Update:(1/3)Tom Chantry, Former ARBCA Pastor, Gets 24 Years For Physical and Sexual Abuse of Children

Tp, Chantry

The Seven Deadly Sins are a litany of victimless crimes, compiled to distract attention from the bloody felonies of the righteous. -Robert Breault


 

Todd Wilhelm, out on a road trip with his daughter, Leah, confirmed that Tom Chantry was sentenced to 24 years in prison. Todd believes that there is no hope for parole but has not received official confirmation. As soon as that is received, I will be sure to post it. Apparently there was a lengthy court session today and Todd will attempt to get the transcripts. I have a feeling there is a back story.

Justice, at last!

Pray for his victims. My heart goes out to them.

Update: 24 years in prison and credit for 400 days already served. A status hearing will occur on Monday to decided whether to try 9 more counts.  For now, Chantry will not get out of prison until he is 72. There will be no parole.


Comments

Update:(1/3)Tom Chantry, Former ARBCA Pastor, Gets 24 Years For Physical and Sexual Abuse of Children — 44 Comments

  1. The real question is, what will happen in the ARBCA, and will there be any further fallout from this? Not that I’m looking for witch hunts, but will they actually acknowledge that there was a problem with one of their “chosen”

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  2. Brother Maynard: The real question is, what will happen in the ARBCA, and will there be any further fallout from this? Not that I’m looking for witch hunts, but will they actually acknowledge that there was a problem with one of their “chosen”

    Not only a problem with one of their chosen, but a problem with ARBCA’s handling of the entire affair. Were I in this denomination, and now realize that they had been covering for this creep all these years, I’d be gone in a flash.

    It’s really good to know that his crimes will finally be paid for. May all of his victims begin to feel the healing and peace they deserve.

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  3. Ken F (aka Tweed): Tom who?

    Yep, Mr. Chantry will now follow in the footsteps of former golden boys in the reformed movement: “Driscoll who?” … “Mahaney who?” … “MacDonald who?” … “Chantry who?” … their falls preordained, I suppose. Expect the pulpit in those ranks to be silent, while the pew should start coming to their senses.

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  4. My thanks to Todd for staying on top of this thing for so long. The convictions from the first trial just resulted on a slap on the wrist for this psycho. Making nasty remarks about the judge on the phone even before the sentencing pretty much guaranteed the book would get thrown at him. I do believe that Todd and Janna made a big difference on this and that is encouraging. This has given fair chance for all involved with ARBCA to consider the true nature of their leaders and to see beyond the false images presented.

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  5. I hope that Tom Chantry is not forgotten in the sense that a) churches need to report abuse; b) leadership needs to take responsibility for who they allow to lead; c) consequences for not paying attention to these issues can be very grave, not just to the victims, but also to the rest of the leadership/church/denomination if they choose not to pay attention to it. Chantry’s victims are true heroes for stepping out of the shadows to share their stories and put this monster behind bars.

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  6. Does Boz T. and G.R.A.C.E. use cases like this as training materials?

    I’m too, happy he’s off the street. I hope his victims can now start the healing now. From my own experience as an abuse/molestation survivor, I know it’s a huge relief to know they are no longer on the street.

    And, I do hope he will actually and truly ask Jesus to become his Savior. But, I don’t think he should be on the street ever again.

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  7. Brother Maynard,

    I hope that there is a lawsuit. Christians not suing Christians is used to protect the local secular 5013C organization or the denomination itself. Todd Wilhelm proved the cover-up.

    A paraphrase from a victim of Father Charles Sylvester aka Father Feeler aka Sylvester the Molester: He wasn’t a man of God. He was a dirty old man.

    If I’m incorrect I’ll be happy to hear why. My understanding of I Corinthians 6 is that it applies to individual Christian not suing another individual Christian only. And, referencing Matthew 15:18-19, was Tom Chantry saved at all, regardless if its predestined election or not.

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  8. Max,

    “…Jesus can set their spirits free from the hurt”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    i ask this with so much respect for you personally:

    this sounds like a nice idea…. but, really? how realistic is this (versus idealistic)?

    i don’t observe this. i certainly haven’t experienced it. to me, it’s one of those false promises i heard so many times in church over the years.

    any freedom from hurt has simply amounted to pain being dulled through the passage of time, the distractions of the business of life, and my own efforts at building healthy relationships and planning positive and fun experiences with these people. (kind of like good bacteria fighting against bad bacteria)

    i mean, God created the air i breath which keeps my alive, so God was involved in that aspect, but…. i truly don’t experience God’s activity in setting me free from hurt.

