The History of Eric Simmons’ Redeemer Arlington: Formerly of Sovereign Grace Ministries now of Acts 29

An overview and history of Redeemer Arlington. SGM had long planned to do a church plant in Arlington. This explains how that came about, the church itself and an overview of its leadership. Redeemer Arlington broke away from SGM and eventually joined Acts 29. This post is a resource linking all posts about Redeemer Arlington.

“I’m also concerned because at this point in time we are at the pinnacle of the information age. You can in an instant find tons of information on any subject you want on Google. Do you realize that Google allows you to be one step away from heresies?  There are a lot of heretics out there with a lot of false teachings that have blogs. And its phenomenal to me in our age now, that what is represented on the Internet is now seen as fact, and authority, and truth! And the reality? Most of the guys writing who are writing blogs are 24-year old guys living in their moms’ basement, sitting there in their underwear! That’s what they are doing! They have got a robe on, and they are just typing away. And they’re typing away their false teaching which is honestly a bunch of garbage. It’s out there! It’s just one click away.”

Eric Simmons

“I’ve left my church. Yesterday after 11 years as a member of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland I terminated my membership. In fact I stood up with a group of people who were all leaving. We were sent out for the latest church planting team for the latest Sovereign Grace Ministries church: Redeemer Arlington”

Carolyn McCully on her blog December 7, 2009

Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere,16  I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom[f] and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

Ephesians 1:15-18 NLT

 

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Eric Simmons preaching at the first meeting

In this video Jordan Kauflin is the first one on the far left.

 

SGM has done a number of church plants in the D.C. area over the years, with several actually being in the roots of People of Destiny International (PDI). Some of the churches that were planted include Solid Rock, and Sovereign Grace Fairfax (once known as Fairfax Covenant Church) which at one time they all came from the mother ship Covenant Life Church. Today’s post is about the final church plant in the D.C. area before the SGM scandal occurred in 2011, and deals with the history of Redeemer Arlington.

Arlington is one of the areas that Sovereign Grace wanted to do a church plant for some time as I have heard. It was pitched as a way to reach 1% of the population. Eric Simmons was to be the Senior Pastor. Eric was known for being a key participant in the New Attitude/NEXT conferences.  Eric attended the SGM Pastors College in 1997 and 1998. He also worked in a gas station earlier in life as I understand. At Covenant Life Church he was the Singles Pastor. One of the former SGM guys I personally know said he is a dynamic speaker. Eric Simmons as I understand it was Josh Harris’ accountability partner. Publically the word among the former SGM community is that since Eric Simmons was loyal to C.J. Mahaney, that people who disagreed with Josh’s leadership left CLC and went to Redeemer Arlington. Behind the scenes things were very different. Allegedly there was conflict between C.J. Mahaney and Eric Simmons and the Arlington church launch was delayed several times.  After about two or three years of delays it was finally given a go, and Mahaney gave his blessing. Redeemer Arlington held its first service in the Arlington Holiday Inn on May 16, 2010. 135 people showed up and came from Covenant Life Church, Sovereign Grace Fairfax, and Grace Community Church of Ashburn.

Over at the blog SGM Survivors Redeemer Arlington was described as the church that had the children of “SGM Royalty.” Another notable aspect is that Redeemer Arlington has a tie to one of the scandals in SGM that is Kris’s favorite topic of discussion at SGM Survivors. That deals with the story of Kerrin and Megan. It was a tragic story of a failed marriage that highlighted systemic issues in SGM culture. Originally Kerrin was supposed to be an elder at Redeemer Arlington. You can read the first part of the story here, followed by the second part. Then you can read Megan’s version of events here.

