Former ARBCA Pastor Calls on Corrupt Leaders of ARBCA to Repent

By | September 8, 2018

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” -Winston Churchill

Jon Cochran, pastor of Portico Church, Orange, CA


Jon Cochran is proof that there were some good men in ARBCA. Unfortunately, their numbers are dwindling as 22 churches left in 2015 over the “Divine Impassibility” controversy. (Don’t ask!) Cochran and his church left in 2017 because of  the obvious corruption in ARBCA leadership as it related to receiving Thomas Chantry’s former church, Christ Reformed Baptist Church into the ARBCA Association.

More good men will undoubtedly leave after ARBCA published it’s most recent document, “ARBCA Membership Process of Christ Reformed Baptist Church Hales Corners, Wisconsin, and the Case of Thomas J. Chantry.” The report is dated September 5, 2018 and was disseminated to ARBCA churches yesterday. I will deal extensively with this report in the future, but for now let me just share with you one ridiculous quote written to apparently justify ARBCA’s inaction on the sordid Chantry trainwreck:

“We must emphasize the importance that the place and priority of competent authority and jurisdiction holds in matters such as this case. No individual or entity has authority or liberty to take any action related to such matters unless the entity (i.e. church or State) possesses appropriate jurisdiction. After the exercise of such competent authority by appropriate jurisdiction, other individuals or entities should act based on the facts, the evaluation of those facts, and the actions taken by the appropriate jurisdiction. Until then, any actions regarding an accusation either violate the authority and jurisdiction of the State or the authority and jurisdiction of the local church and tend toward interference in the judicial processes of the State, or toward gossip, slander, or schism among Christians and churches. Any investigation of an allegation, evaluation of evidence/information, and determination of guilt or innocence conducted by anyone or any entity other than the due process established by God, in the local church or by the secular government with jurisdiction, violates God’s directions for handling accusations and is itself sin. While such matters certainly draw the interest and concern of individual church members, as well as local churches, we must exercise restraint, discipline, and patience in responding to such interests and concerns. That restraint, discipline, and patience must be directed by a robust understanding of God’s provision for competent authority and appropriate jurisdiction in such matters and a submission to such authority and its processes and outcomes.”

Such divine language, such lofty thoughts, such total lack of any common sense! What’s ironic is Don Lindblad’s statement given in a deposition conducted by the State’s Attorney, Susan Eazer. (You will recall that Lindblad is one of the inner circle of corrupt ARBCA leaders. He was Chantry’s “advocate” in the 2000 ARBCA investigation, served as Chantry’s go-between in 2006 and 2009 when one of the victims Chantry sexually molested was attempting to contact Chantry, listened in on the 2006 conversation between Chantry and the victim, and was sent to Christ Reformed Baptist Church in Halls Crossings, WI to attempt to convince the church members that all was well with the imprisoned Chantry. Oh, and one other thing, Judge Astrowsky had to admonish Lindblad for being evasive on the witness stand!) Here is what Lindblad had to say:

“Well our association has gone on record as believing that the subsequent charges are not true.”

And let’s review what ARBCA said again:

“Any investigation of an allegation, evaluation of evidence/information, and determination of guilt or innocence conducted by anyone or any entity other than the due process established by God, in the local church or by the secular government with jurisdiction, violates God’s directions for handling accusations and is itself sin.”

Portico Church was one of only 2 churches that voted against the reception of CRBC Hales Corners church into the ARBCA Association at the 2016 ARBCA General Assembly. They are to be commended for doing so.

Last night Pastor Jon Cochran sent a powerful email out to all the pastors in ARBCA. He called on the corrupt leaders of the ARBCA to repent.  Not surprisingly, it appears Cochran’s email had the opposite effect on ARBCA leaders.  I am told they have drawn their knives and gone after the good pastor! Unfortunately, Pastor Cochran is not the first pastor to experience the wrath of the ARBCA leaders.  If you dare cross them they go after you.

Here is a good summary of the reasons Portico Church withdrew from ARBCA:


Below is Pastor Cochran’s letter, followed by the letter he submitted in 2017 withdrawing his church from ARBCA. My hope is that other upright pastors still in ARBCA will be emboldened to do the same.

Portico Church Letter of Resignation From ARBCA by Todd Wilhelm on Scribd

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“Such divine language, such lofty thoughts, such total lack of any common sense!”

It’s a turgid pseudo-intellectual word-salad. This is a stain they cannot outmaneuver or word-vomit away.

Who has bewitched them?

It completely misses the main issues and adds to the long history of condescension and conscience binding.

And, it’s no surprise that maneuvering has begun to buffer ARBCA from civil suits. ARBCA has been marked as harboring a pedophile, because they have harbored a criminal, and NOT because they’re being persecuted.

