Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Karen Hinkley's response to The Village Church 5/23/15 email sent to 6000 "covenant members" about her and Jordan Root

Karen's full response appears below in this post. It can also be viewed here at Scribd. 

I was shocked by the email The Village Church sent to over 6,000 people on Saturday, May 23rd. When I made the decision to go public in order to expose Jordan Root and The Village Church, I knew I was taking a great deal of personal risk, but I had never imagined that TVC would go to such lengths to deceive their members, silence their critics, and defame my character.

I originally chose to speak out primarily for the sake of possible past and future victims of child sexual abuse by Jordan. Today, I choose to speak out for the sake of other past, present, and future victims of spiritual abuse by TVC and similar churches. I want you to know that what has happened, is happening, or will happen to you is not okay and is not a reflection of the nature of God’s very real love for you. I want you to know that you are not alone. I want you to know that there are people who love Jesus who are willing to stand up for you and speak out on your behalf. I want you to know that the bullies do not always win.

In providing the following commentary on The Village Church’s email, I hope to shed light on the deceptive nature of their communications regarding this matter. You will find that there are many details TVC conveniently left out as well as what I believe to be intentional misrepresentations on their part. Much of the documentation for this commentary was posted along with Amy Smith’s original story on May 20th, (http://watchkeep.blogspot.com/2015/05/she-speaks-village-church-protects.html ) while some of it I am bringing to light for the first time. As you read, I pray that you will ask yourself why the leadership of a church that preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ would resort to such despicable tactics in their communications.

In the Name of Jesus and for His sake,
Karen Hinkley

Covenant Members of The Village Church,

It is heartbreaking to send this email regarding two Covenant Members of The Village Church, former missionaries Jordan Root and Karen Hinkley (formerly Root), but our hope is set on Christ through it all.

I have not been a Covenant Member of The Village Church since February 11th, 2015 when I formally withdrew my membership. (https://www.scribd.com/doc/266029324/Karen-s-Withdrawal-of-TVC-Membership-Letter) Interestingly, despite the claims of The Village Church that I am still a Covenant Member, I did not receive this email that went out to all of their Covenant Members.

When a public ministry leader, such as a missionary, has persisted in sin, The Village may announce their removal from ministry to the church (
1 Tim. 5:20). We typically define “the church” as our Covenant Members. In the case of Jordan and Karen, we have already communicated their situation to our church staff and all Covenant Members of the Dallas campus. However, in light of the public nature of this situation, some misinformation that we’ve seen online and questions we have been receiving from our members, we felt it was necessary to extend this communication beyond Covenant Members at the Dallas campus to all Covenant Members of The Village Church. We apologize if you are not a Covenant Member of our Dallas campus and found out about the situation from outside sources, but our intent here is to provide clarity and understanding.

Jordan and Karen have been Covenant Members of The Village Church for three years and were sent out last August by the Dallas campus as missionaries to South Asia through a missionary agency called
Serving in Mission (SIM). In December, Jordan confessed that he had viewed online pornography involving children. The Village and SIM were grieved at this news and immediately recalled the Roots from the mission field to further assess the situation and determine the best course of action. SIM, as their employer, began an investigation and notified the police in case Jordan’s actions had legal implications. At the same time, our staff and elders began walking closely with both Jordan and Karen in hopes of working toward their healing and restoration while also dealing with the seriousness of Jordan’s sin, including cooperating with all civil authorities.

This is an example of the way the leaders of The Village Church have repeatedly minimized Jordan’s issues and the nature of his “confession.” I learned that Jordan was viewing child pornography on December 16 after almost three weeks of digging. It had become increasingly clear to me over the previous several months that something was off, but I had no reason to believe that Jordan was capable of lying about something of this magnitude. On Thanksgiving I caught him in an unrelated lie, and I sensed immediately that there was more he was hiding and lying about. I pressed him, and he eventually began what I am calling his "pseudoconfession". He confessed he had masturbated and had accessed nude pictures (of adults) online a handful of times since we had arrived overseas. I felt strongly that there was more to the story and continued to press, but he assured me that there was nothing else.

This began almost three weeks of "pseudorepentance" during which Jordan gave the same "confession" to SIM leadership and The Village Church leadership. He spoke of how relieved he was that the truth was now out and even reported rededicating his life to Jesus at a retreat that weekend. Everyone involved believed in his honesty and repentance, and I so desperately wanted to myself. But I felt a strong conviction that I should keep asking questions, and I did. I persisted in asking questions almost every day over the course of the next three weeks, and on December 16th Jordan's reaction to a question I asked revealed that there was indeed much more to the story. He tried to avoid talking any further that night, but I pressed until he agreed to "tell me the whole story".

That night he admitted to almost ten years of child pornography use that began while he was in college and continued throughout his seminary studies into our dating and engagement. He said that he preferred prepubescent girls ages four and older but that he had seen child pornography involving infants and teenagers as well. He described images and videos he had used in disturbingly graphic detail. He also admitted he had returned to accessing nude pictures of children during our time overseas. When I asked whether his behavior had extended to children he knew in real life, he admitted to having masturbated to thoughts of children in his care. He also described two occasions on which he had been "tempted to molest" children but claimed to have chosen not to.

This case of sin has brought immense damage to a marriage and a ministry. Yet, in the midst of this heartbreaking situation, we have maintained a tremendous love and burden for both Jordan and Karen, for both the offender and offended. Since Jordan and Karen are Covenant Members of The Village who committed themselves to receive the care and protection of our church and elders, we have sought to minister to this brother and sister out of love and biblical commitment.

With regard to Jordan’s care and discipline, we have responded in the two ways that we believe the church should respond with regarding any sin: the blood-bought grace of Jesus for the sinner and the necessary consequences of sin.

There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (
Rom. 8:1) and, therefore, no condemnation for Jordan. He has confessed his sin, and through the finished, redemptive work of Christ, Jordan is washed clean of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9), met with forgiveness and granted fellowship with the body (2 Cor. 2:5-8). With that said, grace and love sometimes take the form of discipline and consequence. Hebrews 12:5-11 reminds us that God’s intent for discipline, as a good and loving Father, is the restoration and holiness of His children. The road of discipline is difficult, but when walked faithfully, there is a good end to it. In light of this, the following are the consequences that came from Jordan’s sin:
  • Temporary Separation – Upon Jordan and Karen’s return from the mission field, we felt that it was in their best interest to encourage a temporary marital separation, allowing Karen time to heal and Jordan time to walk in repentance. Like any redemptive separation, the hope was that, after an appropriate time of healing and repentance, the married couple would eventually be able to come back together for the sake of pursuing possible reconciliation. While there may be situations that end in the dissolution of a marriage, we always hope for the power of the gospel to bring about a story of forgiveness and reconciliation.

If I had “come back together [with Jordan] for the sake of pursuing possible reconciliation”, I would not have had the option of having the fraudulent marriage annulled. I would have been forced to choose between resuming a marriage to a fraudulent pedophile and pursuing a divorce.

  • Removal from Ministry – Both SIM and The Village found Jordan disqualified from ministry. This indefinite disqualification includes all formal ministry roles at The Village, as well as SIM’s decision to terminate Jordan from employment.
     
  • Notification to Authorities of Sin and Struggles – Local police were notified about Jordan’s actions soon after we became aware and the local police later transferred the case to the FBI. The FBI has recently concluded their investigation, including a forensic analysis of Jordan’s laptop computer and mobile phone. The investigation resulted in no charges being filed against Jordan. Appropriate staff and security at The Village were also made aware of all necessary information in this situation at its onset. While SIM and The Village Church are unaware of any children ever being harmed by Jordan, precautions were still taken in order to maintain the safety of all who attend our campuses (see below).

SIM notified the FBI of Jordan's actions shortly after his confession, and I had several conversations with an agent myself beginning January 17th. I learned that they cannot file charges based on admission of use; they must obtain concrete evidence of possession. I completed an intake with the Dallas PD child exploitation unit on March 30th regarding the possibility that Jordan may have abused children in Dallas. They are unable to file charges without a victim who is willing to testify.

The Village Church makes it sound as though they reported Jordan’s actions to law enforcement early in the game. To my knowledge, this is not the case. I know that Jordan’s laptop was in his possession for at least several weeks after his return. I also know that his smartphone was in his possession for several days, at which point he gave it to Richard Brindley. I would be interested to see evidence as to when The Village Church actually reported to law enforcement.

In the years prior to our marriage, Jordan owned two laptops. He used the Linux OS on one of them, and he admitted on December 16th that this was the laptop that he used to access child pornography during those years. That laptop disappeared from the scene during our engagement. He told me back then that he had given it to a friend to hold on to for him, and he never spoke of it again. During our time overseas, Jordan admitted to using a VPN to access nude images of children on both his laptop and his smartphone. It does not surprise me that the FBI was unable to find the concrete evidence of possession that they need to be able to file charges.
 
  • Restriction from Designated Facilities of The Village Church – While grace is present for Jordan, he cannot and will not have access to designated facilities at The Village for his safety and the safety of our church. Some of the specific security protocols related to The Village include:
    • He is restricted to attending only the Dallas campus.
    • He is not permitted to enter any children’s facilities at the Dallas campus.
    • He must be accompanied by an approved Covenant Member while at the Dallas campus.
    • He must check in with staff or security before services.
       
  • Removal of Financial Support – As a result of Jordan’s termination, SIM automatically shifted all financial support to Karen. At this time, SIM and The Village have agreed to continue Karen’s financial support through August 31, 2015.

The story of TVC’s financial support of us, and in turn me, is worth being told. The Village Church had been providing less than 10% of our overall budget each month. They stopped their financial support altogether after the week of Jordan’s termination and my withdrawal of membership in February. I had anticipated this and communicated no desire for further support from TVC. 

But on March 25th, I received an email from a young man who is in my former home group and, up to that point, had been a very good friend of mine and a financial supporter himself. He had demonstrated greater insight than most in the home group and had expressed a lot of doubts as to how the church had handled things. He became convinced of the leadership’s good motives after a meeting with Matt Younger in March, where he was told that Younger had “lost sleep over this” and was assured that TVC was continuing my financial support. I found that interesting and watched my donor report to see if the church would resume their giving. They did not. 

I emailed the young man on April 25th to let him know that Matt Younger had misled him. I assured him that I neither wanted nor needed additional financial support from The Village Church, but thought he should know he had been lied to. At this point, TVC had not made a gift since February 10th. The young man contacted Matt Younger, who informed him that there had been an “accounting miscommunication”. Steve Hardin’s text referring to the “clerical error” regarding my support came the next morning.



TVC did resume giving at this time with their next gift arriving in my SIM ministry account a few days later on April 28th. It is interesting to note that by this time The Dallas Morning News was working on a story and, to my knowledge, TVC had recently been tipped off about it.

I have everything I need regarding financial support in my SIM ministry accounts already. I neither want nor need any additional financial support from The Village Church, nor have I requested any. In fact, not a penny of the financial support that TVC is currently sending in will go to me personally; it is excess support beyond the remaining salary I will receive from SIM that will ultimately go to other SIM ministries.

  • Church Discipline and Ongoing Care – Jordan’s sin is serious and difficult, and he has confessed, repented and appears to be submitted to the direction of his elders and pastors. This means Jordan is not in formal church discipline (Matt. 18:15). Instead, moving forward, Jordan will remain in a season of intentional pastoral care, where his role will be to remain faithful to actions in keeping with repentance (Acts 26:20), pursue holiness and purity, and continue to flee from sin.

Please Note: Prior to being at The Village, Jordan served in a number of ministries and events involving children. However, to our knowledge, Jordan has never served in any youth or children’s ministry or event in any capacity at The Village Church.

With regard to Karen, we grieve with her in knowing of the great loss and hurt she has endured over these few months. We can’t even begin to imagine the ways in which Jordan’s sin has wounded her. Many of our elders, ministers, female staff and Covenant Members have reached out to love and support her during this time, but unfortunately she has chosen not to accept our attempts to care for her and provide counsel. Instead, Karen limited her communication with The Village and has now stopped responding entirely.

