A TWW Tutorial Analyzing The Village Church Elders Apology to Karen Hinkley and Others

The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings link

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Words have meanings. One of things we constantly harp on here at TWW is that a word, like *biblical,* is front loaded with presuppositions. So, when a guy like Ken Ham says that 6 Day creationism is biblical, he means that any other point of view is not biblical. Recently, someone told me that her pastor said that that people who divorce their spouses for adultery could not remarry. I asked her where he got that notion. She said "The Word of God, of course!" I asked her why other conservative pastors would disagree with her pastor when they know "the Word of God"  as well. She obviously had not thought that through. She had been trained to accept everything that proceeds from the mouth of her current pastor.

Years ago, my daughter received a warning note which checked off the category "disobedient." When I queried about the incident, I learned that she had been asked by a teacher to help her carry something to another room. She had not finished putting her books away but the teacher needed help right away. The class bell rang. As she ran to to get her books, she was given a pink slip for her disobedience. I spoke with her teacher who said that there wasn't another category that "fit" her infraction so she chose one. Deliberate disobedience is a far cry from a bit of disorganization in order to help another teacher. 

I am not here to judge the motives of Matt Chandler and The Village Church elders. Only God know their hearts in this matter. However,  we can look at their words and try to understand what they mean. I believe that TVC *apologized.* But the question everyone should try to determine is what actions were covered by the apology.

We have done a number of tutorials. One of my favorites was a Tutorial for Naive Christians on Magic-Its Just an Illusion.  Recently, we posted A Tutorial: How to Assess the Membership Contract at Fort Worth’s CityView Church  This is particularly relevant since it is a plant of The Village Church.

We call these preemptive posts. Our goal is to help out people who are trying to decide whether or not to join or to leave a church. I am going to post the apology and number the paragraphs (Thanks for the suggestion Bard Sargent). Before you read my analysis, I want you to look at it and see what you can find. I can assure that my analysis will not be complete and that many of you will find different  and even better items to discuss. 

Here are things to consider

  • What are they apologizing for?
  • To whom are they apologizing?
  • Is this just about Karen Hinkley?
  • What do they say about Karen Hinkley's actions
  • What are they planning to change in the future?
  • What didn't they discuss?

Also, you will be helping the TVC elders to see how their statement is being perceived.


TVC Apology

Covenant Members of The Village Church,

(1) We recently sent you an email regarding Covenant Members Jordan Root and Karen Hinkley that explained a tragic and heartbreaking situation, including a review of how we got to that point and where things currently stood. Since that time, we have soberly and prayerfully reflected on all the details of this situation, along with others in our past. We have also received feedback from people both inside and outside The Village, which has helped us evaluate ourselves.

(2) Sometimes dark and difficult situations cause us to take a magnifying glass and look through the lens to see deeper than we normally can. That has absolutely been the case in this situation, and we wanted to let you know where we are with everything, specifically some areas we are still evaluating and some areas where we have clearly failed and need to repent.

(3) When it comes to protecting children, we believe we have strong procedures in place and feel confident in how we’ve handled allegations and confessions regarding child abuse in any form, specifically in the situation with Jordan Root. In examining ourselves in this area, we have been affirmed in the policies and processes we have in place to protect children. That said, in the weeks ahead, we will do an external audit to confirm we are doing everything possible to protect children and to evaluate how we handle child safety, abusers, abuse victims and other related matters in a biblical and legal manner.

(4) Regarding Covenant Membership, we have not changed our theological or philosophical convictions on our Membership Covenant, member care and church discipline. These are beliefs rooted in Scripture, and we strongly believe they are necessary for our health and faithfulness as a church. However, in looking closely at the way we have handled some situations, we realize that there are clear and specific instances where we have let our membership practices blind us to the person in front of us, in turn leading us to respond in a way that doesn’t reflect our desire to be loving and caring to our members. In these situations, there have been cases where we have clearly not communicated the gentleness, compassion and patience that we are called to as elders of the church.

(5) We are deeply sorry for failing you in this way and are taking steps to follow up with the individuals we believe we have hurt so that we can apologize specifically and directly to them. We are also in the process of creating a new care and church discipline plan and hope to have it approved and in practice very soon. Regardless of all that we’re trying to do to improve in this area, though, the most important point is that we recognize that we must never allow our processes and procedures to take precedence over people, specifically those we are called to love, care, protect and sacrifice for as elders of the church. In everything our actions and tone must reflect the gentleness (Gal. 6:1) and humility (1 Peter 5:1-3) to which Scripture calls us. As James 2:13 says, mercy should triumph over judgment.

(6) In receiving more information and considering the way we’ve ministered to Karen specifically, we believe that we owe her an apology. Specifically, as it pertains to her desire for an annulment, we know that it would have served her better to have a clearer understanding from us as to what we do and do not consider biblical grounds for divorce or what we understand the Scriptures to define as divorce. In hindsight, we wish that we would have provided clarity to Karen in an immediate fashion and are saddened by our unpreparedness.

(7) Though the deep theological convictions that informed our initial response haven’t changed, this is a situation where we unfortunately allowed our practice to unnecessarily lead us rather than us leading our practice with patience, gentleness and compassion. We did not lead Karen and the church to a place conducive to peace, repentance and healing. Please know that we are reaching out to Karen and giving her this apology, and we have also made the decision to move forward in releasing her from membership. We will continue to support her financially through August as we committed, and our hope and prayer for her is that God would guide her to another gospel-believing church, where she can find healing and restoration.

(8) In receiving this email and hearing how we have and are responding to this situation, we understand that you may be wondering why this type of change in heart has happened now. Is it because of the media stories? If so, why have we let these stories make such an impact? The answer is basically what we began this email with: Sometimes it takes a difficult, unique and trying situation to help us realize our mistakes and move us to change. Naturally, these situations also bring more feedback to the table, and we have sought to humbly hear that feedback, be willing to see the log in our own eye and repent where necessary.

