The above quote of Boz Tchividijian was made in 2013. I remember thinking at the time that Tchividijian was perhaps being overly dramatic to emphasize his point that sexual abuse in the Protestant Church was bad. After I spent some time following Tchividijian I realized he isn’t a man who is overly dramatic about anything, rather, he is a man who speaks the truth plainly and fearlessly.
Seven years later Boz Tchividijian’s words have, unfortunately, proven true. It seems that there is a new sexual abuse scandal or cover-up in the Protestant Church revealed weekly. I honestly have trouble recalling all the scandals; it’s overwhelming.
I used to wonder about the meaning of these words of Christ in the Gospel of Luke, specifically the question posed by Christ in the last sentence:
“And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
-Luke 18:7-8 NIV
I wonder no more. Clearly the wolves in the pulpits and their faithful band of loyal followers who attack anyone who dares bring a charge against the “man of Gawd” are faithless imposters. And many of the ravaged have, understandably, left the Church, disillusioned with the religious charade they have been victimized by.
This brings me to the subject of today’s blog. Yesterday I was informed that a former pastor of the Village Church who had been removed for “grievous, immoral actions” had now been found to be gainfully employed by Cedarville University. The informant rightly wondered how this pastor, who had been removed from office, would be allowed to continue in the ministry. Where are the accountability standards?
You would like to think that a few of the reported 6,000 members of the Flower Mound, South Lake, and Fort Worth campuses which comprise the Village Church would be posing the same questions, but based on my experience in the Evangelical world, those with critical thinking skills are few, fewer still are those who dare pose questions they know will draw the ire of “the man of Gawd.” Check out some of these reviews of the Village Church and you will quickly realize what I mean.
The pastor whom we are speaking about is Anthony Moore. I confess I could not recall the man or the situation.
What did we do prior to Google? A few keystrokes and .005 seconds later I had a wealth of information on the seamy situation displayed on my computer screen. I chose to examine an article written by Nate Sparks. I know Sparks and really admire his writing ability and his keen mind. I remember reading his article when it was first published, but as often happens when researching a subject, I got sidetracked! I had to read his brilliant article again. Below is a quote from the article with a link. I will understand if you click the link and get sidetracked, as I did!
“In January, 2017, Anthony Moore – who served as the campus pastor and an elder of The Village Church’s Fort Worth campus – was removed from his pastorate as a result of, in Chandler’s own words, “grievous, immoral actions against another adult member” which led The Village Church leadership to “believe he is unfit for [pastoral and elder] ministry at this time, including speaking engagements at conferences or other churches.” While the details of Moore’s actions are not known, the language used by Chandler makes it clear he was in some way abusing a person (or persons) under his pastoral care. And as you all well know, these abuses also led to Moore being removed as an associate to TGC’s council.”
Source: “Injustice Ignored: An Open Letter to the Gospel Coalition,” by Nate Sparks
Below is a video of Chandler announcing to the proletariat that Anthony Moore had been removed from ministry. The date this occurred was January 22, 2017. Below the video is a transcript.
I chose not to include the whole statement Matt Chandler read to the Village Church, but he mentioned that the elders knew people would want more information, but they would not be providing anything more. This is interesting because they did not reveal whether they had informed Law Enforcement of the situation. You may recall that in the 2015 case of Karen Hinkley and Jordan Root, the Village Church elders did inform Law Enforcement of Jordan Root’s pedophilic ways.
Admittedly, we do not know the precise details of Anthony Moore’s “grievous, immoral actions” but based on my reading of the laws in Texas, his actions may have been criminal.
Again referring to the Jordan Root/Karen Hinkley case, you may recall that the pedophile Root played the repentance game in a manner that pleased the Village Church elders. Meanwhile, Karen Hinkley determined to get an annulment of her marriage, counter to the “wise” counsel of Village Church elders. She also sent the Village Church a letter of resignation. But, true to 9Marx practices, the Village Church brought out the hammer of church discipline! Didn’t she know that she was not allowed to resign her church membership without the approval of those who have the rule over her?
It was not until the Village Church leaders realized they were likely going to be recipients of a lawsuit that they ceased their badgering ways and wrote a letter of apology to Karen Hinkley.
All this to say, I wonder what transpired in the way of church discipline to Anthony Moore? In 9Marx cases that I am familiar with, church discipline is for the lower caste; the rock-throwing peasants, not the clergy.