This is extremely misleading. From the time I returned from overseas until I withdrew my membership, exactly one elder (Matt Younger), exactly one minister (Richard Brindley), and exactly one female staff (Erin Brindley) communicated with me in any substantial way. Steve Hardin’s communication did not begin until after I withdrew my membership.

This began less than four weeks after Karen’s return to the U.S. when she filed for an immediate annulment of her marriage to Jordan apart from the counsel of the church and requested to be placed back in the mission field. We encouraged Karen to slow down and allow us to walk with her in a season of healing before making these life-altering decisions, but she declined to take this step.

This is, again, extremely misleading. I did not file for an "immediate annulment," I filed for an annulment on Friday, February 6th after 52 days of seeking the Lord and wise counsel in the matter. I had not been counseled by the church not to file for an annulment, as I had not discussed the possibility of annulment with a single pastor or elder.

When I returned to the U.S. on January 13th, I was determined to walk with  the church in good faith despite a growing concern that they were not taking Jordan's actions seriously enough. I met with Richard Brindley and Matt Younger on January 18th. Erin Brindley, Richard's wife, was also in attendance. I addressed two primary concerns during this meeting: home group and a separation of finances. Regarding home group, I desired to return to the group we had been a part of since 2012 without fear of Jordan showing up. Prior to my return to the U.S., men from the home group had been encouraged to spend time with Jordan without being informed of the nature of what he had admitted to. Matt and Richard assured me that Jordan would be asked to start attending a men’s group so I could go back to my group. I was encouraged by this.

At this point in time all of Jordan and my savings were in joint accounts. As we were separated, I desired to separate our finances in order to have some protection in this area. I couldn’t imagine that the church would take issue with this, so I asked Matt and Richard for the church’s help in facilitating a conversation between Jordan and me as to how we could go about a separation of finances in a way that would be fair to both of us (Jordan and I were not seeing or speaking to each other at this time). Matt Younger said that this was something they could do and told me to email Richard my breakdown of what I thought would be fair.

During this meeting there were some extremely troubling things said by both Richard and Matt. I was told that as Jordan’s wife, I would have a unique role in walking alongside him during this time. At one point, Matt Younger told me that 100 out of 100 times a couple is sitting on his couch, and one of them says “this is all his fault” and the other agrees, there is much more to the story. This stung, as it seemed that Matt was suggesting that I was partly responsible for Jordan’s fraud and perversion. I acknowledged to Matt that I knew I was not without sin in my marriage, but that I would not take responsibility for our return home and separation as it was caused by Jordan’s pedophilia and use of child pornography.

I emailed Richard my proposed separation of finances (to be communicated with Jordan) the next day but did not hear back from him. I was finally able to speak with him on the phone Tuesday night, at which point I was told that the elders had decided that I was not to separate our finances after all, as that “felt too much like a step toward divorce” and they “could not approve any steps that would bring further separation to our marriage.” When I asked why the elders felt as though my choices about personal finances were within the scope of their authority, I was informed that “In a marriage separation, every aspect of your marriage is under the authority of the elders of the church.” That was a very eye-opening conversation for me. I was alarmed at the level of control the elders seemed to be attempting to exert over my life and decided to start asking questions.

I called Matt Younger the next day (January 21st) and told him what Richard had said. Matt affirmed that this was indeed the position of the elders. He said that his agreement to the separation of finances during Sunday’s meeting had been due to him not being “emotionally prepared” for the meeting ahead of time. He also went on to tell me that I could not trust myself to think clearly during a situation like this and that my job was to “let the church hold my hand and tell me what to do.” I told him that I was in the process of seeking counsel from a large number of believers who included friends, family, mentors, SIM leadership, and my Christian counselor. He told me that “they are not your spiritual authority, we are. We are the most important voice at the table, and you need to wait until we decide how you should proceed.” By the end of the conversation I knew it would not be in my best interest to continue to seek the counsel of the pastors and elders of The Village Church, and every believer I spoke with affirmed the health of this decision.

More than 2 weeks went by, during which I made the decisions to file for an annulment and withdraw my membership from The Village Church. Matt Younger emailed me to request a meeting between him, Richard and I on February 6th. I agreed to meet with them on the following Thursday, February 12th. That weekend, I sent my letter of resignation to 14 other believers and asked them to read it, pray about it, and let me know if they saw anything in the decisions I was making that was sinful or unhealthy in any way. This group was comprised of men as well as women, peers as well as people older in the faith, people who had known me a long time as well as people in more objective positions. Every person who responded affirmed that I was clearly following and honoring the Lord in my decisions. 

I sent the letter to Matt Younger, Richard Brindley, Steve Hardin, and Matt Chandler on Wednesday, February 11th. (https://www.scribd.com/doc/263549389/karen-root-matt-younger-emails)

In my email, I said that I would still honor the meeting on February 12th if they so desired. I was willing to explain my decisions and hoped to encourage them yet again to take the possibility that Jordan had sexually abused children more seriously. In his response, after informing me that the elders did not accept my withdrawal of membership and threatening church discipline if I did not immediately revoke my petition for annulment, Matt Younger said that “We will forgo tomorrow’s meeting with you and will plan to meet with you this Sunday so we can have other elders present. Please do everything possible to be in attendance. It will likely be in the evening.” I had not agreed to a meeting between several male elders and me. This in no way felt like a safe situation to walk into in light of Matt’s aggressive response to my withdrawal of membership, so I declined the meeting.

At every turn, this has been a difficult and heartbreaking situation. We have attempted to be faithful to love and care for Karen, and in the event that we’ve failed to care for her in any way, we appealed to her through multiple Covenant Members to let us know. Yet, without response again and with much sorrow, we began the church discipline process in accordance with
Matthew 18:15-20 and our Membership Covenant and bylaws.

There was never a mention of church discipline until after I had withdrawn my membership from the church. The Village Church does not have a legal right to discipline non-members, yet they have attempted to do so to me on multiple occasions.

Karen’s decision to pursue immediate annulment, to decline any attempt of reconciliation, to disregard her
Membership Covenant and pastoral counsel, and to break fellowship with the body has led her into formal church discipline. While members in good standing are free to leave the church and seek membership elsewhere, those in the disciplinary process have covenanted to see that process through before leaving the church. Because of this, we have attempted to fulfill our biblical commitment to love and care for her according to the Membership Covenant she affirmed and subsequently renewed on multiple occasions.

Again with the “immediate annulment” line…it is worth noting here that although The Village Church claims that “We see an annulment as a subcategory of what Scripture defines as a divorce in Mark 10:9(see Q&A’s below), this cannot be found anywhere in their Membership Covenant or Bylaws. In signing their Membership Covenant shortly after my 24th birthday, I had agreed to nothing in regards to the possibility of annulment should I come to realize that my marriage had been a complete sham from the beginning. There is a vast difference between a divorce and a marriage that is voided on the grounds of fraud, and I had no way of knowing that the leadership of The Village Church would respond to it in this fashion.

In similar counsel from our elders, SIM has given Karen a gracious six-month leave to pursue healing but also required that she be reconciled to The Village Church before they would consider sending her back to the mission field. She also declined SIM’s counsel, abandoning her request to return to the mission field.

It is time to bring the truth of the relationship between The Village Church and SIM to light, as the leadership of The Village Church continues to insinuate that they have fully cooperated with SIM and that I have walked in rebellion to SIM in the decisions I have made. SIM has made every effort to partner with The Village Church from the beginning of this whole mess, as the organization highly values church-mission partnership. But there has been a great deal of conflict between SIM and The Village Church in this matter, especially in regards to child safety. The Village Church resisted or rebuffed many of SIM’s recommendations at every turn. One example of this is in their communications regarding the nature of Jordan’s sin. The Village Church did not actually inform the Covenant Members of the Dallas Campus about the nature of Jordan’s sin until March 13th, (https://www.scribd.com/doc/265894579/TVC-email-news-about-Jordan-and-Karen-Root ) almost three months after Jordan arrived in Dallas and began attending services there. But they had already sent the following email to our list of almost 500 prayer supporters (including many members of TVC) about the situation on February 20th:


Notice that TVC avoids mentioning anything about the nature of Jordan’s sin. They also encourage people to reach out directly to Jordan without warning them of his pedophilic tendencies. This email went to many parents with children and was a major contention between TVC and SIM, who had been reminding The Village Church of their responsibility to inform people of the nature of Jordan’s confession since they released their report on February 9th. It is what prompted SIM to send their own communication on February 25th (https://www.scribd.com/doc/265890317/SIM-director-of-personnel-letter) informing the same group of people of the outcome of their investigation. After more than two weeks of receiving many complaints via phone and email, TVC finally informed Covenant Members of the Dallas Campus on March 13th.

Another example is in regards to Jordan’s treatment. TVC dismissed recommendations from SIM that Jordan needed, at minimum, intensive therapy from someone who has experience working with these issues. I was told at one point that in-patient treatment had been recommended and that Jordan should attend a Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting every day until he began that treatment. Instead, TVC had Jordan see Eric Bryant, a member of The Village Church who is a part of North Texas Christian CounselingOn his bio, Eric does not list experience treating pedophilia or sexual addiction. Jordan went to counseling once a week for the first couple of months after his return, at which point Eric felt he was doing well enough to begin going only once every other week instead. I am unsure as to whether or how often Jordan is currently going to counseling.

Regarding my decision-making process, I was in open communication with SIM leadership every step of the way. SIM knew about my decisions to file for annulment and withdraw my membership from The Village Church ahead of time and continued to affirm my good standing as a member of SIM. In fact, after withdrawing my membership from TVC, I continued to work closely with SIM leadership on a plan for my future ministry. I was going to resume work on behalf of my team in Asia from Dallas for a period of at least several months as I focused on healing and recovery from everything that had happened. I would return to Asia only after my counselor, SIM leadership, and my new sending church felt it would be healthy for all parties involved.

I had a new sending church in place and a job description approved by SIM field leadership prior to arriving at SIM USA headquarters in Charlotte for meetings beginning March 10th. There I was informed that The Village Church had threatened that if SIM kept me on active status, they would consider it a breach of the Partnership Agreement between SIM and TVC and TVC could no longer partner with SIM. This had significant implications, because there are several other SIM missionaries who are supported by The Village Church. As a result, SIM decided that I would not resume work on behalf of my team from Dallas after all. 

I would continue on financial support for a six-month period through the end of August, during which they encouraged me to focus on healing and recovery, and at the end of which I would be placed on a mandatory leave of absence. They hoped it would be safe for me to meet with TVC at some point to attempt some form of reconciliation, but made it clear that they were not asking me to return to the church and did not agree with the way the church had handled the situation. They even offered to send an SIM representative with me should a meeting happen and assured me that they did not consider reconciliation to be my responsibility if TVC continued to be unreasonable. These decisions were made in hopes of preserving the relationship between SIM and TVC, mainly for the sake of the other SIM missionaries sent by TVC. 

In the case of my ministry, issues of SIM policy and precedent regarding members who had suffered the end of a marriage began to come into play, too, and after more conversations with SIM representatives over the next several days, it became clear that I should consider a return to Asia to be a closed door for at least the next few years.

Ultimately, we know that Jordan and Karen’s situation is messy and difficult, but we also believe the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Our greatest hope in all of this, though, is that Jordan and Karen would both find healing and restoration in the Lord. We know that no sin is too grievous for the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. The cross has the power to bring forgiveness and redemption to those who have committed the deepest of sins and to those who have been affected and wounded by those sins.

Please join us in praying toward this end, asking our good and gracious God to pour out His love and grace to all those involved in this situation, specifically Jordan and Karen. We also strongly urge that you would keep all details of this situation within our church body, specifically our Covenant Membership. Please do not forward or share this with anyone who is not a Covenant Member. If you are contacted by the media, we encourage you to refer back to the
official public statement of The Village.

Surely the leaders of The Village Church knew that an email sent to over 6,000 members would get out to non-members as well.

Q&As

We know that situations like these may bring up a number of good questions. In light of that, we wanted to take the time to answer some common questions.