(9) Given the nature of the situation with Jordan and Karen, we also want you to be prepared for the potential of many media stories about our church to be published over the next several days. We are aware of this likely outcome and will not address members or former members specifically in any communication since we do not release this information to the public. This weekend, Matt will speak generally about member care and church discipline because the conclusion of our James series is providentially focused on this topic, but he will not speak directly to the situation at hand.

(10) In all of this, we are deeply grieved by the way this situation has brought reproach to the name of Jesus. Our hearts are heavy and broken over the things that have been said about our good and faithful God. We often talk about the “ongoing ethics of confession and repentance,” and as your elders, we know that we are not exempt from these ethics. In every way that we’ve mishandled this situation, along with others in the past, we repent and ask for forgiveness. As a church, we talk regularly about the power of the gospel to forgive all our sins, past, present and future. In this moment, we are clinging to that truth, knowing that we and everyone else involved in this situation desperately need the grace and mercy of Jesus.

– The Village Church Elders

Some thinking music

Dee's thoughts

Remember, I really want to hear from you. Some of you have already made some stellar observations. Please state the paragraph number to help us follow along. 

Paragraph 1

Do they stand by the email that they sent? Would they still have sent it retrospect?
They mention "all the others" in their past. How many were there? How badly were they hurt by the church? Why were there so many others? 
Why did it take them until Karen's situation to hit the fan before they reflected on "all the others?"

Paragraph 2

They claim that "dark and difficult situations" made them think about this apology. What do they mean by dark and difficult? Why did it take this story to spread on the Internet before they addressed it? Was that the dark and difficult situations? 

Paragraph 3

They said they "feel confident in how we’ve handled allegations and confessions regarding child abuse in any form, specifically in the situation with Jordan Root."

Why then does SNAP and other experts who advocate for strict control measures for pedophiles/child sex abuse voyeurs see it differently? Which confession of Jordan's are they satisfied with? He made lots of confessions to Karen over the years. My guess is that he has not yet made a full confession.

Why then do they feel so confidant? If they were to learn that he still hasn't told the full truth, would they lose their confidence? Are they sure that he doesn't have a new computer? Did they tell his home group about his proclivities right when he started attending after his return?

Paragraph 4

I am personally quite grateful that they state that they are standing by their membership covenant because it clearly brings closure to our arguments about the numerous abusive possibilities of such agreements. We are developing a resource page outlining the problems with church discipline and church covenants, particularly their ill-defined crime and punishment guidelines. This situation will stand as our final and closing argument as to why TWW does not recommend signing these things.

If appears they are saying that, as they tried to prevent Karen from leaving their "care," they merely wish that they had been a little nicer.

Once again, they mention *cases.* It sounds like they have a problem in this area. It is worrisome enough for me to advise people to be cautious in attending TVC or other churches in the Acts 29 alliance which follow the guidelines of the flagship.

Paragraph 5

They say that "We are deeply sorry for failing you in this way." They need to be more specific. Do they mean a kinder, gentler atmosphere or something else? They are redoing their care and discipline plan. What do they mean by *care?* Is this a euphemism to point our concerns like the lady who said "Go hush" to her husband? (See stories from TVC at Watchkeep.)

I would highly recommend that current members view the new church plan and consider whether or not they should sign it. You may have an out at this point. Also, see if they spell out whether or not you can leave the church if they retroactively discipline you. This is what they tried with Karen .And don't forget that they can discipline you if they hear you say "Go hush" to your hubby. Are you really prepared for all the sins they could come up with?

Paragraph 6

This paragraph appears to conflate annulment and divorce. Karen did not divorce. She was defrauded and did not have a valid marriage. We are looking forward to reading any references on annulments that they come up with from the Bible. It appears that they are frustrated that they were unprepared to deal with a smart woman who understood the law as it relates to fraud in marriage. Could they be planning to apply stricter new rules on annulments and divorce?

Paragraph 7

For me, this is the most troubling statement in the entire document. "Though the deep theological convictions that informed our initial response haven’t changed." Does this mean that they would have disciplined Karen and continued to believe Jordan Root's "walking in repentance?" However, they would do it the next time with a smile and a cup of tea.

They said "We did not lead Karen and the church to a place conducive to peace, repentance and healing." I guess they still believe that she needs to repent! For what? Not staying married to a child sex abuse voyeur? 

"Please know that we are reaching out to Karen and giving her this apology, and we have also made the decision to move forward in releasing her from membership." Karen left their church in February but they are releasing her now? Let this be a lesson to everyone. It appears that they still believe they are the only ones who can release a person from membership. Remember this when they ask you to sign the new and approved membership contract.

"We will continue to support her financially through August as we committed, and our hope and prayer for her is that God would guide her to another gospel-believing church, where she can find healing and restoration." They should let people know that the church supplied less than 10% of Karen's support. She has all the money she needs so TVC money will go into SIM's general fund.

I do not know what they mean by the word "restoration?" Restored to what? One thing is for sure. Karen will never sign another membership covenant. Well played, TVC.

Paragraph 8

At least they are admitting it. " In receiving this email and hearing how we have and are responding to this situation, we understand that you may be wondering why this type of change in heart has happened now. Is it because of the media stories? If so, why have we let these stories make such an impact?"

Can I tell you why I feel so sad. There are *others* who may have been abused in the same manner but they couldn't rally the troops. Yes, the squeeky wheel with access to the blogs gets the oil.

Let me say this to all of you who hve been hurt by this or other churches. There are a few blogs out here, TWW, Watchkeep, Spiritual Sounding Board and others who would be happy to advocate for you by telling your story. Please contact any of us. We guarantee confidentiality.

Paragraph 9

Matt Chandler will not speak to the specific issue at hand on Sunday. I know this may sound harsh, but I am guessing the lawyers are concerned about liability in this situation. Also, *Pastor* Chandler who vowed that TVC leaders love Karen never once wrote her or called her. That call could have nipped this all in the bud. Is he a "pastor" or a protected talking head? Is there a real pastor in the TVC house?

Paragraph 10 

They said  "Our hearts are heavy and broken over the things that have been said about our good and faithful God." I know this may come as quite a surprise, but most people are more concerned about how TVC leaders, not God, hurt Karen and others. Most Christians know that men are sinful and in need of grace. The question is, "Were they listening to God?

