Clergy Misconduct, Clergy Sex Abuse, Misuse of Scripture, Spiritual Abuse, Spiritual Authority

Dissecting Victim (oops) Pastor Wes Feltner’s Public Statement

Dissecting Victim (oops) Pastor Wes Feltner’s Public Statement

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You may have been following the news about the lead pastor of Berean Baptist Church (Minneapolis area), Pastor Wes Feltner, who has been in the public spotlight recently due to two courageous women who spoke out about the sexual, emotional, and spiritual harm he caused when they were 18-year-old students under his pastoral care as youth pastor. The brave women are Megan Frey and JoAnna Hendrickson.

Recently, First Baptist Church of Clarksville, Tennessee, asked if he’d be willing to join their church as lead pastor, but since these women came forward and alerted the pastoral search committee, their pastoral abuse information has been made public. After quite a mess (and missteps), First Baptist Church leaders have wisely rescinded the offer.

Pastor Wes Feltner is currently on administrative leave at Berean Baptist Church while his elders and an independent investigative team investigates the reports. It should be noted that in the original church where he harmed the young students, he was quickly dismissed, and the abuse was never publicly addressed. (Could there be more victims?) Since that time, he has been able to resume normal ministry opportunities without ever having accepted responsibility for the harm he caused or suffering consequences. The survivors have never received their due justice.

Predators often leave all sorts of evidence when they release public statements. Pastor Wes Feltner, in his public statement, shows us why he should not be a pastor based solely on his public statement. Let’s take a closer look. Pastor Feltner’s statement is in black font. My editorial comments are in green.

Statement by Pastor Wes Feltner

Wes: As many of you are aware, recently there have been a series of allegations made about me from 17 years ago. I’d like to briefly address the situation.

Wes: A few months ago, I was approached by a church close to my hometown in Tennessee, where my parents and all my family still live, to become their senior pastor.

Wes: I informed them that I was not interested in leaving Berean, but I would consider their request, given the proximity to my family. During the process, my name was released as a candidate. As a result, a small group of individuals from outside that church attempted to stop the church from recruiting me. When the allegations were made, I suspended further consideration of becoming their pastor. Now, it is no longer under consideration.

Wes: They accused me of pastoral abuse based on events that occurred 17 years ago when I was a single, young man working as a youth leader at a church in Indiana.

JA: Notice the focus on how many years ago – 17 years. Why does that matter? If someone killed a person, they are still dead 17 years ago, or last week. He also plays up the fact that he was single and young. Last I checked, a single and young adult are still treated as an adult.

JA: What also struck me was he said he was working as “a” youth “leader.” He doesn’t say he was youth pastor. The whole sentence is an attempt to minimize his role, minimize his responsibility because of his age, his marital status, and because of the number of years that have passed since the pastoral abuse occurred. Does the distance of 17 years remove the harm done? Did the 17 years erase the memories from the women he harmed? Probably not.

Wes: They have widely circulated the statements of Megan and Jo Anna, whom I dated, with the permission of their parents, when they were 18 years old. I agree with some of the facts alleged in the statements and deeply regret the hurt I caused, but some of the allegations are not true.

JA: Just because he asked and was granted permission to date young women from his youth group does not make it right. If he was a newly graduated doctor and asked his young patients’ parents permission to date them, would he have done so? Absolutely not. It’s unethical, FULL STOP. Why do some churches give youth pastors a free pass on this issue?

JA: When someone is in the position of authority OVER people, you don’t get to use that position for personal sexual gratification. If he wanted to date, he should have dated young adults in which there was an equal relationship – not one in which he was over them in authority.

Wes: The Bible directs God’s people to take their grievances first to the person accused, and if that person won’t listen, to try again and bring a witness. If the person still won’t listen, then take it to the church.

Even now, Pastor Wes Feltner is abusing his position of authority by publicly shaming the women and twisting the Bible in order to control and harm.

JA: Notice how instead of owning his responsibility of abusing his position of authority for sexual gratification, he is shifting the blame to the victim and accusing them of not following Matthew 18. That is classic predator behavior. It is ridiculous. Furthermore, Matthew 18 is not to be used in a situation like this. This is not about a minor grievance among equals. This is about an issue of pastoral abuse which must be brought before elders (which apparently happened when you read the above tweet). And also, it should be noted that they got rid of him. So, the young women did it correctly. Even now, Pastor Wes Feltner is abusing his position of authority by publicly shaming the women and twisting the Bible in order to control and harm.

Wes: The groups circulating these allegations did not bring them to me; rather, they took them directly to the church in Tennessee. And not being satisfied with the church’s response, they’ve taken them to Berean, and now the general public.

JA: And rightly so. There is absolutely no reason to bring the “allegations” to Pastor Feltner. He is the predator. The reason why he wanted to meet with them is so that he could apologize and MOVE ON. How nice and handy for him. This is not about apologizing and moving on. This is about shining the light on clergy sexual misconduct and facing the appropriate consequences. Allegations must be brought to people in positions of authority so that appropriate response can be taken. That is precisely what JoAnna and Megan did.

Wes: I and others have reached out to them several times seeking an opportunity to hear their grievances, and to answer them. Subject to their approval, I proposed a meeting with an independent mediator to ensure that all concerns could be fully heard and understood, and to help us strive for reconciliation. They declined to talk saying, “The use of Matthew 18 as a means to silence your victims will not stand.”

JA: I 100% applaud how JoAnna and Megan have responded. These women are strong and they are not budging. What Pastor Feltner failed to respond to was that he and “others” have reached out to them. Who might the others be? Hmmmm

JA: Here is a quote from a blog post by Megan and JoAnna giving more details – an important detail he left out: “Megan received a voicemail on October 11, 2019 from a personal injury attorney in the Minneapolis area claiming to be with Berean.” Ohhhhhh, so he wants Matthew 18, but instead he responds with a voicemail from a personal injury attorney. Niiiiiiiiice!

JA: In Megan and JoAnna’s blog post, you can find a voicemail sound clip from the attorney Scott Hillstrom (sp). He builds himself up by saying how long he’s been in the business. He shames them by saying they should have gone to the Bible for disputes. He threatens by saying they are treading on laws when Pastor Feltner and Berean church are “injured by these kinds of things.” He requests that they refrain from releasing any more information and encourages them to contact a lawyer so that when they meet, he can explain to the lawyer the “legal situation,” and “he can help you understand the legal effect of what you are doing.” (I guess he’s assuming that the women will see a male attorney?) He then claims this is a “friendly call” and again reiterates how Jesus told people to deal with conflicts in the church. “It’s not a threatening call, I’m trying to build a bridge here, in the name of Jesus to come together around this. But it does involve serious legal matters that we don’t want to go there. And that’s why I’d like you to have your lawyer present so he can tell you about the legal matters.” Blah, blah, blah, legalese, note how he dismisses the legal threat as a threat. At least be honest, Mr. Lawyer!

