Chandler Gets It Right

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74 Responses

  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    Chandler will do better than survive…

  2. Babylon's Dread says:

    Michael,

    Your original article was as positive and clear as this one but the deconstructionist parsed every word and did not accept their apology or your assessment.

    I was thrown by it originally because you are quite demanding.

    Will the critics accept this one? Or will they skewer Chandler for taking so long, for how this transpired and any number of unexpected things.

    I think the critics proved to be at least somewhat right but still I cannot help but notice these things.

  3. Michael says:

    BD,

    I think that this story, when paired with the Driscoll debacle, may have generational significance.
    What happened here with Chandler is what I expected would happen when I wrote my first article about abuse over a decade ago.

    Obviously, this didn’t happen then.

    Now we have seen a maturing of the power of social media…the last step in that maturation process is to know when to say ‘well done” and move on.

    If we do, then we will have moved from “little dogs barking” to a force for good that must be taken seriously.

  4. Nonnie says:

    I was very encouraged, when I read the response by Karen. If she says it is “good,” then who am I not to agree?

    Yet, I agree….this would have never have happened without the internet outrage over it.

  5. Michael says:

    Nonnie,

    You hit the sweet spot.
    If Karen is satisfied with the result, we all should be.

  6. Erunner says:

    After yesterdays story this is such a breath of fresh air. When things turn out well or when real good has been done it needs to be celebrated. I imagine it made your day more than it did mine! Hopefully you get to print many more of these stories Michael.

  7. Paige says:

    Wow….. I am thanking God here, with tears, from my little hideout on the outskirts of church culture.

    I will admit that I initially read the Wartburg Watch link with Skeptics Lenses, but took them off after reading Karen’s response. She has a lot of healing ahead, but this helps in a major way.. Chandler’s apparent humility in Karen’s letter is admirable.

    I totally agree that it was the internet outrage that forced the issue, and while initially the ploy appeared to only be damage management, increasing Karen’s pain.
    I am allowing myself to believe that this is legit.

    I still have a really hard time with their whole concept of ‘church discipline’ (not knowing what their definition of that is) and the flavor of controlling people like fenced livestock.

    Overall…. thank God. Thank you, Michael for your part in this chapter…….

  8. covered says:

    This is very encouraging to say the least. Everyone who had a role in this process seems to have let the process take it’s course and it works. Nonnie, you are absolutely right in that if the victim feels as though it ended well, then it did end well.

    .

  9. Rick says:

    Sometimes, perhaps unique to me, I think there is such a lack of self-awareness on the part of ‘elders’, especially those in very successful, by megachurch standards. I am still not sure if Chandler and his fellow elders have an awareness of how egregious their behavior toward Karen was. Behavior, as egregious as this, from my point of view, would merit at least an offer of resignation from that position that enabled the abusive attitudes and behavior.

    I know I am old-school in this–forgiveness, absolutely; I think starting over in ministry for each of these men involved could be quite liberating for them. And beneficial to the church as a whole.

    The lack of consequences for these types of behavior, seem to me, to just keep the cycle going. What happens when TVC deals harshly with someone who lacks Karen’s spiritual formation and fortitude? What happens to the others who have already suffered?

    I don’t pretend to know–but I am troubled by the OK, this is over and everything will be alright in the future, knowing how deeply ingrained the foundations of abusive behavior are in their doctrinal and philosophical underpinnings. What happens when the watchers are not logistically able to watch?

    My hope for the best for all of them; I would be more heartened if Chandler and the elders had made a committment to seek out those they have disciplined in the past and engage them as they have engaged Karen–they deserve at least a conversation…

  10. Rick says:

    I know that Chandler referenced, if I read correctly, an invitation by the elders to others who may have been hurt. I think the elders, if they are sincere, need to make the first step toward those they may have hurt–this is a responsibilty of elders–the ministry of reconciliation. It will take work on their part–but isn’t that the fruit of repentance? The seeking out of those our attitudes and actions may have done damage to…

  11. Papias says:

    Hooray for the VC and for all involved in getting this done right after things came to light. May their tribes increase.

