Things I Think

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135 Responses

  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    My favorite blog of the week is up

  2. Michael says:

    BD,

    Thank you, sir!

  3. Babylon's Dread says:

    There is no reason in this mess for Village Church to give up being Calvinist and complimentarian… they should do so because those are errors 🙂

  4. Laura Scott says:

    6. While I am a shaky complementarian, I do believe that unless women have a voice and authority in the church they will become easy targets of abusive men…

    Make that “equal voice and authority” and we will have something substantive to talk about.

  5. Michael says:

    Laura,

    I have not yet been convinced by scripture that women can occupy the pastorate.
    Until I am, I have to make that qualification.

  6. Laura Scott says:

    I know, Michael. 🙂

    Just keeping it in the conversation. I am faithful that way.

  7. Rick says:

    Thanks for this–I wholeheartedly agree that downsizing is perhaps the next, and best step. I think the thought system that produces this type of behavior, with so little self-awareness) will be hard to overcome. A whole paradigm of leadership must shift (without a clutch–it will be difficult). Below are my thoughts on leadership trends in western church culture–based on my 40+ years in the Kingdom, both leading and being led.

    We have a culture in the western church in which men want to command–but do not want to lead. Jesus can command us because He led us–bearing our sin, dying in our place, rising from the dead. Humble, sacrificial leadership, engaging us in an invitational way, not an imperative way.

    Commanders demand from us what they will not do themselves–they demand repentance when they are not repentant themselves. They demand humble submission when they are not humbly submitted. They are not first in every desperate attack (think acts of love and mercy)–they are not last in every desperate retreat (think covering those who are weak, or who have failed with love and mercy). They are feasting on the offerings of God’s people–gluttons for glory and position.

  8. j2theperson says:

    I’m at work all day today and can’t listen to Chandler’s sermon. Is there a transcript online?

  9. Michael says:

    Rick,

    That was well said…

  10. Josh The Baptist says:

    Why are we talking about about TVC like they tied someone to the bumper and drug them down the street? Here’s what happened:

    They imagined they had some kind of power.

    The woman called their bluff.

    They backed off.

    Really, that’s it. The real damage was done by the husband. The church looks silly for thinking they held real authority, but in the end, I don’t see the big deal.

  11. Babylon's Dread says:

    It is no surprise that Village Church’s mess is an abuse of power mess. Mars Hill’s mess was very much an abuse of power mess and the two are deeply connected by means of the membership covenant.

    When you make it hard for people to leave your church you stepping into the realm of the old Shepherding Movement. I discovered this weekend that rank and file pastors totally missed the facts about MD and his abuse of power. They were very close to buying into sympathy for the mirror gazer.

    On the other hand… when people freely join churches and freely associate by signing these covenants, especially after taking classes that extensively explain these covenants then they become complicit in their own abuse and the abuse of others.

    Jesus promised persecution and even death to his followers but they came and went as they pleased…usually by the waves of pressure from crowd mentality. The members of churches in the early church seemed to come and go at will also and the only hindrance they encountered was apostolic persuasion. Church discipline seemed to be rare and extreme.

  12. Michael says:

    j2,

    I can’t find a transcript, but here is the studio and video.
    http://www.thevillagechurch.net/resources/sermons/detail/wanderer–restorer/

  13. Michael says:

    Josh,

    Chandler confessed that the church has been sinful and wrong in how it’s prosecuted church discipline.
    He confessed that they have hurt people carelessly.
    That’s a really big deal.
    That’s abuse.

  14. Josh The Baptist says:

    I’m not talking about vague people. I’m talking about this particular woman. What is the REAL damage? Her husband is a disgusting pervert.

    What is the minor annoyance? Some goofs at a church tried to tell her what to do, but she said no, and they backed down.

    I’m just trying to keep perspective. It is only abuse if she allows it to harm her. She has the power (and she exercised that power) to say “Nope. I’m walking away.”

    Good for her.

    The silliness of Acts29 / 9 Marks / Church discipline is further exposed.

  15. Alex says:

    Hey, thanks to Dreadly and Michael…I went to church yesterday with my wife and kids.

    I was really stuck on a particular issue for a long time…and now I think it makes sense to me. The long hashings out can make a difference.

    The more I grind these issues out, the more I am realizing that the seemingly contradictory nature of many things is just that we are trying to make Absolutes out of things that are a “sometimes” depending on the context and the heart and the situation.

    One size does not fit all…and it is not Logical. It’s a lot like human emotions. As humanity resembles “God”….”we are made in his image”…conversely…”God” is a lot like us in some ways…has emotions, makes determinations and judgments that are different depending on the particular personality and/or situation etc.

    Is it right and righteous to utterly destroy an Enemy…down to the infants and animals? Sometimes. Is it right and righteous to relent and to show mercy? Sometimes.

    Can “God” and humans be right and righteous while sometimes nuking their Enemies to smithereens while other times turning the other cheek? Yup.

  16. Anne says:

    It ain’t Monday for me either until Things I Think arrives 🙂 Thanks, Michael!

    Re: #2 I tend to disagree. But may be misunderstanding the distinction you’re making.

    The theologies we choose to accept, embrace, teach and try to practice totally impact the formation of our choices and behaviours towards others.

    An example: In my late teens, early 20’s I had so much love and zeal for God wanting to follow Jesus 100% sold out. The pastors, elders, and husband instructed me to begin disciplining my still crawling daughter with switches, demanding obedience from her and me. They showed me scripture backing it up, an expert in the field (Dobson) and had an answer for every objection. When I could only do it through much sobbing, they rejoiced and said it was a great heart lesson for me to experience and demonstrate God’s love to my child, who weeps over our sin and need for discipline There are still folks (the Pearls) who advocate such child rearing practices. I think though wrong, and evil they and others truly believe in their hearts what they are doing is loving. I believe Chandler is truly trying to be obedient to his theology and act with compassion and love in that obedience. I also believe his theology still has too much room for mistakes to be made – particularly in dealing with issues impacting women and children. Who sadly remain the overlooked “least of these” in many male dominated systems.

