ARBCA Leaders Have Been Lying To You Since 2000

By | August 3, 2018

The document below shows that the ARBCA has been covering-up for Tom Chantry and lying to those in the pews for a long time. It’s past time for members to demand honest answers from the corrupt leaders in the ARBCA.

 

2018-6-29 Motion in Limine Regarding Pastor Lindblad Redacted by Todd Wilhelm on Scribd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Colleen S

Did the ARBCA three man committee exonerate Tom Chantry from the allegations the parents and children made against him? If so, why is the report kept secret?

From the ARBCA announcement, General Assembly, 2017: “By the spring of 2002, the matter was closed. A sister church and an independent, certified (Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation) Christian counselor judged Mr. Chantry fit to return to normalcy. Their reports included pursuing pastoral ministry, should Mr. Chantry believe this was God’s will.”

7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, (Tit. 1:7-8 NAS)

A deacon takes money from the church offering. When he is found out he says he needed it for an emergency. He then repays the money.

Would you trust this deacon with the finances in the future? Was this man above reproach before he returned the money? Is he above reproach after he returned the money?

What does “above reproach” mean?

CRBC Member

ARBCA sent Don Lindblad and Steve Martin to our CRBC congregational meeting about Tom in Jan of 2017.

Don Lindblad was particularly slimy, condescending, and awful. Afterwards, Steve Martin was overheard saying, “This was a witch hunt.”

Not only were we never told about the ARBCA report or even a hint of anything amiss at Miller Valley before calling Tom as pastor, but ARBCA increased the division in our congregation after Tom’s arrest by refusing to show our members the report. We were told we wouldn’t be able to understand the report and needed to trust them.

We know Tom admitted to spanking the kids. Best case scenario, he is a man that mistreated children as an elder. ARBCA knew this and still allowed him to become a pastor at our church.

Paul Gordon

Afterwards, Steve Martin was overheard saying, “This was a witch hunt.”

Pretty pathetic when Donald Trump provides your defense strategy. Guess abusers and those who cover-up for them in all walks of life are reading out of the same playbook.

It makes my blood boil.

DS

CRBC member,

What is going on at CRBC now? Are you still being lied to or are the current leaders of your church being open and honest with the members? What, if anything, are they saying about ARBCA? I’m so sorry for how your congregation has been hurt!

CJ

“We were told we wouldn’t be able to understand the report and needed to trust them.”

How arrogant.

So, the first circle of ARBCA:

– performed their own investigations, as this seemed right in their eyes
– appointed men to pastor other church bodies
– dictated who would fill pulpits based on their position of Divine Impassibility

May God have mercy on us. The inner circle of ARBCA is the New Magisterium.

Marsha

Wow. Just finished reading all of these comments. It all helps me to understand why the ARBCA church we attended went a little weird. Here is a message I sent to a member at our former church:

“I know it’s hard to hear negative things about a Pastor that you hold in high regard. We had been in the church for 15 years. During those 15 years there were things that happened that bothered us but we did not ask questions because it seemed questions were not welcome. The underlying current was that we were supposed to trust our leaders and asking questions was not showing trust in our leaders. Here are a few things that bothered us over the years:

1.) When Arden left the church, the congregation was going to form a pastoral search committee. Michael nixed the idea and said he would query ARBCA for possible candidates and bring them in. He never did and before long it was apparent that he was the Pastor. There was no congregational vote or input. It was not according to the constitution, however, at that time I didn’t remember what the constitution said. It is also in violation of the 1689 confession. As we were talking, we said we didn’t even recall him being ordained. Nathaniel piped up and said Michael told him during his membership process that he had been ordained by Arden and Tom Lyon at Arden’s house. So we had a congregation who had no idea that Michael had been ordained, had no idea that he had already been made Pastor of the church and were told by Michael he would bring in candidates to preach, which he never did because he was the Pastor but no body knew it.

2.) I had been counting offering money with Judy as accountability. When Judy died, Michael came to me and said they did not need the accountability any more so they wouldn’t need me. Personally, that was a relief because I’m horrible at math. But I was bothered by the fact that Michael said they don’t need the accountability. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t trust Robert to handle the money. It’s just the idea that somehow accountability isn’t wanted by the church leadership that bothers me.