  12. The person they needed to do right by most was Karen. If this has taken place, then we can rejoice. TVC’s domineering spirit was in such contrast to 1 Peter 5:1-4, but if they have learned the error of their ways, then thumbs up, TVC was a bit thick-headed on the front end of all this, but we can surely all relate to that.

  13. Anne says:

    Yay! We have at least one pig in flight! May his tribe increase! pigs_fly.JPG

  14. Anne says:

    Attempt to post flock of flying pigs fail.

  15. em says:

    #9 – amen to what Rick wrote, where’s the house cleaning?
    saying “sorry” and forgiving is right, but there’s more, isn’t there? … how does one qualify to be an elder? the basic lack of discernment shown in this situation should be disqualifying, malfeasance on this level should disqualify for the office IMHO – if it was my church, it’d be “they go or i go somewhere else”

    but then i’m in a funk as my pdf attach to an email won’t attach, so maybe it’s my mood – don’t think so tho

  16. Rick says:

    Pineapple Head, how do you know that? How do you know that it is only Karen they needed to address? I am confused by that statement. It would seem that Karen’s situation is the only one we are aware of…

  17. Rick says:

    I would think that at the least, the elders of TVC ought to seek an independent, outside resource to audit and monitor their behavior/change regarding church discipline–I would recommend that that outside resource have significant female input and evaluation.

  18. sarahkwolfe says:

    Really happy to hear this…and hoping that their step of repentance and humility will open the door to more grace being evident there. Sometimes, when it is difficult especially, when we step out in obedience and find the amazing relief in doing so we desire even more to walk in that way. Hoping that this is evident in this situation. Possibly, seeing the response of their congregation and all of us watchers will encourage these leaders to continued humility and leadership with grace.

  19. sarah says:

    That sounded like I was saying they should continue simply because the response was pleasing…not exactly what I meant. More that once we take a difficult step and find that grace expounds as a result, we desire to take more steps like that. The fruit of the obedience stirs us.

    Hope that makes sense 😉

    BTW…hi everybody!

  20. em says:

    somebody prayed?
    been trying since last night to send a 11.5MB PDF attached to an Email … it just did!!!

    blessed to see Sarah’s face here, too 🙂

  21. covered says:

    Rick, regarding your #17, how exactly would that work? It appears according to the article and Karen’s response that the mechanism and the dynamic prescribed by the New Testament has taken place and was successful. While I am a big fan of accountability and transparency, it seems as though the leadership has done what you are suggesting on their own. I am assuming that there will be female input but going outside of the family doesn’t seem like a fruitful exercise.

  22. j2theperson says:

    Well, it looks like they covered all the things that I believed a sincere apology needed to have. I am surprised, but happily so. I am very relieved that they have gotten a qualified counselor to counsel Jordan Root. That, as much as their apology to Karen, demonstrates to me that they are starting to take all of this seriously and that it is more than PR. I am curious what changes they will make to their policies and procedures. Will that entail attempting to keep dictatorial people from becoming elders and leaders. I do agree with Rick that they should be actively seeking reconciliation with people they have wronged instead of simply passively inviting those people to contact the church. But I don;t doubt the sincerity of their apology to Karen.

  23. Rick says:

    I do not doubt that their apology to Karen was sincere; what concerns me is that they did not confront their deficit of love and grace on their own–it took an outpouring of pushback from a number of sources. That is what gives me pause regarding how much of this they really understand.

    I simply think they need some supervision–I do not think they are grown up in this yet and they need an outside voice to speak into their lives regarding this (someone outside, frankly, Neo-Calvinist circles).

    I grew up in a family in which we did not share anything with outsiders–unhealthy beyond words. I think they need to seek help outside input to undergo the systemic changes in their thinking/theology to bring forth fruit worthy of repentance.

  24. Anne says:

    JSYK – when I hope their tribe increases that does not mean specifically TVC but leadership in all denoms and organizations 😉

    Yes, J2tp – I agree they seemed to hit all the bases in their apology. Maybe their soul-searching included getting educated by all the responses on social media about what a sincere apology would look like and took the hints. They certainly didn’t seem to have a clue on the front end. I too was very glad Root got a referral to specialized counseling.

    Yes, Nonnie – that Karen accepted the apology is highly important. Tied with letting go of being the primary counselor’s for Root.