Wes: Meanwhile, having not spoken to me for 17 years, they organized to destroy my reputation and career. I remain fully willing to address and apologize for any concerns whenever they are willing to talk. I am pleased that Berean has hired independent investigators to investigate these allegations, and I look forward to having the opportunity to speak with them.

JA: I’m no attorney, but I was involved in a defamation $500,000 lawsuit by my ex-pastor. It seems to me, JoAnna and Megan could file a defamation lawsuit against Wes Feltner for the phrase, “they organized to destroy my reputation and career.” He is stating that phrase as factual and apparently knows the intent of their heart. Ladies, if you are reading, do with that information as you wish – I just wanted to throw that out there.

JA: I do not believe JoAnna and Megan are intending to destroy his reputation and career. It is clear by their actions that they are trying to make church leaders aware of the pastoral abuse they suffered, which has never been dealt with appropriately. In the Huffington Post, their intention is quoted: “Over the past few days, fearing that yet another Southern Baptist church is refusing to heed their warnings about the pastor, the women have started speaking up again.”

JA: Further, Huffington Post noted JoAnna is, “speaking out to educate the denomination about the nature of pastoral abuse and to make sure that no one else will experience what she did.” That doesn’t sound like their intent has anything to do with destroying a career, but to help the SBC understand clergy sexual abuse so they can respond appropriately.

Wes: Meanwhile, my family and I are facing serious and withering attacks, most are from people who have never heard of me until the allegations were brought to their attention. Many are – some have been threatening. The situation is unhealthy for my family, and maybe not even safe.

JA: I certainly hope there have not been serious and threatening attacks. That is inappropriate. But . . . I have to wonder what kind of harm his family has been dealing with. It doesn’t seem likely that anyone would go after Mr. Feltner’s family. But it is important to note that when there is sin, many innocent people will suffer the consequences, and for years. It’s not appropriate to blame the women for any outlash he or his family have received. He needs to point the finger to himself and quit acting like a victim.

Wes: Meanwhile, Berean must stay focused on its gospel mission to this community and to the world. Therefore, the elders and I have mutually agreed that I take a leave of absence while the investigation is under way.

Wes: In closing, there is a reason that God has placed a call on my life to preach the gospel. that’s because as I’ve taught you many times, I daily need the gospel. As John Newton the author of Amazing Grace once said, “I’m not what I ought to be, I’m not what I want to be, I’m not what I one day will be, but I’m not what I was, and by the grace of God, I am what I am.”

JA: God has instituted qualifications for elders regardless if someone feels a certain calling. Wes Feltner’s supposed calling does not override God’s guideline for elders. When you use your position of authority, as youth pastor, to sexually take advantage of those under your care, you are unfit to be a pastor, period. You did that, Wes. You chose those actions. Not being a pastor is a small consequence to pay for the 17 years of shame and harm you caused the women.


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68 thoughts on “Dissecting Victim (oops) Pastor Wes Feltner’s Public Statement”

  1. One thing…I am SO tired of these dudes trying to use their wives and kids to shield them from the consequences of their actions. Stop.

    Second, on this part:

    Megan and Jo Anna, whom I dated, with the permission of their parents,

    So…above it says that he was quietly dismissed from his position when it was found out? Which paints quite a different picture from this quote, where he sounds like he was openly and honestly dating repeated 18 year olds at ? Age (I need to read the docs I guess but I’ll note ’17 years ago/young/single’ doesn’t give me a sense of the age difference here). If all this ‘dating’ was aboveboard he wouldn’t have been fired for it I think.

    I am concerned about how many youth pastors seem to spend their time trying to date their high school aged students! Lucky ours were a married couple I guess (although it being sbc the wife was never acknowledged as pastor she seemed to have the same job)

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  2. Thank you, Julie, for dissecting Wes Feltner’s statement. He could have cleared up a lot of stuff by simply being forthright and admitting what he did! I love this declaration:
    “I agree with some of the facts alleged in the statements and deeply regret the hurt I caused, but some of the allegations are not true.” Okay. Which ones? Which ones are not true?

    And then there’s some very relevant information he left out when he mentioned dating Megan and JoAnna: When I was a teen, lo these many years ago, we used the term, “two-timing.” Remember that one? Feltner was actually THREE-timing!

    The fact that he would date a member of his youth group and then allow it to get “physical” is bad enough. No question about it. Even if he genuinely cared about the girl, had good intentions, but things went “too far,” it would be wrong and a more grievous sin because of his position. However, he did far worse than that. He lied, schemed, and manipulated three young women (that we know of) into thinking he cared for them while he USED them. This is deplorable.

    My friends and I had more scruples and honor when we were teenagers (40 years ago!), and I wasn’t even a Christian. How could a 24 year old professing Christian and youth pastor look these women in the face and pledge his undying love when he’s canoodling with two others on the side? This sort of conniving and manipulating, so premeditated and planned out, is despicable. It’s worse than giving in to sexual temptation with your girlfriend.

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  3. I am so disgusted by this, this kind of abuse has gone on too long. I am a female pastor and missionary, I have seen this happen, that the men in question get elevated to a new position somewhere else, rather than having a confession in front of the congregation. It would be much healthier and healing to have a confession and then a firing. Men or any people who commit these acts are disqualified from ministry.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for your expose of this wolf in sheep’s clothing. This awful predator who kept making deals with the devil, to get ahead in the church. Shame on you, #WesFeltner Use your LOA to find a different career path. Work through your narcissistic predatory illness. Please.
    You should not counsel, preach to, or serve anyone. Get right with God. Whatever. These strong women have been holding onto this pain & shame for 17 years. It has nothing to do with harming one small, flawed man’s reputation or family (all built on lies?) It has everything to do with saving as many human beings in TN or MN or anywhere else, from feeling what they have felt for nearly TWO DECADES! Yes, how many other victims are there indeed? Peace & love to my sisters, Megan & JoAnna. http://www.broughttothelight.org
    #BeFearless

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Just another reason to reasonably/logically and spiritually have JESUS as our Pastor at the end of these days. There is no other “GOOD SHEPHERD” such as HE. And the Most Compassionate and Empathic LORD that ever walked this earth (Son of God and Son of Man), Whose Heart is filled with love, mercy, and justice, yet literally bowed down and washed the feet of sinful man, will never walk in the entitlement/title of a humanistic pastor man whose ego elevates himself to the title of ‘lord it over man.’

