Horrific story of spiritual abuse, mishandling of sex abuse, church membership, Matt Chandler, The Village Church, Jordan Root, pedophile, child pornography
I woke up late this morning and checked my Twitter feed to find that many of my Twitter friends were shocked and appalled at the treatment of Karen Hinkley (formerly Karen Root) by Matt Chandler’s church, The Village Church.
Amy Smith, aka @watchkeep on Twitter, is an advocate for abuse survivor, a twitterer extraordinaire, and a champion for exposing truth. She compiled a shocking article presenting primary source documents and screenshots of text messages about this situation.
We don’t need to wonder why people are leaving churches. This is a prime example of why I will never, ever, ever sign a dotted line to become a member of a church.
I will briefly summarize the story, but please read Amy’s article here: She Speaks: The Village Church protects a confessed pedophile and “disciplines” his wife, a brave young woman and missionary
Also, The Wartburg Watch will be covering follow-up stories next week. I am so grateful for Amy and Dee who expose this nonsense. Hopefully, by shining the light on these types of stories, others will not have to suffer the same kind of pain Karen has experienced.
Imagine being on the mission field in a foreign country and finding out that your husband has been viewing child pornography. Imagine having to pack up your belongings and come back home to your sending church and wonder what your future holds.
Karen released a statement. The bulk of the statement is to make sure that the truth is exposed. She rightly shares this concern:
It is my sincere hope that Jordan has not sexually abused any children, but I believe the circumstances warrant his exposure so that any victims who might be out there can be identified and given an opportunity for justice and healing.
However, these two key paragraphs are worth noting. This is a common pattern we see in churches that do not handle sex abuse cases well. They will defend the perpetrator and victims of the abuser are treated as if they are the primary problem:
The inclination towards minimization and secrecy that the pastors and elders of The Village Church have displayed is inexcusable. And the spiritual abuse I have experienced at their hands is unacceptable from those who would represent Jesus Christ. Jesus cares deeply for the vulnerable and the voiceless. He speaks strongly against those who would victimize children, and he went toe-to-toe with the religious bullies of his day who “tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” (Matthew 23) The treatment of Jordan as the victim and me as the perpetrator by the leadership of the church is an appalling reversal that evidences priorities that are not in line with the Word of God.
And this one:
Pastors and elders of The Village Church, I urge you to rethink your hasty and public declaration of Jordan’s repentance and require him to seek out appropriate treatment for the nature and seriousness of his issues. I also urge you to conduct a thorough inquiry into how this situation unfolded and reform any policies and practices that contributed to your failure to respond appropriately.
In Amy’s blog article, you will find a note Karen wrote to the leaders at The Village Church informing them that she is withdrawing her membership from the church. She also stated that she filed for an annulment from her pedophile husband.
A week or so later, she received this letter which outlined that The Village Church was putting her in church discipline for not allowing the church leadership to “care” for her. Furthermore, her soon-to-be ex-husband was NOT put in church discipline.
We have been perplexed by your decision to file for an annulment of your marriage without first abiding by your covenant obligations to submit to the care and direction of your elders. As I mentioned in my first letter, this decision violates your covenant with us – and places you under discipline. Per section 10.5 of The Village Church bylaws, you are prohibited from voluntarily resigning membership while subject to the formal disciplinary process. We cannot, therefore, accept your resignation. – See more at: http://watchkeep.blogspot.com/#sthash.f9fRwy2Y.dpuf
The article documents statements pastors at The Village Church which defend Jordan Root, wanting to protect his reputation, for fear that people come to wrong conclusions. You really need to read the whole article and documents for yourself.
215 thoughts on “Insidious Behavior at The Village Church Regarding a Pedophile and His Former Wife”
I think you are an awesome writer! So clear. So transparent. You nail…so many topics. If you enjoy writing, I hope you will join some kind of writers group to cheer you on. (Sorry to hear about the dyslexia. I would have never known if you hadn’t said anything.)
I’m glad you liked the “Paper Matches” poem by Paulette Jiles.
You are a blessing to me and to the Spiritual Sounding Board.