"In every way that we’ve mishandled this situation, along with others in the past, we repent and ask for forgiveness." After reading this entire missive, I think the only things that they are apologizing for is not being nice and not spelling out annulment in the membership covenant.

Predictions

  • TVC will create a more airtight membership contract.
  • They will add a clause for binding arbitration which his enforceable if signed.
  • They will say that divorce/annulment is rarely, if ever, permitted at TVC.
  • They will not define what they will "discipline." This allows them to discipline whatever their pet sin du jour is.
  • There is a high liklihood that Jordan Root will disappoint them. Keep an eye on that guy.

Now, its your turn.

Comments

A TWW Tutorial Analyzing The Village Church Elders Apology to Karen Hinkley and Others — 684 Comments

  1. Michaela wrote:

    that all of this legalism is actually preventing people from maturing in the faith. So true.

    So very, very true. As has been said many times before on this forum… no wonder there are so many nones and dones. Not enough that these people ruin individual members’ lives… they are doing incalculable damage to the Church.

  2. Michaela wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    Michaela wrote:
    And much smaller churches have bought in to the same sick, abusive, and destructive doctrines that Matt Chandler & Company have: membership covenants, pastors/elders authoritarian control over members, punishment of dissenters, women-as-idiots and second-class citizens, etc.
    I was an elder at a two churches, one 70-ish members, on 40-ish members, and both of them were al about most of the things you cite.
    Sad and bad, all of it. Someone posted the other day – Gram3 or you? – that all of this legalism is actually preventing people from maturing in the faith. So true.

    Perhaps the reason is because the leaders either do not share in the faith or are so immature in the faith that they are what most would refer to as “babes in Christ”, and a great fear for them is that one of the congregation–the plebes–would mature beyond them. Whether intentional or by accident, they act so as to keep everyone in darkness greater than them.

    This reminds me of what Jesus said when upbraiding the pharisees, He told them they search about looking for a disciple, and in the end make them twice the sons of hell that they are.

  3. Have you listen to the message online? If you’re really interested in the full story from Chandler’s own mouth do yourself a favor and listen to what he has to say. You won’t die trust me. @ Gram3:

  4. Flicker wrote:

    The very fact that they intentionally went out of their way not only to withhold further funding, but to insure that she couldn’t work with SIM even without their financial support (despite SIM’s initial willingness) shows pure spiteful malice.

    Very important point. Did Chandler or any of the other ELDERS apologize for that? Right now I’m still saying damage control because there is no repentance for either their ideology or the damage that it causes or for their attempt to freeze her out of any life outside The Village. Chandler looks like he’s trying to save a lifestyle,

  5. XianJaneway wrote:

    This is true–I had no idea what “agency” was until I left the complementarian movement.

    Of course you didn’t. They don’t want women to know that they are fully human, including personal agency. They are so fearful of keeping their wives that they have to bind them with fabricated doctrines. It is really quite pathetic when you think about it. A strong and confident man attracts a strong and confident woman. They don’t have the personal strength to deal with that, and it makes them afraid.

  6. Lydia wrote:

    good-old boys club heavy handed actions against those who rebelled against their intrusive authoritative stances, would they have ever said or seen anything?

    Is this even a question for anyone? How many days elapsed between the slanderous discipline email and the non-apology apology and today? What happened in the interim to change the minds of Chandler and the ELDERS?

  7. roebuck wrote:

    they are doing incalculable damage to the Church.

    How many thinking people will never even consider any church for fear that this is what the Christian faith is? How many thinking people in churches will look at this and say, “This is not Jesus and this is not me.”

  8. Gram3 wrote:

    roebuck wrote:
    they are doing incalculable damage to the Church.
    How many thinking people will never even consider any church for fear that this is what the Christian faith is? How many thinking people in churches will look at this and say, “This is not Jesus and this is not me.”

    These are the questions I ask myself every day…

  9. To the Dogs wrote:

    Finally, there are the tiny fraction of people who committed CSA crimes who are convicted of CSA crimes. I am regularly surprised by convicted sex offenders who serve no jail time or very little jail time, though I have not followed which of these were CSA-convicted offenders.

    my daughter asked me why i was blowing up my facebook page with links to this Karen Hinkley story and said ‘churches never get it’.
    then she said that when she was a jr in high school (8yrs ago) her teacher did a talk about d/v and child abuse and asked the class to write an essay on what they thought about it. my daughter said that every single female exept one wrote their essay detailing how they were physically or sexually abused growing up.
    she said she didnt read all my links but she sure hoped that churches would.

  10. Jack wrote:

    Have you listen to the message online? If you’re really interested in the full story from Chandler’s own mouth do yourself a favor and listen to what he has to say. You won’t die trust me. @ Gram3:

    I don’t think you want to start that conversation with me, son. I’m not impressed by bluster or posturing or dudebros. I do appreciate strong and intelligent and mature men. Haven’t seen much of that lately coming out of The Village. I don’t need a lesson in teary faux apologies. You don’t remember Swaggart and Baker and how many others. I do. Not impressed until they repent of their false teaching and their malice (thank you, Flicker) against Karen.

    Maybe when that happens you will post a link for us.

  11. sam wrote:

    but she sure hoped that churches would.

    Against my better judgment, I visited the SBC Voices page. Oh my. They truly are living on another planet, including men who are way old enough to know better. So, right now they are still defending The Narrative that the ELDERS were correct in sheltering Jordan and also bullying Karen. Just like Jesus who coerced women to keep following him. He didn’t even care if his acceptance of women turned some men away. That is nothing like what we see from these faux men.

  12. Gram3 wrote:

    I’m waiting for real repentance in the form of removing the oppression of the covenant and recanting the oppressive gender dogma.

    To do that they would have to tear into some of their basic theological ideas, and no way are they going to do that. Christy’s article was a good analysis of this. They are not going to step back from predestination as they see it, and they are not going to step back from male dominance as they see it, and unless they do nothing will change. But since they won’t, then nothing will change I am thinking.

