Attorneys Boz Tchividjian and Mitch Little Help a Sex Abuse Victim in Her Quest to Hold Matt Chandler and The Village Church Accountable


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“We shouldn’t enjoy this Catholic mess too much. We’re waiting on the other shoe to drop, and when it does, don’t be surprised if there is more and more within our ranks.”
Bobby Welch, prior president of Southern Baptist Convention, 2002. (Note: Why would any religious leader think there might be anything at all to “enjoy” about the “Catholic mess”???)


Note: I am traveling to Birmingham and will be home on Wednesday. Do not expect much from me on Tuesday. I will be standing with the For Such a Time as This Rally which was kicked to the curb due to *No room at the Convention.* How Biblical of them. I wonder if they remember how that turned out…


TWW first carried this story 9/19/18

When I saw the following article this morning, I almost choked swallowing my coffee. Oh, the timing of this piece by Elizabeth Dias. Her Evangelical Megachurch Was Her World. Then Her Daughter Said She Was Molested by a Minister.: Evangelical churches have long distanced themselves from the sexual abuse crisis that has consumed the Catholic Church. But a reckoning has arrived.

In September  2018, TWW posted Police Investigating Sexual Assault at 2012 Mount Lebanon Kids Camp Which is Connected to Matt Chandler’s The Village Church

Take a look at the questions raised. TWW was right. Questions should have been raised.

  • Concerns about Ministry Safe
  • Concern that the possible pedophile might be still in attendance at The village Church
  • Concern that the church did not let everyone know about what happened.

To be perfectly frank, I did not trust Matt Chandler or Minitry Safe to handle this situation appropriately. It appears my concern was justified.

The NYT exposed the underside of Matt Chandler and The Village Church.

Ever since Amy Smith and I exposed the Karen Hinckley *Stay married to your child porn loving husband, dearie* situation, we have long suspected that Chandler just didn’t care unless he was exposed. The guy seems more concerned about his *clean beef* enterprise than abuse victims.

Let’s look at what the NYT exposed.

  • The family reported their daughter’s rape to Matt Chandler in 2/18. They did not discover this until years had passed.
  • The daughter, who was 11 at the time, didn’t know the name of the man who abused her.
  • The membership covenant (a legal contract) prevents members from suing the church.(Folks, don’t sign these-please)
  • The mother found out that Ministry Safe was there to protect the church, not the victim.
  • The church to this day refuses to admit that Matthew Tonne (the accused) was removed due to sexual abuse. He just drank too much, I guess.
  • Chandler and Tonne’s lawyer refused to speak with the NYT. Chandler claims they followed *best practices* ands proper procedures. The family disagrees.
  • It took weeks to meet with the pastors and, of course, Matt Chandler and two other of the head dudebros were not present.
  • The family called the camp to try to find out who had worked there when their daughter was abused. They did not answer. The church claimed it couldn’t have been one of their employees because, because according to one pastor “leaders followed the church’s moral code, enshrined in the membership covenant.” (I swear these people don’t understand the Gospel which is quite clear that leaders can do awful things.)
  • The church would not let the mom meet with Ministry Safe because they represent the church!!! Folks, remember this. They are not there for the victims.
  • Ministry Safe says they are not there to counsel and they (catch this)“generally” advise the church to remove a person accused of sex abuse while they are being investigated. Repeat: I believe that this group doesn’t care about your kids. They care about protecting the church. This is why I refused to speak with them when they called me during the Jules Woodson situation.
  • The church asked members to write Tonne letters of encouragement after he had been put on a leave of absence for unknown reasons which was later amended to *alcohol abuse* after they were forced to can him.
  • The church paid for 8 counseling sessions and gave the family $1000 (“to bless them.”)
  • The police decided to file with the DA and said that the church was finally willing to make a statement.
  • Tonne’s lawyer says *He’s innocent.*

Matt Chandler’s statement:

Then, on a Sunday in September, Mr. Chandler told the congregation that an allegation of sexual assault had surfaced. He did not name the suspect. “It took courage and strength for the child and the family to share this, and we want to support them in any way possible,” he said.

What he said next infuriated Ms. Bragg. “We want to clearly state that there are no persons of interest in this investigation that have access to children at the Village Church,” he said. “We would not let someone who is under investigation for a crime like this be near any of our children at T.V.C.”

It was a technicality. Mr. Tonne had already been removed.

The Village said in a statement that the police detective had asked the church “not to share the name of the accused with the church at that time.”

“We honored his request,” it said. “We did subsequently communicate the accused’s name when it became a matter of public record due to charges being filed and we were released to do so.”

Shortly after this Chandler wrote a short note to the family, apologizing for not being in touch. (I’m sure the cattle ranch was keeping him busy.) He said he felt *thin and exhausted.* So sad for him…

On that morning in January, Mr. Chandler gave a vague update about “the 2012 Kids Camp incident.”

He referred congregants to a statement on the church website, saying he did not want to get into details. The “whole thing” had made him feel “thin and exhausted and worn out and heartbroken.”

Chandler would not admit that the church did not remove Tonne for the abuse allegations.

Mr. Chandler thanked God for the “evidence of grace” in the victim’s family. “They’re still here,” he prayed from the stage. “We’re still walking with them. You’re moving in them.”

The church’s statement online said that Mr. Tonne had been indicted but did not say what the charges were; it said he had been removed from the staff “for other reasons.”

The family has hired Boz Tchividjian and Mitch Little to investigate a legal course of action against TVC which pleases me to no end. Folks, this is the only way to get this nonsense to stop.

Finally, this poor family is getting some excellent help from two lawyers who get the whole abuse thing. These are two lawyers I would recommend to anybody facing this sort of situation.

Boz Tchividjian and Mitch Little, lawyers representing the Braggs’ daughter, who is now an adult, said their client planned to move forward with formal litigation in order to hold the Village “accountable for the sexual trauma inflicted upon her as a child by an adult employee.”

Folks, never forget, church like this are not here for you. As Ms Bragg said: “This is a terribly sad joke.”

What did the church say? Typical ho hum platitudes that mean nothing. I bet they said whatever they were told to say from their lawyers who are called *Ministry Safe.* Yeah, right.

We continue to pray for truth to be revealed, for justice to be served and for healing for all involved.”

What did the family say?

When the Braggs met representatives of the Village for a legal mediation in mid-May, though, the family brought lawyers. No pastor participated, and no resolution was reached. Ms. Bragg and her husband withdrew their membership from the Village the next day.

“What we encountered Wednesday was a church that has made a conscious choice to protect itself rather than reflect the Jesus it claims to follow,” she wrote to the pastor of her church campus in Southlake.

“It’s a terribly sad joke,” she went on. “We followed the rules. We followed the bylaws. We have no clue where to go from here.”

Pastors have not asked the Braggs to come back, according to the family.

I’ll keep you updated which is what we *watch bloggers* do.

 

 

 


Comments

Attorneys Boz Tchividjian and Mitch Little Help a Sex Abuse Victim in Her Quest to Hold Matt Chandler and The Village Church Accountable — 433 Comments

  1. The only way to effect change is for organizations to be punished monetarily and punitively. The Village Church and the SBC won’t change intil they’re hammered with massive money judgments.

    In the meantime, and again, IMHO, the SBC is unsafe for women and children. Go elsewhere.

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  2. Uhmm. I question whether the membership contract is binding on the alledged victim. It will depend on TX law.

    Example: Child goes to an amusement park and signs Hold Harmless form. Child is hurt and Proprietor claims Child signed away right to recourse.

    This may not be accepted by State Courts. Some States do not allow children to waive rights, nor can parent sign away.

    Eleven is pretty young and Counsel may have ability to argue Child can not do this. Maybe.

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  3. This looks like a change of course for Boz Tchividjian? In the past he conducted investigations, now he is representing victims. Perhaps he has given up on religious organizations to do the right thing and hire independent investigators?
    It seem to me he can be more effective for victims by bringing these secretive cults into the harsh light of depositions, discovery and courtrooms. Not to mention juries outraged by the hypocrisy of these “men of god that” would dare to proclaim the responsibility of congregants to follow covenant agreements.
    Sic’em Boz!

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  4. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    Unfortunately, I think you are correct on all counts… It is really Pathetic…
    A church leader molesting a child, and at a church camp, is about as depraved as it gets… and covering it up, which is what it is, is even more depraved….
    these “Christain leaders” are pathetic hiding behind their lawyers..

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  5. Looks like TX has a complicated Indemnity law. However, the child should now be an adult. She would have rights to bring her own suit. This should makes parent/s membership agreements irrelevant. The child would not have been able to sign a binding contract as a minor in TX.

    Looks like a membership couple could not sue on behalf of child.
    It appears that Village Church could counter sue member parent, if only one signed membership, and remaining non-member brought suit, on behalf of child.

    But that situation should have ended on 18th birthday of child.

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  6. Great NYT article by Elizabeth Dias. I had to laugh at this quote from the article:

    “Trusted church friends said hiring a lawyer would not be biblical, citing scripture and the membership covenant.”

    Glad she didn’t listen to this “trusted friends.”

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  7. His wife is there, is the featured speaker to the wives:

    SBC Ministers’ Wives Luncheon
    Steadfast Love
    Tuesday, June 11 Noon
    Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, South Meeting Rooms A–J
    Featured Guest: Lauren Chandler
    Tickets: $20″

    https://www.lifeway.com/en/events/ministers-wives-luncheon/

    “Featured Guest – Lauren Chandler
    Lauren Chandler is a pastor’s wife and mother of three. Her husband, Matt Chandler, serves as the lead teaching pastor at The Village Church in Dallas, Texas…”

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  8. Steve,

    Because the membership covenant, which is a legal document with lawyers hands written all over it, is all over the NT…. yup, keep those pew peons in there place, and hit them over the head with the Bible, while we cover up leaders molesting little girls…. and throw in the leaders lying that the pervert never worked at our church..
    Yup, fine, upstanding place The Village Church is…

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  9. I’m hopeful the dam is going to burst and Chandler’s time can be freed up to work on his beef and hang with his friends James, CJ and Mark. I’ve heard there was a time that Chandler would go monthly to meet with James MacDonald, his mentor.

    To Ms. Bragg, it is a sad, frustrating, awful, hurtful experience to find out, “it is your word against these people”, and everyone sides with the people with the power. I have been there, I have watched my friends live there. I am so sorry. I am sorry that you had to learn at such a painful time that the TVC pastors aren’t who they pretend to be. I am grateful for the friends who left with you as I am grateful for the friends who listened and left with me. Thank you for telling your story, may God use it powerfully and may He bring healing to your daughter.

    To TVC members, this is not an anomaly, the Braggs are not the exception, this is what happens to you if you challenge the church, their money, or their image. How could the church NOT alert everyone as soon as they knew? Tonne played Santa at Highland Village Elementary school AFTER the church knew but before the congregation knew. If you let TVC get away with this, you are tacitly approving them exposing children to danger. If that was your kid on Santa’s lap, would it be okay with you? Chandler can perform, that is what he is best at, that is probably what attracted you to him, whether you know it or not. He makes you feel, he plays on your emotions. It’s the same as the rest of these guys.

    This is the time, vote with your feet, vote with your $$. Say enough is enough.

    Dee, I am going to work on sending you some documents in the next few days. Possibly a recording.

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  10. These situations are difficult, especially when you have a trust relationship (supposedly) between pastoral staff and congregants. This case also makes you wonder if there are other victims besides the one who was brave enough to come forward. Someone creeping around at night where children are sleeping puts too many potential victims at stake. What I find more amazing is that Matt Chandler didn’t learn from the last time his church tried to protect a perp. It will probably take a large financial settlement for him to get a clue.

    My church has recently taken some additional steps to ensure safety in our children’s ministry. The leadership admits that nothing is full-proof, but we have tightened up
    our sign-in procedures, pickup (no, your teenager cannot get your child, or your friend without written permission), lessening foot traffic through the children’s wing, and background checks every two years for those who already passed the first one. There is only one open entrance from the outside, and we have a number of enthusiastic greeters who help both visitors and the ‘”lost” (this after a few purses went missing last year from homeless people wandering in). It’s sad, but necessary, and we all seem to do okay with the extra security. The church actually developed a full security plan to handle everything from a natural disaster to an active shooter. We have some retired medical/police folks who put it together. It’s basically people who know what they are doing, scattered around the parking lot and hallways, to help with the flow of traffic (cars and feet), make sure people find where they want to go,and to help those that need it (sometimes our visitors from the homeless encampment down the road are a bit unhinged). I’m glad they’re responding to the real world, although it does make me sad sometimes.

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  11. Nathan Priddis:
    Uhmm. I question whether the membership contract is binding on the alledged victim. It will depend on TX law.

    Example: Child goes to an amusement park and signs Hold Harmless form. Child is hurt and Proprietor claims Child signed away right to recourse.

    This may not be accepted by State Courts. Some States do not allow children to waive rights, nor can parent sign away.

    Eleven is pretty young and Counsel may have ability to argue Child can not do this. Maybe.

    It wouldn’t be unless she signed it after she turned 18. The covenant the parents signed would have no effect on their (at the time) minor daughter. There’s no state that binds a child to a contract. Any contract they signed would be voidable.

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  12. Law Prof,

    I think this phase would come down to the birthdate and any membership.

    She would have still been a minor when allegedly the leadership was informed. That would be a complicating factor if she signed during any potential counseling timeframe. Would not look good for TVC.

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  13. Lance (the other one),

    “If you let TVC get away with this, you are tacitly approving them exposing children to danger. If that was your kid on Santa’s lap, would it be okay with you?

    …..This is the time, vote with your feet, vote with your $$. Say enough is enough.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    My understanding of Dallas is that it has a unique culture. For example, department store buyers choose merchandise that isn’t in their other stores in other parts of the country, to suit Dallas’ unique taste and style.

    My understanding of Dallas is that it’s religious culture is unique, as well.

    As in, going to church is a status symbol (or something along that line).

    I remember hearing some commentary that indicated churches and powerful industries (like newspapers, news stations) are in each others’ pockets. Like, newspapers might protect pastors/churches rather than publishing negative press about them.

    Can anyone in-the-know (Lance) confirm my understanding here?

    My next question: if there is any veracity to the above, do Dallas-ites have it in them to push back hard against an unconscionable church that is very popular and powerful?

    (i mean, i can lend them my bull horn if they’ll use it. it goes up to 11.)

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  14. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: The only way to effect change is for organizations to be punished monetarily and punitively. The Village Church and the SBC won’t change intil they’re hammered with massive money judgments.

    The Catholic church has paid millions and is still doesn’t get it so I don’t reckon this bunch will either.

    The root cause is a culture of compliance that pervades all religions.

    This family thought that to go against the church was to go against god.

    And they were terrified that what happened to ms. Hinckley would happen to them.

    God is a force multiplier when it comes to the control these cults have.

    And the love bombing. Yeesh. This is twisted.

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  15. elastigirl:
    Lance (the other one),

    My understanding of Dallas is that it has a unique culture.For example, department store buyers choose merchandise that isn’t in their other stores in other parts of the country, to suit Dallas’ unique taste and style.

    My understanding of Dallas is that it’s religious culture is unique, as well.

    As in, going to church is a status symbol (or something along that line).

    I remember hearing some commentary that indicated churches and powerful industries (like newspapers, news stations) are in each others’ pockets.Like, newspapers might protect pastors/churches rather than publishing negative press about them.

    Can anyone in-the-know (Lance) confirm my understanding here?

    It is still the Bible Belt. Most politicians, realtors, attorneys, insurance guys, etc., find that a large church is the best way to get business, so it is part of the social-scene, though becoming less-so as Dallas secularizes.

    As to the media, when the Hinkley scandal was first about to break, TVC warned the congregation that the newspaper was going to run a story, but that we shouldn’t believe the newspaper. They said they were going to send an email (so we could understand what was *really* happening), then the story never ran. Months later leadership made another announcement, and this time the story broke (but not in the Dallas Morning News if I recall correctly). I’m guessing TVC pressured the Dallas Morning News to suppress the story initially, but I don’t know. Dee, any insight on this?

    I’ve heard that Gateway church has been able to keep the media quiet – to some extent – about their financial shenanigans.

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  16. Lance (the other one),

    But now it is in The New York Times. This kind of stuff is also common outside of churches…. a paper leans to one political party or the other. Need the balance, just as in government….
    Just need to be the dripping fountain, and eventually it fills and dam breaks….

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  17. Lance (the other one),

    “As to the media, when the Hinkley scandal was first about to break, TVC warned the congregation that the newspaper was going to run a story, but that we shouldn’t believe the newspaper. They said they were going to send an email (so we could understand what was *really* happening), then the story never ran. Months later leadership made another announcement, and this time the story broke (but not in the Dallas Morning News if I recall correctly). I’m guessing TVC pressured the Dallas Morning News to suppress the story initially, but I don’t know. Dee, any insight on this?

    I’ve heard that Gateway church has been able to keep the media quiet – to some extent – about their financial shenanigans.”
    +++++++++++++++

    Dallas evangelicalism sounds like a totalitarian society.

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  18. Jesus’ parable about the shepherd leaving the flock to find the one lost sheep has been twisted by TVC.

    Their version is a wolf got into the sheepfold and injured a sheep. The shepherd takes awhile to get rid of the wolf. Then they won’t admit a wolf got into the sheepfold while publicly talking about their sheep protection program.

    The nonprofit corporation of TVC is manmade, not heaven made. So, sue it out of existence. Then there will be no place for the wolves, i.e., pedophiles to hide.

    The corporation, even though is given personhood status in legal settings, it’s not a biological human being. It cannot accept Christ as its Savoir, being born again.

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  19. Lance (the other one),

    Sounds like the Mormons in Utah. I lived in southern Utah for two years.

    Of President’s religious advisory panel, James MacDonald having already left it, are there any other of the megapastors on the panel who have covered up or didn’t admit having pedophiles in their organization? I only ask this because being kicked off the panel for hiding pedos could initiate a conscious.

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  20. TS00,

    I’m sure not. but in this conversation,

    does a fish know it’s wet? if not, how does someone who knows how to speak fish explain it and convince him/her of it?

    does a Dallas evangelical know they are controlled by totalism? if not, how does one explain it and convince him/her of it?

    (in other words, how do i get them to borrow my bull horn and turn it up to 11?)

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  21. Linn:
    My church has recently taken some additional steps to ensure safety in our children’s ministry. The leadership admits that nothing is full-proof, but we have tightened up
    our sign-in procedures, pickup (no, your teenager cannot get your child, or your friend without written permission), lessening foot traffic through the children’s wing, and background checks every two years for those who already passed the first one.

    Does your church also require child safety training classes for anyone who works with children and teenagers? My church does, along with periodic refresher courses. I believe background checks also have to be redone periodically. I agree it’s sad but necessary in this day and age.

    Dee, have a good trip.

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  22. singleman,

    “Does your church also require child safety training classes for anyone who works with children and teenagers? My church does, along with periodic refresher courses. I believe background checks also have to be redone periodically. I agree it’s sad but necessary in this day and age.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    it’s always been necessary. even in neanderthal children’s ministry. (i’m God was talking to them, too)

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  23. Someone mentioned that the huge fines have not seemed to change the Catholic Church. You have to hit these evangelical churches where it hurts-their pocketbooks. Once a precedent is set with a major lawsuit, I would not be surprised if other churches do not take notice. It is sad this is the avenue that must be taken but Jesus had an extreme response to child abuse-something to do with dead weight and drowning. This will not bring back innocence lost and destroyed but can bring some sense of justice to the equation.