    Yes, Paige – I can never imagine putting my life under submission, or the “covering” of a pastor or institution ever, ever again. Fenced in sheeple nevermore!!!

  25. covered says:

    Rick, the one thing that I think most here would agree with is that what happened with this situation is rare in a megachurch. As far as undergoing the “systemic changes in their thinking/theology…”, this is something that did happen and we pray will continue to happen. While there was probably much public pressure to do the right thing, they are starting to do the right thing. In my mind, it is a step in the right direction and I believe (want to believe), that there will be “fruit worthy of repentance” moving forward.

    There are circumstances when outsiders can be helpful to a church body but it sure looks like the Holy Spirit is doing something here without the help of experts.

  26. Rick says:

    Getting it right in this one instance is not an indicator of systemic change–they were responsive in this one instance–with a lot of outside help (pushback). I think we are terribly naive if we think this is evidence of the systemic change required–a gratefulness for their act in this moment, but I would not trust them to babysit my kids, if that makes any sense.

  27. Anne says:

    #25 it would be nice if the HS stepped in and started doing something BEFORE kids were molested, wives were unfairly “disciplined”, bodies built up under “christian” leaders buses…
    I understand the ideas bandied about re: these matters like wolves in sheep clothing, wheat & tares etc. But as his kids isn’t one of the great things about the HS supposed to be wisdom/discernment?

    I mean, I have no doubt, like many of us have, these men, women & children wake up in the morning and ask God to lead, guide and protect. Guess daddy god still likes to go OT sometimes and pull a Job on us…despite sacrificing his son and pouring out his spirit on his followers to give us a leg up on sin. Sure, you expect trials and tribulations from the world, from nature etc. Harder to reconcile at the hands of his supposed born again, spirit indwelt people.
    I don’t doubt they are sincerely trying in many cases to do the right thing as they understand it. For decades I used to not only dedicate my life new every morning to the lord, but throughout the day my thoughts calling out to him to guide my words and actions as interactions and circumstances arised. I really, really regret many things I counseled and shared that I thought were god led and spirit breathed. 1. Because I had asked 2. Because I applied scriptures as taught by those I trusted. I was so much older then..I’m younger than that now 🙂
    His ways are not our ways.. and sometimes his ways seem to contradict what even the bible says his ways are. So brain boggling to me.

  28. Jim says:

    “If Karen is satisfied with the result, we all should be.”

    I have to agree with this.

  29. EricL says:

    Well done, leaders of Village Church. I pray that all of you will learn much from this so that you can do even better in your leading. Again, well done.

    Michael, I sincerely hope this does set a new standard for other leaders to be measured against.

  30. Rick says:

    I think the public repentance regarding Karen by TVC elders is wonderful beyond words; but it represents only their behavior toward Karen. If I can compare this to a medical syndrone, the acute reaction to their treatment of Karen was ultimately ‘cured’ by this act of repentance–think of tetracycline antibiotic given to people with a severe case of acne vulgaris. The acne clears on the surface, but the underlying causes of the acne breakout are not cured. The acne will flare up again (I am referencing ancient treatments of acne). This outbreak was evident to many and required immediate treatment (sincere act of repentance). I am not convinced that the underlying systemic framework from which the egregious acts toward people like Karen have been addressed through this ‘single’ act of repentance, as admirable as it is.

    The temptation of the elders of TVC will be to think, with all the praise coming their way, that they have weathered this storm, and merely need to tweak their discipline policy to prevent outbreaks like this in the future. There needs to be some soul surgery here–it will take time and committment to self-examination on the part of the elders, reviewing what has been done in the past, and repentance for each act that does not look like what Jesus would do.

    Michael, I apologize for belaboring this point–but we are as guilty of naivete toward the TVC elders if we think this one act of repentance is a cure as the TVC elders were toward Jordon thinking his engagement of repentance was enough for a ‘cure’.

    Celebrate–but not in naivete–

  31. Andrew says:

    Good news. However, it is still disturbing to me that this wouldn’t have happened without social media. There is this element that some of these guys just look at the political fall out and make their decisions accordingly. It would be better if these celebrity pastors just did the right thing without being pressured but I still give Chandler a two thumbs up for this.