    But the thing is, without predestination and without male domination theology, look how many people who now can feel really good about themselves would have to quit feeling so special about themselves. Would they write the checks to a church that did not feed that idea of specialness? Well, they are not currently writing checks to some church that fails to make them feel special–they are buying that feeling of specialness- actions speak louder than words.

    Chandler et al know where the butter is on the bread. They are not going to change anything.

  13. @ Nancy:

    I should add that it is easy to look at success (defined and people and money) and think that all success comes from God and therefore God must be pleased with what I am doing, and therefore pleased with me, and all this must somehow be right because look how ‘God has blessed us’ and this may be a trap they have fallen into. The leadership especially.

  14. Couldn’t disagree with the writer of this piece more. I was there myself and heard every word I can think for myself. Chandler did an awesome job in owning every mistake. @ Daisy:

  15. LT wrote:

    The infamous Ergun Caner was the conference’s guest speaker. That leads to issue #2, which is WHERE are the parents on all this?

    a divorced woman that volunteers at the same shelter i do has a 17yr old daughter who is ‘youth group surfing’ and from that parents view its as hard as keeping em off crack, hehe. seriously though, the youth here go to the most popular coolest loudest church groups they can find, when they get bored there they go to another. how do you tell your 17yr old daughter who has her own car to not go to church? sounds really bizarre when i read what i just wrote!
    this does bring up the lack of scripturaly based youth groups led by men and women of integrity though. kids that are nones or dones are at a real risk in the world. Experience has shown me that they are searching and they do attend churches that dont have all the flash and show, they do want to live Godly lives, they do want to know about Jesus, its just hard for them to find churches that arent using them or teaching unscriptural things about submission.

  16. Did you listen to the message online yourself or are you using others to think for you?
    Gram3 wrote:

    Jack wrote:
    Have you listen to the message online? If you’re really interested in the full story from Chandler’s own mouth do yourself a favor and listen to what he has to say. You won’t die trust me. @ Gram3:
    I don’t think you want to start that conversation with me, son. I’m not impressed by bluster or posturing or dudebros. I do appreciate strong and intelligent and mature men. Haven’t seen much of that lately coming out of The Village. I don’t need a lesson in teary faux apologies. You don’t remember Swaggart and Baker and how many others. I do. Not impressed until they repent of their false teaching and their malice (thank you, Flicker) against Karen.
    Maybe when that happens you will post a link for us.

  17. @ Jack:
    Are you the same Jack to whom I just responded at http://christythomas.com/2015/05/31/matt-chandlers-apology-a-lot-of-money-resides-on-this/? Let me repeat the substance of my remarks there:

    One thing about those who abuse (yes, I include Karen Hinley’s persecutors) is that they are accomplished gatherers of allies, allies who are all too willing to support the abuser, and attempt to accuse, silence, marginalize and generally discredit the victim and those who would come to the aid of the victim. Jack, assuming you are not being paid, you are being used. IMO.

  18. @ Nancy:
    That is exactly the trap. ‘God is blessing our efforts or we would not be so successful’. I heard it all the time.

    it is faulty thinking. I would have to believe God is blessing the effort of George Soros or Credlo Dollar. and I would have to believe God is cursing a poor Christian.

    there is a whole industry around giving God credit or blaming God.

  19. @beakerj
    I usually dont, i have discussed it before and it always snowballs into a discussion about gay rights, which it has nothing to do with, or gay issues, which again it is different from.
    I post about it sometimes though, so that people would be thinking about issues such as the village church’s abominable treatment of Karen Hinkley as it looks to others also. and that people will consider how churches treat others that stand up for injustices too. The TVC issue has shown, i believe, a pattern of dominance and authority that isnt just directed at people that want to divorce child predators. I suspect that the same heavy hand and insistence to remain married has been used against domestic violence victims in that church, as well as people like me, and actually possibly against anyone that doesnt follow their directives totally. watchkeep has a blog where some other people that have been spiritually abused by TVC are beginning to feel safe enough to post, i am hoping more come forward.

  20. Gram3 wrote:

    I don’t need a lesson in teary faux apologies.

    Partly for Jack’s benefit, just in case he doesn’t bother to read it on the other blog where it is posted, please permit me repeat myself regarding M. “Narcissistic Zero” Chandler’s oh so moving speech:

    Be very, very cautious. Do not be naive. The record before us is one of abusive behavior toward Karen Hinkley. While he may not have confessed to actual abuse, Chandler’s own testimony is to the effect that others have been treated in the same manner [as] Ms. Hinkley.

    Those who are familiar with domestic abuse report that abusers are masters of the strategic apology–apologies often delivered with tears, demonstrations of great contrition, and assurances to reform. Trouble is, the apologies are driven by a desire to retain power and control over the wife (sometimes husband) they feel they are entitled to treat like their own personal property. These apologies tend to be followed by a period of peace (the honeymoon period), then by a buildup of renewed tension, then finally by additional incidents of abuse.

    Clearly Chandler and his lieutenants deem themselves to be ENTITLED to exercise power and control over their congregants. Their arrogation of authority and power is built into the very fabric of their theology–to the point, as [Christy Thomas] report[s], of having authority to pronounce damnation on those who do not submit to their wills. Plus there is the theological bit about the subordination of women to men.

    Why should we think that the apologies of the ecclesiastical abusers are any more sincere and meaningful than the faux apologies of men who abuse their wives and children?

  21. Saw Chandler’s video. Very slick, wants those hurt by TVC to come forward so TVC can hear, own it, and learn from it. BUT, according to Chandler, it’s all a problem of process NOT of doctrine. Well, with a doctrine that relegates women to the same status as children, and appoints itself as overseer of a member’s entire life, I don’t expect much to come of it.

    Will they admit it was horribly wrong and sinful of them to interfere in Karen’s decision to seek an annulment? Will they admit they were horribly sinful and wrong when they blackmailed SIM into denying Karen a new post? Will they formally retract that blackmail, advocate for a posting for Karen, and continue to partner with SIM? Will they admit to their specific sins against other persons in their care? What specifically will they do to make amends to these people and what specifically will they do different so these abuses don’t happen again.

