I have been sharing these links on my personal Facebook page, but realized that I needed to put them all in one place for future reference. Unfortunately, I’m sure I’ll need to refer to them again and I don’t want them to be buried on my Facebook page. I thought it would also be helpful for others to be able to access all of this in one place.
For those who do not know of this situation, The Village Church in Texas is attempting to put Karen Hinkley under church discipline after she resigned her membership from the church. She returned from the mission field after she discovered her husband was a p*d*ph*l* and had been consuming child p*rn*gr*phy for ten years. (They had only been married three years.) She wisely sought to have the marriage annulled under the laws of Texas related to fraud. The Village Church leadership (led by Matt Chandler) has attempted to put her under church discipline because they believe she is a Covenant Member and therefore they have the right to dictate every aspect of her life (including her finances and pursuing the annulment). The entire thing is so appalling that it’s hard to believe a church and pastoral staff can honestly think they are doing the right thing.
Bottom line in this is what I have been saying over and over again. These highly controlling church covenants are dangerous.
Do not sign a church covenant. You are signing away your right to be led by the Holy Spirit. You are signing away your right to make your own decisions.
And I have no doubt that the heavily complementarian views that drive The Village Church (a part of the Acts 29 network that was founded by Mark Driscoll) are playing a big part in the staff wanting to control Karen Hinkley and her life although they would certainly deny it. I wrote a bit about Acts 29 a few years ago and the way they are exporting this brand of “Christianity” around the world. Some might think this is simply an isolated incident, an issue for one church in Texas. it’s not. It is an issue in so many other churches who are being influenced by people like Matt Chandler and others in the Acts 29 network.
Please remember the inclusion of a link is not an endorsement of the author or their writing.
Responses to the Story
Five Reasons to Say “No” to a Church Covenant from Wade Burleson
It Takes a Village Covenant to Raise a Bitter Root from Wade Burleson
Dear God, what is Matt Chandler Thinking? from Matthew Paul Turner
Stories of The Village Church and other Abusive Church Survivors from Amy Smith at Watch Keep
Part 2: The Abuse of Church Discipline at The Village Church from The Wartburg Watch
Insidious Behavior at The Village Church Regarding a Pedophile and His Former Wife from The Spiritual Sounding Board
Some Thoughts on What Is Happening at The Village Church from Matt B. Redmond
The Village Church Scandal from The Common Room
Women in The Village Church Beware: “You Got No Right to Leave” from Christy Thomas
The Apology from Matt Chandler and TVC
Matt Chandler’s Sermon Asking for Forgiveness While Stressing the Need for Church Discipline from The Wartburg Watch
Responses to the Apology from Matt Chandler and TVC
Matt Chandler’s Apology: A Lot of Money Rides on This from Christy Thomas
So, can we discuss that ‘apology’ from The Village Church? Because it really missed the point. from Matthew Paul Turner
Megachurch: Stay With Your Kiddie P*rn-Watching Husband—or Face ‘Discipline’ from The Daily Beast
The Village Church “Apology” from Christy Thomas
Regarding Matt Chandler’s sermon/apology, here are my thoughts… from Matthew Paul Turner
The Village Church/Matt Chandler: The Problems With Membership Contracts from The Wartburg Watch
Village Church, Matt Chandler publish ‘apology.’ from The Common Room
Simply SAYING ” I Repent,” Means I Must Forgive from Wade Burleson
More on Acts 29 and Membership Covenants
Five Signs that a “Membership Covenant” = “Cult” from Christy Thomas
Do Acts 29 Churches Share the Same DNA as the Mothership – Matt Chandler’s The Village Church? from The Wartburg Watch
Church Planting a la Acts 29 from The Wartburg Watch
This is Matt Chandler with two other “pastors” clarifying for us who may discuss theology and who may not. I don’t live in my mom’s basement, but I’m guessing they wouldn’t approve of me since I’m a woman and not ordained. They seemed to forget that pesky verse in Acts 17:11 that says, “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” God is telling us it is commendable to make sure we are being taught the truth from the Scriptures. I don’t see any leadership qualifications for studying theology and correcting those who are wrong.