    Thankful for blogs like this that help us sort all this stuff out in our minds and hearts. “Praxis is a mutually enriching dialogue between theory and practice, where theory informs practice and the experience of practice informs the theory.” (author unknown -forgot to note author when saving this quote).

  17. Julie Anne says:

    The fact that they placed Karen in church discipline, which has the ultimate trajectory of labeling someone as an unbeliever, simply because she disagreed with how the elders were handling her case, is unbelievable. Church discipline is for ongoing sin, not for disagreeing with your elders about such a personal and heart-wrenching situation she was in. I do not recall a specific apology regarding placing Karen in church discipline. Did I miss it? That should be front and center.

    And this:

    I will remind people once again that it was the blogging world and social media that brought out the issues in The Village Church. The “Christian media” will now spend this week sucking up the numbers and ad dollars from other peoples work. The mainstream media in this country, (both Christian and secular), are shameless thieves and shameful excuses for real journalism.

    Yup, good preachin’, bro! Amy and Dee have done a stellar job covering this story using primary source documentation. Chandler was forced to respond. Time will tell how sincere this apology was. Seeing how long it took to get rid of Driscoll from Acts 29, I’m not holding my breath.

  18. Michael says:

    Julie Anne,

    I agree that the apology to Karen should be front and center.
    I’m cautiously optimistic…emphasis on the cautious.

    Amy and Dee did great work…the documentation made the case.

  19. Alex says:

    Unfortunately, if you believe the bible as in any way being “God’s word!”…then it’s very difficult not to be a hyper-calvinist if you are intellectually honest.

    Basically, “God” is the head-honcho and does what he wants, when he wants….and doesn’t have to explain himself/itself. While there are some correlative and high-probability Principles like Sowing and Reaping….sometimes “God” shows mercy to scoundrels….and sometimes he nukes the hell out of them down to their women, children, infants and animals.

    Jesus came on the scene in the NT as a sort of hippie and “Love, love, love!”…but the Jesus of the OT was the Hammer…and the Jesus of Revelation is the same…he nukes the Enemy…so if it is true…then it’s not a good idea to be an Enemy.

    It rains on the just and the unjust. Sometimes bad men prosper, sometimes they get nuked. Sometimes good (in general) folks get Benny Hinn “blessings” and sometimes they suffer terrible tragedy and life-long trials…sometimes they suffer b/c of hidden sin etc.

    No rhyme or reason…which is why it drives Logic/Reason-minded folks to drink or to rant on blogs for years on end.

    “God”…such a bizarre yet beautiful yet frightening Concept/Reality. I don’t understand…but I also don’t want to piss “him” or “it” or the essence/reality of the Universe off.

  20. Alex says:

    “I will remind people once again that it was the blogging world and social media that brought out the issues in The Village Church. The “Christian media” will now spend this week sucking up the numbers and ad dollars from other peoples work. The mainstream media in this country, (both Christian and secular), are shameless thieves and shameful excuses for real journalism.”

    Amen.

    It’s the money that corrupts it.

  21. Josh The Baptist says:

    “Unfortunately, if you believe the bible as in any way being “God’s word!”…then it’s very difficult not to be a hyper-calvinist if you are intellectually honest”

    Wrong again, my friend. Most of the bible-believing world is not Calvinist, AND we are “intellectually honest” about it.

  22. Alex says:

    Money corrupts a lot of things…it has corrupted “journalism” and “Christian media”…and it has corrupted the “church” in spades.

    Guys like Franklin Graham, Mark Driscoll, Raul Ries, Bob Coy, Greg Laurie, Rick Warren, you name it…all Millionaires and some many times over…it is a corrupting force…much worse than the gays wanting to get a government issued marriage contract like other citizens of the state.

  23. Michael says:

    Anne,

    My point is simply that there is nothing inherently abusive about Calvinism…most of those who’ve graced these pages for being abusive have been committed Arminians…

  24. Josh The Baptist says:

    I also saw Anne praising Liturgical churches on another thread…and we could list page after page of their abuses as well.

    Sin is ugly and touches us all.

  25. Alex says:

    Josh said, “Wrong again, my friend. Most of the bible-believing world is not Calvinist, AND we are “intellectually honest” about it.”

    Wish I could agree…but only two options if the bible is remotely true: Universalism or Hyper-Calvinism….otherwise you have a “God” that isn’t God in any true sense of the word…and in any true sense of human meaning and understanding…but I’m sure you disagree which is a majority position in Philosophy/Belief Land.

  26. Nonnie says:

    Josh, they completed side lined Karen from continuing on with her position at her mission, since in order to be a part of most missions, one must be in good standing with their “sending” church.” They, were basically ruining any chance she had to continue her career path and were holding her hostage until she would submit to their demands.

    Then they actually announced SHE was under discipline and how well her pervert husband was doing on his path of repentance.

    THAT is some of what they did that is so terrible.

  27. Seraphim says:

    Matt Chandler confessed that some wrongs have been done at TVC.

    I am a little confused (I should not be surprised), that there are those calling for his head on another blog (TWW). I know that folks on that blog have done a great service in calling out some bad practices in the church, however I feel they need to be careful as well.

    Personally I am thankful that Matt is at least trying to do the right thing in this situation. I can’t think of many other mega pastors who would confess before their entire pulpit regarding abusive authority in their church.

    As a millineal I have always appreciated Matt Chandler’s honesty about his personal life, and his failures. It is refreshing and encouraging to see transparency.

  28. Michael says:

    Let’s stick to the post topics…at least for a few hours.

  29. Alex says:

    Liturgical churches are abusive, Tony Jones represents the same for Love/Hippie Liberal churches…Calvary Chapel and Mars Hill and the Duggars have the fundigelical conservatives well covered.

    Guess what? We’re all F###d up.

    And, we all look GREAT compared to Islam 😉

  30. Alex says:

    “It is refreshing and encouraging to see transparency.”

    I like that about Chandler and The Village…transparency seems to be an important issue to them which is healthy and good IMO.

