Tedd Tripp and Tom Chantry: Shepherding a Child’s Heart … or Not

Tedd Tripp, Tom Chantry, Failure to Report, Mandatory Reporter, Spanking, Shepherding a Child’s Heart


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tedd tripp, failure to report, mandatory reporter, spanking, Tom Chantry

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In the late 1990s, I attended a parenting seminar by Tedd Tripp. It may or may not be significant to note that the seminar was held at a Sovereign Grace Ministries church in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Shepherding a Child’s Heart

The seminar covered material from Tripp’s book, Shepherding a Child’s Heart (1995). Among my circle of friends, this book received high praises, after the Train Up a Child (1994) parenting book by Mike and Debi Pearl made its rounds. Yes, both books influenced our parenting, sadly.

At the time, we liked a lot of what Tedd Tripp had to say about parenting. Here are some of the good quotes from the book:

  • All behavior is linked to attitudes of the heart. Therefore, discipline must address attitudes of the heart.
  • The finest art of communication is not learning how to express your thoughts. It is learning how to draw out the thoughts of another.
  • The most powerful way to keep your children from being attracted by the offers of camaraderie from the wicked is to make home an attractive place to be.
  • God is concerned with the heart—the well-spring of life (Proverbs 4:23). Parents tend to focus on the externals of behavior rather than the internal overflow of the heart.
  • You must regard parenting as one of your most important tasks while you have children at home. This is your calling. You must raise your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. You cannot do so without investing yourself in a life of sensitive communication in which you help them understand life and God’s world.

Tripp’s focus on the child’s heart was an improvement from Mike and Debi Pearl’s teachings where greater emphasis was on spanking – even down to describing the tool used to implement discipline (a 1/4-inch flexible plumber’s line, intended to give a good painful sting, without leaving marks).

It wasn’t until many years later that I saw problem’s with Tripp’s teachings. While his emphasis was the child’s heart, he honed in on the sinfulness of cihldren, how they are born into sin, and spanking would remove the foolishness from a child’s heart:

  • The child’s problem is not an information deficit. His problem is that he is a sinner. There are things within the heart of the sweetest little baby that, allowed to blossom and grow to fruition, will bring about eventual destruction.
  • Your children’s souls are in danger of death—spiritual death. Your task is to rescue your children from death. Faithful and timely use of the rod is the means of rescue  (106).
  • God has ordained the rod of discipline for this condition. The spanking process drives foolishness from the heart of a child (106).
  • God has commanded the use of the rod in discipline and correction of children. It is not the only thing you do, but it must be used. He has told you that there are needs within your children that require use of the rod. If you are going to rescue your children from death, if you are going to root out the folly that is bound up in their hearts, if you are going to impart wisdom, you must use the rod (108).
  • I knew that failure to spank would be unfaithfulness to their souls (109).
  • The use of the rod is an act of faith. God has mandated its use (109).
  • The rod . . . is the parent, as God’s representative, undertaking on God’s behalf what God has called him to do. He is not on his own errand, but fulfilling God’s  (109).
  • When does a child need a spanking? When you have given a directive that he has heard and is within his capacity to understand and he has not obeyed without challenge, without excuse or without delay, he needs a spanking. If you fail to spank, you fail to take God’s Word seriously. You are saying you do not believe what the Bible teaches about the import of these issues. . . . If obedience is to be absolutely mandatory for him, you cannot tolerate disobedience (149).

Now, having researched people and books that influenced us over the years, I have come to similar conclusions as Anne Sokol, who wrote this review of Shepherding a Child’s Heart. If you were part of that wave of people who were reading Shepherding a Child’s Heart, I encourage you to read Anne’s review and see what you think.

If you are unfamiliar with Tripp’s teachings, I found a short YouTube video in which he discusses spanking:

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So-Called Biblical Parenting Leaders

We, as parents, seemed to follow trends that so many others did – especially in the Christian homeschool movement. Unfortunately, many of those trends ended up being more harmful than helpful, such as: Doug Phillips – Vision Forum, Mike and Debbie Pearl – Train Up a Child, Gary Ezzo – Growing Kids God’s Way). Perhaps Tedd Tripp should be added to this list, too.

Harmful Results

This brings us to the case of Tom Chantry:

Tom Chantry, who occasionally wrote with Phil Johnson at Pyromaniacs blog, is a former pastor with the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA), and has been in hot water in the past year or so:

Chantry, 47, was indicted in Yavapai County Superior Court on eight counts – five counts of child molestation and three of aggravated assault – for offenses committed in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when he worked at the Miller Valley Baptist Church. (Source)

What does Tom Chantry have to do with Tedd Tripp?

