUMBLE(TM) chuckle-chuckle?

  232. XianJaneway wrote:

    @ Tweetie Pie:
    The length of time, and the fact that I didn’t want to get angry yesterday, are the only reasons why I didn’t listen to that.
    Love you name, BTW.

    Thanks! <3

    And, I had absolutely no intention of listening to another Pulpit & Pen podcast EVER – would rather gouge my eyes out with a spoon – but I realized JD was starting to go the "well you wild-eyed victim gall bloggers never listened so you're taking me all out of context blah blah blah" route and so I decided to take one for the team and listen. Hopefully I was objective enough in my fact reporting by just posting snippets of JD's comments with little input of my own so he couldn't accuse me of misrepresenting him. Anyway…. had a massive headache after that but there you go. :)

  233. Marci wrote:

    Most of the members are very young at The Village Church. They simply don’t know what they don’t know. Chandler’s wife is a cutie and frequents pintrest. Matt is everyone’s digital, funny older brother. There’s a sexy, fun vibe at the church. All the cool kids go there. And that’s how such a covenant like that gets passed around and signed. So sad.

    Sadly, this is the case at many Acts 29 churches. It is inherited from Driscoll and the Mars Hill Church culture. (Remember: Driscoll designed, launched, and led Acts 29 as a national & international extension of the Mars Hill Church brand).

    Lots of youth. Lots of immaturity. Lots of hipster Christianity.

    Based on my observations and firsthand experience, I believe that one of the primary reasons for this is the fairly simple fact that older, mature folks generally won’t buy into this junk. I believe that guys like Chandler and Driscoll (and many other Acts 29 guys who were drawn to A29 because they admire and model themselves after guys like Driscoll and Chandler) simply cannot sustain a sizeable population of older, mature Christians under their leadership/control.

    I would be very interested to hear the narrative (the unofficial, unsanctioned one) about how Chandler took over Highland Village First Baptist, and what that process has looked like in terms of demographics, changes, etc.

    I am increasingly tired of – and discouraged by – the American evangelical industrial complex. Reminds me of a song I once heard. Just substitute “giant churches” for “little boxes.”

    http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/MALVINA/mr094.htm

  234. andrew wrote:

    They’ll talk about how influential TVC is, and how chandler is largely respected among christians. I kind of wish this wasn’t the forum that it would be done in, but maybe Karen feels it’s her only outlet. The flip side, I’m pretty sure a publication like christianity today wouldn’t touch this with a ten foot pole for fear of upsetting the wrong people, so that in and of itself is an indictment of the state of the church.

    Yes they will, and God may be using the unbelievers to chasten the shepherds who are failing in their duty and who are using and abusing his flock. It is embarrassing to be associated in amy way with this, but that is where we find ourselves. The best thing we can do is to continue speaking up and providing a place where concerned Christians can speak out about our concerns. Epic fail for Christianity Today and World if they do not write about this, which will show whether they truly are journalists.

  235. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    the HUMBLE(TM) chuckle-chuckle?

    The supposed chuckle in the Narcissistic Zero’s audio was clearly fake. Notice he himself called attention to it. I do not understand why people are so enraptured with these guys who are so clearly fake showmen.

  236. andrew wrote:

    the daily beast will undoubtedly do a hatchet job on christianity in general, using this as an example of how unhinged we all are.

    Maybe. Maybe not. Surprisingly, the Gawker, in one of their articles on Josh Duggar, said, “An attack on Josh Duggar is not an attack on all of Christianity: it’s an attack on the fundamentalist sects that continue to condone or even help to create this behavior in the first place.” Perhaps the Beast will be as gracious. Especially since the woman whose story they’re telling is still a Christian.

  237. Accidentalokie wrote:

    Another question: why aren’t TVC members FURIOUS that a pedophile was brought back into their midst without their knowledge and that they were encouraged to invite him into their home and “love on him”???????????
    I attend an A29 church. I am so sickened by this.

    Just curious – how long have you attended your Acts 29 church? What has been your experience so far?

    (Full disclosure: I served in an Acts 29 church plant for 3 years, led by a Driscoll-recruited and Driscoll-trained 20-something pastor, and 20-something elders. It was, predictably, a disaster. Just wondering if it has gone better for you.)

  238. andrew wrote:

    Not sure how I feel about this….the daily beast will undoubtedly do a hatchet job on christianity in general, using this as an example of how unhinged we all are.

    Well, there does seem to be a fair amount of unhingediosity out there. And there does seem to be right much of some group or other calling everybody else unhinged or worse. If we play the game ourselves we can’t very well complain if others join in the fun.

  239. Eagle wrote:

    TVC is treating the annulment as if its a divorce. That’s what they are doing.

    Is there a difference in concept between a Catholic church annulment and state annulment? I am woefully ignorant in this area. I always think of Catholic church when the word is used for some reason.

  240. @ Nancy:

    Yes. And what is worse the unhinged is coming from all camps: Progressives to Fundys. There is literally not much the secular world can find good about those who represent Christianity for the rest of us. Best we agree with them about how wacked out it all is and make sure they know some of us are not defending any of the celebrity shenanigans and doctrinal wackiness.

  241. sam wrote:

    the outward behavior of Matt Chandler is so similar to Mark Driscol it makes me wonder about if other things in his church are the same. And are they the same in all Acts 29 churches. Hoping someone from TVC will be reading here and answer a few questions…

    Not a member of TVC, but I served in an Acts 29 church for 3 years. (And I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express…)

    Keep this in mind: Acts 29 was designed, launched, and led by Mark Driscoll. Although Driscoll no longer leads Acts 29, no significant changes have been made to Acts 29’s organizational methods, structures, and strategies.

    To put it simply: Acts 29 churches are organized and run the same way that Mars Hill Church was run. And they are staffed largely by guys who were drawn to Acts 29 by their affinity for, and desire to be like, Mark Driscoll & Co.

    So, same recipe for disaster. I think that sometimes an Acts 29 church lucks out and gets a pastor who miraculously isn’t like Driscoll, but if even 1/2 or 1/3 of Acts 29 churches are run by Driscollites, then we have a major problem.

  242. Answers to:
    @Lydia. Steve Hardin is in his early 50’s although he dresses and styles his hair and acts more like late 30’s. This is standard in the DFW mega church show biz industry. Hair gel and sandblasted jeans with an untucked button down stylish shirt from The Buckle.

    @Lydia. To clarify TVC was Highland Village Baptist and I believe it traces it’s roots back to the 1800’s. Yes it is north but I think describing that area as “middling” was a tiny harsh. It’s just north of Grapevine Lake near Southlake, Westlake and Trophy Club which are all very affluent areas. Denton is largely a college town. One of the reasons TVC Denton spun off last week was due to the demographics being so different from Flower Mound. Highland Park on the other hand is staggeringly wealthy and powerful. It’s right next to the Swiss Avenue District where George W and Laura Bush live. Matt Chandler landed in a very prosperous area with lots of new growth. Smart too because it’s actually harder to break out in the old money Dallas areas like Highland Park.

    @Flicker. Once a church receives tax exempt status as a church they never have to file anything again, unless their church status is challenged. However, their very close neighbor, giga church Gateway, uses the general giga rule that 55% of total expenses should be spent on payroll. That would include benefits. Using this percentage GW’s average pay package is closer to $100,000 per person. I’d be surprised if TVC’s pay packages were as low as $50,000 per person in that area. Pay packages have spiraled out of control since 2010. Mark Driscoll’s pay (incl parsonage) went from under $300,000 to over $850,000 in just his last 3 years there. This is the kind of money you should be seeing at TVC which is also involved in the Acts29 Network.

    @proudjezebel. TVC and other gigas/megas use that brand of Christisnese specifically because they are a cult. Think of it like a secret handshake. It makes you feel “in” connected and oh so exclusive just like in a silly high school clique. You know something that others “in the natural” do not. Because you are “connected”. You are special. You are part of an “authentic community”. Are you “tracking” here @proudjezebel because I’m “unpacking this” just for you? During this “season” you will be permitted to sit at the cool kid’s table and have convos the other heathens could never understand because they don’t “roll with the right squad.” If you had more “contextualized missional passion” and had more “unity” with our “vision” you’d feel this “resurgence”. You need to go to your “prayer closet” and “prayerfully consider” why your vernacular base needs refreshment. You need more of a “heart for the house” PJ. I am “burdened” for you sistah. Come to the “Velcro bar” after the “worship experience”. I need to “resource” you in an “integrous” way. You need to “reflectively” jam inside your “worship space” to “affirm your spirit empowered” existence. “Spiritainment” is the path sistah.

  243. Lydia wrote:

    @ Nancy:

    Yes. And what is worse the unhinged is coming from all camps: Progressives to Fundys. There is literally not much the secular world can find good about those who represent Christianity for the rest of us. Best we agree with them about how wacked out it all is and make sure they know some of us are not defending any of the celebrity shenanigans and doctrinal wackiness.

    As someone with 30 years in Furry Fandom, all I can say is there is only so much you can do about Loud Crazies who proclaim to all and sundry (especially Media) that They’re One Of You and You’re Just Like Them. Loud Crazies LOVE the limelight, and will not stop until they ARE the Public Face of the Movement.

  244. Gram3 wrote:

    Yes they will, and God may be using the unbelievers to chasten the shepherds who are failing in their duty and who are using and abusing his flock.

    I remember a private revelation referred to on Internet Monk years ago that pretty much said this word-for-word, except in regards to the creative arts.

  245. @ LT:

    You are right, I mixed up the truly middling Farmers Branch with Flower Mound (the current main Village campus). Or I’ve been in Dallas so long that I now think a median household income of $120K is “middling”. 😉

    And I’d stand up and applaud the last part of your comment, except you forgot “plugged in”.