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  24. Well, Matt Chandler is going to be speaking at an event tomorrow for Baptist 21:

    BREAKING: Per today’s NYT article (Village, abuse), @MattChandler74 will be taking a break from his sabbatical to join tmrw’s B21 Panel to address it. While we r sold out of lunch tickets, we r opening up $5 panel-only upper-deck tickets [removed Eventbrite link-is everything about money?]

    Apparently this will also be livestreamed.

    I responded:

    I hope this includes Chandler resigning because this is NOT the first time @villagechurchtx covenant has been used to hurt people. May 2015 and Karen Hinkley should ring a bell. *scowl* tired of this abuse.

    I’m REALLY tired of this abuse. And yes, I fully realize that even punitive damages won’t stop organizations from reoffending. That’s why agreements have to include strict oversight.

    We know what happens when the oversight isn’t strong enough. That’s why the Catholic Church is basically a cabal of recidivists right now, seventeen years later, because they’ve not learned their lesson. They weaseled out of strict oversight. They’re losing people. My ex-boyfriend, a formerly devout Catholic, is now teaching adult Sunday school at a Methodist church and they are happy to have him.

    The SBC either needs to clean their act up or dissolve itself as being a dangerous organization since it won’t keep track of child sex abusers nor discipline churches that handle sex abuse scandals badly. Oh, and my suggestion for the SBC is to have a session at the convention where the pastors and messengers chant “Call 911” for an hour to get it drilled into their heads about who to contact when child abuse is reported.

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  25. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    “BREAKING: Per today’s NYT article (Village, abuse), @MattChandler74 will be taking a break from his sabbatical to join tmrw’s B21 Panel to address it.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    he’s on entitlement-sabbatical, too?? a long vacation fully funded on the backs of hard-working donors sacrificially going without?

    it just keeps getting worse…

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  26. I read this article this morning in the NY Times and I was sick to my stomach. It’s been so long since I naively trusted that church leaders really were what they present themselves to be that it kind of shocked me all over again how gullible and naive the parishioners were. They really are sheep to the slaughter. Ripe pickings.

    Why should these self important bigwigs care about a molested child here and there? It’s just part of the cost of doing business. They sweep it under the rug and move on. As long as there are gullible, trusting souls, their fortunes are secure.

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  27. SiteSeer,

    This is why “drink the cool-aid” has become a popular phrase in our culture. It is my experience that it applies beyond churches….. a skillful, manipulative, leader will be able to convince sheep that his/her way/approach/Philosophy is the enlighten path….

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  28. SiteSeer: Not until it is their child who is molested and they get the treatment.

    Many children and teens will never tell Mom and Dad. Churchgoing parents tend to be a loudly prudish bunch. The children might not know the correct words. Parental instruction about modesty (if not done with great care) can feed into self-blame and silence the victim.

    Even if the child’s behavior changes because of trauma, many parents will chalk it up to hormones, or a phase, or a rebellious streak.

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  29. elastigirl,

    When you head a 10,000 plus church, you must “the man”. It has always struck me that #’s seem to equal “the right way”… and it makes you an “expert” since YOU are the reason the big #’s are rolling in….. I guess it goes along with US democracy

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  30. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): Do y’all reckon Chandler will be in Birmingham this week?? ……cryin’ shame he isn’t scheduled to speak at the convention!

    To my knowledge, Chandler has never plugged into the SBC annual meetings – they are below him, I suppose. TVC holds dual membership in SBC and Acts 29 … Chandler has always been more Acts 29 than SBC (he is Acts 29 President).

    His last Twitter post in May indicates that he is on sabbatical “I’ll be back in August.” Why would he want to waste his down time at SBC-Birmingham?!! Is a sabbatical Biblical? Interesting that his divine calling to take a rest coincides with summer vacation time for his children. Perhaps he is writing another book. The Christian Industrial Complex is cushy work for the elites.

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  31. Max: Is a sabbatical Biblical?

    According to the venerable texts of St. Wiki of Pedia, yes!

    “The concept of the sabbatical is based on the Biblical practice of shmita, which is related to agriculture. According to Leviticus 25, Jews in the Land of Israel must take a year-long break from working the fields every seven years. A ‘sabbatical’ has come to mean an extended absence in the career of an individual to fulfill some goal, e.g., writing a book or travelling extensively for research.”

    I just want to know when the poor ghost writer gets a sabbatical!

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  32. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: Matt Chandler is going to be speaking at an event tomorrow for Baptist 21

    Baptist 21 is essentially “the” gathering place at SBC annual conventions for the young, restless and reformed. They are pre-conference meetings held at the national meeting site, but are essentially a stand-alone conference in the shadow of the big one. Baptist 21 is ‘the’ reason the young reformers travel to SBC annual gatherings – they only go to the main convention floor to cast their votes for Calvinist officer nominees and resolutions that benefit their cause. The rest of the time, they hang out at local coffee shops and breweries tweeting their lives away.

    Chandler will show up at Baptist 21 to be adored by the young reformers and perhaps at a book-signing table in the exhibit hall, but he won’t bother himself to attend the main conference proceedings.

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  33. Benn: ERLC panel last night Russell Moore,Beth Moore, Rachael Denhollander, JD Greear on abuse, SBC very interesting………SBC convention

    Ahhh, so now the SBC big boys want to hear what Rachael has to say. It’s all a big show for the media, folks.

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  34. “Chandler wrote a short note to the family, apologizing for not being in touch” (Dee)

    Too big, too important, too busy to be bothered. Chandler is a “Lead” something or other at TVC, but not a Lead “Pastor.”

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  35. Max: “There is a lot of skepticism, and I think some of it is justified, because the survivor community is used to hearing a lot of words,” Denhollander said “What we’re not used to seeing is action.”

    http://www.bpnews.net/53073/panelists-assess-sbc-on-sexual-abuse

    For example, SBC approved a resolution at its 2013 annual meeting “On Sexual Abuse of Children”, which read in part:

    “We encourage all denominational leaders and employees of the Southern Baptist Convention to utilize the highest sense of discernment in affiliating with groups and or individuals that possess questionable policies and practices in protecting our children from criminal abuse.”

    That resolution had Al Mohler’s affiliation with C.J. Mahaney and SGM in mind (although not named). Mohler left that meeting to continue his association with Mahaney and see his bud join the SBC a couple of years later!

    SBC annual meetings are long on words, but short on action. Messengers from across the SBC landscape gather each year to bask in the glory of the SBC elite, hold hands, sing kumbaya, and resolve to be better people … but then go home and do business as usual. Mohler finally got around to saying he was sorry about the Mahaney mess … but only after the spotlight was turned on him during the Houston Chronicle expose’. When the lights are turned off at SBC-Birmingham, things will go back to normal in SBC life … unless the watchbloggers and national media keep holding their feet to the fire.

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  36. Max: Is a sabbatical Biblical?

    I think the question is really–is a paid pastoral sabbatical biblical? These guys use the money of people who probably never will have more than two weeks at a time off to take months and months off. And most of them have salaries that would allow them to take an unpaid sabbatical.

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  37. What kind of people think it’s a good idea to ‘ask members to write Tonne letters of encouragement after he had been put on a leave of absence for unknown reasons’ in the face of child abuse?

    People who don’t believe children or abusers themselves????

    I just cannot see a reason for this behavior that doesn’t involve excusing or supporting abuse and callous disregard for children and their church body.

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  38. Lea: What kind of people think it’s a good idea to ‘ask members to write Tonne letters of encouragement after he had been put on a leave of absence for unknown reasons’ in the face of child abuse?

    A symptom of the institutional church gone amiss. Living life upside down.

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  39. ishy: is a paid pastoral sabbatical biblical? These guys use the money of people who probably never will have more than two weeks at a time off to take months and months off. And most of them have salaries that would allow them to take an unpaid sabbatical

    My work colleagues never took sabbaticals, nor my doctor, lawyer, dentist, etc. Teachers do (sort of = summer vacation), but they deserve it! Mega “pastors” making 6-figure+ salaries, living in mansions, never visiting sick folks in hospitals and nursing homes, with staff doing all the work of the church … don’t deserve to have 3-month sabbaticals financed by those who will never see one. Just what do these characters really do for the spiritual health of pew-sitters? They don’t even know them!

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  40. Jack: And the love bombing. Yeesh. This is twisted.

    I think the love bombing is the key here. When you think someone is decent, or an administration is good, you expect them to do the right thing. Especially a religious organization. And when they don’t…you have to sort through what you thought you knew of them and who they are and completely rewrite it. That’s hard.

    It’s hard with people too. I get that.

    What I don’t get is how they make these terrible decisions, over and over again, when the ‘right’ decision morally would probably be best for the church too and all the people in it except the perp. Why don’t they just throw them to the wolves? The only reason I can think is they sympathize and that’s a terrible, terrible thing to think.

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  41. Lea: I just cannot see a reason for this behavior that doesn’t involve excusing or supporting abuse and callous disregard for children and their church body.

    Or they believed it was a lie. That’s pretty much what their pastor said–can’t be a pastor because of their “moral code”.

    Sadly, it’s common among the New Cals I’ve known to believe that nothing bad can happen to them because God wouldn’t let it. They believe evil only befalls everyone God condemned to hell.

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  42. ishy: Or they believed it was a lie.

    I mean…that theory is just wearing thin for me. I’m tired of it.

    What is their motive for thinking people are lying???? Because ‘I don’t want to deal with it’ is not working.

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  43. Lea: What is their motive for thinking people are lying???? Because ‘I don’t want to deal with it’ is not working.

    It’s more than they don’t want to deal with it. They believe they are golden high priests of God and nothing bad happens to the chosen ones.

    That’s an utter lie. But it’s a central reason why they chose to follow this theology. I mean, it’s a theology where they happily believe that only a few special people go to heaven and the rest are condemned by God to hell. The kind of people who believe that sort of thing are strictly black and white, and not compassionate at all. Same reason they believe that poor people should be paying them extraordinary salaries to go on vacation for months on end.

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  44. Lance (the other one),

    from twitter:

    Dee Parsons:
    Shame on the Dallas Morning News. @dallasnews @DallasRoark should be removed from his position both at the church and at the news. He’s dedicated to protecting the church leadership not the victims.Dee Parsons added,

    Amy Smith:
    No wonder @dallasnews hasn’t wanted to cover @villagechurchtx stories… @DavidRoark is communication director at TVC and a faith and culture columnist for DMN.

    https://twitter.com/wartwatch/status/1138430862595436544

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  45. The ERLC panel is going exactly the way I expected it. Greear and Russell Moore are mansplaining and not allowing the women, who are all survivors (like Rachel Denhollender and Beth Moore) and experts (like Susan Codone) to speak at all.

    I’m sure that was the plan all along. They’re not interested in fixing things, only reinforcing their narrative.

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  46. Max: Ahhh, so now the SBC big boys want to hear what Rachael has to say. It’s all a big show for the media, folks.

    I believe the SBC will only allow women who are in the comp camp to speak. Other women simply don’t count in the same way.

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  47. It is amazing to see some of the reactions of those to the exposure of sexual predators and those in SBC leadership who have aided and protected the abusers. A common theme is: “Well, your motives are bad, because in your heart you’re taking pleasure in these leaders being defrocked and the abusers being exposed, so YOU’RE the one with the sin problem here.” I just wonder, truly wonder just how insane and unethical and reprehensible a person can become when they depart from just loving Jesus and their fellow humankind.

    It’s really simple, just love the Lord God with all your heart and love your neighbor in the same way you love yourself. When one gets away from that simple truth and starts loving their power and the sound of their own voice and their systems and their idol leaders, it make a madman out of them. Given over to a depraved mind. Best thing to do is have nothing to do with those people, just expose them and call them out for what they are.
    God is going to bring His justice.

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  48. ishy: They believe they are golden high priests of God and nothing bad happens to the chosen ones.

    Let me reframe this. My friend in a New Cal church and I have been talking extensively on this particular issue. Her church is getting to the point that they are church disciplining everybody, because nobody can follow their crazy rules. And they discipline people for asking questions.

    She made a comment to me that she was talking to another member who was spouting all the propaganda, and she asked if all this was really working? People kept getting church disciplined, and the same things happen over and over. A lot of people had been getting kicked out and “unelected”. But that person still desperately wanted to believe nothing bad really happens to “the true elect”.

    It’s a horrible theology that not only is bad from a biblical perspective, it just plain doesn’t work. People that abuse others cause bad things to happen. Eventually, their bad actions catch up with them and bad things happen to them, albeit deservedly. Church discipline doesn’t work to fix it and they keep having to “unelect” people. But the leaders are so enamored with being at the top of the hierarchy, they just get more and more desperate to keep it going.

    I mean, look at JMac. The stuff coming out about him gets crazier and crazier, and he keeps doing worse things to keep that place on the top of the hill. It’s not about following God. It’s about being a god. It’s exactly what God said was against Him.

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  49. Nathan Priddis:
    Law Prof,

    I think this phase would come down to the birthdate and any membership.

    She would have still been a minor when allegedly the leadership was informed. That would be a complicating factor if she signed during any potential counseling timeframe. Would not look good for TVC.

    That’s right, if she was being counseled during this time as an adult and then pressured into signing anything, it would possibly make the contract the same sort of voidable contract as signing as a minor. It would just be an undue influence theory invalidating the contract rather than what lawyers call infancy.

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  50. ishy: Greear and Russell Moore are mansplaining and not allowing the women, who are all survivors (like Rachel Denhollender and Beth Moore) and experts (like Susan Codone) to speak at all.

    I respect people who want to change things from the inside but at a certain point the only way to change things is to abandon them entirely. A shame they’re all too arrogant and stupid to be taught but oh well.

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  51. ishy: A lot of people had been getting kicked out and “unelected”.

    The sheer arrogance of thinking you can determine this based on what are, I’m sure, minor infractions is mind boggling. Can you imagine thinking you are basically god? Maybe you have to be a certain type of person to do this.

    I know I’ve mentioned I’m Presbyterian now, but this is stuff we NEVER do. It’s just….I don’t even know. I’m so glad I’m out of this type of culture.

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  52. SiteSeer: It’s been so long since I naively trusted that church leaders really were what they present themselves to be that it kind of shocked me all over again how gullible and naive the parishioners were. They really are sheep to the slaughter

    And Church Leaders have a Mr Creosote-sized appetite for Mutton.

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  53. elastigirl: Dallas evangelicalism sounds like a totalitarian society.

    Why do you think the book Good Christian Bitches and its TV spinoff GCB were set in the Dallas Megachurch Scene (Seven-Day Sex Challenges and all)?

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  54. Jeffrey Chalmers: It is really Pathetic…
    A church leader molesting a child, and at a church camp, is about as depraved as it gets… and covering it up, which is what it is, is even more depraved….

    these “Christain leaders” are pathetic hiding behind their lawyers..

    Have they played the SAY-TANNN-IC PERSECUTION!!!!!!” card off the bottom of the deck yet?

    And claimed it as a sign of their Great Holiness?

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  55. Guest:
    I have wondered for years if Matt Chandler is not a child rapist or pedophile with the way he protects them and poops all over the victims.

    I’ve often wondered the same about these guys.

    Either “Pedo unto Pedo o’er the world is Brother” or (like the therapist in that one South Park episode) you’ve got a closet pedo too chicken to do the deed himself, so he gets his jollies vicariously by “counseling(TM)” and hearing the JUICY “confessions” of those who do.

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  56. Friend,

    I told my mother who was born and raised in the Southern Baptist Convention and she told me to get over it and not tell anyone.

    My father who had a southern baptist preacher father told me when I was thirteen that rape is not that big of a deal.

    When my mother was twelve a fourteen-year-old boy she had gone to church with all her life tried to rape her at church.

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  57. Lea: The sheer arrogance

    That’s exactly what it is. Men wanting to be god.

    And that’s why it’s not even really hyper-Calvinism. I remember Wade on here saying something about believing your are elect should lead to humility, not hubris. How they’ve connected hierarchy to Calvinism makes no sense, even though I know Calvin himself employed this belief.

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  58. ishy: How they’ve connected hierarchy to Calvinism makes no sense, even though I know Calvin himself employed this belief.

    Like the Trekkie tag line, “They’ve Evolved Beyond All That”.
    Not only have they become more Calvinist than Calvin (as the Taliban, Boko Haram, and al-Daesh became more Islamic than Mohammed), but they are now into “More Calvinist than Thou” on an escalating scale. Six-Point Truly Reformed burn the Five-Point Reformed Apostates, then the Seven-Point Really Truly Reformed burn the Six-Point Truly Reformed Apostates, then the Eight-Point Really Really Truly Reformed….

    A book on the French Revolution (from the rise of the Jacobins to the Thermidorian Coup) would be helpful to illustrate how One True Ways devour themselves. AFTER devouring each other.

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  59. ishy: And that’s why it’s not even really hyper-Calvinism. I remember Wade on here saying something about believing your are elect should lead to humility, not hubris.

    Problem is, once you’re the Predestined Elect, you already have the ultimate Get Out Of Hell Free Card, so why not? You’re God’s Speshul Pets! Rulers of Tomorrow! Master Race!

    And all the others? They’re already Pre-Damned Reprobates so why bother? You’re God’s Speshul Pets!

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  60. Headless Unicorn Guy: Problem is, once you’re the Predestined Elect, you already have the ultimate Get Out Of Hell Free Card, so why not? You’re God’s Speshul Pets! Rulers of Tomorrow! Master Race!

    It’s funny, but also sad.

    But that’s pretty what it is. Men deciding, “There HAS to be a God-ordained heirarchy, because I WANNA BE IN CHARGE! God put that desire in my heart from the beginning of CREATION!”

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  61. ishy: But that person still desperately wanted to believe nothing bad really happens to “the true elect”.

    Make that “the True Elect (like MEEEEEEEE)”.
    “First they came for The Jews, but I wasn’t a Jew…”

    Remember the Khmer Rouge and the Killing Fields of Cambodia? At the time Vietnam invaded and overthrew them, their Kill Orders had grown to “EVERYONE Except Khmer Rouge Party Members who joined BEFORE the Takeover”. (AKA the Really Truly Elect.)

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  62. Guest: I told

    I am sorry for what you went through. And it is horrifying that people who preach purity would wave off assault and abuse.

    I never told my parents. They would have reacted in an insane way, and would not have taken any constructive action. Probably they would have tried to protect me by keeping me at home even more.

    Part of the healing for me was having a little freedom. Oddly enough, bad things never happened to me when I was unsupervised. The bad things happened in “safe” places.

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  63. Friend,

    Most of my memory of attending church is toast other than we attended the same congregation for a long time. That was because I had to sit in the same pew every Sunday with my molester.

    The only difference is when we lived in Minnesota for two years, attending a small traditional Baptist church. The adults left the building at some point and then we would have Sunday School taught by an elderly lady dressed like Dana Carvy’s Church Lady charachter. That is why when I started attending church again, one of my first thoughts was to attend a Baptist church.

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  64. I’ve changed my mind. It’s not their theology. They’re just morons.

    QA with Matt Chandler, going on right now:
    “Q: Article alleges you publicized you fired him for alcohol abuse and not sex abuse. Response?

    A: You can’t be around kids and be drunk (paraphrase).

    [Silence].