What is the purpose of The Village Church Membership Covenant?
As we explain
on our website, the primary purpose of the covenant is to serve as a teaching document with three functions:
  • To clarify the biblical obligations and expectations for both the elders of The Village Church and the individual members of The Village Church body.
  • To establish teaching and doctrinal parameters for The Village Church body.
  • To serve as a tool for reflection and growth toward holiness.
Each of these functions is in accordance with the document’s overall vision to provide an accessible explanation of the Scriptures in hopes that The Village would grow in the grace and truth of Jesus Christ.

Other churches have been in the news for hiding or trying to cover up issues of sexual sin in their congregation. How has The Village been transparent in this situation? Whom did we inform about this situation before this became broadly public?
From day one, select staff and Covenant Members of Jordan’s biblical community were informed of Jordan’s actions. We followed all legal reporting obligations and were fully available for all legal investigations. We also contacted ministry leaders in organizations with children where we knew Jordan previously served. Pastoral staff visited their Home Group to inform and minister to Jordan and Karen’s close biblical community. After Jordan's employer, SIM, concluded their investigation and we confirmed appropriate details, we informed all Covenant Members at our Dallas campus, which includes over 1,500 people. This email clearly stated Jordan's sin as well as the consequences of his sin, including the restrictions he has to adhere to while at The Village. Our public statement is brief and discloses nothing about any of our members, which comes from our legal obligation to not share details about our Covenant Members with the general public. However, we are free to share more details with you, our Covenant Members, because you are “the church.”

From day one, TVC staff encouraged secrecy in the matter (see here). I will again raise the question as to when The Village Church actually reported anything to law enforcement; to my knowledge it would have to have been pretty late in the game. And the email to Covenant Members at the Dallas Campus they are referring to was not sent until March 13th, over a month after SIM concluded their investigation on February 9th.


Why did we wait on SIM to conduct an investigation into Jordan’s sin before informing the entire Dallas membership? Why did we let Jordan stay in the church while they removed him entirely from their organization?
SIM asked us to let their child safety team conduct a full investigation before we pursued anything else on our end since they have an experienced and highly trained team in this area and they were the employer. SIM and The Village Church’s missions are completely aligned when sending a missionary into the field: making a plea to the world to be reconciled to God through the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, if a missionary falls into sin that disqualifies them from ministry, our missions no longer line up. As an employer, they must remove the missionary from their organization. As a church, we are called to minister to those who are broken (
Matt. 9:11-13), including offenders who appear to be repentant.

Jordan has confessed to looking at online pornography involving children. Although the criminal investigation ended with no charges being filed against him, isn’t it still very possible there are victims out there who haven’t come forward yet? What are we doing to help those potential victims come forward?
We have fully cooperated with the appropriate authorities in this case, followed any mandatory legal reporting obligations and informed the entire Dallas membership, which includes over 1,500 people. We also contacted ministry leaders in organizations with children where we knew Jordan previously served. Now, we have also informed our entire covenant membership, which includes over 6,000 people. At this point, the authorities have said that there are no charges that can be brought against Jordan. The Village Church does not have the civil power nor the mandate to legally prosecute the situation beyond what has taken place.

Karen says that she is no longer a member of our church. Why are we still treating her as one?
While members in good standing are free to leave the church and seek membership elsewhere, those who are in the disciplinary process have covenanted to see that process through before leaving the church. In this case, Karen immediately entered the formal church discipline process after filing for legal annulment, forgoing any attempt of reconciliation, disregarding her Membership Covenant and pastoral counsel, and breaking fellowship with the body. (We see an annulment as a subcategory of what Scripture defines as a divorce in
Mark 10:9—it ends a marriage.) To be clear, there may be times when there are biblical grounds for divorce (Matt. 5:31-32; 1 Cor. 7:15), and members can be given the support to pursue that path after attempting the steps of marriage reconciliation according to our Membership Covenant. In this case, due to the severity of Jordan’s actions, the Dallas campus elders communicated to Karen their desire to hear her side of the story in order to determine whether there were biblical grounds for divorce. Unfortunately, the Dallas elders were never given the chance to help determine whether there were grounds for divorce, as Karen declined the invitation to meet with the elders and moved forward with the annulment on her own. While Karen did send a letter attempting to withdraw her Covenant Membership in early February, she was already subject to the discipline process and therefore committed to seeing that process through. With that said, we will not pursue Karen indefinitely regarding this matter but have tried to uphold our commitment to shepherd and care for her as a Covenant Member at this time.

See my comments on the difference between divorce and annulment above.

Why is Karen in formal church discipline?
Karen is in formal church discipline because she filed for an immediate annulment of her marriage without being willing to discuss it with the elders as part of the marriage reconciliation process that is addressed in the Membership Covenant and then stopped communicating with staff or elders. She has unrepentantly denied the covenant’s call on her to make these decisions under the care of her church, and so she entered into formal church discipline that will ultimately result in her removal as a member. For those who are unrepentant, the outcome of the discipline process is not a “shunning,” but rather a removal from Covenant Membership with the hope that the individual will one day return (
Matt. 18:17; 1 Cor. 5:5; James 5:19-20).

Karen has been through a terrible experience due to Jordan’s sin and wants to heal in her own way. Why are we continuing to pursue communication with Karen or even trying to minister to her if she does not want us to do so?
This is a tragic situation, and we are grieving with Karen. While the wounds of sin may be deep, Scripture states that the best care and counsel comes from the hope and comfort of the gospel, through the ministered Word in the care and community of the saints, particularly the local church. In our Membership Covenant, we articulate this belief and covenant with our members to be there for them in any type of situation, good or bad, including dealing with the aftermath of a spouse’s sin. In signing that Membership Covenant, a member agrees with that belief and covenants with us to receive that care. In essence, by signing the
Membership Covenant, Karen asked us to minister to her in good times or bad, regardless of what might come.

I requested that the leadership of The Village Church refrain from any future harassment of me on more than one occasion, beginning with my response to Matt Younger on February 12th.

Could this ongoing attempt to pursue her be considered harassment?
We don’t believe any of the attempts we’ve made to communicate with Karen have been harassing in any way. In fact, she still requested our help in addressing some things with Jordan after she had already asked us not to communicate with her. We love her and care for her and we are trying to serve her, but we will eventually remove her from Covenant Membership and stop appealing to her based on her decision to get an immediate annulment without discussing the matter with the church, as she covenanted to do. This is consistent with our normal care and discipline process.

This, sent on April 12th, is what they are referring to as me requesting their help in addressing some things with Jordan:


At this point in time, it was clear to me that TVC was growing nervous about the possibility of a story in The Dallas Morning News. To my knowledge, Steve Hardin’s text messages to me began after TVC had been tipped off about it. I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to call them out regarding Jordan and Randall’s treatment of me, wondering if their anxiety regarding the story would encourage them to act more reasonably. No one ever replied to my email, but amazingly Jordan, through his attorney, agreed to sign just a few days later, and the annulment was finalized less than a week after that.

Karen wanted The Village to support an immediate annulment of her marriage to Jordan. Karen also has a strong desire to resume her vocation as a full-time missionary. Why are we opposed to either of these?
The elders never rush into any decisions, especially those concerning the end of a marriage, and although this was an extremely difficult situation, our expectation was for Karen to follow the biblical reconciliation process in the Membership Covenant before making a final decision. Before we send out any missionaries, there is a process we walk through to evaluate the missionary and their readiness to go. At this time, we do not feel comfortable sending Karen into missionary work. In addition, her current employer, SIM, has made the same determination. With that said, both The Village and SIM have agreed to support Karen financially through August to allow her time to heal and transition away from missionary work.

I have not communicated a desire for The Village Church to have anything to do with sending me into missionary work since I withdrew my membership on February 11th.

Are we recommending or encouraging Karen to pursue reconciliation with Jordan in marriage? Why?
We asked Karen to be open to the possibility of reconciliation but also clearly communicated that the elders wanted to hear Karen’s side before helping determine whether there were biblical grounds for divorce. She, however, didn’t want to wait on making a decision and filed for an immediate annulment without ever giving us the chance to hear her side. The goal was for the Dallas campus elders to process all that has happened with Karen as a part of her Covenant Membership.

There’s that “immediate annulment” phrase again…perhaps they feel that if they repeat it enough, people will assume it must be true?

Is Jordan in church discipline?
As outlined above, Jordan is experiencing the loving discipline of God due to his sin and is dealing with several consequences of his sin. As outlined in Scripture, church discipline is for those walking in unrepentance. To the best of our knowledge, Jordan is walking in genuine repentance. Pastors and elders are continuing to walk closely with Jordan in an intentional pastoral care plan with hopes of seeing a long-term faithfulness in keeping with that repentance.

What is this “intentional pastoral care plan”? Does it include treatment appropriate for the seriousness and nature of Jordan’s issues?

Can Jordan be trusted?
While we recognize that Jordan’s sin is grievous and have not taken that lightly, we know that, at the same time, there is no sin too grievous for the grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. The power of the gospel can change and transform the hearts of those who have committed the deepest of sins and those who have been wounded by those sins, which includes both Jordan and Karen. With that said, we have tried our best to be persistent and cautious in walking with Jordan through this difficult situation, knowing the deep roots of his sin and the natural tendency to drift from the gospel and keep our sin out of the light, while also trusting and hoping that he is genuinely repentant. As noted above, we have fully cooperated with the appropriate authorities in this case and have strict security restrictions in place at The Village. We informed the entire Dallas membership, which includes over 1,500 people, and also contacted ministry leaders in organizations with children where we knew Jordan previously served. We constantly live in the tension of ministering to those with dark sin and extending God’s grace to them while doing whatever we can to bring about justice.

With all of our elders being men, how have they sought to fully understand and minister to women who have been hurt by their husbands or other men? Have there been any times in the past where we have not ideally responded to women who have been hurt in any way by men?
It is our desire to love and minister to both men and women equally and by the grace of God. It is unbelievably difficult to enter into any traumatic situation perfectly, and we apologize for any way we may have added additional wounds to those who have been hurt and are seeking help. We are fallible humans and therefore have ongoing conversations with men and women in our church around this topic. Like many other topics, we have learned from those conversations and are continuing to evolve our practices in this area. In this situation, multiple women (both staff and Covenant Members) were available to Karen, and a female Dallas staff member did get a chance to meet and talk with Karen multiple times before she stopped communicating with us.

What does the care plan for Jordan look like? What are we doing to make sure others in the church are protected and safe?
Jordan’s sin is serious and comes with serious consequences. He has confessed, repented and appears to be submitted to the direction of his pastors. Jordan will remain in a season of intentional pastoral care, where his role will be to remain faithful to actions in keeping with repentance (
Acts 26:20), pursuing holiness and purity, and continuing to flee from sin. These actions include, but are not limited to, faithfully walking in biblical community, counseling, and regular time with pastors. Authorities were notified of the situation, and as outlined above, our security team and staff have strict protocols and restrictions in place for Jordan while he is at our facilities. These restrictions are designed to protect our Covenant Members, guests and their families.

Will Jordan continue to see Eric Bryant, or will he be asked to see someone who has the experience and qualifications necessary to treat a pedophile?

Are we providing housing, vehicle or legal assistance for Jordan or Karen?
The Village Church, as an organization, has not and will not provide housing, a vehicle or legal assistance for Jordan or Karen. It is, however, common practice for us to share any missionary’s needs with our congregation. Often times, Covenant Members and staff generously help meet the needs of missionaries out of their personal resources. Similarly, we made Jordan’s and Karen’s needs known when they returned from Asia, and Covenant Members of the Dallas campus offered to help both of them. Jordan accepted some help while Karen didn’t. With that said, we are continuing to financially support Karen via SIM through August 2015.

To my knowledge, Jordan was picked up from the airport by Richard Brindley and a deacon at the Dallas Campus upon his arrival. He stayed at Richard Brindley’s home for a few days before moving into the home of Randall Reed, a member of The Village Church who Jordan had no prior relationship with. This is the same Randall Reed who provided Jordan with legal counsel and representation in the annulment case free of charge, despite the fact that he does not typically practice family law. Richard Brindley gave Jordan the use of one of his vehicles from the time Jordan returned to the U.S. until shortly after The Village Church was tipped off about the possible story in The Dallas Morning News. The Village Church as an organization paid for at least six of Jordan’s counseling sessions.