  246. Up thread I said that this post was really outstanding. I want to add to it by saying that all of TWW’s coverage has been excellent from the beginning, really wonderful journalism and equally wonderful victim advocacy. Between TWW and Amy’s blog we are fully informed about the facts and the issues. This is some of the best writing on spiritual abuse victim advocacy blogs I have ever seen. And I am also glad to see well written columns by Wade Burleson, Matt Redmond, and a number of others in support of Karen.

    I don’t know how people can read these posts and go on drinking the Kool-Aid.

  247. Lydia wrote:

    Is there a difference in concept between a Catholic church annulment and state annulment?

    That goes back to the idea of marriage as a sacrament, or not. It is possible to apply to a catholic marriage tribunal for a declaration as to whether a prior marriage met the requirements to be a sacramental marriage or not. One of the Kennedy grandkids went through this and his wife wrote a book about it. Catholics enter into legal marriages just like everybody by meeting the requirements of the state, but they may also be entering into a sacramental marriage or not depending on other requirements. When they divorce they do it legally just like everybody else, and then they may or may not apply for a decision about the marriage as to whether it was sacramental.

    Two separate issues- one legal and one religious. The catholic church does not consider children illegitimate if the parents were in a marriage that was legal but not sacramental-this is a misconception. They are not into labeling the kids. If the prior marriage is determined to be non-sacramental, then the divorced catholic is free to marry someone else without being barred from the sacraments.

    If I am not correct, somebody furnish better information here.

  248. Mr.H wrote:

    So, same recipe for disaster. I think that sometimes an Acts 29 church lucks out and gets a pastor who miraculously isn’t like Driscoll, but if even 1/2 or 1/3 of Acts 29 churches are run by Driscollites, then we have a major problem.

    Other recipes for disaster that follow this kind of authoritarian control over members’ lives:
    *9 Marks/Mark Dever & followers
    *John MacArthur & followers
    *other groups that practice these kinds of authoritarian control

  249. dee wrote:

    I have been up until way past 1 AM the past two nights trying to carefully document everything you have read with the help of both Karen and Amy Smith. This has been one of the most difficult stories to write since it is being read all over the world at this point.

    THANK YOU Dee! You’re doing a great job; I appreciate all the hard work on this.

  250. LT wrote:

    Come to the “Velcro bar” after the “worship experience”. I need to “resource” you in an “integrous” way. You need to “reflectively” jam inside your “worship space” to “affirm your spirit empowered” existence. “Spiritainment” is the path sistah.

    Sounds like The Adjustment Bureau, which is one of the first movies we watched after leaving our cult. That and The Village.

  251. Michaela wrote:

    Mr.H wrote:
    So, same recipe for disaster. I think that sometimes an Acts 29 church lucks out and gets a pastor who miraculously isn’t like Driscoll, but if even 1/2 or 1/3 of Acts 29 churches are run by Driscollites, then we have a major problem.
    Other recipes for disaster that follow this kind of authoritarian control over members’ lives:
    *9 Marks/Mark Dever & followers
    *John MacArthur & followers
    *other groups that practice these kinds of authoritarian control

    Good points! Thanks for including them. Authoritarianism is certainly not limited to Driscoll, MHC, and Acts 29. I think it was simply that Driscoll’s personal issues and immaturity meant that he was unable to successfully sustain an authoritarian regime for any extended period of time.

    Guys like Dever and MacArthur seem to be able to run authoritarian regimes with much less public controversy. Makes it even more important to inform believers about it, I think.

  252. LAMR wrote:

    I actually listened to the entire 1 hour and 41 minutes of the Pulpit and Pen/JD Hall blathering. I can totally understand why some would not…

    For your perseverance, much thanks.

    For the main reason some would not, the clue is in the 1 hour and 41 minutes part…

  253. @ LT:

    TVC and other gigas/megas use that brand of Christisnese specifically because they are a cult. Think of it like a secret handshake. It makes you feel “in” connected and oh so exclusive just like in a silly high school clique. You know something that others “in the natural” do not. Because you are “connected”. You are special. You are part of an “authentic community”. Are you “tracking” here @proudjezebel because I’m “unpacking this” just for you? During this “season” you will be permitted to sit at the cool kid’s table and have convos the other heathens could never understand because they don’t “roll with the right squad.” If you had more “contextualized missional passion” and had more “unity” with our “vision” you’d feel this “resurgence”. You need to go to your “prayer closet” and “prayerfully consider” why your vernacular base needs refreshment. You need more of a “heart for the house” PJ. I am “burdened” for you sistah. Come to the “Velcro bar” after the “worship experience”. I need to “resource” you in an “integrous” way. You need to “reflectively” jam inside your “worship space” to “affirm your spirit empowered” existence. “Spiritainment” is the path sistah.

    This is hilarious and really, really sad all at the same time.

  254. I recommend reading Libby Anne’s posts about Josh Duggar on Patheos. She has several and they are very insightful.

    It has been mind boggling to me that some Christians have been minimizing child sexual abuse in defense of the Duggars or in defense of their own church cover-ups or ill-advised support of pedophiles. Libby Anne points out that for these Christians, sexual behavior is put in one of two boxes: sex in marriage and sex outside of marriage. That second large box lumps in sex between consenting adult with non-consensual sex. It includes single opposite-sex unmarried couples, consenting adult gay couples as well as adultery (consensual but I would add in involving a betrayal) but also rape and child sexual abuse (non-consensual).

    Dichotomizing sex in this way obscures the seriousness of sex crimes. They become just more of the widespread sex going on outside of marriage.

    For example, one commentator has argued that what Josh D. did wasn’t as bad as public school sex education which gives the impression that it is okay for unmarried couples to have sex. And I have certainly seen enough Facebook posts calling out the ‘hypocrisy’ of ‘liberals’ for condemning the molestation of the Duggar girls while accepting homosexuality, as if the two were equivocal. So I think Libby Anne is on to something.

  255. @ LAMR:

    And no, he wouldn’t have any male as a babysitter, because humanity is dark and disgusting.

    Once again, the champions of Biblical masculinity insult men. They’re all so perverted they can’t even be trusted to babysit because they might all be secret pedophiles. Which is why they should be the only ones in leadership. *facepalm*

    As we champion Karen’s right to divorce and have biblical divorce, because Jordan committed adultery of heart – by that standard, every marriage in the church could receive a so-called biblical divorce.

    She’s not getting a divorce. She’s getting an annulment. Why is everybody conflating those two things?

    And didn’t Jordan admit to having molested children previously? If he didn’t tell Karen that before they married, that’s serious enough information that it would affect her decision to marry him. Thus the annulment.

  256. If you go to https://vimeo.com/33474316 you will find Matt Chandler discuss false doctrine with Perry Noble and James MacDonald (which in itself is very strange, don’t you think – Noble and MacDonald wouldn’t recognize good theology if it hit them on their heads), and they agree that bloggers (who live with their moms) are not qualified to call out false doctrine, only pastors.

    Look at chandlers facial expression at 42 seconds in – bloggers are beyond contempt for him. He seems to think highly of himself and his peers, and probably of the “macho CEOs” in his “church”, but hardly anyone else. And it shows in the leadership style of his team.

    I don’t think bloggers brought Driscoll down – he did that himself. But bloggers helped him achieve this.

  257. lydia wrote:

    http://johnpavlovitz.com/2015/05/26/matt-chandler-village-church-acts-29-network-and-the-long-overdue-funeral-for-frat-boy-christianity/

    From the link:

    What has been on display here is a whole lot of things: bullying, coercion, harassment, guilt, and tough guy intimidation all wrapped up in a shoddy religious shell, but I’m confident saying that it isn’t anything Jesus would want his name on, and as a Christian I don’t want it associated with me either.

    Hear! Hear!

    Me neither!

  258. Hester wrote:

    She’s not getting a divorce. She’s getting an annulment. Why is everybody conflating those two things?

    This drives me nuts, too. IMO, it’s because the “theologians” have no scriptures to spank her with over an annulment. They’d like to brand Karen with a scarlet “D” and parade her in front of the jeering crowds. But, what do you do when the state considers her to never have been married? Gnashing of teeth comes to mind.

  259. @ LT:

    that last paragraph…. you’re a genius. for stating the obvious so well.

    nothing quite so entertaining as observing ‘campy’ from those who mistake it for ‘cool’.

  260. Shannon H. wrote:

    That quote was from Tweetie Pie’s according to JD Hall post.

    That’s correct. That was JD Hall opining on the TVC decision, which he supports completely. TVC said exactly the same thing, a member undergoing discipline can’t “just resign”. Pretty controlling eh?

  261. Mr.H wrote:

    why aren’t TVC members FURIOUS that a pedophile was brought back into their midst without their knowledge and that they were encouraged to invite him into their home and “love on him”?

    people should be furious. People should also consider that this is called DOCTRINE at Acts 29 churches, ALL acts 29 churches are built on the same methods and covenants. How many pedos, friends of the elders, do you think are at your church? Especially pedos that ‘just’ molested girls? If he had hurt a boy it would be different, as it is in ACts 29, the girls always are asking for it or tempting men too much. They dont say this belief out loud, look at their fruit and not the glittery words and sermons, not the charismatic young preachers that people love to worship. Opress women, silence women, exert authority over men, command men to exert authority over their women. Who’s doctrine is this? Jesus’? the Devils? i am tired of people that go to Acts 29 churches and then act surprised when the true fruit shows up publicly. Do people feel a need to be abused and controlled so badly that this network has become one of the largest church networks? i am so tired of it that i am going offline for awhile.

  262. Marsha wrote:

    It has been mind boggling to me that some Christians have been minimizing child sexual abuse in defense of the Duggars or in defense of their own church cover-ups or ill-advised support of pedophiles.

