Mega-church pastor apologizes for “mishandling” spouse of child porn addict, raises questions for faith community

After a public uproar questioning The Village Church’s handling of a situation that involved the worst sort of sexual perversion by a TVC missionary, Jordan Root, lead pastor and president of Acts 29, Matt Chandler, apologized from the pulpit for the elder’s “exuding domineering behavior” over Root’s wife, Karen.  This is a tragic story with lots of twists and turns.  What we learn from this piece is that Matt Chandler felt that he needed to publicly repent for the way the situation was handled but we’re not told if child molester Jordan Root, the man who sinned against a holy God, has publicly repented. What we are told is that he’s in “intensive counseling.”

Christian Examiner reports the story:

Matt Chandler

Matt Chandler, lead pastor of The Village Church in Dallas, apologized last week for mishandling of a situation involving a member whose missionary spouse confessed a 10-year-pattern of viewing child pornography.

Stirred by the controversy, some in the faith community are questioning whether today’s churches are equipped to handle abuse, provide appropriate correction to members, and to adequately counsel victims.

Chandler is the president of Acts 29, a network of church-planting churches which hold to The Lausanne Covenant Statement of Faith.

Thorough Upheaval

Until this year, the 10,000-member mega-church sponsored the Jordan and Karen Root (who has now returned to her former name, Karen Hinkley) as missionaries through Serving in Mission (SIM) in East Asia.

After Hinkley learned Root spent nearly 10 years viewing child pornography she alerted SIM.

An investigation followed by his admission of guilt led to Root’s termination with the missionary organization.

Root’s termination required the pair to leave the mission field. Upon their return to the United States, Hinkley filed for an annulment for her marriage which she was later granted by a Texas court.

During the time after their return, Root said she submitted to TVC leadership who offered assistance within the limits of their procedures.

However, Hinkley’s pursuit of an annulment led her to face church discipline for failure to consult with the elders who wished to see the couple attempt to reconcile in accordance with its Covenant Membership policies, they said.

When Hinkley submitted a letter to formally withdraw her membership from TVC, the elders refused to accept her resignation.

On May 20, Hinkley made a public statement on Watch Keep, a blogsite dedicated to helping abuse victims, that revealed Root’s confessed used of child pornography.

“The discovery of Jordan’s pedophilia and use of child pornography was an indescribable shock and triggered a thorough upheaval of every aspect of my life,” Hinkley wrote.

Noting that she understood the personal risk she took by going pubic, Hinkley said the revelation was an attempt to alert potential victims and bring justice to any past victims and to expose the church’s handling of the issue in a way that she said was inconsistent with what she expected and what SIM had done.

“What has become even more troubling than the issues that have come to light in Jordan’s life has been the consistent refusal of the pastors and elders of The Village Church to respond in a way that takes into account the seriousness of the situation at hand,” Hinkley wrote. “Jordan’s admitted pedophilia and use of child pornography over many years is no small thing.”

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8 Responses to Mega-church pastor apologizes for “mishandling” spouse of child porn addict, raises questions for faith community

  1. Darrel June 3, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

    What apology, there’s no apology here, only an attempt to “save face” when the greatest of humility is in order. Chandler is a two-faced, manipulating, spiritually abusive hypocrite that should be shown the door by the Church at large. if there are any believers at the “Village” then they should lead the charge to dismiss this unqualified man as “pastor” and themselves get right with God for ever letting this get so far out of hand. Time to stop playing church and do the right thing.

    • Stephen June 4, 2015 at 6:29 am #

      Some people hide behind vague and emotive language, Darrel. The hypocrite Chandler you are referring to is one of them, for sure.

  2. Stephen June 4, 2015 at 6:25 am #

    The Lausanne Movement is just another ecumenical, social-gospel pushing, world-pleasing wolf, just like The Gospel Coalition. Avoid all contact. Let ’em pass.

    • Darrel June 4, 2015 at 7:39 am #

      That’s what I get for not reading the entire article first! I had read MC’s “apology” elsewhere and knew what he said and didn’t say, the thing I did not know was the connection to the Lausanne heresy which explains a lot about acts 29 and MC. Lausanne is indeed to be avoided along with their “Perspectives” program, an insidious and deceitful indoctrination program. On the surface all is well, but with a little study the roots are exposed–roots of the social gospel and dominionism.

  3. Lyn June 5, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

    There is a huge difference between an apology and true biblical repentance. The previous comments all make excellent valid points. This is just another story of a worldly church disguising itself as ‘Christian’. It is time to separate from these worldly establishments and stop being yoked with that which is profane.

  4. PeggyTovell8 June 6, 2015 at 2:51 am #

    whoah this weblog is magnificent i like reading your articles. Keep up the good work! You understand, lots of persons are looking round for this info, you can help them greatly.

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