My friend and blogger, Todd Wilhelm, has been closely following this case, and it is the following information from an earlier blog post by Todd that got me interested in reporting on Tedd Tripp:

In April 2017 the ARBCA, feeling the heat from numerous bloggers (hereherehere and here), who presented credible evidence that they had covered-up the sexual abuse and physical assault of children by ARBCA pastor Thomas Chantry, published the document below. While ARBCA leadership clings to their false claim of no cover-up by the ARBCA, irrefutable evidence continues to mount which puts to flight the lies contained in their published document. (It should be noted that this document seems to have disappeared from the ARBCA website.)

You can read the document at Todd Wilhelm’s blog here, but notable quotes follow. Todd’s commentary is in green, the quoted document is indented and in italics:

“All parties agreed to the three men who would serve on the Council. Those who served in this capacity were men of integrity, elders in their respective churches, trusted in the association, and had considerable experience in the fields of law, counseling, and law enforcement.”

Who were these three men?

The three men who served on the Council were Mike McKnight, Pastor Tedd Tripp, and Pastor Richard Jensen. Yes, that Tedd Tripp, who at the time was the pastor of the Grace Fellowship Church in Hazelton, Pennsylvania.

Anyone with “considerable experience in the fields of law, counseling, and law enforcement” would know that they have a responsibility to report abuse cases to law enforcement. Evidently, this did not happen.

The document continues:

“Contrary to the recent false charges made by internet bloggers and others, from 1995 to this day there has never been a cover-up whatsoever by anyone in the Association with knowledge of these events.”

Now we’re back to Todd’s commentary:

I [Todd Wilhelm] attended an Evidentiary Hearing for the upcoming Thomas Chantry trial yesterday. One item that came out in the hearing was the fact that the ARBCA investigative three-man committee published a “sealed, confidential” report of their findings. This document was not meant for wide distribution but was intended for ARBCA leadership’s eyes only. This document stated that the spankings administered by Thomas Chantry to the victims were “punishing for the personal pleasure” of Thomas Chantry. The parents of the victims were never given this information. The prosecuting attorney, Susan Eazer said that every family stated that if they had been made aware of this information they would have reported Chantry to the Police.  Instead of reporting this information to Law Enforcement, leaders of ARBCA chose to remain silent and instead attack the bloggers for “false charges.” [JA bolded]

“Everyone has been open, as far as discretion allows, and everyone with knowledge of these events has operated within the parameters of the laws of the land.”

I was recently provided with some information which proves that ARBCA leaders did not operate “within the parameters of the laws of the land.”

Cutting to the chase, Todd Wilhelm writes:

As you can read in the highlighted section of this motion filed on behalf of Thomas Chantry, the three-man panel of Mike McKnight, Pastor Tedd Tripp, and Pastor Richard Jensen were, (among others) under the law, mandatory reporters of abuse. Further, their failure to report Chantry’s abuse to Law Enforcement was a criminal act! Yet the ARBCA document claims “everyone with knowledge of these events has operated within the parameters of the laws of the land.” (Source)

Ok, that brings me back to Tedd Tripp. So, evidently Tedd Tripp failed to report abuse by then-pastor Tom Chantry. My brain has gone wild with questions about this.

  • Why would this man fail to report child abuse when he knew it was abuse?
  • Is it because he doesn’t fully believe it is abuse?
  • Is he merely trying to protect a pastor?
  • Is he thinking that if this pastor gets in legal trouble for spanking, then it will not look good for other Christians who spank children?
  • Is he trying to protect a pastor who believes the same way he does about spanking: that it should be mandatory?
  • Does he believe that his spiritual obligation to uphold the practice of “biblical” spanking exempts him from following the laws of the land?
  • I wonder – has Tedd Tripp ever reported any cases of abuse (physical or sexual abuse) to authorities?
  • What does Tedd Tripp believe about Romans 13 and obeying civil authorities?

 

Here’s what I think. I think Tedd Tripp is no different from the people who believe it is spiritually wrong to intervene medically when their children are sick. I think he is putting his legalistic viewpoint of spanking at a level that now leaves children (and parents/adults who follow his teachings) in harm’s way.