    Lots of fine words from TVC, I think people need to wait for some real action on their part before handing out any accolades.

  22. JeffT wrote:

    Saw Chandler’s video. Very slick, wants those hurt by TVC to come forward so TVC can hear, own it, and learn from it.

    We shall see. I think it entirely likely they would be just as happy if nobody come forward. They actually only want the PR benefit of having extended the invitation. Plus, if nobody comes forward they can make the claim that it must not have been that big a deal after all, and they wouldn’t have any messiness to have to deal with.

  23. Jack wrote:

    Did you listen to the message online yourself or are you using others to think for you?

    Jack – You have been trained well, son. You treat women just as you have been programmed to treat them. How insulting: “Using others to think for you.” Indeed, how blind and benighted to say such a thing to one who has proven herself a thoughtful woman who can very much think for herself, coming from you, one who specializes in using others to think for you.

    You owe Gram3 an apology. You are a full bleeding idiot if you do not offer it.

  24. I looked at some of the comments on the Daily Beast article, and lots of people are saying, “see, this is why I don’t go to church/believe in God!” I would think this would be motivation to stop doing this kind of crap in churches, but apparently it’s not.
    Btw, “Jack” is parroting some of the exact same lines a TVC friend of mine is. I’m really starting to think there is a script. Or these are just really well-trained sheep.
    Side note- would love to see someone more well-versed in theology and other pertinent subjects, dissecting the membership covenant.

  25. Law Prof wrote:

    Jack wrote:

    Did you listen to the message online yourself or are you using others to think for you?

    Jack – You have been trained well, son. You treat women just as you have been programmed to treat them. How insulting: “Using others to think for you.” Indeed, how blind and benighted to say such a thing to one who has proven herself a thoughtful woman who can very much think for herself, coming from you, one who specializes in using others to think for you.

    You owe Gram3 an apology. You are a full bleeding idiot if you do not offer it.

    Jack, I agree. You owe Gram3 an apology.

    Matt Chandler & Company ONLY apologized because of the tremendous outside pressure that had been put on them for their despicable treatment of Karen.

  26. And a comment on TVC’s, and similar ‘churches’ that create a Maoist ‘Christianity’, blatent perversion of Matthew 18:15-17.

    ‘If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax-collector.

    This passage deals ONLY with disputes between individual members, not between an individual and the church. Second, the church only acts as mediator or arbitrator between the two individuals, if the perpetrator chooses not to listen to the church, then the ONLY consequence is that the aggrieved party is to treat the perpetrator as a Gentile or tax collector – the church has no role at all in disciplining anyone.

  27. Our “Jack” buddy has commented on Watchkeep’s FB post, sharing that article from Christy Thomas. I’m kind of done responding to this kind of stuff today, but thought I’d mention it in case any one else wants to go for it. Apparently Karen just has a “huge bitter chip on her shoulder.”

  28. Jack wrote:

    Did you listen to the message online yourself or are you using others to think for you?

    Of course other people have to think for me! I’m a female! Who thinks for you? Why would I waste my time to listen to a PR spiel? I already know how to write them.

  29. Nancy wrote:

    Chandler et al know where the butter is on the bread. They are not going to change anything.

    Exactly. They are selling self-worth and feeding the vanity of young men in particular. These young men worship other men rather than God.

  30. Gary W wrote:

    Jack, assuming you are not being paid, you are being used. IMO.

    It is certain he is being used whether or not he is being paid. What is truly sad is that he offers nothing except Matt Chandler is so awesome! As if we are as smitten as he is by puppy love.

  31. proudjezebel wrote:

    Our “Jack” buddy has commented on Watchkeep’s FB post, sharing that article from Christy Thomas. I’m kind of done responding to this kind of stuff today, but thought I’d mention it in case any one else wants to go for it. Apparently Karen just has a “huge bitter chip on her shoulder.”

    I read the Christy Thomas article earlier. Thanks. I found it insightful.

    And haven’t we been waiting for the term *bitter* to be used against Karen and any of her supporters. I wondered when they’d pull out that worn-out cliché.

  32. Gary W wrote:

    Why should we think that the apologies of the ecclesiastical abusers are any more sincere and meaningful than the faux apologies of men who abuse their wives and children?

    Excellent point. Abusers will say anything and occasionally even try gestures toward repentance. Any person who flies into a public rage over an anonymous email has some very big problems. As we saw with Driscoll, fake apologies are part of the program. When they put their idols of fame, fortune, and power on the table, then maybe there is some repentance.

  33. Flicker wrote:

    It can be said, and it has been implied by others, that the elders of TVC simply didn’t know what they were doing and still don’t quite know what they did wrong. This is a reasonable way of looking at it except for one thing. The very fact that they intentionally went out of their way not only to withhold further funding, but to insure that she couldn’t work with SIM even without their financial support (despite SIM’s initial willingness) shows pure spiteful malice.

    This undercuts any earlier appearance of negligence through ignorance. All their initial behaviors (including the persistent attempts to contact her against her wishes and the continued reporting about her in their own media) can now be reasonably seen as extensions of the same underlying malicious intent to injure her that they clearly demonstrated with their successful blocking of her further employment with SIM. THIS was not a matter of ignorance and casts a question as to whether all their actions were similarly malicious.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    Flicker, you make a very great point.
    TVC was being controlling and spiteful towards Karen. Disgusting patterns for those claiming to represent God.

  34. Gram3 wrote:

    Nancy wrote:
    Chandler et al know where the butter is on the bread. They are not going to change anything.
    Exactly. They are selling self-worth and feeding the vanity of young men in particular. These young men worship other men rather than God.

    Ding ding ding! We have a winner in the insight contest. All the more extraordinary coming from one who uses others to think for her!