  32. brian says:

    I am very happy for these this church and for Karen I hope their healing and growth continue.

  33. Rick says:

    I think the best evidence that Chandler and the TVC elders could offer their own church first, and the Body of Christ at large, would be to scrap their current membership covenant or agreement or whatever they call it. The current agreement assigns way too much power over church members to the elders and leadership. Power is as addictive in its own way as chemical dependency. There needs to be a program analogous to a 12 Step Recovery program for church leadership that is toxically addicted to power and has a history of abuse of power.

    Having survived the good intentions of the Sheperding Movement of the late 70’s, men with the best of intentions can do the most amazingly evil things–in the name of Christ, of course. Karen H. did such an enormous work on behalf of the Body of Christ at large by standing up to their petty tyranny and exposing the latent malice cloaked in good intentions.

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    ― C.S. Lewis

  34. Andrew says:

    Rick, at least the VC has a membership roster. CC is much worse when their membership roster is whatever the leader wants it to be at any point in time for what ever reason.

  35. em says:

    i really appreciate the wisdom of Rick’s #33 – who knew CS Lewis was so smart? 🙂

  36. Chris Long says:

    Michael, it looks to me like they DID change their theology. They specifically stated that she had valid reason for divorce or annulment, should have been immediately released from membership (apparently without her even needing to seek the elders), and shouldn’t have had any church discipline. That looks to me like they’ve changed some underlying theological underpinnings regarding their understanding of divorce/annulment, the nature of church membership, the nature of elder oversight, and church discipline implementation.

    As several have noted, if it’s over for Karen, it certainly should be over for everyone else (alas, as evidenced by some in this thread already, it is not…)

    I do have some concerns about some of what the church has said, though, but not the type that one might expect. It concerns me when I read lines like this: “We also want to recognize that there is a time and place for specialized treatment that goes beyond the kind of care that we, or even a qualified biblical counselor, can offer.”

    Of course what they mean is that for some issues, it’s good to have specialists that have experience dealing with those issues. But I personally take exception to them adding the phrase “qualified Biblical counselor”. I don’t know of ANY problem that a proper understanding of the Word is not the ultimate solution for. This notion that there are problems that only secular people outside of the church can provide help for is WRONG and DAMAGING. I don’t care what problem a person’s dealing with, a “qualified Biblical counselor” – someone that really has a lot of wisdom and understands our world and our sin problem in a solid way in accordance with the Bible – is a much better bet than a secular counselor outside the church that doesn’t have these understandings, no matter many degrees they have or what their specialization is. Ideally what someone like Jordan needs is indeed a “qualified Biblical counselor” who also happens to have good experience working with people in his situation, which may indeed be (and probably is) outside of what TVC can offer.

  37. Michael says:

    “I don’t know of ANY problem that a proper understanding of the Word is not the ultimate solution for.”

    I know quite a few…

  38. Chris Long says:

    “I know quite a few…”

    Such as?

    What problems can a person have that Jesus Christ is not the ultimate answer for? A true understanding of the Word – which leads to a true understanding of the Gospel – which leads to a true and right relationship with Jesus is the ONLY ultimate answer for any problem that man might have. We can run elsewhere, and we might find some temporary help, but ultimately our problems can only be dealt with in Jesus.

    Either we believe this Bible and really take it to heart, or we don’t and we’re all just playing games. Either we believe what it teaches that all mankind are sinners and that the only remedy is found in Jesus, or we don’t. And that goes for all types of sin, even what we would consider the most repulsive. We like to pick and choose where (and for who) we will apply the Gospel, but we don’t get that luxury. In a case like Jordan, he desperately needs his mind renewed to the truth of God’s Word.

  39. Andrew says:

    ” I don’t know of ANY problem that a proper understanding of the Word is not the ultimate solution for. This notion that there are problems that only secular people outside of the church can provide help for is WRONG and DAMAGING”

    ________________________________________________________________________

    I don’t go to a biblical counselor to get my cavities filled. I go to a dentist. I don’t don’t go my pastor to have my blood pressure monitored. I go to my MD. I don’t go to a biblical counselor to get my drains unclogged. I go to a plumber. I don’t go to my board of elders to get my taxes done. I go to an accountant. And now I am finally realizing, I don’t go to a pastor for individual, marital or vocational counseling. I go to a state licensed counselor.