    Oh, how our LORD JESUS must be weeping over the state of the visible body of a christ system. I would find it logical that this man is a proud complementarian within his own lot, where the love of Christ has been plowed under with a powerful disk-chisel.

    My heartfelt prayers pour out over the injustice of these victims.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have been a pastor for 40 years. I have studied narcissistic abuse for 15. This “response” is all about control. It is very difficult for some people to release control, especially if they fear the outcome of the situation. This pastor was able to avoid the serious consequences of his past behavior for a long time. Now, those consequences have come after all. He exhibits feelings of betrayal, disbelief, and fear. Interestingly, if this had been dealt with appropriately 17 years ago, he would have (one would hope) a different career and no reputation to defend.

    Here’s my take on the video:

    First, there is something fundamentally wrong about an accused abuser scolding victims for not following right procedures. I find nothing like this in the Scriptures, not from David or Paul or anyone else who faced personal attacks. Rather than stepping back to allow the Lord and others to come to his defense, this pastor chooses to assert his superior position by lecturing about proper procedures.

    Second, it is common for abusers to depersonalize their victims in their statements of defense. “A small group of individuals,” “17 years ago,” unspecified “attacks,” and vague assertions that some accusations are true while others are not. All of these serve to reduce the strength of the accusations and, thereby, dismiss the accusers. Even naming the accusers by first name reduces them to “girls” and limits the number to two. I would expect further defense to consist of character witnesses from churches served before and after 2002 telling how he made no attempt to initiate relationships with them. In this would be a hope that current church members and leaders would not view this pastor as a threat. The goal would be to limit this to a serious lack of judgment with a couple of impressionable girls as a “young, single man.”

    Third, the appeal to the “call” I find particularly troubling. It is an arrogant attempt to establish superiority on the basis of position. To suggest that certain people are above accusation and consequence because of the position they have been called to ignores many lessons from the kings of Israel and the religious leaders of the Jews of Jesus’ and Paul’s days. In fact, leaders can be unworthy of their call—and can be both judged and punished accordingly.

    We know that God calls broken people. It brings me particular grief to see pastors misuse their position and trust to hurt people. But when it happens, it should perhaps be dealt with even more severely so that the purity and love of Christ is seen clearly. Some have taught that the call is “irrevocable,” based on a handy misinterpretation of Romans 11:29. There are few options for churches that teach this irrevocable call but to find a way to “restore” a pastor back into ministry. However, moving quickly to restoration, rather than repentance and restitution, is another way to depersonalize victims and devalue accusations.

    Fourth, the call to allow the current church to remain focused on the ministry of the gospel controls in two ways. First, it indirectly labels the accusations as “distractions.” Members and leaders are encouraged to ignore the distractions or deal with them quickly. This is the abuser’s desire to “move on.” The second thing this does is ignore the Scriptural example of taking sin seriously. Part of the gospel message is the destructive effect of sin. To push sin “under the rug” for the sake of the gospel, is not the gospel!

    Finally, the congregation and accusers should be asking what “outside” and “independent” really means, especially when it is clear that the final decision will be back in the hands of the elders. Does outside mean only someone outside the elder board, or the church, or the denomination? How about outside the church altogether, a secular investigation? Who pays the investigators? Who will read their report? When the pastor says he “looks forward” to meeting with them, what expectations does he have? It is not uncommon today for pastors to set up their own “oversight committee” from respected friends and leaders which will serve in the case of moral accusations. Is the outside investigation team a group of the pastor’s friends? Too often these investigations serve only to further demoralize the accusers and affirm the abuser. Even if that is not the case in this situation, how will the elders’ final decisions be guided by the outside opinion?

    Everything in this video is about control. It presents the abuser as the victim and cries for support. It promises truth without promising transparency. It covers the accusations with suspicion and invalidation. We know that a situation like this must be investigated. We also understand that church leadership should make some kind of public statement. But nothing here speaks for the real victims, nor about the underlying concern every church member should have who trusted the leadership of this man.

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  7. Fourth, the call to allow the current church to remain focused on the ministry of the gospel controls in two ways. First, it indirectly labels the accusations as “distractions.” Members and leaders are encouraged to ignore the distractions or deal with them quickly. This is the abuser’s desire to “move on.”

    Yes. 100% their goto move for this reasons. You’ve laid it all out well.

    Also? After now having read the details more clearly, this guy was using multiple women by ‘dating’ them at the same time. By secular standards, this is the kind of guy you warn your friends away from! Bumping it up, he was literally talking them through bad breakups and using it to manipulate them into a relationship, which is terrible. What a jerk.

    I don’t like this guy. Do the people who defend people like this not see how not sorry at all they all are? It’s so clear.

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  8. By the way, does anyone really think that a man who had three “girlfriends” at the same time would simply confine himself to one for the rest of his life after marriage? Especially when the one he married was one of the three? As far as I know, there are no such accusations, no other accusers, but I would be surprised if we don’t see more coming forward soon.

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  9. I think the perpetrators like Wes Feltner need to stop misusing Matthew 18 and start obeying Matthew 5, among other passages. From the CEB, “23 Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift at the altar and go. First make things right with your brother or sister and then come back and offer your gift.”

    Furthermore, 17 years ago he failed to obey this advice from the next two verses, and now lets hope he reaps then consequences, at least in the court of public opinion and in the court of losing any ministry position. “ 25 Be sure to make friends quickly with your opponents while you are with them on the way to court. Otherwise, they will haul you before the judge, the judge will turn you over to the officer of the court, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 I say to you in all seriousness that you won’t get out of there until you’ve paid the very last penny.”
    He has not been making friends with his “adversaries” as they were defamed by the TN church’s search committee chairman.
    Looking at this another way, his adversary and judge is the Lord Jesus Christ and he had best make friends with Him quickly.

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  10. Asssuming the allegations are true, unless there is a significant difference between US and UK usage, verb ‘to date’ it means to ask out … for a meal, film, walk …. . It’s almost obsolete in UK English. He didn’t just date them, it went much further than that, but the impression given is much more innocent in nature. I somehow doubt he had their mothers’ permission for what he got up to.