  31. Josh The Baptist says:

    If they blocked her source of income, that is actual damage. Though it should be pointed out, that many conservative missionary organizations would not accept her as a divorced ?annulled woman regardless of what the sending church said. But, yes that is a good point.

    The rest is just words with no power. The emperor has no clothes, and she proved it.

  32. Michael says:

    Nonnie,

    You nailed it…and my guess is that this has been the rule, not the exception.

  33. Josh The Baptist says:

    “but only two options if the bible is remotely true: Universalism or Hyper-Calvinism”

    Keep wrestling with it. You’ll get around to the truth eventually.

  34. Papias says:

    “Despite all the claims that this was a PR device, I believe Chandler honestly addressed the underlying issues and is choosing to make corrections. While we have every reason to be skeptical of all things mega church, we also have an obligation (if we are believers) to hope for and believe the best of those who are caught in sin and show repentance. This does not mean we forsake the obligation to also be vigilant in seeing that the repentance is full and brings forth the necessary fruit, it means we treat those involved as repentant sinners like ourselves and not as unrepentant enemies of the faith.”

    Clapping in Kansas…. 🙂

  35. Babylon's Dread says:

    The matter of the Village Church and their process of discipline is, I think, being misunderstood. Church discipline is not about determining the veracity of faith in every case. It is about fidelity to the covenant of the church.

    The Village Church is being consistent with their internal mechanisms not with our external assessments. The public scrutiny turned it on its head and put them under correction. This is a fascinating story. Chandler is going to navigate it with minimal internal losses. The church is going to rethink their values and the matter is going to have many outcomes.

    This comes from one who practices radically free association and egalitarian values of ordination..

  36. Anne says:

    Josh, I did not mean my comments to be specific praise of liturgical churches, being well aware of the multitude of abuses behind many of their walls as wells. Just pointing out what my hypothetical preference might be. Abuse does touch all in every walk of life and flavor of faith. How those abuses are responded to matters alot to me in order for me to have any feeling of hope or safety hooking my horse to anyone’s wagon.

  37. Ixtlan says:

    “On the other hand… when people freely join churches and freely associate by signing these covenants, especially after taking classes that extensively explain these covenants then they become complicit in their own abuse and the abuse of others. ”

    Why is this so hard for the average church attender to understand? I would include those churches who don’t have a formal membership. If a person attends, serves and gives to an abusive system, they are a part of the problem.

  38. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael,
    I have not yet been convinced by scripture that women can occupy the pastorate.
    Until I am, I have to make that qualification.”

    Women in my church have equal voice and equal authority, while not having the pulpit. We do not place either as coming from the pulpit only.

    We have women board members and we have had women board presidents.I don’t think any of us guys deny that the women run the church whether they have actuall positions or not.

    And don’t think for a moment that the pators’ wives don’t have their ear.

  39. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Those are excellent points…

  40. Josh The Baptist says:

    I also see no way that Egalitarianism would have changed this church discipline issue. Like Dread said, TVC was consistent with their covenant.

  41. Nonnie says:

    MLD, remember that TVC is out of the same mold as Mark Driscol. The way he talked about women and his wife is not the way I would want women to be viewed in the church and not conducive for being co-labors in Christ on a leadership team.

  42. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Nonnie – I agree, I think women should be treated as both honored and respected and allowed to have voice as any member, without having to give the pulpit.

    I don’t think that Driscoll or Chandler are wrong theologically. In the end, I am sure they abuse people equally. The abuse is not man / woman – the abuse is pastor / laity.

  43. Xenia says:

    It may very well have been a PR move and it very well may be damage control, but so what? This is the pond these folks swim in and this is the kind of thing they understand so this will be the impetus that compels them to repent. Many people have been led by the Lord into repentance as a result of having one’s sins found out. People will say, “Oh, you are only sorry because you’ve been found out!” Sure, and thank God for this. I think TVC people are as repentant as they know how to be at this point in their lives.

  44. em says:

    #14- that’s really good! just starting down the thread – hopeful for more edifying 🙂

  45. em says:

    good thread, glad i read

    i don’t think that gender should be any kind of issue in the Church … qualifications/spiritual and capacity/spiritual should be the deciders. IMHO … what made men more qualified to lead 2000 years ago? most women were preoccupied bearing children and dying young … i’d like to think TVC with a woman in leadership would have come down hard on Karen’s husband … it’s a disease, these people, mostly men, need to be quarantined IMHO

    you all have me thinking… men under the leadership of women, in most cases doesn’t seem right (we do prop them up quite a bit, tho 🙂 )

  46. Dennis says:

    Em,
    The issue isn’t qualification, it is role. God has specifically designed roles and systems of submission and authority.
    The fact that there are roles of authority and submission within the trinity yet no distinction in equality or dignity should tell us that a role of submission is not by nature inferior.
    We need to let scripture inform our views of submission and authority, not our culture which equates submission with inferiority.

  47. Alex says:

    “Chris Quintana of CC Cypress commenting on Brian Brodersens article on attending a gay wedding; “The worst part about this and for so many of the articles on cc.com is the impression it gives that CC is in agreement with that. The website doesn’t indicate that it’s articles are giving voice to a less than traditional CC viewpoint. It by no means represents a huge number of Stay The Course pastors I know. Quite the contrary it is a considerable misrepresentation of much of the movement.””

    LOL

    Well, by Quintana’s own logic he is endorsing and affiliating and giving support to Brian Brodersen’s support of Gay Weddings by attending/affiliating with Brian Brodersen’s Calvary Chapel…which is true. You bear the Brand and you are connected to Bob Grenier, Brian Brodersen, Flanders, Cardelli, Olague, Ries, Coy, Don Stewart, Flores, Kempner you name it.

    Enjoy! The Calvary Chapel ClusterF###k of a non-denomination is a complete joke and laughing stock at this stage in the de-evolution of the Brand/Corp/Franchise.

  48. Alex says:

    Is there a less credible semi-cult than Calvary Chapel at this point?

    …hard pressed to find more of a complete disaster and clusterF###k and duplicitous blob of amoebic jello “we’re whatever we want to be whenever we want to be and we lie our arses off!” at this point…

  49. Alex says:

    I spread the word daily….and many people here and elsewhere are spreading the word as well…BEWARE of Calvary Chapel…it’s a bad Brand and complete mess.