In the statement above there is no mention of repentance on the part of Anthony Moore. Chandler did state that “we want to make it abundantly clear that we believe he is unfit for ministry at this time, including speaking engagements at conferences or other churches.” Additionally, Chandler stated that “We believe he is in need of deep healing and strong counseling for an extended period of time.”
I take issue with the caveat that Moore is unfit for ministry “at this time.” Wrong. Moore has proven he is permanently unfit for ministry. Find yourself a job in the secular world, Dr. Moore. But, as I have found in the world these snakes inhabit, once a part of the “in” group, your colleagues will always have your back. I need only point you to C.J. Mahaney and Tom Chantry.
I would also like to know precisely what Chandler and his cronies would define as “strong counseling,” “deep healing,” and “an extended period of time.” In Chandler’s opinion were these conditions met? If so, can we see the evidence of this? If not, did he raise any protest to Moore’s next employer?
Why do I ask these questions? Because in my research of this situation it appears that Anthony Moore had left the Dallas area five weeks after Chandler’s announcement of his removal from the ministry! Further, Moore had an address in Cedarville, OH by August 1, 2017, a mere six months after Chandler read the statement. Moore moved to Cedarville because he had secured gainful employment at Cedarville University as an “Assistant Professor of Theology” as well as a “Special Advisor to the President for Kingdom Diversity.”
In 2014 Cedarville University made a concerted effort to become more conservative, not unlike what Al Mohler did when he took over as President at Southern Seminary. You can read more about this on the Wartburg Watch blog here.
Cedarville University has a mandatory chapel service Monday-Friday at 10:00 A.M. The institute appears to have become fertile grounds for indoctrinating young minds into the 9Marx brand of Christianity. They host a yearly 9Marx conference and Mark Dever’s disciples are frequent speakers at chapel services.
Every year Cedarville University publishes a web page welcoming the new faculty members. 2017-2018 was no exception. Look carefully at the screenshot of new faculty members. Do you notice any absences?
(5/7/2020 Note from the editor: When I published this story I was not aware that Anthony Moore was not originally hired as a faculty member of Cedarville University. This would explain why he was not listed on the “New Faculty” page.
This from Dr. White’s statement from 4/24/2020: “On July 24, 2017, I wrote Anthony a four-page letter laying out the five-year plan. His primary service in the beginning was as a Multicultural Recruiter at Cedarville University, working with our Admissions team, and also as a Biblical Research Fellow, working administratively with Dr. Lee in our School of Biblical and Theological Studies.”)
If you noticed that Anthony Moore is not pictured, you are a sharp observer! Does anybody other than me wonder if omitting Moore is just a coincidence? I’m sure there is a perfectly valid reason!
Or maybe not.
I would guess that when a University hires a college professor the process is more rigorous than say, hiring a new McDonald’s employee. Surely there is an interview conducted and the potential hire is questioned closely about his resume. Then references are checked and phone calls are made to former employers. Cedarville must have spoken with Matt Chandler and I would think Chandler was honest with Cedarville.
Cedarville would have found out about Anthony Moore’s removal from ministry. If not, maybe they should hire me to conduct background searches on potential employees! My guess is they knew and they hired Moore in spite of what they knew. Who would have known? Who would have made the decision to hire Moore? In my opinion, the decision to hire would have been made at the very top of the food chain – the President of the University, Dr. Thomas White. He would have the final say, although other lower-level staff would also be aware of the situation.
In my opinion, University officials did not wish to draw any undue attention to the fact that they had hired a man declared by Village Church leaders to be unfit for the ministry a mere 6 months prior. Thus, Moore was not included in the announcement of new faculty hires for the 2017-2018 academic year.
Anyone who has been around the block a time or two knows that the old saying, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is absolutely true as it relates to hiring and promotions. So who “greased the skids” for Moore? Who would have suggested to White that Anthony Moore made a serious mistake, but he was really a good guy and would be a great professor for Cedarville University? I cannot, with any degree of certainty say, but I believe it would be informative to check into who Moore associated with.
In looking at Moore’s bio in the Cedarville University catalog (see below) I want to first draw your attention to the humility of the man – he is a “highly sought-after preacher” and has “been a featured speaker at numerous conferences around the country.” If you can believe Moore, it sounds as if he was working his way up the food chain, hoping one day to become a big-time Christian celebrity.