In addition to Eric Simmons, other leadership at Redeemer Arlington includes Jon Smith. and Jordan Kauflin. Jon was a pastor at Covenant Life Church from March 2004 to April 2010. He also is the founder of ONEU which has a goal to plant a “Gospel family” on the five campuses in the DC Metro area with Redeemer Arlington. Jon Smith has been the pastor of Redeemer Arlington since April 2015. Jordan Kauflin is the other pastor and he is quite gifted musically and is the author of one of the better known SGM hymns called “All I Have Is Christ.” You can read the history of that song here. Jordan’s family is musically talented and while I will not spend a lot of time writing about it I want to single out the Jordan’s brother Devon is a pastor at SGC in Clarksburg called Grace Church. Jordan I also believe has five kids, and I actually purchased him baby clothing for his fifth child. If you want to hear Jordan preach you can do so in this recent video from Sovereign Grace Fairfax.  I do not know when Jordan Kauflin went to the SGM Pastor’s college but I believe he was one of the beneficiaries of the tuition arrangement with Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Prior to Jeff Purswell’s letter coming out in June of 2014 announcing the termination of this program there was an arrangement where students from Sovereign Grace could apply for automatic credit transfer or for an SBTS scholarship under the degree completion program. Those already in the program were allowed to retain their hours. You can read about this sweetheart deal in these two posts from The Wartburg Watch and Thou Are the Man.  In the video up top you can see Jordan on the far left of that skit that worships C.J. Mahaney. That video and others came from a celebration that honored Mahaney. I have to tell you when I was in college and graduate school studying the Cold War and the Soviet Union, I never imagined that the personality cult which Joseph Stalin perfected would later be adopted and practiced eloquently in Neo-Calvinism years later. I did a post about that which you can read in this post called “The Little Red Book of John Piper?

Redeemer Arlington is also home to Carolyn McCully. Carolyn is a part of the Reformed Industrial Complex and has published books such as  “The Measure of Success: Uncovering the Biblical Perspective on Women, Work, and the Home“, “Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World ” and “Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?: Trusting God with a Hope Deferred.”  I lifted Carolyn’s announcement from her blog a while back when I was doing research for this post. On the internet information lives forever, you just need to know how to find it. You can find the old blog by Carolyn McCully here. At Carolyn’s blog she announced her upcoming participation in Redeemer on December 7, 2009. This is how she described it:

I’ve left my church

Yesterday, after eleven years as a member of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD I terminated my membership. In fact, I stood up with a group of people who were all leaving.

We were sent out as part of a church planting team for the latest Sovereign Grace Ministries church: Redeemer Arlington.  Nope there is no scandal here, but I was hoping to catch your attention! Why? Because the start of a new church is a momentous occasion in the Kingdom of God! I am excited to be a part of the new venture. Eric Simmons is the senior pastor of this new church– some of you know him though his leadership of the New Attitude/NEXT conferences or the regional One meetings at Covenant Life Church. Redeemer Arlington will serve Arlington, VA, and downtown DC regions. The church planting team will meet for two months to establish core functions of the church and then we expect to open our doors to public meetings in March or thereabouts. The church’s website will soon be up.

Arlington is an urban area that is home to both some of the most upscale and successful young professionals in the area, as well as a wide swath of internationals who come from dozens of nations. If you think of it, please pray for our provision for our team as most of us will soon be moving from a less-expensive suburb to a more expensive urban core. It doesn’t make sense in human terms to make this move, but we have learned to measure success in different terms!

At the blog SGM Survivors it has been suggested that Carolyn McCully was largely able to teach in SGM due to her personal connections. For example despite her education she has challenged and encouraged single women to carefully consider if pursuing education is worthwhile because of the debt they might bring into a marriage. This in many ways helps perpetuate the teaching of patriarchy for which SGM is well  known. At SGM Survivors it has been pointed out that McCully’s lifestyle is in direct teachings of what many women in SGM had to endure.

Scandal in SGM and Redeemer Breaks Away

In 2011 scandal erupted in SGM. All was not well and Brent Detwiler released all the documents documenting Mahaney’s corruption, double standards and allegations of criminal activity. It came to light that C.J. Mahaney had allegedly blackmailed his ministry partner Larry Tomczak. You can read the transcript of that blackmail allegation right here. As SGM lurched into crisis a number of churches started to break away. Redeemer Arlington was the fifth church to break away in October 2012 and did so over polity issues. Eric Simmons believed that Sovereign Grace should become more like a para-church organization. I am going to explore this in more detail in my next post. Redeemer Arlington for the next year was independent and not affiliated with anyone. In December of 2013 it was announced that Redeemer Arlington was re-launched as an Acts 29 church. In addition Redeemer is helping to plant Union Church which is led by Shaun and Melissa Cross. You can read the announcement about that here. Since my blog deals with Redeemer Arlington I will also write about churches that Redeemer helps plant as well.