  40. Michael says:

    Chris,

    I don’t care how dedicated one is to Christ…it doesn’t solve the issues of things like bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia and some “sinful’ behaviors that can result from them.

    You are demonstrating an “over realized eschatology”…there will be a day when Christ is all we need because He will have done away with all these afflictions.

    Today isn’t that day…

  41. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    Well said.

  42. Chris Long says:

    Ah, I now see where you are coming from, and I strongly disagree. 🙂

    My comment was specifically meant to address the sin issue, but Jesus absolutely can heal bi-polar, schizophrenia, cavities, or any other issue, medically related or not.

    Your position seems to be that Jesus is the answer SOME DAY. My position is that Jesus is the answer for the here-and-now, for WHATEVER we are dealing with. This is why (just FYI) I tend to agree much more with people like BD and understand his church association perfectly (even though I definitely have some concerns with that specific “tribe”).

    I see a Jesus who is portrayed throughout the gospels as healing people and making them whole, and I don’t think He’s stopped His work… I think the problem is with us and our understanding, not Jesus.

    And I don’t care if the problem is with a certain sin or emotional hurt/past pain or a medical problem: Jesus can help…

    If a person’s got a problem with bi-polar and let’s assume that it is entirely 100% a medical problem (I have doubts on this, but let’s assume it), the person COULD exercise James 5 and believe for healing and go to a church where the elders really believe in faith for healing (this is a rarity to even find!), really exercise their own faith for healing in Jesus (a la the woman with the issue of blood or any number of other examples), and really look to Jesus for their answer. Or they could go to the doctor. Now it doesn’t have to be an either/or. God can definitely work through doctors as well (which in and of itself is part of His grace), but most us, God bless us, don’t even really give God a thought. We just go to man to “make us well” without ever going to God. We put more faith in man and the medical establishment and secular counselors than we put in Jesus and His Word…And perhaps that’s one reason why we in the Church aren’t walking in much victory in most any area you want to look at.

    But perhaps we will agree to disagree. I don’t think I’m likely to change your mind in this thread. 🙂

  43. Michael says:

    Chris,

    To be as blunt as I can be I find your view both ignorant and dangerous and I’ll fight it with my last breath.

    I know lots of people who love the Lord and have faith and belong to churches that have faith and they get sicker every day.

    What you faith healing proponents ignore is the fact that every last person who ever lived or ever will live will die of something, someday,no matter how much faith they have.

    This “faith will heal you” bullspit puts a horrible burden on those already afflicted…if they just could get something right, then God would heal them.
    Because they haven’t been healed, obviously then, they are not right with God either.

    What an evil, despicable thing to put on someone already suffering.
    Evil, I said.
    Despicable.

    We have seen healing happen in my church.
    We’ve also had funerals.

    All of those lived and died in faith and are precious in the sight of their God.

    Tell one of my afflicted loved ones that if they just had enough faith God would heal them…and you’ll be praying for healing and new teeth yourself.

  44. Andrew says:

    I certainly believe Jesus heals. And I go to him first. But after that if the choice is between going to the elders in a church or a doctor. I go to a doctor.

    I tried going to the elders before and they just refused to anoint me with oil disregarding James 5 completely. Not sure how they tossed that scripture out but they did somehow.

    So I am with you 100% to go to God first and trust him. Not so much though going to the elders and claiming James 5 just based on my own experience.

  45. Rick says:

    Chris, I think you are too narrowly focused regarding theological/philosophical underpinnings and the harm wrong assumptions and paradigms can do. Removal of part of a tumor, while perhaps beneficial in the short term, does not mitigate the harm done by the rest of the remaining tumor. The mindset that enables abuse of the sort that Karen suffered enables abuse across a wide spectrum of life matters.

    My concern is for the church as a whole (of which Acts 29 network is very influential) and the individuals who will not have a social media outpouring available to them when they are wronged. Modification in one small area is great–but until there is self-awareness and recognition that the whole system is sick, there will not be the reformation and restoration needed.

