Chalk Another ARBCA Resignation Up to Tom Chantry!

By | February 7, 2019

Robert Frost (1874–1963).

The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

On January 29, 2019, Hope Reformed Baptist Church unanimously voted to resign from ARBCA. Those who have been following the case of Thomas Chantry, now convicted on two felony counts of assault of children and awaiting trials on numerous counts of sexual abuse of children, will recall that Richard Jensen, pastor of Hope Reformed Baptist Church, served on the ARBCA three-man investigative team which traveled to Miller Valley Baptist Church in Prescott, AZ in December 2000 to investigate charges made by members of the Miller Valley church against their former pastor, Tom Chantry. (Chantry resigned from the pastorate in November, 2000.)

Citing “Events that have transpired over the last few years have caused us to reelvaluate our membership in the association,” one can only assume Jensen is referring to the events surrounding Thomas Chantry’s former church in Hales Corners, WI becoming members of ARBCA, as well as the trial of Chantry in the summer of 2018.

In my opinion Jensen’s letter shows a lack of courage, but then so did his work in December 2000. As a former  homicide detective in Suffolk County, NY, Jensen surely had to know that the information he and fellow members of the ARBCA investigative team (Tedd Tripp and Mike McKnight) received concerning the brutal beatings administered to young children at the hands of Thomas Chantry was criminal child abuse and needed to be reported to Prescott Law Enforcement. None of the men did so.

Additionally, to the best of my knowledge, Jensen raised no protest when Chantry’s church applied for membership in ARBCA. While it is good to see another church resign from ARBCA, it would have been nice to see Jensen write a stronger letter of resignation. Jensen must be aware of the corrupt individuals who remain in power in ARBCA, yet he is apparently content to let them continue unopposed. There have been precious few men in ARBCA who I would consider “watchmen on the wall” -men willing to speak up, to sound the alarm. Jensen could have been one of them, but once again he chose not to be. Undoubtedly this is the reason the association is so corrupt.

 

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Darrel

With terms like “Christian perspective” being bandied about it would help to have an adequate definition thereof which is not supplied. The very term itself limits those who can legitimately lay claim to such a ‘perspective’ with the elimination of the fakes, the frauds, the pretenders to the faith who have overrun the internet and the houses of goat worship with their high sounding pronouncements, long winded dissertations filled with limited intellect and less Biblical Truth than is befitting even a novice to the faith. The only concern for some is the damage done to their goat barns by those who dare to bring these heinous deeds to light. Others seem to concentrate on the victims’ plight as if that were the end of it. But to date who has shown any concern for all this that has been done to the Name of Christ? Please point me to that ‘comment’ or post because I am having trouble finding it (could it be because there are no such concerns or words against the mockery and blaspheme of the Lord as found in the wicked actions and words of those who perpetrated these deeds in the first place—tell me it ain’t so, then show me where to find said post/comment).

Claiming to be “saved” or to be “Christian” is so easy a cave man can do it; producing the incumbent fruit is humanly impossible. So why no outcry that the Name of the Lord has been mocked and blasphemed? Without such an outcry, show me the fear of the Lord; better yet, convince Him that you do indeed fear Him for He is your final Judge. Nearly all of this ‘conversation’ about Tom Chantry, the Berry’s, the ARBCA, et al can be boiled down to a ‘he said she said’ argument with one side seeking to exonerate the accused (with obvious lies) and the other side seeking vengeance on the same ‘perps’ (more than a ‘pound of flesh’ is required) but I have yet to find any concern for the Lord Jesus Christ—where is it? “Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord, I will repay.” But who cares about Christ? Shame on us all!!!

Thank you for the thoughtful comment, Darrel. I will take it to heart. Here’s my response:

I have said many times that the behavior of child abuse enablers is an embarrassment to Christianity. You are a fairly new poster, yet this blog has been around for many years.

Thus you may not be seeing the big picture. Most perpetrators go free. Most victims never receive justice. Please consider how that makes people like Todd and I feel as the years go by.