 

How Redeemer Arlington Brushed Against my Life

In 2009 I pushed back from Christianity in the depths of a faith crisis. I walked away from McLean Bible and stayed away from National Community Church. I was consumed and crushed by overwhelming doubt and was exploring atheism. In 2011 I got to know a co-worker who is an Air Force Captain who graduated form the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs in 2005 and was married to his wife Gillian by his Navigator Director shortly thereafter. Andrew made a comment about church and faith and I opened up about my faith crisis to him. He explained that he was involved in Soveriegn Grace and I didn’t know what that was at the time. The first time I heard about SGM Survivors was when Andrew told me that a friend of his at Joint Base MaGuire-Dix, which is where he was posted from 2008 until 2011 warned him about Sovereign Grace. Andrew looked at SGM Survivors and dismissed it. He told me about this over lunch in the cafeteria where we both worked. I thought nothing of it and thought that Survivors is a blog that was eccentric, and off based. After all…how many of those did I encounter or stumble across on the internet? I still remember the first time I read SGM Survivors and how I slowly processed the information. It started to click and as someone who almost became a Mormon in college I realized that SGM Survivors was very similar to ExMormon.org. Both blogs were of people sharing their stories, broken families, systemic problems, child abuse situations and criminal allegations. I was still dealing with guilt and shame years later from my involvement in Mormonism. When I realized what Andrew was wanting me to get involved in I recall sitting at my computer and privately thinking to myself, “what am I being invited to?” I was also puzzled why  Andrew a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy would call Redeemer and Sovereign Grace healthy. It didn’t make sense to me.

I decided to push back from Andrew as my faith crisis was getting darker and he pleaded with me to come. When he told me that SGM is controversial because it was a “family of churches and nondenominational” I was stunned. I thought to myself…”No Andrew its controversial because its allegedly covering up crimes and criminal activity.” When I read the transcript that C.J. Mahaney had allegedly taken the information from Larry Tomczak’s child and used that to blackmail Larry Tomczak I felt sick. I told Andrew in an email about the alleged blackmail and said that C.J. Mahaney is a fraud. At work Andrew blew, he got so angry over what I emailed him that he couldn’t get any work done that day.  You can read the transcript of Mahaney’s alleged blackmail here. Andrew also touted the SGM Pastors College…I pushed back and asked him “Why?” After all the SGM Pastors College is unaccredited. I come from a family that values education, and I myself have a graduate degree and know the importance of accreditation. Why would a military officer tout a “college” that is not accredited? After all you couldn’t transfer or do much of anything outside SGM. To my knowledge at least SBTS, Trinity, or Fuller is accredited. Andrew got upset at my analysis. It was during this time that I started to post at The Wartburg Watch and I ran all this by Dee Parsons in an email. Dee Parsons during this time asked to me speak with me and gave me her phone number. Since Andrew was a Care Group Leader Dee Parsons told me I was dealing with a true believer. Dee explained the issues with Redeemer Arlington in an email, maybe one of these days I will publish her email as a post in the course of time.  But just as things were rough with Andrew, Dee and I also clashed at times. We had many arguments and difficult conversations over a lot of issues. I remember the one time we discussed the problem of evil. While we hashed it over many times on one occasion it became close to a shouting match because of how animated I was. Dee held her own and was able to articulate the issues. I remember getting off the phone and thinking to myself, “Damn…the Southern Baptist Convention lost one hell of a Sunday School teacher.”  But there is another problem that I need to write about as well. For me as an agnostic/atheist at the time being invited to Sovereign Grace helped me to justify atheism. I ranted about how corrupt Christianity is and how civilization would be substantially improved had it not even existed. And then I was being invited to Redeemer which was attached to SGM. It was like pouring gasoline on a fire, especially with the allegations of criminal activity hemorrhaging out of SGM.