    I’ve heard it from church after church who wants nothing to do with them…as well as many ex-CC’ers as well as many who have no dog in the hunt…many non-religious folks see it for the mess and lying cult-like non-denomination it is…the word is spreading fast and daily.

  50. Laura Scott says:

    Dennis,

    Therein lies the rub, as it were. It appears as if your use of the word “submission” is intended for females only.

    Horribly, that is a popular view throughout history and a lot of the modern church.

    Galatians 3:28 has something to say about that and it is in a present tense. By that reading, those of us who are not men and are ready and willing to take on roles we who are not men have been traditionally barred from can have them after all.

  51. Alex says:

    A literal read of the bible says women are to submit to a man’s authority in marriage and in the church leadership structure.

    The bible gives very little in terms of rights to women regarding authority over men. I don’t like it, but it is what it is.

  52. Dennis says:

    Laura.
    Gal 3:28 does not invalidate my comment. Again I am not speaking of equality in person or dignity. I am speaking about different Roles. Which is what Galatians is speaking about.

    Consider my comment about the trinity. Jesus is submissive to the father and the spirit is submissive to both for eternity, yet there is no distinction in dignity or equality. Their is however in role

  53. Dennis says:

    Correction: ISN’T what Galatians is speaking about

  54. Alex says:

    The bible also has very clear Qualifications of Pastors/Leaders…and the church doesn’t really follow those literal commands either…so, I guess the women submitting and not being a Pastor etc if out the window as practiced and exampled by semi-cults like Calvary Chapel and others.

  55. Dennis says:

    Alex, I’m not entirely clear on your opinion of Calvary Chapel, perhaps you help could clear that up for me. 🙂

  56. Alex says:

    Dennis said, “Alex, I’m not entirely clear on your opinion of Calvary Chapel, perhaps you help could clear that up for me.”

    I like Calvary Chapel like God liked the Amalekites in the OT…

  57. Alex says:

    A woman can’t be a Pastor b/c of the Pastoral Qualifications laid out in the “perfect!” bible…that is supposedly “God’s WORD!”

    …but the Pastor can be violent, short-tempered, greedy for gain, power hungry, abusive etc and basically in violation of most of the rest of the Qualifications…except for his pen***s.

    That’s how Calvary Chapel and many other evangelical Sects roll!

  58. Alex says:

    If I was a woman hearing all the submit bull***t and how they “can’t” be Pastors b/c that’s a CLEAR “disqualification” per the perfect bible…I’d be like, “well then why the F***k do you let about half those a-holes continue to be Pastors who violate every other Qualification per the bible? Why aren’t you so firm and Absolute and fundamentalist about those other Quals?”

  59. Dennis says:

    Alex, you have said a lot that I’m not sure I can respond to. But I spent 15 years in Calvary Chapel, and left after seeing faults in the system, getting pushed out of leadership and a bunch of other things.
    I certainly see a lot of problems at CC-and you couldn’t pay me to go back- but evidently not to the extent you do. 🙂 I’d be interested in having an offline conversation about it at some point if you are up for it.

  60. Michael says:

    The Calvary Chapel focused #s are there to point out that there is huge division in the “movement”.
    I find it fascinating that Brodersen feels no need to speak from Sinai…

    One of the issues that some of the traditionalists are concerned about is that of women in the pastorate.

    There is already one CC that has a female co-pastor…

  61. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Using the biblical standards of dudes only in the pulpit – does this guy qualify

    Scroll down a little 🙂

    http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2015/06/01/bruce-jenner-debuts-new-look-as-caitlyn-jenner/

  62. Michael says:

    “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”
    (1 Timothy 2:12–14 ESV)

    I can’t get past this.
    It’s too clear and grounded in the creation narrative…

  63. Alex says:

    Dennis said, “I certainly see a lot of problems at CC-and you couldn’t pay me to go back- but evidently not to the extent you do. 🙂 I’d be interested in having an offline conversation about it at some point if you are up for it.”

    I am always up for a convo about Calvary Chapel…have had a zillion with other ex-CC’ers, media, lawyers, authorities…even Chuck Smith hisself 🙂

  64. Alex says:

    Michael said, “I can’t get past this.
    It’s too clear and grounded in the creation narrative…”

    Well, it’s only immovable if you want it to be immovable. A “Pastor” being divorced b/c of his own sexual sin is supposedly immovable also…but Don Stewart.

  65. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I can’t control what other people do.
    I can only explain why I believe what I believe and try to practice it.

  66. Alex says:

    Michael said, “I can’t get past this.
    It’s too clear and grounded in the creation narrative…”

    Ya, and “Liars” are an “Abomination” to the Lord and God “hates” Liars and Liars do not go to heaven etc…and Chuck Smith died in a Big Lie…heck the whole Calvary Chapel Non-denomination is one Big Lie of a construct.

  67. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Alex, just because people break God’s law does not mean that God’s law does not exist.

    I don’t fully stop at all stop signs, but that in no way invalidates the traffic laws.

    So, Don Stewart breaks the rules – what does that mean to the rest of us? We shouldn’t follow the rules?

  68. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but I’m not affiliated with Calvary Chapel… 🙂

  69. Alex says:

    Yes, just pointing out the fact of the matter regarding Calvary Chapel as well as other similar evangelical Sects and semi-cults who are hyper-fundamentalist and RIGID about what they want to be…yet wax so liberal when it comes to their Leaderships sins and transgressions and breaking of the “hard immovable rules!”

  70. Alex says:

    “I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but I’m not affiliated with Calvary Chapel”

    I’m well aware of it, you are too honest, your goal isn’t to get rich and build a name for yourself and you would nuke a guy like Bob Grenier or a Don Stewart or the many others in a heartbeat…while being more gracious to non-leaders and the sinners (like Jesus was).