  35. Gram3 wrote:

    Gary W wrote:
    Why should we think that the apologies of the ecclesiastical abusers are any more sincere and meaningful than the faux apologies of men who abuse their wives and children?
    Excellent point. Abusers will say anything and occasionally even try gestures toward repentance. Any person who flies into a public rage over an anonymous email has some very big problems. As we saw with Driscoll, fake apologies are part of the program. When they put their idols of fame, fortune, and power on the table, then maybe there is some repentance.

    I’ve experienced both fake apologies (which are worse, in my opinion, that honest insults and abuse) and one (I believe) real apology come from the pulpit. The latter, though, was from one who had already been removed from both pulpit and church. But at least it had all the earmarks of a sincere apology.

  36. JeffT wrote:

    Saw Chandler’s video. Very slick, wants those hurt by TVC to come forward so TVC can hear, own it, and learn from it. BUT, according to Chandler, it’s all a problem of process NOT of doctrine. Well, with a doctrine that relegates women to the same status as children, and appoints itself as overseer of a member’s entire life, I don’t expect much to come of it.

    So I wonder what went kablooie with their System with Karen? How did a System that is all about loving and protecting turn into raw abuse and bullying and coercion of another organization? I don’t imagine Chandler will ever answer that question. The appeal to come forward is not one that I would advise anyone to heed. What rational person would expect to be treated better than a missionary sent out by that church was treated?

  37. JeffT wrote:

    Saw Chandler’s video. Very slick, wants those hurt by TVC to come forward so TVC can hear, own it, and learn from it. BUT, according to Chandler, it’s all a problem of process NOT of doctrine. Well, with a doctrine that relegates women to the same status as children, and appoints itself as overseer of a member’s entire life, I don’t expect much to come of it.

    Will they admit it was horribly wrong and sinful of them to interfere in Karen’s decision to seek an annulment? Will they admit they were horribly sinful and wrong when they blackmailed SIM into denying Karen a new post? Will they formally retract that blackmail, advocate for a posting for Karen, and continue to partner with SIM? Will they admit to their specific sins against other persons in their care? What specifically will they do to make amends to these people and what specifically will they do different so these abuses don’t happen again.

    Lots of fine words from TVC, I think people need to wait for some real action on their part before handing out any accolades.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    Jeff,
    Everyone has seen how Matt Chandler and his Elders have been *unable to listen, controlling and vindictive* towards Karen. It would take an incredibly strong person to come forward and address other wrongs committed by TVC following all Karen Hinckley has suffered.

  38. Gram3 wrote:

    Of course you didn’t. They don’t want women to know that they are fully human, including personal agency. They are so fearful of keeping their wives that they have to bind them with fabricated doctrines. It is really quite pathetic when you think about it. A strong and confident man attracts a strong and confident woman. They don’t have the personal strength to deal with that, and it makes them afraid.

    In defense of fearful men:
    I had a relationship with a strong woman that had a personal relationship with Jesus and was light years ahead of me in knowledge of the bible and Jesus. It is scary! but what i learned is that when i showed humility and actually listened to her i was blessed, and i also found that she didnt want to control and dominate me (as many christian men had warned me that women want to do), she was merely trying to jump start me into my own relationship with Jesus. It took alot of throwing away my chauvinistic tendencies and actually being willing to listen, but it resulted in my meeting the most Aweseome and Manly Man in the universe, Jesus. She encouraged me to follow Him and become what He wanted me to be, not what the world wanted me to be.

  39. Just to be clear:

    Child pornography is video of children being raped.

    A chid porn addict loves watching children getting off on children being raped over and over.

  40. Gram3 wrote:

    Exactly. They are selling self-worth and feeding the vanity of young men in particular. These young men worship other men rather than God.

    I fear this is very much what is going on.

  41. @ Law Prof:
    I appreciate that, Law Prof. Jack has no intention of having a substantive discussion. They never do because they cannot. All they have are talking points from their heroes, and as soon as you engage them with hard questions, sound reasoning, and what the text actually says rather than what they have been led to believe it says, they generally disappear in a huff. Which is really all there is to do. I pray that Jack wakes up before he does some damage to a young woman and possibly to some children.

  42. Gram3 wrote:

    Jack wrote:

    Did you listen to the message online yourself or are you using others to think for you?

    Of course other people have to think for me! I’m a female! Who thinks for you? Why would I waste my time to listen to a PR spiel? I already know how to write them.

    After years of the Acts 29/YRR saga we can write this stuff. It is the same stuff with different wrapping paper. Chandler does the “humble” metro upper middle class guy shitck. Driscoll was the scrappy, city in your face guy. Chandler pleas and cries. Driscoll goes Old Testament. Both believe the same things about controlling people, authoritariansim and women.

    I am very familiar with the “humble” mega church pastor shtick. Sure. On stages all over the country, all the time, paid big bucks with adoring fans every where they go but try working with them back stage. You find out real quick that their humble personality got real used to the adoring fans, the stages and the money. They started to believe their own PR.

    The entire Acts 29/YRR movement is built on Thought Reform. The two biggest ones for that movement are: Loaded language (care means control) and doctrine over people. Karen obeying them/Covenant was more important than her as a real person.

    She went public. Now they have a PR disaster. They have to look really humble. But the problem is they did NOT OWN IT. Owning it would be ditching the Covenant, Bylaws (both read like communist China), the patriarchy and making every TVC spin off a seperate church (yeah, that one hurts cash flow, doesn’t it? I know the game). Owning it would be making all budgets totally public in detail and having members totally involved in the process of spending their own money. Those are some of the ways grown ups do church. Grown ups don’t need mediators (TVC leaders) between them and Jesus Christ

    Chandler cannot do any of things. He is part of the thought reform brigade that only knows how to gain followers after themseleves. That is what he does and he has to maintain it all and grow it even bigger. The more national presence he has the more speaking gigs in front of even more adoring fans.

    People who attend TVC have been defrauded about Jesus Christ. Just as Mars Hill attendees were defrauded. Acts 29 will have much to answer for. It has caused destruction to so many people and many don’t even know it.

    My guess is this scandal will guarantee Chandler preaches at next years SBC Pastors Conference. Perhaps even a gig at Liberty.

