Welcome to Defender’s Voice. I am Dr.Paul. Thank you for joining us today. Hope you are doing well by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Please visit us www.doctorpaul.org to learn more about this ministry. In today’s episode, let us answer this question, is Matt Chandler fooling people?
Matt Chandler has been the pastor of The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas. He came back to the pulpit this week after a 3 month leave. In August, he confessed to his church that he had engaged in an inappropriate online relationship with a woman other than his wife. He said the relationship was not romantic or sexual but was ‘unguarded and unwise’. ‘The volume of exchanges and the familiarity, which played itself out in kind of coarse and foolish joking, is just not okay for someone who has been put in the position that God has placed me in’.
When I read his words, the word that flashes in my mind is ‘obfuscation’. When you are asked tough questions, you make things unclear or confusing. We should look at this as a gray zone. Either you have sinned or you have not sinned. There is no other state.
You can see a lot of self-contradiction in his words. On one hand he says, it was not romantic or sexual. On the other hand he says, ‘it was coarse and foolish joking not appropriate for a pastor’. He was playing all these jokes to a young woman on Instagram, not to a ninety year old grandma in a nursing home. Yet, Matt Chandler says that it was not romantic or sexual. In reality, what Matt did was clearly sinful. He was bending backwards to avoid the word ‘sin’. He was sending tons of messages to this married woman. Such relationships never end with just texting. Soon they would exchange photos, they plan meetings and more scandalous things follow. So, Matt should not fool people with such statements – it was not romantic or sexual.
A woman confronted Matt Chandler and asked him for an explanation for why he was direct messaging her friend on Instagram. That woman was concerned about Pastor Chandler. She was concerned because she saw something very inappropriate in the exchanges between a pastor and a woman. She stopped him. Had she not stopped him, he would have prolonged that relationship.
By that time, Matt was in full speed with inappropriate jokes and empty chatter. It was potentially romantic and sexual. Yet, here is Matt not uttering the keywords – I have sinned or I have not sinned. So, Matt should say either ‘ I have sinned’ or ‘I have not sinned’. Yet that sentence is missing in his speech. That is the pandemic we are seeing in the Christian church today. No leader wants to admit that he or she sinned. No church board wants to admit that their leader sinned. They are confusing people with mumbo jumbo like ‘unguarded and unwise’.
Ravi Zachariah played the same game. When he was caught with an inappropriate online relationship, Ravi did not confess his sin. He obfuscated. He blamed the victim and said, ‘I should have been more careful’. He never said I have sinned. His pride stopped him from asking forgiveness and restoration. Matt Chandler should not fool people with words like ‘unguarded or unwise’. If he had sinned he should clearly confess it like David in the Old Testament. I sinned.
If he had not sinned, he should say. I did not sin. He should not create gray zones confusing his church members and others. Even to this day, he is not using the word ‘sin’. His pride is stopping him from saying that word. Let us hope he will get some humility and truly confess his sin to his congregation.
That is my answer to this question. Thank you.