  71. covered says:

    Michael,
    I have never made a request and hope that other’s share the desire to learn as I do from people who post here. Will you start a thread about the differences with membership vs. no membership? It really bothers me and I am sure that I am missing something but in some cases it seems like the ability to give is the main qualification for being accepted and it also appears that in many cases, it is harder to get out than to get in.

    I can’t even for one moment wrap my head around the idea that a church can prevent you from leaving. This in of itself seems like abuse.

    Also, I am very interested in what Xenia, BD and MLD as well as Josh and many others think about this.

  72. Anne says:

    I hope as TVC begins its tackling of adjusting its priorities and “cleaning up this mess”, as Michael put it, that they gain wisdom and understanding about the other victims this sad situation is bringing attention to.

    All churches and agencies with the stated goals of bringing healing and restoration into broken lives need to grow in grace and wisdom regard child exploitation. Especially in mega churches where in by their very numbers the odds are they will be impacting both the perps and victims of this scourge.

    This heartwrenching comment by D on MPT’s blog makes this abundantly clear, I think. It also reminds us that this problem is not new.

    D writes:

    “There’s a voice missing here.

    I was a trafficked child from the age of four. It is the actions of people like Jordan who drive the market for the “merchandise” that we trafficked people as tiny children are turned into. To everyone who minimizes the act because he “never touched a child that way” I can assure you that others did it for him. To impute these actions to God or the Devil lets the human off the hook for his actions. They were his agency, his choices, his victims.

    Forgive him? Forgive any of them? I’ll forgive them when I’m four again, and getting in the car with a trusted figure to go get ice cream. Make it never happen.

    I can tell you that it stays with you forever. I’m 50, and even with therapy, drugs, and all the Jesusing you can stand, you never get over it. You never trust again. It kills a part of your soul past reviving. I grew up praying to God to make it stop, then to kill me. I tried in so many ways to make my outside express the pain of the inside. And finally the only way that I could live was to let it all go, and faith with it. If there was a God who meant twenty years of cross-spectrum abuse to test me, I failed and it broke me. Once I was free, I drank, and drugged, shaved my head, cut my arms, I would beat myself. I was numb. You see, I couldn’t function without the pain – so I dished it out to myself. It took me another ten years to even like myself.

    Nah. Leaving that alone. Going for a walk in the park. This past week has been triggering almost to the breaking point.”

  73. Alex says:

    http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2015/06/01/medications-linked-to-homicide/

    Ambien is in this class of drug, so is xanax…both the pills of choice in the BG home…

  74. Michael says:

    covered,

    I’m already working on something for later this week…

  75. em says:

    #s 66 & 67 make me think…

    one thing that stands out to me in Scripture…is common sense… i.e., David eating the priests’ bread or Jesus and disciples grabbing some corn as they passed through a field on the sabbath…

    we don’t seem to do grace very well… we’re mindlessly hard over in one direction or the other… it is a sign of our spiritual maturity, perhaps, to be able to discern between a trespass and an expediency that does not go against God’s intent…

  76. Dennis says:

    Alex, #63
    I’m aware, I’ve followed your story. 🙂

  77. Anne says:

    thanks for your #23, Michael. I think this fellow’s thoughts explain well why certain abuses of power can’t be laid at the feet of Calvinism as a whole. Plus he’s helped me understand a bit better the differences between traditional Calvinism & Neo-calvinism.

    http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/peter_lumpkins/2013/06/what-is-wrong-with-the-young-restless-and-reformed-movement-an-interpretive-essay-by-dr-paul-owen.html

  78. Alex says:

    Dennis said, “I’m aware, I’ve followed your story.”

    Then you know that I survived the Chuck Curse 🙂 …and he didn’t 😉

  79. Alex says:

    “Touch not God’s anointed!” or something like that LOL

  80. Bob says:

    “Brian Brodersen on who he speaks for; “Some have thought that I’m speaking on behalf of all Calvary Chapels. I am not.”

    This one kind makes me think Mr. Brodersen doesn’t really get it. When a leader is at the top he speaks for the whole organization. He may preference with, “this is my opinion,” but if that contradicts the group think the why is he the leader?

    They can deny it all they want and in any way they want, the fact is a CC is part of the franchise and the group think/”distinctives”

  81. Michael says:

    Anne,

    I’m going to try to be gracious.
    Peter Lumpkins is a horse’s ass of biblical proportions and that article was ridiculous.
    I’m sorry that you now feel informed about my tribe.

  82. Michael says:

    Bob,

    The point is that Brodersen doesn’t consider himself the leader of the movement.
    He has a lot a folks that agree. 🙂

  83. Paige says:

    Yes, Anne, I’m having a bit of PTSD over this stuff as well….. keeping my distance.

    Nonnie’s #26 ‘nailed’ it for me as well…..

    Michael…. while I agree (for other reasons) about a woman not being head pastor, frankly, I don’t really see that verse as being the reason. When we start pulling out verses like that, taking a stand literally, then what do we do with the head covering, hair length verses, 1 Cor 7 and not marrying, not changing ‘the state you were called in, etc” as well? I’m really not asking, just bringing up a tired issue. So very much of it is/was cultural per 2K years ago.

    Dennis, your ‘explanation’ of authority, submission and ‘order’ is so, so very old. While I’m glad you are here on the PhxP… I’m starting to think there should be a sidebar with bios of regular posters, so newbies will understand where we’re coming from.

    Honestly, as someone stated yesterday, can’t remember who, Nonnie, perhaps… If you’ve never been on the receiving end of being devalued and told to ‘Biblically submit in Jesus’ Name” or lorded over by smug, arrogant leader who is banging the secretary, it’s easy to dismiss this TVC case as no big deal…. For those of us who have ‘been there’, we can’t ‘un-see’ stuff that we plainly see.

    Karen Hinkley was publicly (6 THOUSAND emails) disgraced, railroaded, sidelined and made to look like a problem to an entire, massive church congregation when she was already in pain and emotional distress. The church, which should be a refuge, offered the antithesis of support, greatly adding to her very real distress. Frankly, an annulment isn’t going to heal the ordeal she endured.