Another thought I had is this: remember how Neo-Calvinists defended Mark Driscoll and CJ Mahaney? Why was that? I believe it was because they didn’t want to cause harm to their doctrinal beliefs. For Mark Driscoll, it was to protect Neo-Calvinism. For CJ Mahaney, I have a hunch it was because his staunch teachings on complementarianism and he was a popular speaker at their conferences. Is that what’s happening here with Tom Chantry?  Is it that Tedd Tripp et al didn’t want to report Chantry because of who he represents (friend of Phil Johnson et al) and what he represents (Calvinism, pro-spanking, etc)?

I’d be interested in reading your thoughts. Regardless of the reason, and we may never know why Tripp failed to report, but if this is how Tedd Tripp Shepherds a Child’s Heart, it is egregious! Imagine the spiritual and emotional pain these now-grown adults have experienced, knowing that Tripp apparently dismissed the abuse, and instead, defended/protected a man he knew was abusing children.

References: In addition to Todd Wilhelm’s blog, this site has also been keeping up with Tom Chantry’s criminal case.

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Bill Hybels, the Willow Creek “System,” and Why the Women Needed to Speak Publicly

Bill Hybels, Clergy Sexual Misconduct, Willow Creek Church


Bill Hybels, Willow Creek, Clergy Sexual Misconduct

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Continue reading

BREAKING NEWS: Dr. Paige Patterson Terminated, Effective Immediately: No Title, No Housing, No Ongoing Compensation

Paige Patterson, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, SBC, #Churchtoo, #ChurchToo, #MeToo

 

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A new statement was just released at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary: Continue reading

Paige Patterson called an abuse advocacy group “as reprehensible as sex criminals”

Paige Patterson, Sex Abuse, Southern Baptist Convention

 

Admin note:  This blog was written and submitted to Spiritual Sounding Board. The author wishes to remain anonymous. ~ja


Paige Patterson called an abuse advocacy group “as reprehensible as sex criminals”

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Did you hear about the movie Spotlight? It won Best Picture in 2015.

It’s a true story about an investigative reporting team from the Boston Globe who uncovered systematic hiding of sexual abuse and abusers in the Catholic Church. The Spotlight team accomplished their exposé, published in 2002, with the help of the organization Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

When the movie aired in 2015, many who had never before heard of SNAP now found out the heartbreaking and heroic work they’d been doing for decades.

But there’s a SNAP outreach for Baptists too, and Christa Brown, the author of the outstanding book This Little Light, was in 2008 the leader of that outreach, having recorded in that book and at www.stopbaptistpredators.com  her work of many years in calling for the Southern Baptist Convention to deal with abuse seriously and establish a database of predators so that churches would better be able to avoid filling their pulpits with them.

These efforts failed.

But this does bring us around to Paige Patterson. Continue reading

Fred Butler, #MeToo and the Worldly Culture

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Who is Fred Butler?

I saw this tweet the other day. Long-time blog readers will recognize the name, Fred Butler, an employee of Grace to You, the radio ministry of Pastor John MacArthur. Butler’s tweet references another tweet from the @9Marks Twitter account which quotes from an article recently posted on their site. The article is about the church’s response to the #MeToo movement.

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The Problems

I have a number of problems with Fred’s tweet. Continue reading

Sovereign Grace Church Leaders Remove Wife from Women’s Small Group Leader Position after Couple Asks Questions

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Both Jeff Owens and his wife Sarah recently sent out a thread of tweets regarding a recent experience they had at their former (unidentified)  Sovereign Grace church. I think these tweets deserve a wider audience.

What you will read is not healthy at all, and people need to understand the dismissive and bullying behavior employed by Sovereign Grace church leaders when they are encouraged or questioned about having an independent investigation of the decades-old sexual abuse allegations involving many children, many churches, and the mishandling of these cases by church leaders.

Sovereign Grace leaders are still using the same tactics that we’ve heard from personal accounts for years: no one gets to question authority or criticize authority without repercussion. Folks, this is spiritual abuse. Let’s call it what it is.

I have copied the tweets below for easier reading, but if you would like to see the original tweet threads, click on the hyperlink in Jeff Owens’ tweet below, or Sarah’s link within his tweet.

In the tweet thread, there is a reference to Rachael Denhollander. If you are unfamiliar with Rachael Denhollander and her experience in exposing Sovereign Grace ministries mishandling of sex abuse cases, here’s a good article to start:  My Larry Nassar Testimony Went Viral. But There’s More to the Gospel Than Forgiveness.