3.)Then there is the whole business meeting in an envelope joke. The business meeting is mandated by the constitution. A real business meeting allows people to ask questions during the meeting instead of telling them to ask privately. If there is nothing to hide it should not be a problem to allow questions during the meeting. Others may have the same question. The business meeting in an envelope is a convenient way to side step having the real business meeting mandated in the constitution.

4.) Then we have the Tom Chantry issue. Michael told us all to pray for Tom Chantry because he had been arrested for something from his past. So we figured it was something before he was saved. We were never told it was a crime committed during his ministry that affected other people. Then we left the church and Nathaniel told us the real reason. He had been afraid to say anything to us because he didn’t know how we would react and he was trying to figure out how to say something to Michael about it, but he knew others had been kicked out of their churches for trying to bring out the truth about Chantry. Michael had already alluded to some bloggers who thought ARBCA Pastor’s were covering for Chantry and laughed about how silly they were to Nathaniel. So once we left the church Nathaniel told us.

5.) There were some who left the church (————-and the ———- family) because they wanted to worship in a church where they could be active in ministries. They wrote letters to the church which Michael read from the pulpit. Then in his sermon he made statements that were obviously aimed at discrediting their stated reason for leaving the church. It sent a clear message that anyone leaving the church for any of those reasons would be slammed from the pulpit behind their backs.

These are just a few things that bothered us over the years, but we kept our mouths shut for fear of rocking the boat. There are a few more that I won’t get into due to time and space. “

What finally sent us packing was when one of the men lied to our son, telling him he would teach him self defense and confidence to help him get past nightmares from a sexual harassment issue on a job he had. Instead this man brainwashed him, talked him into dropping his mental health meds and turned him against us. Thankfully God made our son sick so he insisted on coming back home against this man’s wishes and once home he began to come back to his senses. We gave all the text messages to our Pastor that proved this man was a bad dude, but our Pastor & leaders protected him and blamed our son and us for misunderstanding this man’s “good motives”. When we didn’t buy it he tried to convince us to come back to church and just be quiet and act like nothing happened. That’s when we left and then we learned about all this other stuff and now we know it was good we got out. I have exMormon friends who as I told them what was happening they kept saying, “ Get out. Run! You are in a cult!”

Ciaran

Marsha, point number 5 sounds VERY familiar.

Paul Gordon

As the pastor of a church that was in ARBCA, do you have any guidance to offer those who are currently in ARBCA churches? It seems that most ARBCA churches (members and pastors) are likely completely ignorant concerning this matter (many not even knowing about Tom’s incarceration or trial, let alone all that has been revealed about the investigation in 2000).

My only guidance for anyone concerned with my opinion would be that they identify with their own local assemblies and the brothers and sisters they know and woship with week by week rather than with an extra-biblical organization whose members know so little about one another and meet together but once a year. There really shouldn’t be any ARBCA churches and I never really pastored one, only the local assembly of believers that met as the Grace Church in Pine Bush, NY.
As for inter church fellowship I would advise anyone to find local churches you can actually “Hold Communion Together With” where you are not ignorant or kept in the dark about the problems actually plaguing the fellowship of churches but can support one another in a climate of mutual transparency and trust.

Sandy Williams

I understand that in the American legal system a person is innocent until proven guilty. A person has a right to defense and a right to face his accusers. I believe that’s the best system for preventing injustice. However, for those who follow Jesus, where does the integrity modeled by the apostle Paul get put into practice? Acts 25:11–“If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die . . .” (NIV). Isn’t he saying, “If I’ve done the crime, I’ll do the time. I’ll admit it, and take the appropriate punishment.” The apostle modeled a similar integrity in 1 Corinthians 4:4–“My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me” (NIV). Wouldn’t it be a good and noble thing to do for Tom Chantry to admit his guilt (if indeed he is guilty, which he appears to be) rather than defend his innocence and hope a jury cannot get beyond a reasonable doubt? Can Tom change his plea to guilty and set a great example for other offenders?

Paul Gordon

My personal dealings with Tom during the book controversy leads me to believe he had little regard for objective truth. He is a very postmodern kind of thinker in that he believes he has a right to his own truth and little desire to be questioned or corrected about it. I would not be surprised if whatever he says on the stand transpired with those poor children he genuinely believes to be true or rather believes to be his own truth. What he might not reckon upon however is that after he tells his truth he can’t close the blog to questioning. He will be cross examined.

