Darrin Patrick is removed from The Journey in St. Louis. The lack of transparency in the situation raises deep questions and points to continued systemic and systematic issues in the Acts 29 network. Plus will one of the charges leveled against Patrick be applied to Matt Chandler? These are my unique thoughts and also a shout out if people trapped in The Journey and need a platform this blog will give them one.
“Things will absolutely go wrong. In a healthy team, as soon as things go wrong, that information should be surfaced. Trying to hide or obscure bad news creates an environment of distrust and a lack of transparency.”
“The keys to brand success are self-definition, transparency, authenticity, and accountability.”
Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise.
Proverbs 13:10 NLT
Vision of The Journey
Darrin Patrick was born in Marion, Illinois. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Biblical Languages from Southwest Baptist University. He also graduated summa cum laude from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and received a Doctor of Ministry from Covenant Theological Seminary in 2010. He has been married to Amie Patrick since 1993 and has four children. Its my understanding in doing research that Darrin planted The Journey in St. Louis in 2002. In 2007 the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote an article called “Beer and the Bible” which you can read. The Journey grew into 6 churches in Missouri and Illinois and has supported multiple church plants. Darren Patrick himself has been the Chaplin to the St. Louis Cardinals and has led chapel services and Bible studies. He also officiated the wedding of then Cardinals pitcher Shelby Miller. Apparently Patrick was also a part of Baseball Chapel an international ministry that was recognized by both the major and minor leagues. Patrick was the vice-president of the Acts 29 network, and a council member of The Gospel Coalition. He was a contributor to The Resurgence Blog when that was in existence. Plus he has apparently written articles for the New York Times, St. Louis Post Dispatch and BBC online.
Patrick has authored a number of books as he is a part of the Reformed Industrial Complex. (Note I say is because his presence on Amazon will be going strong for a while, especially with the way some in the Neo-Calvinist camp struggle with discernment.) Patrick has written “The Dude’s Guide to Manhood: Finding True Manliness in a World of Counterfeits.” He has also authored “The Dude’s Guide to Marriage: Ten Skills Every Husband Must Develop to Love His Wife Well” and “Church Planter: The Man, The Message, the Mission” with Matt Chandler. Two other books that he has written include “Replant: How a Dying Church Can Grow Again” and he wrote the forward to “Church Planting is for Wimps: How God Uses Messed-up People to Plant Ordinary Churches that do Extraordinary Things.” The last book I understand is a 9 Marks book and since that enters the picture I would like to promote this post I wrote, which is actually one of my most read posts. It points out how Mark Dever made 9 Marks absolutely worthless when he let C.J. Mahaney flee church discipline and hide behind his own rear end at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. Didn’t you know church discipline only applies to the peons in the pews? Its amazing what happens when one practices some “Gospel Centered Bribery” while people are eating oatmeal for dinner and live under the threat of church discipline. But in closing this section out here is Darrin Patrick’s Amazon page if you would like to examine it.
Patrick is Removed from The Journey
The Board of Elders from The Journey removed Patrick from his position and required he step down from all internal and external positions. This took place publically on April 13, 2016. In a letter to the church it was stated that some of the reasons given were “pastoral misconduct” and a “historical pattern of sin.” The listed sins included the following:
- Lack of self control
- Manipulation and Lying
- Misuse of Power
- Refusal of Personal Accountability
An additional update was given which you can read here if you so desire. (That link has the original letter as well). In addition, Patrick has been removed from The Gospel Coalition and the Acts 29 network. Apparently The Journey Elders raised a number of issues over the past few years. Here are the charges or sins listed off The Journey’s letter.
- Abandonment of genuine Biblical community (Titus 1:8)
- Refusal of personal accountability (failure to follow elder according to 1 Peter 5:1)
- Lack of self-control (1 Timothy 3:2)
- Domineering over those in his charge (1 Peter 5:3)
- Misuse of power/authority (1Peter 5:3)
- A history of building his identity through ministry and media platforms (necessity to be “sober-minded” in 1 Timothy 3:2 and avoid selfish gain in 1 Peter 5:2
If you would like to read more about his removal there are a number of articles to read. You can read about this in World, Christianity Today, and the Christian Examiner. I did check Darrin Patrick’s Twitter account and it is not active. The last Tweet I believe was April 1, 2016. Having briefly gone over all that information I want to give my analysis of the situation. One thing I want you to remember is the following charge: A history of building his identity through ministry and media platforms .
Analysis of the Situation
This past weekend I was in the Elverson, Pennsylvania area working on another story that this blog is driving. While I was there Dee Parsons who writes The Wartburg Watch called me. During our conversation we discussed the situation at The Journey. Dee has a unique perspective on the adultery and “two women” that I am not going to get into here. She has a way of looking at things that only she can, so I will not discuss that one aspect and instead leave that to my East Coast Mom to tackle!