    A: You want me to say more?

    #SBC19” via Sarah Smith

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  65. ishy: Sadly, it’s common among the New Cals I’ve known to believe that nothing bad can happen to them because God wouldn’t let it. They believe evil only befalls everyone God condemned to hell.

    “But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.” “we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.” “If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”

    So maybe they have got it backwards.

    Or maybe they do not believe at all and are just frauds who have found a lifestyle that appeals to them.

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  66. Lea: What kind of people think it’s a good idea to ‘ask members to write Tonne letters of encouragement after he had been put on a leave of absence for unknown reasons’ in the face of child abuse?

    It is diabolical.

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  67. Brian: when I started attending church again

    How awful for you, and it’s no wonder that those memories are toast. It is a wonder that you have faith today. (Everybody has a right to believe or not, and to stay or leave.)

    I’m on week 5 of returning to weekly worship. Had coffee today with one of our young ordained folks—my invitation. It’s obvious that clergy are happy to see us back. I got to explain some of the painful past, and some of the things that made me feel safe enough to try again.

    As I shared good and bad, it felt so freeing to watch this young woman’s face. Receptive, kind, and unafraid.

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  68. Thanks so much Ishy for the link to the live Tweet by Sarah Smith!

    That is beyond disappointing. “I’m not sure what we could’ve done different.” Seriously Matt? You could have announced it immediately via every communication channel you had (even without the perp’s name, just the event and date) so all the parents of additional potential victims would have known! You could have made it clear that sex abuse is just as important as alcohol abuse as a reason for firing him!

    This whole thing makes me sick. Is he intentionally lying/dissembling/covering up, or is he really this clueless about what the important issues are? I honestly don’t think it matters much which it is, the result for the victims and their families is the same.

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  69. bendeni: “I’m not sure what we could’ve done different.” Seriously Matt?

    There’s a bunch of people tweeting responses on what he could have done differently, starting with “Go straight to the victims and apologize and offer resources to help them instead of making a big deal to come of your sabbatical to do a Q and A at the SBC!”

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  70. bendeni: Is he intentionally lying/dissembling/covering up, or is he really this clueless about what the important issues are?

    I think the answer is definitely the first, and that was a decision informed by Ministry Safe, whose job is to “save” churches from liability, not protect victims as they claim in their propaganda.

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  71. Ishy: I’ve changed my mind. It’s not their theology. They’re just morons.

    QA with Matt Chandler, going on right now:
    “Q: Article alleges you publicized you fired him for alcohol abuse and not sex abuse. Response?
    A: You can’t be around kids and be drunk (paraphrase).
    [Silence].

    First of all…what? and holy…I.

    Second of all, there is a reason most of these people ‘leading’ enormous churches have no formal education. I don’t know about Chandler, but many of them are basically snake oil salesman who made it big. They just buy their sermons and repeat talking points but their natural responses are…not smart.

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  72. Ishy: You can’t be around kids and be drunk (paraphrase).

    Also, yes you can.

    Drunk people who are nice are nice drunk or sober. Mean people are mean drunk or sober, they’re just extra mean.

    (caveat, you obviously shouldn’t be supervising young children or driving anyone drunk, but at a bbq or something? Eh)

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  73. bendeni: “I’m not sure what we could’ve done different.” Seriously Matt?

    N Y Times article: “[Chandler] had mailed a short handwritten card to the Braggs back in July, apologizing for not being in touch. When Mr. Bragg suggested coffee, Mr. Chandler’s assistant offered a time that was months away.”

    So there’s another thing Matt: You could apologize now, to the Braggs, that you were so unavailable for an issue of this importance. You could rebuke the assistant that keeps your schedule, and make it clear going forward that SEX ABUSE is important enough that other things should be canceled/postponed so you can HAVE COFFEE with these parents. What good is a handwritten card apologizing for not being available, if you then continue to be unavailable?

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  74. Bridget: I believe the SBC will only allow women who are in the comp camp to speak

    Yes, that’s why Beth Moore was tapped to speak – they trust her to hold the party line although she doesn’t like some of them. She is one of only a few women teachers blessed by the New Calvinists to send their women to at conferences/simulcasts (her grace-grace-grace message fits the reformed program). Moore and LifeWay are making a bundle off of SBC wimmenfolk. (Rachael Denhollander is a brave woman – too bad her husband became ensnared in the reformed camp at Southern Seminary.)

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  75. bendeni: So there’s another thing Matt: You could apologize now, to the Braggs, that you were so unavailable for an issue of this importance. You could rebuke the assistant that keeps your schedule, and make it clear going forward that SEX ABUSE is important enough that other things should be canceled/postponed so you can HAVE COFFEE with these parents.

    Sarah Smith
    @sarahesmith23
    “I’m not here to save face. I’m here because I don’t want you to think we don’t need to be serious about these things.” -@MattChandler74 #SBC19

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  76. bendeni: “I’m not sure what we could’ve done different.” Seriously Matt?

    N Y Times article: “At the meeting, none of the church’s top three pastors were present. Ms. Bragg and her husband brought a list of 15 questions, asking about church policies and the camp. They received no clear answers. Ms. Bragg raised the possibility that the perpetrator could have been someone from the Village. That was impossible, she recalled being told by Doug Stanley, a senior director at the church, because leaders followed the church’s moral code, enshrined in the membership covenant.”

    So there’s yet another thing, Matt: You could train your staff, starting with, “Don’t tell the parents of the victim of a SEXUAL ASSAULT that it could never be one of our folks.” And continuing with, “If you don’t know the answers to their questions, promise that you’ll find out and get back to them PROMPTLY.” And how about, “Staying in regular touch with them proves that we treat this issue as of first importance.”

    I can’t even. But I’m done finding more things for Matt.

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  77. ishy: The ERLC panel is going exactly the way I expected it. Greear and Russell Moore are mansplaining and not allowing the women, who are all survivors (like Rachel Denhollender and Beth Moore) and experts (like Susan Codone) to speak at all.

    Just prop them up on stage and the watchbloggers and media will think we honor and respect women now. If they were really sincere about this (1) Moore would have simply introduced the women, gave them the mic, and sat down for the duration, and (2) Greear wouldn’t have been on stage at all. These are all very smart women with a story to tell … no steering the discussion by men needed.

    “”I don’t see a lot of change in how things are handled,” Codone said. Churches still practice what she described as “the catch-and-release policy.” Pastors are caught in sexual abuse but are quietly removed by their churches and able to go to other congregations without disclosure of their crimes. The youth pastor who abused her served churches in the Birmingham area for 33 years before he died, she said.”
    http://www.bpnews.net/53073/panelists-assess-sbc-on-sexual-abuse

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  78. ishy: Ministry Safe, whose job is to “save” churches from liability, not protect victims as they claim in their propaganda.

    Absolutely right, and I hope this case puts that question to rest. The “sorry, conflict-of-interest” response makes it abundantly clear whose interests MW serves.

    Thanks Ishy for all you’ve added above to the discussion. I’m glad people are tweeting this too; maybe he’ll actually listen.

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  79. Ishy,

    These comments prove to me they were intentionally covering it up…… i do not care if he was the nicest person on the face of the earth. What is is alleged to have done to a little girl, as a pastor, at a church camp, is such a level of depravity I have trouble writing it.

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  80. Quote from Focus Daily News “We need to be trained in this,” Chandler said on the 2018 panel, encouraging churches to get expert help in avoiding abuse of all kinds. “I don’t care how well you know your Bible, we are not ready for this. We have got to get Christian outside help that helps us understand what to do in a fallen world.” Um, does anyone else have a problem with this? They simply don’t know what to do in a fallen world. How many hours of sermons and Bible studies have been spouted from this man’s lips giving advice to people on how to live a Godly life in a broken world. And suddenly they seem to have frozen up and not have a clue as to what to do about child molestation in church…unbelievable!

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  81. Ishy,

    My molestor, my stepfather, used alcoholism as an excuse for all his behaviors, whichever behavior he let the outside world to see. After doing rehab three times all his abusive behaviors only increased. The alcohol leading to a person becoming abusive has always been the strawman argument.

    My own Dad, drank to block out his experiences from the Vietnam War, was the gentlest person I ever knew.

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  82. R McPherson,

    How hard is it to “call the police”? Then, instead of immediately talking to your lawyer, determine what is the best for the victims. Is that really that hard? I am not saying do not talk to lawyers, just put justice, and the victims interest above your own and your organization. ….. is that really that hard? what am I missing here?
    Of course it is hard if the perp is your friend, how do you think Christ must have felt when Peter denied him?
    We are suppose to “submit” to these clowns as leaders???

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  83. R McPherson,

    Their mindset doesn’t identify with being a victim of anything. It identifies with the abuser.

    After I was saved, one of the things I did was look up all the verses in the Bible regarding anger.

    His Word showed me that even though my anger may be justified for having to live through an abusive childhood, it in itself could and did cause me further harm in my daily life.

    If they will not understand the victims and survivors of abuse and molestation, they’ll never get it, address it.

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  84. R McPherson: “We have got to get Christian outside help that helps us understand what to do in a fallen world.” (Matt Chandler)

    Uhhhh … that’s what pastors, true shepherds, are supposed to know and do. They are in the business to lead their congregations to be in the world but not of the world, to help equip them in the armor of God, to stand against the wiles of the devil. Chandler is not a pastor – a talented speaker with a gift of gab, a touch of charisma, and some leadership gimmicks – but not a pastor. “Outside help” is not what he needs – he needs an inner transformation, but he’s in the wrong line of theology to find that.

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  85. ishy: I think I might really have to go to Waffle House tonight and drown myself in pancake syrup. I can’t even anymore with these guys…

    I’ll join you! The leaders are idiots or playing at being idiots or lying. And it’s all disgustingly wrong.

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  86. R McPherson: “I don’t care how well you know your Bible, we are not ready for this. We have got to get Christian outside help that helps us understand what to do in a fallen world.” (Matt Chandler)

    “Outside help”?!! This is why you don’t hear New Calvinists talk about the Holy Spirit. They don’t know His presence and power … if they did, they would have all the “Inside Help” they needed. The Holy Spirit operates outside their realm.

    But Chandler does have one thing right. Knowing your Bible won’t cut it … you have to ‘know’ Christ and the power of His resurrection. The New Calvinists have subordinated Jesus and excluded the Holy Spirit. Thus, they don’t have enough spiritual power to blow the dust off a peanut! They move in the flesh, not in the Spirit. Jesus and the Holy Spirit don’t hang out with the new reformers much. What a mess!

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  87. Jeffrey Chalmers: I am not saying do not talk to lawyers, just put justice, and the victims interest above your own and your organization.

    Every lawyer is going to tell them to keep their mouth shut and not talk to anyone, which includes the victims. Pro institution and anti Christlike behavior . . .

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  88. R McPherson,

    “We have got to get Christian outside help that helps us understand what to do in a fallen world.” Matt Chandler, Megachurch “Pastor”

    Spoken like a true unbeliever, Matt. Quit your job. Come to Christ. Start over with your life. You won’t regret it.

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  89. R McPherson: How many hours of sermons and Bible studies have been spouted from this man’s lips giving advice to people on how to live a Godly life in a broken world. And suddenly they seem to have frozen up and not have a clue as to what to do about child molestation in church…

    That tends to happen when YOU become the Job on the spot, scraping your boils off in misery instead of standing around fat & comfortable giving Godly(TM) Advice to the Job on the spot.

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  90. Jeffrey Chalmers: These comments prove to me they were intentionally covering it up…… i do not care if he was the nicest person on the face of the earth.

    Remember the interviews with family members of a serial killer who just got busted?
    “BUT HE WAS SO NICE…”

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  91. Law Prof,
    It wouldn’t surprise me if she was a member. If I was Church Counsel, I would pretty much feel it’s malpractice to not obtain a signed form. I would also want the girl to be directed towards a Counseling provider that could be legally regarded as a Business Associate, or related entity.

    If she did sign a membership, I dont think it would be an overreach for her to claim fraud. How is she going to remember what she signed, in what office.

    If she went to outside therapy sessions, she would have signed consent to treat and HIPAA. I would supeana every stop she made from TVC, any outside TVC advisor, or any Service Provider, asking for any document bearing the girl’s signature.

    In this case, any signed form of any kind might backfire. If the therapist was a TVC non-related party, everything should be fine. But, its hard to see any legitimate need for a medical or mental health records disclosure back to any TVC associate.

    If a TVC associate obtained any information with intent to formulate a TVC defense, I would pursue them.

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  92. Brian: After I was saved, one of the things I did was look up all the verses in the Bible regarding anger.

    His Word showed me that even though my anger may be justified for having to live through an abusive childhood, it in itself could and did cause me further harm in my daily life.

    Hard-earned wisdom.

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  93. Brian,

    Well said! My anger grows daily the more I read about these cases. I really believe a deeper cancer is growing in these church bodies than what we may realize. But I like Dee’s approach at tackling one case at a time and one institution at a time. Thank you for bringing up the anger issue though! Prayers for you!

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  94. Law Prof: It’s really simple, just love the Lord God with all your heart and love your neighbor in the same way you love yourself. When one gets away from that simple truth and starts loving their power and the sound of their own voice and their systems and their idol leaders, it make a madman out of them.

    I honestly think that is pretty accurate. When one absorbs the doctrine of ‘the elect’, of course considering self one, it is as if their moral conscience is killed. They believe themselves irrevocably chosen, and nothing they do can threaten their position. That is a very dangerous way to think.

    Add to that the self-righteous holier than thou-ness, and you get a good ol’ modern day Pharisee, who genuinely believes that, like God, anything he does is acceptable.

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  95. bendeni: Is he intentionally lying/dissembling/covering up, or is he really this clueless about what the important issues are? I honestly don’t think it matters much which it is, the result for the victims and their families is the same.

    That’s what I finally came to believe concerning my former Calvi-pastor. So, I can’t judge his heart; doesn’t matter. Whether he’s a lying hypocrite or a clueless fool, he still has no business being a pastor. Get out and stop messing up people’s lives.

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  96. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/us/southern-baptist-convention-sex-abuse.html

    Did Matt Chandler lie? i believe Ms Bragg.

    “The Village disputed the Times article’s characterization of how the Braggs were treated, saying for instance that Matt Chandler, the lead pastor, spoke with Ms. Bragg in September, at a group meeting with many other families.

    On Tuesday, Ms. Bragg said that was “simply not true,” and that the family had never met personally with Mr. Chandler since her daughter’s disclosure. Ms. Bragg said another top pastor explained to her the night of the group meeting that Mr. Chandler would not talk with her then because he did not want to draw attention to them.”

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  97. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/us/southern-baptist-convention-sex-abuse.html

    “He [Matt Chandler] said that he was not “running point on care” for the Braggs and allowed other pastors to handle their care because “they are 25 minutes away” and didn’t attend the campus where he was based. Ms. Bragg’s daughter was allegedly molested when the family attended Mr. Chandler’s campus.”

    …nothing like spin to create an atmosphere of moral ambivalence

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  98. Muff Potter,

    i just ran across Lawyer newsletter, detailing the circumstances at The Village Church / Matt Chandler with photographs and maps of the flower mound campus location.

    it was followed by a section headed with “Legal Recourse For Families Affected by Clergy Sex Abuse”.

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  99. elastigirl,

    Muff Potter,

    Here’s one of the comments from Dreher’s comment section, quoting *extensively* from the Village Church email. They picked every old thing to throw at it:

    “….the facts from the Village email:

    The article implies that we were unresponsive to the Times. In fact, we interacted with the Times on three occasions during the writing of the piece providing context, information and clarifications.

    The article implies we have covered up the story. To clarify, we released the news before anyone else on September 16, 2018, on the front page of our website and in our weekend services. We contacted law enforcement within hours of the incident being brought to our attention and encouraged the Bragg family to report it to the police, as well. We also posted public updates to thousands of people on our social media channels. Some national media outlets picked up the story after we released the news.

    The article implies we did not publicize the accused individual’s name to protect him and/or the church. To clarify, the lead police investigator (Detective Michael Hernandez) specifically asked us not to publicize the name because doing so would jeopardize the case. We honored the direction dictated by law enforcement so the investigation could be properly handled by the police. We again proactively released an update by sharing Matt Tonne’s name publicly on our website and social media channels once it was a matter of public record and an arrest was made.

    The article states that TVC fired Matt Tonne knowing that he was named in the case. It implies that the reason of alcohol abuse is a cover for the reason of the assault allegation. To clarify, the decision to remove Matt for alcohol abuse was made back on May 15, 2018, prior to his being named as the alleged perpetrator in the case. Because Matt was then hospitalized for his own safety, TVC refrained from terminating him until after he was released from treatment.
    As the article states, church pastors met with the Braggs and they signed off on all public communication to address any concerns that the Braggs may have had.

    The article suggests that we did not offer care or express empathy for the family. To clarify,
    Matt Chandler reached out via email on several occasions and spoke in person to Mrs. Bragg the day we notified the families of 2012 Camp attendees.

    Brian Miller, one of our lead pastors, was actively involved in caring for the Braggs with regular communication.
    The family received regular ongoing care from their home campus, the Southlake campus, in the form of phone calls, emails, in-person meetings and pastoral care. They also received paid outside counseling, along with financial support. This continual and documented holistic care went on for over a year.

    The family expressed gratitude via email and in person for the support shown to them by TVC by elders, pastors, staff and many members.

    The family remained involved in ministry environments at the Southlake campus (including Student Ministry, Recovery Groups and Steps ministries and Kid Keepers Ministry) until as recently as last week.

    The article states that Love & Norris is TVC’s legal counsel. To clarify, our formal relationship with Love & Norris is in a consultant role in the specific area of safety, as Love & Norris helps churches and organizations reduce the risks of child sexual abuse.

    The article implies that the membership covenant is used to control members while protecting us from a lawsuit. To clarify, Doug Stanley referenced our membership process as just one piece of many that help us screen those who serve here. He did not say it would prohibit or prevent a member from committing this kind of crime. Our membership covenant’s dispute resolution process is not in place for the purposes of secrecy but is in place because we believe that the Scriptures prescribe the manner in which conflict should be resolved (Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 6:1-6). All of our conversations related to the membership covenant’s dispute resolution process were made with the hopes of reconciliation.”

    Sorry so long.

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  100. Guest,

    Chandler was diagnosed with a anaplastic oligodendroglioma (brain tumour) in 2009.
    He had surgery etc., and claims God healed him, but I wondered during and since the Hinkley disclosure whether the tumour was in an area of his brain that affects his judgement. He was initially told he had about three years, surgery can buy patients some time. The long term outcome isn’t great; 10 – 12 years for a recurrence.
    Not defending his behavior, beliefs, poor communication or poor responses to victims, just wondering if along with theological, social and structural problems with the Village Church if his tumour is one of many factors contributing to their failures.

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  101. A thought inspired by a number of prior comments: in humans, the condition of having the mental function of conscience provided by external constraint — because it is internally lacking — is a trait associated with sociopathy.

    These self-protective church-like institutions appear to exhibit sociopathic traits. And while this has a lot to do with the quality and character of the individuals who hold offices of authority within the institutions, it may also be in part a consequence of the legal structure (incorporated businesses) of the institutions. Businesses have a range of stakeholders, many or most of whom may prefer that the enterprise (through the agency of its officers) not admit genuine fault (think of the current scandal re: Boeing).