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  9. elastigirl: God’s activity in setting me free from hurt …

    … has been (for me) in direct proportion to my desperation to be set free. When I reached the overwhelmed-stage, “I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4). But it was only then, when I cast all my cares (worry, stress, anxiety, hurt) upon Him, knowing He cared for me.

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  10. elastigirl,

    I have not experienced especially profound betrayals, mostly just garden-variety disappointments, so I can’t speak from experience. But I suspect that one of the more devastating consequences of a betrayal as profound as TJC’s toward the young people entrusted to his care is that forever afterward, there might always be a tinge, and perhaps much more than a tinge, of fear in one’s heart toward those in authority — “will they hurt me?” And as it is scarcely possible to altogether avoid people with some kind of authority, this fear might be nearly constant.

    And a child’s concept of “who God is” may be colored by this as well. Perhaps that’s a subtext of Jesus’ stern warning about the severity of offending little ones.

    The thought this leads me to is that we followers of Jesus who hope that those who have suffered such betrayals will not abandon belief that “God is good” may be facing an uphill climb. One of the few “weapons of righteousness” in our hands may be — through kindness — to “be the goodness of God” to those who have been given grounds to doubt that goodness.

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  11. Samuel Conner,

    “One of the few “weapons of righteousness” in our hands may be — through kindness — to “be the goodness of God” to those who have been given grounds to doubt that goodness.”
    +++++++++++++

    i appreciate your thoughtful and kind comment.

    in these circumstances, i imagine “being the goodness of God” would be to turn off all urges to preach. and just be. let the individual just be. go rafting. backpacking. eat homemade pie.

    i imagine the free conversations in such activities would be bonafide good.

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  12. Max,

    thank you, max, for the transparent reply.

    i’ve had my own breakthroughs through being a pain-in-God’s-XXX (couldn’t write it this time!). miraculous and supernatural.

    but not in regards to the pain at issue.

    i’ve observed types of things that tend to be very accessible to Holy Spirit power. and other things that are very much inaccessible to Holy Spirit Power.

    i think one difference is in how complex they are with other human beings involved.

    i tend to think the more human beings are involved in an issue (historically, or in the moment) the more human will there is for Holy Spirit to override.

    i see human activity as standing still in time (what happened then is still kind of happening now, in some sense). maybe that’s the spiritual world counterpart to the physical world….. outside of time. i don’t know — just something i sense.

    a mysterious topic that is fascinating to ruminate on.

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  13. elastigirl: i mean, God created the air i breath which keeps my alive, so God was involved in that aspect, but…. i truly don’t experience God’s activity in setting me free from hurt.

    Max: … has been (for me) in direct proportion to my desperation to be set free. When I reached the overwhelmed-stage, “I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4). But it was only then, when I cast all my cares (worry, stress, anxiety, hurt) upon Him, knowing He cared for me.

    Hmm…I could be wrong, but I’m sensing a black & white, either / or on both sides here.

    For me, help came in the form of God shining a light on things – hurts, damage – as I could handle seeing. When my religious and familial illusions came crashing down together 12 1/2 years ago, I thought I was going to lose my mind. God was ever present. He is who told me to seek a therapist and guided me to the right one (A Christian one had been recommended to me and when I asked God about them, I heard an emphatic “no!”)
    My experience has been that He has guided me, held me, but I also had to be willing to go to the therapist (no small thing as I was raised to belive they were evil). I had to be willing to take the shaky, fearful, freeing steps of honestly looking at what had happened, was happening…at my carefully constructed walls.
    To me, it’s not either / or, it’s both / and.

    That said, I know every story is unique. Each of us that have walked this road of healing and self-honesty have a voice that brings hope to those who are also starting to step down this road.

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  14. Samuel Conner: But I suspect that one of the more devastating consequences of a betrayal as profound as TJC’s toward the young people entrusted to his care is that forever afterward, there might always be a tinge, and perhaps much more than a tinge, of fear in one’s heart toward those in authority — “will they hurt me?” And as it is scarcely possible to altogether avoid people with some kind of authority, this fear might be nearly constant.

    And a child’s concept of “who God is” may be colored by this as well. Perhaps that’s a subtext of Jesus’ stern warning about the severity of offending little ones.