I grieve not only for the abused, but for the flocks who have (for decades) been afflicted in the places that should have been safe havens for their souls. Spot on, Vince Wood, when you pulled Peter in to swing his hammer at spiritual bullies.


It looks like to sealed / confidential report has been removed?


Have begun to read the Sept 5th ARBCA AC letter and appendices.

First thoughts: think long and careful before even considering to give up your rights to speak about something, or promise you won’t tell anyone why you left your church. It may be asked of you.


I was wondering if there is a list anywhere of the 22 churches that left the ARBCA in 2015 over the “Divine Impassibility” controversy. Also, am I to assume that their reasons for leaving involved a lot more than their being on the wrong side of this controversy?


Excerpt from Portico Church’s resignation from ARBCA in March 2017 (under “second concern”):

“The reception of applying churches into the association belongs to the general assembly. By determining to recommend the Hales Corners church to the general assembly for reception, but failing to, or being legally
hindered from, informing the general assembly of the issues as they were known, the [membership committee], [Administrative committee], and coordinator undermined the integrity of the process. These groups, in their desire to help, actually overreached and usurped the authority of the general assembly. Again, we do not believe that this was done with malice, but this was the totally unacceptable result.”

Regarding “overreach[ing] and usurp[ing] the authority” and “undermin[ing] the integrity of the process]:

— that appears to be what the three man informal committee did when “helping and advising” the Prescott church. If the local church is autonomous, and not under the authority of ARBCA, then one would expect the informal committee to research the matter and give recommendations to the local church, and step away, leaving the final matter in their hands.

— could also apply to withholding information about Tom Chantry’s past from the Hales Corner church so they could decide for themselves whether Tom Chantry was “above reproach” when considering him for an elder.


After reading Pastor Cochran’s clear, god-fearing reasons for withdrawing from ARBCA and call to repentance of their leaders, and then reading the quoted portion of ARBCA’s September 5th announcement, I am flabbergasted, utterly and completely astounded by their insane lack of self awareness. Are their hearts so hardened by sin that they can no longer think clearly, have they been stripped of any wisdom and integrity they once possessed? Do they hear, but do not understand; do they see, but do not perceive, as Isaiah 6:9 predicts? Are they incapable of realizing that instead of pursuing truth and justice, they have instead doubled down on their sins of “omission, commission, and false witness” as Pastor Cochran mournfully states?

After re-reading all the documents presented in this blog post, after sitting here shaking my head as I attempt to understand why in the world they would issue such a statement AT THIS TIME, all I can walk away with is the suspicion that the statement is simply a tool, a weapon of aggressive intent meant to silence and attach shame and reproach to each and every individual saint under ARBCA’s jurisdiction, in anticipated precaution of the probability that ARBCA will indeed be charged with Obstruction of Justice, or whatever charges Judge Astrowski meant by his plausibly prophetic words that if ARBCA were on trial, they would be convicted. That’s all that makes sense to me; it’s a preemptive strike to their churches, assuming they will be standing accused by the State of an intended conspiracy to hide the truth. Their issued statement isn’t about Tom Chantry at all, it’s about ARBCA itself, in all probability standing accused before the world for their unmitigated arrogance, for their belief in their supreme wisdom and authority.

As Pastor Cochran rightly sums up, may God be merciful to us all.

Vince Wood

Regarding ARBCA’s statement, the irony is distressing. In Tom Chantry’s book, Holding Communion Together, he explains how those who would eventually form ARBCA, usurped authority to investigate the actions of another church and censure them without trial. Apparently these principles only apply when someone looks into the actions of an ARBCA leader.

Secondly, this statement directly contradicts the doctrinal statement of ARBCA, The London Baptist Confession of 1689. This quote is taken from ARBCA’s website,
21-2. God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to his word, or not contained in it. So that to believe such doctrines, or obey such commands out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience; and the requiring of an implicit faith, an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience and reason also.
Nowhere does the Bible speak of “jurisdiction” nor does the Bible EVER counsel believers to give their brains over to another human. Each believers is to investigate until they are personally convinced. Consider Romans 14:5, “One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.”

In the PCA, where I serve, our constitution presents the following guiding principle, “Therefore, the rights of private judgment in all matters that respect religion are universal and inalienable.”

For all ARBCA members who are being told that “Any investigation of an allegation, evaluation of evidence/information, and determination of guilt or innocence conducted by anyone or any entity other than the due process established by God, in the local church or by the secular government with jurisdiction, violates God’s directions for handling accusations and is itself sin.” Consider the Word of God.
Acts 4:19
But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge;

1 Corinthians 7:23
“You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.”

Matthew 23:8-12
8 “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 “Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11 “But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

And to the elders of ARBCA, follow Peter’s instruction in 1 Peter 5:3 “nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.”