Many people think the system in place at The Journey worked. That it removed someone not above approach. I disagree…I think the situation at The Journey points to deep systemic and systematic flaws that show how the DNA of Mark Driscoll still remains in the Acts 29 network. Here is one of the issues that I think needs to be asked. Do we really know why Darrin Patrick was removed? Do we? Lack of self control, manipulation and lying and a whole host of other issues are listed. What do they mean? Honestly I am asking out loud? How are those sins defined at The Journey, and why the lack of transparency? What did Darrin Patrick lie about? He had five cookies instead of three? Did he falsify travel to meet with someone? Did he mislead about what television programs he watched? Or given the dudebro nature of Acts 29 did he support the wrong MMA fighter? Or was it worse…? Did he commit the ultimate sin? As the Chaplain of the St. Louis Cardinals did he have a secret fetish and personal love for the Chicago Cubs? How much do we really know about what Darrin Patrick has been removed for? I read the letter and I see the explanation and in the end I still don’t know. Its even more disturbing given how the Neo-Calvinist movement has redefined sin and lacks transparency. When “gossip” means you are speaking the truth how can one ever have transparency? What is the lack of self control? Or what is the domineering of power? No one has explained and said the following which would illuminate it greatly. For example we have not heard, “Darren was abusing his position be forcibly firing two elders, and shunning them and destroying their reputations (i.e. what happened to Paul Petry and Bent Meyer at Mars Hill Seattle) The fact that all this “communication” has been posted and we still don’t know the details should be raising alarm bells.
Here is another thing that troubles me…why is it that this “pattern of sin” has continued for years before Darrin Patrick was finally confronted? I mean I know in the Neo-Calvinism world he was probably foreordained to be a pastor in the same way in European history Kings and rulers were once viewed as being appointed by God. But here is a question I have that I would like to see answered. In the time span of all this going on with Darrin Patrick how many people that sat in the pews were ran out of the church on “church discipline” issues, and who suffered for being honest or ran afoul? How many people in the pews and life groups faced church discipline for things that Darrin Patrick got away with for so long? After all in the arrogance that is Neo-Calvinism the greater crime in a pyramid scheme like Acts 29 is being at the bottom. You have no protection, no special privileges, and no influence in many ways. This is another reason why The Journey I believe has deep systemic and systematic problems that show the DNA of Mark Driscoll still taints the system. The cancer remains and will always be a part of the DNA.
There is another question I have as well. How much was Matt Chandler involved in this decision? Did he call for it? Did he give his blessing? What went on behind the scenes? Since Matt Chandler is sometimes the fourth member of the trinity in these circles what role did he play in Darrin Patrick’s removal? I honestly would like to know especially given the role The Journey played in the Acts 29 network. The other issue is the timing of the statement and Patrick’s removal. It begs a lot of questions that need asking. This happened right before Together For the Gospel. I find the timing suspicious and questionable. But as I read the charges there is one that stood out for me that I think raises deep concerns about the health of The Journey. I am going to dive deeply into it in the next section but its the charge that says: A history of building his identity through ministry and media platforms .
The Supreme Irony…Will One of the Charges Held Against Patrick be Held Against Matt Chandler?
So basically the charge as I interpret it is that Darrin Patrick had become a celebrity pastor as his status grew through ministry and media platforms. So what does that mean? Did Matt Chandler feel threatened by Darren Patrick? Is that charge about building his identity through ministry and media platforms ever going to be held against Matt Chandler? Can someone explain that to me please? After all isn’t that all Matt Chandler is these days? I find the term celebrity pastor to be an oxymoron..after all how can a person in charge of 12,000 people actually pastor them at all? The other thing I find deeply interesting is that Darrin Patrick was removed and that charge was listed right before Together for the Gospel took place. T4G, is really nothing but an orgy of narcissism. It reveals how sick, sick, sick, parts of the Neo-Calvinist system can be. I mean consider could that charge apply to Matt Chandler as an Acts 29 pastor?
Not only that but here is another question I have. Those people from The Journey and Acts 29 that were in attendance of T4G who supported and removed Darrin Patrick; when Al Mohler introduced C.J. Mahaney did those same individuals clap and cheer for Mahaney? Did they clap and cheer someone who allegedly practiced blackmail and is being dogged by allegations of covering up child sex abuse and approving a hush fund? Did they shed a tear for a man who allegedly engaged in illegal activity who proclaimed himself as suffering and taught from Job! I would like to know, what the deal is at the end of the day. Given the deep corruption in Neo-Calvinism part of me wonders if one of the issues is that Darrin Patrick didn’t pucker up and kiss enough ass like C.J. Mahaney did.
At the end here is why I write this commentary as in the end it matters. You can’t have such glaring inconsistency. You can’t have one Acts 29 pastor take center stage at T4G and then discipline another prominent one right before hand. This shows how Acts 29 has deep flaws and why I would avoid it like cancer. Sure there are exceptions to the rule, and sure there probably are a few Acts 29 churches that are healthy. I don’t dispute that at all. But the reality is that you can not have such problems in the system as it reveals favoritism, and how subjective sin can be.
A Personal Note to Current and Former Members of The Journey
The last part of this post is directed to current and former members of The Journey. I get religious pain and trauma. If you want to read what I endured from someone in a former Sovereign Grace church in the Washington, D.C. area you can do so here. I learned from Dee Parsons that Karen Hinkley of The Village Church liked to read my posts during her ordeal and scandal. You can read some of those posts here, here, and here. I have also gone to war against an Evangelical Free Church in Pennsylvania who practiced discipline and excommunicated an alleged rape and domestic abuse victim who was allegedly abused by the Senior Pastor’s son. In that story the female in the center knows she could be dead. If you attend The Journey and find yourself being hurt, caught in the system, and trapped I want you to know that I will go to war for you as well. I emailed this post to all the pastors and leadership and administrative support across all campuses of The Journey. People shouldn’t be getting hurt in church and the reality is that its more frequent than people want to admit or acknowledge. Its time we pulled out heads out of the sand. But I want those in The Journey to know that I am here if you need help, and I will give you a platform and a voice. You will most likely find me by Google as others do. This blog doesn’t belong to me..it belongs to those hurting and those who lack a voice. That said feel free to leave a comment below, I love you guys and take care.