Pastor Matt Chandler was restored to pastoral ministry on Sunday.

According to his church’s elders, the process of restoration “worked” and now he’s good to go.

What was the process??

Isn’t pastoring supposed to include actual teaching? Isn’t it true that most of what people learn is “caught” not just “taught”? What is there to be caught from this so-called “restoration”? And wow…in the span of just a few months, Chandler was somehow able to recover fully from being in a relationship that was too “frequent and familiar”?? What about his wife and family? Do they agree that he’s fully recovered? What about the lady with whom he had this relationship? Would she agree? Is she also recovered?

What is this teaching those He leads?

If this process was SO incredibly successful, why not share it with his church – and by extension, the rest of us?

Okay, so he went on an elk hunt, a mountain hike, and talked about difficult stuff with a fellow pastor. That was the process? Really??

This just makes me sad. Can it really be that easy, that simple? My life experiences and failures would say “hell no” it’s not that easy. Not that clean. Not that simple.

Come on, Matt, we need to see you lead with a limp. Not just elude to having sin, having some culpability – “even if just 1%”. I’ll just say it. That sounds like justification, not repentance.

This ain’t over, Matt. I pray you’re not convinced it is over. And pray you’ll be more forthcoming. It’s not about “what happened” so much as what you learned. And please, not just the spiritual-sounding stuff! That’s good and all, but it’s not all.

Here’s the deal. I’m gonna get vulnerable now. I’ve been that married guy in “frequent and familiar” conversation with a female who is not my wife. Even with my wife’s knowledge, and to a point, her support. For me, it really wasn’t about “what” I was communicating. As you so poignantly stated, it was the very frequency and familiarity that were the issue. While I said I just wanted the relationship to be brother/sister, I was in way more communication with her than with my own siblings or friends. More than with my own wife. And the access I allowed her to have into my own life was beyond every boundary I thought I had put in place. And I knew it was more than I could handle. If I may quote another of my blogs, it was a Never Enough kind of situation. What I’ve since learned was that it pointed to my anxious attachment style which has been with me since earliest childhood. As an adult, it’s called entangled attachment or enmeshment. I can tell you: that is mess to UNtangle.

Chandler had the privilege of stepping away from every day life for 3+ months and seeking help from some “experts”. I know that even a 1-week intensive that my wife and I were blessed to take part in was enough to dramatically and positively alter our relationship. So three months of intentional work can bring about significant change. I’m sure of it. But that’s the thing! “Regular folk” do not have Matt’s privilege or the level of support he has experienced. And let’s be real here…his church leadership is heavily invested in the success of his recovery work! Too bad the Church (big C), doesn’t take that approach with the restoration of its “normal” congregants. 

So again I’ll say, if the process Chandler went through was really that successful, why isn’t he – and why isn’t his leadership – sharing that, for the good of his congregation and the greater good of Christendom?? Maybe, just maybe that will come in the days to come. I pray it will be so!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s