    What I noticed in his statement was a failure to admit he dated more than one girl at a time, and that this had led to physical intimacy – I don’t think it too much for him to have used the rather euphemistic phrase ‘inappropriate relationships’ which would let the congregation know the seriousness of what actually went on, and that it wasn’t a one-off mistake. (Maybe it might be better to be a bit less prudish and use some of the words the bible does to describe this.)

    His claim to want to talk to his accusers “seeking an opportunity to hear their grievances” is hardly credible, he cannot possibly not know what the central issue is, and comes close to admitting this is apologising for the hurt he has caused.

    I read the testimony of the two girls he dated, and I have to say that in all fairness they seemed to be incredibly naive. A catastrophic lack of spiritual discernment from all those involved, and especially the mature adults. Did the church they were in utterly fail to teach anything on personal relationships? Is this partly the result of Anglo-Saxon prudery?

    What he did was immoral, but I assume not illegal. He may complain at the accusations against him damaging his calling to preach the gospel, but this is down either to his monumental stupidity, putting himself in temptation’s way, or else him being a fierce wolf preying on the sheep.

    I’m afraid YT suggested a clip of him being introduced for his new church in 2013. How he met his wife and how he is now such a nice family man with nice children. (Getting to Know Pastor Wes_Part I ). The irony is difficult to take, as is the difference between the façade and the alleged reality.

    I suppose to be more positive it is not impossible for all of this to be put right, for all concerned, but more honesty is a prerequisite for this, regardless whether the independent investigation finds enough evidence to substantiate the allegations or not (by which I mean he should admit his guilt regardless, and not hope the investigation might let him off the hook because it can’t actually prove anything).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I read the testimony of the two girls he dated, and I have to say that in all fairness they seemed to be incredibly naive

    Imagine! Being naive at 18 this is my shocked face

    That’s why adults aren’t supposed to date teenagers.

    regardless whether the independent investigation finds enough evidence to substantiate the allegations or not

    Didn’t they substantiate this 17 years ago when they fired him? Pfft.

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  12. Thanks Julie Ann and commenters; I agree 100% that he is trying to minimize his reprehensible behavior, use Matt. 18 as a weapon, control the narrative and the process, etc. But this:

    whom I dated, with the permission of their parents

    This absolutely makes my blood boil. Kas, you are absolutely right. My questions to Wes would be: “Did their parents know there was a sexual component to your relationship, and were they OK with that? Did their parents know you were ‘dating’ three women at once, and were they OK with that?” Of course the truthful answers would be “no”. This is a disgusting and shameful attempt to whitewash seriously immoral behavior.

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  13. “Wes: Meanwhile, having not spoken to me for 17 years, they organized to destroy my reputation and career.”

    This is a Satanic lie that we need to face head on. WES DESTROYED HIS OWN REPUTATION AND CAREER. These girls have every right to tell the truth, and if Wes is “harmed” by the truth, it’s because of his actions.

    Truth is, he knew his reputation and career were on the line when he carried on these relationships, and HE CHOSE to ruin his own reputation and career.

    And, that’s what his lawyer is faced with. You cannot slander, libel or defame someone when what you are saying is the truth, and you cannot gossip when it’s true and it’s your own story.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Rambling…………some thoughts on this issue

    There are too many unknowns to declare innocence or guilt on anyone’s part at this point. There are just too many unknowns. Word against word. I’d like to hear more about the character of all involved.

    Pastor Feltner was a young and good looking 24 yr old with aspirations to be a pastor/leader. From what I can see in resumes etc online it appears he was a “student youth pastor”. (Personally, this is why I feel that there shouldn’t be such a close age difference between group members and leaders).

    Pastor Feltner seemed to have decided to play the field a bit, something many young men (and women) at that age do. It seems that he must have known it might not look good to be dating girls that were or had been part of his youth group in that he asked parents for permission to date them. (Either to be respectful or to cover his ass)

    The fact that he asked parental permission to date conflicts with the statements that the girls were told that dating should be kept secret.

    Those making comments about the parents not giving permission for sex. Dah! Seriously, who do you know who isn’t having sex after months of seeing one another, especially at that age? It is not biblically right and is sin but none the less we are talking young humans here. There evidently was a pregnancy scare in which Pastor Feltner did offer to marry the girl. (This says something about his character)

    It appears that the girls were not aware that Pastor Feltner was dating them both at the same time. This might be where the “secret” comes in. I cannot imagine the hurt, anger, betrayal, etc that was felt when this was found out. Any woman is bound to feel naive and used, however, did not both girls know he was publicly dating Stephanie? What does this say about their character?

    It appears to me that the girls after thinking “they were the one he wanted” would have thought Pastor Feltner was absolute scum and at that time could have easily come together to get vengeance on him. This would not have been unheard of.

    The girls brought it to the church. It seems to have been “dismissed” but Pastor Feltner then left the church. These are serious allegations and can hurt many but Pastor Feltner did not do anything illegal here and it would have been word against word. I would not have expected the church to act any differently with no proof of either side’s story.

    I hear again and again that Pastor Feltner has not repented of this situation. Does anyone really know that? Would not he have repented for his poor ethical decisions when he was asked to leave his position? I would think that he would be praising God for this close call and learning lesson, especially if he was feeling called into ministry.

    Many on the blogs out there call Pastor Feltner a sexual predator………? Seriously? He sounds like a red-blooded 24 year old male whose brain is not done growing and who cannot make good judgments regarding women or his dating life. A “player” but not necessarily a “predator”. Offering to mary a pregnant girlfriend does not sound like a predator.

    All the recent attention to the MeToo Movement has empowered many victims to come forward and share their stories and has brought much healing BUT this movement has also opened a door for many to be accused out of vengeance and ill will.

    To rip either Pastor Feltner or either of the now women without all the facts from BOTH sides does no one any good. 17 years is a very long time to remain silent if one really feels that they were wronged or if parents thought someone abused their daughter in anyway. There is some suspicion here on motives of all involved.

    Lets not throw any of them to the wolves just yet. As a Christian I feel the need to pray, ask for discernment and ask that all parties find a way to forgive each other for any intended or unintended harm. We are all human and I know that I won’t throw the first stone at any of them.

    What the church decides to do will be interesting to see………..they can dismiss Pastor Feltner and simply run from the whole situation or they can take the word of the man they have known for years and apologize to the girls for their interpretation of events and move forward, keeping Pastor Feltner on staff. It does seem like Pastor Feltner has the most to lose here.

    I remember that the enemy is the one who causes confusion and is out to steal, kill and destroy.