    It is encouraging that Matt Chandler has owned up, or so it may seem. I hope so and I truly hope that another 6,000 emails go out encouraging the congregation to help the wounded rather than shooting them. This whole ordeal adds to my fear of going back to church…

  84. Bob says:

    Michael

    I got the impression he, Brodersen, wanted to be the leader and yet it seems he doesn’t want to the responsibility that goes with it. Oh well.

    Now that whole Jenner thing MLD brought up, now that just… I’m not sure what words can be used about it.

    But here is what I don’t get, why do women seem to approve of these men more than men do? Don’t they get it, he’s not some women in a man’s body. In fact he doesn’t have any more a clue what it means to be a woman than I do. Dressing up, have a body modified, taking hormones, and acting according to culture standards and or perversions doesn’t make anyone a woman, let alone a man.

    I did ask a woman why she approved of gay men and her answer was this, “I feel safer around them.”

    “What?” I asked.

    “Hetro men are always hitting on me and gay men don’t. At least not in the same aggressive way.”

    What a sad world.

  85. Dennis says:

    Paige, #83
    Perhaps there should also be a sidebar with Bios for Newbies so you won’t make assumptions about where I am coming from as well.

    I wonder where in my statement you think I will in any way endorse the devaluing and demeaning of women that has been done at times in the church history in the name of submission. I do not.

    I didn’t make any presumptions about where any of you non-newbies have been coming from, I’d appreciate the same courtesy.

  86. Alex says:

    Bob said, “I got the impression he, Brodersen, wanted to be the leader and yet it seems he doesn’t want to the responsibility that goes with it.”

    Ya, no one wants the “responsibility”…just like Chuck didn’t…part of the CC dishonesty. “We are a leaderless 100% INDEPENDENT non-denomination! …but we are the Calvary Chapel ASSOCIATION with REGIONAL OVERSIGHT Leaders and we have Affiliation! And, we’re all Calvary Chapels when it comes to marketing!”

    Lying jerks.

  87. Alex says:

    I so want to start a “Calvary Chapel” with a Gay pastor and do Gay Weddings at the “Calvary Chapel” and then see the “leaderless” non-denomination shat a brick and lawyer up.

    I know a few closet-gay CC pastors who could fit the bill…

  88. Anne says:

    Oh, Michael. It seems the more I try to learn and understand anything, about so many POV’s in trying to resolve doubts and questions in my own mind, the more confusion I experience and probably cause others. Point me to somewhere besides having to read all of Calvin myself for a clearer picture.

    Over all I just wish Jesus would make an appearance and lead the way. So dang tired of seeking, knocking and asking. That it’s all so hard for me anymore makes embracing my doubt and unbelief more and more appealing. 🙁

    Since my little strokes and mental breakdown following my exile to the PNW, I lost the ability to speak spanish which I spoke since childhood and even tutored in college. Maybe my ability to grasp things about and by faith is broken too.

  89. Michael says:

    Bob,

    Brian doesn’t want to be the leader of anything but his own church…and probably a majority of CC posters don’t want him to lead the movement, nor would they follow him.

    The CCA is a sham…what you really have is undeclared anarchy.

  90. Michael says:

    Anne,

    I don’t think you need to understand Calvinism in any of it’s various forms.

    Abuse is a heart issue, a sin issue and it’s causes spring from there.

  91. Michael says:

    Anne,

    I will say this…I can tell from the “language” he speaks that Chandler has been greatly influenced by the Puritans.

    There is much to love in Puritan writings…but there is also a merciless introspection and searching for sin to mortify.

    They can get incredibly tiresome and graceless.

  92. Michael says:

    Anne…you also “get it” better than most…forgive me if I made you think otherwise.
    Peter Lumpkins name makes me see red and react like an ass.

  93. Anne says:

    Michael – thanks. That “merciless introspection and searching for sin to mortify” was an aspect I found in EO circles that has kept me from their fold. I’m growing in understanding through wonderful folk like Xenia that isn’t the norm, though 🙂

    Thanks for helping me see too that my struggles are most likely a heart issue than a brain issue too.

    So grateful for you and many here that as crazy making as it can be, PP is still one of my refuges.

  94. Alex says:

    I Corinthians 14: 33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

    As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.

    Why doesn’t the “church” keep this command again?

  95. Anne says:

    I would like to also note that the tendency mentioned above was more common among EO converts out of fundy churches, in my experience.

  96. Michael says:

    Anne,

    I speak for many …the last few days your comments have been full of wisdom and directly on target.
    I’m thankful to have you hear contributing.

  97. Alex says:

    “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

    “Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?”

    “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”

    “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.”

    “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”

    “For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.”

    ^^ the bible

  98. em says:

    Anne, i wish i knew the words to relieve your pain… you shouldn’t have to bear what has been inflicted on you by these egoists – nor should so many others that i read here

    it was so annoying to not find that sermon by Tullian T. yesterday – perhaps it would have helped (no, i don’t think of T.T. as special, but his words were)…
    but then i thought to myself, perhaps what i heard isn’t what the next person would hear … so … dunno

    God keep

  99. Anne says:

    Em, your presence and voice here has been a great help to me many times – thank you!

  100. Linnea says:

    Forgive me for not reading the whole thread before posting, but my initial impressions of Matt Chandler’s apology were encouragement in the admission of sin and disappointment that he did not address the apology to Karen.

    He noted that they erred in practice and not in doctrine. I think they would do well to examine how they choose people to be elders. There’s a reason why they are called elders, and not rich men, and not brash young men, and not powerful, influential men, and not men who have a charming outward persona.

    Finally, there’s a disturbing similarity with other church abuse situations and the stench always emanates from the leadership. That holds true for any organization, not just churches. It’s also interesting that Mr. Chandler says they have been getting this feedback for some time. I wonder what they’ve done with this feedback up to the point that it went viral.

    Agree with Laura’s point about women having and equal voice and MLD’s take that women can have an equal voice while not sharing the pulpit.

  101. Bob says:

    “The CCA is a sham…what you really have is undeclared anarchy.”

    Interesting……

    I wonder what would happen if I just opened my own “Calvary Chapel?”