    Love Libby Anne, she writes so well. Yeah, with all the Christian defenders out there it honestly makes me wonder how many Christians are covering up what they’re doing to their own or other peoples kids. Terrifying.

  263. dee wrote:

    @ Melody:

    Darn straight. Wait until you all hear from her tomorrow. The picked the wrong lady to mess with.

    The Daily Beast has contacted her. This thing is going national, baby!

    Oh, baby, if they publish, TVC will be toast, burnt, crispy, well-done and crumbling.

  264. @ LAMR:

    LAMR thank you so much for doing that – your “live reporting” points of JD’s Pulpt & Pen broadcast was much more thorough than mine :) Also, I’m glad you heard and confirmed the same things I heard… I guess this is my own leftover quirk from being a childhood sexual abuse victim, but when I hear stupid things I tend to doubt myself, that what I heard was actually accurate, and my assesment that it’s stupid, is actually correct. Glad to have your concurrence so THANK YOU!!!

    On this point –
    12. JD Hall clearly does not believe Karen is being harassed. “Who is harassing you,” he asked?

    JD Hall is a man who does not understand bullying and harassment, did not seem to understand how his treatment of the Caner family (and others) was harassment, even though he was told by so many that he was being a bully toward them. Then, when Braxton tragically died (almost a year ago, we’re coming up to that sad anniversary in August) JD had a momentary flash of guilt and repentance, then went right back to his harassment. He seems blinded in this area, and surrounds himself with like-minded friends and colleagues who affirm his behavior. And so it’s no surprise to me that he wouldn’t recognize Karen Root’s treatment here as harassment.

  265. Jess wrote:

    http://watchkeep.blogspot.com/2015/05/karen-hinkleys-response-to-village.html Karen’s response

    From Karen’s response:

    I had a new sending church in place and a job description approved by SIM field leadership prior to arriving at SIM USA headquarters in Charlotte for meetings beginning March 10th. There I was informed that The Village Church had threatened that if SIM kept me on active status, they would consider it a breach of the Partnership Agreement between SIM and TVC and TVC could no longer partner with SIM. This had significant implications, because there are several other SIM missionaries who are supported by The Village Church. As a result, SIM decided that I would not resume work on behalf of my team from Dallas after all.

    TVC is as slimy as an eel and twice as slippery. So TVC deliberately ruined Karen’s employment by blackmailing SIM. That is as evil as one can get, if I wrote everything I’m thinking about how despicable TVC has been toward Karen I’d be in moderation until Rapture. #!&@%

  266. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    IMO, it’s because the “theologians” have no scriptures to spank her with over an annulment.

    That is precisely it. And the fact that an annulment is a certification by the state that the cause of the marriage being voided has nothing to do with Karen. If they harp on the “divorce” then they can try to paint her as the rebellious Woman who rejects their “care.” Who rejects them?

  267. Gus wrote:

    Noble and MacDonald wouldn’t recognize good theology if it hit them on their heads

    Gotta disagree here. IMO, they absolutely do recognize good theology. But that isn’t profitable theology for them, so they preach the doctrines that draw the crowds and the bucks. They are not ignorant or stupid. They are clever.

  268. Tweetie Pie wrote:

    And so it’s no surprise to me that he wouldn’t recognize Karen Root’s treatment here as harassment.

    He knows perfectly well it is harrassment. But he is a bully, and he likes seeing her harrassed. J.D. is a fill-in-the-blank fake. He is an embarrassment to all of the mature, Christian men who are serving humbly. That would exclude all of J.D.’s buddies who are just as immature and juvenile and willfully blind and stupid as J.D. And he loves seeing us talk about him.

    Hi, J.D. What will you tell Jesus about your treatment of Karen?

  269. @ BeenThereDoneThat:

    The annulment shows the flawed approach of this fundagelicalism. In order for it to thrive and continue you need the black and white thinking. You have that black and white thinking in a divorce. You do not have that black and white thinking in an annulment.

  270. Has anyone read Karen’s response to TVC? (This is new):
    http://watchkeep.blogspot.com/2015/05/karen-hinkleys-response-to-village.html?m=1

    The most eyebrow raising sections to me (well, there are many, but…) are the parts where she points out that TVC sent out a church wide email encouraging members to keep socializing with Jordan, and that includes parents who have small kids.

    Karen also said even though SIM kept telling TVC to get Jordan into treatment, they sent Jordan to a guy named Bryant who belongs to something called “North Christian Counseling,” and she says:

    On his bio, Eric does not list experience treating pedophilia or sexual addiction. Jordan went to counseling once a week for the first couple of months after his return, at which point Eric felt he was doing well enough to begin going only once every other week instead.

    😯 ❗

  271. i apologize for my last post that makes it seem like people who have been duped are responsible. i have been duped before myself. What i had to look at though, in me, is why did i go there anyway? did i go to find a sense of community? did i go to be known as belonging to the biggest church? did i go because i didnt know better and assumed they were following Jesus? did i go because i wanted to look cool? did i go because the idea of having authority over others is apealing to me? Do i want the aproval of others? Most people that truly love Jesus and have read the bible dont stay in churches like that for very long, i guess my criticism should have been directed at people that have been members of authoritarian churches for over 5 years, (just a number i picked, not a rule) because then if i did attend that long i think i would have to honestly say that i wasnt going to church to worship and serve Jesus, or i had been so decieved that i would hope someone would snatch me out of the fire

  272. Jesus=
    28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
    29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
    30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

    Acts 29= heavy burden, no rest but constant working to attain

    Jesus=
    25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
    26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
    Matthew 11:25-26

    Acts 29=extols mans wisdom

    Jesus= not popularity
    15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
    Luke 16:15

    Apostle paul= not charismatic and not very good to have on tv
    10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. 2 Corinthians 10:10

    Acts 29=very hipster and popular men

    Jesus= audience targeted=
    18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, Luke 4:18

    Acts 29= wealthy or enough to tithe well

    Jesus= apointed and annointed by God
    41 I receive not honour from men.
    42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.
    43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
    44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? John 5:41-44

    21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; 2 Corinthians 1:21

    Acts 29=
    9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. John 1:9

    Jesus= God only can save people
    27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Matthew 11:27

    Acts 29= we saved and baptized soooo many people

    Jesus=
    5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
    6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
    7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
    8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. Matthew 23:5-8

  273. @ Daisy:

    And sorry, about this part:

    “(the church kept telling members) to keep socializing with Jordan, and that includes parents who have small kids.”

    TVC, she said, sent those comments out to the church members without informing them of the pedophilia issue.

    And Bryant I mentioned above is Eric Bryant, the same guy from North Texas Christian Counseling.

  274. Oh, wow. In Karen’s response to TVC’s letter/FAQ (now posted on Watch Keep), she links to an email she sent to Jordan. It seems that Jordan was dragging his feet on signing the annulment papers, and (with his pro bono attorney, a TVC member) was trying to add a gag order. Karen refused to be bullied into signing a gag order (well done!). She tells Jordan if he ever cared for her, and if he was really “walking in repentance,” the VERY LEAST he could do is to promptly sign the annulment papers so she could get on with her life.

    In the last paragraph, she asks Steve Hardin, Matt Younger, and Richard Brindley to “require” Jordan and his lawyer to stop their bullying and for Jordan to sign the annulment papers. (!) That must have put them in an interesting position. Karen says “it was clear to me that TVC was growing nervous about the possibility of a story in The Dallas Morning News”. Whether that was the reason or not, shortly after receiving this email, Jordan signed.

    This makes the question to TVC even more pointed: Why did you think discipline was appropriate for Karen for filing for annulment without asking you first, and not Jordan who with your knowledge (and likely with your counsel) became a party to the annulment by signing it?

  275. Daisy wrote:

    [Karen] points out that TVC sent out a church wide email encouraging members to keep socializing with Jordan, and that includes parents who have small kids.

    Yes, and they went THREE MONTHS in that state. From December when Jordan resumed worshipping at TVC and an email went just to 500 supporters (in which they encouraged people not to speculate what Jordan’s issue was), until the March email in which they revealed it was pedophilia. THREE MONTHS with parents not aware there was a pedophile in their midst.

    And this is just one example in the latest Watch Keep post that makes clear that TVC is trying to spin the story as “SIM and TVC were both cooperating and doing it right” when that was far from the truth. Karen says, “But there has been a great deal of conflict between SIM and The Village Church in this matter, especially in regards to child safety. The Village Church resisted or rebuffed many of SIM’s recommendations at every turn.”

  276. Have just read Karen Hinkley’s response to TVC.

    If TVC say they want to help you and care for you – run! Run for your life!

  277. Stan wrote:

    @ LT:
    You are right, I mixed up the truly middling Farmers Branch with Flower Mound (the current main Village campus). Or I’ve been in Dallas so long that I now think a median household income of $120K is “middling”.
    And I’d stand up and applaud the last part of your comment, except you forgot “plugged in”.

    Hahaha. How could I forget! PJ must get “plugged in.” Maybe there is hope for my post cult life recovery. @PJ, after you’re “plugged in” you need to “walk it out” daily. At some point you will graduate to “pressing into The Lord” so that “deep can call unto deep”. I never understood those last two. I asked a Gateway pastor who used them on “the platform” what they meant and they snapped “read your bible!” They were quite mean about it. Later it dawned on me that they don’t know what pressing into or deep calling unto deep means either.

    Farmer’s Branch! Like the gigas would reach out to the middle class! Good one. Where would they golf, dine or dock their boats then? Next to the plebes?

  278. Gram3 wrote:

    Ben Denison wrote:
    They would have found some way to spin/interpret and claim that she couldn’t leave and needed to stay under their thumb. All the more reason it was smart of her to get out, and stick to her guns.