    Perhaps one can foresee a day when people will be as concerned about the theology and polity (the combination of “neo-cal” and “independent” does not appear wholesome) of the church they are considering attending as they are likely to be about the specific make and model of the airliner they are contemplating booking a flight on.

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  102. Patrice,

    It is important that we all get to hear “the other side”. American judicial system is based on the ideal to allow both sides to “ tell their side of the story”. I obviously do not get the local Dallas papers, nor the emails.
    Unfortunately, as I am learning first hand through professional experiences, and, in general, not “ living under a rock”, the general principle:
    he who has the most money, and power, tends to dominate “telling their side”
    It is really sad how “corporate” American Christianity has become …. remember, as far as I know their is no question that “ a little girl was molested at a church camp, by an adult”….. screw theology, best practices, etc, etc….. this should be the focus, and was she this little girl, the victim, treated as Christ would have us treat her??

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  103. Patrice,

    It is important that we all get to hear “the other side”. American judicial system is based on the ideal to allow both sides to “ tell their side of the story”. I obviously do not get the local Dallas papers, nor the emails.
    Unfortunately, as I am learning first hand through professional experiences, and, in general, not “ living under a rock”, the general principle:
    he who has the most money, and power, tends to dominate “telling their side”
    It is really sad how “corporate” American Christianity has become …. remember, as far as I know their is no question that “ a little girl was molested at a church camp, by an adult”….. heck theology, best practices, etc, etc….. this should be the focus, and was she this little girl, the victim, treated as Christ would have us treat her??

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  104. Samuel Conner: Perhaps one can foresee a day when people will be as concerned about the theology and polity (the combination of “neo-cal” and “independent” does not appear wholesome) of the church they are considering attending as they are likely to be about the specific make and model of the airliner they are contemplating booking a flight on.

    I do think the New Cals are headed toward a hierarchy-based denomination. I think that’s part of their plan–to remove autonomy from SBC churches. They don’t allow individual members autonomy and really harp on hierarchy, so I don’t foresee them continuing to allow autonomy. That’s going to be a big fight, and I think they are waiting until they have a solid lead of votes in the Convention. We definitely see that in the institutions, this forcing of one view and removing ownership and hiding things from messengers.

    Plus, these guys just really like being in charge and they will always keep seeking ways to promote their “authority”.

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  105. “he who has the most money, and power, tends to dominate “telling their side””
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    it is infinitely more than this. it goes something like,

    Matt Chandler and The Village Church leadership purport to have authority from God, to be God’s man / God’s men, God’s anointed. people believe it.

    they are fulfilling The Great Commission. Eternity and God Godself are at stake — God is using Matt Chandler and The Village Church and they are vital.

    As such, they will be targets for spiritual attack. Satan must not be allowed to come against this man and this church. We must stand up for them and side with them and shield them.

    and that is how Matt Chandler and The Village Church will escape any consequences at all in Evangelicalism.

    these beliefs (which have been cultivated by those in power) are influencing the thoughts, feelings, and actions of individuals & groups in the SBC and the greater evangelical community.

    of course, this is merely the spiritualized cover for this:

    Matt Chandler and The Village Church have money and power which supplies the SBC and many other evangelical enterprises with power and money of their own.

    The Bragg Family on one side, Matt Chandler/the Village Church/the SBC/the Dallas christian community/Evangelical word on the other — the power imbalance is astronomical.

    As i see it, God/Jesus/Holy Spirit themselves are being exploited in order to exploit the Bragg family for the purposes of protecting power and money.

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  106. Max: “Outside help”?!! This is why you don’t hear New Calvinists talk about the Holy Spirit. They don’t know His presence and power … if they did, they would have all the “Inside Help” they needed.

    Eh, it’s stupid of him to say they need outside help understanding that people can be depraved and that evil exists. It’s not stupid to say they are not experts in this topic and need outside help to know the best way to protect the kids.

    The problem is, they clearly aren’t worried about protecting the kids and they didn’t hire the kind of help that would do that, not that they are looking to outside experts.

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  107. Bridget: Every lawyer is going to tell them to keep their mouth shut and not talk to anyone, which includes the victims. Pro institution and anti Christlike behavior . . .

    I mean, I kind of think they would be better off talking to a PR person, not a lawyer. The Tylenol poisoning case is famous precisely because they were upfront with the public, and took financial hits to protect the public and in the process protected themselves. Chandler and Co would be helping everybody to look closer at that sort of crisis management approach.

    The moral choices are clear, of course, but they don’t care about those.

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  108. BD: I wondered during and since the Hinkley disclosure whether the tumour was in an area of his brain that affects his judgement

    Nah, he exercised poor judgment ‘before’ the tumor to join the New Calvinist movement and come alongside Mark Driscoll.

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  109. ishy,

    ishy:

    I do think the New Cals are headed toward a hierarchy-based denomination. I think that’s part of their plan–to remove autonomy from SBC churches.

    I think their ultimate goal is theocracy, in which they will eliminate the autonomy of all people and establish ‘the kingdom of God’ on earth. It is perhaps a small minority who actively embrace this agenda, but my Calvi-pastor was one of them. He only openly acknowledged it, and gave me materials, when he thought – mistakenly – that I would be on board with such an agenda. It is being pursued very much under the radar. Think Neo-calvinist takeover on steroids.

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  110. elastigirl:
    Benn,

    Beth Moore just needs to interrupt & say, “JD, Russell, I’m not going to sit here like a christmas tree ornament.Unless that is why you’ve asked me here, i’d like the mic now.”

    I think she will get all the face time she wants, I may be wrong, but we will see…..

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  111. elastigirl: Did Matt Chandler lie? i believe Ms Bragg.
    “The Village disputed the Times article’s characterization of how the Braggs were treated, saying for instance that Matt Chandler, the lead pastor, spoke with Ms. Bragg in September, at a group meeting with many other families.

    On Tuesday, Ms. Bragg said that was “simply not true,” and that the family had never met personally with Mr. Chandler since her daughter’s disclosure. Ms. Bragg said another top pastor explained to her the night of the group meeting that Mr. Chandler would not talk with her then because he did not want to draw attention to them.”

    I too believe Ms. bragg. Chandlers CYA answer sounds like he was in the room talking to lots of people and he’s trying to count that a personal conversation. This is way too sensitive for that to have been a group conversation! So if he didn’t have a one on one, they didn’t talk.

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  112. Patrice: To clarify, Doug Stanley referenced our membership process as just one piece of many that help us screen those who serve here.

    Having somebody sign a piece of paper saying they’ll be awesome is not a ‘screening process’. People lie. Especially people who want access to children. Sheesh.

    As for the rest of the letter, they appear to have reported to the police and encouraged that. I’m glad they did that much. They say they supported the family, but the family clearly doesn’t FEEL supported. Impact matters here. Chandler himself was clearly happy to delegate this to whoever and that’s bad leadership when you run a church. If you can’t be bothered to drive a few miles to meet personally with someone, maybe you shouldn’t have ‘campuses’.

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  113. Pingback: Linkathon! - Phoenix Preacher

  114. elastigirl: Beth Moore just needs to interrupt & say, “JD, Russell, I’m not going to sit here like a christmas tree ornament. Unless that is why you’ve asked me here, i’d like the mic now.”

    Oh, but if she did that, all the young reformers in the room might turn their backs to her! They actually did that to Anne Graham Lotz when she was invited to speak at a pastors conference several years ago.

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  115. Benn: Today at SBC convention @ 3:37 pm there will be a panel ( that includes Beth Moore ) the title of the panel will be-
    The value of women in God’s Mission. Should be interesting…..

    If Ms. Moore holds to the New Calvinist complementarian narrative by falling short of stating that she really believes in her heart of hearts that it is OK for women to preach the Gospel … then the SBC boys win. They will invite her back to speak again and will continue to send their wimmenfolk to her conferences/simulcasts and allow them to buy her books. A lot is at stake here for Ms. Moore … will she be honest to her real convictions or simply hold to the party line? The Christian Industrial Complex is a complex beast indeed for those who benefit from it.

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  116. Max,

    “Oh, but if she did that, all the young reformers in the room might turn their backs to her!”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    then let them show the world what emotional 12-year olds they really are. how delightful that would be.

    she doesn’t need them or their smug entitled faces.

    beth moore has more clout and power than they do. it’s time she fully exercised it, for the sake of half the world and all their supporters. for the sake of what’s right.

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  117. TS00,

    TS00,

    Yes. But it’s not that they have a certain bent, or proclivity.

    -Nazis promoted nazism.
    -Communist promoted communism.
    -Neo-Calvinism will promote Neo-Calvinism. If they dont, then they are not Neo-Calvinist.

    The father of Neo-Calvism envisioned (1890’s) an all encompassing Christian society. There can be no act, thought or thing, outside that Christian structure. All of human existence was divided into Seven Spheres, and over all, Jesus Christ demanded, “mine!”

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  118. Max,

    “They will invite her back to speak again and will continue to send their wimmenfolk to her conferences/simulcasts and allow them to buy her books. A lot is at stake here for Ms. Moore … will she be honest to her real convictions or simply hold to the party line? The Christian Industrial Complex is a complex beast indeed for those who benefit from it.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    She doesn’t need them. i suspect there’s enough critical mass for a Beth Moore Industrial Complex.

    so yes, the question is will she be honest to her real convictions? (on more than just women preaching)

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  119. Max: Oh, but if she did that, all the young reformers in the room might turn their backs to her!

    As Our Father Below righteously did to The Enemy, at least according to Screwtape?

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  120. Max: If Ms. Moore holds to the New Calvinist complementarian narrative by falling short of stating that she really believes in her heart of hearts that it is OK for women to preach the Gospel … then the SBC boys win. They will invite her back to speak again and will continue to send their wimmenfolk to her conferences/simulcasts and allow them to buy her books.

    Anyone heard of the term “Judas Goat”?
    Or the related origin of the term “Black Sheep”?

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  121. Lea: Having somebody sign a piece of paper saying they’ll be awesome is not a ‘screening process’. People lie. Especially people who want access to children. Sheesh.

    Just the Dunning-Kruger Effect (the more incompetent you are, the more Awesome you are in your own mind) would put the lie to that sort of “screening process”.

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  122. Patrice,

    from TVC’s email:

    “Brian Miller, one of our lead pastors, was actively involved in caring for the Braggs with regular communication.

    The family received regular ongoing care from their home campus, the Southlake campus, in the form of phone calls, emails, in-person meetings and pastoral care.”
    ++++++++++++++

    i think i need ‘pastoral care’ as much as i need fake maple syrup poured all over my home-made Beatty’s Chocolate Cake.

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  123. TS00: I think their ultimate goal is theocracy, in which they will eliminate the autonomy of all people and establish ‘the kingdom of God’ on earth.

    Like the Taliban and the Caliphate of ISIS did with Islam.
    See The Handmaid’s Tale for details.

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  124. Nathan Priddis,

    “She would be relegated to obscurity. It might take a while, but she would be contained by the overwhelming opponents that would emerged.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    she is bigger than her opponents.

    you underestimate half the world and their supporters.

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  125. Lea: Eh, it’s stupid of him to say they need outside help understanding that people can be depraved and that evil exists.

    “Sin is not only morally wrong. If you’re able to look at it from the outside, it’s also Terminally Stupid.”
    — Fr Joseph Justice, 1987 RCIA

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  126. Muff Potter:
    Muff Potter,

    A good tort lawyer can smell money like a good hound can smell treed coons.

    I remember “Supershyster”, my Business Law instructor at Cal Poly:
    “That’s why I stayed in small-business Incorporation and Contract Law.
    There’s so much money in Tort Law it’ll corrupt anybody.”

    (Yes, he taught wearing a Superman parody T-shirt that said “Supershyster”…)

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  127. Lea: As for the rest of the letter, they appear to have reported to the police and encouraged that. I’m glad they did that much. They say they supported the family, but the family clearly doesn’t FEEL supported. Impact matters here. Chandler himself was clearly happy to delegate this to whoever and that’s bad leadership when you run a church. If you can’t be bothered to drive a few miles to meet personally with someone, maybe you shouldn’t have ‘campuses’.

    Yes! Thanks Lea, I agree.

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  128. R McPherson,

    “We have got to get Christian outside help that helps us understand what to do in a fallen world.”–Matt Chandler
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    well, if this isn’t a fine description of the sequestered bubble he lives in then paint me red and call me santa claus.

    hasn’t clue what to do in a fallen world…. well, actually, i’m not surprised.

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  129. TS00: I think their ultimate goal is theocracy, in which they will eliminate the autonomy of all people and establish ‘the kingdom of God’ on earth. It is perhaps a small minority who actively embrace this agenda, but my Calvi-pastor was one of them.

    I had a suspicion that might be the case, but never any solid evidence. The New Cals I knew fairly well were all wannabe pastors that weren’t in the inner circle. I’ve watched Mohler and Moore try their hand at politics and wondered if there was an angle there. They shout about hierarchy from the rooftops, though, so I always thought removing autonomy was inevitable.

    The only other suspicions came from watching The Handmaid’s Tale…

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  130. BD:
    Guest,
    Not defending his behavior, beliefs, poor communication or poor responses to victims, just wondering if along with theological, social and structural problems with the Village Church if his tumour is one of many factors contributing to their failures.

    Honestly don’t wish the man an early death, hope he lives to have his eyes opened, to repent, and to come to know Jesus (if he doesn’t and is just another narcissistic fraud). But if his judgment has been impaired by health reasons, seems it’s all been impaired in the direction of cunningly protecting his own power, consolidating control, and promoting his brand, based on the things he’s been documented to have done and the things I’ve read that he said. That’s one heck of a tumor.

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  131. elastigirl:
    Patrice,
    from TVC’s email:
    “Brian Miller, one of our lead pastors, was actively involved in caring for the Braggs with regular communication.

    The family received regular ongoing care from their home campus, the Southlake campus, in the form of phone calls, emails, in-person meetings and pastoral care.”
    ++++++++++++++

    i think i need ‘pastoral care’ as much as i need fake maple syrup poured all over my home-made Beatty’s Chocolate Cake.

    Pastoral care means a lot of things at my church, like visiting at the hospital, meals for the sick, etc. I’m betting Brian didn’t do anything terribly useful or pastoral, but that’s just a guess.

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  132. Lea: I’m betting Brian didn’t do anything terribly useful or pastoral, but that’s just a guess.

    I’m betting their idea of “pastoral care” had more to do with reminding them of the covenant and not to sue than anything we’d consider pastoral care.

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  133. ishy,

    Humm… pastoral care in this situation..
    1. The victim should be told by the top dog of the church that what happened to her is a felony, and given it was an adult at a church camp, one of the most depraved acts that could be done to her.
    2. The victim should be told it was NOT her fault….. total failure of perp, AND the camp leadership that something so depraved could ever happen at a church camp
    3. The victim should never have to see the perps face again…, unless it with the police prosecuting the perp for the evil he inflicted on her.
    4. The church/camp should pay for professional therapy by trained, leaf ally certified therapist…. nit the bogus stuff that some churches are doing….
    5. I could go on, but it is not hard to come up with these action items…. gee, maybe I could be a MEGA Preacher…..

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  134. Max:

    If Ms. Moore holds to the New Calvinist complementarian narrative by falling short of stating that she really believes in her heart of hearts that it is OK for women to preach the Gospel … then the SBC boys win. They will invite her back to speak again and will continue to send their wimmenfolk to her conferences/simulcasts and allow them to buy her books. A lot is at stake here for Ms. Moore … will she be honest to her real convictions or simply hold to the party line? The Christian Industrial Complex is a complex beast indeed for those who benefit from it.

    Agreed. I have trouble respecting her, as she has played along, and benefited most profitably, all these years. Had she spoken for egalitarianism she would have been dropped like a hot potato, and she knew it.

    Will she continue to allow herself to be used, as a token ‘woman’? Or will she repudiate all that these men falsely teach, and to which she has meekly submitted all these years?

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  135. elastigirl: i suspect there’s enough critical mass for a Beth Moore Industrial Complex.

    Perhaps, but her simulcast/book deal with LifeWay and their promotion of her at 45,000+ SBC churches is surely a large market segment for her. But I agree with you, if SBC pulled the plug on her, she could quickly recover in other corners of Christendom (e.g., Assembly of God ranks). While I’m not a fan of the for-profit nature of her ministry – the Beth Moore brand – she definitely has a spiritual gifting to preach/teach and I have no doubt that she is sincere about her love for Christ and desire to serve Him.

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  136. Jeffrey Chalmers: I could go on, but it is not hard to come up with these action items…. gee, maybe I could be a MEGA Preacher…..

    Yeah, Chandler’s “I don’t know what else I could have done” was a big mistake. About 100 people on Twitter came up with a lot of better things in 5 minutes. Starting with making time to meet with the victim’s parents.

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  137. Headless Unicorn Guy: Baal-Moloch is well-fed, and will give his Faithful what they want in exchange.

    SBC’s Baptist Press just ran an article that mentioned Baal/Moloch. Was not about about abuse though, but warning that Google searching was dangerous (examples given were looking into infertility treatments or for XXX photos), Apparently you’re bowing before the screen making petitions which is idolatry?

    http://bpnews.net/53075/firstperson-praying-to-alexa

    Ranks up there with the article they published by Dorothy Patterson’s sister-in-law saying what a blessing her Spanx were.

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  138. Jerome: Ranks up there with the article they published by Dorothy Patterson’s sister-in-law saying what a blessing her Spanx were.

    Just when I thought Christian couldn’t get any dumber… That was one of the lamest things I’ve ever read!

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  139. elastigirl: well, if this isn’t a fine description of the sequestered bubble he lives in then paint me red and call me santa claus.

    Pretty much sums up the fundagelical bubble I once lived within. I live near a very liberal city, and all of my church friends avoided it like the plague. I’m not saying use it as an excuse to go bar-hopping, but if you’re afraid to go where real people have real needs – what good are ya?

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  140. elastigirl,

    Hers is his statement at the SBC rally as quoted in the Houston Chronicle

    I was not trained in any of this,” Chandler said as he defended himself but said there’s no easy path for religious leaders to navigate the “fog of war” in dealing with a sexual abuse allegation. The girl’s family accused Chandler of failing to fully inform the congregation about the allegations against Tonne. As predicted, this man uses his PR training to cloud the issue at hand. I don’t know what he means by the “fog of war”. the only fog I can think of in war tactics is a smoke screen..hmmm

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  141. TS00: Had she spoken for egalitarianism she would have been dropped like a hot potato, and she knew it.

    Yep, she saw what happened to Anne Graham Lotz when she held her ground. Most of the organized church is still trying to annihilate her through an ole boy network of unspiritual church leaders.

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  142. R McPherson: I don’t know what he means by the “fog of war”

    Chandler thinks he is in a spiritual war – that the devil is coming against him in his ministry – that he is battling an evil spiritual realm in a “fog of war.” Scripture says that which comes against the church falls in one of three categories: the flesh, the world, and the devil. Chandler is not scaring the devil much with his ministry style; thus, the flesh and the world have been tripping him up (IMHO).

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  143. elastigirl,
    On Beth Moore: The hand that gives is the hand above.

    I predict the death of 10000 paper cuts if she does not back away from her critical statements.

    About my accuracy in predictions:
    I do have a history of over predicting. Usually it’s because my predictions do not foresee additional factors that come into play.