Headless Unicorn Guy

“I Reject YOUR Reality and Substitute My Own!”
— Mythbusters (though there it was said as a joke)

“Remember: It isn’t a lie if YOU believe it.”
— line from a “Seinfeld” episode

Hi, thanks for your contributions, Headless Unicorn Guy. I approved this comment, yet did not feel I could approve another you submitted. Feel free to e-mail me for more details.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Dee Parsons

Great comment. I want to correct one statement since so many people misunderstand the legal systems. You said “in the American legal system a person is innocent until proven guilty. ” The legal system treats the individual as *presumed innocent.* That does not mean the person is innocent. One can still be guilty of the crime. Even a verdict of *innocent* doesn’t mean the person IS innocent. OJ Simpson is a case in point. Most people believe he is guilty but in the eyes of the law he cannot be made to pay for the crime.

Sandy Williams

Point well taken. And the apostle Paul’s recognition in 1 Cor. 4:4 (and context) was that even if he believed in his own innocence that did not make him innocent. God was the ultimate judge. The coming judgment according to deeds (Romans 2:5-11) is a much neglected theme in evangelical theology and preaching.

CW

Dear Todd & Janna, I am so thankful for the work you are doing here. I know Tom Chantry. I have been blessed by his preaching. I have never seen him do anything that would make me think any of this could be possible. I also know many of the men that have been mentioned, in fact I belong to a church pastored by one of them. These are men who I have a deep love and respect for. I have never heard a word mentioned in our pulpit or among any of the people at my church about these charges against Chantry. Had it not been for people like you exposing this I would know nothing about it. I have read all the evidence I have found online and find it to be irrefutable. Some of the most powerful evidence to me is Tom Chantry’s own words and actions. You have done a great job putting this all together in one place. Not just the trial, but the blogging comments made by Chantry and the other information provided. It’s difficult and painful to imagine that someone you know and love could do such things, but the evidence seems clear.
“The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” Proverbs 18:17
So I look forward to hearing the defense but I am very doubtful at this point.
There seems to be lots of “cognitive dissonance” going on with other church members (the few who know). Some refuse to look at all the evidence because they assume it’s biased. Some are lying to themselves. I understand the anger in the comments toward the deffendent and those who have and are supporting him, but I don’t think it’s helpful. Letting the evidence speak for itself would be more effective because the information would feel more trustworthy to those on the fence.
I am praying that if these men knew and hid information that they will fear God more than men and have the great courage to confess and repent like David.

Twila Papanek

I agree with CW. I don’t know Tom Chantry, but I know some of the victims and their family. My husband and I were very active members at Miller Valley Baptist Church for 5 years and we are very close friends with one of the elders and his wife who testified on Thursday. They are a wonderful, godly couple. Tom’s behavior devastated that little church. I am praying for everyone involved, including Tom.

I too can understand the cognitive dissonance that some are having with this situation. I have been through this personally when someone close to me turned himself into police and subsequently plead guilty to child abuse in Arizona. Had he been arrested and claimed innocence I would have very much been tempted to believe him. There was nothing to indicate beforehand that this evil was happening. The news came as a complete shock and it shook my faith for a long period of time. This man was very friendly and helpful to others and was on his church’s missions board. I agree with Todd that those still holding to denial, either refusing to look at the evidence or dismissing it because they do not want to believe it, are lost within their own delusional pride, thinking themselves and others as better than we truly are. They are the willfully blind lashing out at others who are actually trying to see. I have noticed that those who are proud cannot see pride in others, while those who are the most humble see pride everywhere. This is what it is.
The bigger issue here is one that I trumpet a lot about: narcissism in the pulpit. I would recommend that everyone become familiar with this term and understand what a covert narcissist is. They put on a act, but when tested they are proven to believe that they are: 1) Entitled, deserve better than others being proud, arrogant, rude and completely unrepentant 2) They have zero empathy for others. This is hard to see because they pretend to, but again when the pressure is on and they are tested, the real personality comes out. 3) They have a lust for success and power and will work tirelessly and walk all over other people in order to get validation from other people. It is apparent that you have many such men in positions of power in your denomination. This is not unusual. This is the same disease of sin that the Pharisees had who killed Jesus out of jealousy. Every word Jesus spoke with his many “woes” apply today to narcissist church leaders wherever they might be. They are true for both the abusers and those who cover up their evil criminal activity.
The secret I have personally found to seeing this truth is doing what we are told to do, which is look in the mirror at myself and then choose not to walk away and instantly forget what I really look like. I have to choose to clothe myself with humility every single day. When this is done then we will start to see our own pride clearly and the pride of others will become very apparent. Pride is an abomination to God, and it always comes before a fall like Chantry’s.
I would also note that a sign of the end times, according to Jesus, is people judging teaching based on how much they like it personally. We were told by Jesus to judge all teaching, prophecy and doctrine by its fruit, not by how good it makes us feel. The worst doctrine is that which makes the listener feel proud, which feels very good! Much of what Jesus taught made people feel uncomfortable, angry, fearful or some other “negative” emotion. Good teaching is not what “makes our ears itch.” It is what causes us to repent and become more reliant on our own personal relationship with Jesus who died for evil people like us. We have placed our leaders up on pedestals and we think way too much of them. We need to repent for only God is good. We all need to be going through a sanctification process so we need to confess our new sins daily. just as Jesus taught us in His Prayer.