LikeLiked by 1 person
“Per section 10.5 of The Village Church bylaws, you are prohibited from voluntarily resigning membership while subject to the formal disciplinary process. We cannot, therefore, accept your resignation.”
This is, frankly, quite comical to me. As if any religious group could prevent me from walking out the door without actual bloodshed, or at the very least an obscenity/profanity-laden shouting tirade. I would scream those people deaf. Give me a break. When did the modern church become a police state?
LikeLiked by 3 people
Hi, the Matt Chandler video appears to be been pulled from Vimeo. From what I can tell, it was just an audio recording which is still available at:
http://alvinreid.com/?p=1073 (And I find the content rather scary!)
I have downloaded it and would encourages others to do the same in case it also disappears.
Thank you, Ian. So interesting that the author refers to explosive churches in Dallas and fails to acknowledge Chandler’s explosive anger. I hope the author is not a church leader. I didn’t snoop around the site at all.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Sadly folks, the “church” in America is in ruins and this type of thing is all too common. Could it be because what we are calling church is not really the church? The majority of what we call church today is not church as described in the book of Acts. “Church” today is a man-made hierarchy system and many times results in exactly what this article describes. Although you or I may not agree with everything in this book; I recommend that everyone read, “Come Out of Her My People,” by Charles Newbold. It explains how most all churches are a form of the Babylonian system. The link is found here to the PDF book: http://www.charlesnewbold.com/books/TheHarlotChurchSystem.pdf I quit going to these institutional churches a long time ago and am still trying to heal from years of emotional and spiritual abuse from their doctrines and practices. The house church movement we hear about in China is probably the closest thing resembling the early church of Acts, but I’ve yet to find even a house church remotely like that…and so until we do we worship at home, and at times with a few other believers. We just don’t trust organized churches or their leadership, although certainly there are some good leaders and “churches” out there; I just personally have given up trying to find one after many many attempts.
“And this campus pastor: “Have we tried to help push her under our care?” Ugh! How much that unguarded wording reveals about the true mindset.”
The first few times I read that post, I kept thinking about Driscoll bragging about how many people he had pushed under the church bus.
It was only then I realized that it didn’t say “push her under our our CAR”.
“Out of the fulness of the mind the mouth speaks”……..
This morning, I was looking through the list of adult classes and small groups available for the fall in the church I previously attend. One of the classes is on a deeper knowledge of the gospel. I thought, that sounds like a good one, UNTIL I saw that Matt Chandler was one of the co-writers of the book. Even if the book was completely scriptural I could not stomach reading it knowing what horse hockey has come from his “leading” at the Village Church. I just can’t do it.
Seriously?? She’s not a heroin think about how many women marry pedophiles and walk away. What abuse? Ok so they tried to discipline her shes a grown woman not a robot or property. She was free to walk away at anytime from that church. There are real abuse cases of children and women raped by members in the church plus spiritual abuse on top of it and alienation. yet I have never seen so many blogs continually highlight Karen Hinkley’s case over all the others. Story: She married a pedophile, she got an annulment, the church tried to discipline her, didn’t work, she got an apology. Most victims never get an acknowledgement! In the long run she already had a degree was then a single woman no kids thank god and yet she wasn’t capable of getting a job with her degree and caring for herself? Where was her family (you know parents, brothers, sisters, aunts , uncles) She through your websites got her tuition for law school paid for along with scholarships? This is the most ridiculous case of over dramatizing a situation in order to highlight her as some hero. SGM survivors suffered they real suffered and yet I see you highlight Karens story even over theirs. How do you think this makes others tww posted about or even you feel? Believe me they see it because trust me I see it. It seems to me unless it’s high profile or a mega church or someone who can get tww connections or you connections the rest are not worth your time once you post their stories. They are a fleeting story until something more important comes along and your on to the next one. I find this absolutely insane so karen is walking around with a law degree with which she needed financial support to get and your other victims you write about don’t even get highlighted or ever a call from Dee like she promised.
Dee gives every excuse as to why she’s been so busy and promises to be there for the victims she writes about. I can tell you 100% she is a bold face liar and did the opposite of what she said.
Indy, you are mistaken. Please search on my site for SGM. You will see that I have done far more posts on that sex abuse scandal than Karen’s case.