Please also understand that those of us who directly interact with victims probably mourn more when they are slandered than do people who do not have that personal connection.

This is only human.

As for a revenge agenda, it doesn’t apply to me in this case. That is not because I am incapable of being vengeful.

Rather I don’t respect the parties you mentioned enough to consider them adversaries. I want justice for victims. I do not feel called to expend my limited time and energy worrying about perpetrators.

This blog’s focus is on caring for victims not trying to redeem perpetrators.

There are many blogs that trash victims and revere perpetrators, by contrast.

People are free to read whatever they like. However, Todd and I both get tired of being told what we should be doing and saying through this blog.

That feedback is annoying when anyone can start their own blog with their own agenda.

I’m sorry if the owner and assistant of this blog don’t meet your standards of godliness.

Please try to understand how difficult it is to manage a blog featuring so many contentious issues.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Darrel

Janna,
Thank you for posting my comment. It seems as though the point of it was missed entirely. As for the unrepentant ‘perps’ in this matter and all other similar ones I can find no love of concern for their well being. Rather, I stand with David and his words found in Psa. 139:21 & 22. If they ever repentant it will be because our Sovereign Lord gave them that repentance. The same holds true for those who would cover this whole matter under their wordy fog, exonerate the guilty, and walk away shamelessly to their “church” to tell ‘what great things their god has done’ when God did no such thing.

I fully appreciate your rightful anger toward the perps and your just concern for those who will live the rest of their lives carrying the undeserved and unwanted guilt forced upon them by these evil people who could not control their lusts for their favorite sins.

My previous comment was based on the presumption that you and Todd are indeed born again. Is such the case? Or do you speak only from a secular point of view? This is not a trick question, nor a trap to be used in a judgmental way, in fact, I do not want an answer, only that you would search your own heart before God Almighty. Is not the Lord a Jealous God? Exodus 20:5 says so. Is He not jealous for His Holy Name? If so, then why do those who claim to love and serve Him have not the same jealousy for His Name (James 4:5)? Where is the righteous anger in the heart of every Christian when the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ is mocked, dragged through the mud, and blasphemed as has been done by so many? My estimation of your spiritual condition is immaterial. I consider both of you to be saved and speak not to condemn, but to stir you up to bear fruit to His Name. Instead of praying for human justice, why not ask the Lord to vindicate His Name; to shut the mouths of these evil people (Titus 1:10 & 11) as only He can do? Don’t be sidetracked by all the frustration, refocus on Christ, and watch what He does.

Thanks, Darrel.

This blog welcomes people of all faiths and those who choose not believe in God at all.

It is not a blog exclusively for Christians. There is no religious test to pass while commenting here.

Todd and I do pray for Christ’s intervention. However, we also feel called to help victims seek earthly justice in concrete ways.

We believe that agenda is Godly and necessary.

Relying on God and actively seeking earthly justice are not mutually exclusive.

Thanks again for your thoughtful comments.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Also, Darrel, I humbly recommend being more mindful of the language you’re using if you talk to victims directly.

If someone is angry because they’ve just been raped by a pastor, admonishing them about a perceived vengeful attitude will likely cause them to hate you and Christianity.

Sadly, many victims dislike Christianity because of the way they were and often are still abused by many of the churches and church organizations that Todd writes about.

Lastly, people can repent in prison. One could argue that hitting rock bottom is often a big reason folks become introspective.

It’s easy to quote scripture in a theoretical sense. It’s far harder to use scripture in a compassionate and mindful way, regarding people who have suffered terribly at the hands of abusers who call themselves Christians.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Rae

You are spot on, Janna. Being abused by a fellow “Christian” and then having to put up with such patronizing comments from other “well meaning” believers is beyond INFURIATING. “Be a good little girl now, and don’t cause trouble. Watch your heart, to make sure you’re not bitter or vengeful.” Barf!!

