Matt Chandler takes indefinite leave after exchanging ‘reckless’ online messages with woman – Baptist News Global

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One of the most important voices for Reformed Theology and Church Planting Among Southern Baptists announced Aug. 28 that he was taking an indefinite leave from preaching and teaching due to what he said were inappropriate online conversations. with a woman who is not his wife.

matt chandler

Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church in the northern suburbs of Dallas and head of the international church planting network Acts 29, said he had not had a sexual or romantic relationship with the woman but that his messages frequent and “rude” direct messages exchanged on Instagram were “reckless and reckless” and “exposed something unhealthy in me”.

The news struck an unusual chord at a time when Southern Baptists and other churches are focusing on child sexual abuse and marital infidelity. What Chandler appeared to be confessing to were messages that might seem inappropriate or lead to inappropriate actions.

Chandler, 48, began his confession to the congregation saying, “I plan to be the pastor here for another 20 years, but I need to update you on some things, okay?”

He continued, “Several months ago a woman…met me here in the lobby, and she was concerned about how I was using the DM feature on Instagram to message one of his friends. At the time she mentioned it, I had no problem with it. My wife knew about it. This woman’s husband knew about it. And so I kind of pushed against that, it wasn’t OK. She said some things in that conversation, though, that were really confusing to me.

He discussed the situation with the church’s elders chairman and a fellow pastor, as well as his wife, he said.

“Although my DMing with this woman was not romantic, nor ever sexual, it was unsupervised and it was reckless.”

“The charges raised some fear that even though my DMing with this woman was not romantic, nor ever sexual, it was unsupervised and it was reckless,” Chandler told the congregation. “And the way it played out was in a kind of frequency and familiarity which is unwise for someone in my position.

“The volume of the exchanges and the familiarity, which took place in a kind of rude and stupid joke, are simply not acceptable for someone who has been placed in the position in which God has placed me. And so the elders worked on it and decided – and I think they’re right – that my failure to see this for what it was exposed something wrong, something unhealthy, in me,” a- he declared.

For this reason, he and the elders agreed that he would take an indefinite leave from preaching and teaching. He did not indicate that he was taking time off from his duties as a church pastor or from administrative duties.

He called leave both “disciplinary” and “developmental” preaching and teaching.

Chandler said he was “embarrassed” and felt “foolish and stupid”.

He failed, he said, to model for other men “the kind of men we should be, the kind of leaders we should be, the kind of Christians we should be”.

He failed, he said, to model for other men “the kind of men we should be, the kind of leaders we should be, the kind of Christians we should be”.

He asked the church for forgiveness and was greeted with applause. “We cannot be a church where anyone is above the scriptures and above the high calling in Jesus Christ. The word of God holds me to a certain level. And I fell short.

The village church and Chandler stand at the epicenter of a conservative Calvinist movement that spans from Southern Baptists to the wider evangelical and non-denominational world. This movement, embodied by the Acts 29 network, espouses a strict complementary theology that says God created men and women for distinctly different roles in church and in the home. The movement combines biblical inerrancy with Reformed theology and complementarianism.

What is known today as The Village Church began in 1978 as the First Baptist Church of Highland Village. At the time, Highland Village was a small suburb of a suburb at the northern end of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The Little Southern Baptist Church called Chandler, 28, as pastor in 2002 and changed its name.

Explosive growth occurred in the years that followed, and the church expanded to multiple campuses. Later he changed his philosophy and turned the other campuses into independent congregations. The church today not only ranks among the 100 largest churches in America, yet among the fastest growing churches in America.

In 2019, the Village Church has been for follow-up for $1 million by a woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by a church minister and counselor in 2012 when she was 11 years old. On August 27, 2020, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office fired the criminal charges against the former employee, saying the woman “cannot and has not positively identified (the man) as the person who committed (the) offence.” The church reported that it reached a “resolution” with the woman, but her family later denounced the church for not doing enough.

In 2015, The Village Church made headlines for exercising church discipline on a woman who left her husband without permission after learning he was a paedophile. The church later apologized to the woman.

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