The One Simple Reason The Village Church Is Wrong


The Village Church is wrong to not allow a woman to divorce ( or get annulment) after she discovered her husband is and has been a pedophile since before their marriage.

And they are wrong for one simple reason.

There is no verse in the Scriptures that says a woman or man must get permission from the elders of their church to get a divorce (or annulment) in the case of adultery.

Go ahead and look.

You done? Good.

Therefore it is not a sin to not get permission from them if the spouse is justified in doing so.

Therefore, there is no basis for church discipline based on the Scriptures. Of course, according to the church “covenant” she did break their rule.

Any church covenant that requires such permission to be granted is a binding of conscience and is in fact, sinful.

They need to apologize and let her resign her membership. But they will not.


One other thing. I keep hearing “there is more to the story.” There always is. But the critics of TVC are working off the narrative TVC has emailed to its members. If they are disciplining Karen based on a different narrative with some other sin involved, then they are being dishonest with their members. When Matt Chandler said there was more information that he was not able to release publicly, he left all who read that statement to believe it would be information that would cause the critics of TVC to reconsider their criticisms. That would have to be information that is damaging to Karen, right? What else could it be? If there is further information about Karen that would legitimize her being disciplined, shouldn’t that information be part of the information sent to members? But if there is no further information that would justify their actions, TVC needs to simply deal with the information they have made public.

11 thoughts on “The One Simple Reason The Village Church Is Wrong

  1. Dominick May 25, 2015 / 9:33 am

    g read Matt. Reminded me of a message by voddie bauchem I heard on marriage. He does not believe in any biblical basis for divorce AND YET they would address it with grace and mercy instead of condemnation.

  2. Wanda (Deb) Martin May 25, 2015 / 4:31 pm


    What an outstanding post! The Village Church is exposing it’s underbelly, and it AIN’T PRETTY!

  3. Jusy May 25, 2015 / 6:34 pm

    This church discipline thing, that which is actually authoritarianism disguised as love, is not only unbiblical but it is very deceptive. I am sure there is more to the story. That doesn’t make this control of members by leadership biblical.

  4. bjdyke May 26, 2015 / 2:12 am

    I disagree with your take on this and with a lot of the pronouncements about how village church have handled things. If you agree that having a partner that sins in any way simply lets you divorce then you are not upholding Jesus very high view of marriage. It seems to me the wife here has issues and has chosen to both forsake a marriage covenant and also break her covenant with her church. And they see stuff in her life and want to help her. But in this individualistic, narcissistic generation covenants are there to be broken not upheld.

    • mattbredmond May 26, 2015 / 5:40 am

      So in other words, you do not think there are any good reasons for marriage? Got it.

      • Dee May 26, 2015 / 4:20 pm

        Read my post tonight. US Law recognizes fraud as a reason to invalidate the marriage. TVC apparently doesn’t concern themselves with the law in this instance. See my new post later this evening.

  5. Dennis Griffith May 26, 2015 / 3:42 pm

    Wow! This is wrong on so many multiple levels.

    I believe Village Church was wrong to not grant permission. That said, as a church Elder, I recognize there there very well may be issues I am not privy to that would temper that judgment. Your rationale to the contrary is merely reductionistic.

    More concerning is your rationale. As a matter of fact, I believe your rationale is so wrong,it may be more grievous than the error of Village Church! What you write effectively undermines almost all God given biblical accountability. While your post pertains to marriage, to say the church has no accountability or oversight for marriages of church members, then there is no basis for accountability for nearly any other area of lives of church members either.

    Your caveat, “if the spouse is justified [in seeking divorce]…” is absurd. Justified – In what sense? Who determines what is justified? Clearly not the church, because according to you the church has no right to offer an opinion on such matters! Thus the justification is left to the discretion of the one seeking the divorce – who is likley either deeply wounded (as in this case) or hard hearted (as in many other cases). Either way, it isunwise to assume that the individual is in an emotional condition to confidently act wisely.

    Again, I differ with Village Church on this. But there are other ways to express the difference without tossing out biblical church discipline. One way is to be part of denomiation in which, if a church errs, there is a basis of appeal by the one who seems to have been wronged. In my church tradition, this judment would be overturned, unless there is actually other information that those who are tasked to evaluate have at their disposal.

    I fear your post, which seems to have gone viral, will be adopted by many who are seeking divorce, and who will now bypass the godly counsel – and even necessary correction – that the Elders of a church are charged to provide. Following your counsel, divorce just got one step easier. If you feel justified, then…

    Please reconsider your counsel.

  6. Tim May 26, 2015 / 4:04 pm

    Their insistence on having members sign a covenant not supported by the Bible in the first place is where they started going wrong. Their continued insistence that members abide by that covenant compounds their doctrinal error. Bad doctrine hurts people, as we see in this case.

  7. Mike Sloan May 28, 2015 / 1:18 pm

    Dennis et al.

    If a church uses a membership covenant, isn’t it simply a way to make a clear and concise statement of what the church believes the Bible requires of Christians in a particular church? Suspending judgment for the moment on their merit (this seems like more of a Baptist thing), if this is correct, then if TVC is using the covenant to go beyond the Bible and use it as a tool to discipline her for something that is outside or contra the Bible this is where they are way out of line in the use of their authority. Pushing back when biblical authority is abused never undermines proper authority but upholds it. It recognizes that all authority belongs to Jesus (Mt. 28:18) and so any power we hold is only derived. If we depart from proper authority we must be called out because real people get hurt.

  8. fiveonly June 29, 2015 / 12:42 pm

    Thank you for calling this domineering act what it is: sin. Sadly, we seem to be seeing the Driscoll/Mars Hill scenario repeating itself here. First, the young, charismatic preacher is called to be a pastor, the groupies flock to man, the church becomes the latest mega-church with multiple campuses piping in “flat Matt” for the Sunday sermon, the man changes the church government to elders & “super elders” that rule over the elders, the man starts saying extreme, hateful things from the pulpit which get posted on social media, the hateful speech is forcibly removed by the “mega-church”, clear abuses against the congregation start coming to light, the “celeb preachers” & de-facto “celeb-preacher guru” of the young restless and reformed offers no rebuke, etc. etc. etc.

    Very sad

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