    During the 2016 Cleveland Convention I predicted an Evangelical Long Knife event. Senator Cruz and spouse left the convention floor in the face of overwhelming hostility. I predicted non-conforming pastors would be turned on, following the election.

    I did not factor in a near 100% collapse in pastoral opposition to the President outside of minority and progressive churches.

    But about the time to admit I was wrong, I notice Macdonald and Chandler recieving criticism in leading Evangelical news outlets.
    From memory, they where the only unrepentant Presidential critics.
    Hybels was not a critic, but was not ideologically pure.

    So, I was wrong, but the final tally is not in yet.

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  144. Jeffrey Chalmers:
    ishy,

    Humm… pastoral care in this situation..
    1. The victim should be told by the top dog of the church that what happened to her is a felony, and given it was an adult at a church camp, one of the most depraved acts that could be done to her.
    2.The victim should be told it was NOT her fault…..total failure of perp, AND the camp leadership that something so depraved could ever happen at a church camp
    3.The victim should never have to see the perps face again…, unless it with the police prosecuting the perp for the evil he inflicted on her.
    4. The church/camp should pay for professional therapy by trained, leaf ally certified therapist…. nit the bogus stuff that some churches are doing….
    5.I could go on, but it is not hard to come up with these action items…. gee, maybe I could be a MEGA Preacher…..

    You’ll never be a mega preacher with that attitude. That’s too much like Jesus.

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  145. __

    No Hope’s Angel: “Crisis SBC Victim Management Instead, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    “A constitutional amendment, which states that churches that mishandle abuse are not qualified for SBC membership, will need to pass a second time at the SBC’s annual meeting next year before it is official” ?

    huh?

    “Outside of Legacy Arena, survivors of sexual abuse and victim’s advocates were dubious…”

    bump.

    The SBC churches apparently will be getting a new coat of white paint.

    What?

    SBC abusive church ousting, TBD?

    SKreeeeeeeeeeeetch!

    Proverbial ‘actions’ following…words?

    KRunch!

    Rachael Denhollander, please don’t let them take you for a ride.

    (sadface)

    Sòpy


    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/SBC-passes-sex-abuse-reforms-acknowledges-more-13969968.php#photo-17661638

    https://projects.houstonchronicle.com/2019/southern-baptist-abuse/#/

    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Sexual-abuse-discussions-dominate-first-hours-of-13968827.php

    ;~)§

    – –

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  146. Max: Yep, she saw what happened to Anne Graham Lotz when she held her ground.Most of the organized church is still trying to annihilate her through an ole boy network of unspiritual church leaders.

    So is she trying to be an agent of change, or riding the wave to see how close to the top of the complementarian pyramid she can climb?

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  147. BD:
    Guest,

    Did he cancel his sabbatical and immediately flew back to arrange a private meeting with the Bragg family first or did he flew back to speak at a panel defending TVC first?

    Does not sound like a brain tumor issue to me. Why does he not practice Matt 18 in this situation?

    Chandler was diagnosed with a anaplastic oligodendroglioma (brain tumour) in 2009.
    He had surgery etc., and claims God healed him, but I wondered during and since the Hinkley disclosure whether the tumour was in an area of his brain that affects his judgement. He was initially told he had about three years, surgery can buy patients some time. The long term outcome isn’t great; 10 – 12 years for a recurrence.
    Not defending his behavior, beliefs, poor communication or poor responses to victims, just wondering if along with theological, social and structural problems with the Village Church if his tumour is one of many factors contributing to their failures.

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  148. Max: Chandler thinks he is in a spiritual war – that the devil is coming against him in his ministry – that he is battling an evil spiritual realm in a “fog of war.”

    Does he really think that? Maybe. It’s also possible that he knows how to push the buttons of the types of people he’s gathered around him in leadership and in the congregation, and he knows the sorts of things to say to get the wagons circled. When anyone raises themselves up to a high position in a mega in so-called Christendom and then hides behind lawyers and christianese and makes sure every hair’s in the right place and uses that comforting “preacher voice” when on the record, but persistent rumors keep coming that they’re cold-hearted towards victims and controlling when they’re not on the record, I’m immediately suspecting they’re a 100% fraud. Chandler fits squarely within this category.

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  149. __

    “Abuse Of Faith”

    hmmm…

    With mission board officials not addressing any abuse issues during their scheduled address to messengers on Tuesday, Wade Burleson’s motion was not even allowed to move forward, a decision he later said was “stunning” and “tone-deaf.”

    huh?

    20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms?

    Q. What are they waiting for?

    The painters?


    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/investigations/article/Southern-Baptist-sexual-abuse-spreads-as-leaders-13588038.php

    ;~)§

    – –

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  150. Max: They would first apply pressure on her sweet deal with LifeWay.

    Isn’t lifeway going out of business or is that just the stores?

    Anyways, I bet most people pick up beths books literally everywhere else and with her track record I doubt she would have trouble finding a publisher, if she needed one.

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  151. Nathan Priddis,

    “On Beth Moore: The hand that gives is the hand above.

    I predict the death of 10000 paper cuts if she does not back away from her critical statements.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    ok, Nate, now’z your big chance!

    Please plainly say whether or not you mean God will be giving the death of 10000 cuts, whether personally or through an ordained ‘authority’ or other ordained party.

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  152. TS00: I have trouble respecting her, as she has played along, and benefited most profitably, all these years. Had she spoken for egalitarianism she would have been dropped like a hot potato, and she knew it.

    Perhaps she is changing her mind. Many people do.

    What I mislike is blaming women for adapting to a system stacked against them. Now she has the position to make choices that men have always been allowed to make but it took time to get here. I’m not a fanish person, but I see her pushing back and I like it. I hope to see more.

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  153. Patrice,

    Doug Stanley is listed as Sr. Dir. on their website. His previous job was as a business consultant. ???? I can’t put my finger on it.

    My guess, what these nonprofit religious corporations (NPRC), they are not houses of faith, don’t get is that victims do want some sort of public acknowledgement from the NPRC. Keeping it quiet is still victimizing the victim. The pedophile forced them to keep it secret. The NPRC is forcing them to do it again.

    Speaking for myself, I never got the public apology, but when my molester died when I was in my 20’s did the same thing for me somewhat.

    If I’m wrong on my guess, please let me know. 🙂

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  154. Lea,

    “I doubt she would have trouble finding a publisher, if she needed one.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    she could form her own publishing house. publishing her own things, those of others.

    (i’m no customer, but there are millions of others)

    to be frank, the intolerable nuissance factor with SBC men who control everything was a foregone conclusion.

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  155. Max: Chandler thinks he is in a spiritual war – that the devil is coming against him in his ministry

    psst. Narcissist.

    It’s all about him, not about this child or other children who might have been hurt. That’s where he goes wrong.

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  156. elastigirl: she could form her own publishing house.

    True. I don’t read her stuff or anything, I just think there are people who LOVE her and she’ll be great. This also seems to provoke people who love to hate her, which I don’t like.

    Also, I think she and others like her do a lot of conferences and stuff?

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  157. elastigirl: to be frank, the intolerable nuissance factor with SBC men who control everything was a foregone conclusion

    A friend of mine who use to work for the WMU said that once the New Cals took over, they dismantled most of WMU’s programs, including their publishing company. They started asserting their “authority” over all WMU decisions, so women no longer controlled the women’s union.

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  158. Lea,
    “This also seems to provoke people who love to hate her, which I don’t like.”

    ishy,
    “…once the New Cals took over, they dismantled most of WMU’s programs, including their publishing company. They started asserting their “authority” over all WMU decisions, so women no longer controlled the women’s union.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    as i tell my kids, life’s too short to associate with mean people.

    it’s several decades past time for Beth and christian women to disassociate from mean christian boys.

    (and duplicitous christian men)

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  159. Lea,

    I will happily applaud if she comes out against all of the restraints that she has so far operated under with nothing but an occasional, veiled murmur. I am one who once held many opinions of which I am now ashamed and completely reject, so I certainly do not discount changes of opinion. However, her past stance is publicly well known, so it would be necessary to make a clear and public disclaimer of what she once accepted. The stakes are too high and have become too public to pretend otherwise.

    If her popularity falls, she can still hold her head up high for doing the right thing. And if she was never in it for the fame and money, she will be willing to exchange it for another worthy ministry, of which she is imminently capable.

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  160. are we making it uncomfortable for TWW men to comment today?

    to be clear, i greatly admire and respect the men who comment here at TWW. for your mutual respectfulness, support, wisdom, honesty, vulnerability, sense of humor…

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  161. elastigirl: well, if this isn’t a fine description of the sequestered bubble he lives in then paint me red and call me santa claus.

    hasn’t clue what to do in a fallen world…. well, actually, i’m not surprised.

    Agree. He’s either stupid or playing stupid. His statement only confirms he shouldn’t be leading anything.

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  162. TS00: If her popularity falls, she can still hold her head up high for doing the right thing.

    This stuff comes at a cost. She could not have done it earlier in her career, even if she wanted to. THAT is the thing I object to. That is what she is criticized for often.

    Rather, lets criticize the ones who make others be stuck with bad choices FIRST.

    I criticize the men who have forced complementarianismist nonsense on everyone. I root for the women who seem to be breaking away. Period.

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  163. Jeffrey Chalmers:
    ishy,

    Humm… pastoral care in this situation..
    1. The victim should be told by the top dog of the church that what happened to her is a felony, and given it was an adult at a church camp, one of the most depraved acts that could be done to her.
    2.The victim should be told it was NOT her fault…..total failure of perp, AND the camp leadership that something so depraved could ever happen at a church camp
    3.The victim should never have to see the perps face again…, unless it with the police prosecuting the perp for the evil he inflicted on her.
    4. The church/camp should pay for professional therapy by trained, leaf ally certified therapist…. nit the bogus stuff that some churches are doing….
    5.I could go on, but it is not hard to come up with these action items…. gee, maybe I could be a MEGA Preacher…..

    You’d do a better job than MC.

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  164. Brian:
    Samuel Conner,

    Isn’t focus on the pastor and less on the Scriptures one of the first steps towards a cult?

    Often, but not always.
    In my experience, SCRIPTURE(TM) plus Groupthink can do a pretty good job of functioning as a Cult Leader.
    Especially when Christian define CULT(TM) by Theology/Doctrine instead of abusive behavior.

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  165. Regarding “fog of war”: I totally get that handling accusations of sexual abuse calls for wisdom, caution, and due process. Things might not be clear in the early hours, until more inquiries are done. Maybe it’s not wise to name the alleged perp immediately.

    At least TVC seems clear that the authorities should be notified immediately and do their investigations. That’s good.

    But doesn’t it seem obvious that you should also immediately, without any delay, share the when-where-what with parents using every conceivable communication path available to you? All it takes is to consider what you’d want if it was *your* child. If your child might have been another victim, or even if they just witnessed something… if they’ve been holding onto that for weeks or months, scared to say anything… you would not want your sweet child to spend even ONE MORE DAY carrying that load!

    Tell the parents: “We have something difficult to share. We have reason to believe a sexual assault may have taken place [when/where]. We’re going to be having a Q&A meeting where we can share more information. Meantime, you should consider asking your child(ren) about this in ways you feel would be appropriate for them. And here’s who to contact if you need help with that, or if (God forbid) you discover something happened.”

    Spread that word far and wide at every opportunity. Don’t you want to know as soon as possible whether there are other victims… the extent of the issue you’re dealing with? Don’t you want to be able to tell parents, “We told you the minute we knew”?

    P.S. @Jeffrey Chalmers, your pastoral care points were right on target!

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  166. ishy: Jerome: Ranks up there with the article they published by Dorothy Patterson’s sister-in-law saying what a blessing her Spanx were.

    Spanx always sounded like the type of underwear Bratz Dolls would wear.

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  167. bendeni: But doesn’t it seem obvious that you should also immediately, without any delay, share the when-where-what with parents using every conceivable communication path available to you?

    I think this is a good place to consult with experts, actually, because you probably don’t want parents freaking out, going home and scaring their kids either. There is probably some protocol for informing people, aided by counselors? Someone could possibly speak to this.

    I don’t think you’d want to tell people to write letters of support and obscure the reason for firing someone though.

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  168. elastigirl:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/us/southern-baptist-convention-sex-abuse.html

    “He [Matt Chandler] said that he was not “running point on care” for the Braggs and allowed other pastors to handle their care because “they are 25 minutes away” and didn’t attend the campus where he was based. Ms. Bragg’s daughter was allegedly molested when the family attended Mr. Chandler’s campus.”

    …nothing like spin to create an atmosphere of moral ambivalence

    And how many times has Chandler let “other pastors” at TVC run point on church decision making, personal appearances, speaking engagements, and so forth? When it’s about visibility of the TVC name, brand, and vision, I’m willing to guess that Chandler is almost certainly going to be front and center.

    But when it comes to something affecting said name and brand, suddenly the priority of being hands-on isn’t apparently present. Though he and so many other megadudes can likely travel to whatever conference you name if it’s a priority — book signing, dudebro time — 25 mile distance in this case comes up as a legit reason to distance one’s self from the handling like we see with politicos and CEOs.

    And yes, after the events leading to his 2015 comments regarding Karen Hinkley and everything surrounding Acts 29, benefits for doubt are in short supply regarding stewardship issues with explanations/excuses like these.

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  169. elastigirl:
    are we making it uncomfortable for TWW men to comment today?

    to be clear, i greatly admire and respect the men who comment here at TWW.for your mutual respectfulness, support, wisdom, honesty, vulnerability, sense of humor…

    I’m just so uncomfortable. This is just so, sniff, hard. I feel like such a victim! That’s my Matt Chandler impersonation from yesterday. : )

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  170. elastigirl:
    Nathan Priddis,

    “On Beth Moore: The hand that gives is the hand above.

    I predict the death of 10000 paper cuts if she does not back away from her critical statements.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    ok, Nate, now’z your big chance!

    Please plainly say whether or not you mean God will be giving the death of 10000 cuts, whether personally or through an ordained ‘authority’ or other ordained party.

    OH…MY FLEXIBLE FEMALE FRIEND!?!?!

    You entice me and toy with my simple mind. Fortunately, we have biblical precident yet again we can cite.

    Spongebob Squarepants..aka..Thhhe Haaallllll Monitor. In Season 1 episode 7 we learned the importance of not questioning authority.

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  171. TS00: I will happily applaud if she comes out against all of the restraints that she has so far operated under with nothing but an occasional, veiled murmur.

    In the past, Beth Moore has published comments that all non-Christians are servants of the devil—not a standard conservative Christian viewpoint. I’m sorry I cannot find the reference right now. Does anyone know her current views on Judaism, or on what is required for salvation?

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  172. Patrice: The article implies that the membership covenant is used to control members while protecting us from a lawsuit. To clarify, Doug Stanley referenced our membership process as just one piece of many that help us screen those who serve here.

    So, it’s a screening process now! Apparently, screening by the sheep (for grievous wolves and such) isn’t quite so winsome as allowing the shearers – I mean shepherds – to screen you, but not list that in their pressure tactics to covenant with a given church and any man-made rules it appends to membership

    Platt:
    https://radical.net/why-we-date-the-church/

    Stetzer:
    https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2015/july/membership-matters-3-reasons-for-church-membership.html

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  173. JDV,

    “And how many times has Chandler let “other pastors” at TVC run point…”
    +++++++++++++++

    ok, this “run point”, “running point” thing….. is this churchspeak?

    i mean it borders on free association. he might as well have said “a beach ball, a dog, a frog……a log, a poodle, a noodle, a doodle….”

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  174. TS00: Agreed. I have trouble respecting her, as she has played along, and benefited most profitably, all these years. Had she spoken for egalitarianism she would have been dropped like a hot potato, and she knew it.

    Will she continue to allow herself to be used, as a token ‘woman’? Or will she repudiate all that these men falsely teach, and to which she has meekly submitted all these years?

    Thank you, thank you, thank you TS00. Let’s not forgot how much money is at stake for Beth. She is a multi-millionaire. She lives a luxurious life. She has an incredible image to maintain. Yes, I have done one of her studies and learned a tremendous amount and grew in my faith. She is a gifted teacher and speaker. However, I’ve learned over the years that in general, the more money someone has, the less trustworthy they become. And I get frustrated when Christian celebrities (I could name many, particularly women) put forth the image of being everyone’s best friend when in reality they know nothing about a middle or lower class life.

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  175. Friend,

    I don’t follow any of the celebs, or read their books, but I have seen an occasional post on things she has allegedly said that raised an eyebrow. For me, it was always, ‘Beth who?’ I didn’t even know what she looked like. Kind of like Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald, until things got really crazy with them. I just don’t move in the mass media or christian media world much. Gave up CT and World Mag years ago.

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  176. bendeni: Maybe it’s not wise to name the alleged perp immediately.

    Eric Justin Toth was fired on the spot from a private church-related school in DC, after indecent images of young children were found on his camera. He was escorted from the grounds and given a tiny amount of leeway by police. Toth drove to Minnesota, faked a suicide, flew to Nicaragua, changed his appearance, and lived under an alias with false documents until a sharp-eyed tourist spotted him five years later. He is now serving 25 years, thanks to the school’s decision to publicize allegations early on, news stories, “America’s Most Wanted,” the FBI, and Nicaraguan authorities.

    This sicko spent his life zealously seeking access to small boys and producing lewd images of them. He worked as a nanny and tutor.

    When evidence is credible, don’t give suspects the benefit of the doubt, a second, or an inch.

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  177. Muff Potter,
    Law Prof,

    so you don’t feel “thin and exhausted”, then.

    i feel ‘liberty and justice for all’ welling up more right now — and it’s plain giddy-making. (certainly miles to go, for all those in the margins).

    just don’t want to alienate friends in the midst of it.

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  178. Lea: I think this is a good place to consult with experts, actually, because you probably don’t want parents freaking out, going home and scaring their kids either. There is probably some protocol for informing people, aided by counselors? Someone could possibly speak to this.

    In terms of how to communicate it, what words to say, what to recommend the parents do, etc. — absolutely! Having counselors standing by? Sure! I’d welcome expert opinion here. The church should have a policy and procedures in place ready to go, informed by the best wisdom available, so they aren’t caught by surprise (and don’t “wing it”). They should be helping the parents decide what best to do, and how.

    What I’m trying to speak to is the timing. Unless the church isn’t going to inform the parents at all (which I can’t imagine), I’m saying they should be told as soon as the church is told. I can’t see any significant benefit to waiting, whereas I can see lots of potential harm. I can’t imagine being a parent and being told by my church leaders: “Yes, we knew about this two months ago, but you know, we needed time to be able to see through the ‘fog of war’.”

    I hope it goes without saying that the alleged perp needs to be removed from access to kids immediately also. In all these things, wouldn’t we be showing that the priority is the victims (and preventing harm to potential other victims)?

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  179. ishy: It’s business-speak. Another hint as to where their interests lie…

    The term “running point” (walking/taking point, on point) originated as a battle term. The combatant on point is out front in hostile territory, the one most likely to die any second at enemy hands. Combatants behind are a little safer.

    “Running point on care” of a vulnerable family, children who have been harmed. They are the armed enemy, the imminent mortal threat?

    What the everlasting.

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  180. bendeni:Unless the church isn’t going to inform the parents at all (which I can’t imagine)

    Silence has been the norm until recent decades. See, for example, the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the Protestant congregation I grew up in.