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  15. There are too many unknowns to declare innocence or guilt on anyone’s part at this point.

    I’m surprised at you Mae. The place he was working clearly didn’t think there were ‘too many unknowns’ to fire him. How many of these facts are even in dispute???

    None that matter, I think.

    I am curious about the told the parents/keep it quiet thing. I would like more details on that. It sounds like the girls found out he was dating both of them, while also dating his future wife? That’s despicable, period. If that is true, I need no other facts.

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  16. If you are interested in hearing how the pastoral nominating committee chair addressed the situation–and understanding why these two women felt even further abused and dismissed–watch this video: (Trigger warning!)

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  17. So…he ‘dated’ three girls at the same time is not in dispute. Which is the part that makes him sound like the biggest sleaze to me, but pastor/whatever paul up there is cool with it.

    Good to know.

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  18. “If you are interested in hearing how the pastoral nominating committee chair addressed the situation–and understanding why these two women felt even further abused and dismissed–watch this video: (Trigger warning!)”

    Trigger warning, indeed. That was disgusting – – as if it eliminates his abuse. Good grief. Blech!

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  19. Lea said: “So…he ‘dated’ three girls at the same time is not in dispute. Which is the part that makes him sound like the biggest sleaze to me,”

    I can’t remember reading it, but I’m curious to know if he was also teaching sexual purity to the students he was overseeing as youth pastor?

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  20. I don’t know but I’ve been trying to figure out how ‘asked the parents permission’ and DATED 3 PEOPLE at once went together and a family friend said this, which explains it well to me and tracks perfectly with my experience of ‘stuff cheaters say’. But imagine being this bold about it and what on earth did his wife think of this???:

    He and JoAnna (JoAnna was my daughter’s best friend) came to us and shared that they were becoming a couple. Wes explained that they could not let others know just yet because they needed to give Stephanie (his public girlfriend and now wife) time to adjust to the break up and allow her to share their split publicly on her own terms. We respected Stephanie and truly believed Wes’s intentions.

    http://www.broughttothelight.org/barbara-doss-witness-statement/

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  21. Can’t help thinking about his wife. Is she just finding this out? Was she trapped 17 years ago? Is she trapped now? I hope no one pressures/persuades her to come out publicly in support of him. Those “supportive wife” exhibitions are so sad. Pray for her.

    Like

  22. Julie Anne, I’m not sure if I can answer everything on Mae’s but I did miss this part the first time around and wanted to address it…

    Mae: 17 years is a very long time to remain silent if one really feels that they were wronged

    They did not remain silent. They spoke when they found out he was lying to them. They spoke to the church. The church fired him but told them to keep quiet. Did you not read any of the details????

    Also, according the family friend, the church he went to afterwards was warned about his behavior and decided to hire him anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. To think she was with him while he was dating other women, and then ended up marrying him is troubling to me. What a foundation. Ugh! And then to see how he masterfully manipulated his church and previous leaders tells me he is not a safe person. Stephanie, if you are reading this, please contact me at spiritualsb@gmail.com if you are interested in joining a private Facebook group for support. You can join using a Facebook acct with a pseudonym. I just want to make sure you have support. There are so many woman who have gone through marriages like yours – yes, even pastor’s wives. My heart goes out to you.

    Like

  24. Mae: “There are too many unknowns to declare innocence or guilt on anyone’s part at this point.”

    There are pictures with dates and eyewitness testimony from both the two women and external sources. I assume you are equivocating on “innocence and guilt”. Perhaps in his state, he cannot be shown to have broken any laws, but what is being debated here is whether someone who wants to have three girlfriends at once, including a sexual relationship with one is qualified to be a pastor. The answer is “NO”. That is the answer the first church concluded when he was asked to resign.

    Mae: “Seriously, who do you know who isn’t having sex after months of seeing one another, especially at that age?”

    Me. I dated my now wife for two years before we were engaged. She was 18, I was 26. We set boundaries and did not cross them. The expectation that all 18 year olds can’t carry on a relationship without sex is offensive. The expectation that a PASTOR cannot keep it in his pants is offensive to pastors everywhere, the qualification of whom is sexual purity.

    Mae: “I would not have expected the church to act any differently with no proof of either side’s story.”

    The church dealt with the situation by telling him to resign. They understood and believed the women. The problem is that they subsequently told them to keep silent and cover up the relationship while the rumors swirled.

    Mae: “It seems to have been “dismissed” but Pastor Feltner then left the church.”

    That’s a complete misunderstanding. If the charges were dismissed, why would he leave? Why would a pastor give up a friendly church which will ignore his indiscretions? No, what happened was they told him to resign or be fired. It was done under the table to protect the church’s reputation. Judicial gag orders protect the witnesses. Church gag orders protect the organization and its leadership.

    Mae: “red-blooded”

    If this keeps being used as a euphemism for sexual predator it will become pretty meaningless. The point of the #metoo and #churchtoo movement is that sexual harassment, sexual predators and unwanted sexual touch, along with the subsequent coverup are NOT ACCEPTABLE in our society.

    What other crime do we treat this way?
    Someone steals your car… well, he’s just a red-blooded teenager
    Someone steals your purse… well, who hasn’t looked at a purse for more than ten seconds without stealing it

    Mae: “A “player” but not necessarily a “predator”.”

    He is a PASTOR. He wants to get up every week and tell his congregation how to live a moral life. What makes him a predator is that he used his position of authority and influence to find vulnerabilities in these women. According to their stories, they were saying, ‘this doesn’t seem like the right thing to do’ and he was saying, ‘I’m the pastor, trust me’.

    One difference between a player and a predator is the power differential. He used the power differential inherent in his being a church-appointed and approved youth leader to get these women to compromise. That is #1 an ABUSE of power, and #2 makes him a predator.

    Mae: “17 years is a very long time to remain silent if one really feels that they were wronged or if parents thought someone abused their daughter in anyway.”

    They were told BY THEIR CHURCH to be silent.

    I don’t think you could be pleased with either result. If they talked 17 years ago, they were disobedient to their church leaders. Now, they are on some vendetta. You just seem to want them to shut up and go away. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM HERE. Why, in Jesus’s name, would you tell someone to hide the truth? Where in the Bible does it say, “if your brother offends you, keep silent” Where does the church have the right to issue a gag order?

    Again, if someone in your church stole your car, would you expect the church to say, “shhh. don’t tell anyone?” If you were auditing your church records and found your pastor was siphoning funds to his personal bank account, would you expect the church to quietly have him resign and tell you to be silent?