The Village Church provided none of these things for me, as God had graciously provided everything I needed prior to my return to the U.S. through believers outside of The Village Church. Richard and Erin Brindley did offer me a ride from the airport shortly before my return, but I had already accepted one from a dear friend and mentor who I was to stay with for my first two nights back. I have no way of knowing what members of The Village Church would or would not have provided had other believers not already stepped forward to meet the practical needs I had. If anyone at the church offered me housing, a vehicle, or legal assistance, I am unaware of it.

UPDATE
We did not lead Karen and the church to a place conducive of peace, repentance and healing. 
Two brief thoughts then Dee at The Wartburg Watch will be digging into this letter in detail in a new post titled TWW Test on the Chandler Apology.

1. This was not the church's marriage. It was Karen and Jordan's.

2. Lead Karen to a place of repentance. What did Karen need to repent of?




86 comments:

Knitted in the Womb said...

Do you know if the newspaper article is still going to be published? This whole situation is so sad. I'm angry at how you have been treated, and I'm afraid of the fall out for this church once people realize what has happened.

The Blog bites better than the Bullet. said...

I want to throw up. Karen, you are far stronger than many of us could have been under such intense oppression. We are keeping you in prayer and thank you for making this public so that others can be protected and healed.
Melody Young

Sam Hawthorne said...

Thank you for following Jesus in bringing darkness to the Light, God bless you Karen

guitarfan01 said...

This is a good response and addresses a lot of things that I did not understand / were not clear in prior posts. Thank you.

Regarding the "immediate annulment" - the way I read this is "Karen requested an annulment to take place at the time of the request, not at some future date." Sounds accurate, as well as the "within four weeks of returning to Texas" part (did the math). I understand you probably see that differently, but from the outside it doesn't look like intentional deception.

Pastor David said...

The twisting of the story and the manipulation is sickening! Thank you, Karen, for sharing your side to this disgusting response from TVC leadership to their congregants. I am especially aggrieved that they were willing to put in jeopardy other SIM missionaries in order to advance their own controlling agenda. That is rather aggressive. Christlike? I do not think so. I have family connections to SIM, and so, I am glad to hear SIM didn't just go along with this madness.

Hope said...

Karen,

You are a rock star in my book! There aren't enough words...amazing, awesome, inspiring, tough, grounded, centered, confident, determined! Your strength is astounding! I love that you refuse to be a victim of the male dominated church. Continue to speak loud. You are showing women how to be over-comers and not victims!

Having said all that, I am so truly sorry that you've had to go through all this! I wish you and your village of support continued strength, wisdom and power as you continue to live your life and share your story.

Jarrod Hamlin said...

I attend this church joyfully and have for 12 years. It's a great church that believes we follow the bible in whole.

The bible teaches us to repent for our sins. However those who dont repent is considered God mocking sin which scripture says that we will reap what we sow.

I can not go into full detail on the subject but I can say this.

The man was caught. He confessed his sin with remorse and a desire to repent and get help.

However the woman showed no desire to reconcile the marriage. The bible calls divorce a sin except in the case of infidelity or a spouse becoming a non believer.

Because she wouldn't try to reconcile and chose to divorce with out just cause is why there was discipline. He was trying to get help and make things work, she wasn't. That's the problem.

Now for those who say his sin was unforgivable is to say there is a sin out there the blood of the cross can't wash clean. Jesus died for all sins, not just the big ones. In fact the sermon on the mound Jesus preached that having hate in your heart towards someone is the same as murder, and I'm seeing several on here guilty of that sin right now.

All sin can be forgiven, but first it must be repented for.

Have you ever watched porn? Maybe read it? (50 shades of Grey) Ever seen a cute guy and had lustful thoughts?

Every woman has. And every guy had has inappropriate thoughts about a woman.

The picture God paints in the bible of the union between a husband and his wife is the picture of Christ in the church. How often do we as the church (yes I'm included in this), spit in the face of our groom in Christ? DAILY. If not hourly and some minutely.

Can you imagine if God turned his back on us for messing up even though we swore to Him we would never do it again? But how often do we spit on His face again? I'm guilty of it all the time. The point of the Gospel is that Jesus didn't die for the person sitting in the front row at church. He even said in Romans 5:8 "for while we were yet sinners Jesus died"

Remember He also said "for as you judge so you shall be judged".

The point is that all can be reconciled for those who put their hope in Jesus. He doesn't want perfect, just progress.

That's the point of the story, he was willing to try and get help according to the scripture, she wasn't.

Jesus said "let He who has not sinned cast the first stone". And He finished by saying to the woman who felt shame in her sin "now go forth and sin no more".

This story is the embodiment of that verse. This man was shameful and in disgust of his sin. Even though the woman facing being stoned did get caught. He confessed. And like the crowd you are ready to pelt him with stones

And as Jesus said to go forth and sin no more, that is this mans desire. He hates what he did, so much so that he confessed it knowing the back lash. They were missionaries planting churches and ministering to the poor.

Anybody here leaving their home to spread the gospel in a country that could have you killed for doing it? But they were doing this. And a man who felt so much shame for his sin sought help in confession with remorse and awaited all the discipline he would be faced with. But he didn't it anyways because it was the right thing. Because he didn't want to walk in that sin anymore.

And He knew with confession, repentance, and forgiveness there was salvation in Christ. That's the gospel.

She left despite his pleads and the Churches desire to counsels. She didn't seek counseling or reconciliation, she bailed at the first chance. She was ready to leave the second she found out.


Jarrod Hamlin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Could I ask a simple question? Do you think TVC's use of "immediate annulment" is because they just wanted more time is all? I mean they are a large organization which usually means communication is difficult, and they act slow.

Jarrod Hamlin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Living Liminal said...

The level of control and spin doctoring coming from this 'church' is sickening. I wish I could say I was surprised by this sort of behaviour, but unfortunately the opposite is true. This is exactly what I have come to expect from an institution which places more value in its own power and prestige than in the lives of those it claims to "care" about.

Pastor David said...

Karen wrote, "At one point, Matt Younger told me that 100 out of 100 times a couple is sitting on his couch, and one of them says “this is all his fault” and the other agrees, there is much more to the story. This stung, as it seemed that Matt was suggesting that I was partly responsible for Jordan’s fraud and perversion. I acknowledged to Matt that I knew I was not without sin in my marriage, but that I would not take responsibility for our return home and separation as it was caused by Jordan’s pedophilia and use of child pornography."

This is a familiar tactic used in counseling faithful spouses--and I would include Karen in that number. It is what I call "The Share Responsibility Lie" (see post here: http://www.divorceminister.com/shared-responsibility-lie/). I find it frustrating that PASTORS buy into this lie so often. I could see marriage counselors doing it as they are more beholden to outside teaching. But the Bible is crystal clear on this matter. These pastors fail to see that sin flows ONLY from the heart of the sinner. The relationships does not sin. A sinner sins. Jesus taught this clearly when he taught about what defiles a person is what comes out of his or her heart (e.g. Mark 7:20-23).

As a pastor, I am sorry my brother minister hurt you, Karen, like this. It was wrong.

Merryhearts said...

Praying for you, Karen!

Living Liminal said...

Jarrod wrote: "Because she wouldn't try to reconcile and chose to divorce with out just cause is why there was discipline. He was trying to get help and make things work, she wasn't. That's the problem."

1. The marriage was annulled, there was no "divorce"!

2. A crime was committed by the 'husband'.

3. If pedophilia is not a "just cause", what the hell would be!!!?

4. I find your legalism and lack of compassion for this woman unbelievable.

5. She WAS trying to get help - just not the help the 'church' was trying to force her into.

6. The biggest "problem" I see is that the 'church' thought they had the right to dictate to her and control her life.

Jarrod Hamlin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I believe your church asked you to not comment publicly on this matter. Hope they don't put you on discipline too.

Pastor David said...

Divorce is NOT always sin. Jesus Himself allows for divorce where "porneia" has taken place (see Mt 5:32 and Mt 19:9). This Greek word is a broad term for sexual sin. Pedophilia would count. Plus, we have the example of Joseph seeking a divorce (Mt 1:19), and the Bible calls him a righteous man--not someone about to sin. Besides all of that, God divorces Israel in Jeremiah 3:8. Do you want to argue that God sinned--even metaphorically? I don't.

And all of that is beside the point if the marriage is annulled as in this case here. It is not a divorce. The marriage was never valid.

Anonymous said...

Jarrod,

John Stott, in his book "Evangelical Truth: A Personal Plea for Unity, Integrity, and Faithfulness," identifies three main strains of Christianity -- Fundamentalism, Evangelicalism, and Liberalism.

Your understanding of God, His Word, how to interpret His Word, and the ethics demanded by His Word are very plainly fundamentalist. That is not a pejorative, simply descriptive. As such, it is very helpful to those of us who are outsiders to TVC to hear from you, as we now have a better understanding of your church.

As a pastor for three decades in an evangelical denomination, I commend Karen for her great courage and integrity and love for others throughout this horrible ordeal. Though her integrity has and will continue to offend fundamentalists, she would be a blessing to any evangelical church.

I also recognize that if a person or church is committed to a fundamentalist approach to God, His Word, and how to understand and live by it, that this is a marvelously free country and you are welcome to continue as you do. In fact, the more you write and comment the better we are able to see just what sort of church TVC is.

Clay Crouch said...

Jararod Hamlin, I hope that if you have children they are never placed in contact with a pedophile, repentant or not. Pedophilia is not the same as "viewing porn". Pedophilia is a crime against children. I'm sorry, but your church leadership is wrong on this. Their behavior is shaming Christ and His Church.

The Blog bites better than the Bullet. said...

Sir, you state: "The bible calls divorce a sin except in the case of infidelity or a spouse becoming a non believer. "

1) no one "becomes an unbeliever"

2) if infidelity is grounds for divorce
Child sex abuse image viewing is the grossest kind of infidelity and is worse than sins in the Corinthian church Paul rebuked them for.

Ergo, Karen was right to divorce.

Thirdly, confession when caught is not fruits in keeping with repentance. Guess who broke the "marriage"? Not Karen. She is an innocent party sinned against by an abuser.

What are they teaching you at TVC? Or rather, do they even understand God's Word at TVC?

The Blog bites better than the Bullet. said...

FYI he signed the annulment too. TVC has a strange way of discipline if only one party is blamed for what two parties must sign.
But that doesn't change the fact Karen was sinned against and Jordan has not followed expert advice that would prove repentance. So...

The Blog bites better than the Bullet. said...

This feels like Scientology, the way people defend TVC's ideas without reading their Bibles for themselves.

The Blog bites better than the Bullet. said...

As an MK I'm disgusted at a church holding a missionary hostage and blackmailing a mission board. We must call the behavior by its name. Evil.

The Blog bites better than the Bullet. said...

When you can give us documented facts about him getting expert professional help, then you may comment as above. As things stand there is no evidence to suggest fruits of repentance. And no one has to stay married to a pervert, Biblically speaking. the timeline is not up to the church. You are wrong.

The Blog bites better than the Bullet. said...

Finally Jarrod, you may think the term "pervert" harsh for someone who has confessed their sin. The problem is that confession does not mean repentance. SIM gave clear recommendations for Jordan that appear to have been ignored. TVC is effectively sheltering a compulsive liar and manipulator. What is best for Jordan, and what is most loving, is not to paint him as some kind of victim of unforgiveness here, but to call his infidelity what it is: child sexual abuse, the worst kind of sins. Read Matthew 18. All of it. The best thing anyone who loves Jordan can do is to encourage him to get actual expert professional help, get accountable to law enforcement, and protect children from his presence. Anything less is enabling potential child abuse. Remember, his sexual perversion, which is infidelity, broke the marriage. Karen has nothing to do with that. Love holds individuals responsible for their own sin.

The Blog bites better than the Bullet. said...

"She was ready to leave the second she found out."
That is inaccurate. She took time to question him and figure out what was happening. Then she separated herself from the evil in a very healthy way. You need to actually read the timeline not make wild assumptions based on TVC propaganda.