    Gram3 wrote
    I believe that the evidence shows this is likely exactly what they would have done. Women are in a no-win position in these patriarchal/Complementarian churches.

    Oh yeah, you know they were going to expect her to stay married to the guy.

    If you read the update, Karen says,

    During this meeting there were some extremely troubling things said by both Richard and Matt. I was told that as Jordan’s wife, I would have a unique role in walking alongside him during this time.

    Sounds like they were expecting her to Stand By Her Man, as Tammy Wynette sings about.

    They think it’s her duty to cure him of his pedophilia, or be a pillar of support.

    One minute, these complementarian churches are telling wives they are to submit, the husband is in authority, but when the husband falls into trouble, all the sudden, presto, the responsibility for decision-making and everything else, and to cover for the husband, falls to the wife.

    Isn’t it convenient how their gender role theology is so malleable, and almost always in favor to the husbands and in detriment to the wives?
    —-
    Source for the quotes by Karen above:
    http://watchkeep.blogspot.com/2015/05/karen-hinkleys-response-to-village.html

  279. andrew wrote:

    The flip side, I’m pretty sure a publication like christianity today wouldn’t touch this with a ten foot pole for fear of upsetting the wrong people, so that in and of itself is an indictment of the state of the church.

    As of 5 PM, May 27th, the only recent thing about TVC that is on the Christianity Today website is a story in the current issue about multisite campuses. Not a peep of the current problem. One of the many reasons I’m not renewing my subscription.

  280. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    For your perseverance, much thanks.

    For the main reason some would not, the clue is in the 1 hour and 41 minutes part…

    Hola ! The man thinks he’s Hugo Chavez…

  281. Gus wrote:

    Have just read Karen Hinkley’s response to TVC.
    If TVC say they want to help you and care for you – run! Run for your life!

    I 100% agree. Just finished reading it and WOW. Seriously creepy.

  282. @ BeenThereDoneThat:

    But they are busy trying to redefine as they always do. They consider “annulment” as a “subset” of divorce. Do you realize how many kool aid drinkers will believe that and miss the larger point that Jordon defrauded her and the state agreed it was fraud?

  283. Lydia wrote:

    @ LT:
    LT, appreciate the background info. Can I “push you under my care”?

    Of course. Unless you’re at a Mars Hill Redux. Then you just push me under the bus because you’re all about blessed subtraction baby!

  284. Tweetie Pie wrote:

    JD had a momentary flash of guilt and repentance, then went right back to his harassment.

    I think JD had a mommentary flash of needing some good PR.

  285. LAMR wrote:

    23. JD Hall: “If the cross can reconcile you and me with God, why can’t the cross reconcile two sinners, even if one has radically hurt the other?” I’m sure we’ve heard this one before…

    I can offer a rebuttal for many of the points he brought up, but for now, I’ll just say, forgiving someone does not mean the same thing as reconciling.

    Forgiving someone does not mean you have to see the person who hurt you ever again, or talk with them via phone, letters, or e-mails.

    Doesn’t the Bible say that after God keeps being rejected by a sinner over and over, he will stop pursuing that person, God will stop striving with that person?

    Not even God forces himself on a person who wants nothing to do with him. Why does J D Hall think he gets to over-ride God on that point?

    Genesis 6:3
    Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

    And, Luke 9:5, Jesus speaking:
    “And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”
    —-
    I have a family member who I had to start distancing myself from since last year because she refuses to stop being abusive (emotional/ verbal) towards me, even after I, for the first time ever, confronted her about it last year, and told her I won’t tolerate it anymore.

    I forgave this person, but I refuse to open myself up to more tongue lashings, screaming fits, rages, and temper tantrums because J D Hall thinks “forgiving” = “you have to allow the person a door into your life to allow more abuse.”

  286. @ Ben Denison:

    Ah, I had not read that document. Seems TVC was playing different sides based upon image management/PR/News cycle and not “biblical protocol” as some would have us believe.

    Big bravo to Karen for not going along with a gag order. That is so typical, though. Shut them up. Censoring. Yet Karen knows children must be protected and parents warned at all costs. TVC thinks their image is more important than children.

  287. Lauren wrote:

    Please don’t make this about money.

    I don’t know how much money is motivating these TVC guys, but I think having power and control is an issue.

    They really want to lord authority over people’s life, it must be an ego trip to them.

  288. Lydia wrote:

    They consider “annulment” as a “subset” of divorce.

    That’s when I’d play their own game and say, “show me where the Bible says it’s a subset of divorce. C’mon. You’re all about being scriptural, aren’t you?”

  289. @ Daisy:
    That letter from Karen is stunning. The Village tried to leave the impression that they had female support for Karen. That turns out to be a staff person whose last name is Brindley! So, we have staff people whose livelihood depends on keeping a lid on Karen or silencing her, and The Village PR machine spins a staff female as being available for support!

    Is Mark DeMoss doing damage control for The Village? It certainly seems like it.

    Another thing: Jordan was going for counseling to an unqualified counselor *ONCE* per week for a few weeks before said counselor thought he could taper off the therapy. My grandkids take dance and music and sports lessons more frequently and for a longer period than that. Seriously, what is wrong with these men?

    If I were a member at The Village with kids I would be even more livid than I am. What right and authority do these men have to put children at risk just to protect themselves? This is what passes for ELDERS these days?

    And another thing: I was so happy to see that *there is nothing in the church covenant or BYLAWS that addresses an annulment situation where a woman was defrauded. See, the problem is they read that sentence and cannot see “defrauded” because they are so triggered by “woman.”

    Guys, get a grip on reality, please. You look like fools. And malicious ones at that.

  290. @ Eagle:

    If my understanding is correct, an annulment is sort of like saying she was never really married to begin with – there was no marriage.

    Because what she had with Jordan was not an actual marriage, because their relationship was based on deceit on his end.

    She did not know prior to a wedding ceremony that the guy was looking at child abuse images online. They never had a marriage.

  291. Ben Denison wrote:

    This makes the question to TVC even more pointed: Why did you think discipline was appropriate for Karen for filing for annulment without asking you first, and not Jordan who with your knowledge (and likely with your counsel) became a party to the annulment by signing it?

    Thank you for highlighting their utter and complete hypocrisy.

  292. @ Ken:
    @ Gavin White:

    You’re quite right, of course: I missed Titus 1 (not sure how). This does have to moderate my assertion that there’s nae evidence in the NT of setting in elders!

    That said, Paul’s instruction to Titus still needs to be seen in the context of everything else the NT does say about eldership. It isn’t likely that Paul sent him to tidy up any loose ends by appointing young men as elders on the basis that their faces fit, for instance!

  293. Gram3 wrote:

    Where is Christianity Today and World?

    The flip side, I’m pretty sure a publication like christianity today wouldn’t touch this with a ten foot pole for fear of upsetting the wrong people, so that in and of itself is an indictment of the state of the church.

    ???? Christianity Today has, to my knowledge, run at least 2 stories about this. The first was May 22nd.
    http://www.christiantoday.com/article/church.disciplines.wife.for.wanting.to.divorce.husband.who.admitted.paedophile.leanings/54480.htm

  294. Because I can not work the stupid block quote thing….the second part of the above quote was not Gram3, it was andrew.

  295. @ Lauren:

    I will just say based upon experience it rarely starts out about the money except for the Creflo Dollar types. It starts out more with a need for adulation and a stage. And of course, taht is where God wants them. ONce that is achieved, the money becomes a measuring stick of sorts. Believe me, when the money is not flowing they have clever ways to get people to pony up without them even realizing the operating budget is a problem. I have been involved with megas where it was normal to rake in between 3-5 mill on one weekend. Not a month, mind you. A weekend. Of course that was the 90’s. But still, it is not unusual for them to bring in a million on a weekend. Think of that over the course of 10 years. Churches always grow buildings, staff and events commiserate with the intake. If it starts to dry up, believe me, it is about the money.

    The reason mega’s are careful about it is because they need bottoms in the seats to create a environment. Peopleactually give more based upon a full house. So, it is very important to have lots of people coming.

    I have seen single moms put their rings in the passing plate in order to “be a part” of something great. It is sick. Sick, sick.

    Been involved with too many megas not to have seen how it works. Believe me, the money is very important even if they are clever in how they approach it.

  296. sam wrote:

    Especially pedos that ‘just’ molested girls? If he had hurt a boy it would be different, as it is in ACts 29, the girls always are asking for it or tempting men too much. They dont say this belief out loud,

    I had not really considered that before, but does anyone here have any examples or links? I mean, if a boy is molested, what rationale do these types of complementarian / authoritarian churches use to blame male victims?

    Because when church girls or women are molested or attacked, the churches will sometimes blame them (the ladies) for it, claim they (the ladies) played a role in their own abuse, because of how they were dressed, or whatever.

    Is that the response these churches give if the victim is a male?

  297. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    The problem with the elder arguement is that it is not across the board so to speak. It is not something that is a constant theme in the letters. Most Epistles are addressed to the entire church (not elders) to deal with situations. Some churches had been around quite a long time, too, before letters were even written (ie Corinthians) and no mention of elders at all. Unless Chloe was an elder :o)

    Some churches seemed to need them and some did not. Not that I am a fan but Frank Viola did a interesting historical approach to this issue in “Straight Talk to Pastors”.

  298. LAMR wrote:

    23. JD Hall: “If the cross can reconcile you and me with God, why can’t the cross reconcile two sinners, even if one has radically hurt the other?” I’m sure we’ve heard this one before…

    Note how they stay at the cross. There is a reason for that. The resurrection is dangerous. If we understand the resurrection, we won’t need them.

  299. Lydia wrote:

    They consider “annulment” as a “subset” of divorce. Do you realize how many kool aid drinkers will believe that and miss the larger point that Jordon defrauded her and the state agreed it was fraud?