  43. Law Prof wrote:

    Ding ding ding! We have a winner in the insight contest. All the more extraordinary coming from one who uses others to think for her!

    You know you sent me that in an email and ordered me to write it!

  44. sam wrote:

    but it resulted in my meeting the most Aweseome and Manly Man in the universe, Jesus. She encouraged me to follow Him and become what He wanted me to be, not what the world wanted me to be.

    She was imitating Christ and encouraging you to imitate Christ. That is the essence of any good relationship for Christians. If only these guys would follow the Manly Man example of Jesus! Thanks for that story.

  45. JeffT wrote:

    according to Chandler, it’s all a problem of process NOT of doctrine.

    Of course. It cannot be the doctrine or the house of cards falls quick. Can you imagine? They would have to undergo cult debriefing. I am meeting more and more former YRR athiests. Once they allow themselves to question they run into walls they cannot get through if that is all they were ever taught.

    The havoc this movement has caused is going to be felt for years. It is really no different mentally from people leaving the IFB cults where their entire thinking was wrapped up in it.

    Matt has to say it was the process. The other is unthinkable to him. However, he is now going to have to find a way to implement more covert control. He knows the more are watching.

    Right now, their biggest minefield from a PR standpoint is Jordon. What to do with Jordon. Who is going to mind him in the repentance process. What if they were conned? That could be a can of worms for Chandler. But whatever happens if bad, I am sure the covenant members wil be kept in the dark. As usual.

  46. Gary W wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:

    I don’t need a lesson in teary faux apologies.

    Partly for Jack’s benefit, just in case he doesn’t bother to read it on the other blog where it is posted, please permit me repeat myself regarding M. “Narcissistic Zero” Chandler’s oh so moving speech:

    Be very, very cautious. Do not be naive. The record before us is one of abusive behavior toward Karen Hinkley. While he may not have confessed to actual abuse, Chandler’s own testimony is to the effect that others have been treated in the same manner [as] Ms. Hinkley.

    Those who are familiar with domestic abuse report that abusers are masters of the strategic apology–apologies often delivered with tears, demonstrations of great contrition, and assurances to reform. Trouble is, the apologies are driven by a desire to retain power and control over the wife (sometimes husband) they feel they are entitled to treat like their own personal property. These apologies tend to be followed by a period of peace (the honeymoon period), then by a buildup of renewed tension, then finally by additional incidents of abuse.

    Clearly Chandler and his lieutenants deem themselves to be ENTITLED to exercise power and control over their congregants. Their arrogation of authority and power is built into the very fabric of their theology–to the point, as [Christy Thomas] report[s], of having authority to pronounce damnation on those who do not submit to their wills. Plus there is the theological bit about the subordination of women to men.

    Why should we think that the apologies of the ecclesiastical abusers are any more sincere and meaningful than the faux apologies of men who abuse their wives and children?

    this cannot be said enough!

  47. Lydia wrote:

    My guess is this scandal will guarantee Chandler preaches at next years SBC Pastors Conference. Perhaps even a gig at Liberty.

    Well, they’re rehabbing McDonald at the SBC. Or is it MacDonald. I never can remember. Anyway, it tells you a lot about the contempt that the men organizing that have for the pewpeons.

  48. Gram3 wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    Ding ding ding! We have a winner in the insight contest. All the more extraordinary coming from one who uses others to think for her!

    You know you sent me that in an email and ordered me to write it!

    Yes he did Gram3. He even cc’d me. So Gram3, I am your witness. But alas that won’t count for much…because after all we’re only women and Jesus’ blood didn’t cover Eve’s sin, just Adam’s.

  49. Someone on another site made two or three points I found interesting.

    (I guess these ideas are assuming that Root is truly upset that he’s attracted to children and sincerely wants to change.)

    This person was saying that Jordan has probably been repenting every day of his attraction to children for the last ten years. So repenting now won’t amount to much.

    Rather than turn to God (which is part of repentance), he’s being told to rely on a bunch of men (at TVC) who believe they represent God and can handle his issue. When or if they fail, they will then turn him over to Christian therapists.

    But this isn’t likely to work either, because Root is already a therapist. (He got a degree in some kind of therapy).

    I’d also say it won’t work because Christian (nouthetic) counseling is a joke.

  50. @ Jack:

    Was his in person/ video apology like the letter where he and TVC was all like,
    “We’re sorry for HOW we said what we said but not for WHAT we said. We still think that women should seek our permission to dump their pedophile husband (not that we would ever grant permission, LOL), but we just wish we had stated that view and expectation clearly and up front”

    ?

  51. Jack obviously doesn’t hang around here very often to think that someone else thinks for gram. It would be funny but I don’t laugh at feeble-mindedness.

  52. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Thing is, the guy was also a major mover and shaker in the colonial Naturalist/Scientific community, established and sponsored a University startup, and wrote on New World flora and fauna (with emphasis on insects & spiders). Yet all he’s known for today are his Hellfire-and-Damnation sermons, which (as I suspect above) were written when he was in the grip of depression.

    He’s known to me as a slaveholder. (Some of his slaves were given over to Yale as part of the foundation of the university.) And his son, Jonathan Edwards, Jr. was an early abolitionist around the time of the Revolutionary War. That was an unusual position for a Presbyterian type to take at the time, as abolitionism was generally confined to Quakers in those decades.

  53. @ Jack:
    If you’re attending TVC, you’re not supposed to think for yourself, Matt Chandler and his elders want to do your thinking for you. You might be in discipline if they discover you are thinking for yourself.

  54. Jack wrote:

    Did you listen to the message online yourself or are you using others to think for you?

    I just told you, Matt Chandler and TVC elders want to do your thinking for you, especially if you attend their church or are a member there.