Before we get to the tweets by Jeff and Sarah Owens, I wanted to share a section of the Sovereign Grace Local Church Polity with you. I have bolded parts pertinent to the communication by congregants to elders and leaders: Continue reading

Personal Story: What Did the Church Teach You about Yourself?

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Rachael Denhollander Challenges Sovereign Grace Churches to Respond Appropriately to Sex Abuse Cases

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Survivor Emily Jaeger Responds to Bill Gothard’s Reactions to Her Revealing She is “Jane Doe III”

Bill Gothard, sex abuse, cults, lawsuit, Emily Jaeger, freedom, IBLP


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A note of introduction from Julie Anne:

Emily Jaeger is one of the sexual abuse survivors and plaintiffs in the Bill Gothard/IBLP sex abuse lawsuit. Her official statement about the lawsuit was posted on Spiritual Sounding Board a few days ago.

Then someone close to Bill Gothard contacted me. He runs the Discovering Grace website, which is devoted to supporting and defending Bill Gothard and his teachings. We communicated at length, during which he asked me if I wanted to post Bill Gothard’s response to Emily Jaeger’s statement (per Bill’s suggestion). After I declined, it was then published at Discovering Grace website.

I initially said no, because I do not want my blog to be used as a platform for an abuser. However, then I saw Emily Jaeger’s new reply to Bill Gothard’s response statement, and it made sense to me to post both.

I may have more to say later — in fact, I am thinking of doing an SSB “learn to discern” post to analyze these statements in depth. But for now, I’ll say I think his statement is a perfect opportunity to see a spiritual abuser in action, violating boundaries, and hers shows what it looks like when someone leaves the influence of a high-control environment, thinks independently, and makes their own decisions. See what you think … Continue reading

BREAKING: Lawsuit against Bill Gothard and The Institute in Basic Life Principles Dismissed

Bill Gothard, IBLP, Sex Abuse, Lawsuit


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I have received the following statement from the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Bill Gothard and The Institute in Basic Life Principles.

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The statement reads:

Our Statement

Due to the unique complexities of this case, including the statutes
of limitation, we have made the difficult decision to voluntarily
dismiss our lawsuit against Bill Gothard and The Institute in Basic
Life Principles. We want to make it abundantly clear that by
dismissing our lawsuit at this time, we are not recanting our
experiences or dismissing the incalculable damage that we believe
Gothard has done by his actions and certain teachings. Nor are we
disregarding that his organization chose to protect themselves
instead of those under their care.

Signed by Former Plaintiffs:
Rachel Glader Frost
Rachel Lees
Charis Wood Barker
Megan Lind
Joy Simmons
Jane Doe VI
Melody Ruth
Emily Jaeger (Jane Doe III)
Jane Doe IV
Jane Doe V
Helen Lucius (Jane Doe)
Carmen Okhmatovski
Daniel S. Dorsett Sr.
Jamie Becker Deering
Gretchen Wilkinson
Ruth Copley Burger
Jennifer

 

 

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Pastor Kevin Swanson’s Blame Game When it Comes to the Dr. Larry Nassar Child Sex Abuse Cases

Kevin Swanson; Larry Nassar; Child Sex Abuse; Rachael Denhollander

Screenshot 2018-02-09 at 10.08.13 PM

Kevin Swanson from Generations.org

-by Kathi with editorial comments by Julie Anne

Kevin Swanson’s February 9, 2018 broadcast on Generations covered the recent gymnastics and sexual abuse case by now-convicted sexual predator, Dr. Larry Nassar. Right Wing Watch picked up his broadcast and noted that he blames immodesty in the sport of gymnastics for Dr. Larry Nassar’s behavior.

Julie Anne texted me at work and asked if I would be willing to write a snarky post about Swanson [JA here = is it possible to do a Kevin Swanson post sans snark? Serious question.] As much I can’t stand to listen to him speak, I decided to listen to the whole broadcast. Kathi is a glutton for punishment. I only asked if she would be willing to write about the modesty part that Right Wing Watch reported on. In fact, here is where she tells me on Messenger:

My (unfortunate) experience with listening to Swanson over the years has brought me to the understanding that he is never sympathetic to victims of sexual abuse, so I wanted to see if this broadcast would be any different. My snarky side turned to my angry side as I realized that he hasn’t changed one bit. Continue reading

Will Those in the Real Gospel-Centered Churches Please Stand?