I attended Redeemer twice at Andrew’s request. The first time was on Easter on 2012. I remember how someone gave their testimony that Sunday afternoon about how their best friend committed suicide, and how God used it. I sat next to Andrew and I asked him if God foreordained this suicide that I had heard about. Andrew told me he would explain later, but like many difficult questions I asked him Andrew ignored it. The second time I attended Redeemer Arlington was in January of 2013. That Sunday afternoon they were remembering the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. I almost burst out into laughter in the church thinking about how evangelicals were so concerned with life before birth and indifferent about children being sexually abused after birth. I thought of how Andrew liked Mark Dever and of Dever’s role in propping up C.J. Mahaney’s corruption who was covering up allegation of child sex abuse in the denomination. The entire situation was damning and it created a lot of problems. It was too much for me, but somehow I held back my laughter.

I am not going to rehash all I have written about  in regard to the relationship with Andrew. I will link the posts below in the section. The darkest season of my life came in May of 2013 and I am still in a lot of emotional pain over what happened. Andrew White after clashing and fighting then claimed that I was a threat to his family. This Air Force Captain did this in uniform and it led to a supervisor speaking to me about stalking. It was out of the blue. All this happened shortly after Andrew asked me to stay in his condominium, walked me through his wedding album, showed me pictures of his daughter on his Android where she was crawling in front of the dryer, and asked me to change the password on his computer. Andrew was obsessed with sexual purity. I know I ask myself often…who asks a stalker to change the password on their computer? The false accusation was the darkest season of my life. Between the leg infection and sepsis which I fought in the hospital in 2012 and the false accusation in 2013, if I had to do both over again I would rather have the blood infection. At least then I was heavily sedated and under a lot of medicine. I couldn’t feel it at times. Whereas the false accusation threatened to destroy my name, employment and future employment. I felt the pain in my soul and in the process Andrew taught me why rape and sexual assault is a serious issue in the military.

I want to stress that I made a number of mistakes in my faith crisis and I did say combative things that I deeply regret to this day. I drank the Kool-Aid from Christopher Hitchens and other hard core atheists. There are many things I said in a faith crisis that are not justified. I will always own my part of this mess. Dee Parsons helped me through the false accusation and connected me with an attorney who believed I was sitting on a defamation of character lawsuit against Andrew. While the false accusation dragged on Andrew was confronted by a couple of people and he dismissed the situation. He didn’t believe he did anything wrong and refused to deal with it. The attorney explained to me the legal options I had to clear my name, but then he also encouraged me to try and resolve the situation through Redeemer. In the process I consulted with Pam Palmer, and a number of people who negotiated with SGM over issues in differing churches from Gaithersburg down to Florida. On May 18, 2015, which by the way is a year ago today, Andrew said he was “sorry” in a conference call between myself, him and Jordan Kauflin for what he did. But then he broke off the discussion, continues to run, and refuses to deal with what he gave birth to. The attorney I consulted with told me what I needed to accept and what needed to happen to neutralize the false accusation. Jordan Kauflin said Andrew is sorry for what happened and that is good. My pushback is what is he sorry about? Sorry this is following him in life? Sorry that this has followed him to Colorado Springs? To be told to forgive someone who hasn’t accepted full responsibility for what they do isn’t forgiveness. It’s manipulation. That is why this is stuck.

For the record this is what I would have accepted:

  1. Andrew owning his part of the mess and realizing what he did.
  2. Andrew grieving over what he did and expressing remorse.
  3. Andrew showing initiative and reaching out and willing to discuss everything.
  4. Andrew stops running and deals with issue.

A part of me feels like I am dead, and I never realized how traumatic this could be. What Jordan or Andrew don’t know or comprehend is that when I heard the word “stalk” I would shake, cry, and wonder “what is happening to me?” Dee Parsons asked me to call her when this happened. It has left me to ponder why does religion cause so much pain and destruction? I just don’t know…

Dee Parsons asked me to tell my story on her blog in 2014. She wanted Andrew and I to reconcile and honestly thought it could happen and didn’t want to do anything that would threaten that issue. She knew how this threatened my job and more, plus she had once even planned to write about Redeemer in a post and decided against this as I was trying to resolve a false accusation.  Dee was afraid Andrew would lash out in another false accusation, and at the time I was managing a difficult mess for 13 months. When I asked Dee why she wanted to tell my story, she said a couple of reasons why. One is that my story deals with Sovereign Grace and people need to hear it. The other is that my story helps illustrate why people walk away from Christianity, how to deal with doubt, and that in approaching nearly 140 people for forgiveness I did something that C.J. Mahaney and Mark Driscoll didn’t do. So I agreed and I wrote these three posts for her.  This is the first time I believe that Redeemer Arlington was written up for the Wartburg Watch.

