Last month, we reported that Acts 29 leader and pastor of Village Church, Matt Chandler had stepped down in accordance with the recommendations of his fellow elders after he revealed that he’d had what was described as an “inappropriate” texting relationship with a woman other than his wife.
To be clear, it was always our contention that either this situation was overblown, or something wasn’t adding up. On our part, we urged caution and even confronted people on social media, even those who would be considered discerning Christians, about speculating further about Chandler than what was revealed. Chandler has many reasons to be avoided for his aberrant teachings and bad theological takes, especially on social justice issues. However, he has never demonstrated himself to be one of low moral character who would stoop to some form of grave sexual immorality.
We have criticized Chandler for things like saying that Black people who aren’t woke are just trying to win the “approval” of White men, pushing progressive “woke” politics, his church writing worship songs about microaggressions, comparing Black Lives Matter leaders to biblical prophets, denouncing America as racist and demonic, declaring that parts of Critical Race Theory are good (even though it’s demonic), having disdain for White people, speaking at various “woke church” social justice conferences, or sharing the stage with lesbians, racists, and charismatics all in the name of social justice.
Chandler is now hinting at returning to the pulpit soon after approximately eight weeks of leave of absence. On his Instagram page, he wrote:
“Jesus I don’t want to do this without you” That sentence has been my mantra these past few months. It has rolled through my mind and heart on repeat. Whether it has been going on a walk, heading out to our river cabin or even walking into Jiu Jitsu I have been more aware than ever of that earnest and angsty prayer of David’s in Psalm 27:4. He has been my sustaining grace and the strength of this season. I am eager to return to @tvcfm soon and am grateful for a family of faith that have loved me and @laurenchandler so deeply in this season. What a picture of gospel formed community you are. Eager to see what the Lord has for us in the next 15-20 years! #grace #family
A close friend and associate of Matt Chandler, who is also the founder of the “gay Christian” organization called Revoice, Preston Sprinkle, published an open letter on Instagram further detailing the Chandler situation. In the letter, Sprinkle stated that he’d “looked extensively into all the stuff involving Matt Chandler on the Village Church” and that he’d “talked to Matt twice and talked to a woman who’s been on staff at the church for over 18 years.” He said that not only has the secular media portrayed this in a bad way, but even the church had framed it in terms where it could be “misconstrued.”
Sprinkle said that the woman Chandler had been texting told Chandler “don’t you dare apologize; you did nothing wrong,” and that both Chandler’s wife and the woman’s husband were fully aware of the texting situation and neither was concerned. The “course joking,” Sprinkle said, had nothing to do with sexual or lewd jokes but rather was about alcohol. According to Sprinkle, it was the woman’s friend, who follows a strict “Billy Graham rule,” who became upset and confronted Matt.
“All this to say, I have no problem still having Matt speak at the Exiles conference this year,” Sprinkle said in his letter. “I mean, if we applied the same standard to all the speakers, I’m not sure I’d be able to have any speakers at the conference.”