    That is the point, IMO. How many kids have ever heard of an annulment? All they know is no-fault divorce. And the kids don’t even know enough to check what their leaders tell them.

  300. Daisy wrote:

    I think she means Christianity Today; the thing you linked to is “Christian Today”

    Thanks Daisy! That “ity” makes a difference. :-)

  301. LT- Bravo. I feel so blessed. And your explanation makes sense. I recall getting that sort of feeling of being ‘in’, of belonging in some sort of special club, using this sort of language. I’ve noticed a similar dynamic in other groups, outside the church. It just doesn’t chafe at me as much with those groups.
    Stan- ‘plugged in’ is perfect.

    Someone else in the comments pointed to an issue of immaturity and the 18-35 demographic in TVC, and I think that’s so accurate. They really don’t have the experience or knowledge to know better about some of these things. This makes the abusive tactics employed by the leadership at TVC even more insidious and reprehensible. The friend I have who attends TVC, I believe truly wants to communicate love to me in the discussion she attempted to start about this topic, but I don’t think she realizes how much she’s been duped, and how her words come off to an ‘outsider’.

  302. Daisy wrote:

    Because when church girls or women are molested or attacked, the churches will sometimes blame them (the ladies) for it, claim they (the ladies) played a role in their own abuse, because of how they were dressed, or whatever.

    Is that the response these churches give if the victim is a male?

    When the System is ad hoc, there doesn’t need to be a consistent explanation. The only rule is that either the female is to blame or the man is to blame for not ruling the female.

  303. Lydia wrote:

    Been involved with too many megas not to have seen how it works. Believe me, the money is very important even if they are clever in how they approach it.

    Not sure what Lauren meant, but there does not need to be the huge emphasis on tithing for it to be all about money. As you said, it can be a appeal to be part of something big or yielding to social pressure or any number of things. I once ignored a very disturbing talk by a former pastor who brought up how many giving units were contributing and the percentage of giving units who were giving and the average amount each giving unit was giving and the local median income. But never any mention of tithing. Yes, I made up an excuse for him. Sigh.

  304. So, here is an scary interesting thing. A Q and A with Matt Chandler on Piper’s site back in February.

    “Q. If you’re willing to address this, how does the gospel help those who are dating, who have been victims of past sexual abuse?

    A. The home I grew up in was wrought with just about every type of abuse imaginable. And it does leave some marks, and it creates some baggage, not only for dating but then into the marriage that will need to be ***gospel-ed.***

    For the one that has not endured abuse, but is free from that type of baggage, the ***gospel*** should create patience, compassion, and empathy to walk alongside of the person who has bore the brunt of this abuse.

    For the one that has borne the abuse, the ***gospel*** begins to reshape our identity, it begins to reshape our hearts and wounds, and it enables us to begin to trust again, slowly, but surely.

    So when the ***gospel*** is at work, both in the one that was not abused and in the one that was, you have a person who is patient and empathetic and compassionate and a person who is being reshaped and healed by the ***gospel*** in such a way that there is an opportunity to grow into intimacy that wouldn’t have been possible outside of the ***gospel***.

    This is how the ***gospel*** has worked in my own life and in my own marriage. Lauren was able to be very empathetic and compassionate and gracious and not demanding while the ***gospel*** did its work of healing and repairing the broken parts of me.”

    Um…***gospel*** is not some magic voodoo word that has super powers. Why nothing at all about how ***God*** worked or ****Christ*** healed or ***The Spirit*** should create patience,c compassion, etc.?

    Bizarreness

  305. Mr.H wrote:

    So, same recipe for disaster. I think that sometimes an Acts 29 church lucks out and gets a pastor who miraculously isn’t like Driscoll, but if even 1/2 or 1/3 of Acts 29 churches are run by Driscollites, then we have a major problem.

    I go to what is once again an Acts 29 church. Demographics similar, 3 pastors are in their 30s, one in his 50s.
    The lead pastor is in his 30s. Congregation primarily young, but a few middle aged couples, a couple elderly.
    There is a lot that’s jumped out at me…a lot of the “lingo” used is similar/same as that used by the NeoCals. the view is primarily complementarian (which, at every church I’ve attended of Baptist, non-denom, and Lutheran, was the same) it at least does not extend to professional roles- I and several women in the church are in roles of authority in our jobs (over men, no less!) but have never been told that was “wrong”, and in fact have been congratulated. I don’t know of anyone who has experienced otherwise.
    There have been instances of church discipline (well, one was discipline, the other two…idk that it was for shame, I’ll explain) used, 3x in five years. Once due to an issue of infidelity and the others were related to substance abuse, but coupled with an appeal for financial help for their treatment.
    For those who have “not left well”…no one was/is chased, or has been to my knowledge. No bad mouthing, and no meetings about them called.
    For people who have voiced their issues for leaving, that I know of, had to do with lack of infant baptism, feeling of poor managing/response to racial tensions/social justice, desire to be more engage in a church with a more international mission focus.
    I’m sure there are more, but that is what I have been privy to.
    I’ve asked before for book/devotional recommendations to grow spiritually, and have heard several young men talk about favorite authors (the usual suspects) to the pastors…and I’ve been/they have been told/admonished “A lot of books are great to read, looking into history, apologetics, etc…is great, but your focus should be on the Bible, first and foremost.”
    So while disconcertingly, “the usual suspects” are held in higher esteem than I would like, they’re not seen as “IT”.

    So I have concerns, that I am watching closely…but I personally so far, have not had a bad experience personally.

    I have wandered a lot in a short time…and I feel like I heard and understood the Word, and desired The Lord in a way I never had before I came to that church. So I feel the church has been used in my life…still is in a lot of ways in my family, as well.

    That said, I know it is not perfect, nor are the men who lead the church, and I’m keeping my eyes open.

  306. Lydia wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    Check out the advertisers. For one thing, they don’t want to offend Crossway.

    Crossway is also the money behind TgC. Oh, excuse me. I meant “partner with” TgC. I want to see the contracts between Crossway and their authors. There is the appearance of collusion to suppress unfavorable information, so it would not surprise me at all if Christianity Today pretended like this never happened. Or maybe they will commit some journalism and risk upsetting some gospel-centered snowflakes.

  307. Pingback: The Red Pill and The Village Church | Echoes and Stars UNITED STATES

  308. muzjik wrote:

    Um…***gospel*** is not some magic voodoo word that has super powers. Why nothing at all about how ***God*** worked or ****Christ*** healed or ***The Spirit*** should create patience,c compassion, etc.?

    Bizarreness

    It does seem bizarre, but when you think about it, it begins to make some sense. If they keep the focus on the abstract “cross” rather than the Risen and Reigning Lord, then they can keep people in bondage. The people must keep coming back for their fix of assurance. And when they come back for their fix of assurance, they get another dose of guilt. Repeat.

    The are selling a product, gospel, and they want you to buy their product which will cure your guilt and your dandruff. I’m thinking about marketing some gospel-centered ice cream that makes people fit and fabulous.

    The only person who is gospel-centered is Jesus Christ who is the center of the Gospel. Gospel-centered is car fishies for a new generation.

  309. Gram3 wrote:

    and they want you to buy their product which will cure your guilt and your dandruff.

    …snort…almost spit my water out! lol too funny

  310. @ Tweetie Pie:

    Glad I could be of service! You heard exactly what I heard. I have no prior knowledge of JD Hall prior to this podcast or recent comments regarding TVC, but it sounds like he is really clueless about understanding boundaries.

  311. Mandy wrote:

    For those who have “not left well”…no one was/is chased, or has been to my knowledge. No bad mouthing, and no meetings about them called.
    For people who have voiced their issues for leaving, that I know of, had to do with lack of infant baptism, feeling of poor managing/response to racial tensions/social justice, desire to be more engage in a church with a more international mission focus.
    I’m sure there are more, but that is what I have been privy to.

    I can assure you with near certainty that there are things you do not know which have taken place behind the scenes with many of these people who have left. Maybe they were pressured to keep quiet or to make up some plausible excuse.

    Here’s one thing you can do. Read what Matt Redmond wrote about the Red Pill and the Blue Pill. Then, ask your elders on Sunday what they think about Acts29 and the doctrinal and practical foundations of Acts29. What they tell you and don’t tell you and the way they tell you and the way they treat you after you ask those questions will tell you a lot about your church. There is a reasons that they recommend the Usual Suspects. Not one of those reasons is that the “resources” are so uniquely amazing. Trust me. I’ve seen lots of “resources” from the Usual Suspects. They are all the same thing said in a gazillion different ways.

    Do yourself a favor and study your Bible with the online free study tools that are available. Seek the teaching of the Holy Spirit without all the mediators, and ask if what they are teaching you is true. Ask why they emphasize the things that they emphasize as essential (or which they say are secondary but are actually essential.)

    The reason that professional women get a pass is that most of these guys were put through seminary by their wives. It is necessary to come up with an exemption to allow for this necessity, so they came up with the working-outside-the-home exemption and will make a big deal about it not being a big deal. Trust me, it is a big deal but they know they can’t talk about it because people have moved beyond that way of thinking. When Complementarianism was fabricated back in the 70’s, women working outside the home was not nearly as common as it is now. Certainly women occupying executive and managerial positions was not so common. It was much easier to have a blanket ban on women having authority over males in the workplace and, more recently, in the civil government. In short, the Complementarians know that they can no longer hold that position, so they fall back and try to pretend that’s what they always taught. That is not what they always taught.

    Alternatively, they will use expressions like, “It’s not sinful, but it isn’t God’s best.” You will be fine as long as you don’t rock their boats or ask questions about the System. However, if you are the kind of person who asks questions, you will be very uncomfortable at some point. Because there are reasons beyond “resources” for your pastors being attached to Acts29 and for recommending the books of the Usual Suspects.