    You know put up a dove (and I checked a long time ago, it isn’t copyrighted, although some CCs have copyrighted their own church logos with the dove in it) and all the similar stuff.

    Thanks for the scoop on Bodersen.

    Alex:

    The New Testament isn’t Torah and Christians are “free” from the “Law,” so one may conclude all those things you posted are “guidelines” and are not meant to “bind” others.
    😉

  102. Anne says:

    “God is not the author of confusion” has troubled me a lot Alex. So much about what it means to believe & what it means to be the church no longer makes any sense to me.

    What remains clear in my heart and mind is “love one another”, do no harm and make it right if I do cause harm (whether intentional or unintentional) and to be kind even towards those I might not be fond of or agree with.

  103. Anne says:

    Paige,Laura, Linnea – you all have helped make these difficult topics easier for me to bear. Thank you!!!

  104. Alex says:

    Do you guys really think all that male-dominating “women submit, women be quiet, women cover your heads, etc” is “God” talking or the men of that Age talking?

  105. Paige says:

    My dear Anne, Amen to your #102..” .Love one another, do not harm and make it right if I do cause harm and to be kind….” Amen!

  106. Alex says:

    Bob said, “The New Testament isn’t Torah and Christians are “free” from the “Law,” so one may conclude all those things you posted are “guidelines” and are not meant to “bind” others.”

    Ok, then the same could be said for pretty much anything in the OT and NT, no?

  107. Alex says:

    …or is it yet another “sometimes”…sometimes you are to submit, sometimes it is righteous to nuke your enemies and sometimes it doesn’t matter if you don’t submit and sometimes you are to turn the other cheek etc?

  108. Bob says:

    Alex:

    It’s complicated and you missed a jest. 😉

    Please slow own, this blog has read all this stuff from you before.

  109. Alex says:

    Bob, I have one speed…and it isn’t slow 🙂

    Do you really think all that stuff was “God” or just the male leadership imposting cultural norms of the day onto the women?

  110. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It’s on the tip of my tongue but I just can’t place it. Where was it I once read ” “Did God really say,..?”

    I wonder what eve happened to that guy? 😉

  111. Laura Scott says:

    Alex,

    It’s not “that Age” speaking. It’s the traditions, codifications, and yes… the fears speaking now that have largely determined the limits imposed on women of the faith in today’s churches.

    For some hidebound individuals, I am actually surprised they let women teach at all, especially for boys in their formative years. Studies have proven time and again how deeply those initial impressions of our childhood take hold and if that was such a concern, where are the men serving and teaching the littlest of the flock? I have served over 10 years in Kid’s Ministry and mostly with those five years old and younger. The majority of those teachers (and yes, teaching does take place) is done by women on into middle and junior high for boys and girls. At which point in all that teaching are women supposed to be silent?

    What about the women who are the spiritual leader in the home because the husband will not step up to be one? That job still needs to be done and the wife recoginizes that and gets on with it. I remember that being addressed openly from the pulpit one weekend at church and I will never forget the reaction: hundreds of women started to cry and men’s chins hit their chests.

    My heart just broke for those women. How can we labor as we do, leading as we do and oftentimes have to, and then be told that we cannot do the same at our own churches? That we must now step aside for men to do what? What we cannot?

    Ridiculous.

    It is a very uncomfortable inequity in the church and one that goes unaddressed. And no, it’s not going to get answered here. I have never needed a man in my house to give my daughter a foundation in the faith. This single mom did it on her own as many of us do.

    Women have a beautiful and resilient voice, those that have long spoken into the darkness, especially that of our everyday lives. Men could stand to learn a thing or two from us.

    If only they would listen.

  112. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t get it, half the churches have given their pulpits to women and the cry is still that there is gender inequity in the churches. I’ll bet in most towns you can’t throw a rock without hitting a lady pastored church.

    I am amazed.

  113. Linnea says:

    Laura…wow, just wow!

  114. Jerry says:

    Agree!

  115. jlo says:

    After the last week or so of reading, I’ve come to the conclusion…

    That some men get it, and want to hear more on the matter.

    That some men don’t get, and will not hear anything more on the matter.

    That some are not sure, but are open to hearing more on the matter.

    What matters is our willingness to learn from each other.

  116. em says:

    #110-It’s on the tip of my tongue but I just can’t place it. Where was it I once read ” “Did God really say,..?””

    it wasn’t the question that caused the trouble, it was the response 🙂

    the response that came from a mind willing to explore other possibilities than the one absolute and all knowing God that kept interrupting their evenings….

    just sayin…

  117. Alex says:

    Laura Scott…that was awesome!

    …hard to disagree with any of that.

  118. Paige says:

    Laura #111 and Jlo #115…. yes. Thank you.

    Thank you Michael, for this blog and the blood, sweat, tears and all the other pains you’ve endured in hosting and teaching….

    One of my fave quotes “To him who understands, no explanation is necessary. To him who does not understand, no explanation is possible”…

    Nite folks. Life is hard. God is good. Never confuse the two.

  119. Muff Potter says:

    RE: Laura @ # 111:

    I agree with Alex, that truly was awesome. And Laura, go with your conscience, the divine image within, and don’t EVER let anybody beat you into submission with some clobber verse pulled out of context as much as out of their own arses.
    May your tribe increase!

  120. brian says:

    “The difference being, that Chandler appears to be receiving the discipline and correction of the Lord on this matter.” If Pastor Chandler goes down that road, some in his camp will hate his gutz with a deep passion and will go after him with a deep, holy vengeance. From what I have observed, they will win they always win.

  121. David says:

    Man, I’m glad I left CC Cypress before Chris ever got into the pulpit. Sounds like a winner.

  122. Babylon's Dread says:

    Yes Laura,

    You did say it! You said it well! We are listening.

  123. Laura Scott says:

    Wow… thank you everyone! Such gracious words and such precious encouragement!

  124. Linda Pappas says:

    “Karen Hinkley was publicly (6 THOUSAND emails) disgraced, railroaded, sidelined and made to look like a problem to an entire, massive church congregation when she was already in pain and emotional distress. The church, which should be a refuge, offered the antithesis of support, greatly adding to her very real distress. Frankly, an annulment isn’t going to heal the ordeal she endured.”

