“Lies are like cockroaches. For every one you discover, there are many more that are hidden.” ― Gary Hopkins.
The SBC Convention is in process. I will be reporting the inevitable fights. Today, Jack Graham of Prestonwood endorsed Tom Ascol. These two guys are like night and day when it comes to theology. However, grasping for power makes strange bedfellows.
Johnny Hunt’s Victim Ain’t Backing Down, and Neither is He.
Robert Downen from the Houston Chronicle continues to expose the mess in the SBC. He wrote an: Explosive report alleged sex abuse by SBC leader Johnny Hunt. His accuser still waits for justice.
This gets messier and messier as his victim seeks justice after being played by Hunt and his “biblical counselor.” Let me speak bluntly about this incident. Hunt has not had any other abuse allegations lodged against him. After reading the first account of what the victim reported in that hotel room, it impressed me that he appeared to know what he was doing.He didn’t seem awkward in the least Johnny Hunt Who Allegedly Molested a Pastor’s Wife and Who Prayed at the Opening of Ravi Zacharia’s Massage Parlor Is Losing His Chair at Southeastern Seminary.
I believe he may have done this before. He is a much-admired (probably even now) leader in the SBC, and people might not expect such behavior from him. In other words, he could take them by surprise. Victims tend to freeze in such instances as they cannot process how this could be happening. Oddly, Johnny Hunt didn’t freeze at all. He seemed prestty comfortable with what he was doing.
In the linked article, you can read Robert Downen’s report’s complete account of the molestation.
I guess he could be experiencing some form of dementia, a disability that should be considered. If that is ruled out, then, as far as I’m concerned, Johnny Hunt is a predator and acted like one.
Let’s get back to Downen’s recent post. He makes some further points about this issue.
- She saw him as a father figure.
- She remained quiet in the months after, still confused and intimidated by warnings that coming forward would harm Southern Baptist churches, she said.
- The counselor focused on the woman’s mental health and what he said were marital issues, which they said made them internalize that they were to blame for Hunt’s behavior.
- It took more than a decade — and extensive expert therapy — for the couple to begin to articulate what occurred.
- (The victim) “I didn’t have any proper language or labels,”
- (The victim)“I was living with false blame and guilt.”
- Sixty-plus pages of documents she and her husband provided shed light on Hunt’s desire to suppress the incident,
- (Hunt) He did not respond to repeated requests for comment for this story
- The couple spoke to the Chronicle on condition of anonymity in hopes that their story could educate others about the manipulation and abuse tactics that they say were so effective on them.
- They said they wanted to guard against potential retaliation while still drawing attention to the parts of their story that Guidepost could not publish because the firm was limited to the actions of the executive committee, which Hunt left around the time of the alleged assault.
- Like so many abuse survivors, they say the trauma of physical violation has paled in comparison to being ignored, silenced, or vilified by those they once thought were shepherds.
- The woman’s mental health declined to the point of having suicidal ideation,
- The husband said he felt like he had to choose between his marriage and ministry. There were only three possible outcomes, he wrote: “Physical suicide. Emotional suicide — by staying together in ministry. Ministerial suicide.”
- The husband resigned from the ministry.
- Hunt returned to the ministry after a “sabbatical.”
- The husband called Hunt in April 2011 to “reconcile” what happened, he said. Hunt interjected by asking, “Did she say we had sex?” He then allegedly accused the husband of threatening him and then said he was sorry that the husband was having “trouble forgiving.” Hunt then offered prayers and then hung up, the husband said.
- By 2018, the husband had a new church job; he became enraged, he said, when he heard that Hunt was leaving First Baptist to take a top position at the SBC’s North American Mission Board.
- Through counseling with experts, including with the firm of renowned religious trauma scholar Diane Langberg, the couple said they came to understand what they could not quite articulate for a decade.
Hunt’s church is supposedly trying to get to the bottom of the incident and claims they want justice and “restoration” for all involved.