    This is very true. In my own experience, it is one of the hardest things I have had to overcome. I have mostly, but there are still days I doubt…

    And this is one of the reasons I so hate Calvinism. During the early days of my processing, I had more than one Calvinist try to convince me that God ordained the abuses I suffered as a child – that it was His sovereign plan for me and it would bring Him glory. That paints a picture of a God who is a cruel child abuser. Having this presented to me while I was beginning my healing process almost shattered what faith I had left. But the God I have come to know more deeply as time passes, is not a God who takes glory from abusing children.

    Anyway, when sexual or physical or emotional abuse are tied in with spiritual abuse, it does affect the perception of God and is not easy to overcone.

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  15. elastigirl: in these circumstances, i imagine “being the goodness of God” would be to turn off all urges to preach. and just be. let the individual just be. go rafting. backpacking. eat homemade pie.

    i imagine the free conversations in such activities would be bonafide good.

    Yes. So much this.

    During the early days of my process, things were so raw…any preaching just mostly pissed me off, which then causes fear of being rebellious, etc….

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  16. Jeannette Altes,

    i’m just reacting to years of pat answers to get you to believe things — for the purpose of getting you to do things for the sake of the organization. and then christians copy & adopt the pat answers as the final truth of the matter. (crimany, how christians put their brains on silent…)

    not that anyone here is doing any such thing. least of all Max.

    indeed, both/and, every color of the rainbow and the black/whitespectrum, variety,…

    the constants are God is merciful, kind, friendly, just,…

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  17. There is a chance this could be a death sentence for Tom Chantry.

    Child molesters are considered to be the absolute scum of the prison pecking order, even worse than snitches. Any prisoner looking to earn some cred with his fellow inmates may try to put a shank in Tom’s kidney. One of the rules is that “chomos” are taken out by their own kind (black takes out black, latino takes out latino). In Tom’s case it will be a skinhead or Aryan nation gang-related prisoner.

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  18. elastigirl,

    Man, I certainly understand the reaction to pat answers. Yes, many within tge bubble of Christianity (TM) do turn the brain off. Back when I was still inside trying to ‘do it all right,’ I had to put things that brought cognate dissonance in a box and hide it from myself. When that box finally exploded, it was messy….

    And yes, the constants of God are His mercy, His justice, His patience…Love.

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  19. Jeannette Altes: During the early days of my processing, I had more than one Calvinist try to convince me that God ordained the abuses I suffered as a child – that it was His sovereign plan for me and it would bring Him glory. That paints a picture of a God who is a cruel child abuser. Having this presented to me while I was beginning my healing process almost shattered what faith I had left

    It mystifies me that some people actually find comfort in this thought (I do not) but it seems like it’s mostly people who have not experienced great trauma or tragedy of their own that have the confidence to expound on all the reasons for everything. People who have been through the fire tend to put their hand over their mouth, allegorically speaking.

    I sometimes think about this mindset you described above, it’s as if these people are at a movie and they are applauding the villain instead of the hero. When mankind expresses the qualities of a hero (which Jesus Christ must surely be) in stories, books, movies- we know by instinct that heroes do not have these qualities; these are the qualities of the villain! Demanding glory, causing pain to the helpless in order to feel their own glory, demanding to be worshiped and trusted by those they are purposely tormenting. Do people not see this?

    The hero may not be able to stop someone’s suffering, he may be forced to let it go in order to avoid something worse or more permanent, but he weeps and he detests that it is so, and all of his energies are endeavoring to change it.

    At least that’s how I see it.

    I think sometimes that peoples’ concept of God is more the concept of the god of this world.

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  20. elastigirl: i don’t observe this. i certainly haven’t experienced it. to me, it’s one of those false promises i heard so many times in church over the years.

    This is not something I have experienced, either. I mean, maybe it is happening and I’m unaware of it because it is just the ongoing process of healing and living, but I have never felt any kind of supernatural relief like some people describe. I wish that I could, I sure wish that I could. Maybe it’s a matter of temperament that people experience God differently.

    My husband used to say that if God answered prayers in the way we wish he would, by supernaturally delivering us from the results of painful experiences or troubles, we would never learn cause-and-effect, we would remain helpless and immature.

    If people who have been abused can pray and experience freedom from the painful results, wouldn’t they think that it wasn’t that big of a deal, then, after all? Would they not take it so seriously when it happens to others because God will just free them from the pain anyway and it will all be fine?

    I know this isn’t what you are meaning, Max, I’m just thinking a little beyond the discussion, I guess, trying to make some kind of sense of how it all works along with my own experience.