  1. “Eagle’s Story – Part One”
  2. “Eagle’s Story, Part 2 : Atheism, An Illness, A Friend and Redeemer of Arlington
  3. “Eagle’s Story – Part 3: How Often Should You Ask for Forgiveness? 70 Times 2”

 

Some Thoughts on Redeemer and My Personal Hope

In SGM Eric Simmons was notorious for saying that bloggers live in their parents basement, and write in their underwear. Dee Parsons loved to poke fun at that by talking about how when she writes she does so in designer clothing. Kris at SGM Survivors also poked fun at that claim when Dave Harvey started blogging in this following post called, “Dave Harvey Don’s Pajamas and Heads Down to his Mom’s Basement.” For the record let me state that when it comes to me writing I am 41. I live in a garden style condo in the northern Virginia area, I pay my mortgage and my family’s house in California doesn’t have a basement. Actually you would be hard pressed to find basements in California. That said I don’t think Eric believes that anymore especially after he published “I Hate Porn” at Desiring God on October 15, 2013. Which in all honesty isn’t half bad as a post and I was happy to see him publish that essay.

One of the issues I have wondered about is the following…how healthy is Redeemer Arlington especially given its history from SGM. After all I have known people that have called Sovereign Grace Fairfax and Covenant Life and former SGM churches cult like or cults. Cult is a strong word, and its one of the things I said in the relationship with Andrew that today I have deep regret. Actually when I was pushing back from Mormonism earlier in my life I didn’t tell the Mormons I knew that I considered the LDS faith to be a cult. That dawned upon me after the fracture in the relationship with Andrew. Despite that I believe that there are concerns about Redeemer and time will tell if they can address those concerns. Plus the Acts 29 network has a lot of systemic issues as well. I am starting to hear about them behind the scenes.  The main concern I have about Redeemer is the cultural baggage that came from the SGM denomination. When I was being invited and pressured to attend the weird aspect is the people who not only responded to my questions at SGM Survivors about Redeemer, but those who reached out to me through Dee Parsons who warned me about the church. That was unique and hasn’t happened since, and hopefully won’t occur again. That said if I could do it over I would have attended a couple of times at Andrew’s request and just sat there and observed. A service from time to time would not hurt anyone. As part of my reconciliation I offered to attend Redeemer Arlington and Andrew asked me to stay away. That has disturbed so many people as I have told them, and left some to wonder if Redeemer is healthy after all?

I would like to end this on a note of hope and explain something openly on the record. Of all the former SGM Churches which broke away I think Redeemer Arlington has the most potential. I also have respect for them in this situation, and let me explain why. To break away from SGM when all your family is still in the organization must have been difficult for Jordan Kauflin. There were probably a number of difficult conversations and it has probably been awkward for him at times. Its my personal hope that it has not caused conflict in his family. SGM has divided and split many families and I know many who are suffering because of the denomination. I could never wish malice on anyone at all, instead I wish people hope and that they go far in life. I have met with Eric Simmons once in a coffee house in January 2015 and I think he is a nice guy. I think he’s matured and grown a bit. Yes he made the comment about bloggers, but the truth is I have said things in my life I also regret. Someone also told me that Eric had a faith crisis, and if that is true than I grieve because I know all to well what that feels like.  I’ve interacted with Jordan both by email and I met him twice. I took him out to lunch in February of 2015 and later on he wanted to meet again. I’ve listened to some of his music and actually enjoy it. But I respect him in this one way…SGM, or properly today SGC is a deeply corrupt organization, it must not have been easy to break away from it. Sometimes its easy to paint with a broad brush, for example someone told me about how Mark Altroggee encouraged breaking away from SGM when Mahaney’s alleged blackmail came to light. For Jordan to break away and be in leadership I think shows some degree of integrity and I cherish that deeply. I’m not tying to be negative in writing this blog, actually if you look at the second post I did I said that I wanted to be found wrong. That still holds true in many ways.

