Matt Chandler’s 11,000-person megachurch has been accused of spiritual abuse after reportedly disciplining and shaming a woman who divorced her husband.
Blogger Matthew Paul Turner writes that Karen Hinkley (formerly Karen Root) divorced her husband Jordan Root after he admitted to viewing child pornography. The couple were missionaries for The Village Church and were removed from the mission field upon Root’s confession.
According to Turner, The Village Church elders granted Root grace and begged Hinkley to reconsider divorce. When she went through with the decision, she went under church discipline. Further, the church leaders declined Hinkley’s request to cancel her membership to the church; according to the church’s bylaws members that are in the discipline process are prohibited from voluntary resignation.
The Village Church elders also sent the thousands of church members an 8-page letter explaining the situation with Hinkley and defending their decision to place her in church discipline.
Hinkley now says she is suffering from spiritual abuse at the hands of The Village Church.
“The inclination towards minimization and secrecy that the pastors and elders of The Village Church have displayed is inexcusable. And the spiritual abuse I have experienced at their hands is unacceptable from those who would represent Jesus Christ. Jesus cares deeply for the vulnerable and the voiceless,” she said.
Hinkley remains in a six-month healing period before and is required to reconcile with the church before she will be allowed to return to the mission field.
Publication date: May 26, 2015