  312. @ LAMR:
    I’m wondering if it is time to put a certain individual into ThePodcasterWhoShallNotBeNamed category. There is way too much evidence for pointless attention-seeking behavior.

  313. Lydia wrote:

    I will just say based upon experience it rarely starts out about the money except for the Creflo Dollar types. It starts out more with a need for adulation and a stage. And of course, taht is where God wants them. ONce that is achieved, the money becomes a measuring stick of sorts. Believe me, when the money is not flowing they have clever ways to get people to pony up without them even realizing the operating budget is a problem. I have been involved with megas where it was normal to rake in between 3-5 mill on one weekend. Not a month, mind you. A weekend. Of course that was the 90’s. But still, it is not unusual for them to bring in a million on a weekend. Think of that over the course of 10 years. Churches always grow buildings, staff and events commiserate with the intake. If it starts to dry up, believe me, it is about the money.
    The reason mega’s are careful about it is because they need bottoms in the seats to create a environment. Peopleactually give more based upon a full house. So, it is very important to have lots of people coming.
    I have seen single moms put their rings in the passing plate in order to “be a part” of something great. It is sick. Sick, sick.
    Been involved with too many megas not to have seen how it works. Believe me, the money is very important even if they are clever in how they approach it.

    thanks for this post. why i get so angry is that adults defrauding adults is one thing, when it always ends up hurting children it is more than just picking pockets

  314. Gram3 wrote:

    It does seem bizarre, but when you think about it, it begins to make some sense. If they keep the focus on the abstract “cross” rather than the Risen and Reigning Lord, then they can keep people in bondage. The people must keep coming back for their fix of assurance. And when they come back for their fix of assurance, they get another dose of guilt. Repeat.

    Bingo. If people figure out that the Risen and Reigning Lord indwells in them because of the Resurrection, the gig would be up and they would lose their exalted position as the pew peon’s mediator.

  315. Gram3 wrote:

    Then, ask your elders on Sunday what they think about Acts29 and the doctrinal and practical foundations of Acts29. What they tell you and don’t tell you and the way they tell you and the way they treat you after you ask those questions will tell you a lot about your church. There is a reasons that they recommend the Usual Suspects. Not one of those reasons is that the “resources” are so uniquely amazing. Trust me. I’ve seen lots of “resources” from the Usual Suspects. They are all the same thing said in a gazillion different ways.

    So true! Ask uncomfortable but relative question then see how it shakes out over time. These are not typically confrontational people unless their image is at immediate stake. Then they are relentless.

    They usually operate in smug but covert agressive way when it comes to asking uncomfortable questions. You will be labeled but won’t know it. You don’t even know it is happening if you don’t know what to look for.

    These are not men of truth and integrity. They are little boys who have been given too much power too young and have not spent enough time in the real world trenches. Most of their time is spent managing image/perception.

  316. muzjik wrote:

    So, here is an scary interesting thing. A Q and A with Matt Chandler on Piper’s site back in February.
    “Q. If you’re willing to address this, how does the gospel help those who are dating, who have been victims of past sexual abuse?
    A. The home I grew up in was wrought with just about every type of abuse imaginable. And it does leave some marks, and it creates some baggage, not only for dating but then into the marriage that will need to be ***gospel-ed.***
    For the one that has not endured abuse, but is free from that type of baggage, the ***gospel*** should create patience, compassion, and empathy to walk alongside of the person who has bore the brunt of this abuse.
    For the one that has borne the abuse, the ***gospel*** begins to reshape our identity, it begins to reshape our hearts and wounds, and it enables us to begin to trust again, slowly, but surely.
    So when the ***gospel*** is at work, both in the one that was not abused and in the one that was, you have a person who is patient and empathetic and compassionate and a person who is being reshaped and healed by the ***gospel*** in such a way that there is an opportunity to grow into intimacy that wouldn’t have been possible outside of the ***gospel***.
    This is how the ***gospel*** has worked in my own life and in my own marriage. Lauren was able to be very empathetic and compassionate and gracious and not demanding while the ***gospel*** did its work of healing and repairing the broken parts of me.”
    Um…***gospel*** is not some magic voodoo word that has super powers. Why nothing at all about how ***God*** worked or ****Christ*** healed or ***The Spirit*** should create patience,c compassion, etc.?
    Bizarreness

    very interesting. if matt chandler was only ‘gospeled’ from the effects of childhood sexual abuse then he himself will be only full of compasion to pedos and most certainly it is something he wrestles with himself. without qualified counseling and an actual relationship with Jesus, some pple that were abused as children grow up to be abusers themselves. if he wasnt referring to sexual abuse i think with all his pride he would have quickly noted if his was only physical abuse. just my opinion

  317. Yes! There was some kind of odd need to trumpet how he serves as a watchdog, while belittling “survivor blog gals”. He spoke for almost 1 hour and 41 min! He obviously seeks attention and feels he is some kind of authority. Gram3 wrote:

    @ LAMR:
    I’m wondering if it is time to put a certain individual into ThePodcasterWhoShallNotBeNamed category. There is way too much evidence for pointless attention-seeking behavior.

  318. Gram3 wrote:

    Not one of those reasons is that the “resources” are so uniquely amazing. Trust me. I’ve seen lots of “resources” from the Usual Suspects. They are all the same thing said in a gazillion different ways.

    ‘Resources’ is a term almost as meaningless as ‘season’ any more with these folks. It’s usually prefaced by ‘valuable’, and is a pitch for money. If you listen to Christian radio broadcasts of a certain ilk (I had a grim fascination there for a while and sort of made a study of it), it really seems that it’s all about the money.

    And another thing… is there just one guy who does the ‘sidekick’ thing for every single radio preacher out there? Sure sounds like it sometimes. Sort of like there was one guy who did the voice-overs for movie trailers for decades – forget his name, but he died a few years ago.

  319. Lydia wrote:

    These are not men of truth and integrity. They are little boys who have been given too much power too young and have not spent enough time in the real world trenches. Most of their time is spent managing image/perception.

    And they will prosper just as long as people put up with their arrant nonsense. You can’t do anything about them, but you can educate people to recognize the cult signs.

    In any case, I think ‘mega’ ‘churches’ are ridiculous, and if you want to avoid these sort of personalities, a good start would be to avoid such ‘churches’.

  320. You’re welcome! When I saw how long it was, I just groaned…yet another pontificating windbag…Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    LAMR wrote:

    I actually listened to the entire 1 hour and 41 minutes of the Pulpit and Pen/JD Hall blathering. I can totally understand why some would not…

    For your perseverance, much thanks.

    For the main reason some would not, the clue is in the 1 hour and 41 minutes part…

  321. @ roebuck:
    @ roebuck:
    @ Lydia:
    @ Gram3:

    I will be doing some questioning, for sure. I am going to look into our essentials and non essentials (it has been a while) compare/contrast with Acts29.

    I do want to clarify, for fairness, it was me who asked for book recommendations, and they who said what Gram3 said, focus on the Bible and being led by the Holy Spirit.
    This is what they told me AND some of the young men around my age who were extolling these books. Though, aside from one, the pastors aren’t much older than I am.

    Books that I was recommended for other stuff, was by C.S. Lewis (already have most of them), Sourgeon, and Tozier.
    I don’t know much about the last two, admittedly.

    Also, ours is a fairly small church, not one of the Acts 29 Megas (just for clarification).
    I don’t think we have exceeded 150?
    Part of why Iike it, never was one for huge gatherings.

    I have a hard time believing the divorce thing would be a huge issue there. I mean, they say ideally marriages can be preserved, but don’t most churches?
    I asked in the past, what about in cases of abuse. Pastor told me they consider abuse a form of abandonment so personally they feel divorce is Biblical in those situations.
    I’ll have to ask about this…

    I am not saying there aren’t likely problems, or people who have been hurt.

    I am definitely warier than I was.
    I guess I am worried- if my church isn’t a good church, can I find a good one?

    I feel like this placed saved me in a lot ways. But, that’s maybe telling because I should “feel” Jesus saved me.

    Anyway- I am seeing how much I have to evaluate. Big sigh

  322. Mandy wrote:

    I will be doing some questioning, for sure. I am going to look into our essentials and non essentials (it has been a while) compare/contrast with Acts29.

    They say that the “distinctives” are not “essentials.” That is not what they mean. Check out the board members of Acts29. Check out what they say about women and the Eternal Son being a subordinate Person of the Trinity. Ask the young guys if they know that they are teaching the Arian heresy designed for this generation. Ask yourself and these guys what they see as the commonalities between Driscoll, Chandler, Mahaney and them. Ask them if they agree with Dever sheltering Mahaney behind his skirt and helping Mahaney to escape the Church Discipline that Mahaney enforced on the pewpeons. Ask them if any of this garbage looks anything like the Body of Christ. Then, ask them why they follow blind guides rather than the Holy Spirit.

    It took me a while to wake up and name and claim the coffee. And I’ve been in the conservative evangelical roundabout a long time. They do not say what they mean, and they do not mean what they say. They do not do what they demand everyone else do. Check out the book table or bookstore or library, and ask why they are promoting those people. I can almost guarantee you that the young guys do not have a clue where to go without consulting their heroes.

  323. @ BTDT:

    IMO, it’s because the “theologians” have no scriptures to spank her with over an annulment.

    Maybe annulment sounds too Catholic?

    But, what do you do when the state considers her to never have been married?

    Tell her to move back in with Jordan without a valid marriage license? Which according to their own definitions, is fornication? Oops…

  324. proudjezebel wrote:

    LT-
    The friend I have who attends TVC, I believe truly wants to communicate love to me in the discussion she attempted to start about this topic, but I don’t think she realizes how much she’s been duped, and how her words come off to an ‘outsider’.