On the record I also want to state the following, as I am still hoping that this false accusation can be resolved one day I decided to draw some personal boundaries. Today is kind of an exception as I realized I would have to do so, however I gave Jordan my word in an email that I will not write about his family. That is why when Todd Wilhelm sparred with Bob Kauflin on Twitter I elected not to participate. There are some bridges that I do not want to burn, and I am hoping that one day this mess with Andrew can perhaps be resolved. My soul needs peace and closure which it lacks now. And yes I know who is the main enabler of C.J. Mahaney and his corruption but I won’t go there and write about it. So if you don’t see articles in the future about certain aspects of Sovereign Grace, you now know why. Also its my understanding that one of Jordan’s sons has dealt with leukemia. To that I am sorry for the pain in suffering that has transpired. If the Kauflin family needs anything I am happy to help. My family has dealt with suffering as well – pancreatic cancer, brain tumor, and I have watched a loved one deal with schizophrenia for 20 years. But watching a child suffer is beyond words. I will close the post out below with Jordan Kauflin’s hymn, which by the way is the second time I have used that at this blog.

 

Summary of Articles about Redeemer Arlington at Wondering Eagle

I want to tie the other articles I have written about Redeemer Arlington to this post for resource purposes. I have included a brief summary of each article.

  1. In “Seeking Forgiveness from Sovereign Grace” I write about how I would have loved to have approached Redeemer Arlington and sought forgiveness for calling it a cult. I approached Stephen Altoregge and sought forgiveness from him. I chose Stephen because he has been vocal in defending SGM.  I asked Stephen for forgiveness for hate. Included in this post is my correspondence with Stephen.
  2. Theology of Betrayal”  deals with the issue of betrayal. In this post I ask the following question. Who is Andrew White going to be in the end? Will he be like Peter who betrayed Christ? Or will he be like Judas Iscariot? It was my hope that Andrew would be my Peter and not my personal Judas.
  3. This next post is part of a long series I did on Fridays for nearly three months I believe. This is about how to deal with a faith crisis and the importance of prayer. This is called, “How to Respond to a Faith Crisis? Carrying a Person in Prayer.” In this post I am honest about telling how I felt Andrew’s prayers a few times in my faith crisis and how I was upset.
  4. I wrote about how a church can feed a faith crisis or justify atheism in the following post. “How to Respond to a Faith Crisis? Being Involved in a Church that is Feeding the Crisis or Justifying Atheism.” In that post I talk about how the corruption from SGM validated atheism. When you are outside the faith and you are talking about how Christianity is corrupt and its being dogged by allegations of criminal activity, covering up child sex abuse and more you have a serious problem. This is about how being invited to Sovereign Grace helped perpetuate my faith crisis.
  5. In this post I write about how Andrew should have engaged an agnostic. What he should have said, and how he should have done. This is an intimate look at what he could have done to bring me into the Christian faith. This is called, “How to Respond to a Faith Crisis? What Andrew White of Redeemer Arlington Should Have Done; How he Should Have Engaged a Proclaimed Agnostic.”
  6. This post counters the previous one and is about how others engaged a militant skeptic and what the did right. This is about how Dee Parsons, and Danny Risch, James Crestwood, and Scott Van Sweringen. The name of this one is called, “How to Respond to a Faith Crisis? What Dee Parsons, James Crestwood, Danny Risch, and Scott Van Sweringen Did Right and How I Responded.”
  7. Then there is this post which is an outsider’s constructive criticism of Redeemer Arlington. This deals with how Redeemer needs to confront its past and how it could be the model for other former SGM churches. This highlights the potential it has IF they do the right thing. “Redeemer Arlington’s Incredible Potential Against the “Legacy of Ashes” of Sovereign Grace Ministries.” The title of this post comes from a book I read a couple of years ago called “Legacy of Ashes.”
  8. In this dark post I detail the false accusation that Andrew White made and how I struggled to manage it for 408 days. This is a post that reflects on the darkest season of my life, and I should also note this was not an easy post to write as I had re-live something heinous. “How I Managed a False Accusation Given Birth to by a USAF Captain and Care Group Leader from Redeemer Arlington for 408 Days
  9. This next post explores all the opportunities lost when Andrew White who boasted of Redeemer Arlington as being the “healthiest church he knew” was the only person out of 136 people who refused to reconcile or work things out. “Opportunities Lost when Andrew White, a Care Group Leader from Redeemer Arlington Refused to Reconcile in the 2013 to 2014 Time Frame
  10. I did some research to put together this post which examines why people get involved in questionable religious groups, cults and sects. I draw on my own personal experience with Mormonism and what others have told me about Sovereign Grace Ministries. This is called, “Why Do People Get Involved in Questionable Religious Groups, Cults, and Sects?”
  11. In “Why Are Evangelical Christians Terrible at Conflict Resolution? Thoughts about Redeemer Arlington and Fairfax Community Church” I explore the issue of why are evangelicals awful at conflict resolution. After all didn’t Jesus say blessed are the peacemakers? Where are the peacemakers in evangelicalism? This also looks at another local D.C. area church called Fairfax Community Church which is hemorrhaging issues as well.
  12. This post deals with a reconciliation from someone who was at Redeemer Arlington and a friend of Andrew White. He was one of the people on my list of 136 that I was able to seek forgiveness from and resolve conflict. This is a post that I enjoyed writing. “The 104th Reconciliation with Dan Glenn, Andrew White’s Friend from Redeemer Arlington
  13. This dark post explores how Andrew White worshipped Mark Driscoll. In this blunt post I also admit how I have done the same thing in my own way in life. This looks at how Mark Driscoll was made an idol, and what it was like for a skeptic outside Christianity to observe this situation. This deals with the launch of Paul and Jonna Petry’s blog “Joyful Exiles.” The name of this post is “How Celebrity Pastors Become Divisive: Mark Driscoll, Andrew White, Eagle and the Launch of Paul and Jonna Petry’s ‘Joyful Exiles’
  14. In an “Open Letter to Jordan Kauflin” I write about the reasons why things exist the way they do. Its my effort of trying to make sense of the ongoing situation in the context of what Andrew once claimed.
  15. This post looks at another reason why evangelical Christianity is ill today. People don’t repent or own their pain they causes others. The name of this post is called “How Mistakes are Opportunities….Why Don’t Evangelical Christians Say they are Sorry? Why Don’t Evangelicals Repent and Own their Mistakes Today?
  16. The inspiration for reading this post came from reading Richard Nixon’s autobiography “In the Arena.” In the first chapter the former president writes about his peaks and valleys. This is my looking at my own peaks and valleys in life. “Peaks and Valleys: A Post Inspired by Richard Nixon’s “In the Arena