Gospel-Centered Movement, TGC, YRR, Calvinists, Jared Wilson

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First #MeToo, Now #ChurchToo: Sexual Abuse, Harassment, and Mishandling in the Church

#MeToo, #ChurchToo, Sexual Abuse, Harassment, Church

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The hashtag #MeToo has been trending for quite some time on Twitter. Women who have been sexually harassed or abused have been identifying themselves as survivors of sexual harm, indicating it with the hashtag, #MeToo. But now, there is a new trending hashtag, #ChurchToo. The stories that you can read in one little tweet are heartbreaking.

I wanted to share some here, and also invite those who have been on Twitter to feel free to share more here if they like.

If you are new to Spiritual Sounding Board, this is a blog that deals with abuse in church or church groups. We have dealt with all kinds of sexual abuse: sex abuse of children, sexual abuse in marriage, sexual abuse by clergy, wives of pedophiles, church leaders who have failed to report sexual crimes, church leaders who have blamed victims for sexual crimes, and also spiritual abuse which often occurs when a church leaders are involved in any capacity (perpetrator, counselor, spiritual advisor).

If you have been harmed sexually, this is a safe place. If you would like to share your story in more detail, you can in the comments, or to me privately: spiritualsb@gmail.com. Please feel free to comment using a pseudonym. This is your place to use your voice where it will be heard.

~Julie Anne Continue reading

Jane’s Account of Rape, Response of Master’s University to Her Claims, and a Breaking Development Confirming Details #DoYouSeeUs

The Master’s University, The Master’s Seminary, Grace Community Church, John MacArthur, Sexual Assault, Sexual Abuse, Jane’s Story, #DoYouSeeUs

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Credit: TMU Facebook page

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Introducing the Account of Master’s University Student “Jane” Being Raped

Earlier this week (September 18), blogger Marci Preheim shared the story of Jane (pseudonym), a Master’s University student who was drugged, then raped. The horrific story of what happened and how she was treated afterward is entitled, Do You See Me?  This incident occurred in 2006, 11 years ago.

Of course, this has created quite an uproar in social media, so much so, that statements from Pastor John MacArthur’s church and schools were posted on the Facebook pages of Grace Community Church (GCC), The Master’s University (TMU), and The Master’s Seminary (TMS). John MacArthur is the pastor of Grace Community Church, and founder and president of both The Master’s University and The Master’s Seminary.

Here is the statement posted on these Facebook pages: Continue reading

Book Review Series – Lori Alexander’s “The Power of a Transformed Wife” – The Chapter that Doesn’t Belong

The Power of a Transformed Wife, Lori Alexander, Dating, Sexual Purity

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A “Systems Approach” and Some Historical Background on Dealing with Abuse and Violence

To deal with “systemic abuse,” we must understand systems, victimization, and what makes individuals and institutions vulnerable.

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Book Review: The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide, by Boz Tchividjian and Shira Berkovits

Key component in a system of resources on child sexual abuse for policy makers, survivors, educators, and advocates.

Guest post by Brad Sargent, with input from Julie Anne Smith.

Cross-posted at futuristguy.

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Spiritual Sounding Board was invited to participate in the Litfuse “blog tour” for the recently released Child Safeguarding Policy Guide. They asked us to post a one-paragraph summary of our overall response to this resource book, so that could be used as an excerpt on other sites. Here is what I wrote:

How will our church serve those who’ve suffered the harm of childhood sexual abuse, and seek to prevent it from happening to others? On this difficult but foundational issue of human dignity and care, will we choose conscience and compassion – or corrosion and complacency? The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide and the range of other resources from GRACE equip us with clear definitions, well-organized knowledge, and practical skills to follow a right and righteous path on these global problems of violence and abuse.

Available reviews of the Policy Guide share about its concepts and content from a variety of angles. Already posted on Amazon are great summaries, detailed insights from church leaders, poignant personal accounts from survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Litfuse Publicity Group has review excerpts and links to full posts, and New Growth Press, which published this book, has additional endorsements.

In this post, I will give a brief preview of key features from a systems perspective, and list other resources from GRACE and New Growth Press. In a follow-up post, I will add my thoughts on the big picture of systemic abuse, why we’ve needed a set of resources to deal with it, and share some personal perspectives on how the Policy Guide and other books produced by GRACE represent answers to some longstanding prayers. Continue reading

Kari Benton Shares: Spiritual Recovery after a Lawsuit and Spiritual Abuse

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