Why is it that when someone is abused, the first reaction fellow Christians seem to have is, “Make sure you’re not vengeful.” Is that the first thing people say, when, for instance, some irresponsible driver crashes into you, or someone breaks into your house and robs you? I would say that the answer is a resounding NO! Why then, is that the first thing that seems to come out of people’s mouths to the victims of abuse?

Why the victim blaming when the offense committed is abuse? In the former examples of the car accident, or being robbed, people typically respond with, “Oh, how terrible, that must have been so scary; how can we help; can we bring you some meals to help; etc?” Why do people not respond that way when someone has suffered horrible abuse? Maybe it’s because we’re so uncomfortable even imagining such horrors, that we don’t say anything, or, as a result of our own fears and discomfort, we come up with the universally unhelpful words of advice, “Make sure you guard your heart so you don’t become bitter.”

I think that as a society, and particularly, as a church, we need to examine our attitudes and biases and ask ourselves, why we respond the way we do to certain situations. And I think a lot of education is required so that well meaning people understand how their words can sting so much to a victim of abuse. It’s traumatizing enough to go through the abuse, then to have to put up with whatever lame and damaging process many churches employ to “deal” with the abuser, to know that people are whispering about what happened to you, to suffer the shame and humiliation of being abused, and then the cherry on top is to be told, “Don’t be bitter!” SERIOUSLY???!!

Many commenters like to be armchair critics.

Most child abuse enablers who comment on this site equate justice with revenge and accuse victims of being bitter.

And yes, they are especially condescending toward women. I don’t mind because it shows good people why they need to steer clear of organizations like ARBCA and Sovereign Grace Ministries.

Thanks so much, Rae.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

These so-called Christians trash victims because the leaders of their churches and parachurch organizations harbor many sexual predators.

That’s what I perceive after nearly 8 years of doing advocacy work against abuse in churches.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Regarding King David, I suggest that people remember that he was only not subject to earthly justice, because he was an entitled king.

By contrast, the average murderer and rapist would have been stoned to death during Old Testament times.

Also, I believe that the story of King David’s repentance has been romanticized. He claimed to be sorry, yet never did anything to demonstrate that he really cared about taking out a murderous hit on one of his most loyal officers, so he could steal that man’s wife.

Bathsheba continued to be his favorite wife. King David made her son his heir. He does not seem to have been terribly embarrassed about murdering a woman’s husband so he could have her, in my view.

Kings have much control over how their stories are portrayed for posterity.

Certainly, Kind David has nothing to do with stopping child abuse in 2019.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

I will post any comment that is aligned with the comment policies of this blog.

That being said, you appear to
be equating seeking justice with seeking revenge, Darrel.

Obviously that attitude troubles people who advocate for victims.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Hi Darrel, I chose not to publish your last comment.

You’re writing lengthy comments that are not focused on the subjects of this blog.

Please move on.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Van Helsing

IMO this is huge and suggests that the Lord has been working on this man’s heart. God does this in his time as we all should know. It is very important to the Christian community that fallen and back slidden members repent and be restored. Yes, it is sad that he did not come forward sooner but he may have been subsumed and enveloped by the larger ARBCA cult that may have threatened him with some kind of dire retribution. I am not in the “religious business” and folks are only human (even ARBCA members) but a man does have to feed himself and his family unless he went back into law enforcement. After all, saving Walter Chantry’s reputation took precedence over everything and everybody during this sordid affair. What a God-awful shame.

Thanks for your comment, Van Helsing. I appreciate your perspective. However, I vehemently disagree with what you’ve said. Needing to make a living is not an excuse for deliberately, and possibly criminally, covering up egregious cases of child physical or sexual abuse. The fact that this man has a law enforcement background, through which he swore to uphold the law, makes his behavior especially reprehensible in my view.

Would we argue that it’s okay to cover up a murder just because someone is afraid of losing his or her job? How about kidnapping?

If this man has truly repented, then he should understand why he must not be placed in a leadership position regarding the care of children again. I also hope he apologizes to the victims he created.

