Not All Churches are That Bad. The Cognitive Dissonance of Tim Allchin and a Response to a Blog Post at the Website of Biblical Counseling Center

Tom Allchin wrote an article for the Biblical Counseling Center saying that not all churches are that bad. Tim, who used to come from Harvest Bible Chapel Naperville (Today Highpoint) reveals in the article that he just doesn’t get it. I guess living in the bubble will do that to you. This article offers a response and says that it is much worse than Tim will admit. When you consider the Harvest Bible Chapel fiasco, combined with Sovereign Grace Ministries and Acts 29 issues the evangelical church is in a state of crisis and deeply corrupt. Perhaps its hard for someone like Tim who draws a paycheck from the evangelical industrial complex to actually admit this issue.

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”

George Bernard Shaw    

 “Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil.”   

Plato   

  “Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.”

Dalai Lama    

Churches increasingly see the need for competent, gospel-centered counsel for their people. BCC exists to Help Churches Care for People. Through counseling and more importantly, working with churches to help them learn to counsel their own people, BCC brings gospel-centered hope to those who are hurting. We have recently opened our Dupage County office and have offices in Arlington Heights, IL and Northwest Indiana as well. We also teach regularly in churches on over 100 topics of expertise.

How Tim Allchin describes his organization on LinkedIn

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

James 1:5 ESV

Words of wisdom…

As the corruption of evangelical Christianity comes forward Tim Allchin is saying “Nothing to see here please disburse…”

In writing about Harvest Bible Chapel I noticed something that came from a family that has long ties to Harvest. It is an article that comes from Tim Allchin who once was a pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel Naperville. The article is on the Biblical Counseling Center website and helps explain why many parts of evangelicalism are so sick. In this case Tim Allchin is in clear denial and does not realize the scope of the problem. For someone into “Biblical Counseling” its one of the best situations of cognitive dissonance that I have come across. Because Tim can’t be honest about the scope of the problem. But before we look at the article let’s look at Tim Allchin first.

 

Who is Tim Allchin?

Currently Tim Allchin is the executive director of the Biblical Counseling Center, and he teaches at Crossroads Biblical College in Crown Point, Indiana as the Adjunct Faculty of Biblical Counseling. Tim attended Northland International University where he graduated in 1999 and that was followed by Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he earned a Masters of Divinity. From 2010 until 2012 he took several classes at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and applied those credits to a Doctor of Ministry at Central Baptist Theological Seminary.   

According to LinkedIn the first church that Tim worked was as an Interim Youth Pastor at Grace Brethren Church. After that for three years he did cross cultural youth ministry at the Crossroads of Illinois. He then worked in different capacities at Harvest Bible Chapel Naperville. In the 12 years he was at Naperville Tim was a pastor of junior high  and family ministries, pastor of biblical counseling, and then the pastors of small groups and missions. Harvest Bible Chapel Naperville became HighPoint Church in time. After Harvest Bible Chapel Naperville Tim was the director of the Biblical Counseling Center in the DuPage, Illinois location.  He then moved up and became the associate executive director and then the executive director of Biblical Counseling Center. Tim according to my research has not authored any articles at The Gospel Coalition, Desiring God or For the Church. Tim has published nothing through Crossway. He did have an exchange with Warren Throckmorton over the issue of Biblical counseling versus Christian psychology. You can read that exchange here, here, and here. Tim also commented on a post that I wrote about Garrett Higbee which you can read in, “Harvest Bible Chapel: Did Garrett Higbee Violate Confidentiality at Harvest? Plus How Kent Shaw Covered for James MacDonald and a Backroom Deal Between the Southern Baptist Convention and Harvest Bible Chapel.”

 

An Article on Biblical Counseling Center Website

There is an article in the Biblical Counseling Center website that really deserved a response. The article is very flawed in many ways and reveals some of the issues of fundamentalism. The article was written as the Harvest Bible Chapel scandal was accelerating. The topic dealt with how churches are all not that bad. The article actually reminded me of a classic scene from Leslie Nielson’s The Naked Gun in which he is trying to say that there is nothing to see. You can watch that scene up above. The article Tim wrote is called “Not all churches and pastors are like that.” I am going to offer commentary on the article below in red. Then I want to raise a number of other issues to make my point.


This past summer, one of our most popular posts was entitled “When your church disappoints you.” It was written shortly after the Willow Creek story hit the news, but the principles are equally true to many different churches going through struggle and controversy during that time in our area.

It’s not a size, denomination or doctrine issue. It may surprise you that many of the churches you pass on the way to your church are doing just fine.

  • All Churches are led by sinful people, but most are led by mature people.
  • Most Churches are not all about money, nor are they simply business operations.
  • Most Churches are not just a show- most pastors spend time in personal ways with their people.
  • Most Pastors know the majority of their people- the average church is small.