    Schools (religious and otherwise) have a general approach that churches can adapt. A letter and/or email to all families, counselors on the premises, meetings with parents, assemblies to cover whatever is appropriate for the children to know. If the person is a public danger, sometimes there is a press release and/or a news conference to show coordination with the police.

    Parental upset and publicity can be a nightmare for an affected school, but it’s the only way to protect children and start recovery.

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  181. Jonathan:
    Dee, I appreciate much of your work. But this entry seethes with bitterness and cynicism that interprets everything in the worst possible light. Could you take some time with our Father to check the state of your heart?

    *Seethes with bitterness?* You don’t admire much of my work or you would not have written this. The word *bitter* is a way to deflect a problem from the problem maker onto a victim or an observer.

    How do you know that I haven’t taken some *time with the Father to determine the state of my heart?* is it because I didn’t praise Matt Chandler’s poor judgement and lack of care for a victim? Oh yeah, that’s right. You didn’t even mention the victim and that is a violation of my Prime Directive. That says it all to me. Next time, mention the victim and then I won’t laugh at your silly language. *Seethe*. Good one.

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  182. dee: seethes with bitterness and cynicism that interprets everything in the worst possible light. Could you take some time with our Father to check the state of your heart?

    That’s eerily similar to the comments I met with upon bringing to my former elders a situation regarding some elder decisions that might be putting people at risk. Not ‘Thanks for the information on this person’s former record; and all of the other information you have repeatedly brought to us that we should have found out for ourselves.’

    Oh no, one must simply be warned that ‘the elders are handling this’ and that you, a concerned and informed congregant who did the important legwork, needed to sit down and shut up. And just hope no harm is done by the arrogant elders’ negligence.

    Well some of us refuse to take that risk anymore. Some of us have given up on sitting down and shutting up. So hear us well. When you screw up, refuse to own it and make it right, we’re going to talk about it. You can call that ‘bitter’ if you like. I call it ‘better’.

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  183. Jonathan:
    Dee, I appreciate much of your work. But this entry seethes with bitterness and cynicism that interprets everything in the worst possible light. Could you take some time with our Father to check the state of your heart?

    Jonathan: Look in mirror. Check your own heart. Wake up. Stop being a fool.

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  184. elastigirl:
    Muff Potter,
    Law Prof,

    so you don’t feel “thin and exhausted”, then.

    i feel ‘liberty and justice for all’ welling up more right now — and it’s plain giddy-making.(certainly miles to go, for all those in the margins).

    just don’t want to alienate friends in the midst of it.

    Narcissists in the pulpit of megas make me feel thin and exhausted.

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  185. __

    SBC Under Siege: “Truth, Stranger Than Fiction, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    Complementarianism was really designed for one purpose: the subjugation of Christian church women. Period. Everything else is a smoke-screen. The Calvinist’s originator’s true intent was to prevent the encroachment of women upon church leadership. In addition: To also put them in their place in the Christian home.

    – –

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  186. Honestly….I am really tired of the institutional church and especially the megachurches and celebrity pastors. The whole evangelical machine is absolutely sickening to me. All of these guys making money in the name of Jesus. Just think of all that money lining the pockets of these organizations. What if that money was used to actually feed the poor and provide drinking water to those who need it? I need a church break to think about this whole corrupt system.

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  187. Friend: Parental upset and publicity can be a nightmare for an affected school, but it’s the only way to protect children and start recovery.

    To be clear, I wasn’t worried about parental impact so much as HOW they communicate to their kids. I would probably want some expert guidance on that! That they should be communicated with is 100%.

    It sounds like tvc limited it to the one camp where they know something happened rather than everyone who may have been I contact with the perp which is how it probably ought to be. Stupid of them.

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  188. Law Prof: Jonathan: Look in mirror.Check your own heart.Wake up.Stop being a fool.

    Right? That comment was exceptionally stupid.

    I think a lot of these guys feel like if they just say the words they can shut everybody up with…shame? Idk. It’s like when the move the curtain on the wizard of oz. once you see the truck, it doesn’t work anymore.

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  189. Lea: Right? That comment was exceptionally stupid.

    I think a lot of these guys feel like if they just say the words they can shut everybody up with…shame? Idk. It’s like when the move the curtain on the wizard of oz. once you see the truck, it doesn’t work anymore.

    That’s what they’re used to. When they have people under their thumbs, terrified of them because they’ve bought into the system and are afraid of being thrown out of the “best gospelly church around” or losing their friends and family or their reputations, all the abusers and their enablers have to do is drop a few code words and people cower.

    So they get used to it, come to believe their own hype and power, very much like Rabadash the Ridiculous in Narnia, and when they try it here, they get laughed at because no one is afraid of them. If you fear the Lord and don’t owe a whit to anyone’s system, these paltry little fakes are absurd, squeaking little things.

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  190. elastigirl: just don’t want to alienate friends in the midst of it.

    Have no fear, and let me assure you, I for one love hearing TWW’s bad girls (bad in a good way) sound off at the stupidity and faux ‘spirituality’ of the neo-cal-macho-moronz.

    elastigirl: i feel ‘liberty and justice for all’ welling up more right now — and it’s plain giddy-making. (certainly miles to go, for all those in the margins).

    I feel the same.
    You made me think of Emma Lazarus’s “huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”
    and all those (both men and women) who groan under the lash of fundagelical despots.

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  191. Mike: I am really tired of the institutional church … I need a church break to think about this whole corrupt system

    When enough believers across the institutional church start thinking that way, America just might have Church again! There has always been the Church within the church … much of what we see in church is not the Church at all. Welcome to the “Done” ranks, even if it is a brief excursion.

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  192. Benn: Said Beth withdrew because she didn’t want to be a distraction .

    Nah, she came up against a man-wall at SBC … as evidenced by her tweet today:

    “Relentless overemphasis on biblical manhood and womanhood – the constant pounding – will inevitably, inadvertently cause us to attend more carefully to carrying our genders than carrying our crosses. Whether you’re male OR female, deny yourself, pick up your cross & follow Jesus.”

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  193. Lea: Isn’t lifeway going out of business or is that just the stores?

    Just their brick and mortar locations. LifeWay is alive and well in Nashville, otherwise. It is SBC’s publishing house and leading promoter of books by New Calvinist icons.

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  194. Law Prof: I’m immediately suspecting they’re a 100% fraud. Chandler fits squarely within this category

    Chandler’s interview with John Piper provides some insight into what makes him tick. Part 3 of the interview on “Calvinism and Sexual Complementarity” is particularly revealing, regarding how he views female believers (“our girls” as he calls them).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKEpVzHnUw0&t=744s

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  195. Max,

    She’s still straddling the fence. If she was strong-armed, she could have tweeted it and the whole twitterverse would have lit up. Count me disappointed, but not surprised. I spent too many years under double-speak to give it much merit. She cannot have it both ways, throwing out little hints that she just ‘might’ not be 100% with the program. Yay or nay.

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  196. Benn: So is she trying to be an agent of change, or riding the wave to see how close to the top of the complementarian pyramid she can climb?

    Remains to be seen. No doubt that she has used the comp position to her advantage with LifeWay and SBC’s New Calvinist movement, as a speak-only-to-women celebrity – she is a multi-millionaire, living in a mansion in Texas. She may be in a position now to venture out more bravely and let the ole boys have it!

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  197. Mike,

    “Honestly….I am really tired of the institutional church and especially the megachurches and celebrity pastors. The whole evangelical machine is absolutely sickening to me. All of these guys making money in the name of Jesus. Just think of all that money lining the pockets of these organizations. What if that money was used to actually feed the poor and provide drinking water to those who need it? I need a church break to think about this whole corrupt system.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    if there’s such thing as a thesis paragraph, that would be mine, too. you are in good company here.

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  198. Nathan Priddis,

    sigh
    .
    .
    .
    .
    alright
    .
    .
    you didn’t answer my question. not one bit, not one tiny SHRED.
    .
    but i’m in a generous mood, so i’m giving you yet another chance. i’ll make it easy for you. it is a yes or no question, so you’ll have no cartoon characters to work with.
    .
    do you believe in the power of prayer?

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  199. Lea: It sounds like tvc limited it to the one camp where they know something happened rather than everyone who may have been I contact with the perp which is how it probably ought to be. Stupid of them.

    Agreed.

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  200. Just watched the B21 interview with Chandler. What really struck me was his comment about Tonne having been involved in children’s ministry for 13 years. Think about that. It would not be near enough to simply warn people who were at the camp. Every single family whose child he may have had contact with needed to have clear warning of the potential that this abuse could have been happening elsewhere. All who attended, members or non-members needed to be warned, and given guidance on how to address this and ensure that their kids were not harmed.

    Chandler is either willfully disingenuous, or clueless and needs to find a new job. He does not understand the seriousness of the problem, nor the extent of his responsibility to care for the safety and well-being of all of his church.

    Btw, social media (Tonne’s wife on Facebook, among others) reports that the alleged culprit, Tonne, moved on and began working with children at a nearby church. It is highly unlikely that Chandler did not know about this. Did he warn the other church of the allegations?

    I’m not foolish enough to believe that churches can eliminate all risks of danger to churchgoers. But they have a responsibility to be open and honest about situations, however embarrassing, that may have put attenders in harm’s way. I don’t care whether or not Chandler is personally in charge of running such a care program. He should not be expected to be the point man for everything, but he is certainly responsible for making sure such a program exists and is serving the congregation well.

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  201. Friend: Lea: It sounds like tvc limited it to the one camp where they know something happened rather than everyone who may have been I contact with the perp which is how it probably ought to be. Stupid of them.

    Looks like Lea already made this point.

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  202. Max: she is a multi-millionaire, living in a mansion in Texas. She may be in a position now to venture out more bravely and let the ole boys have it!

    If she’s underwater and awash in a sea of debt, a big mansion in an exclusive zip-code don’t mean squat.

    Frills, baubles, bangles, and prestige, often beyond what can be realistically sustained is now the American way, regardless of income bracket.

    Very few Americans are financially solvent.

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  203. elastigirl,

    (wo)Man. I’m not sure what to say.
    If SpongeBob doesn’t bring clarity to a question, nothing will.

    Im lost on your question, but no there is not magical power in prayer. One can petition, or request of the Court. You may or may not be granted what you want.

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  204. BD: Chandler was diagnosed with a anaplastic oligodendroglioma (brain tumour) in 2009.
    He had surgery etc., and claims God healed him, but I wondered during and since the Hinkley disclosure whether the tumour was in an area of his brain that affects his judgement. He was initially told he had about three years, surgery can buy patients some time. The long term outcome isn’t great; 10 – 12 years for a recurrence.
    Not defending his behavior, beliefs, poor communication or poor responses to victims, just wondering if along with theological, social and structural problems with the Village Church if his tumour is one of many factors contributing to their failures.

    What would a caring, responsible and Christlike man do in this circumstance? Graciously step down or continue enjoying the limelight as long as possible while giving bad advice that decimates other peoples’ lives?

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  205. elastigirl: As i see it, God/Jesus/Holy Spirit themselves are being exploited in order to exploit the Bragg family for the purposes of protecting power and money.

    “…And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.”

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  206. Ray: Did he cancel his sabbatical and immediately flew back to arrange a private meeting with the Bragg family first or did he flew back to speak at a panel defending TVC first?

    Does not sound like a brain tumor issue to me. Why does he not practice Matt 18 in this situation?

    Exactly, excellent point.

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  207. Jonathan: Dee, I appreciate much of your work. But this entry seethes with bitterness and cynicism that interprets everything in the worst possible light. Could you take some time with our Father to check the state of your heart?

    Creepy much?

    Think I need to go wash my brain after reading this comment.

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  208. TS00: Btw, social media (Tonne’s wife on Facebook, among others) reports that the alleged culprit, Tonne, moved on and began working with children at a nearby church. It is highly unlikely that Chandler did not know about this. Did he warn the other church of the allegations?

    The article I posted a bit above says that no only did Tonne do this, but he did it against the restrictions of his indictment.

    This is a key indicator of a predator. He went straight to do something the police told him not to do.

    There were so many things wrong with Chandler’s response, the biggest is that he didn’t see anything wrong with those things.

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  209. TS00: I’m not foolish enough to believe that churches can eliminate all risks of danger to churchgoers. But they have a responsibility to be open and honest about situations, however embarrassing, that may have put attenders in harm’s way. I don’t care whether or not Chandler is personally in charge of running such a care program. He should not be expected to be the point man for everything, but he is certainly responsible for making sure such a program exists and is serving the congregation well.

    I was taught in corporate America that accountability always floats up. Chandler is ultimately accountable for everything at TVC – he is responsible to assure checks and balances in the system to detect and prevent child abuse and to personally respond to the cries of victims. Ministering in this manner comes with the territory, not just the perks. I realize managing “mega” can be challenging, but there are some things a “Lead Pastor” just shouldn’t delegate.

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  210. TS00: Btw, social media (Tonne’s wife on Facebook, among others) reports that the alleged culprit, Tonne, moved on and began working with children at a nearby church. It is highly unlikely that Chandler did not know about this. Did he warn the other church of the allegations?

    Considering they fired him for ‘alcohol abuse’ rather than child abuse? Probably not.

    I should note regarding institutional disclosures, I’m more familiar with medical ones but we recently had an issue with a provider and spent months reviewing all of his work going back years looking for issues, everyone he touched got letters informing them, this is pretty standard. Similar things occur when there is a known problem with equipment.

    Churches are doing a terrible job here, but I think this good ole boy, hand em off to the next church full of people who haven’t heard the gossip and don’t know to protect themselves is one of the biggest problems.

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  211. ishy: This is a key indicator of a predator. He went straight to do something the police told him not to do.

    Agreed. If someone was innocent but in real danger of going to jail you would think they would stay very clearly away. Predator behavior. What are the odds he hasn’t done this before or since? I would say slim to none.

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  212. “The church claimed it couldn’t have been one of their employees because, because according to one pastor “leaders followed the church’s moral code, enshrined in the membership covenant.”” (Dee)

    I suspect that Hybels had such a moral code enshrined at Willow Creek, and MacDonald at Harvest, and Driscoll at Mars Hill, etc. etc. Moral codes drafted by men are broken by other men all the time, even by trusted church leaders. A membership covenant doesn’t scare the devil out of anyone! They are used by church leaders to intimidate, manipulate, and dominate church members, not each other. DO NOT sign them, folks!! The only covenant you need to enter into as a believer is the one written in red by Christ.

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  213. Lea: What are the odds he hasn’t done this before or since? I would say slim to none.

    And remember the letter sent by TVC?

    “We want to clearly state that there are no persons of interest in this investigation that have access to children at the Village Church,” he said. “We would not let someone who is under investigation for a crime like this be near any of our children at T.V.C.”

    It’s in the present tense, about a children’s minister who worked there for 11 years. Not one mention that this person had prior access to almost every child at TVC. And Chandler claimed in answer to questions about this yesterday that they did tell the parent whose children were at this camp who it was, like that was enough.

    I saw one commenter critizing people questioning these points by saying that TVC didn’t have a responsibility to tell anyone after this happened “because Matt. 18 and the covenant”.

    Atrocious…

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  214. ishy: It’s in the present tense, about a children’s minister who worked there for 11 years. Not one mention that this person had prior access to almost every child at TVC.

    Indeed. Weasel Words I would say. “Have” access, not HAD.

    Chandler is lying with truth.

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  215. Nathan Priddis:
    elastigirl,

    (wo)Man. I’m not sure what to say.
    If SpongeBob doesn’t bring clarity to a question, nothing will.

    Im lost on your question, but no there is not magical power in prayer. One can petition, or request of the Court. You may or may not be granted what you want.

    There is power in prayer, but you’re right, it’s not “magical” power.

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  216. Lea: Indeed. Weasel Words I would say. “Have” access, not HAD.

    Chandler is lying with truth.

    Yes, it was a lie. No doubt. It’s the kind we’ve all told before, the worst kind, the half truth. I hope, of course, that none of us have ever told this kind of lie when it sacrifices the well-being of children who might need psychological help and counseling because they were harmed by this man, but their parents are misled into thinking it couldn’t have happened because of Chandler’s sincere-sounding words using his best preacher voice.

    In other contexts, this sort of half truth actually can give rise to legal liability, it’s called “false lights publication.” In this context, it’s mainly just evil for Chandler to do it, and a sign that he is a horrifically corrupt human being who cares a whole lot more about his institution, his reputation, and his power within that institution that he does about children who may have been harmed and their parents who may need to be alerted to this fact.

    Matt Chandler did something evil, and he is giving every indication that he does not care.

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  217. Lea: “Have” access, not HAD.

    Chandler is lying with truth.

    Half-truth is not Truth. But, it fits with the New Calvinist model which tosses theological horseshoes close to the stake without ever scoring a ringer. Stealth and deception is their game. These new reformers need to stop dragging out Matthew and his 18th chapter to conceal their sins … just be straight with the folks for God’s sake!

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  218. Law Prof: parents are misled into thinking it couldn’t have happened because of Chandler’s sincere-sounding words using his best preacher voice

    “Is that what God said?”

    Law Prof: cares a whole lot more about his institution, his reputation, and his power within than institution than he does about …

    The same attitude displayed by Hybels, MacDonald, Driscoll and assorted other Christian celebrities caught between a rock and a hard place … when they got squeezed, what was inside oozed out. “Sincere-sounding words using his best preacher voice” is a gimmick used by all of them to obtain mega-status and they fool the masses for a season. But God …

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  219. Nathan Priddis,

    ok, a better answer.

    your comments are kind of like those pointillisms from circa 1995, where dinosaurs hide behind the dots and you have to unfocus your eyes and let the dinosaurs emerge.

    so, the dinosaurs i wonder if i’m seeing behind the dots in your comments sort of look like God as author of both good and evil, ordaining agents with authority to do both good things and harmful things.

    but in the absence of plain, straightforward information, my question was an effort to sort of reverse engineer the discussion.

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  220. Benn: Said Beth withdrew because she didn’t want to be a distraction

    A distraction to who, what? Dud she say that, or did the powers to be say that? I’m not listening to these men telling women how to “be.”

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  221. Bridget: A distraction to who, what? Dud she say that, or did the powers to be say that? I’m not listening to these men telling women howto “be.”

    I don’t know, I was told by a very very high ranking leader from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
    That she withdrew because she didn’t want her being on the panel to be a distraction.
    I missed the rally of Dee’s because I had an opportunity to have dinner with some SBC folk
    I ask the person if that was just lor public consumption ( BM with opting out from panel and ask if there was something else, he said that is what filtered down to him)

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  222. TS00: I’m not foolish enough to believe that churches can eliminate all risks of danger to churchgoers. But they have a responsibility to be open and honest about situations, however embarrassing, that may have put attenders in harm’s way.

    I don’t believe that fail-safe perfection is possible either, but at least have the protocols and ‘firewalls’ in place that the secular world uses to guard against child sex predators.

    Wade Burleson worked tirelessly in this regard, but the SBC big-whigs would have none of it.

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  223. Benn: I don’t know, I was told by a very very high ranking leader from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
    That she withdrew because she didn’t want her being on the panel to be a distraction.
    I missed the rally of Dee’s because I had an opportunity to have dinner with some SBC folk
    I ask the person if that was just lor public consumption ( BM with opting out from panel and ask if there was something else, he said that is what filtered down to him)

    I have been stuck in traffic for an hour, ( I-20 out of Birmingham was closed at Alabama/ Georgia line)
    Hoping Dee’s update would post !

