I watched a really interesting interview with Matt Chandler and John Piper from 2009. Matt Chandler from Village Church in Flower Mound, TX (SBC affiliated)- his church is in trouble for sexual abuse of a minor and how he carries out church discipline – namely regarding women leaving their abusive husbands (but that is not all)- this is another well-known abusive pastor in TX and I share b/c it is important to know this. John Piper is with Desiring God and tweets all kinds of abusive misogynist BS all the time. Both pastors are Calvinist- this is worth noting.
What I find fascinating before he gets to how unapologetically complementarian he is- is how his journey got to where he is. I think this needs to be made known.
First of all, his mother is the Baptist who married what Matt labels a “pagan” father. His father was in the military and angry at God. He also abused his family. This grabs my attention immediately. I think this is most likely a common theme with abusive pastors, but I am speculating. St. Augustine had an abusive father too. Weird how they tend to shun women as they crave their father’s love. Matt mentions he wanted his dad to love him. He also was not interested in his faith b/c by his mom staying with his dad – he felt faith kept him in an abusive home.
This right here I want to highlight how damaging it is for women to stay in abusive relationships. It hurts themselves and their children. But it was ingrained in her to stay b/c of false teachings based on a bad understanding of scripture, and so many women stay. St. Augustine’s mom stayed too. Apparently, father converted on his deathbed- but this is nothing to praise in light of abuse. So interesting that Matt disciplines women for leaving abusive husbands now that I know this. (Terrible always, but this is what he saw too as normal).
Then Matt ends up at Hardin-Simmons University, and here is what he says–he says the school has a liberal bend (NO THEY DON’T) and he says they are smart about their liberal bend by dressing it up as questioning. Oh my gosh! He says they get the Bible wrong with their questions (and that makes them liberal)- b/c Matt knows the Bible more than anybody with certainty.
I need to back up and say he found “God” through some friend in high school proselytizing to him. And he weirdly has people surround him for answers about the Bible- in HS and in college. He wasn’t even going to study the Bible in college.
But apparently his questioning of Hardin-Simmons got him popular. He ends up at Grace Bible church leading Bible study, and doesn’t know what to preach so he starts taking Bible classes. His audience grows from 200 to 2,000 when he is a sophomore in college (not in seminary, but undergrad). This seems significant to me.
This church was also located in the center of a Baptist, Methodist and Church of Christ church (hitting all of my people now, Matt) and he starts giving his version of the Bible (with no theological training) and says “some people say”-calling out all of our churches in general – he could be talking about any of them
His position at Village church he wasn’t even seeking. He thought the fact he was Calvinist and hard-core complementarian would keep him out. He thought they were too showing and heading in the direction to accept women. They wanted him to apply, so he did and he didn’t even pray for it.
I am no fundamentalist – not by a long shot. But there are fundamentals to being a faith leader, and I don’t think I am out of bounds saying a minister should pray and discern their calling. Not throw their application in the mix b/c someone asks you to and now you are running a megachurch that is in a heap of trouble now, and the SBC is still having him speak at this very minute addressing sex abuse in church. He and JD Greear are addressing the facts and myths of sexual abuse. Isn’t that special?
This makes my blood boil.
You can look this interview up on YouTube. I think it is important to hear what was said, and why Village Church is who they are now. (This is not a judgment on the members of this church-but the members do need to understand this background).