    I have a friend who insists that when she was overcome by anxiety, she prayed and felt a warmth envelop her body and all anxiety left her. I think that would be so nice! Just like a drug, really? But no such thing has ever happened to me. I just keep slogging along.

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  21. SiteSeer,

    Thank you for your thoughts. I agree. Although one of those that claimed this was not ignorant of this pain.

    But for me, it seems that the deity described by Calvinism is one made in the image of man. He reminds me more of Zues or Odin or Ra – capricious, hard, tyranical, viewing mankind as pawns or playthings – demanding obeisance rather than relationship. That is not the God I know, thankfully.

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  22. SiteSeer: I have a friend who insists that when she was overcome by anxiety, she prayed and felt a warmth envelop her body and all anxiety left her. I think that would be so nice! Just like a drug, really? But no such thing has ever happened to me. I just keep slogging along.

    I have ecperienced this a few times. But mostly not. I don’t know. I am now in a place where I am constantly aware of His presence. But that doesn’t often stop the anxiety or fear from coming.

    My take, based on observation, is that many want to take a singular experience and make a ‘surefire, do it this was and you’ll get the same result’ Christian self-help program that is about as effective as the secular ones. Sigh.

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  23. SiteSeer,

    Trying to interpret motives sympathetically, people who counsel sufferers with “God wllled that for His glory” might believe that the sufferer could find comfort in the thought that their suffering was not meaningless. But it strikes me as a terrible way to try to help a sufferer, and especially if that is the only help that is offered. Even granting, for the sake of argument, that the premise is true, it’s something that the person who has suffered grievously should be permitted to work through on their own, not be told by someone who hasn’t suffered as they have.

    Imagine Joseph’s brothers visiting him in prison in Egypt, and telling him “we meant it for evil, but God meant it for good”. Not helpful. But later, Joseph was able to affirm that himself, and without bitterness.

    I’d like to believe that God really does work all things together for good, but even if that is true, it’s not a truth that is helpful to every person in every circumstance.

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  24. Jeannette Altes: And this is one of the reasons I so hate Calvinism. During the early days of my processing, I had more than one Calvinist try to convince me that God ordained the abuses I suffered as a child – that it was His sovereign plan for me and it would bring Him glory. That paints a picture of a God who is a cruel child abuser.

    I’m convinced one simple dynamic in play is “Divine Sanction to What I Wanna Do Anyway”.

    i.e. “If God is a control freak and cruel child abuser, then I So Can I! I’m Godly!”

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  25. SiteSeer: I have a friend who insists that when she was overcome by anxiety, she prayed and felt a warmth envelop her body and all anxiety left her. I think that would be so nice! Just like a drug, really? But no such thing has ever happened to me. I just keep slogging along.

    Ain’t God’s Special Pets a real PITA?

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  26. Headless Unicorn Guy: I’m convinced one simple dynamic in play is “Divine Sanction to What I Wanna Do Anyway”.

    i.e. “If God is a control freak and cruel child abuser, then I So Can I! I’m Godly!”

    It is a doctrine that would certainly attract abusers for that reason. Not all that I’ve encountered fall in this catagory. Some certainly do. But some were sincere in their belief that this would bring comfort. Those were actually the more painful because they couldn’t understand why I wasn’t comforted by it.

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  27. Pingback: Reformed Baptist Minister Gets 24 Years for Child Abuse

  28. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    That Calvinist didn’t really understand it. Like Spurgeon used to say “Calvinism is just a nickname for Christianity.” Anything else is man-made religion. Unfortunately, some people who say they’re Calvinists misrepresent it. I don’t think you want to get into a situation where you blame God for everything wrong in your life because you deserve better than you do because you think you’re basically a good person. Even the elect have to carry our crosses, so to speak, whatever they may be. If you don’t like it, go create your own universe. But you might want to start off by reading Job chapter x38 where he dared to challenge God about his suffering in chapter 1.

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  29. Dante211: That Calvinist didn’t really understand it. Like Spurgeon used to say “Calvinism is just a nickname for Christianity.”

    So…1500 years of Christianity before Calvinism came along was not really Christianity? I have yet to interact with a Calvinist who didn’t insist that the abuse I suffered as a child was ordained by God and planned by Him for the greater good….somehow. Do they all not understand Calvinism?

    Dante211: I don’t think you want to get into a situation where you blame God for everything wrong in your life because you deserve better than you do because you think you’re basically a good person.

    Wow. My point was that God WASN’T to ‘blame’ for the bad things that happened to me and Calvinism insists He is. None of that has any bearing on whether I think I’m a good person or not. It’s not even relevant. Either God planned it to happen or He didn’t. Calvinism says He did. I don’t believe He did.

