Megachurch Is Sued for More Than $1 Million in Child Sexual Abuse Case
The case against the Village Church â which is based in Flower Mound, Tex., outside Dallas, and is led by Matt Chandler â is perhaps the most high-profile current lawsuit alleging child sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention. It comes as the largest Protestant denomination in the United States has vowed to address widespread sexual abuse in its congregations.
The suit alleges that the church was âwillfully negligentâ in its failure to protect a child in its care from being sexually assaulted. It also says the church is liable for the actions of the pastor, who was removed from the staff last year. The woman is seeking damages after she says the abuse caused emotional distress, including an ongoing struggle with depression.
âNo one has ever apologized to her, âHey we are so sorry we failed to protect you.â That is what has stuck with me this entire time,â said Christi Bragg, the young...
One case involving village church. A church supported missionary was found guilty of possession of child porngraphy. His wife filed divorce against her husband. The village church has a covenant agreement that church members are not permitted to divorce. She was brought before the village church elders and questioned vigorously as to her responsibility to her now imprisoned child s-x offender husband. She requested she be allowed to relinquish her membership from the village church. They basically shamed her for wanting to divorce and put her through a cult like trial. She ended up suing the village church for emotional distress, defamation, etc.
Re Chandler's defensive remarks, one more thought. One often hears "We're all sinners" or "We all make mistakes" as a reply to reproof. This is a worthless, evasive truism, too often repeated by people feigning humility, including pastors, unfortunately. Repentance must be specific. "I did [or didn't do] such-and-such; it was a sin, please forgive me." is more convincing.
1) I can't say how legally culpable the leadership is, but some of Chandler's remarks sound like callous excuses; 2) Don't let your kids out of your sight at church; these days, with exploding Internet porn and perversion almost universal, coupled with the tendency of Christians to trust everybody, the risk of exposing children to pederasts is too great. There may even be perverts among the kids themselves! We heard of one such before. 3) Youth ministries aren't even Biblical. Christ didn't create His Church so people could have "fun." Truth and Eternity are at stake.
With Joshua Harris , Mark Driscoll , Tullian Tchividjian, and other members of TGC, and its formation of tgc based churches nationwide, it probably is the best thing for these churches and leaders to be picked off and shut down. The elder led polity in non Presbyterian churches are often run by a controlling group of men and women who have a stranglehold of its finances and its members. Submission with very little love or grace.
The youth minister was fired and indicated. Willful negligence is a systematic process that is provable. Child molesters uses their titles, their ability to fly under the radar. The problem with the village church is that they allowed elders to control a lot of the goingâs on and were either too protective of Mr. Chandler or too protective of the village church. That is a problem that already has been proven with the manner they have treated former church members.