The Village Church Scandal

In light of the Village Church scandal and something I recently heard from a friend in a different state about a similar issue she’s dealing with, I’m reposting this:

A useful guide to the faux Churchy language of sexual abuse & violence cover-ups: ‘we’re all sinners, he’s still your dad/husband/brother/pastor/youth minister/preacher/friend’s dad, forgive, and absolutely no gossip!’  One very useful function of this list is learning to know what not to say.

Pyschological socialism: this is a great term for an ugly thing. No, two parties are *NOT* always at fault in a broken relationship.  This applies to marriage, but also to any abuse situation. I can’t even believe it needs to be said, but it does… 

Abusers and their unwitting helpers need to stop hiding behind acusations of gossip as well:

Read 1 Corinthians 5, and note the things Paul does and does not say- I outlined them here.   For instance:

Isn’t it interesting that Paul doesn’t say- tell the church to stop gossiping about it, go privately to this man, pray with him, accept his tearful repentance.  Paul didn’t say, “work on reconciliation between the man and his father’s wife,’ or anything like it.  Paul says, ‘Quit boasting.  Mourn!! And remove him from among you!’  I don’t know what Paul thinks of the wife, because he doesn’t say- but Paul also doesn’t call the woman involved Foxy Bubbles nor waste any time blaming her and making excuses for the man on the basis of his libido. I’m guessing that the woman was not a professing believer- but Paul doesn’t say. He just says that man needs to be removed from the church, and now.

Paul doesn’t say, “Sin is sin, and there but for the grace of God go I, and we can’t judge.”  Paul says “I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing.”

Paul does not say, “advocate for him with the Civil Magistrates- sit with his side at a court trial, write letters to the judge on his behalf pleading for leniency. Hire a lawyer to defend him.”  Paul says, “Deliver him to Satan!”

Paul doesn’t say to befriend the youth minister who turned out to be a child molester, the pastor who commits sexual sins by foisting himself on the 22 year old girl who has been under his authority since she was a teen, the father who has been abusing his children, the husband who continuous berates his wife- he says “not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

Paul doesn’t advocate keeping this quiet, just letting the leadership know, squelching discussion, not allowing anybody to know.  He says to apply the “unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”  Charismatic tyrants and child molesters are not even on speaking terms with sincerity or truth.  

In the Village Church/ Jordan Root story, Jordan is already a confessed child molester and user of internet child porn= which is not a victimless crime. Those children are real children, being broken, damaged, destroyed, for the lustful carnal pleasures of wicked, evil men (and a few women).  Those vile creatures who pay for this and watch it are no more innocent of the crimes against these children than a man who hires an assassin is innocent of the murder just because his hand never touched the weapon.

And a problem with his ‘confessions’- as is highly typical of abusers- is that it has unpeeled like the layers of an onion, and each confession reveals that the previous confession was actually an exercise in deceit.

Wade Burlson has some sage advice for the Village Church leadership.

Matt Redmond is also sound on this.  (thanks, Tamara, for the links)

Show me an unbreakable signed church covenant in the Bible.  Just show me a signed contract, period, as a biblical requirement between membership and leadership.  That in itself tells you that you are dealing with a church that is not based on the New Testament. God established the church, and signed contracts between the leadership and members are not part of what He put into place.

However, that’s really a side note.  We have yet another example of human beings thinking they know more about child abuse and the perpetrators of it than they really do, and doing great damage as they blunder on in their ignorance.  Ah.  Perhaps because these church leaders are merely men in their thirties.  Biblical eldership is about elders, not young men who haven’t yet even reached middle age.

UPdated to add- The Village Church is doubling down and smearing Karen in the process. They sent a letter out to their membership about why they were putting the wronged (now former) wife under church discipline, but not the pediophile who has clearly not come close to confessing all his crimes. IT’s obnoxious, arrogant, and a nasty piece of work.  Come to my house and I can tell you exactly what I think of it without holding anything back.

They imply that SIM (the mission organization they worked with) doesn’t want to work with her, but that’s not the case:

to be a SIM missionary you have to have a church send you, SIM doesnt send people without a church over them.
“Step 1: Talk to your church leadership and members of your church. Ask them to pray with you and advise you about participation. Their encouragement, evaluation, and support in prayer and finances will be vital to your mission experience. But more than that, it’s the church which sends you, with agencies like SIM working in partnership with them.”

I want to be clear that what the TVC implied was that SIM considers Karen Hinkley unworthy to serve, but that is not what SIM has ever said. Here is what SIM said in their email regarding the termination of Jordan Root:

February 25, 2015
“…terminated Jordan Root’s membership with SIM USA.”
“Karen continues in active status with SIM”
Eric E. Ernst
Director of Personnel

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