    What is it, then, about sexual sins where the church thinks that silence and coverup further some sort of greater purpose?

    Like

  25. “He sounds like a red-blooded 24 year old male whose brain is not done growing and who cannot make good judgments regarding women or his dating life.”

    And there it is. Never mind that he was placed in a position of trust. Never mind that he used that position of trust to cultivate the relationships. Never mind that he used these young women to satisfy his lusts. Never mind the lies, the manipulation, the abuse. Just bad judgment. I would agree that the church is to blame for putting a child in charge of children, but he obviously knew he was doing something wrong. And the church agreed.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. JA asked “I can’t remember reading it, but I’m curious to know if he was also teaching sexual purity to the students he was overseeing as youth pastor?”

    I noticed this from Megan’s piece – the irony is mind-boggling:

    I also remember taking part in an ‘Abstinence Ceremony’ that Wes lead the Youth Group through one evening in the gymnasium of First Southern Baptist Church, where he handed out roses to symbolize the promise of abstinence from each student, including myself [her emphasis]

    Liked by 1 person

  27. KAS, if I had to label that, I would call it “advanced gaslighting.” Think of the cognitive dissonance for a young girl who experienced that. Think of the control he had over her so that she didn’t run crying from the room. Think of the control he had over her after, when he could remind her of her lie. No wonder she still struggles after 17 years.

    Like

  28. Dear Mae,

    You’ve gotten a lot of feedback here, which I hope you’ll take seriously. I’ve got a bit more for you.

    There evidently was a pregnancy scare in which Pastor Feltner did offer to marry the girl. (This says something about his character)

    Yeah, it says, “I’ll say anything to keep this girl docile and convinced that I love her, and only her.”

    I hear again and again that Pastor Feltner has not repented of this situation. Does anyone really know that? Would not he have repented for his poor ethical decisions when he was asked to leave his position?

    Considering that he’s blaming these two women and making himself out to be the Poor, Poor Victim in all of this, I’d say it’s a fairly good bet that he hasn’t repented. If Feltner’s blaming them now, he most likely blamed them 17 years ago as well. Just not quite so loudly.

    I remember that the enemy is the one who causes confusion and is out to steal, kill and destroy.

    Glad you remember that, Mae. That’s exactly how I feel about Feltner, too. 😉

    Like

  29. I happened to be reading in 2 Timothy – a nice change from 1 Tim 😊 – and found this well-known passage in chap 3 particularly relevant to this discussion (abbreviated to highlight the most pertinent parts)

    But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, … abusive, unholy, …lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

    A telling combination of self-love, abuse, impurity and love of pleasure.

    holding the form of religion [godliness] but denying the power of it. Avoid such people.

    I don’t think I will ever quite be able to grasp the extent some people can compartmentalize their lives, having an outward show of piety, but to a God who makes no difference to their actual lives and behaviour. Everybody does this to some extent, but how can anyone with a conscience try to teach and minister in a church whilst practicing the precise opposite of what they are saying?

    For among them are those who make their way [or creep] into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and swayed by various impulses, …

    Weak is literally small, but I suspect the RSV has got the sense. Maybe ‘vulnerable’ would be a modern word. Unstable (emotionally?), and burdened by their own sins as well. The two girls are not accountable for Wes’ sins and rank targeted manipulation, but I think if fair to say they lacked wisdom, as did their families. There are clear hints they realise this in their testimonies. The so-called Billy Graham rule, or ‘avoiding the appearance of evil’ as I was taught it years ago.

    As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith;

    I’m not sure if the last phrase is an exact translation of the Greek, but it certainly is a good description in this case. I don’t know whether Wes was actually a Christian, but he undoubtedly had a counterfeit view of God, and God’s holiness. Why did no-one else in the church (except an ex-boyfriend) see through the charade? Too enamoured with a young man acting the part? The best sepulchre money could by with dead bones on the inside?

    for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.

    Well, his folly is certainly now plain to all.

    Mae – you say Wes’ expressed willingness to marry one of the girls highlights his character in a seemingly positive way, but I think risking getting one of your collection of girlfriends pregnant is what actually demonstrates his character. Total irresponsibility. Saying he would marry her sounded to me the first time I read it the sort of thing the smarmy villain in a Hollywood B movie of a Rosamund Pilcher novel would say, where the audience knows it’s rubbish.

    Like

  30. Re:” Wes’ expressed willingness to marry one of the girls highlights his character in a seemingly positive way”

    How awful it would have been for her to have been married to that deceiver. This was more of a threat than a blessing.

    Like

  31. “This was more of a threat than a blessing.”

    This.

    My mother married my father at age seventeen, my aunt married my uncle at age fifteen, my grandmother married my grandfather at age seventeen, my great grandmother married my great-grandfather ate age fifteen.

    Being brainwashed in conservative Christianity they were all to be submissive to their husbands. Therefore they all became trapped underage sex slaves. They were used, degraded, demeaned, trapped, and abused. Stuck in a house and bed with disgusting putrid men no one should have to live with. Their children (they had no choice to have) became subject to incest as toddlers.

    Like

  32. “Pastor Feltner was a young and good looking”

    Oh, please.

    He looked like a smug ugly creep back then and looks like a smug ugly creep now.

    You swooning over this creep makes me think you are one of his worshipers.

    It makes Christians look bad when they always pretend all men and all boys are perverts. And cant be expected to act like informed mature responsible decent adults.

    In my small town growing up everyone knew everyone. Once my older cousin who was supposed to be babysitting us left because her older brother who stopped by to give her something was there to keep us. He called his friends over. They were looked like Motley Crue and while at our house they listen to Guns N Roses, Aerosmith, and AC/DC. I was very scared of them. But, they were perfect gentlemen. They were so sweet and did not act pervy or creepy like so many of the men and boys I knew did. CHURCH men and boys.

    My two best friends both had older popular teen sisters and I had older popular cousins. We all gossiped a lot. By age twelve I knew who the sketchy pervs were and who the guys were who could take no for an answer. There was a group of cute guys in our little community who were always going to jail for fighting. They were the bad boys. It turns out they treated girls the best. If a girl said no they left her alone. These boys always stared at me and talked to me, but, they knew I did not want them kissing or touching me. So they didn’t.

    My childhood best friend became a model and she had to deal with two types of men. The ones who knew how to conduct themselves and the coward pervs. The first group would talk to her to get an idea if she was interested in them and if so they asked her out. The second group was too cowardly and selfish to get to know if she liked them or not. They just started touching and harassing her.

