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ARBCA Should Dissolve

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Reformed, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    ARBCA (Association of Reformed Baptist Churches) has been rocked by the Tom Chantry scandal. You can learn more about the scandal here and here. The basics are that Tom Chantry committed physical and sexual abuse on children while pastoring at Miller Valley Baptist Church. He was convicted of numerous charges and faces sentencing this coming Friday. He faces a lengthy prison sentence for his crimes. Equally distressing is that several prominent leaders of ARBCA helped cover-up Chantry's crimes and even blame-shamed his victims. This is a terrible tragedy. First and foremost it is a tragedy for Tom Chantry's victims. I grieve for the lost childhoods and the burden these children will carry with them well into adulthood. May the Lord be gracious to them and bring them peace. It is a tragedy for the families of Tom Chantry and the ARBCA leaders who must deal with the shame that these men brought upon them. It is a tragedy for the individual ARBCA-affiliated congregations who must navigate through these dark waters. It is a tragedy for the name of Christ because this scandal has given enemies of our Lord reason to blaspheme.

    It is my opinion that ARBCA should dissolve completely. It should cease to be. ARBCA as an organization has few assets. It is not a denomination. It is an association only. It does not own any seminaries or real estate. For that reason, if victims of Chantry's crimes sue ARBCA for damages there are no assets to liquidate in order to pay a judgment. ARBCA leaders who participated in the cover-up may face lawsuits. It would be a responsible decision for former ARBCA-affiliated churches* and currently affiliated churches to establish a victims fund. Each church could give to the fund and the fund can be used solely for Chantry's victims. This alone will not be enough to heal the hurt Chantry and the ARBCA leaders inflicted on the victims, but it will be a step in the right direction.

    The Chantry-ARBCA scandal is a warning to all Baptists. The Chantry name is a foundational one within the American Reformed Baptist movement. The good-old-boy network within the ARBCA association (and affiliated churches) created a sort of oligarchy. There is no such thing as a royal class in the church. The only royalty in the Christian faith is found in the King of Kings. Do not think this cannot happen in your church or any association your church may be affiliated with. This is not a theological issue it is a sin issue and sin can rear its ugly head anywhere.

    May God be gracious to His church and make us holy and fit vessels for His service.

    *Some ARBCA-affiliated churches have withdrawn from the association after news of the scandal broke.
     
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  2. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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  3. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    I do not know. I think they will be better off remaining independent from any outside affiliations. There is a lot of healing that needs to take place. The victims need to heal and the individuals within the affected churches need to heal. Rushing into a new association may do more harm than good.
     
  4. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    Quite a few of the churches are Southern Baptist.
    They have/had dual affiliation with this disgraced Reformed/Baptist outfit! Many are also 'Founders' churches.

    Some of those involved in the child abuse cover-up at ARBCA previously defected to a schism group the 'Reformed Baptist Network' which was founded several years ago ostensibly over a disagreement in how a single sentence of the 1689 Confession should be interpreted.
     
  5. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Tanks for the info
     
  6. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    I noticed a short ARBCA statement on their site HERE.
     
  7. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Yes. I saw that too. Unfortunately, a brief blurb on the association's website does not suffice (IMHO). It also does not address the cover-up by influential members of ARBCA. This scandal is causing no small stir among Reformed Baptists. There are RB missionaries who are refusing support from any ARBCA-affiliated churches. There are churches that were considering affiliation with ARBCA who have now changed their mind. As said previously, there are ARBCA-affiliated churches who have resigned from the association. Baptist associations are not like Presbyterian denominations which can establish a church court and have a formal trial over matters like this. Baptist associations are voluntary on the part of local churches. I am only one man, so my opinion is not binding on another Christian or a church. However, my opinion is that ARBCA should dissolve completely. Could/should another association rise out of its ashes? Not if it is just ARBCA rebranded.
     
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  8. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    ARBCA chartered its own seminary in Texas in 2017! were sinking $1,500,000 into it in phase one (they previously had just a program at Westminster Seminary Calif.)

    and Tom Chantry's sister was put in charge of fund raising!

    ARBCA charters, begins funding its own seminary

    IRBS Seminary

    IRBS Seminary, an ARBCA-governed school

    [ARBCA's Ministerial Education Committee functions as the seminary's board of trustees]


    ARBCA Spring 2018 Update

    "Jim Renihan reported on the progress of the new seminary, which will begin its first class...on July 31"

    "[ARBCA Treasurer Rob] Cosby said IRBS has hired Dallas-Fort Worth-based AFairchild accounting firm to handle IRBS finances as 'income is growing exponentially'."
     
    #8 Jerome, Nov 16, 2019 at 8:55 AM
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019 at 9:19 AM
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