Hi Mr. Jesperson

I appreciate your comments. May I give you a tip? It helps readers if you put double-line paragraph breaks into a long comment. The more white space there is, the more likely a reader will read a body of text.

You can do this by hitting return twice (with some devices, and on Facebook, you have to hold down the shift key while hitting return).

cheers
Barb

JL

The tragedy is how little, if at all, ARBCA, has reached out to these children who have been abused in the past 18 years. They have done everything to bring Chantry back into the fold by alienating several churches and several “good men” for the sake of the doctrine of Divine Impassibility. But those who knew that Tom had beaten these children (and now we’re understanding much more about what he did) have now rallied round him. Have any of these so called “godly men” issued a phone call to the victims? Ever?

How do they rationalize a 30 year old single male pastor issuing corporal punishment without parental consent? And how then do they believe that a single 30 year old male getting away with such treatment wouldn’t go further? But here are witnesses who virtually tell the same story of the abuse they underwent at his hand.

But ARBCA doesn’t care about these poor souls that have been scarred if not ruined by the wickedness of Chantry and those who helped cover this up. I am sickened beyond belief.

JL is spot on. While the heavyweights at ARBCA were heavily emphasising the doctrine of ‘Divine Impassibility’ they were ignoring the suffering of the persecuted children and were passively and/or actively standing with Tom Chantry.

One of the common tactics of abusers and their allies is to create smokescreens and use them to divert people’s attention from the real issue– the real issue being the abuser’s evildoing and the fact that the abuser is being allowed to get away with it because so many people are backing him.

There is something deeply ironic about the doctrine of “Divine Impassibility” being used as a massive diversion to take people’s attention away from how cold and uncaring ARBCA has been to the suffering of the victims.

Paul Gordon

I don’t think it is wise to be linking the actions of Chantry 20 years ago and a legitimate discussion of Biblical Doctrine that began to take place some five years ago. This seems to be a part of ARBCA’s defense of TC. They have said that Tom is being persecuted for his stand for Classic Theism as well as the Book he co-authored with Dykstra. I do not see how these things are related at all. I do not think men like James Dolezal or Richard Barcellos are creating a smokescreen on a Doctrine they clearly believe to be important to articulate and defend. It may be a question about the way the Association went about making it a question of excluding churches just after a brief 2 year discussion. Seems to me the early church took centuries to nail down some of this stuff. It may be some were anxious to use this division as a way to get rid of some people and churches they didn’t like, but I do not believe that this is what motivated the churches who were placed in the unfortunate position of affirming these actions. It is also true that it was not the advocates of Classic Theism who began this fight. In fact they were responding to some clear attacks placed on line by the advocates of some kind of Divine Passibility.

Having said that it does remain true that the leaders in ARBCA were more concerned with helping Tom, Walt’s son out of a pickle and took little real concern for the people being abused. They did something very similar in their investigation of abuse in Lafayette, NJ where the men sent to investigate Tom’s co-aurhor’s abuse were not concerned to hear the matter fairly. They were committed to help out a friend.

It is strange but true that an Association that promoted itself as a means of protecting abused sheep from abusive Pastors have consistently done the exact opposite. Maybe that was never their real intent from the beginning.

Thanks Paul Gordon. 🙂
Just to be clear, I was not suggesting a link between the actions of Chantry 20 years ago and a legitimate discussion of Biblical Doctrine that began to take place some five years ago. All I was suggesting is that there might be link between the way ARBCA focused on Divine Impassibility in the last few years, and the way Tom Chantry’s sins have been spotlighted to the wider community (thanks Todd Willhelm!) in the last few years.