    I know so many stories of popular cool attractive men and boys backing off when it was obvious the girl did not like them. They continued to be nice to her afterward and at the same time left her the hell alone.

    I know many stories of older guys liking a girl but finding out she was underage and completely backing off. My twenty-year-old cousin who was a star football player in high school liked my best friend’s sixteen-year-old big sister. When I told him she was sixteen he said that is way too young and started thinking about a girl his own age.

    The point is, conservative Christians peddle the claim that all guys do it when so many of us know many cool guys don’t!

    Conservative Christians claimed when it came out that Josh Dugger was a perv that all fourteen/fifteen-year-old boys molest their five-year-old sisters. It made you all look sick and stupid because we know that is a big lie.

    The way it always sounds is, it is normal for church-going Christian men and Christian boys to molest, sexually harras, and rape women and children. That is what you are actually telling the world but you are too oblivious to know it.

    Like

  33. When I first glanced at the heading I misread “(oops)” as “(poops).” Well, I guess that fits, too. LOL
    Julie Anne, I just came across an old blog post from years ago that has to do with the misuse of Matthew 18 and how abusive spiritual leaders try to use their misinterpretations and the demand to follow detailed procedures to shame the abused. Here is the link:

    https://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2012/04/principles-not-procedures-understanding.html

    Like

  34. @ Christianity Hurts……tears, tears, and more tears. The truth of your experiences and writings rings true of the patriarchal, “complementarian,” and lord if over religious system that I sprinted out of as a born again Christ believer and follower. Your personal truth and testimonies break my heart, my mind, and my soul into pieces.

    I want to encourage you to boldly speak the truth of your life here on SSB, for it reveals the “agenda and heart” of those who appear as “angels of light,” yet their heart, words and actions” actually shed light on the anti-Christ spirit, which is alive and well, and thriving, within the c’hurch system.

    Those who witness and point people’s souls to Jesus Christ, are hated and reviled by c’hurch folks, for they believe we are to point souls to other m’en and w’omen who think they know a j’esus better than the low life, average believer.

    I love you Christianity Hurts, for you speak truth far more than the r’eligious men that I have believed in, followed, worshipped (idolatry), and gave up my personal identity in Christ Jesus for my entire life (until recently when God, the Holy Spirit convicted me of worshipping man above and beyond HIM…..what a Freeing experience that was, Praise JESUS!).

    I want you to know Christianity Hurts, that when I pass from this earth into the Presence of Jesus Christ, that YOU, on this earthly world, have witnessed more love, empathy, compassion, and understanding for abuse victims in regards to the apostate c’hurch system, than anyone I know. I praise Jesus, for the invention of the internet, for it connects voices and experiences of those of us who have been violently abused by the hands, minds, and spiritual abuses of c’hurch folks who have not been born again in the Spirit of our LORD JESUS.

    You have given me hope, love and encouragement here via the internet, and I want you to know how much you mean to me as a lowly sheep of Jesus Christ. I grew up on a small farm and watched my Dad care for the sheep he raised, and that my brothers and I showed in the ring for judging. I remember seeing my Dad cry, shedding tears, when he lost a lamb to death, because he wasn’t “there on time to help deliver the lamb,” and he blamed himself for this poor lamb’s death. To see an animal lost, and to bear the blame, even though I knew it was not his fault, bears such a strong and powerful witness to my faith in Jesus Alone this day.

    Mere man, or woman, cannot save another human being….nor can the god of any other religious system, only the JESUS of the original text of the Holy Scriptures, can save.

    Many hated Jesus….the c’hurched of His day especially, and killed Him on a cross for they were “right” and HE was wrong…………….I will happily, joyfully, and defend my faith in the JESUS of the original writ, verses the power-over structure of the apostates that still love their “adoration” within the visible c’hurch.

    You are an amazing person, Christianity Hurts. Your personal truth/testimony bears more witness to Christ, than more c’hurch members I know.

    Like

  35. Thank you, Katy.

    Any man, woman, little girl, or little boy who has you in their life is very lucky. You are such an empathetic, wise, critical thinking sweat heart. I love and respect you.

    I hope you have a five-star Christmas. You deserve one. Much much LOVE 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Congrats. You two ladies now have 5,000 people in Minnesota who dislike you. As Christians we know we need to forgive you, but maybe you should have done the same. One has to question the fruits coming out of your lives. I think that the two of you should get down on your knees and pray hard. Tearing apart a church so that you can feel triumphant over a man is not what God would have ever wanted you to do. Forgiveness and direct communication with the person who wronged you would have been the right thing to do. Following what the Bible says to do would have been the right thing to do. Instead you did your own selfish thing. You will be accountable for this. Whether here in heaven or wherever you may end up going. I pray that God convicts your hearts in the things you’ve done. Shame on you both for not working through this the way the bible commands and creating a path of destruction in your selfish wakes.

    In Christ-

    Rachael and Nick Cochrane
    Berean members

    Like

  37. Matthew 18 seems to be a point of contention here, so I read it again:

    “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
    If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector”.

    I have been very critical of this pastor above for his actions, and I would unsay none of it. I think the Cochranes are in danger of underestimating his responsibility back then. But to the extent I have thought about it further, the criticism that Matt 18 should have been followed does have merit. A personal sin has been made public, even beyond the ‘church’ to which Jesus limits the issue to.

    It also seems to me from reading their testimony that the two complainants have a level of contributory negligence. They struck me as naive, although they claim they weren’t. Their families as well. All round irresponsibility that wasn’t handled well.

    Let’s hope this can at this late stage still be put right for all concerned. I do feel for his children, who are genuinely innocent in all this.

    Like

  38. Sorry, Rachael, I strongly disagree with you. He was in a position of authority and harmed the students he was supposed to protect. And he got off with no consequences all of these years. By the way, I am following the Bible. I’m exposing the deeds of darkness.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Many teenagers are ‘naive’. That’s why adult men should not ‘date’ them, perhaps?

    Sheesh. No man can be held accountable for his own actions without figuring out what a woman must have done wrong. Exhausting.

    To the berean members, I’m sure it’s not fun to find out your pastor was an utter slime ball but I’m not sure how that is julie Anne’s fault.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Rachael J Cochrane: “You will be accountable for this. Whether here in heaven or wherever you may end up going.”

    Zoe: Rachael, are you aware that your comment here leaves a not so subtle implication that the “two ladies” you mention are headed for hell? I mean if not heaven, then what does “wherever you may end up going” mean?

