Wife of Village Church pedophile speaks out about her abuse

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Photo via Watch Keep

Photo via Watch Keep

Many questions are mushrooming up over why a megachurch would protect a confessed pedophile while disciplining the man’s wife.

The wife of a confessed child porn user working for Matt Chandler’s Village Church has responded to the way she has been treated by the church, You’ll recall last week, Matt Chandler, lead pastor of The Village Church (TVC) in Dallas, apologized for mishandling a situation involving a woman whose husband – Jordan Root, a missionary and a leader – confessed a 10-year-pattern of viewing child pornography.  The woman’s name is Karen Hinkley, and she was berated publicly in a letter that went out to more than 6,000 members. Ouch. What did she do to deserve this treatment?  She sought help from the one place she thought she could turn: To her church.  She also got her marriage annulled. But perhaps her biggest “crime” was speaking up and bravely sharing her story.

Here is Karen’s response to what can only be called as abuse by Chandler’s church:

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

Below is the letter Chandler’s church sent to 6,000 members. TVC’s portion is in italics, while Karen’s portion is in bold:

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.

Read the entire letter and responses at Watchkeep Blogspot.

 

2 Responses to Wife of Village Church pedophile speaks out about her abuse

  1. Darrel June 5, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

    The horror of what Jordan Root has done is now festering in the bowels of TVC, in the minds and hearts of those seeking to whisk it away (Matt Chandler and company) as they seek to infect the rest of the Body of Christ with the poison of “forgive and forget” all without God’s demand being met-real repentance. If we were to get strictly Biblical in our response we should demand that 1 Cor. 5:1-8 be followed to the letter by the “church” (that would be TVC) coming together to deliver Jordan Root to satan for the destruction of his flesh so that his spirit may be saved in the Day of Christ (all this supposes that JR is actually saved in the first place, and there is little evidence of that). As for their despicable treatment of his former wife under the guise of her breaking the “Covenant Agreement” I say good for her! There is no such thing as a “covenant agreement” in Scripture and it’s very wording and structure are there solely for the imagined leverage it provides against unsuspecting and (purposely) misinformed church member. It is a wicked device not unlike what Jesus said that He hated: the deeds of the Nicolaitans in Revelation. It is no more than a club to demand adherence to the ungodly dictates of the church’s leaders, no matter that they can easily be proven wrong, the signer must OBEY his new masters (pastors and elders) or face excommunication. Yes, it is that real and that insidious.

    Instead of demanding that Root confess and turn over all of his child porn along with names of his victims to the police what we now see is damage control the likes of which remind me of the Clintons (in the 90’s and now). The worst part of all is the fact that the world now sees Jesus Christ as an enabler of sins of the most heinous variety, pedophilia and trying to lie your way out of the due consequences for your actions. This is exactly what TVC and MC are doing in their efforts to come across as being caught in the crossfire, except they are the ones doing all the shooting. TVC & MC have insulted the Name of the Lord Jesus by their actions and their silence and those who will not call for an immediate reversal of this are complicit in their sins with them.

  2. lyn June 5, 2015 at 8:46 pm #

    How sad is it that most ‘churches’ lessen the severity of horrendous sins within their walls! How tragic they dare label themselves as a ‘church’. Is it any wonder many of the sheep are leaving these brick and mortar establishments in droves?

    Excellent comment Darrel.

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