And I can see Paul that you have a more detailed understanding of the ARBCA controversy over Divine Impassibility than I have, so I respect that. My understanding has been largely based on what Ps Jeff Crippen told me, and a bit of research of my own. And I do not want to impugn James Dolezal. I admire Dolezal’s book on Divine Simplicity.

Having said all that, I still believe that there is something deeply wrong with the culture of an organization when it puts so much attention onto a doctrinal nicety, while it is simultaneously helping protect a heinous sinner who is one of their ‘buddies’.

Paul Gordon

“there is something deeply wrong with the culture of an organization when it puts so much attention onto a doctrinal nicety, while it is simultaneously helping protect a heinous sinner who is one of their ‘buddies’.”

I agree with this wholeheartedly.

Blessings

Paul Gordon

Just a personal aside in reflecting upon the real intent of Reformed Baptists to create a so called National Association of Churches. When Chantry was posting his blogs on Reformed Baptist History and later collaborated with Dykstra on what become Holding Communion Together, I felt constrained to start a blog opposing the motives of the men and the errors of their narrative. Of course the bigwigs of the Society of Mutual Defense and Admiration could not abide this public rebuke of their favorites and proceeded to put me through months of phone calls and meetings in which I was pressured to stand down. One of the arguments that I was given to motivate me was that I was ruining my opportunity to be a leader or to have a place of recognition in the gang. Seems telling to me that this is precisely what motivates a lot of folk to form formal Associations. Not to meet some need in the churches or to carry out some form of Biblical obedience or to protect the injured and oppressed. Rather it is to give these guys a platform their gifts and graces could never have garnered for themselves. Clearly many of these men are simply not happy to toil away in obscurity shepherding a flock in a local church. They are most ambitious for much greater recognition. If Chantry had simply toiled away in a Wisconsin for the good of a local church no one would have even known that he was there. But he had to be a name, a blogger, an author, a big wig in ARBCA. Well his ambition led to his and ARBCA now having to face up to the crimes of 20 years ago. Yes indeed your sins will ultimately find you out.

DS

Paul Gordon, thank you for your posts. They have all been very educational. It is very good to hear from someone who was the pastor of an ARBCA church. I am very sorry for how you were treated.

I would like to respectively address one thing in your post:

“If Chantry had simply toiled away in a Wisconsin for the good of a local church no one would have even known that he was there. But he had to be a name, a blogger, an author, a big wig in ARBCA. Well his ambition led to his and ARBCA now having to face up to the crimes of 20 years ago. Yes indeed your sins will ultimately find you out.”

While I do not disagree with you regarding the allure of notoriety for many, what led to Tom Chantry’s fall was the children he abused finding their voices as adults. The young man who came forward in 2015 did not do so because he knew of Tom Chantry’s success. The investigation has been reported to have begun when Victim 1 reported what happened to a member of the clergy who took his responsibilities seriously. The council for the defense stated that the second prong of his defense is convince the jury that MVBC started the ball rolling due to their dislike of Tom Chantry, but unless I have missed something that has not been what we have seen in court to date.

Paul Gordon

Your point is well taken. I was reflecting the mind set of the parents, children and leaders at Miller Valley who were assured by the ARBCA men that this man would not be placed in a position of Pastoral leadership to prey upon other children. Of course once victim one told the story of what occurred an arrest and trial was necessary. But I do believe there was more to the story than finding one’s voice for some of the others. The fact that they were lied to and that Tom was restored to the ministry has entered into their resolve to testify.

Paul Gordon

Just one additional thought about my perception of Tom’s getting something of a comeuppance as the result of his desire for a high profile. That has to do with the way he used his second chance at ministry which was not to edify and advance the gospel but rather to tear down and destroy the reputations of others. Knowing full well what an investigation of his own history would reveal he made common cause with another abuser of another church to write and expose of abuse among churches he knew nothing about and who did nothing remotely comparable to his own crimes. I believe that it was through these victims who found their voices that God is speaking at many levels.

DS

Paul, thank you for clarifying. Knowing that he was back in a place of pastoral leadership would embolden me if I had been a victim.

As the pastor of a church that was in ARBCA, do you have any guidance to offer those who are currently in ARBCA churches? It seems that most ARBCA churches (members and pastors) are likely completely ignorant concerning this matter (many not even knowing about Tom’s incarceration or trial, let alone all that has been revealed about the investigation in 2000).

