Prominent Friend of Matt Chandler Says Situation is Overblown, Explains Nature of the ‘Coarse Jesting’ + Reveals Reaction From Woman He Was DMing
Prominent Christian leader Preston Sprinkle shared an Instagram post about the Matt Chandler situation yesterday,
Prominent Christian leader Preston Sprinkle shared an Instagram post about the Matt Chandler situation yesterday, claiming that he’s spoken to the suspended pastor and the situation is overblown.
In the post, Sprinkle, who is the President of the Center for Faith, Sexuality and Gender, on the Revoice Advisory Council, is a New York Times bestselling author, and host of Theology in the Raw podcast, reveals he’s spoken to his friend twice about what’s happened, along with a long-term employee of the church, and that the church’s language suggests a far more severe offense than occurred. He alleges that the “coarse joking” was not sexual at all but involved joking about alcohol.
Furthermore, he explains that the woman Chandler was DMing was not offended by their banter, does not consider herself a victim, and urged Matt not to apologize. Preston alleges that the woman who confronted Chandler followed a particularly strict interpretation of the Billy Graham rule that precluded these conversations- an interpretation neither Chandler nor his messaging partner held.
Lastly, Sprinkle claims that the results of the investigation by the lawyers into his phone and tablet came back clean, with no porn, sexual messaging, or otherwise inappropriate conversations found anywhere on Chandler’s computers or electronic devices.
I just wanted everyone to know that I’ve looked extensively into all the stuff involving Matt Chandler on the Village Church. I’ve talked to Matt twice and talked to a woman who’s been on staff at the church for over 18 years. I can’t share private details, but I will say that so much of the way the popular media (secular and even Christian) is portraying it is pretty bad and even the church’s messaging framed it in some pretty negative terms that could be misconstrued. The “coarse joking” was jokes about alcohol (not sexual innuendo or lewd jokes) and the big issue was that his DM relationship seemed too “familiar” for someone that he didn’t know terribly well in person. He basically violated the Billy Graham rule.
To be clear, the woman he was messaging wasn’t at all offended and told Matt “don’t you dare apologize; you did nothing wrong!” It was the woman’s friend, who lives by a very strict Billy Graham type of rule, that was offended that Matt was DMing a married woman (even though Matt’s wife and the woman’s husband was fully aware of it)
An independent org scoured his electronics and found no porn and no other inappropriate or romantic sort of messaging.
All this to say, I have no problem still having Matt speak at the Exiles conference this year. 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.
Honestly, this whole thing gas made me want to re-integrate the Billy Graham rule into my own life. People give me a hard time because I do try to be extra vigilant in keeping my relationship with other women much more cautious, but I’ve been thinking maybe I should be more friendly and jovial. But it(sic) situations like Matt’s that make me more nervous about this. But, I’ve gotta run.
Hoping(sic) on a plane to Sabbatical.