    Are you implying they might “lose their salvation?”

    Are you implying they might “lose a crown or two” should they get to heaven?

    Or are you implying perhaps they were “never saved” in the first place?

    Like

  41. Rachael, are you aware that your comment here leaves a not so subtle implication that the “two ladies” you mention are headed for hell?

    Of course she is, Zoe. I’m sure she meant it, too. After all, Julie Anne “touched the LORD’s anointed”, from her perspective at least.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. But to the extent I have thought about it further, the criticism that Matt 18 should have been followed does have merit. A personal sin has been made public, even beyond the ‘church’ to which Jesus limits the issue to.

    KAS, Jesus’ instructions in that oft-misused passage are to be followed when a brother sins against us. It has nothing to do, as far as I can see, with a wolf who devours one of Jesus’ lambs.

    Why is there so much insistence on sheep treating wolves as brothers? Before he became king, David’s reaction to spotting a predator among his flock was to charge in, rescue the lamb, and then cave in the beast’s cranium. I see no sense whatsoever in playing Matthew-18-Ball with any predator. All he’s going to do is eat the ball and then turn on you.

    It also seems to me from reading their testimony that the two complainants have a level of contributory negligence.

    Even though Feltner had counselled them through bad relationships, and therefore knew their weaknesses and how to exploit them? There are reasons why sex between therapists and adult patients is legally forbidden.

    I do feel for his children, who are genuinely innocent in all this.

    They absolutely are. But if Feltner really cared about them, he should have stayed out of the pulpit and the spotlight. Their sufferings are his fault and his alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. I am so tired of men using the existence of family members, whether it be a wife or children, as a shield against their own misbehavior.

    As for the Matt18 business….this stuff went down years ago. It never got ‘taken to the church’ as it ought to have been. So what happens here when the last step is never followed? It just seems like it’s time to do that part, but for some reason predators hate it. Shocking!

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Rachel says there are 5,000 people in Minnesota who dislike us. Wow! I don’t really know where to begin with that.

    Rachel, this site exists to expose abusers and give victims a voice. Wes Feltner committed clergy sexual abuse. It doesn’t matter if he was single. It doesn’t matter if the parents gave permission. When he was exposed years ago he should have never returned to the church as a pastor because he abused his position of authority. Wes says he stays as a pastor because he “daily needs the gospel.” He can daily get the gospel reading his Bible while working at another job.

    Thanks for your comment. It really shows where you and the church stand, which really makes me sad. You offered no empathy or concern for the two women harmed by Wes. I really hope God tugs on your heart to feel pain for victims of abuse.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Kathi, I’m so sorry that you got the hit on this one. When you joined me here at SSB, you didn’t sign up for this kind of treatment. I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to leave now.

    Like

  46. I assumed the ‘two ladies’ referred to the complainants. Only one lady wrote the article here. I took this from Forgiveness and direct communication with the person who wronged you would have been the right thing to do as JA has not been wronged by this pastor (nor Kathi), and doesn’t therefore need to get in direct contact as per Matt 18.

    But then it has not been unknown for me to lose the plot!

    Like

  47. Pastor Feltner was a young and good looking”

    Oh, please.

    He looked like a smug ugly creep back then and looks like a smug ugly creep now.

    You swooning over this creep makes me think you are one of his worshipers.

    Nah, that’s probably the narcissistic psychopath himself. Can’t pass up the chance at reminding all the ladies what a hunk he is.

    Like

  48. RACHAEL J COCHRANE
    November 23, 2019 at 4:20 PM
    Congrats. You two ladies now have 5,000 people in Minnesota who dislike you. As Christians we know we need to forgive you, but maybe you should have done the same. One has to question the fruits coming out of your lives. I think that the two of you should get down on your knees and pray hard. Tearing apart a church so that you can feel triumphant over a man is not what God would have ever wanted you to do. Forgiveness and direct communication with the person who wronged you would have been the right thing to do. Following what the Bible says to do would have been the right thing to do. Instead you did your own selfish thing. You will be accountable for this. Whether here in heaven or wherever you may end up going. I pray that God convicts your hearts in the things you’ve done. Shame on you both for not working through this the way the bible commands and creating a path of destruction in your selfish wakes.

    In Christ-

    Rachael and Nick Cochrane
    Berean members

    WOW, totally unbelievable Mrs. Cochrane. I’m left wondering if you posted this attack on the victims of your predator pastor out of emotional heartbreak at the exposure of your hero.

    First off, scripturally when an elder falls into sin and there are two or more witnesses we are commanded to confront them publicly. The apostle Paul made that quite clear. Secondly the very idea that you appointed yourself to speak for 5,000 people and who they like or don’t like its pretty funny. A bit impressed with yourself maybe ? Third implying that these ladies aren’t legitimately born again (where ever you end up ) crosses a line into something we can’t accurately judge. Someone could say hey this Cochrane woman is blasting two women for doing EXACTLY what the WORD of God commands, she must be a novice or unregenerate. Doesn’t seem very far when it comes your way does it. Honestly accusing women who exposed your pastor for sexual sin , of sinning them self by speaking out is hard to accept. It makes you appear pretty cold, uncaring and self centered. Like all you care about is your 5,000 person church. Hey if a few more teenagers , children or women have to be abused to enable your continued pastor worship, no big deal huh ? That special feeling that self righteousness brings is worth it to you, I guess.

    What happens when it’s your daughter or niece ? Would you still have the same attitude ?
    Sorry but your victim bashing is a favorite tool of sex offenders so maybe you should pray for the future and quit making excuses for your pastor’s sin. He has been removed and life will go on. He will probably never be a pastor again because of these two courageous ladies. God bless them. He isn’t scripturally qualified and never was. He has a very dark character to do what he did and as a society we can’t except this beyond our pulpits because he makes you feeeeel good.Obviously he hasn’t taught you much scripture so I think there is a good chance you will be better off in another church or with the new pastor. I hope that works out for you and you get a better hero next time around. If not set down and read the Gospels. There is a man named Jesus that makes a way better hero.

    Like

  49. @Scott1253

    Your comment/truth, “There is a man named Jesus that makes a way better hero.”

    Alleluia and Amen! You made my whole day…….it’s called “being the church” every day!

    Thank-you, sir!

    Like

  50. Quote Isaiah the prophet “He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, and man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” Isaiah 53:2-3

    This pretty much sums up that our LORD Jesus was not a “good looking guy,” nor was He “highly esteemed” by mankind/or womankind.

    Like

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