Ralph Jesperson

What you are describing is narcissism to a tee. See my comment elsewhere on this page. The Devil is a narcissist and those Pharisees Jesus called “Sons of the Devil” were very narcissistic too.

Dee Parsons

Todd
Thank you for posting this. Well done.

KR

Why are those documents as yet inadmissible?

Not being a lawyer or understanding about what makes evidence admissable or inadmissable, I fair bit of this is above my head.

But it’s clear to me that Don Lindblad has muffed it badly. He contradicted himself multiple times.

And that makes it clear he is not qualified to be a pastor.

I’m wondering whether R Scott Clark is following this. I think he thinks that men like Lindblad are good guys.

Paul Gordon

I don’t know about Scott Clark but the ARBCA Seminary called IRBS (Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies) was housed at Westminster West. I think the perception of the ARBCA leaders as good guys would stem from a common attitude towards Church Confessions of Faith. Sadly in much of the Reformed Community the appellation of “good guy” seems to be obtained less by one’s character or the fruit of one’s ministry than by doctrinal commitments. “You shall know them by their theology” seems to be the distinguishing mark of a “Good guy”.

Ciaran

Paul, I have found this to be spot on. It’s been awhile since I’ve been “in” an ARBCA church, but from what I understand, the recent fracturing of the association was presented through a “doctrinal” lens, but in reality was much more closely related to all this nefarious Chantry business and how the association handled it. In addition, when we left the church, we wrote our “leaving letter” through similar doctrinal lenses (and all the others who also left felt the same need), when in reality, it was much more about our intuition of an acute sense of deep wrongness. A sense of a foul “Miasma” (see Dreher’s recent post https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/trust-and-mistrust-sex-abuse/), if you will.

We were all tombs and theology was the white paint we covered ourselves with.

Wow, what an insightful observation.

We were all tombs and theology was the white paint we covered ourselves with.

Can I borrow this line if I cite you? Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Ciaran

Janna, absolutely. Words are wind, and free for all. 😉

Thanks.

Words are wind, and free for all. 😉

You must be lucky enough not to know any copyright lawyers. 😉

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Ciaran

Janna,

touche.

Paul Gordon

One really can’t be certain about the true reasons for the impassibility kerfuffle. Many honestly believe the doctrines of Classical Theism should be vigorously contended for. But just why the issues had to be fully resolved in just a couple of years and why exclusion from membership was thought the proper remedy is hard to say. The leaders operate with such a high degree of secrecy that unless Dykstra or someone like him gets disaffected and decides to write a book, we will likely never know. As for white washed sepulchres, I personally would reserve such criticisms to the good old boy network of leaders who employ such secrecy to carry out their nefarious work without the knowledge of anyone not a “trusted” member of the inner circle. That is the twelve apostles and their friends.

Ciaran

Paul,

you said,

“As for white washed sepulchres, I personally would reserve such criticisms to the good old boy network of leaders who employ such secrecy to carry out their nefarious work without the knowledge of anyone not a “trusted” member of the inner circle. ”

Fair enough. The point of disconnect, for me, when I realized that something was wrong, was when I realized that I was spiritually (at least) akin to the Pharisees, and it was that realization that led me away from ARBCA and into the “wilderness”. And while I absolutely blame bad leaders for bad leadership (or, as you eloquently said, “nefarious work”), those men cannot survive without members who prop them up. I don’t blame myself for the existence of spiritual abusers, but I sure as hell (and heaven, I suppose) blame myself for putting up with their BS for as long as I did.

“One really can’t be certain about the true reasons for the impassibility kerfuffle. Many honestly believe the doctrines of Classical Theism should be vigorously contended for. But just why the issues had to be fully resolved in just a couple of years and why exclusion from membership was thought the proper remedy is hard to say.”

True ^

My previous comment was inferring that I know the inner circle used “Divine Impassibility” as a smokescreen to divert attention from the Tom Chantry thing. I do not know that for sure. But it certainly seems weird that both things were occurring around the same time. Todd was writing on this blog about Tom Chantry being arrested. And ARBCA was wrestling over Divine Impassiblity and making it a point of schism: churches that didn’t agree with it were told they had to leave ARBCA.

And by the way, I uphold the doctrines of classical theism.

“We were all tombs and theology was the white paint we covered ourselves with” is a gem!
Thanks Ciaran and Paul for your comments. 🙂

JL

Did the State ever receive these documents?