    Neither will a divorce heal or resolve or bring closure or provide what is needed. Too many are under the impression that doing so will close the books. What it does is enables the church to wipe their hands while the courts does their thing, but the victim is still left under the bus having to pick up the pieces of her life and trying to figure out: “where is the church,” and who really gives a damn. Other than to hear, “We will keep you in prayer, and oh, by the way their are shelters and transitional living places that (takes what money you do have) will teach you not to be abused. As if “all” who have been abused don’t know they were abused or asked to be abused, or were somehow marred in some way that led them into being with an abusive spouse. Truth: it is due to the positive characteristics that the abused person possess that she was targeted, seduced, then gradually worn down, or tossed aside, when she dared to raised her voice to expose the darkness that had entered her life. It was the trust she held in the “church” leadership to protect and to defend her right to be heard to stop the abuse and to seek remedy to enable a safe productive process that would hold the abuser to an account while enabling her to be safe, protected, and supported so that she could keep her household afloat and continue in fellowship and practicing the faith.

    Divorce or annulment ends the marriage, but does nothing in terms of what the church is called to do for those oppressed and silenced.

  125. Laura Scott says:

    Well said, Linda. That’s a lot of truth there.

  126. j2theperson says:

    I finally was able to listen to his sermon.

    First off, I totally agree that this is far and away the best, most sincere-sounding apology from a megachurch. Whether they are sincere or not is going to take years to see—will hey make structural changes and revamp whatever training they have their leaders undergo and will they make changes to their leadership qualifications to try to prevent legalistic control freaks from gaining positions of authority in the first place . But, yes, I affirm that this is a positive first step.

    I do, however, strongly believe that they need to apologize publically and in full to Karen Hinkley. They emailed 6000 people, telling them that she was walking down a bad path and had been placed under church discipline. They need to email those same 6000 people and clearly and plainly apologize. So far, the only specific apology they have made to her is that they regretted not explaining their position on divorce more clearly. That is, frankly, not a good apology—is really, hardly an apology at all.

    I commend them for initing people who feel they have been wronged by The Village Church to contact them regarding that. However, I believe The Village Church also has a responsibility to seek out people they have wronged and apologize whether or not those people contact them. They must have all sorts of records in their church, and they obviously can already think of some instances because he referred a few times to “a couple instances” or “several instances” where they failed people.

    The claim that he cared not about PR and that he said this had nothing to do with what was happening now but had started several months ago with people at their church correcting them both seemed pretty false to me. But, I guess if saying that makes them feel like they’re saving face in some way, then that’s fine. The main issue is that they apologize.

    But, they do owe Karen a much more complete and public apology than they have currently given. And they should be actively seeking out people they have wronged to apologize to them.

  127. Anne says:

    I agree completely, Laura! The amends needed must equal the harm done by the contents of the email and its wide distribution. Thank you for all your wisdom and insight regarding this tragic situation!!

  128. Anne says:

    Opps! Though also very grateful for Laura’s wise insights earlier re: this situation, #127 should have been addressed to J2’s #126. Still on my first cup of coffee….

  129. j2theperson says:

    Also, I disagree with his claim that this is not a doctrinal issue but a practice issue. At least so far as Karen goes, I think that believing a woman who finds out her husband is a pedophile and child porn consumer needs to attempt reconciliation before divorcing is indeed a doctrinal problem.

  130. em says:

    i think, if were Karen, i’d tell TVC to “fix your house and leave me alone!.” didn’t i see that she is continuing in her mission work with the sending board’s support?

    there are some wonderful women who post here, who have so much to share and contribute to the insights of walking the walk in today’s times

  131. Nonnie says:

    Em, she was not allowed to continue with her mission work until her church took her off their “naughty” list. (Church discipline.) She had to be a member in good standing with her sending church in order to continue with her mission.

    I think that is exactly what she did, when she got her annulment, but TVC wasn’t having that and wanted to put her to jump through their hoops for her husbands sin. It was truly twisted, but I am thankful that the church leaders finally came to their senses.

    Like I said before, if they would have had women on their leadership team, who were free and had the authority to speak freely, they would have known that there was no way Karen was going to stay married to a man who was into kiddie p@orn and had deceived her from the beginning.

  132. j2theperson says:

    Separate from the apology, sincere as it may be, is still the very reasonable concern that TVC has a pedophile in their midst and they are not necessarily dealing with him as cautiously as they ought to. He’s admitted he’s a pedophile. He’s admitted he’s consumed child porn for 10 years. He’s admitted he molested younger children when he was a child. He’s admitted he has masturbated to fantasies of children who were under his care/authority. And yet, TVC’s response was to have him see a counselor once a week–a counselor who has no training in dealing with pedophiles or sexual abuse issues–and discipline his wife for seeking an annulment while also exhorting the members of their church accept him and treat him kindly. The safety of their young congregants does not seem to be their priority.

  133. j2theperson says:

    He also admitted he was tempted to molest some children but ended up not doing so. Scary.

  134. Anne says:

    Exactly, j2tp! And there is no way of knowing for sure that his confessions were full and complete 🙁 . I am thankful that at least the FBI has him on their radar now.

    How TVC reassesses and responds to their actions on behalf of Root will be extremely important. Even if I held to their theology, their lack of wisdom in this area combined with their lack of compassion toward Karen would have me beating feet to the door in a heartbeat. I personally cannot fathom anyone wanting to stay in membership with this group, no matter how well they may have thought they were previously being fed & led.

  135. em says:

    i’ve got to be careful how i word this – Lord help me – the Church has got to become smarter about sex… we got the idea a while back that we were too judgmental, too uptight… now we seem to have no discernment at all… the leadership of TVC, or this one location? does not smell right to me… there may be some more “watchers” to root out of the leadership? at any rate, i’m in total agreement with Anne – Christians, grab your families and get out of there… go across the street, down the road, whatever, but go … and the rest of us might pray for Matt Chandler; from what little i know, he’s a God-loving one of the good guys… maybe not too smart, tho – dunno

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