Village Church’s apology in one sentence

"Village Church's Apology" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Village Church’s Apology” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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My friend Christy Thomas wrote an excellent analysis of the apology in Matt Chandler’s Apology: A Lot of Money Rides on This.

In fact, come to think of it, I think this is typical for how churches and religious leaders apologize.

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8 Responses

  1. Sabio Lantz says:

    Fascinating to read Christy Thomas’ background and blog. She is very “UnBiblical” — a word I just now coined.

    “UnBiblical Christian”: Someone who does not strive to be “Biblical” because they see the Bible as an anthology of books written by people (mostly men), who like believers today, are fallible, bigoted and full of error but who record their thoughts about “God” in their books. These Christians, though valuing their scriptures, feel no compulsion to agree with the authors.

    I also read about yet another church full of manipulation and power plays for money and power. The same happens in secular institutions of course — but it is even more nefarious in churches because they use “god-talk” to manipulate and that triggers the superstitious fear element in many people — not to mention the tribal fear component — of being rejected from a community.

  2. Sabio Lantz says:

    BTW, David, as a suggestion. For those of us who don’t pay attention to all the various controversies in the Christian Zoo of Churches, it would be helpful to give us some simple Demographics/Theology/Sect anchors when you discuss a church or pastor that is in the news. You would make us wiser readers.

    For example:

    Church: The Village Church – Dallas branch (their web site)

    Location: Dallas Texas

    Denomination/Theology: Southern Baptist, calvanist (see Chandler’s wiki article) , all male eldership.

    Demographics: Mega-church (5 branches, 10,000 members and growing at 1,000 members per year!)

    Controversy: Church rejected woman’s divorce from husband consuming child pornography (see Christianity Today article)

  3. Sabio: I’ve come to the conclusion it is a human problem, and religion is just one expression of it. For example, I have been a part of entrepreneur or business groups where if you don’t subscribe to their ideas about money and success then you’re a nobody doomed for failure. All ideologies are created and used to control people. Very quickly, in almost all communities, you can learn very quickly who’s in and who’s out.

  4. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ David,
    Yes, we agree on that ! And I think you also agree that any religion which uses holy talk to push any agenda must be even further suspect. Indeed, holy-talk should always be eschewed — though you don’t, perhaps, go that far.

  5. Ducatihero says:

    In one of the links is it quoted “you are doomed to eternal suffering and separation from God unless you repent and come back under our church authority.” So their approach was to tell Karen that she was doomed to hell of she didn’t undergo their “discipline” and that she couldn’t leave the church whilst undergoing such.

    “We have clearly failed and need to repent… considering the way we’ve ministered to Karen specifically, we believe that we owe her an apology… We did not lead Karen and the church to a place conducive to peace, repentance and healing… our hope and prayer for her is that God would guide her to another gospel-believing church, where she can find healing and restoration… we are deeply grieved by the way this situation has brought reproach to the name of Jesus. Our hearts are heavy”

    This punctuation is uncannily similar to a discussion I have had online just this last week where said I stopped listening when in his broadcast there was talk about what he was doing not being about church politics but because of “care”. I dared to mention that I was not convinced that what he was doing was about the gospel but rather about church politics. His response “Yes – calling a church apostate is not about church politics, it is about the gospel. Moving away from the Word of God is a very serious charge – that is why I make it with a heavy heart.” So I guess the Church of Scotland is apostate according to the word of God then, not just the word of this particular guy according to him.

    So what has happened – with that “yes”, my point has be completely ignored. It’s tiring for me, annoying, irritating, boring. I cannot imagine how frightening it must have been for Karen with the so – called “discipline” and with the most private aspects of her life being exposed to the public. It conjours up images worse than the schoolmaster in Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” to me. How is she ever going to trust anyone in a position of authority in church again? It’s disgusting. Repentance is not just about saying sorry, it is about change and without change all that happens is those frightening, irritating, annoying boring, tiring an unhealthy systems structures and conduct remain in place.

    I guess all we can do is do as Jesus instructed his followers – testify against those who won’t listen and move on – find communities where there is healing security, belonging and love to be found.

  6. Kenton says:

    Unlike this one, that’s a genius-ly crafted sentence.

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