    I hear you as I have friends who just love TVC. However, it doesn’t sound like you’re an outsider but rather an insider who got out. There’s a huge difference. True outsiders don’t understand the danger that the insider is in doctrinally, financially and emotionally. Former insiders know the bad is coming at these certain churches. It breaks our hearts in ways others can’t understand that you can’t help the insiders get out until they are ready. It’s the nature of cognitive dissonance. It’s like seeing a kid in a sandbox with something large squirming beneath the surface moving towards the child. You want to scream at them to watch out.

    Hopefully this incident will be one of a number of eye openers. People see the truth at their own pace. Being part of these megas is all about believing something other than what’s in front of you. It’s about feelings and experiences. That’s why they have love bombing, instant communities, black rooms, the awesome really loud music and the laser light shows. Add children who can’t wait to go to church and what’s not to love? Leaving is based on long term considerations which are more difficult to discern in the passion of the rockin’ worship moment and hugging and compliment fests. So we pray and wait and pray. And wait some more. And one day, your TVC friend will be ready. In the mean time I pray and wait with you PJ.

  325. Lydia wrote:

    Have you noticed there is no Holy Spirit in that movement except for the “spiritual leaders”? They must be Karen’s Holy Spirit for her. She is not capable of seeking and being guided by the Holy Spirit herself.

    Just commenting on that last night. My wife and i have been studying a lot of the stuff coming out of the Jonn MacArthur (Strange Fire) conf. TVC would definitely not align w/ JM but they almost “act” cessationist towards their members at times – but of course the “lead pastor” is in step and is able to hear the Holy Spirit clearly, and everyone else — Hebrews 13:17 obey your leaders and you’ll be fine.

  326. Good insights, LT.
    Yes, I suppose I am a former insider. Not at TVC, but at a different mega. It just seems so far removed at this point in my life, having been gone so long, and having had a very healing church as my home, in between, prior to leaving my faith entirely. The difficulty I have in particular with my TVC friend is that she is also a survivor of abuse (not at a church, like myself, but within a religious family). So it’s kind of like watching her be spiritually abused, again, and it is just so hard to see her justifications keeping her in the abusive situation, knowing that will compound her pain and trauma. Not to mention all the other aspects of this that are troubling. Wait and pray (however different my ‘pray’ may look), indeed.

  327. Wow. I was not. Currently trying to read all the comments. This is in keeping with what I noticed from JD Hall’s recent podcast. He’s just unrepentant & lacks a heart. Sick. Daisy wrote:

    LAMR wrote:

    You heard exactly what I heard. I have no prior knowledge of JD Hall prior to this podcast or recent comments regarding TVC, but it sounds like he is really clueless about understanding boundaries.

    Are you aware of this:

    JD Hall and Friends: “Theological Thuggery” and Braxton Caner’s Suicide
    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2014/08/05/jd-hall-and-friends-theological-thuggery-and-braxton-caners-suicide/

  328. LAMR wrote:

    Wow. I was not. Currently trying to read all the comments. This is in keeping with what I noticed from JD Hall’s recent podcast. He’s just unrepentant & lacks a heart. Sick. Daisy wrote:

    Are you aware of this:
    JD Hall and Friends: “Theological Thuggery” and Braxton Caner’s Suicide
    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2014/08/05/jd-hall-and-friends-theological-thuggery-and-braxton-caners-suicide/

    ^^ Yes, and bless his heart he keeps weighing in on these issues and imposing his vast expertise, and you should see him on twitter and how he regularly insults people. Yesterday he referred to abuse victims as “wild eyed” and “unhinged professional victims”. The only reason I personally give him “air time” on blogs like this is to continually let him expose himself for what he is in the hopes that people will see it and stay away from him.
    Regarding that link:
    Almost exactly a year ago, he was harassing the Caner family on social media, and asking his Pulpiteers to do the same. On twitter, I challenged JD after he harassed 15 year old Braxton Caner, and asked him to stop bullying the kid. JD blocked me rather than consider my request. A month later, Braxton committed suicide, and other than a quick momentary time of introspection and “repentance”, JD and his friends went right back to harassing the Caner family. We’re coming up to the one year anniversary of Braxton’s death, and it still haunts me.

  329. muzjik wrote:

    Because I can not work the stupid block quote thing….the second part of the above quote was not Gram3, it was andrew.

    muzjik, here’s some tips that I kept from ‘Guy Behind The Curtain’ if it’s of any help? Cheers.

    How to bold and such.
    other text text to be bolded other text
    other text text to be italicised other text

    this is how to quote a bunch of text a special way

    And here’s what you get if you actually type in the above.
    other text text to be bolded other text
    other text text to be italicised other text

    this is how to quote a bunch of text a special way

    OK. I’ve now handed you a loaded pistol. Any bets on who shoots themselves in the foot first?

    GuyBedhindtheCurtain UNITED STATES on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 05:55 PM said:

    ———-

    GuyBehindtheCurtain UNITED STATES on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 07:54 AM said:

    OK. No more HTML lessons on the blog. While in general I don’t mind, in particular someone can make a post unviewable with a typo. WordPress, the engine for this blog, tries to catch such things,at times things get through and I get to go on a hunt reading comments character by character finding the mistake. And the blog post vanishes untill I find it. And it may be a 1/2 day or so before I can even start.

    So if you want to learn, Google simple HTML, but experiment somewhere else please.

    If you want to post a link in a comment please post the raw link, not a word or phrase with the actual link buried under it. This makes it easier for everyone to see where they will be taken.

    As for how to make a < show up, Google is your friend. Just typing in < will cause it to vanish along with some or all of the rest of the comment and maybe the post as WordPress tries to figure out just how to interpret your command.

  330. @ Haitch:

    Most of my special instructions are messed up in Haitch’s quote. Which is why I don’t want people trying to give lessons here. You have to do a lot of extra work to SHOW control codes inside of a comment. Please, just ask them to visit the original comment or use Google.

  331. Gary W wrote:

    Before a pedophile could be deemed repentant beyond any reasonable possibility of recidivism, it would be necessary to remove their ability to sin. It is interesting to note that Jesus’ teaching about cutting off one’s hands and and gouging out one’s eyes, to avoid sin, immediately follows his warning about offending children. Mt 18:6-9. I will not go so far as to suggest that Jesus had pedophilia specifically in mind. Had his concern been limited to pedophilia, there is one more surgical procedure he would have mentioned.

    So well said, Gary W :)

  332. Jordan Root has been a serial pedophile and a perpetual liar for 10 years. They cannot change him in 3 months. Somewhere here Karen said that they cut him back to one meeting every two weeks with his counselor. What?????? Even Nouthetic Counseling, which I studied, will tell you that people are habitual. They learn habits, and it takes a long time to get people to stop habitual behavior. Especially addictive habitual behavior. I know they will decry “behavior modification” as opposed to “gospel transformation” but even Jay Adams, the founder of the “Biblical Counseling” movement, would say that there needs to be a long, closely monitored period (I am talking years) of close supervision and counseling and therapy. Ask Steve Gallagher, who has dealt with hundreds of sexual addicts, and he will laugh at this description that says Jordan Root is being dealt with in a manner that will result in permanent change.

    Another thing. He is a pedophile. He confessed serial pedophilia to his wife and the elders of the church. The FBI can press charges, and being good, honest, required to tell the truth Christians, the wife and elders could be called in to testify to what he confessed. They are not lawyers, and the attorney/client privilege of confidentiality does not apply. He needs to be incarcerated for a long time. If this was the world, and a man was found viewing child pornography, he would be arrested, convicted, sentenced and serving prison time. I don’t get why TVC is not abiding by the laws in the United States of America.

  333. @ Mandy:

    Just a few things to consider. In order for them to receive Acts 29 money they have to sign off they are Reformed and will teach Reformed doctrine. This is a requirement by Acts 29 most don’t hear about. I don’t know if yours is an Acts29 church plant or not or how old it is which can make a difference in how this plays out. If it was a takeover things might progress differently as they are progressing at my old church which hired a YRR. People are “uncomfortable” but they “cannot put their finger on why”. (I could tell them: Because they are to be perpetually “broken” and being perpetually broken is to be a way of life. He changed altar calls to “broken calls”. It is the same YRR bunch he brought with him every week who come forward “broken”)

    There is a period of consolidating power and winning hearts and minds before the control issues start. Maybe your guys are nicer and won’t last in the Acts 29 mold.

  334. Lydia wrote:

    There is a period of consolidating power and winning hearts and minds before the control issues start. Maybe your guys are nicer and won’t last in the Acts 29 mold.

    Yes, thank you for saying that. It is *so* true. We are not talking months, here. We are talking several years in some cases. The table must be set, first, by preaching on how they need to do things better at the church now that they are “serious.”

  335. @ Gram3:
    There is a playbook that is so ingrained most of the YRR have no idea they were being taught out of it. Quiet Revolution by Ernest Reisinger. Chp 4 lays it out. Such as, don’t tell them what you are doing. use the same language but with a different definition that you don’t explain. Such as grace or sovereignty. take it very slow because remember, they do not know the true gospel but think they do. the book was written as a guide on how to make the SBC churches all Calvinist.

    It is cult 101.

  336. Gram3 wrote:

    The are selling a product, gospel, and they want you to buy their product which will cure your guilt and your dandruff.

    Don’t forget Erectile Dysfunction(TM) and Natural Male Enhancement(TM).

  337. lydia wrote:

    @ Gram3:
    There is a playbook that is so ingrained most of the YRR have no idea they were being taught out of it. Quiet Revolution by Ernest Reisinger. Chp 4 lays it out. Such as, don’t tell them what you are doing. use the same language but with a different definition that you don’t explain. Such as grace or sovereignty. take it very slow because remember, they do not know the true gospel but think they do. the book was written as a guide on how to make the SBC churches all Calvinist.