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  224. Benn: That she withdrew because she didn’t want her being on the panel to be a distraction.

    This is actually somewhat in character for her from everything I’ve seen. She often retracts from things on Twitter when they get really heated, even when the bullies keep going.

    And it may very well be that if there were other survivors on the panel she wanted their voices to be heard. I didn’t see a list of people for that panel, so not sure who else was on it.

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  225. Benn,

    “I ask the person if that was just lor public consumption ( BM with opting out from panel and ask if there was something else, he said that is what filtered down to him)”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    thanks for passing it on.

    i don’t believe a word SBC leaders say. how can anyone? everything is partial truth down to zero truth spun into what is meant to look like white linen.

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  226. Benn: That she withdrew because she didn’t want her being on the panel to be a distraction.

    The other thing is that when you go to a panel at the SBC, there’s mics where people can ask questions.

    There are always warnings to stay on topic. And those warnings are almost always ignored. So I imagine at the panels on which she had already spoken, there were hundreds of SBC fanboys lining up to condemn her for preaching to men.

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  227. Ishy: asked sex abuse victims to stand up and be prayed

    I hope (but doubt) there was recognition that you would probably have to be pretty far into recovery to actually want to do that so publically? I would personally recoil.

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  228. Lea: I hope (but doubt) there was recognition that you would probably have to be pretty far into recovery to actually want to do that so publically? I would personally recoil.

    JD, did tell any and all, if they couldn’t stand, or were not ready to stand that that they didn’t have to, and he had a female abuse victim give the prayer, ( yes a women praying at an SBC event, )
    She gave a moving prayer
    I actually think JD handled this well, and yes ISHIY there were other abuse victims on the panel that BM withdrew from, so you may be correct in her reasoning

    There were quit a few victims that stood, I was numb to see that many women and men stand.
    It was hard to process.

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  229. ishy: Read the tweet thread dee started. A lot of victims who were there were furious.

    I understand, I can’t even think about what a victim goes through in all of this.
    I am sure he will be second and third guessed on what he tried to do, and I do respect what a victim says about how they viewed the event, because I was not ready emotionally to see and hear what I heard.

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  230. Ishy: “Today, JD Greear and the SBC asked sex abuse victims to stand up and be prayed for in their convention hall. Seriously?” (Dee)

    I’m not being political here, but JD comes across like Bill Clinton when he said “I feel your pain.”

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  231. Max: A smooth character.Beware of appearances.The New Calvinists want to appear to be taking the high road on this … but only after they were forced to by outside pressure.

    Max, I’ll be your huckleberry on this,
    Only time will tell if he ( JD) and larger the SBC is in fact sincere and transparent on the abuse question.
    We will all see if they are making serious changes.
    They ( the messengers to the convention ) approved an amendment to a resolution that removed a male from a committee and added another female, ( and I believe she is a victim or an expert on abuse) and by removing a male and adding an additional female, would make it the only committee in SBC history to have a female majority on a committee)

    I know that is laughable to most, but it is a start….

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  232. Benn: I am sure he will be second and third guessed on what he tried to do

    Too immature to be leading the SBC at this juncture. A dudebro calling for such a prayer while wearing $300 sneakers is a strange image in my mind. I’m sure the young reformers think he scored some SBC brownie points on this … IMO, such a maneuver was to use the abused for show. A man of God could have handled this better, rather than a preacher-boy. Oh well, that’s where the SBC is right now. Sad to witness a once-great evangelistic denomination die a slow death after spending 70 years in it.

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  233. Max: A man of God could have handled this better, rather than a preacher-boy.

    Well, and they should have consulted an abuse expert that isn’t affiliated with Ministry Safe. Their biggest problem is that they think they can deal with this all themselves in the way they think is right. At least they put some survivors on the committee, but I can’t help but wonder if that was really against the wishes of the dudebros, and the dudebros just got outvoted by decent, small church Southern Baptists.

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  234. Benn: Max, I’ll be your huckleberry on this

    Benn,

    I’ve had other huckleberries come and go in my long life. A long line of folks have volunteered to be my pallbearer (huckle bearer) – I’ve outlived most of them to date. I know a few things because I’ve seen a few things.

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  235. Benn,

    It’s a trust issue. If someone said they were going to help them then didn’t in the past, JD doing a public prayer will not comfort them. Actions, not words, by JD and the SBC will only do that.

    I despised Social Services for decades.

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  236. dee,

    As it’s said in these parts, all hat and no cattle. Literally.

    A recent commenter on Dreher’s article made a good point. A “beloved” minister reveals himself to be abusing alcohol and suicidal, and the thing to do is fire him and let him go to another church?

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  237. Brian: It’s a trust issue. If someone said they were going to help them then didn’t in the past, JD doing a public prayer will not comfort them. Actions, not words, by JD and the SBC will only do that.

    “Little children (believers, dear ones), let us not love [merely in theory] with word or with tongue [giving lip service to compassion], but in action and in truth [in practice and in sincerity, because practical acts of love are more than words]” (1 John 3:18 AMP)

    A good example of words without action is SBC’s 2013 resolution “On Sexual Abuse of Children” which called for SBC leaders to be careful affiliating with ministers and ministries which had not protected children from abuse.
    The drafters of that resolution had Al Mohler and C.J. Mahaney/SGM in mind … yet, Mohler rejected those words with no follow-up action (until the Houston Chronicle shed light on his failures some 6 years later). The watchbloggers and media need to hold SBC’s feet to the fire to put actions to their words; their leaders don’t have a good track history in this regard. Southern Baptists resolve to do things better at their annual meetings, then go back home to business as usual. “You shall know them by their love” … will we?

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  238. elastigirl:
    Nathan Priddis,

    ok, a better answer.

    your comments are kind of like those pointillisms from circa 1995, where dinosaurs hide behind the dots and you have to unfocus your eyes and let the dinosaurs emerge.

    so, the dinosaurs i wonder if i’m seeing behind the dots in your comments sort of look like God as author of both good and evil, ordaining agents with authority to do both good things and harmful things.

    but in the absence of plain, straightforward information, my question was an effort to sort of reverse engineer the discussion.

    Well I cant comment on what you see. Pointillism as I understand it, is a form of Impressionism. The interpretation is in the mind of the viewer and is..
    ..”literary or artistic style that seeks to capture a feeling or experience rather than to achieve accurate depiction.”

    Try this instead..
    ..”The holographic principle is a tenet of string theories and a supposed property of quantum gravity that states that the description of a volume of space can be thought of as encoded on a lower-dimensional boundary to the region—such as a light-like boundary like a gravitational horizon.”

    When the information encoded on the lower demension surface is directly viewed, it appears scrambled. Just as it’s not possible to read a CD by eye.

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  239. Ishy: Matt Chandler … doesn’t think non members should have access to “family business”

    There is only one true Church, only one genuine family. The Body of Christ both inside and outside TVC should be free to correct and rebuke church leaders who fail to protect all members of the family of God.

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  240. Max,

    One of the parents whose child was at that camp said they didn’t receive much “care” either. I don’t think there was any care. He’s just telling people to shut up and mind their own business because it’s causing him problems that he can’t control.

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  241. Stan,

    It’s very common in elite private schools. It’s called “passing the trash”, used both by public and private schools to get rid of tenured teachers who are a liability. There are have been several lawsuits recently in my states over such practices, and it seems like things may be changing. My current school (private) has been very clear that anything that results in possible criminal behavior will mean a swift removal and report to authorities. In almost 40 years of education, I had never heard it put that way before.

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  242. Ishy: “Today Matt Chandler confirmed he looks at membership as access to elevated care

    What care? It doesn’t seem all that elevated for actual members does it? And where is this in the bible???

    Ishy: he doesnt think non members should have access to “family business” with regards to Moral Failures by Youth Pastors…

    His thinking on everything related to this topic is BACKWARDS. This is not about moral failures, it is not about gossip, it is about DANGER TO CHILDREN. He needs to think in terms of stakeholders, which includes anyone, member or not, who has children who might interact with this man. I want to type all the swear words but instead I’ll say if the Karen Hinkley thing didn’t get him up to speed nothing will because he flat out doesn’t care about the right things. Throw him out with the trash until he does.

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  243. Ishy:
    On Twitter:

    From @BiblicalJustice:

    “Today Matt Chandler confirmed he looks at membership as access to elevated care and he doesnt think non members should have access to “family business” with regards to Moral Failures by Youth Pastors…

    God called.. He asked me to tell you YOU’RE FIRED!

    https://t.co/3luNu7mfig

    https://twitter.com/BiblicalJustice/status/1138536731093942274

    That is disgusting! Matt Chandler is saying that it is ok to pass the youth pastor on to places where he might abuse again, because not my member not my care!? He is morally bankrupt(.)

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  244. ishy: He’s just telling people to shut up and mind their own business because it’s causing him problems that he can’t control.

    Reminds me of Robert Morris who called Christians who participate in the blogosphere a bunch of gossipers and watchblogs “Satan’s Hit List.” It’s the old shame them to silence routine.

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  245. Lea: This is not about moral failures, it is not about gossip, it is about DANGER TO CHILDREN. He needs to think in terms of stakeholders, which includes anyone, member or not, who has children who might interact with this man.

    I wonder if Law Prof can chime in, but his response is basically that only covenant members deserve protection, even though non-members came to the camp and I’m sure come to the church on a regular basis. That seems like grounds for a lawsuit….

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  246. ishy,

    I am not a lawyer, but the whole way they have elected to do disclosure is appalling. That said, I don’t know who is legally responsible. Does TVC own the camp? It seems the camp should be notifying everyone at camp that year at a bare minimum…the church should be notifying everyone who has been involved in kid related activities with this man to the best of their abilities. I cannot think of any decent reason to exclude non-members from basic disclosures.

    Also, churches need to start giving proper accurate information to anyone hiring one of their employees, but I don’t recall if this guy was hired by the other church or volunteered? If he was volunteering that church obviously needs to do a better job on background checks – maybe check arrest records? Is that a thing that comes in background checks?

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  247. Lea: Does TVC own the camp? It seems the camp should be notifying everyone at camp that year at a bare minimum…the church should be notifying everyone who has been involved in kid related activities with this man to the best of their abilities.

    They only notified the parents of the girls in that one cabin, as far as I’ve seen from the articles. And the rest of the church only found out last week from the Times expose that it was the children’s pastor, I guess, unless some of those girls’ parents told a few people (which they were not supposed to). The only notice was that one I posted above that only spoke in the present and implied to me that they wanted people to think it was a temporary camp staffer.

    There’s been a few parents in the Twitter threads who are very angry to just find all this out, and I don’t blame them.

    The info from No Eden Elsewhere’s article was simply that Tonne and family were members at Valley Creek and that he was seen at children’s events there. It’s unclear if he’s a volunteer or acting as a parent.

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  248. ishy: I wonder if Law Prof can chime in, but his response is basically that only covenant members deserve protection, even though non-members came to the camp and I’m sure come to the church on a regular basis. That seems like grounds for a lawsuit….

    Take this opinion for what it’s worth and remember I’m not a practitioner in any area and haven’t been for years, and never appeared in a Texas court. But you’re liable for the damages you cause to anyone whom you could reasonably foresee being affected. That doesn’t have diddly squat to do with being a member of an organization. A tort’s a tort, negligent hiring or retention that leads to another’s harm is good grounds for a lawsuit, so long as there are damages, and you don’t get to artificially limit your liability only to those who sign a document. In fact, those who didn’t sign the document may be in a better position to file a lawsuit rather than having to go through arbitration, assuming the church covenant has an arb clause. I hope there aren’t any damages beyond what we already know, and that hope is certainly not for the sake of Chandler and his little empire.

    So I haven’t read this stuff, but if he’s actually running around now implying that he assumes no responsibility for and has no liability to those who didn’t sign his covenant, then in my opinion he is not only behaving in an evil manner, but in a stupid one as well.

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  249. Todd Wilhelm,

    “you immature little weak coward, you silly pathetic little boy, you narcissistic zero” (Matt Chandler addressing a critic, laughter from congregation follows)

    Whew! Chandler has the spirit of Mark Driscoll on him! Who in their right mind goes to a church like this?! But that’s just it isn’t it … his followers are not in their right spiritual mind.

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  250. Nathan Priddis: Well I cant comment on what you see. Pointillism as I understand it, is a form of Impressionism. The interpretation is in the mind of the viewer and is..
    ..”literary or artistic style that seeks to capture a feeling or experience rather than to achieve accurate depiction.”

    Try this instead..
    ..”The holographic principle is a tenet of string theories and a supposed property of quantum gravity that states that the description of a volume of space can be thought of as encoded on a lower-dimensional boundary to the region—such as a light-like boundary like a gravitational horizon.”

    When the information encoded on the lower demension surface is directly viewed, it appears scrambled. Just as it’s not possible to read a CD by eye.

    I think pointillism is overrated. When I saw Le cirque at the Orsay, I went “Meh.”

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  251. Max:
    Todd Wilhelm,

    “you immature little weak coward, you silly pathetic little boy, you narcissistic zero”

    I would bet the equity in my house against anyone’s Starbuck’s latte that Chandler would blow the top off an NPD test and this “narcissistic zero” lingo is pure projection. That is one disturbed, warped human being to stand in front of a church and go after a critic that way. A very sick man.

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  252. Law Prof: So I haven’t read this stuff, but if he’s actually running around now implying that he assumes no responsibility for and has no liability to those who didn’t sign his covenant, then in my opinion he is not only behaving in an evil manner, but in a stupid one as well.

    I’m sure you know a whole lot more than me in any case.

    I definitely get the same impression, though. He seems like he’s making one huge mistake after another and heading the way of Driscoll and JMac.

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  253. Law Prof: he is not only behaving in an evil manner, but in a stupid one as well

    As evidenced by the short audio clip Todd Wilhelm just posted, he doesn’t speak with the heart of a shepherd when concerns are raised about him and his ministry:

    https://thouarttheman.org/wp-content/uploads/chandler_critics.mp3

    The poor lead pastor doesn’t get to play in the church volleyball games, he has to stand on the sidelines:

    “The shepherd rarely gets to play in the middle of all the healthy sheep when they are having a BBQ and playing a volleyball game. He’s on the fringes where the wolves and the sheep with rabies are.” (Matt Chandler)

    Whew! Good Lord, let him play volleyball with you!

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  254. Law Prof: That is one disturbed, warped human being to stand in front of a church and go after a critic that way. A very sick man.

    Chandler’s hostile sermonette was really designed to send a message to all TVC members “Don’t criticize me, don’t question me, don’t mess with God’s anointed, do what I say not what I do, etc.” It’s the modus operandi of New Calvinist shepherds to manipulate, intimidate, and dominate church members … and the strange thing is that they love it so! (the laughter from the congregation at the end of his tirade is reminiscent of the Andy Savage standing ovation)

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  255. Lea: His thinking on everything related to this topic is BACKWARDS. This is not about moral failures, it is not about gossip, it is about DANGER TO CHILDREN.

    But that’s not SPIRITUAL(TM).

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  256. Law Prof: That is one disturbed, warped human being to stand in front of a church and go after a critic that way.

    He sure doesn’t like anonymous comments, does he?

    By contrast, my church just sent every member a survey seeking opinions about our ministries to children. It is designed for anonymous response so that people can speak their minds.

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  257. ishy: He seems like he’s making one huge mistake after another and heading the way of Driscoll and JMac

    He’s trying to hold onto his little kingdom, convinced that he has been called into the world for such a time as this. Church history is littered with others who made that mistake (Driscoll, MacDonald, Hybels, etc. etc.). They all responded the same way when pressed … with hostility (not fruit of the Spirit). But they all had golden parachutes when they finally had to jump … Chandler will be OK.

    Regarding New Calvinism: “If this teaching or movement is merely human it will collapse of its own accord” (Acts 5:38)

    Perhaps we are witnessing the New Calvinist movement collapse one piece after another … the same way it was constructed.

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  258. Max: “He’s on the fringes where the wolves and the sheep with rabies are.”

    So he thinks his sheep have rabies? Okay… how does a man respond when 1) an animal 2) has a deadly brain disease 3) that requires it to be killed 4) because it might pass the disease to that man through biting?

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  259. Friend: So he thinks his sheep have rabies? Okay… how does a man respond when 1) an animal 2) has a deadly brain disease 3) that requires it to be killed 4) because it might pass the disease to that man through biting?

    Uhhh … I’m sure that is somewhere in the church membership covenant.

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  260. Max,

    “As evidenced by the short audio clip Todd Wilhelm just posted”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    omg

    what a pathetic little boy Matt Chandler is.

    the martyr-hero who can’t play volleyball at the bbq

    the spoiled 3 year-old with the fragile ego who is outraged that someone should speak a negative word

    this week i listened to an interview with Anna Fifield regarding her book “The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un”. She described a little of his childhood.

    that’s what popped into my mind while listening to the recording.

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  261. elastigirl: the martyr-hero who can’t play volleyball at the bbq

    Yes. The recording makes clear what a sacrifice he makes by spending time with his rabid sheep. He also said, “A great deal of my week is spent walking through the tragedies, heartaches, and sins of other men and women.” Which sounds almost laudable, except for the self-pity.

    Decent pastors—decent Christians—don’t feel sorry for themselves when they visit someone who is dying, or struggling with private pain or sins. I have heard pastors thank a family for inviting them to the hospital. I have heard gracious people say, “Thank you for telling me this.”

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  262. Law Prof: A tort’s a tort

    Confession time: this reminded me of the “Mr. Ed” theme, which I listened to as an antidote to Matt Chandler’s rant.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSsuohepbVk

    A horse is a horse of course of course
    And no one can talk to a horse of course.
    That is of course unless the horse
    Is the famous Mister Ed!
    Go right to the source and ask the horse.
    He’ll give you the answer that you’ll endorse.
    He’s always on a steady course.
    Talk to Mister Ed!
    People yakkity-yak a streak
    And waste your time of day,
    but Mister Ed will never speak
    Unless he has something to say!
    A horse is a horse of course of course
    And this one’ll talk ’til his voice is hoarse.
    You’ve never heard of a talking horse?
    Well, listen to this…
    “I am Mister Ed!”

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  263. Max: “The shepherd rarely gets to play in the middle of all the healthy sheep when they are having a BBQ and playing a volleyball game. He’s on the fringes where the wolves and the sheep with rabies are.” (Matt Chandler)

    Translation: the wolves and sheep with rabies are the leaders and attenders of all those pricey conferences that take up so much of his time. This was just his description of his business associates.

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  264. elastigirl: are we making it uncomfortable for TWW men to comment today?

    Not me. I just did not have a lot of time this week to respond, and the other comments were so good that I did not have much to add. Also, I probably spent too much time interacting on a recent post on Wade’s site. It has 180 comments by now, which has to be a record since most of his posts only get a few dozen comments. Wade’s recent post have been pretty amazing. I am surprised Dee has not been reposting them here.

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  265. elastigirl: are we making it uncomfortable for TWW men to comment today?

    Max is still here. Of late, I’ve been “persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” … I’m hanging with TWW as best I can. Some days my wit and wisdom are not as sharp as other days. As a TWW man, I would like to take some of these “lead pastors” out behind the woodshed … the darn young whippersnappers are running roughshod over the American church.

