A Third Open Letter to Jordan Kauflin (When Spiritual Abuse Interferes with Illness and Grieving After Death)

In my Mom’s terminal illness she expressed concern as I was trying to mitigate a false accusation from someone who tried to get me involved in Redeemer Arlington. The spiritual abuse I endured popped up in a hospital room shortly before my Mom’s death. I was livid, as my Mom should have been able to do deal with her illness and eventual death in peace. This is another open letter to Jordan Kauflin from Redeemer Arlington. Why couldn’t they do the right thing? This is not an easy post to write but I need to get this off my chest.

“The marks humans leave are too often scars.”

John Green

“Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.”

George RR Martin     

 “From the least to the greatest,
    their lives are ruled by greed.
From prophets to priests,
    they are all frauds.
14 They offer superficial treatments
    for my people’s mortal wound.
They give assurances of peace
    when there is no peace.
15 Are they ashamed of their disgusting actions?
    Not at all—they don’t even know how to blush!
Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered.
    They will be brought down when I punish them,”
    says the Lord   

My Mom in a medical crisis and my Dad looking over her.

*** Jordan Kauflin is Bob Kauflin’s son. He was reared in C.J. Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace Ministries and is one of the pastors of Redeemer Arlington today. He is in that position along with Eric Simmons. The spiritual abuse that came from someone at Redeemer Arlington was what triggered this blog. Plus the spiritual abuse was never resolved despite my efforts to do so. The situation just dragged on unresolved and affected many areas of my life. One of which was my Mom during her terminal illness and  time in the hospital. After Mom’s death I had to wrestle with the grieving and pain of loss, but also how spiritual abuse affected the situation. Today I am going to share a painful picture with the goal to ask Redeemer Arlington leadership, is this what the Gospel is about? Is this what they stand for? Spiritual abuse affecting someone in the hospital and dragging out unresolved? ***



Today I am going back to a sensitive and painful topic.  It is something that I have been meaning to do for some time now. But I want you and all the people who attend Redeemer Arlington to understand what spiritual abuse came from someone in a position of authority from your church and how it affected my family – specifically my Mom. On December 5, 2018 I buried my father which was hard to do through. However there is one aspect to my Dad’s death that is healthy and good. It was separate and not affected by the spiritual abuse I went through earlier. So I can grieve, cry, mourn and struggle with Dad’s loss by itself. Its hard but nothing more is affecting the situation. In this dark time of mourning and loss the pain of the situation is all that I am dealing with. As awful as the situation is, that is how it should be. Death and illness should be a private matter and with my Dad it was. And for that I am grateful.

In the case of my Mom that can not be said. The unresolved conflict and spiritual abuse from Redeemer Arlington played out in that situation. What happened is that my Mom knew what had gone on and the difficulty I was having in trying to get a new position. The false accusation that I endured, which also could have become a legal matter according to an attorney was unresolved. The person who triggered the false accusation needed to go back to the source and retract it. Or provide a written letter with his signature that I could produce if questions arose. That never happened.  What occurred is that Redeemer’s Care Group Leader fled. He acted like  C.J. Mahaney, Mark Driscoll, and soon James MacDonald I predict.  We had a phone call in May of 2015 if my memory recalls correctly. Andrew White, myself and you Jordan Kauflin. Andrew said he was “sorry” for what happened but broke off contact and ran. He didn’t do what the lawyer told me to accept. Jordan you let him off the hook. You claimed that he said he was “sorry” before letting him go. Meanwhile the false accusation poisoned a relationship with a supervisor and work setting I was in. Since Andrew and you would not do the right thing, the only way out was to find a new place of employment. Mom knew this and she was concerned about what happened. In the hospital about a month or so before her death she expressed concern about what was going on. I was livid that my Mom worried about me in a hospital room. After all with her illness that she was dealing with she should not have had to worry about it.  It had no place or business coming into a hospital room.

Jordan Kauflin I want you to examine that picture up above. Look at the medical crisis that was hell and ask yourself. Does this look like a place for unresolved conflict? Is this what “Gospel Centered” theology from Sovereign Grace or Acts 29 about? Is that what the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville trained you for? Interfering in the privacy of the hospital room? Look at my Mom’s face Jordan. Blow up the image. Study it. Grasp what is transpiring. Look at the worry and concern my Dad had in this situation. Why didn’t Redeemer Arlington do more? Why couldn’t you do the right thing? Why couldn’t you let me family deal with something as painful like this in peace? What if that was your Mom Julie Kauflin in this situation? Would that trouble you? If the tables were turned would you finally grasp what happened and what you enabled? Honestly Jordan I would not wish what your church did to me to happen to you, or anyone else. That would not be right. But the fact that this dragged out and touched the intimacy of a hospital room is what sickens me. I told you guys, as to how important it was to get this resolved. The lawyers understood, as did I. But you guys were the ones that fumbled. You want to talk about screwing the pooch, you certainly did.

Jordan this is not an easy post to wrote. You know what was going through my mind as I considered it? It was the funeral of Emmitt Till. After his murder in Mississippi in 1955 his mother decided to hold an open casket funeral in Chicago to show what racism and hate did to her only son. In my case I want people from your church and other Acts 29 churches in the Washington, D.C. area to see what spiritual abuse does. I want them to see what my family went through and ask if this is proper? I want them to realize that this has no place in situations like this Jordan.

After Mom’s death I had to deal with the fact that this affected her during the illness she suffered from. As I dealt with grieving I had to face the reality that Redeemer Arlington was responsible for spiritual abuse that played out and later affected her illness.  What should have happened is that I should have been able to grieve Mom’s death by itself. I should have been able to weep, cry and deal with the loss of the illness alone. That partially happened, however, I also had to wrestle with the fact that this arose in the grieving process. As I struggled to come to terms with Mom’s death and loss I had to grapple with the fact that this should not have affected Mom in the hospital room. It should not have been her concern. My Mom should have been able to deal with her illness and then die in peace. That is what should have happened but it did not. As I dealt with my Mom’s death I ran this by a couple of people for clarity and thoughts and they confirmed that it was disturbing and sick. That is what Redeemer Arlington is about, messes like this show what it stands for in the end.

Jordan you know what is also disturbing about this? You guys can’t admit you screwed up. You can’t admit you made a mistake. In writing this blog I have traveled up and down the East Coast and also in parts of the Midwest and West, and I share this story. People have asked what has happened. When I explain what transpired they understand and see the injustice that took place. They get it. Why can’t Redeemer Arlington? Jordan when you are involved in burying your father and mother I don’t want you to be subjected to anything like this. Honestly I don’t want anyone to have garbage like this enter into an illness shortly before death. Jordan you guys need to close. Redeemer Arlington is like a cancer inside Arlington, Virginia. How will I get peace in the end? It will be by keeping people away from Redeemer. I will get peace in knowing that no one else will be hurt by this former Sovereign Grace cult organization. That is what will allow me to sleep at night and that will be justice.

This is a hard post to compose but its one that needed to be done. I want people to know how cult like and harmful Redeemer Arlington is. You guys really want to honor God? Here is how…shut down that racket!

Very Respectfully,

David Bonner