Barbara Roberts said...

1. Pastor David -- AMEN to everything you said.
I'm going to check out your blog, and you might like to check out where I blog cryingoutforjustice.com
and also my solo website notunderbondage.com

2. Jarrod Hamlin, I believe you are sorely misled in your doctrine of divorce, and you and TVC are gravely in danger to think that the confession of Jarrod is the truth, the WHOLE truth and NOTHING BUT the truth.

The evangelical church often naively accpets and gives full credence to the 'confessions' of heinous sinners,

Note: Jordan only 'confessed' (pseudoconfessed) when Karen, in obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, pressed and pressed him to fess up. Even now, Karen doubts that Jordan has confessed all. And so do I. And so do Karen's supporters.

Note also that heinous sinners are to be put out of the church and handed over to satan for the destruction of the flesh (1 Cor 5:11-13). TVC has never even raised this verse of scripture in relation to Jordan, and I deem that foolishness on their part.

I hope one day you realise that youv'e been drinking the kool aid, Jarrod, and come out of the fog. And I hope, for your sake, that this comes about in a way that doesn't entail people nearest and dearest to you being skewered by spiritual bullies like the leaders at TVC. But sadly, it is very often only when a person experiences that kind of spiritual abuse for themselves, or to those whom they love, that they realised how much kool aid the've been drinking.

Paige said...

What an amazing tale of spiritual abuse!! This DOES feel like Scientology, definitely cultish. I read the whole thing and felt only the law, not the spirit of God.

There is so much shocking info here not the least of which is the lack of the word crime or criminal. Do they not acknowledge that when someone participates in pedophilia via the Internet, they are perpetuating the rape and abuse of children, for example BABIES being raped captured on film to sell. The money any pedophile pays to look at images makes these horrendous acts possible. In human terms, human to human relationships, these people are monsters. It is gloriously true that no human is beyond God's love, but a spouse can't be expected to live in intimacy with such a person.

Only loving mutuality, rather than hierarchy,(Christian or secular) keeps women and children safe. Any hierarchical system of men over women will make room somewhere for these types of abuses.

Karen is a mighty warrior and this will be used mightily in her life. Maybe even in the areas of child abuse, mental health, and spiritual abuse!

Anonymous said...

Karen, I am a Christian lawyer and missionary. I commend you for following your legal counselors' advice in this matter and protecting your legal and financial rights in spite of harassment from TVC. You would have, indeed, lost your rights to an annulment if you had blindly followed the advice of the "elders" of TVC. They are NOT concerned with your best interest. Rather, they are concerned with their own reputation and are running scared of a lawsuit. I suspect that they are trying to hold you to the "Covenant Agreement" because of some protective language, which protects them from legal action and/or contractually binds you to arbitration. Ironically, their legal counsel has led them blindly down the path to get hit with a huge judgment for harassing you and for tortious interference with your rights AFTER you resigned from the church. I would strongly advise you to have NO mercy on TVC and pursue damages against them in a court of law. You will be intimidated with the plea to "give up your rights" against them. However, only a huge financial judgment against TVC will pierce the arrogence of their self-righteous actions. Praying for you!

Ian said...

TVC seems incapable of realising two things:

(1) An annulment is NOT a divorce. It does not end a marriage - it is an official acknowledgement that the couple were never married.

(2) Paedophiles are devious, manipulative, and seldom can be "cured". Pastors and christian counsellors do not have the skills needed to work with them.

It also appears TVC have blackmailed SIM by threatening to withdraw support for other missionaries if SIM continued to support Karen. That is dreadful.

But in the end, it's the big picture that matters. I don't care about the details of church covenants and the like. Karen has been forced out of her home church, and her calling and ministry as a missionary have been seriously harmed, whilst the same church is helping her ex-hubsband, a self-confessed adulterous paedophile liar. Something is very wrong.

Anonymous said...

Karen, as a victim of spiritual abuse by my former church, I can very much relate. I used to attend TVC but when considering membership that covenant scared me off, I disagree with signing it, your story was further proof of why. I'm disgusted with the church leadership's treatment of you and I will never return to TVC. May the Lord himself be your shepherd and counselor. Much love to you Sister in Christ.

Anonymous said...

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/28/methodist-church-in-britain-apologises-for-historical-abuse

Knitted in the Womb said...

Wow Jarrod...did you really delete all of your comments?

I feel a need to comment about the annulment issue that my understanding is that if Karen had not sought an annulment PROMPTLY upon discovering Jordan's fraud, she might not have been granted it. So what is the danger in not being granted an annulment? She could just get a divorce, right? Well sure, except that with a divorce, Jordan could forbid her from testifying in court about what he confessed to her if there are ever criminal proceedings. So in seeking an annulment, Karen was not just protecting her own interests, but the interests of any potential child victims of Jordan that may come forward. I think filing for annulment nearly 1.5 months after discovering Jordan's fraud (and really, after untold months of suspecting that SOMETHING was not right), is hardly rushing things. There is nothing about getting an annulment that would preclude Karen from working on reconciliation at some point in the future if Jordan shows signs of not just repentance, but also of no longer being attracted to young girls. Because really Jarrod, would you want to be married to a woman who confessed that she was not sexually attracted to you, but rather to prepubescent boys?

David Bruce said...

Couple of things jump out at me from Karen's annotated version of the TVC letter. First, it seems pretty clear that TVC helped Jordan to avoid arrest. The way they managed his return to the USA was in such a manner that would have given him time to dispose of any incriminating evidence. The fact that he wasn't arrested is of no consolation. But, the fact that TVC led events in a manner that allowed him to avoid arrest is rather distasteful considering the crime he did. Second, TVC has been referred to in other posts as a "frat boy" type culture. That really reflects as true from Karen's narrative. TVC deferred to the male in this instance (in spite of his disgusting crimes) and gave Karen a treatment rather consistent with Sharia Law. They even lied about her financial support from the church! TVC is a church with a lot of power and they clearly can wield it in an abusive manner as they have shown. The lead pastor at the Dallas campus not getting involved until the Dallas Morning News confirmed they were running a story, is evidence that TVC's overall goal was to protect their business model and cash flow. Haven't we heard that one before! Influence by the church obviously made that Dallas News story magically go away. TVC is a substantial business entity with an annual operating budget of $17.5 million, per their latest financial statements on their Web site. They also note that they have cash horde on hand at the present time of over $13.2 million dollars. This is a church with the resources to do as they please and they clearly put protection of those financial resources above the well being of a member. TVC's financials can be viewed here: (http://thevillagechurch.net/mediafiles/uploaded/u/0e4247030_1432145333_unaudited-financial-statement-four-months-ended-april-30-2015.pdf)
I attended TVC for about a decade, but left after deception by the church over theological teaching. I was deceived for years and outright lied to repeatedly by TVC pastors when asking specific theological questions. TVC does not teach on the whole of the Bible even though they claim they do. They have beliefs that they conceal because they are fully aware that if they taught publicly on such issues, that people might flee the church and their cash flow would be negatively affected. My experience with TVC can be read here: : http://www.praythendo.com/why-i-left-the-village-church/

Anonymous said...

This is sick!! Karen I am praying for you!

Kristi Scott said...

Karen,

Thank you for speaking up. I'm praying for your spiritual, mental, and physical protection during this time. The controlling nature of male elder boards is far too prevalent in the church and strong women like you are making a huge difference.

Pedophilia should never be treated with some nice "churchy" counseling but as the sickness it is. I hope his victims come forward so that he will feel the weight of this egregious sin and seek true repentance.

Anonymous said...

This story is all too familiar. I experienced the same form of spiritual abuse within a baptist church. I was an active member serving in several different capacities. My ex husband was abusive and after many years of dealing with the abuse, I went to my church leadership for help. I was met with...I needed to submit more, pray more and ask God to show me the sin my life causing the abuse. As I shared my heart and where I felt the Holy Spirit leading in my life, I was told that the Holy Spirit did not speak to me because I did not go to seminary. That their counsel was godly counsel and should be listened to. I was devastated but did as I was told. In the meantime nothing was done to help my ex with his anger and control issues and things became worse. It was not only affecting me but our children as well. Once we separated, I was sent a letter of discipline through certified mail (at the time I received the letter I was attending another church) stating that because of my reckless spirit, I was being placed on church discipline. Friends were told they could no longer communicate with me as I was living in a "whirlpool" of sin. I tried to reply to the letter asking for clarification as their letter did nothing to explain what I had done to be placed under discipline. I can only assume it was because I finally stood up for myself and my children and ignored their ridiculous counsel. Gossip was spread and everything was done to maintain the good name of my ex along with the name of the church. To this day, people in that church treat me like a leper and the gossip continues. Spiritual abuse is alive and well. People are leaving the church and walking away from God. Too many pastors/leadership lack the humility and grace to lead the way in which they are called. It makes me so sick to read these stories and see how often it happens but thankful that stories are being told. People need to be aware of what is happening behind the doors of so many churches in this country. Praying for those being hurt by such horrific deeds.

A Bruner said...

Karen, we are so sorry for what you are going through and the lack of support you have received from The Village. Especially maddening to hear how they basically blackmailed SIM into ending your overseas career with them! If you ever decide to go back overseas again we for one will be happy to support you! My wife has been blogging about your situation at http://kaybruner.com/blog/2015/5/24/when-the-sheeps-fangs-start-to-show. Keep up the good fight!

Anonymous said...

As a follower of Jesus, I apologize for the way you have been treated contrary to the heart of GOD. I wept for you and the situation this morning for awhile and hope that the LORD strengthens you and that the body of Christ realizes that you are a hero who is exposing the darkness with the light of the LORD.

As a father, I thank you for protecting children and putting yourself in the public to protect children.

The grace and peace of the LORD be with your spirit.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Karen. My heart goes out to you. I truly admire the integrity with which it appears you have walked through the past number of months.

My only real connection with TVC is through the ministry of Jen Wilken, a women's teaching pastor there. Jen seems like a straight-shooter and has written a couple of blog posts in the past months (at her blog The Beginning of Wisdom) about the relationship between women and church leadership. I have found her writings compelling and refreshing.

I have to confess, I'm deeply distressed by the fact that TVC provides a teaching ministry platform for Jen; yet the very same group has treated you so shamefully. It is perplexing at the least, infuriating at the most, and heartbreaking all around.

Karen, may the Presence of Jesus amaze and fill you during this very difficult time.

I am glad you're my sister in this Kingdom ~

Anonymous said...

The one who needs to be subjected to formal church discipline here is TVC. Although Karen so accurately identifies the intent of TVC's actions to silence its critics, mislead its members, and defame her, it's TVC that had been misled; it's TVC that has been defamed; and, it's TVC who should be criticized. TVC has demonstrated that it has lost its first love in these actions. Please repent, TVC!

Anonymous said...

It is eye opening how many people jump to conclusions based on this one side of the story. I am not condoning the activities brought into question, but until I read a statement of the husband stating what the ex-wife has accused him of, I am left to wait. The church took a seek/gather approach so that it had all the facts before rushing into something, which any court in America follows. The church recommended a separation, it's not as if they forced them to live together. Too many of you are quick to judge. The church's statement (which was pulled from an email) regarding contacting people of pedophile was spot on, you cannot accuse someone of such things without proof. We all need to put down the stones and wait for the details to come into light. I pray that everyone involved is calmed by the truth and that the truth is brought into the open.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Karen! You are, and will remain, in my prayers! Please know that there are so very many of us praying for you. Your strength is inspiring, and I'm so glad that you have supportive people surrounding you in this trial.

Had I received that email from TVC, even without knowing anything about your situation, I'd have shuddered and had nightmares for days. All that stalking talk about "walking with you" and "guiding you," informing you that they had no intention of leaving you in peace, is too horrific to be borne calmly. I belong to a wonderfully supportive church that would not dream of stalking me to help me, and I am doubly grateful for that after reading their email.