  55. Lydia wrote:
    Grown ups don’t need mediators (TVC leaders) between them and Jesus Christ

    My guess is this scandal will guarantee Chandler preaches at next years SBC Pastors Conference. Perhaps even a gig at Liberty.

    chandler already did Liberty earlier this spring 🙂 wonder if they are publicly weighing in on this?
    “and next generation leader Matt Chandler.” “…North America’s largest weekly gathering of Christian students, is held three times a week in Liberty’s Vines Center.
    Last semester, President Jerry Falwell and his wife, Becki, designated the box in the Vines Center as a prayer hub, where students spend time before and after Convocation praying for the event.”
    http://www.liberty.edu/news/index.cfm?PID=18495&MID=143889

    Liberty University has announced its Spring 2015 Convocation schedule

  56. @ Bill M:

    Jack is the typical cheerleader product of the YRR world of cult of personality. Go Matt! Matt is awesome! Matt is a dudebro! It is a “bromance” as they often say in that world.

  57. Lydia wrote:

    @ Bill M:
    Jack is the typical cheerleader product of the YRR world of cult of personality. Go Matt! Matt is awesome! Matt is a dudebro! It is a “bromance” as they often say in that world.

    What’s the distance between Bromance and Teh GAY?

  58. proudjezebel wrote:

    Btw, “Jack” is parroting some of the exact same lines a TVC friend of mine is. I’m really starting to think there is a script. Or these are just really well-trained sheep.

    Or pull-the-string chatty dolls with the same recording.

  59. Bill M wrote:

    Jack obviously doesn’t hang around here very often to think that someone else thinks for gram. It would be funny but I don’t laugh at feeble-mindedness.

    I’ve been in the thick of the fanboys/fangirls. I’ve pretty much seen every manifestation of infatuation possible. And every lame talking point. It can get to be a game with me, I confess. But I think of the people who may be reading for the first time and may not be ready to speak or may need some encouragement. Or they may need to hear different ways of looking at things. I learn things every single day here.

    But, I’m happy to have a conversation with Jack. He just needs to know beforehand that I’m one of those women who “wears men out” which is how Chandler describes women who are not in subjection. Gramp3 has stayed around for a long time for some reason known only to God. He loves reading here and finds it entertaining.

  60. @ Ali:
    I’m not a lawyer, but I wanted play one in the Christmas pageant. But this blocking behavior forcing Karen to be “fired” by SIM constitutes conspiracy as far as I can figure.

  61. On Saturday, May 30,Pastor Wade Burleson posted Friday on his blog about TVC’s pre-Sunday apology and our need to forgive according to Luke 17:4 (70×7). TWW’s “Flicker” posted a comment there, asking these questions: “What are they repenting from? Who is actually repenting?”

    I then commented on Saturday, as follows:

    “Flicker, my questions, also. Yes, Jesus did say in Luke 17:4 to forgive, as an act of service to God (and against our human nature). Let’s hope the TVC leaders pay attention to the previous two chapters here in Luke that led up to this verse on forgiveness–where Jesus addressed the Pharisees who placed unnecessary requirements on people to meet their standards and rules—not God’s. And, in the verses immediately preceding Luke 17:4 in which He warned the DISCIPLES: ‘Jesus said to his disciples: Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around your neck than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble. So watch yourselves.’ (Luke 17:1-3)

    When each Elder or Pastor at TVC personally, as well as collectively, apologizes to Ms. Hinkley and to any other person who ‘stumbled’ due to TVC standards resulting in abuse, misuse, deception, harassment, lack of compassion, or ignorance of serious issues, etc. by any leader, then those wounded persons must choose to forgive or not. I am doubtful, but always hopeful, that true repentance and apologies are forthcoming to break the seemingly systemic authoritarianism of TVC and other similar 501-c3s under the guise of ‘care.’ But since this quote below is a part of TVC’s [prior Sunday]apology, I surmise the Covenant Membership is a (misguided) operational requirement indicative of more serious underlying issues there:
    ‘Regarding Covenant Membership, we have not changed our theological or philosophical convictions on our Membership Covenant, member care and church discipline.’

    Thanks to you TWW readers who had the fortitude to listen to Matt Chandler’s Sunday “apology.” I do not. But since I trust your insights and comments here on it, my Saturday post still applies. Many of us chronological “elders” know we are seeing the same destructive game, only different players.

  62. . . . and I have no idea why that non-USA flag showed up next to my name on my post! I live in the USA. Maybe it’s my military-grade software encryption so Mark Zuckerberg and FB can not find my location. 🙂

  63. mirele wrote:

    He’s known to me as a slaveholder. (Some of his slaves were given over to Yale as part of the foundation of the university.)

    Many men of means were in that time and place.
    It was NORMAL. Abolition was Crazy Talk.
    A fish doesn’t know it’s wet.

  64. lydia wrote:

    @ Nancy:
    That is exactly the trap. ‘God is blessing our efforts or we would not be so successful’. I heard it all the time.

    The first 400 years of Islamic Caliphs could say the same thing.
    Until their 400-year unbroken winning streak ended.

    Problem with the Curse of Unbroken Early Success: You don’t know what to do when you start to fail.

  65. “Remember, I really want to hear from you.”
    Okay. I have to get to work so don’t have time to refer to paragraph numbers but I jotted down some thoughts while reading the ‘apology.’
    – Near the beginning they mention the 6000 recipient letter in which they “explained” what was going on. Explained is pretty strong. Most other places they talk about what they “believe” as in ‘believing’ they were wrong.
    – They are going to apologize in private to the people they believe they’ve wronged. Huh. Shouldn’t you apologize in public after you made allegations in public? (A letter sent to 6000 members is really a public letter.)
    – Regarding their apparent embarrassment about the media making them apologize. Um. Let’s see. They screwed up. It was pointed out. It’s pretty childish to sulk about it.
    – My take on the whole thing was, yeah, they think they were totally right but should have been both kinder AND stricter.

  66. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Abolition was Crazy Talk.

    The Christian ministers accused the Abolitionists of being godless atheists who want to destroy God’s Order like the French Revolutionaries. Today Grudem and Piper and Owen BHLH use basically the same argument in the form of godless feminists who deny the Bible. And they do it for the same reason.

  67. @ Jinx:
    Somebody else said, IIRC, that they were saying “We are still Right, but we should have been Right more nicely” or words to that effect. I think you are correct in your assessment.

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