  46. em says:

    in the context of sound thinking, the Bible will sort out any mix-ups, if “used properly” – the topic of the post has me thinking about its “improper use” 🙂

    the brain itself is an organ of the body and can wreak havoc with one’s function as a responsible person – a broken arm is easier to spot, easier to heal and less dangerous than a broken brain

    God sees, He knows and has down thru time – Psalm 85:10-11

    Proverbs 3:13-32 perhaps?

  47. Michael says:

    We anoint with oil and pray for the sick.
    I’ve laid hands on people and seen them healed.
    I’ve held hands with the dying.
    Faith was never an issue…God is sovereign.

  48. em says:

    this thread has me thinking geometrically … parallel lines never meet … but they can end at a common perpendicular intersection …

  49. Chris Long says:

    🙂 Love to you Michael.

    I absolutely agree it is wrong to put burdens on people. And I agree that some people get well and some people don’t. And I absolutely agree that we will all die (barring the rapture of course 😉 I believe there are a whole lot of variables in the whole discussion of healing.

    But, I’m sorry, I can’t get around what the Bible teaches on this subject. When I see Jesus tell a woman that her faith has made her well, I’m sorry but I can’t dismiss that because of experiences of people I know or myself. There IS clearly an interplay in Scripture between faith and healing. I’m not saying I fully understand it and I’m not saying there’s not plenty of variables, but there is an interplay that’s obvious and consistent throughout the Word (even in the OT). Your issue here isn’t with my view, but with what the Bible teaches because you’re having trouble reconciling it with your experience(s) – and I get that because I think that’s the hangup for most people. For the record Michael, I have had very serious health issues and am currently dealing with major health issues. Back in 2011, I was getting close to death and had exhausted all the doctors (much like the woman with the issue of blood did where it says she not only didn’t get better, but grew worse). Then my eyes were opened to some of what the Bible says regarding healing and I exercised my faith and I came back from the brink – made a miraculous recovery. Then about a year and a half later, it was like a switch got flipped and I started deteriorating again. I don’t have all the answers, but I absolutely believe that Jesus heals. We make a mistake when we 100% dismiss it because of some ridiculous over-the-top preachers or because we all know people that have died (including my own mother!) that seemed to believing God.

    Your view of Jesus seems to be that He only cares that we get to Heaven, but isn’t really much interested in helping us in our life now. I don’t share that view and I don’t think that’s “dangerous” as you put it.

    But again, I wasn’t intending to even talk about physical healing. And I think it’s rather telling that a simple statement like that Jesus is the ultimate (note the word ultimate) answer for our problems can produce such strong opposition. I find that fascinating…

  50. “parallel lines never meet”
    in the perception of an artist they do, it’s called “a vanishing point” on the distant perspective

  51. Michael says:

    Fascinate this…

    Jesus heals sometimes.
    He always sustains us until He takes us.

    No one is “exercising” greater faith than those who cling to Jesus despite the fact that they or their loved ones aren’t healed.

    Unfortunately, I’m too sick today to get this wound up…so I leave this for now.

  52. Chris Long says:

    Rick @ 45:

    “The mindset that enables abuse of the sort that Karen suffered enables abuse across a wide spectrum of life matters”

    and

    “Modification in one small area is great–but until there is self-awareness and recognition that the whole system is sick, there will not be the reformation and restoration needed.”

    Everything about their apology that I’ve seen both written and in Matt’s sermon suggests that they have recognized that the way they handled Karen’s situation was indicative of a larger problem, and they’ve repented not just just of the way they handled Karen, but of their attitudes across the board. In other words, it looks to me like they HAVE had the “self-awareness” and “recognition that the whole system is sick” and they’ve repented for it. I don’t really know what more to ask of them…

  53. Most excellent.
    And I love the fact that, while being sustained during suffering, the greatest comfort is that we need not supper alone, especially when Jesus makes a point to answer the question, “but, Lord, when did we visit You when you were sick?” and He responds, “As you did to the least of my brothers & sisters, so you did unto Me”

    I pray you have someone locally visit you, to lay hands on you, anoint you with oil and pour you a Kahlúa

  54. em says:

    G, interesting… the eye of faith?