I could never have brought myself to sign such a covenant. It is clear to me that we have been given the Holy Spirit precisely so that we do NOT have to obey fallible men when making important decisions in our lives. Certainly, advice and even guidance from those who love us is invaluable, but to be forced to obey men who clearly refuse to see our point of view is only harmful. We don't need to obey such men (or women), but honorable men and women are priceless resources when we decide WE need them. God gives us those supporters and advisers, but when it comes down to basics, with the Holy Spirit within us, what can a fallible human give us that He can't?

You are free of that nightmarish church, but I know you've got a lot of grief to endure yet. Please know that you are loved and supported by so many, and that you will remain in our prayers for a very long time. May God bless you richly, dear Karen.

Anonymous said...

To Pastor David: thank you so much for what you wrote. I was the victim of a sex crime committed by a clergy member at one of the largest churches in the U.S. That pastor is in prison now serving a double digit sentence. I am still waiting for ANY pastor to publicly criticize what this man did. To the contrary, I was shunned and made to feel partially responsible. Many pastors even wrote letters in support of the criminal to the judge requesting no punishment. I was told to never come back to church after I asked two other victims to write the judge requesting a lengthy sentence. Surprise! The Dallas Morning News did not report that story either. Aside from running car ads I don't know why they still exist. I think Imams will apologize for 9/11 long before any Christian pastor makes an unequivocal statement against this sex felon. The pastors always stick together. Always. I am just grateful the judge wasn't a pastor.

What you said as a pastor about Karen not being at fault touched my heart immeasurably. I'm sure other readers feel similarly. It gives me the smallest shred of hope that younger pastors can learn from your example. Their own empires won't crumble if they call evil evil. However, they will crush souls and destroy lives and faith when they unconditionally support for the felon pastor while showing contempt for the "uncooperative" victim who won't play ball. Write on brother!

WWJD said...

I guess the question that I am asking is how is this news bringing anyone to Christ? How is posting this on the web for the entire world to see helping the Church? I wonder how many non-believers are seeing this and being pushed further away from giving their lives to Christ? Why wouldn't you just keep this within the community that is involved? I just wish Christians would understand that our actions either push people away or bring them in. We are called to be conformed into His image and I don't think that Christ would have blasted this bad news out for the whole world to see so many would be pushed away from the Church.

I'm sure this will be deleted, just wish the whole thing was deleted and handled Christ like and not giving the enemy more power to hurt the Bride. May God bring glory to this situation and the Church stand through the storms of brothers fighting against brothers for all the world to see.

Anonymous said...

I'm truly grieved about this whole situation for the hurt that has been brought upon the name of Jesus, Karen, the cause of Christ and a church body. I am only a reader and don't have "skin in the game" by being involved with Karen or TVC, but still find it painful. This serves as a warning to all of us who are church leaders who try to do the right thing, but certainly can get it wrong. So Karen, I'm praying for you today. Certainly your former husband is not beyond the grace of God, but this is a serious thing that has gone on for years and therefore is not quickly resolved. It will take intense Biblical counseling, therapy, etc. I would caution condemning him as a pedophile who has acted out before there is evidence. Yes, very often, but not always, there are children who have been sexually abused (God warns so strongly about injuring His children). Let the investigation continue. But to so strongly imply that it has taken place is a breaking of the 9th Commandment if there is no evidence - "bearing false witness." God has established criteria in Scripture for individuals to be declared guilty - the basis of two or three witnesses. Two wrongs never make a right. "I think he could have" is not sufficient evidence to make this judgment at this time. Just a word of caution. Again, that in no way lessens the tragedy of this event.

Anonymous said...

@WWJD,

I have to respectfully and firmly disagree. It is this exact mindset that keeps pedophiles and sexual abusers in the closet, and perpetuates the extremely harmful action of these abusers. Just as a church is not equipped to handle the consequences of a murderer (and I don't mean someone who has hate in their heart), TVC is not equipped to help Jordan or help the victims, nor are they able to stop Jordan. Jordan, no matter if he is a born-again Christian or not and signed a "covenant", is not under legal obligation to SIM or TVC. Jordan is deeply disturbed. Sure, God can change that in Jordan; however, this does not recuse Jordan from worldly consequences by the authorities.

If ones main concern is keeping this secret, then they are helping to cover up a crime, and an egregious one at that. Based on Jordan's past and admitted perversions, there are likely to be molestation victims. Those victims need to be found and helped, not swept under the rug.

DonJonesMD said...

@Anonymous response to @WWJD

I don't see where SIM, TVC, etc., have attempted to keep anything in the closet. Abuse has to be reported to authorities which it has. There must be be long term Biblical counseling / therapy. It is my understanding that this tragic situation has made the papers. We as the church need to make sure that victims aren't minimized and that they are supported. So far, through investigations which have been done, no victims have been identified. So to try Jordan (never met the individual) in the court of public opinion and convict him at this point, without evidence, is wrong.

I truly am sorry for the grief, heartache, nightmare, etc. that Karen has experienced which is unfathomable. But as WWJD has pointed out, it would only take a paragraph to provide information of the seriousness of this issue and its recognition. It has been turned over to law enforcement and not hidden. All the rest is taking a disastrous family (as in Christian family - the Church) event and making it public to non-family (unsaved) folks.

Nathan said...

All I can say is, Karen am I right in thinking you are only 24? I am amazed and impressed at your spiritual maturity in this difficult and challenging time. I don't wish that to sound condescending, what I mean is you are showing a level of maturity and strength than most people would in the 40's and 50's and I include myself in that. As an Elder I can say you are showing far more maturity, insight and understanding than the Elders you have dealt with at TVC.

The Lord is clearly guiding you through this difficult time in your life.

Remember Psalm 118: 5-6

"Out of my distress I called on the lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"

May the Lord continue to protect you and comfort you.

Jere Witherspoon said...

Karen,
I happened upon your story by accident. As I weaved my way through the online stories I ended up on this blog. First, I am so sorry for your loss. I am sick at the responses that TVC have imposed on you. I hope and pray that you can shake that idiocy from your heart and mind and focus on the true nature of Jesus. I've been hurt by the church on a number of occasions and I am convinced that these kinds of responses from the church grieves the Trinity. My prayer will be that you can move away from the hurt, embrace others who sadly, share your story. Once again the power of pornography destroys another family. Join me in fighting this insidious 'drug.' #fightthenewdrug

Also, I find it ridiculous that Jordan has been allowed to be back at the church while you have been vilified. Sure, an apology has been issued…too late and the damage is done. Gender bias smacks loudly here.

Bless you, Karen.

jere

Anonymous said...

WWJD: I believe that Jesus would overturn the tables at TVC. And not metaphorically.

You're correct: all of this only brings down the church. Because sometimes, the church needs bringing down. When we revere a church over our actual relationship with God and other believers, the church needs bringing down. When a church is more concerned with its power remaining intact, cash flow, and reputation than truth, justice, and love as Jesus taught it, it needs bringing down.

How dare they do all of this in Jesus's name. How DARE they. I can't judge them (that's God's job, not mine), but I will certainly avoid them and their teachings.

edavidomf said...

As Bill Gothard taught us, "It's not adequate to say, 'I'm sorry that you were hurt.' You must say, 'I've come to realize that I was wrong and I want to ask, Will you forgive me?'" The church's apology falls far short of confession and repentance.

edavidomf said...

As Bill Gothard taught us, "It's not adequate to say, 'I'm sorry that you were hurt.' You must say, 'I've come to realize that I was wrong and I want to ask, Will you forgive me?'" The church's apology falls far short of biblical confession and repentance.

Anonymous said...

To WWJD,
I respectfully disagree with you on this. Karen did not seek to air dirty laundry. She only came forward after being abused over and over. Had TVC responded with true love, concern and compassion she would not have subjected herself to this public humiliation. Karen came forward to protect future victims from both the pedophilia and the covenant agreement abuse. Did you not read how TVC manipulated and deceived and mischaracterized the events throughout the 8 page email they chose to make public to 6,000? TVC took the first public swing here WWJD not Katen. When shepherds act like wolves they deserve NO protection from anyone. When the unsaved see churches blindly covering up their abuse and bullying victims, that will keep them out of church. When the unchurched see churches having a zero tolerance policy against abuse that makes outsiders have more trust in the organization not less.

WWJD think of it like a public school. Which school would you want to send your kids to? The one that masks abuse, punishes the victim and protects the abusers or the school that once they discover the abuse expresses horror, removes the offender immediately and completely, warns all the parents, invites questions and promises to implement new procedures to help ensure it doesn't happen again? Think about it? Why should it be different for a church? Lives are still at stake and causing the already saved to lose faith is worse, in my opinion, than drawing in the unsaved under false pretext.

I know these megas. The only thing that changes their behavior is criminal charges, large civil lawsuits and widespead negative publicity. Otherwise the frat boys will close their ranks and protect their own at all costs. This was not Karen's first choice. Shining a disinfecting light on filth will result in more people being drawn to Christ than suppressing the truth and hiding the Jerry Sanduskys. That is what drives people away forever, not legitimate self policing.

Anonymous said...

In my life and studies (I have a degree in Biblical Studies and am working on my Masters of Divinity) I've learned to TRY and give most people the benefit of the doubt. That being said I would LIKE to believe that Jordan genuinely wants to change himself. I would also LIKE to believe that TVC is well-meaning in its attempted "care" of Karen (or at least that the individuals she corresponded with). The problem with that is, Jordan needs to be treated like he's a threat to children not to punish him but rather to protect the children (even if he NEVER has tried/will try to initiate a sexual encounter with a child). With regards to Karen and her treatment, just because a person or group is well-meaning doesn't mean their attempts are good. I remember hearing in my childhood "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" (in this case hell being a metaphorical negative ending, not a literal hell). "Everyone sins" doesn't mean that we shrug our shoulders and don't hold people accountable for their sin because they mean well and they're part of a church.
I've also learned in my life that while people may intend well as individuals, organizations do not. An organization (let's just call it what it is a business) like the Church exists to continue existing and growing. That means that while the individuals Karen interacted with MIGHT have meant well, the decisions TVC made were in its own interests, not Karens. They need to maintain the status quo of power with the rest of the membership.

Anonymous said...

We air this kind of "dirty laundry" (which I call the news) to show the "non-believers" that we stand with the victims of abuse committed, especially when some of this abuse is committed by a church.

Laura S said...

Karen,
I want to personally thank you so very much for your bravery and your refusal to be silent in order for children to be protected. In the timeline that you provided, I was able to calculate that my own son participated in one of the organizations where Jordan worked many years ago. Two days ago, I sent an email to this organization, asking for details of Jordan's capacity at the time of his employment with them. I have not yet received a response but will press further if I do not hear from them soon.

I bluntly asked my now 16-year-old son if he has ever been a victim of abuse by anyone, and he stated that he has never been violated. I pray to our Holy God that this is true. My hope is that all the organizations involved can proactively reach out to other parents like myself, so that the parents can have these crucial conversations with their kids.

Again, Karen, I give you my heartfelt thanks for shining the light of truth. God bless you exceedingly, abundantly above all you ask or think.

Patrice said...

Karen, people have lauded your wisdom and strength, which you have in abundance, but I'll bet you are by now very very weary and achy.

I hope you will spend solid time doing something peaceful and gentle, something nourishing that you enjoy. You need it, girl.

I'm seriously praying that God will make real to you an extra amount of his love, so you can simply lie within it and remember/maintain that "all is well, all will be well, and all matter of things will be well."

Anonymous said...

Karen,

I've been through similar abuse in which a church/leader has tried to control/threaten/coerce me.I am so sorry for all that you've been through and I'm glad to know that you have people of the faith (and outside the faith) by your side. I want you to know that I and many others stand with you.

Tiffany

Serving Kids in Japan said...

Dear WWJD

How is posting this on the web for the entire world to see helping the Church? I wonder how many non-believers are seeing this and being pushed further away from giving their lives to Christ? Why wouldn't you just keep this within the community that is involved?

You mean, take care of it all "in-house"? Like the Catholic Church tried to do with its own pedophilia epidemic? We can all see how well that worked for them, and the havoc it wreaked on the lives of children. How many non-Christians respect the RCC now?