Moore “previously served as a pastor.” Where would that have been, Dr. Moore? And for how long? Those details are omitted not because they are inconsequential, but because they could prove embarrassing. If somebody started snooping around it may even be career-threatening.
Then Moore does some name-dropping, mentioning he was a pastoral intern for Mark Dever. Now we may be getting somewhere!
I looked up past interns on the Capitol Hill Baptist Church website. As you can see, I checked 2016, when Moore was working as a pastor at the Village Church, and 2020, when Moore is working as a professor at Cedarville University. Mark Dever has done a good job of keeping his intern list updated.
In a previous post about the T4G conference, I highlighted the fact that there is an umbrella non-profit organization called “Gospel Projects” that manages T4G, Cross Conference, and The Front Porch. Mark Dever and Thabiti Anyabwile are both on the Board of Gospel Projects. T4G is the group Dever is involved in. The Front Porch is Thabiti Anyabwile’s baby.
Anyabwile used to be an assistant pastor for Mark Dever, they are close friends. It appears that, based on his promotion of Anthony Moore, Anyabwile is also friends with Moore.
Below is an audio of Anthony Moore describing how he determined his career path. It’s taken from the “Meet the Brothers” interview on The Front Porch. I found it rather odd.
Below is another segment from the same interview. Moore describes his studies and friendship with Mark Dever. The date this interview was posted is December 3, 2015. In the audio Moore stated that he finished his Doctorate a year and a half ago. That would mean he completed it in June of 2014. This fact is also stated in Professor Moore’s scholastic bio pictured earlier in this post. As noted above, Moore was also an intern at Dever’s church in the Spring of 2014.
Moore stated that his doctoral thesis was on Richard Sibbes. As mentioned in the interview, Sibbes was also the subject of Dever’s dissertation, so I would imagine that helped build their friendship.
In the interview, Moore also stated that he had been a pastor at the Village Church for one year and a few months. Therefore, shortly after he completed his Doctorate in June of 2014, Moore went to work as a pastor at the Fort Worth campus of the Village Church. If we do the math, Moore spent 4 years obtaining his undergraduate degree and ten years obtaining his Masters and Doctorate, so he was approximately 32 years old when he started working at the Village Church. I am left wondering if he had any practical ministry work prior to beginning his job at the Village Church. In my opinion, fourteen years in higher education doesn’t qualify an individual to jump into a leading role in a mega-church.
I am left to wonder what caused Matt Chandler and his colleagues to hire Anthony Moore?
Then, even more amazing, is how does one go from being fired from the ministry for grievous, immoral actions to landing a job as a professor at a Christian university several months later? This just doesn’t add up. The only explanation is Moore has influential friends in high places.
Cedarville is a very small town. There is a church in Cedarville that many students and professors from Cedarville University attend. It’s called Grace Baptist Church. It’s almost like Cedarville University students get a sixth day of Chapel!
Grace Baptist Church is not listed on the 9Marx blog as a member church, but for all intents and purposes, they are 9Marx. They have the membership contract and the church discipline “marks” down cold. As a matter of fact, the guy featured on the church discipline video for Grace Baptist Church is such an expert on the subject that he wrote an article on church discipline for the 9Marx website!
In the photo above, Jerry Kimble looks exactly like I’d imagine a guy all gung-ho on church discipline would look!
Grace Baptist Church is also a member of the Gospelly club.
Any guesses as to where Anthony Moore decided to attend church after he arrived in Cedarville? Hint – every 9Marx membership contract contains the clause “We will, when we move from this place, as soon as possible unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.”
Give up? Well, here is a picture of Dr. Moore. He appears to be serving at an information table at Grace Baptist Church.
And here is Dr. Moore, about to preach to the congregation of Grace Baptist Church! Ain’t life grand? It is if you are a member of the privileged clergy class in a 9Marx church. Lord have mercy on your soul should you ever attempt to leave a 9Marx church because the pastor continually promotes books by C.J. Mahaney! These 9Marx guys believe their churches hold the “Keys to the Kingdom.” I guess they have probably locked me out!
As my good friend Dee Parsons asked, “are these Christian Colleges dumping grounds for failed pastors?”
Seems like it.
Stay tuned. I’m investigating a similar story that occurred in the Keystone State.