    It is cult 101.

    It’s also the same kind of “Salami Tactics” Comrade Stalin used to take over Eastern Europe after WW2.

    Coupled with the “Coup from Within” after the German elections of 1932.

  338. Gram3 wrote:

    The table must be set, first, by preaching on how they need to do things better at the church now that they are “serious.”

    Didn’t Screwtape write to Wormwood that the best path to “Our Father Below” is the slow and gradual one, with NO markers on the path to give away its destination, just One More Little Tiny Thing after another?

  339. Daisy wrote:

    Because when church girls or women are molested or attacked, the churches will sometimes blame them (the ladies) for it, claim they (the ladies) played a role in their own abuse, because of how they were dressed, or whatever.
    Is that the response these churches give if the victim is a male?

    Or does that wave the Bright Red Murder Flag of HOMOSEXUALITY!!!!!!(TM)?

  340. Lydia wrote:

    The reason mega’s are careful about it is because they need bottoms in the seats to create a environment. Peopleactually give more based upon a full house. So, it is very important to have lots of people coming.

    Butts in seats.
    Just like all those Angles and gimmicks cataloged at Wrestlecrap.com.

  341. Ben Denison wrote:

    This makes the question to TVC even more pointed: Why did you think discipline was appropriate for Karen for filing for annulment without asking you first, and not Jordan who with your knowledge (and likely with your counsel) became a party to the annulment by signing it?

    Because Jordan was MALE (“Penetrate! Colonize! Conquer! Plant!”) and Karen was FEMALE (and didn’t Lie Back and Accept).

  342. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:

    The are selling a product, gospel, and they want you to buy their product which will cure your guilt and your dandruff.

    Don’t forget Erectile Dysfunction(TM) and Natural Male Enhancement(TM).

    Not to forget ingrown toenails, the common cold and disagreement from leadership.

  343. Well I made a post to FB.
    I was surprised by the responses of some but…sigh.
    I was asked to help develop a plan for reporting in the event our church is confronted with this.
    I guess I may be more familiar with the channels to report as a mandated reporter than they are.

  344. And also protections to put in place.
    Haven’t gotten around to talking the covenants and over steps of power in real depth but that’s on the docket as well.

  345. Lydia wrote:

    Just a few things to consider. In order for them to receive Acts 29 money they have to sign off they are Reformed and will teach Reformed doctrine. This is a requirement by Acts 29 most don’t hear about.

    Yes, this is a pretty important aspect of Acts 29. Doctrinally, there is virtually no wiggle room. My “alarms” started to really go off in earnest when our pastor started preaching a sermon series on “What Christians Believe” and really it was just Reformed doctrine. Several people began to complain, and the response was, basically, our church is Reformed. Acts 29 is Reformed. We’re sorry if that makes you uncomfortable, we won’t change it.

    There was even some awkward talk about whether one had to be Reformed to be a member. Our family left before that was resolved so I don’t know how that situation ended.

    People are “uncomfortable” but they “cannot put their finger on why”…
    There is a period of consolidating power and winning hearts and minds before the control issues start. Maybe your guys are nicer and won’t last in the Acts 29 mold.

    Agreed. I served in an Acts 29 church plant for 3 years. It took about 1.5 years before we began to feel “uncomfortable” about certain things, and that progressed slowly until at the 3 year mark all heck broke loose and convinced us to abandon ship.

    In my view, it’s all about the pastor in Acts 29. Meaning, whether or a not a church becomes a disaster is completely dependent on whether or not the pastor/elders are mature or immature. There is no real accountability, and there are no checks and balances. If you get a mature, healthy pastor, good for you – really. But woe to the people who get an immature, dysfunctional pastor.

    I think one of the reasons why Acts 29 has such a reputation for trouble is that its whole culture (Driscoll, Mars Hill) was predicated on attracting young, immature, arrogant guys and putting them in leadership positions with little-to-no formal training.

  346. @ Mr.H:
    @ lydia:

    Well, like I said he is a fairly young guy. But, more open to the questions I’ve had than anywheremelsemi had been.
    Well, I had an older pastor I could have asked, but he retired prior to my existential crisis/faith crisis so the one I was left with….well I’ll leave that one alone.
    So he was really helpful in that.

    He didn’t go directly into this, either. He got a standard 4-year degree at a private university, assistant led the on campus intervarsity with our now worship leader.
    Heneventuallymtook an internship/youth pastorate with a church forms few years.
    Then he felt called to be a missionary (turned church planter) in our city. The area is not what I would call inner city, but a mix of many races, nationalities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. A somewhat de-churched area.
    Anyway, following this, he took an internship/residency at a traditional Baptist church, non-acts 29 affiliated for a number of years.
    In this time they raised money for the church, and a core team was trained.
    Sometime in there, not sure if it was a church member or staff member as I can’t remember, wanted him to go to seminary, or get a degree in religion/leadership, and paid for him to do so.
    So he got a masters in Christian leadership to serve as a missionary in this city.
    They were sent out, and planted. We met in another church’s annex for 2-3 years, and as we grew, and needed a larger space, we ended up being able to rent an old church that had been vacant for a while.
    So that’s our current place, where we have been for about three, I guess almost four years. We are in the process of purchasing the building now.
    Previously, all staff salary was from raising money as a missionary would, and they worked like at Walmart of some such.
    NOW he is employed as a missionary/church planter by NAMB, and has gone to a lot of trainings, etc, and we are still affiliated with the church he had his internship with.

    So he has been through a long process of training, communicates regularly with this sending church, other pastors, including his father in law…so he has several pastors he is close to that are varying degrees of older and experienced.

    So I haven’t got the sense that he is arrogant or a know it all.

    The things that have been problematic in the past, that I have seen, more seem to be, he asks for input/advice with the intention of doing something, and it sometimes just doesn’t get done. Like the aforementioned thing with response to racial tensions and social justice.
    He said he felt really lost with no idea what to do (so not a whole lot was done), so he joined the network, but he and the other pastors seem to really be trying to figure it out, however slowly.

    I am not sure…you’re all more objective than I am in this situation, do you feel that’s enough experience to begin leading a church?

  347. Mr.H wrote:

    think one of the reasons why Acts 29 has such a reputation for trouble is that its whole culture (Driscoll, Mars Hill) was predicated on attracting young, immature, arrogant guys and putting them in leadership positions with little-to-no formal training.

    Yes.

  348. @ Mandy:

    Mandy, I have no idea. I am sure he knew that in order to take the Acts 29 resources and NAMB money, they had to sign off on being Reformed. It could depend on how much of the Acts 29 gurus and resources he is imbibing. They become like who they are listening to and reading.

    A great youth pastor I know who graduated from SBTS, left about 4 years ago to plant an Acts 29 church in a city in Ga that has a church on every corner. He came back in town about a year ago and he looks like he has aged 20 years. I honestly think he was too nice of a guy for that movement and it looks like it is killing him. I hope he connects the dots.

  349. Pingback: Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, and The Village Church Scandal | Divorce Minister

  350. lydia wrote:

    There is a playbook that is so ingrained most of the YRR have no idea they were being taught out of it. Quiet Revolution by Ernest Reisinger.

    Yes, that is the Founders playbook. Dever and Mohler and Nettles are big on the Founders ideology. They are very quiet about what they are doing, but this is definitely the strategy for colonizing and “replanting” an existing church. Step by step. They are very patient that way.

  351. Mandy wrote:
    I am not sure…you’re all more objective than I am in this situation, do you feel that’s enough experience to begin leading a church?

    It’s hard to say. It certainly seems like he has experience, which can be a positive thing. Especially when it is fairly broad experience, and not just limited to Acts 29. At the same time, Matt Chandler has experience, and so did CJ Mahaney.

    You mention that he got a Master’s, which is a good step as well. Certainly more than many Acts 29 pastors get. Depending on the seminary – and the quality of mentoring and scholarship there – it could certainly help.

    Bottom line, though, is it’s about character, and none of those things mentioned above prove anything about character. They seem like good signs, for sure, but they’re not a sure defense against dysfunction.

    For example: at my old Acts 29 church, the lead pastor was young, uneducated, and inexperienced. However, two of his elders, while young, were very educated. Another elder, also young, had graduated a very well-known seminary. All of these elders fully supported and even participated in the dysfunction at our church.

    If I were to give you any advice, I’d simply say this: if you have concerns, simply go to your pastor and ask him about them. You’ll find out a number of things:

    (a) The way he responds will tell you a lot about who he is as a pastor: is he defensive? Angry? Or kind and understanding? Is he direct and open, or evasive and vague?

    (b) Ask him specifically about the situation in question and ask what he thinks about it. Ask him if he thinks that could happen at your current church, and why or why not.

  352. What if they are trying to hush this up and cover their backsides in case he molested any children in their church or associated with their church? Are their other child molesters in leadership or their church? What does this lawyer (where he is staying) specialize in? Seems to me their was another minister a year or two ago that kept his lawyer busy keeping his sins hush hush

  353. Hi All. Just found this post. Very frightening stuff. I was raised Anglican (Episcopal in the States, I think) and never heard of covenants. My wife was raised Pentecostal and the covenant idea is foreign to her as well. I no longer attend church but the last one I did initiated a covenant. It sounded too legal so we didn’t sign. Maybe it’s in another post but I notice the word “police” is never mentioned. Has nobody reported this man’s confessed actions to the authorities. In many jurisdictions, where children are concerned, alleged abuse must be reported by law. I believe those laws (at least where I live) extend to crimes committed overseas as well. Thanks for sharing this story.

  354. Pingback: An Open Letter to my Former Senior Pastor Rod Stafford (Fairfax Community Church) | Wondering Eagle UNITED STATES