Even more recently, SGM tried to hide behind the First Amendment, saying no one had the right to interfere in its counselling policies, even if those policies are abusive or break the law. If you've read the comments on the Huff Post article on that subject, you can see how "keeping this within the community" will keep non-believers away from the church. Because they don't feel it's a safe place, and I don't blame them.

It's sounds like you're putting image and reputation above the safety of children and the public. I doubt that's something Jesus would do.

This was going to make the papers anyway. It's the nature of the world we live in, and (as Jesus said) the nature of truth. Nothing stays hidden forever. TVC could have avoided all of this by treating Karen like an adult, capable of making her own decisions, and by not harassing her. That this has blown up in the face of Chandler et al. is all their own fault.

chapmaned24 said...

There is a lot of talk about the topic of divorce and annulment, and whether either is a sin, or justified.

Jesus never said that divorce was a sin. He said that if one "puts away" without divorcing, that is the sin of adultery, and that is soley due to the fact that they are still married. So, if you "put away" your spouse, you need to divorce your spouse.

Many seem to think that "put away" is the same as "divorce". It isn't.

1 John 3:4 defines what sin is. Sin is the transgression of the law.

What does the law say about divorce?

Deuteronomy 24:1-4
When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife.

3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife;

4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

Now, for those of you who think that the word "uncleanness" in verse 1 as "fornication" or "adultery", think again. Think about that in more detail, when reading verse 2, that states that she can re-marry.

If this word, "uncleanness" was fornication or adultery, she would not be alive to remarry. The penalty for adultery is death, not re-marriage.

So, when reading verses 1-4, this is an example, using the same woman in all examples.

How many times was this woman allowed to remarry? That is translated to how many divorces? And, what is all of the reasons given as an example? One reason was simply that the husband hated her. It's just that simple, people who believe that divorce takes an act of congress...or God.

Next, do a word search for "put away", or "putting away". You will see that putting away is another way of saying "separated".

Thanks to the Catholics, we seem to have restrictions on what right Christians have in either a divorce, or a remarriage.

Karen didn't need church permission for any of this. Not even with a church covenant, because that covenant isn't worth the 5 pages of paper (about 5 cents) that it is printed on.

Not only that, I do not see "church discipline" in Matthew 18. Where do we find "stand in a corner on one leg, reciting ten hail Mary's" in Matthew 18?

I cant believe that stuff that goes on in these Calvinist leaning churches.

Ed Chapman

Anonymous said...

To begin, my heart grieves for this family that has been torn apart by Mr. Root's behavior...including for him as he has had the burden of the temptations to give in to this particular sin as well as knowing that it is wrong. As a human being, I face temptations that may be different than his, but they are there nonetheless, just as it is for us all, and I can certainly understand where he is at with this particular sin in his life. At the same time, I can understand where Ms. Hinkley is coming from, too, as I have been there is similar circumstances and she has to decide, after him lying to her repeatedly, whether his repentance was real or not and if she can live with that given the enormity of the damage that could have been done to children involved. Having said all of this, it is important for everyone who is just reading these blogs to realize that there is much more to this story than has been told, and we have only Ms. Hinkley's viewpoint being reported. We have bits and pieces of what the church has said to her, but again, what has been told to us contains evidence to back up her side of the story. Nowhere do I see anything about Mr. Root's progress since the church got involved in helping him to deal with his sinful behavior. He may truly be repentant of his behavior, but she cannot trust him because he has lied to her repeatedly about it, and therefore, has lost any trust and respect for him....understandably.

I believe that while it seems that the church is being overly controlling of this couple's life, it sounds to me like the church takes an active role in helping its families to stay together despite the problems that come into the marriage. I understand completely about Ms. Hinkley's lack of trust for her husband. Again, I went through a similar experience; however, Jesus was all about forgiving others. That is why He paid the price for our sin so that He could forgive us and come into a renewed relationship with Him. If He, being God, can forgive and Who has more right than any of us to turn His back on us can still forgive, we all need to not think more highly of ourselves and learn to forgive as well. I did that with my husband and would have stayed with him, but he felt he could not live a lie anymore. So, we divorced. If the church hadn't stepped in to help, then, they would have come under fire from some others because they didn't care enough to help....and so the drama goes.

My final thought is that it is terribly tragic that this whole thing has become known to the whole world through the internet as it sounds like Mr. Root did not actually commit any wrongdoing and we truly don't know his heart because he has not spoken up. There are those who do truly repent, and I believe that God was helping him by uncovering his sin, helping his wife to bring it to light and get the help he truly needed. This is what church is all about. I have to wonder if Ms. Hinkley truly sought to help her husband with this tremendous burden he carried and decided against help from the church to resolve the matter.

One last observation, I know I don't know all there is to know about this issue, and neither do you. Truthfully, this whole thing is none of our business; however, it has been put in the public spotlight and you have to live with everyone's opinions about it....including mine. The end.... :0)

Jack said...

Chandler owned it all this morning 110%. The elders of TVC sought forgiveness in 5 specific areas. It was genuine and deeply heartfelt. Chandler opened the door for anyone who has been wronged to come and they will work together to make it right. I was very surprised at the response by Chandler.

You need to listen to the message yourself online. It will be worth your time.

Tea Party Pete said...

Jordan Root confessed his sin to the one person he thought he could trust, his wife, Karen Hinkley. She did not treat him much like a husband with the expected compassion and forgiveness. It must have been hard to confess such a sin to anyone. Yet, while looking for that person he could share his unbelievable burden, ask forgiveness and reconcile with God. BOOM! She turned on him. Not much of a Christian and not much of a minister in Christ.

Read the entire story, she grilled him over a period of weeks until he confessed this unnatural desire which is [I agree] psychologically sick and perverted. An important rule about marriage: never under any circumstance let your spouse grill you about anything or anyone. Jordan has no excuse but Ms. Hinkley clearly has a different understanding of ministry. My 'gut' feeling is that soon after they reached their missionary assignment, maybe right after the honeymoon, she wanted out of the marriage and the relationship.

It is unclear that Jordan ever acted on his desires and molested a child. One would think and rightly so "Why take a chance?" He was removed from ministry and the authorities were notified. No more ministry for Jordan nor should he drive an ice cream truck. This will haunt him the rest of his life, thanks to "Ms. Joe Friday" Karen Hinkley. Which wasn't her role.

This has to do a lot about the role of women in ministry and their role in the church. Because you are right about male domination. we dominate the discussion within the church. And guess what, pastors hear about the sexual proclivities of their male congregants all the time, usually from their wives and other women in the church. Nothing new here. Men are kind of tired taking a 'horse-whipping' over stuff like this. Pornography in the church is a big secret but I would assume most men have viewed pornography. Women in general make a big deal out of pornography and masturbation. I am sure if Ms. Hinkley found a few Playboys around she would have been equally distraught.

We need to get beyond this as people. We can not allow someone like Ms. Hinkley destroy any person, male or female in the name of Christ. Does Pastor Matt Chandler owe anyone an apology? Not one damn bit and I just can not tolerate someone who apologizes because it is politically correct, a good public relations move or he just feels sorry for her. Kinda a wussy move if you ask me. He needed to say that we are adults, we are dealing with the rest of Jordan's life and if you ever loved him, whether you agree or disagree with the church, whether you stay married or go your separate ways, you need to support him, now.

Because, she caused so much fuss over a relatively minor character flaw that can be treated with counseling, how can any sane person allow her to continue in professional ministry. Both are victims and both need God's healing and grace. One was willing to do just that and the other kept hitting the hornet's nest with a stick.

Manfred Nissley said...

Yo, edavidomf, I guess you missed the news. Bill Gothard lost his ministry due to sexual misconduct.

chapmaned24 said...

Tea Party Pete,

You are a whack job. You are the problem with "the church". Your attitude about Christianity really needs an attitude check.

Ed Chapman

Anonymous said...

My sister and I both experienced similar treatment by pastors, elders and other born again believers in small independent, fundamental churches in Walkersville, MD when our husbands abandoned our marriages. Her husband had numerous affairs, but she was told that the affairs were her fault because she obviously wasn't adequately fulfilling her responsibilities as a wife and then when she stopped attending the church the pastor announced on a Sunday morning that she and her two young children were succumbing to sin and walking away from God because they weren't at church. Her husband divorced her, married the woman he was having the latest affair with, had a child with the woman and now attends an independent, fundamental church with some of the same people .....never having been held accountable for his actions while my sister struggled as a single mother re-entering the work world after being a stay at home, homeschooling mom for 14 yrs.

Six years later my husband packed a bag after church one Sunday.....two weeks before Christmas......told me the news of his moving out with a phone message .....all with our pastor's blessing to "scare " me into submission to attend marriage counseling with the pastor. Eight months earlier I had sought counsel from the pastor and even though he had concerns about certain activities my husband was engaged with for a while, he suggested that I just "go home and love your husband" and also suggested that I read the book "The Excellent Wife" which he said that he had recommended to many women when they were struggling in their marriages. A few weeks later he phoned me and then advised that I should not read the book because "parts of it are not appropriate ." I begged my husband and pastor for marriage counseling with a licensed counselor instead of just the pastor, but they told me that I either agree with counseling only with the pastor or there could be no counseling . I begged that another woman e involved in the counseling for support forme,but again was told the counseling could only be the three of us. Then I was told I could not come back to church until I met with one of elders; one was a veterinarian and the other was an unemployed man. When I disappeared from church after being an active member since the inception of the church a friend went to the assistant pastor and asked was happening with me. She was advised to speak to the senior pastor about the matter and told not to reach out to me.

My sister and I had our relationships with God completely rocked at the hands of other "Christians." She has not been able to stomach attending church again. I attend church, but will never join a church again nor get actively involved.

Churches are hotbeds for hurt and abuse.

Anonymous said...

Get beyond it??? Tales of the psychology abuse of church members by the leaders/elders of churches came to light years ago starting in the 1970's and 80's. It was greeted like it was in the story above, namely those who report it are the evil ones and not the abusers. What makes me ill is that this false theology of submission has become wide spread in even more churches.

This will go on and on until the day that the churches renounce this false theology and start following the teaching of Jesus Christ instead of the pronouncements of men! We need to build followers of Jesus Christ and not followers of the leaders! Instead of good PR, the church needs a genuine repentance and recommitment to the first works!

Is it any wonder many are backing away from our churches?

From a survivor

chapmaned24 said...

I just got done reading WWJD, and I was shocked that he is wondering "How is posting this on the web for the entire world to see helping the Church? I wonder how many non-believers are seeing this and being pushed further away from giving their lives to Christ? Why wouldn't you just keep this within the community that is involved?"

My response to WWJD is this:
You haven't read most of the New Testament, where Paul is addressing sins with the Corinthians, about the Corinthians. And it was meant for the whole body of Christ to read. And there is many non-believers who have read it, too.

It isn't meant to be kept hush hush.

Then I read a part of the article which states that TVC stated that "In Christ" that there is no condemnation, and therefore, Jordan shouldn't be condemned, referencing Romans 8:1.

What? Are you kidding me? They left out 1/2 of the verse, which states that it is intended NOT for those who walk in the flesh, but only for those who walk in the Spirit.

Then they think that "The Church" has authority to forgive sins? What? No one can forgive sins unless those sins are committed against them personally.

But, they, and other like minded churches reference 2 Cor 2:5-8.

Did it ever occur to anyone that Paul speaks about himself in the 3rd person? He did it in 2 Cor 12:1-4 (which actually began in chapter 11).

I tell you, that 2 Cor 2:5-8, Paul is talking about himself, and that conversation begins NOT in verse 5. Paul is asking people to forgive him. Can anyone but me see that?

Paul's previous visit to them caused them to grieve, when his intent was not for them to grieve, but to make them glad. And therefore, Paul was sorry. And that man (Paul) seeks forgiveness.

I know, I know, I know about the alternate teaching, which TVC also teaches.

If Jordan grieved the church, that is what "the church" has authority to forgive. "The Church" has no authority to forgive anything else, unless they, themselves, are his individual, personal victims.

And, if we read the remainder of Romans 8...it suggests that due to walking in the flesh, Jordan is not "In Christ", Jordan does not belong to Christ.