    Dante211: Even the elect have to carry our crosses, so to speak, whatever they may be. If you don’t like it, go create your own universe. But you might want to start off by reading Job chapter x38 where he dared to challenge God about his suffering in chapter 1.

    Okay, yes. All of us will experience bad things. We live in a broken world where people (not God) choose to do bad things to each other. That, by the way, is not what Jesus meant when He told His disciples to take up their crosses and follow Him. It meant being open before God and putting God’s will ahead of our own. And it is NOT God’s will that His children be abused.

    You come across very condescending, which has also been my experience with Calvinists in general. “Go create your own universe?” Calvin was not God nor was He God’s sole spokesman (some would argue he didn’t speak for God at all and I would tend to agree). Perhaps you should read Job 38 with an eye toward the possible logs in your own eye…

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  30. Dante211:
    That Calvinist didn’t really understand it.

    Ken F (aka Tweed): Are you saying that you are a Calvinist who fully understands Calvinism?

    Certainly. See, the Calvinist (and by quoting Spurgeon, which would imply the Calvinist way as the only correct Christian) way to read the Book of Job is to focus on what Job had messed up, not what he had done right. And that would nicely sums up what (Dante211‘s) Calvinism is about.

    By my “non-Christian” reading, Job is the hero of the story. Satan gave God a challenge, accusing the mankind which He has created in His own image, that none genuinely loved Him. Even for the very best example of mankind, the relationship is nothing more than transactional.

    Job was God’s answer to Satan’s challenge. Yes, Job got lectured by God that he (and by extension, every other human being) had no standing in demanding God of an explanation. But who according to God did not speak truth about Him [Job 42:7] – Job’s friends, not Job. Why did God bless Job afterwards more than before? Doesn’t seem to me that Job has messed up so badly. By God’s admission [Job 2:3], Job didn’t do anything to bring about his troubles. God understood why Job was bitter, and God didn’t hold it against him after giving him His lecture.

    All this begs a question – why didn’t God pick a Calvinist instead of Job as His answer to Satan’s challenge? And I can only speculate on the answer ….

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  31. Max,

    This action and the actions of the others you listed had nothing to do the our theology. The issue was they failed as it is often said” “they did not practice what they preached”.

    We all need to realize that we are sinners and we need to constantly be putting off the old man and putting on the new. Finally, some of the blogs mix facts and speculation. If they want to have credibility, they need to exercise restraint on accusations based on speculation. Most of the churches and the elders did not know anything about the seriousness of Tom’s sinful actions. I would urge all to wait and pray that any who held back information will repent. Also pray that decisions being made in the upcoming days will be honoring to our heavenly Father. Finally, we need to pray for the victims and their families. We also need to pray that Tom Chantry will confess his sins, repent and restore his relationship with God. While his sins are horrific, he can be forgiven

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  32. Mickey Myers,

    Good night Mickey! I believe that ARBCA is a corrupt organization which conspired to cover up child abuse.
    I’m sure not *all* knew of Chantry’s abuse but lots of people in influential positions did. When the leadership is corrupt, the people underneath are affected. I endured blowback a few years ago when I started covering the news of Chantry. Some of it was from average people in your churches who were trained to *believe the best* about their leaders and to attack those troublesome people who would make you all look bad.

    Of course Chantry can be forgiven. However, I believe we can be quite glib about that forgiveness. First of all, he should seek forgiveness from the boys he hurt. Except, he is heard on a recording on Todd’s blog basically saying their testimony was flawed. Did it occur to you that Chantry found the church to be an easy mark so he could practice his perversion? In other words, Chantry used everyone and all of you were pawns, giving cover to him.

    Todd has carefully documented wheat has occurred. he has lots and lots of inconvenient facts. A couple of years back I was lectured by some of your compadres that I didn’t know what I was talking about and should be excommunicated from my church. There is little speculation in what we’ve covered and lots and lots of disturbing facts,.

    Finally, I don’t think you need to lecture us that all men are sinners. Those of us who are Christian get that. However, such a lecture from you (along with many people in other churches) leads me to imagine that you want to play the *we’re all sinners* card. Yeah- we are but most of us are not child abusers and most of us would not cover up child abuse. Sadly, you belong to an organization which developed a a set of teachings that minimize what happened with Chantry and your denomination.

    Time for some self reflection on the part of ARBCA. I suggest canning the entire leadership team and starting from scratch.

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