    Michael, i hope Miss Kitty gives you a hug… i hate to admit it, but my late husband’s cat (adopted by my daughter) gives my daughter what can only be described as hugs

    praying

  55. eye of the artist
    those of faith sometimes discover the eye of the artist
    other times they just round us up and burn us

  56. Chris Long says:

    Michael @ 51:

    I’ve heard you mention being sick/ill before over the years, though I really don’t have the slightest clue what it is specifically you are dealing with (if you’ve ever said, I missed it), but I’m genuinely sorry you aren’t feeling well today and I definitely am praying for you brother. Love to you! 🙂

  57. Michael says:

    Thanks, all.
    I think I’m recovering.

    Chris, I’ll give you this…I think prayer has become a secondary pursuit in most of our lives and we are paying a price for that.
    Thank you for being more gracious than I am today.

  58. Chris Long says:

    Agreed re prayer. And I completely understand: when I’m not feeling well, I know I’m not always in top form myself – I think that’s true of everyone. Just FYI for you since I know you don’t know me and I don’t comment a whole lot: whatever we might disagree on, there’s a WHOLE LOT that you and I agree on based on all I’ve seen you write over the last 5 or 6 years I’ve been lurking around. Including the entry you just posted regarding the smouldering wick – that’s good stuff. Here’s hoping you have a great rest of your day Michael! 🙂

  59. Rick says:

    That Chandler and the TVC elders have not comprehensively disavowed their membership covenant/contract or whatever they call it is the evidence that I would cite for them not really being at an adequate place of self-awareness or understanding. What they did to Karen was a natural outcome of belief that they have a God-ordained place of authority over the lives of members who sign that agreement–I saw nothing in the agreement that addresses matters of conscience or limits the ‘sovereignty’ of the TVC leadership.

    I am skeptical about them–40 years of personal history in the Kingdom, in multiple geographic locations, including overseas, experience with both church and parachurch ministries, flavors my skepticism. I will probably remain skeptical until I hear a comprehensive renunciation of the authoritarian paradigm they have operated under and advanced as truth for the time period they have been around.

  60. Rick says:

    A rough paraphrase of the sermon that I would like to hear from Matt Chandler and the TVC elders:

    We really suck at this authority thing. Run for your lives–run to a place where elder leadership and authority is based in invitational relationship and trust. While you are running for your lives, avoid Acts 29, Sovereign Grace and 9 Marks churches. Under no circumstances should you sign a membership covenant. You are blood bought and loved with an everlasting love–Christ has brought you into membership in the only Body that counts.

    We wish you well–pray for us…

  61. Rick says:

    I feel as though I am wearying people–this is my last word in this thread. Blessings upon all of you.

  62. Jim says:

    Chris Long,

    I was the director of Biblical counseling at a mid sized church, and worked with our members, along with those sent to me by a local, larger PCA church.

    I was trained by Peacemakers, NANC, CCEF, and smaller training/certification orgs you’ve never heard of.

    THE most important thing I learned and would teach others is knowing when I was out of my depth. When to say, “you really need to see a medical Dr”.

    CCEF has come a long way in this regard, and your view is pretty much dead in the Biblical counseling field.

  63. Chris Long says:

    Jim @ 62:

    “your view is pretty much dead in the Biblical counseling field.”

    Indeed.

    Although you probably didn’t fully understand my view since for the record I have no problem with (and even applaud) directing people in certain circumstances to see a medical doctor. I myself have directed people to doctors and medication – that may seem like a contradiction given what I wrote above, but it is not. Don’t make me explain that though, because I don’t really want to (I can’t explain it without opening up a whole bunch of cans of worms that I don’t want to get into or siderail this thread into). 🙂

  64. Andrew says:

    But again, I wasn’t intending to even talk about physical healing. And I think it’s rather telling that a simple statement like that Jesus is the ultimate (note the word ultimate) answer for our problems can produce such strong opposition. I find that fascinating…
    __________________________________________________________________________

    A pastor sent me a Jack Hayford tape after my wife and I experienced several miscarriages. I sent it back unopened because I wanted nothing to do with his kind of Benny Hinn faith theology. However, he took much more offense with strong opposition at me sending that back to him to the point he has completely disowned me as a brother. Do I have to embrace Jack Hayford theology to be accepted as a brother especially when I am suffering such loss? It may be fascinating but it is also very sad.