That would be a true sign of faith.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Douglas R Belardi

couldn’t agree more

Thanks, I’m now pulling the plug on comments that don’t comply with the comment guidelines. However, I am happy that I didn’t do so for a while.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Van Helsing

Hi Janna,
It is sad to me that you have gotten so sucked into this mess and may have lost any Christian perspective (and any objectivity) that you have now resorted to black/white thinking in the matter. This typically happens in cases like these when good people like yourself and Todd choose to navigate in the fetid sewer waters of evil and wickedness. You begin to smell like the Chantry’s – especially Tom. Maybe it’s time to move on since your responses and those of some the less informed readers, appear to be tinged with some vindictiveness and some self-righteousness.

You have a long history of failing to have compassion for victims.

Perhaps it’s time for you to move on. Start your own blog. It’s a free country.

Todd and I don’t claim that we’re right and everyone else is wrong.

?

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Just Say No to ARBCA

You’re insane if you think it was okay to cover up this wretched mess because he needed to feed his family. Can’t quite tell if that’s what you’re saying in your comment but if so, I would say it’s you who has lost a Christian perspective. You must think “sell all that you have and follow me” only refers to material goods.

Yes, it’s also not as though this man’s family was literally starving.

This ARBCA guy just sold out sexual abuse victims to maintain a cushy lifestyle.

Van Helsing, your presence on this blog has always been a rough ride.

You may really be happier creating your own platform.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Thanks to all who submit comments that reflect decency and common sense. It means a lot to me and Todd.

Todd is the most level-headed person I know. I do my best to emulate him, yet I emotionally sometimes wonder if I’ve fallen into a parallel universe when responding to comments from people who support perpetrators of child physical and sexual abuse.

This is especially true when they imply that throwing abused kids under the bus, to protect pastors, is the Christian thing to do.

Also, I encourage most people to post anonymously. Many of the organizations that Todd writes about do have members who behave like thugs.

There’s no reason to put yourself in their ugly, desperate paths.

I only get irritated when anonymous trolls suggest that their defense of perpetrators is brave and Godly compared to Todd’s public work on behalf of victims.

My mother says that I’m not really dealing with men – just little boys who have been caught doing something really bad.

She’s right. Thanks again for the support.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Rae

Janna,

I couldn’t agree with you more. I can tell you from personal experience that dealing with corrupt, deceitful people will leave your head spinning. They turn you around in circles and make you question everything you know to be true. But, that is exactly their intent. If they can keep you off balance with their lofty sounding words and false piety, it diverts attention away from THEIR diabolical actions. It’s how they prey on the innocent.

I also agree about posting anonymously. I do so because I’ve seen and have experienced what these “men of God” are capable of. And until I feel safe enough to reveal my identity, it will remain so. My greatest solace is knowing that, no matter how many people they fool or attempt to fool, God, in His righteous judgement, sees all and will recompense all. A day of reckoning is dawning. As Scripture says, “Your sin will find you out.”

I pray for you and Todd and all the others brave enough to put yourselves on the front lines and fight the battles for all of our sake. I pray that you do not grow weary in doing what is right and good, and that you know that you represent many, many hurting folks (who cannot speak for themselves), who are counting on you guys to continue speaking out.

God bless you both. Be well and stay strong. If there’s anything more tangible I can do to help the cause, please e-mail me privately. There is simply no way to say thank you enough for all that you guys have done and continue to do.

Thank you so much, Rae!

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

The deceit and evil I can handle. It’s the rank stupidity that wears me down.
?
Thanks.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Rae

Amen! The hilarious irony is that while attempting to demean and diminish any who dare to disagree with them, the deceivers and their defenders say the dumbest stuff. It’s only because their followers have been so brainwashed, so conditioned to automatically accept every word that comes out of their leaders’ mouths, that these “leaders” can get away with passing this horse manure off as the gospel. Sad but true.

Wake up folks! Think for yourselves. Don’t be a bunch of sheeple!!!

Douglas R Belardi

May there be more
(although I do wonder what the backstory is – WHO pushed this?)