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Msg #2232 Cretian Slow Bellies What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
Msg #2231 Prevailing Froward Mouths What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
Msg #2230 Beware of the Concision What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
Msg #2229 Perilous Times, Beautiful Feet What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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The Southern Baptist congregation led by Acts 29 president Matt Chandler maintained it hadn't done anything wrong, infuriating the family of the victim.The Village Church, a large Southern Baptist church in Texas pastored by Matt Chandler, has announced it reached a settlement with a woman who had reported one of the church’s pastors sexually assaulted her when she was 11 years old.But the conflict isn’t over. The church statement said, “We maintain and firmly believe that we committed no wrong,” and noted that the woman couldn’t positively identify that it was the church employee who abused her.The woman’s family protested, saying in a statement that the church’s statement was “not fully truthful, transparent, or caring for the traumatized.” The family has left the church over the handling of the case.“The attempt to communicate care in one sentence followed by language that invalidates and dismisses the merits of the victim's claims is not the way to express care, compassion, and truth,” the family said. “And then we wonder why so many victims of trauma are leaving the church.”The settlement comes in the context of Southern Baptist churches wrestling with how to respond to a report documenting extensive abuse in the denomination.The civil lawsuit against The Village Church was filed under the name Jane Doe, but the mother, Christi Bragg, recounted the details of what happened to her daughter on the record to The New York Times in 2019. The girl reported to her mother the year before that back in 2012, a pastor at a church summer camp, Matthew Tonne, had touched her in her bed with her undergarments pulled down. The mother immediately filed a police report and reported the incident to the church. The church said it also immediately filed a police report. Tonne maintained his innocence.The ...Continue reading...
The Southern Baptist congregation led by Acts 29 president Matt Chandler maintained it hadn't done anything wrong, infuriating the family of the victim.The Village Church, a large Southern Baptist church in Texas pastored by Matt Chandler, has announced it reached a settlement with a woman who had reported one of the church’s pastors sexually assaulted her when she was 11 years old.But the conflict isn’t over. The church statement said, “We maintain and firmly believe that we committed no wrong,” and noted that the woman couldn’t positively identify that it was the church employee who abused her.The woman’s family protested, saying in a statement that the church’s statement was “not fully truthful, transparent, or caring for the traumatized.” The family has left the church over the handling of the case.“The attempt to communicate care in one sentence followed by language that invalidates and dismisses the merits of the victim's claims is not the way to express care, compassion, and truth,” the family said. “And then we wonder why so many victims of trauma are leaving the church.”The settlement comes in the context of Southern Baptist churches wrestling with how to respond to a report documenting extensive abuse in the denomination.The civil lawsuit against The Village Church was filed under the name Jane Doe, but the mother, Christi Bragg, recounted the details of what happened to her daughter on the record to The New York Times in 2019. The girl reported to her mother the year before that back in 2012, a pastor at a church summer camp, Matthew Tonne, had touched her in her bed with her undergarments pulled down. The mother immediately filed a police report and reported the incident to the church. The church said it also immediately filed a police report. Tonne maintained his innocence.The ...Continue reading...
Pay attention to the sin of passivity, especially in church leaders dealing with abused women.In a lot of undergraduate psychology programs, a legendary crime case comes up. Kitty Genovese was raped, robbed, and repeatedly stabbed outside her Queens, New York, apartment building in 1964.Although the killing was horrific, the case isn’t studied for its gruesomeness. Professors don’t generally focus on Genovese or her murderer but rather on the bystanders and neighbors who, according to reports, heard her screams for help but didn’t act to save her life.Their supposed indifference is explained by a social theory known as the “bystander effect,” which says a bystander is less likely to assist someone if they’re in a group rather than alone.In short, the response to one woman’s murder reveals the common evil of people “standing by” out of self-protection and passivity.Something similar happens in Judges chapter 19. An unnamed victim is identified by her connection to a Levite. This man, commanded to follow God’s Law, should have been her safeguard. But shockingly, he throws her into the hands of her abusers.The Old Testament is packed with narratives of seemingly obscure women like the Levite’s concubine. Some of these stories are rarely taught and largely unknown. And yet, they are part of the canon of Scripture—divinely inspired words that unfold the grand story of redemption. So what do we miss from the larger portrait when we overlook its dimmer corners?And how might these dark stories—in this case, the account of a molested woman and her indifferent priest—diagnose our own hearts amid the church abuse crisis of our day?In the Book of Judges, we find a Levite man bending God’s law by marrying a nameless ...Continue reading...
The Brooklyn congregation and its pastor A.R. Bernard hope the Jane Jacobs–inspired urban village will be a model for other cities.A. R. Bernard, pastor of the largest evangelical church in New York City, has been working on a plan for more than 10 years. Now the proposal to build a $1.2 billion urban village and revitalize the struggling neighborhood around his church is progressing through the city’s approval process and closer to reality. The Christian Cultural Center (CCC) hopes developers could break ground in Brooklyn next year.“If I’ve got land, and it’s valuable, I’m going to leverage that land to partner in its future, not surrender it. … What can we do to better the quality of life?” Bernard told CT in early August as he paged through the proposals for the urban village. “My theology is summed up in two words: human flourishing. That’s the story from Genesis to Revelation.”Bernard had just returned from an event with the New York governor in Buffalo and was planning a trip to participate in the coronation of the new Zulu king in South Africa.But back in his office without any staff or audience around, he was diving into the minutiae of land development, showing slideshows of proposals for different heights of buildings and talking about the design for “porosity” of streets and ULURP, the city ’s land use process.On 10.5 acres of church land, the proposed village would include thousands of units of affordable housing, a trade school, a supermarket, a performing arts center, 24/7 childcare for night-shift workers, senior living facilities, and other amenities designed to revitalize the East New York neighborhood.As the founder of the 30,000-member nondenominational church, Bernard is also a kind of unofficial mayor of the city’s evangelical churches. He has ...Continue reading...
Overall, more than half of church leaders have seen members suffer depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.Most pastors have seen mental illness in their pews, while some have seen it in themselves.A Lifeway Research study explores US Protestant pastors’ experiences with mental illness and how well their churches are equipped to respond to those who need help.A majority of pastors (54%) say in the churches where they have served on staff, they have known at least one church member who has been diagnosed with a severe mental illness such as clinical depression, bipolar, or schizophrenia.Most of those pastors had experience with a small number of members: 18 percent say one or two and another 18 percent say three to five. Fewer pastors say they’ve known 6-10 (8%), 11-20 (5%) or more than 20 (6%). Around a third (34%) say none of their church members have been diagnosed with a severe mental illness, while 12 percent don’t know.“There is a healthy generational shift occurring as younger and middle-aged pastors are much more likely to have encountered people in church with severe mental illness than the oldest pastors,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research.“However, it is not clear whether the presence of those with difficult mental illnesses is increasing among church members or if they have simply felt more comfortable sharing their diagnosis with younger pastors.”Pastors 65 and older (46%) and those with no college degree (52%) are more likely to say they haven’t known any church members with a severe mental illness.Twenty-six percent of US Protestant pastors say they have personally struggled with some type of mental illness, including 17 percent who say it was diagnosed and 9 percent who say they experienced it but were never diagnosed. ...Continue reading...
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