And, as was already noted above by someone, 1 Cor 5 states to kick Jordan out of the church...for the destruction of the flesh from Romans 8. Until he walks in the spirit, he does not belong to Jesus. He belongs to Satan, hence the word Satan in 1 Cor 5. And the one who noted this above, also notices that Calvinistic like church's will never ever ever use 1 Cor 5.

And...in regards to Matthew 18...all Catholic and Reformed church's get this wrong.

"The Church" is not the leaders...but the "assembly". In other words, the pew sitters.

Next, "The Church" is the last resort, not the first step.

There are three steps.

1. Victim to perp

If perp denies...there needs to be witnesses. If no witnesses, the church never ever ever ever gets involved. Period. Why? Because out of the mouth of 2 or 3 may every word be established.

Karen can get an annulment, divorced, every day of the week and twice on Sunday, and the church has no say in the matter.

Lastly, in regards to "put away" and "divorce", I already noted above that they are two different things.

Isaiah 50:1
Thus saith the Lord, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.

When Jesus discussed "both" topics, he gave an example of a put away wife getting married to a divorced man.

The only reason that it is adultery is due to the fact that the put away wife is still married. It's called bigamy, hence adultery.

Ed Chapman









Ed Chapman

Anonymous said...

Jordan Root confessed his sin to the one person he thought he could trust, his wife, Karen Hinkley. She did not treat him much like a husband with the expected compassion and forgiveness. It must have been hard to confess such a sin to anyone. Yet, while looking for that person he could share his unbelievable burden, ask forgiveness and reconcile with God. BOOM! She turned on him. Not much of a Christian and not much of a minister in Christ."

Oh MY WORD. You are not aware that child porn is a felony offense or what has to go into a child being viewed that way? What was she supposed to do? Keep his secret and sleep with him while he is thinking of 4 year old girls?

Please. You are a sick vile person. The internet is showing us more and more what passes for Christianity and it is vile, vulgar and sick. Jesus Christ is nothing like it.

Anonymous said...

No, people read what they want into Christianity. We honestly do not know what is in Karen's heart nor Jordan's heart. So, we don't know motive or truth. All I know is that I see this played out over and over in society and somehow the man is always at fault. Men are tired of it and they'll never say it to your face but they are pretty sure that your an ass.

Nancy Morris said...

The fallacy of church "leaders"--in name only, in this case--believing that they get a say in Karen's decision is one of many, many reasons why I am a happy atheist today. I find it baffling that there are so many women clinging--either in fear or by inertia--to religion instead of leading their lives as moral, rational adults. It is this arrogance of theists who see themselves as "in charge" that is driving young people away from religion in droves. The sooner religion and the harm it brings to society and individuals vanishes the better. Shame on all of you who blame Karen rather than Jordan.

Anonymous said...

"We honestly do not know what is in Karen's heart nor Jordan's heart. "

Yes we do! Jordan's heart wants sex with children.

Karen's heart wants nothing to do with a man that wants sex with children. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by a misogynistic southern Baptist Christian man, I love people that hate sexual abuse, there for I love Karen.


"the man is always at fault. "

Who else could be at fault? The wife who can not stomach child sexual abuse, and yes children in child porn are child sex slaves.

Or is it the four year old girls fault that Jordan Root thinks about them sexually?

"Men are tired of it and they'll never say it to your face but they are pretty sure that your an ass."

I am sure sexually abusive men will call women and little girls who hate sexual abuse ass.

I wonder if the two sicko Christian men that posted on here has little girl sex slaves in their homes, they sure don't hate child sexual abuse, but do hate women that hate child sexual abuse.

People that look at child porn do not deserve to have their bottoms kissed, they deserve to spend life in prison.

Anonymous said...

"My sister and I had our relationships with God completely rocked at the hands of other "Christians." She has not been able to stomach attending church again."

I am sorry for your pain.

I have not been to church since I was fifteen, I find most Christian men to be sexually sadistic vomits that want female slaves.

Arial Castro and Phillip Garrido remind me of Christian men. My Christian father told me when I was a young teenager, "rape is not that big of a deal."

Christian men do not hate rape, but they hate those that do hate rape, and they hate rape victims.

Anonymous said...

Jarrod, it sounds like Christianity is the perfect ideology for rapist and pedophiles. The poor little pedophile can just say Jesus forgives me and Christians everywhere start kissing his bottom, but jesus is not the sexually abused child.

Looks like many Christian men don't give a tiny damn what the sexually abused child thinks, or feels.

If your god and Jesus thinks child sexual abuse is no big deal, he can go find the man that sexually terrorized me as a little girl and kiss his southern Baptist bottom.

You are gross, this church is gross, and all the people belittling what this man did is gross.

My rapist would give you two thumbs up, and Matt Chandler two thumbs up, he would hate Karen for not kissing pedophile bottom.

I love you Karen, thank you for picking child sex slaves over selfish heartless Christian men.

Anonymous said...

"never under any circumstance let your spouse grill you about anything or anyone."
"She did not treat him much like a husband with the expected compassion and forgiveness."

Tea Part Pete people who abhor child sexual abuse can not have compassion for looking at porn of children being sexually exploited.

Child sexual abuse is unforgivable.

"She turned on him." As any one that hates child sexual abuse should.

"My 'gut' feeling is that soon after they reached their missionary assignment, maybe right after the honeymoon, she wanted out of the marriage and the relationship."

You don't know much about good women, no woman who hates child sexual abuse would stay with this vile sicko. You are so misogynistic you are trying to take the blame off the pedophile that looks at porn of little girls and put the blame on the person that was not involving children in their sex ideas.

"This will haunt him the rest of his life, thanks to "Ms. Joe Friday" Karen Hinkley. Which wasn't her role."

What was her role, to kiss pedophile @ss?

I am a survivor of childhood sexual terrorism, I remember being sexually abused for the first time at two and a half, or three. I say, hell yes it was her role, it is any bodies role that hates child sexual abuse. It should haunt him for the rest of his life, it is like you feel sorry for the sex offender and not the sexually exploited little girls.


"Men are kind of tired taking a 'horse-whipping' over stuff like this."

I was repeatedly sexually abused from age two or three by a misogynistic southern Baptist Christian man. All of you men that are tired of being criticized for being sexually abusive and selfish should start a Ariel Castro fan club. You and your men, much like my southern Baptist father think men should get away with sexually abusing children, and women should kiss your @ss while you are at it. You are beyond disgusting.




So grilling a spouse is worse then looking at porn of child sex slaves, child porn is pictures of child sex slaves?

She should let him keep sexually using little girls, promoting and condoning child porn by looking at the pictures?

You must look at child porn!

Anonymous said...

Dear Karen,

If you read this, I am a former trafficked child. The abuse began when I was four, and I did not escape until 20 years later. Over 25 years later, I have found a kind of peace and equilibrium. As someone who survived, I want to say thank you for being a voice so many of us never get to hear speaking for us. Every time someone views that material, it is rape by proxy, it sells a child into the hands of people who never see us as human. And for those of us who live to escape, there is a part of us that is always broken, always screaming, huddled in the back of our heads, weeping without end, uncomforted even decades later.

For the first time, when I read your words, the pain stopped. I can't explain how it felt to know that you didn't see us as an abstract problem, hypothetical exercises in "how do we fix them?" I felt human again for the first time in decades. Thank you. Bless you.

D.

jimmy meeks said...

how do we financially support Karen? Where can we send money to?

Tea Party Pete said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Blog bites better than the Bullet. said...

Wow. You need help. Get some quick. You are a very very sick man.

The Blog bites better than the Bullet. said...

Do you have children? Seriously? Because you don't seem to value transparency like most concerned parents would.

The Blog bites better than the Bullet. said...

I have had friends who left Christianity wrote me and privately thank me for sharing these stories on Facebook because they are sick of Christians lying (oxymoronically) about abide to cover their image. Most reasonable people respect Christians who are committed to Truth, seeing as that is consistent with who Jesus is. Anything less than honesty out of loving concern for others and even righteous anger against evil is not Christianity but dysfunction and worse than the "world". Matthew 18.

Anonymous said...

I'm completely appalled at the continuing non-apologies by TVC that seem to rain down every week now. They are vague. They are misconstrued. They are misleading.

The church had better have defined ways of dealing with child predators in their midst. What DOES a church do with an admitted sex offender (specifically child sex offender)? What about sex offenders who abused when they were under age? How does the church handle that one?

No, people's past sins should not be shouted from the mountain top. However, this is not a one time offense for Jordan. He was caught and THEN confessed. That is far different than being convicted by The Holy Spirit. In cases like his, I DO believe the church has a right to protect others and keep him away from children. He refused the recommended real medical treatment in favor of something that would be well - easier on him. That is a huge deal.

I also believe, if truly repentant, he would embrace not publicly attending TVC for a minimum of 18 months while continuing daily treatment and receiving care from one of the church pastors in his own home. My gut tells me he would not make it 18 months away from publicly attending church and would begin to hunt out other churches hoping he could find a way in one without his past coming to light. I've personally seen this happen with a convicted pedophile.

I could be wrong, but if he was allowed to attend services immediately and the church body at large were not aware for months the nature of his past sin with child sexual abuse, and he chose to attend under those circumstances, I see a sickening pattern.

God bless you Karen. I believe God is using your story to winnow out the wheat from the chaff.

Anonymous said...

The church can not allow internet bloggers (for whatever 'good' cause) to have power over it. Simply, stated whether you like it or not, TVC apologized. Since, most of you have never been involved in this process, you can mix metaphors, quote scripture, hate the church, its leaders and its pastors. Big deal. These are real life people, dealing with a real life set of problems.

TVC will continue and enough has been said about Jordan and Karen. I sincerely hope and pray they each get the help they need to go on with life. Whether Jordan is guilty of any crimes is up to a district attorney, a set of lawyers, a judge and a jury of his peers. A bunch of faceless bloggers can comment but their comments are invalid and pointless.

Anonymous said...

Dear Karen
Thank you for sharing your story even though it would have been a painful process. I want to encourage you by saying that your story has given me hope....after I heard of the church's apology to you.
I have been a victim of abuse by a church leader. I followed the process of bring this to the church leaders only to realize after years of meetings that they just did not understand the gravity of the situation. When the man in question started making concerning contact with two of our daughters we then went to an outside source to seek legal counsel. Because of this I have become an exile.
I don't begin to understand it all but your story (which is eve more serious) has reminded me that nothing is impossible for God to sort through. It has encouraged me to continue on trusting and leaning on my Heavenly Father for strength and wisdom.
May God richly bless you as you continue to serve Him

Alison said...

There are many appalling comments on this thread, perhaps the most appalling made Tea Party Pete. Something I find lacking in people's understanding of forgiveness and reconciliation is that the person who is forgiving does not have to allow the person who committed the offense back into a position where it could be committed again. She had no responsibility to attempt to reconcile a marriage to a confessed pedophile (and he's a criminal and a pedophile even if he never actually touched a child, which is still admittedly up in the air and maybe always will be). Her reconciliation with him is to be allowed to come to terms where she can again live her life without the burden of his grevious sin on her back. HE is the one who is supposed to seek reconciliation, not her, as he is the perpetrator. Also, as stated above and shown in the granted annulment, there never was a marriage here. The union was fraudulent and she is in no way called to make good on a fraudulent agreement, legally or spiritually. The lack of insight and compassion these men in leadership positions have is astounding. I was once good friends with a man who's sister was married to a man who allowed one of his friends to sexually abuse her. He "confessed" and there was some sham of church discipline, but he was belligerently unrepentant to her and to her father (who was in a ministry position) and laughed at the deception he was perpetrating. This man was allowed to resume his place in the church and she was disciplined for seeking a divorce and the entire family was (and still is) seriously damaged because of elders' actions. These kinds of things aren't Godly. Someone who is truly repentant will bend over backwards to prove this and it such dire circumstances, should absolutely be required to submit to heavy oversight.

Tea Party Pete, you and all those others who are supporting Jordan Root should be taking this scripture into serious consideration: http://biblehub.com/matthew/18-6.htm.