Church Discipline for Marriage annulment from a pedophile

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Revmitchell, May 29, 2015.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    The Church has always struggled with how to deal with sin. On the one hand, we serve a forgiving God. On the other hand, we serve a God who values justice and holiness. The Bible gives instructions on how to settle sinful disputes between Church members peacefully. But biblical writers also warn us to fear and respect the civil authorities – and obey the laws of the land as unto the Lord. So when someone’s sin is both a spiritual evil and a violation of civil laws…that’s when things get sticky. And, as we’ve seen time and time again, this is so often where the Church does too little or too much.

    News of such a situation is gaining traction this week on Matthew Paul Turner’s blog post, Dear God, what is Matt Chandler Thinking? In the article, Turner, a prominent Christian author, calls out Matt Chandler (pastor of The Village mega-church and President of Acts29 network) for the way his church is handling the divorce of two members, Karen Hinkley and Jordan Root.
    Jordan recently confessed to pedophilia and consuming child pornography (though no abuse victims have come forward at this time). Karen, his wife, filed for a legal annulment of their marriage one month after the couple returned abruptly from their overseas mission-work to deal with the discovery alongside The Village Church and the civil authorities.

    Jordan is currently a member of The Village Church, in good standing, though heavily restricted and barred from leadership.

    Karen, however, is under church discipline. Why?

    Karen sent The Village Church a letter in early February, explaining her choice to annul what she considers a fraudulent marriage, her dedication to following and serving the Lord, and her choice to pursue healing in a different church environment. In it, she explains,

    I recognize both Jordan’s and my need for a church family who can love and care for us as we pursue our individual paths of healing and recovery. For my own health and the health of all parties involved, I have decided it is not best for me to be in the care of the same church family as Jordan. As Jordan remains a member of The Village Church, as the leadership of The Village Church has expressed the intention to continue to care for Jordan, I am hereby withdrawing my membership of The Village Church. After a reasonable period of consideration I will commit myself to another church family.

    The response from The Village leadership team? Pastor Matt Younger sent her an email saying that her decisions were “a violation of [her] membership covenant,” which require her to seek marital reconciliation until such time as the church deems appropriate. Due to her filing for annulment, the (all male) team of elders “cannot presently accept [her] resignation of membership,” and she would be put under formal church discipline if she did not “immediately revoke the petition for annulment.”

    Perhaps the best summary of Karen’s situation can be seen in one of Younger’s final lines to her:

    [Y]ou simply must slow down and let the church care for you. The elders need time to consider the details of your situation. As we do so, we will seek the Lord in what we believe are the best next steps for you and Jordan.


    http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/chri...what-happened-next-ignited-a-controversy.html
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    Matt Chandler Apologizes for Lack of Compassion in Church Discipline Cases

    The leader of one of America’s most influential megachurches plans to apologize during worship services this weekend for failing to show kindness and compassion to struggling church members.

    Matt Chandler, pastor of the Village Church, a multisite church based near Dallas, said elders there had been “domineering” in their approach to church discipline in a handful of cases.

    That was wrong and unchristian, said Chandler, who also leads the Acts29 church planting network.

    “We have sinned against some people—and we are owning that before God and specifically before the people we have hurt,” he told CT in a phone interview.

    “Our desire is always to be loving and caring. It is clear that we have not communicated—in multiple cases now—the gentleness, compassion, and patience that our elders are called to walk in.”

    Chandler declined to comment on specific incidents of church discipline due to privacy concerns.

    His apology was prompted in large part by public criticism of the church’s handling of the case of Karen Hinkley, a missionary who faces church discipline for ending her marriage earlier this year.

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct...gizes-for-village-churchs-decision-to-di.html
     
  3. Rolfe

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    Matt Chandler Apologizes for Lack of Compassion in Church Discipline Cases

    Damage Control.
     
  4. JonC

    JonC
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    As far as the "church discipline"goes, I think that it is a matter for the local church.
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    I do not understand what you mean by this. Do you mean if a local assembly decides to do something like this than it is ok nothing wrong nothing to judge here?
     
  6. matt wade

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    She really doesn't have a place to complain. She signed the membership covenant and then violated it.
     
  7. Use of Time

    Use of Time
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    Oh well.

    //////
     
  8. go2church

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    I'll leave the whole signing at membership covenant for now. Point is she resigned her membership because it was clear the church was not actualy helping, being completely upfront and actually making things worse and asked them to leave her alone, they said no. Arrogance on top of arrogance.

    Typical fundamentalist, control everything tactics. Village Church has being rightfully torched for,this. When you have the distorted view of submission that is at the core of fundamentalism, you end up with nonsense like this.
     
  9. InTheLight

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    How in the world did this situation become public?
     
  10. JonC

    JonC
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    No, I don't mean that it is OK or that we shouldn't have a discussion over the way that church chose to discipline or their decision regarding the couple that were members of that church. What I mean is that it is their decision and not ours. Perhaps the church should welcome advise and criticisms from outside its walls, but it should not alter its decision (in this case) because of outside influences. I understand discernment and judgment in the Church, but sometimes we forget Romans 14:4. That was one of my concerns in the witch hunt against one of my former professors at Liberty.
     
  11. matt wade

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    How are they not leaving her alone? Are they dragging her to church each week? She told them she was resigning her membership. They told her, based on the covenant she signed, that it wasn't permissible.

    If she doesn't like that answer she can ignore it and move on with her life. I seriously doubt they are going to hunt her down and physically enforce anything on her.

    Bottom line, she signed the covenant. Don't sign things if you aren't willing to live up to it. I would never sign such a document personally.
     
  12. matt wade

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  13. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    Who was that?
     
  14. Inspector Javert

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    This is why God gave us the death penalty..
    Use it.

    Child Pornography should be grounds for capital punishment.

    She's a widow, she is free....

    Evil is put out from among us.
    The Death penalty, used regularly repeatedly, and often would save our society a lot of heartache.
     
  15. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
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    Appreciate your thoughts here. Churches....because they are made up of people (Us) struggle with balancing the tension between Grace and Truth.
     
  16. JonC

    JonC
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    Ergun Caner.
     
  17. Revmitchell

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    Yea that was quite a witch hunt. They were looking for blood. Cals hate him. Even cals on this board.
     
  18. go2church

    go2church
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    Would not release her to find another church, which she needed if she was going to continue her missionary work with SIM. They also threatened to not continue her financial support which they had already agreed to do. Turns out, SIM is going to fully support her so she didn't need their money but she didn't know that at the time.

    There was also veiled threats about not supporting other SIM missionaries that Village was supporting. So no, they weren't "hunting" down but neither were they letting her move on.

    She did nothing wrong, not a thing and yet she was not being allowed to move on and pursue her mission work.

    That is the reason for the detailed apology from the church. Which I wouldn't trust at this point. This has become a show me situation if ever there was one.
     
  19. go2church

    go2church
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    There are plenty of reasons to not like Caner waaaay before you get to his soritology
     
  20. matt wade

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    She did do something wrong. She made a covenant and then broke it.

    Why is it so hard to understand that?
     

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