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  266. Todd Wilhelm:

    You’re all a bunch of narcissistic zeroes.

    https://thouarttheman.org/wp-content/uploads/chandler_critics.mp3

    That did more than make my skin crawl. Listen, I had a mocking, sardonic, arrogant, condemning pastor like this for a decade, but never, and I mean never, did I heard that level of hatred and evil vibe. This man has no business being a pastor. Period. My heart is still racing at the level of aggression and violence in his voice.

    And whoever said it, they are absolutely correct that this was a menacing message to everyone listening that they had better not mess with him. I would never have stepped foot in that place again.

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  267. TS00: this was a menacing message to everyone listening that they had better not mess with him

    It’s the macho-man preacher effect that propelled New Calvinism into existence (think Driscoll). I suppose Generations X, Y and Z like the dude-bro approach to ministry, rather than sitting under gentle, humble servants of the Lord who love them. Chandler says “I preach to men” … I guess the TVC churchmen like him spitting fire scaring their families into submission. His approach, with rants like this, is designed to intimidate the crowd into being Christ-followers I suppose (that just doesn’t fit with real-deal Christianity does it?).

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  268. Max: “The shepherd rarely gets to play in the middle of all the healthy sheep when they are having a BBQ and playing a volleyball game. He’s on the fringes where the wolves and the sheep with rabies are.” (Matt Chandler)

    Him bringing up a concept of sheep with rabies is disturbing. There is no such example in the Bible. This is just a self serving ploy to shut out those who see through him.

    With people like this, watch what they accuse others of and you’ll have your answer as to what they, themselves, are up to.

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  269. Max: Chandler’s hostile sermonette was really designed to send a message to all TVC members “Don’t criticize me, don’t question me, don’t mess with God’s anointed, do what I say not what I do, etc.” It’s the modus operandi of New Calvinist shepherds to manipulate, intimidate, and dominate church members … and the strange thing is that they love it so! (the laughter from the congregation at the end of his tirade is reminiscent of the Andy Savage standing ovation)

    They are naive and think they stand on the same side as he is, facing common enemies.

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  270. Ken F (aka Tweed),
    Max,

    I’m glad to hear, Ken and Max. TWW has the best of men.

    the greater topics of gender roles and spiritual/sexual abuse in church is so devastating, so enraging…

    liberty and justice by degrees on the horizon, when they’ve been denied, is both a revisit of the fury of injustice as well as entry into exhilaration of whiffs of freedom and full-fledged human status — whether personally or vicariously for those most afflicted.

    all in all, i think it can come across as indicting all men everywhere — that isn’t truly the case. but it’s too much emotional juggling to make this clear.

    once again, TWW has the best of men.

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  271. Friend: The recording makes clear what a sacrifice he makes by spending time with his rabid sheep.

    I thought he was out there providing a layer of security between the healthy sheep and the rabid.

    He probably can’t play volleyball anyway…

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  272. Friend: He sure doesn’t like anonymous comments, does he?

    By contrast, my church just sent every member a survey seeking opinions about our ministries to children. It is designed for anonymous response so that people can speak their minds.

    Of course, whistleblower systems should always be anonymous. My student reviews are anonymous, the reviews we faculty make of administrators are anonymous. Sarbanes-Oxley, the legislation designed to reduce accounting fraud, sets up anonymous whistleblower systems. Section 301 demands that such systems be completely anonymous, section 806 penalizes companies that punish whistleblowers.

    If you want an true assessment, some aspect of it must be anonymous. To stand in front of a large crowd of people and veritably spit venom at one who makes an honest assessment of you with words like “coward” and “narcissistic zero” only proves that you are a coward and a narcissistic zero. It also proves that your whistleblower system is essentially worthless, because you do nothing of substance with it other than punish those who use it.

    I wonder if Jesus were in that congregation, what would He have done? Is it crazy to suggest He might have picked him up by the feet, shook him until the change clattered out of his pockets, then chased him straight into the street at the point of a whip? Would that be out of character? IMHO, not at all. Those moneychangers in the temple got it light, they got it while they were living and breathing and had a chance to assess what selfish fools they’d been. Chandler better repent of this evil while he still ca.

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  273. Friend,

    “Decent pastors—decent Christians—don’t feel sorry for themselves when they visit someone who is dying, or struggling with private pain or sins. I have heard pastors thank a family for inviting them to the hospital. I have heard gracious people say, “Thank you for telling me this.””
    +++++++++++++++++

    it is an honor.

    friends and pastors who have helped my parents in dire health crises (and me and my sibling in caregiving for them) said, “it is an honor”.

    what’s wrong with matt chandler.

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  274. __

    Proverbial ‘Pulpit Alligators’ ™ : “TVC First?”

    hmmm…

    Ooooh myyy God!

    When those perceived as harming the 501c3 ACTS 29 establishment become more of a concern/priority than those actually harming its attending members, —it is well past time to take your money and RUN!!!

    We now know what the fact(s) is.

    hum, hum, hum…Go on and take your money and run…

    Yeah, Yeah…

    Tell me what I sêê is really love?

    How will I know?

    (sadface)

    Scared, overwhelmed, confused?

    Join the club.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eyA_g4oPt6Y

    How far is relief?

    ;~)§

    – –

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  275. SiteSeer: Him bringing up a concept of sheep with rabies is disturbing.

    It truly is. Note the distinct difference between the Good Shepherd, who came to heal and protect his wandering flock, vs. this attitude of ‘dangerous’ sheep that we might want to eliminate in order to protect the flock. I just did not know how deep the rot in this whole mega church industry went. There is not a true shepherd among them. I am glad it is all being exposed. May people have eyes to see and ears to hear.

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  276. SiteSeer: Him bringing up a concept of sheep with rabies is disturbing. There is no such example in the Bible.

    What even analogy is he trying to make there? Does he believe all wounded people need to be stuck with the wolves? Does he think they need to be disposed of, because they are dangerous to everyone else?

    Also, I had never heard that clip with the ranting at the end. What a rude person. Sign your name? When people won’t sign their names it is because it is not safe to do so sometimes. This is foolish talk, Matt is making. And he ranted so much about one comment…calling it crazy? It’s not crazy. He needs to stop using that word to describe pretty mild criticism if he wants people to sign their names to things. Hello psychological safety!

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  277. elastigirl: all in all, i think it can come across as indicting all men everywhere — that isn’t truly the case. but it’s too much emotional juggling to make this clear.

    I find even when I make it very clear that I am criticizing a particular subset I’ve still gotten ‘not all men’ish responses. People need to listen with their ears and not their hackels sometimes.

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  278. SiteSeer: I thought he was out there providing a layer of security between the healthy sheep and the rabid.

    Chandler complains about “constantly taking sniper-like shots from men and women who disagree with how we do things, sometimes to a level that’s just crazy.”

    He was apparently preaching draft sermons on Saturdays, with a way for worshipers to give feedback and help him shore up his writing before Sunday. Or at least that’s how I interpret it. What kind of preacher doesn’t agonize over every word of a sermon? Sure, there’s always room to improve, but the preacher should try to think of the worshipers’ questions. Around 1:20 he says he gets to “tweak my message” for Sunday morning.

    Chandler: “I got this real hateful little spiteful email … that said, ‘This sounds like a last-ditch effort of a dying church to entice the next generation to come.'” Chandler then brags about attendance numbers shooting up, and goes on to scream about the email.

    I’m sure he was hoping that the sender of the email was sitting right there, squirming.

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  279. Friend: Chandler then brags about attendance numbers shooting up

    He starts his tirade with some braggadocio, as well … about how big his empire is (number of members, number of campuses, staff size). There is no shortage of arrogance in New Calvinist ranks; it is an identifying characteristic of the new reformers.

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  280. Lea: What a rude person. Sign your name? When people won’t sign their names it is because it is not safe to do so sometimes.

    With a toxic church leader like Chandler ranting and raving from his pulpit, who in their right mind would want to put their John Henry on constructive criticism?! Chandler would most likely pull his/her membership contract and begin the disciplining, shunning, excommunication process … rather than lovingly and prayerfully visiting them to discuss the matter.

    Chandler shouts in their face “you silly pathetic little boy, you narcissistic zero” … while Nathan the prophet steps forward to point a finger in the young pastor’s face “You are the man!”

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  281. elastigirl: friends and pastors who have helped my parents in dire health crises (and me and my sibling in caregiving for them) said, “it is an honor”

    After my father died, my mother moved to the Memphis area to be close to my sister. She transferred her church membership to Bellevue Baptist Church; Adrian Rogers was the pastor there at the time. When her health declined and she ended up in the hospital, Dr. Rogers visited her regularly to pray for her. He made hospital and nursing home rounds to visit sick members, even though he had the pressures of pastoring a mega-church of over 20,000 members. She never heard him whine about sin-sick and rabid sheep, nor brag about how crazy busy he was. He loved her; he knew her; he cared about her. He was a pastor.

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  282. Lea,

    “all in all, i think it can come across as indicting all men everywhere — that isn’t truly the case. but it’s too much emotional juggling to make this clear.”

    “I find even when I make it very clear that I am criticizing a particular subset I’ve still gotten ‘not all men’ish responses. People need to listen with their ears and not their hackels sometimes.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    i come across responses like what you describe all the time. honestly, i marvel at the inability to have compassion and empathy, and the lack of imagination.

    i want to say, “join us! if you have even one heartstring of compassion or conviction of justice, let it respond and ring out and join us in our anger and celebration. this is a positive. it’s a good thing.”

    and i really want to say “stop thinking with your donger and open your eyes to see the big picture.” (although less politely and in all caps, with a growl from the back of my throat)

    how much stronger and healthier and productive a society will be when liberty and justice for all includes the least of these. (& there are so many beyond the group women)

    years and years of patience is so tiring.

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  283. Max,

    “…shunning, excommunication process…”. Oh, please do, though they would have to do so in absentia because I would’ve been outta there before that. But I guess this could be more traumatic for people who are actually emotionally invested in this church. OTOH, sounds like a blessing in disguise to get rid of Chandler et Al. As for the disciplining, I would tell them what to do with that.

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  284. Lily Rose: “…shunning, excommunication process…”. Oh, please do

    Whenever I encounter someone who has experienced this at the hands of New Calvinists, I shout “Congratulations!” I then encourage them in the Lord to walk above it. I know it hurts – to be disfellowshipped from your church family – but there’s joy on the other side of grief, freedom on the other side of bondage.

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  285. Max: I know it hurts – to be disfellowshipped from your church family – but there’s joy on the other side of grief, freedom on the other side of bondage.

    To many people who have spent their lives in one rigid tradition, that is church. People who leave a temple of cruelty are not going to try out five or ten churches until they find the right fit. They will stay home and hope to recover. This saddens me for future generations.

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  286. I’ve been excommunicated from a neocalvinist church—and I was an elder!

    The way I found about being ousted from the elder team was when hanging out with friends one evening and one suddenly started and looked over at and said “Hey, what are you here with US THIS EVENING? Why aren’t you at the elder’s meeting?” I looked over at him and said “I didn’t get that memo…guess there’s the answer to where I stand in this church.”

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  287. Friend: To many people who have spent their lives in one rigid tradition, that is church. People who leave a temple of cruelty are not going to try out five or ten churches until they find the right fit. They will stay home and hope to recover. This saddens me for future generations.

    Problem is once you’ve been in a temple of cruelty, it clouds your judgment. You often end up going right back into another…and another. This is what we did. Left a nice-faced, but (once you get to know it better) cruel, hateful neocalvinist to a home fellowship which within months took an extremely dark turn and turned into a hateful cult, then decided to run as far away from either as we could and went to a church led by an anti-Calvinist Arminian pastor, where we’d be safe. And then pastor asked me to be an elder, and I thought it was great until started to know him for real, as an insider behind the scenes, and realized he was probably more vicious, heartless and Machiavellian than anyone we’d experienced before!

    Then we realized we were just not thinking clearly to not see the warning signs, which were there at all three had we just been listening to the Holy Spirit and not running after our own desires. And now no church at all. And have no earthly clue if we’re doing the right thing. Cults do that to you, they’ll turn your head around and mess you up good.

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  288. Law Prof: I wonder if Jesus were in that congregation, what would He have done? Is it crazy to suggest He might have picked him up by the feet, shook him until the change clattered out of his pockets, then chased him straight into the street at the point of a whip?

    “When somebody piously asks you ‘What Would Jesus Do?’, remind them that flipping out and turning over tables is a Biblical option.”

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  289. Law Prof: Problem is once you’ve been in a temple of cruelty, it clouds your judgment. You often end up going right back into another…and another.

    Like a woman raised in an abusive household who as an adult bounces around from one abusive boyfriend to another.

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  290. Max: Chandler shouts in their face “you silly pathetic little boy, you narcissistic zero” …

    What do you want to bet that Chandler made it up as a way to manipulate?

    I was in a church many years ago (before email) where the pastor calmly stated that he is happy to respond to letters, but not to anonymous letters. He made no threats, but he did highlight one letter he received that had only one word written on it in large letters: “Fool.” He said it was the first time he received a letter that only had the signature.

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  291. I just listened to the audio clip, and was aghast. I have only been in one church where the pastor was really both sinful and controlling (a serial adulterer who threatened leadership with all the dirt he could get on them), but even he would not have screamed at the flock in such a foul manner. It sounds like Chandler needs a break from ministry, possibly permanent. I understand delegating ministry with a church of that size (I go to a church of about 600, with about 20% being seniors with one foot in heaven. The only way to keep up with all the hospital visits is to have a high-functioning deacon team, although our senior pastor usually gets to folks as well), but you learn to delegate and manage your team. It’s all about him, his feeling overworked, his frustrations…a good elder team (if they are truly allowed to function as elders) would take him to task over his rant.

    If VC had followed best practices for dealing with an abuser, the situation wouldn’t have been so critical for them. But, the more Chandler tries to say it’s not his problem or responsibility, the worse it will be for them. A church in my area had a particularly sick situation with two youth pastors and sleepovers back in the 90s. It has taken them to years to recover from it, and they have never regained their position as the biggest megachurch in our area. They kept passing the blame, and wouldn’t face up to the truth of what had happened.

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  292. Linn: a good elder team (if they are truly allowed to function as elders) would take him to task over his rant

    New Calvinist elder teams are typically yes-men, particularly in the mega churches … usually hand-picked by the pastor. They would never dream of taking the head man to task and the church usually gets in trouble sooner or later (e.g. Driscoll/Mars Hill, MacDonald/Harvest).

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  293. Law Prof</strong

    I'm in a pot stirring mood today. Why not.

    Holographic Principle is not artistic style. It is an emerging mathematical understanding of the Universe.

    Relativity is a century old. HP is at most 20 years. Quantum Theory 70-80.

    A Christian that adopts HP, no longer resembles one that does not.

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  294. Nathan Priddis,

    I don’t understand any of the stuff. Not a math guy. Married into it (wife teaches math full time at a small college). I don’t know what HP is exactly. Over head. But I can’t imagine there’s a significant difference between Christians who believe in different conceptions of the universe, because no one has any good notion how Jesus made the universe, just that He made it. Think of that for a minute. This guy who worked in the building trades in the Middle East in a little backwater of the Roman Empire created the universe, all this unbelievably complicated stuff that we can’t even begin to comprehend. Blows my mind. The more we learn about science, the more more pathetic we look and the more unbelievable He looks.

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  295. Law Prof,

    …”But I can’t imagine there’s a significant difference between Christians who believe in different conceptions of the universe..”..

    You can not imagine.

    HP does not contradict the Bible, but it collides with Christian tradition.

    My view of the Church, is that it remains tethered to the mystical understanding of reality of the Middle Age. It did not fully grasp Newtonean Physics of 1687. The anti-science still persist.

    It’s now over a century since man learned time itself is a variable demension in our 3 plus 1 dimensional world. Buggy whips and outhouses would still have been the norm.

    The Young Earth/Old Earth debate was rendered obsolete by the Theory of Relativity.

    HP is far stranger then E=MC2.

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  296. Max,

    But he does seem to have time to market high priced steaks?
    And, since I am signing my name, I guess I am “not” a narcissistic zero? I did not know it was THAT easy to determine NSD?

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  297. Jeffrey Chalmers:
    Nathan Priddis,

    I think one big difference….many aspects of relativity, and Quantum mechanics, have been, and continue to verified experimentally.From what I know, nit the case for string theory…

    That’s (string theory) basically a crater in my understanding if the layout of reality. I say reality because I dont know what words to choose. I understand the Universe to be part (3/3) in the total existance of things.

    1.Heaven
    2.Firmament- also called Sea
    3.Earth- modern man usually says Universe.

    If String Theory is mostly factual, then it would lie between 1 and 2. I think.

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  298. Nathan Priddis,

    So, I just visited the Nobel museum in Stockholm. There was a display about Einstein, and how the Nobel committee did not want to give him a Noble prize because general relativity was not experimentally verified. That obviously encouraged people, to this day, to devise experiments to test it…. we will see with string theory.

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  299. Nathan Priddis,

    So, I just visited the Nobel museum in Stockholm. There was a display about Einstein, and how the Nobel committee did not want to give him a Noble prize because general relativity was not experimentally verified. That obviously encouraged people, to this day, to devise experiments to test it…. we will see with string theory.

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  300. Max: “Outside help”?!! This is why you don’t hear New Calvinists talk about the Holy Spirit. They don’t know His presence and power … if they did, they would have all the “Inside Help” they needed. The Holy Spirit operates outside their realm.

    But Chandler does have one thing right. Knowing your Bible won’t cut it … you have to ‘know’ Christ and the power of His resurrection. The New Calvinists have subordinated Jesus and excluded the Holy Spirit. Thus, they don’t have enough spiritual power to blow the dust off a peanut! They move in the flesh, not in the Spirit. Jesus and the Holy Spirit don’t hang out with the new reformers much. What a mess!

    Perfect, Max. These guys have a religion, not a relationship with the living God. That is the problem. How we must look like the scattered sheep of Israel whose shepherds were devouring them when God stepped in and forever changed the world. And yet he warned that in the last days we would be so deceived . . . I pray that we who are woke can help others to see.

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  301. Check out Jimmy Hinton’s blog this week:
    POSTED ON JUNE 13, 2019
    Still Alone: Where were SBC leaders when abuse survivors rallied outside?
    https://jimmyhinton.org/blog/

    Last paragraphs:

    I am appalled that J.D. Greear didn’t take ten minutes to come out and greet these survivors. My heart breaks that these friends were pushed into a corner outside the convention and were ignored. I certainly credit Dr. Greear for all that he and the SBC have done to move this conversation forward. I really am grateful. And I want to see the SBC get this right. Honest to God above I do. I will proudly stand behind and cheer on those who are doing all that they can to right the wrongs of abusers and those who provide cover for them.

    At the same time, I cannot ignore the fact that my friends were not given any acknowledgement or even a visit by Dr. Greear himself. The skepticism will continue, and for good reason. I pray that these survivors and advocates are given a voice. But they should be given more than that. The front row at the ERLC should have been reserved for these brave survivors. Dr. Greear should have invited them up, one by one, and said, “I’m sorry you’ve been hurt. Thank you for being here and taking a courageous stand against evil. I stand with you. This is our house.”

    I close with the same words of Dr. Greear I began this post with: “One of the things I’ve learned from Rachael (Denhollander), as well as other survivors, is that the strongest words, without actions that follow up those words, are worse than not saying words at all.”

    God bless you for speaking the truth, Jimmy.

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