  65. Chris Long says:

    Andrew @ 64:

    “However, he took much more offense with strong opposition at me sending that back to him to the point he has completely disowned me as a brother. Do I have to embrace Jack Hayford theology to be accepted as a brother especially when I am suffering such loss?”

    Absolutely not – that is absolutely horrible that any brother or sister – especially a pastor would do that! That kind of stuff really makes me mad!! And you are right – it is indeed very sad. There’s a lot of nonsense that goes on out there. Just FYI though: I’m not super familiar with Hayford but what I have seen showcases a WORLD of difference between him and Hinn. Not all teachers that teach faith-related concepts are like Hinn (praise God!). But again, whether you listen to any teaching or not is your right, and any pastor disowning you as a brother because you wouldn’t listen to what they wanted is reprehensible really and can be seen as a form of spiritual abuse.

  66. Andrew says:

    Thank you Chris. I don’t know if I see that much difference between Hinn and Hayford but so glad you see this for what it is.

  67. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t agree with Jack Hayford “theology” (whatever that means) but I do like Jack Hayford and if I was in need, physical or spiritual I would probably listen to him.

  68. Chris Long says:

    The other issue Andrew is even if one has certain beliefs regarding faith and healing (as I do), the time to go spouting off those opinions isn’t necessarily right when people are in the midst of such deep loss as a miscarriage. That’s a time for compassion and love and embracing and being the supporting Body that we’re supposed to be. That’s something that the faith crowd just tend to do a terrible job at (pointing fingers at the hurting tends to be much more common) and it frustrates me to no end. I don’t know how long ago those miscarriages were, but I pray for the comfort and peace of the Lord to be so evident in you and your wife’s life – that you would both truly sense His arms around you upholding you and taking you forward.

  69. Linda Pappas says:

    http://www.manipulative-people.com/the-character-disturbance-continuum-part-3/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

    So what does repentance look like for one whom is truly grieved over the wrong they have done against another human being. Clue: Change is not temporary, nor is it focused upon the needs of the one doing the confession.

  70. Pineapple Head says:

    Rachel Dolezal needs to give Matt Chandler a call.

  71. Andrew says:

    I don’t agree with Jack Hayford “theology” (whatever that means) but I do like Jack Hayford and if I was in need, physical or spiritual I would probably listen to him.
    ________________________________________________________________________

    This is not about Jack Hayford, its about a spiritual abusive CC pastor. However, I got turned off with Jack Hayford when he teaches that the gift of tongues is available to all believers. I really don’t need to be reminded of that baloney when I am hurting.

    Thanks Chris for your encouragement and understanding.

  72. em says:

    Andrew, i have been there – hurting so that only God can bring you through – and i was very ungracious to preachy platitudes, so i think i understand what you were feeling then…
    that said, i must agree with MLD about Hayford – he baptized my youngest daughter in the Jordan River; she has never spoken in tongues or wanted to (nor do i) and Hayford didn’t seem to care – i have known too many followers of Christ who claim a tongue and are living the two greatest commandments far better than i… so i have no choice but to respect their walk and leave that issue alone…

  73. Babylon's Dread says:

    Chris Long

    Concerns with my tribe? Well we all have some. In fact every person should have concerns with every tribe. Though that is a lot to carry.

    Usually when I see faith healing comments they are caricatured. But not always.

  74. Chris Long says:

    BD @ 73:

    Indeed. I don’t know of a “tribe” that isn’t worthy of having some concerns. 🙂 My concern with Bethel and the like is that while they are very open to the Spirit (which I think is a good thing), that openness also produces the opportunity for problems. That of course is always the case regardless, but in their case, IMO they tend to make it real easy for people to go to excess and just plain go wacky because they place much of their emphasis on some specific things. I’ve seen people seriously get into loony territory chasing after the prophetic, dream interpretation, etc. I just wish they were more “balanced” – but then again, I wish that about pretty much every “tribe”. 😉 You’re right about the comments being caricatured.

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