9 thoughts on “The History of Eric Simmons’ Redeemer Arlington: Formerly of Sovereign Grace Ministries now of Acts 29

  1. I couldn’t quite get over: “Carolyn McCully was largely able to teach in SGM due to her personal connections. For example despite her education she has challenged and encouraged single women to carefully consider if pursuing education is worthwhile”.

    I would suggest there is wisdom to avoid accumulating large debt in pursuit of an education, especially if it is not a particularly marketable degree, but I don’t think that is what she is after.

    Her advice, only to women, don’t get an education because you won’t use it. Maybe shouldn’t use it? So avoid improvement, gaining a skill, be totally dependent. There is so much wrong with that equation. Not only does it speak to the dumbed down roles for women’s, it also speaks to the poor expectations of men in her circle. Unless SGM catered only to those who don’t advance past high school then I am reading that the men in her circle are not looking for a woman to share life with that are their equal. Wow, and she is a teacher?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill-

      I agree and see what you are saying in regards to college or grad school debt. I’ve known a few people paying off debt from law school in Georgetown and its stunning what they have. Plus keep in mind that I went to a private Jesuit college and my school debt probably equals that national debt of Nicaragua.

      Seriously…in SGM I think its about who you knew. The rules only applied to the peons and many people up top were exempt. She has taught in SGM in the past. Part of the reason why I included her old blog in the internet achieve link is to let people see how she boasted about SGM. Something is wrong I would say when you go from boasting about something to total silence and move forward. Christians don’t admit their mistakes in many ways.

      But the hypocrisy of her teaching when other women could not stands out. In many of these organizations there are two kinds of rules. Those that enforce them and those who fall under them. If you were connected you were exempt.

      Like

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