As many of you know, I’ve been a huge critic of the Evangelical Elite. They’ve turned Christianity into a business instead of church family. They’ve gone from focusing on the small local community of believers into developing marketing strategies to build mega-churches. They’ve gone from focusing on preparing their exegetical sermons to how they can impact the rest of the world with THEIR teaching. They’ve gone from “doing ministry” to building an empire. And they’ll protect that empire by any means necessary.
A prime example of this is the latest fiasco between Apologia Church & Bible Thumping Wingnut. To get caught up to speed on what’s going down, watch this video:
As you can see, the pastors at Apologia Church secretly recorded Tim Hurd’s confession, apology and repentance and then posted it from an anonymous account on YouTube. From what I understand, they record all calls, including with their own congregations. This is immoral, unethical and, in my opinion, disqualifying from ministry.
The purpose of this type of strategy is power and control. It reminds me of how The Church of Scientology conducts itself. Let me explain.
Scientology has these sessions that all members have to participate in called auditing. During these auditing sessions, you are hooked up to, essentially, a lie detector machine and then you are expected to confess your sins, failings, struggles, etc. The person conducting the audit is taking notes, which then goes into your file that the church keeps on you. It’s basically a data collection service on their own parishioners (if you can call Scientologists parishioners).
What is the purpose of doing this? I’m glad you asked! The Church of Scientology keeps these records at hand in case someone falls out of line, leaves the church or becomes critical of the church. Then all hell breaks loose. They’ll use any means necessary, including stalking, intimidation, harassment, spying, excommunication and even lying and slandering about you using the information that you provided in your auditing sessions.
If you’ve watched Leah Remini’s show Scientology: The Aftermath, you’d see this played out over and over again. They’ll make fake social media accounts to harass and spread misinformation in an attempt to discredit the critic. They’ll create entire websites dedicated to discrediting their opposition. Sound familiar? And where do they get their information? From the auditing sessions. They’ll take what was said, and then find any way possible to twist it to make the person sound like a horrific human being.
Unfortunately, this tactic has jumped over to Christianity. I’ve been on the receiving end of these kinds of tactics myself. It’s not fun. But it just shows that they don’t have the truth on their side, so I continue to press on.
Now we are seeing this tactic being used by Apologia Church against Tim Hurd. They take a private phone call that was a confessional, secretly record it without Tim’s knowledge, and then create a fake YouTube account to release this audio in hopes that they can intimidate him into silence. This is not how church is supposed to be done.
If they had any moral integrity and truly believed that this information was vital to the current conversation, they wouldn’t have created a fake YouTube account to disseminate the information. They would have put it on their own YouTube channel, put their names behind it and ask for repentance from Tim. Since that’s not what they did, they clearly didn’t want to be associated with the video, more than likely because they don’t actually believe in the propaganda that they are pushing, but are just trying to discredit Tim or intimidate him into silence.
Again, this all comes down to power. I’ve experienced this personally with Dr James White, who is an elder at Apologia Church. I’m not surprised that he is involved in a church like Apologia that is employing these types of tactics. It’s a pattern with him and his crowd. He & his followers have used similar attack strategies against me, personally. Ad Hominem and different forms of intimidation in order to hold onto whatever perceived power and influence they have.
In closing, I did want to mention one other aspect: and that is accountability for Tim Hurd. Jeff Durbin had sent the secretly recorded video of Tim confessing & repenting to JD Hall, who is on the board of BTWN. There was no setup. There was no explanation. Just sending the video telling JD to watch it. JD said no, because he didn't want to participate in gossip or hearsay. Jeff Durbin is now claiming that Tim Hurd has no true accountability because JD Hall refused to deal with this claim of sin against Tim.
Here’s the thing. I’ve written about churches and ministries who don’t have accountability in place. Often times these churches and ministries will not allow people to bring their complaints or accusations of sin to the elders. This is typically done to protect them, keep them in control and ensure that they don’t have a bad PR event on their hands. Let me be explicitly clear: That’s not what is going on with JD & Tim.
A few months ago, I brought a charge against Tim Hurd. It wasn’t getting resolved in our attempts to deal directly with him. So I took it to JD Hall, who I knew was on the board of Bible Thumping Wingnut. Now, for a little background, I’ve had my run-ins with JD Hall. Many of you know this. So it’s not like I was going into a scenario where we have a good history together. But to JD’s credit, he took the accusation that we brought against Tim, setup a conference call with all of us (including Tim) and tried to work things out biblically and in a way that honored God. He didn’t have to do that. He could have just said, “Yeah, you guys are hostile to us anyway, so we aren’t going to take your charge seriously.” But he didn’t, he handled the situation in a God-honoring and biblical way. I commend JD for that.
I want you to understand something. I’m not writing this because I’m trying to defend a friend. Up until recently, we’ve mutually blocked each other. I’ve recently unblocked him so that he can see my posts if he would like. He still has me blocked. That’s fine. I say this because you need to understand that this is not a biased post. If anything, most people would probably just ignore the situation. However, I want to do the right thing. I want to take a stand for truth wherever that leads.
The leadership at Apologia Church have no place in ministry. If they continue to be unrepentant, they are disqualified from ministry and they should step down, resign and immediately leave and form of ministry in leadership capacity. If they don’t step down, they congregations should find another church because they are attending a church without biblically qualified pastors & elders. This is not how church is supposed to be.