There is no need for “restoration” for the victim and her husband. They need justice. As for Johnny…restoration? Restoration to what, exactly? Do they want to get him back in the pulpit and schmoozing on the national stage? If so, this is despicable. Johnny should never be in a pulpit again. After proper repentance, he should be allowed to attend church and that is it. There should be no leading, no pastoring, and no fancy pants appointments to lucrative SBC committees. No one should publish his books. He needs to collect all the money he made off the church, the SBC, etc., and go away. However, he’s not the type to do so, IMO. I bet Jack Graham and Robert Jeffress would give him a shot at their pulpits
Rick Warren’s supposed successor, Andy Wood, apparently has “leadership issues. He also has a Mark Driscoll issue.
Bob Smietana of RNS wrote Saddleback Church backs Rick Warren successor despite allegations. This article also appeared in the Roys Report.
The subtitle sums it up.
Questions have been raised about the leadership style of Andy Wood, pastor of Echo Church in San Francisco, days after he was announced as Warren’s successor.
A former staffer from Echo church was talking about Wood’s leadership style on social media. So they decided to investigate with a third-party group.
“Our elders have now received a preliminary second report from The Vanderbloemen Search Group, clearing Pastor Wood from all allegations,” the church said in a letter to the congregation Sunday (June 12), which was also sent to Religion News Service.
The search company was provided video footage, emails, text records and interviews that Echo gathered in its own review of Wood’s actions. Echo had conducted its own interviews, as well, according to Saddleback’s letter. “Finally, they tried to reach out to the former staff member and have yet to receive communication back,” the church said.
This is one more church that uses the clichéd meme: One Church in Multiple Locations.
“Church mergers have become one of the most effective strategies for struggling churches to thrive again, for growing churches to amplify their reach, and for church facilities to be better utilized to advance the Gospel in a region,” according to a section of the Echo Church website.
This church looks at mergers like a marriage. Given my experience, the minute you hear the church claim this, you need to run. That church is stuck in the marriage, and you know how these churches feel about divorce.
That merger is billed as a “marriage merger” on Echo’s website, where “two growing churches realign with each other under a unified vision and new leadership.”
Whenever I see that meme, I know I’m dealing with a massive church whose lead pastor may have “control” issues. It appears that Scot McKnight shares my feelings.
Scot McKnight, co-author of “A Church Called Tov,” which advocates for building healthy church leadership, said the culture of large churches can create celebrity pastors who lead in problematic ways.
McKnight has some concerns with Wood.
McKnight said he has heard concerning things about Wood’s leadership. “Big churches attract big egos,” he said.
It appears some members of this marriage-merger had issues as well. Have you ever been to a church that demands “unswerving loyalty?”
Lance Hough, a former staff member at Echo’s Fremont campus, left the church last year citing an “unhealthy culture” in which, he alleged, Wood demanded unswerving loyalty.
…Hough said Wood was personable and friendly as a leader but dismissed out of hand any questioning of the Echo way of operating. He worried that Wood may use the goodwill created by Saddleback and Warren to impose his own approach to ministry, which Hough believes is inherently unhealthy.
Warren obviously disagrees. He believes that Wood exhibits the character qualities found in the Bible in the books of Timothy and Titus.
He cited Wood’s experience in church planting, saying he had “already built a church in a very difficult place” and had the skills to manage a complex megachurch like Saddleback, which holds services in about a dozen locations.
Wood likes Mark Driscoll. This causes me to wave a red flag. We all know Driscoll’s history of abusive leadership and his run from Seattle to Scottsdale when things got too hot. Why in the world would Wood invite him to speak?
Wood loves to merge churches. It will be interesting to see what he does with a behemoth like Saddleback. I predict that there will be mergers to come. Closely watch the Driscoll connection. If Wood likes him, Saddleback better get ready for a ride. I expect some rough days to come and to come rather quickly.