When I read these four bullet points by Tim Allchin I remain troubled. Honestly, I would really like to ask Tim, what is the weather like on your planet? When I contemplate the churches I have been involved they range from mega church to small. The small church was particularly toxic as it was based in third wave theology outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The church tried to raise a person from the dead in a hospital after he died and the youth group went to a convenience store to fight demons. But the experiences I have seen in many show that a large majority are plagued by nepotism, financial issues, sexual abuse, some are deeply political and so much more. Many parts of evangelicalism are deeply corrupt. In my life this lesson has been affirmed by churches across the United States. From California, to Wisconsin to the Washington, D.C. area. If this is Tim’s honest thoughts then he needs to get out more and see the world. Tim is living in a bubble.

Unfortunately, some churches are led by immature, money-hungry, event-driven, detached pastors.If you go to one of those churches, you will likely get hurt before long. As a biblical counseling center, we challenge our people to embrace a biblical model of living and relationships, this impacts the way we view churches too.

And Tim, what about the churches and places that stress a Biblical model of living? I think of the abuse that came from C.J. Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace Ministries. Wayne Grudem once proclaimed that Sovereign Grace is how church should be done. That is pretty sick when you contemplate the child sex abuse stories that hemorrhaged from the movement.

In our post this summer, we didn’t do enough to clarify that we understand the pain that many have felt in their local church experience. This pain is particularly intense when they are led by immature, money-hungry, event-driven, detached pastors.

And Tim, this post shows that you still do not get it. But as I will get into below, what happens when such “immature, money-hungry, event-driven, detached pastors” are defended and supported by organizations like The Gospel Coalition, Acts 29, the Southern Baptist Convention, or more? What happens when such pastors are defended by John Piper? Matt Chandler? Al Mohler, David Platt? Mark Dever and so many more? Is it possible that many evangelicals are so sick that they don’t know or realize it? Honestly that is a question I wonder about.  

This may be the suburban American way, but it is not the model of pastor that the bible describes as worthy of leadership of his church. Again, I would repeat this is not about size, denomination, or doctrinal persuasion. This is about the humility and focus of the leadership of the church, and whether they are committed to the biblical model of shepherding the flock.

Humility in my experience really doesn’t exist in evangelicalism. When was the last time you saw an evangelical Christian pastor or church say they are sorry or admit error? I know people in Seattle still hoping that Mark Driscoll will own his mistakes. I have read about people in the Washington, D.C. area hoping that C.J. Mahaney will own his.  James MacDonald will certainly never will. And I have been involved in many churches where mistakes are made, they could have been resolved and the pastor or leadership chose not to. That is why I actually gave John Secrest in Harvest Naples kudos for doing the right thing.  With all do respect Tim I don’t think you realize how sick American evangelicalism ultimately is.

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who has baled on church altogether. To him, most churches are led by immature, money-hungry, event driven, detached pastors. However, I don’t agree.

Actually your friend and I could swap a lot of stories if he comes to the Washington, D.C. area he can look me up. 🙂

Our experience at Biblical Counseling Center is that there are so many good churches that are led by godly and caring pastors. They are not perfect, and maybe they can’t publish a book or headline a major pastors conference, but they don’t really care about that. They are too busy caring for the orphans, widows, and hurting to find that kind of platform a blessing.

Tim you need to read the following post about propaganda. Its called, “You are Loved! Examining Propaganda of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Harvest Bible Chapel.” It doesn’t look like you have de-toxed from Harvest Bible Chapel Naperville as that claim, “They are not perfect” still drops from your mouth and/or pen. And as for your claim about churches caring for the orphans, widows, and hurting, do you mean to tell me that churches honestly do that?

Those pastors serve to glorify their heavenly father, not for headlines, viral videos, or platform adulation.

So if you are in a position where you are questioning if your church is what God wants it to be, spend some time reading Acts 20. Paul addresses and instructs the Ephesian Elders on how to keep the mission of God’s church central.

Don’t give up on church altogether.Instead, search for a pastor who cares about the principles listed in Acts 20 and models that in the way he conducts his weekly ministry.

P.S.This is not an easy topic, and it requires careful and deliberate effort to determine the will of God for you and your family. If this has resonated with you, we’ve written an article to help you understand practical and biblical discernment.

Tim there is a lot that needs to be said about this piece which I will do so below.

 

Tim Allchin Doesn’t Get It…

This is the kind of article you read and you want to shake your head. Tim Allchin doesn’t get this issue. Here is the problem that exists. In evangelicalism many people are locked in a position or career and they can’t move around. They don’t have the job skills, education or training to change careers. Its why people like Mark Driscoll, C.J. Mahaney, or the James MacDonalds could not change careers or do anything other than preaching. Its why they go from bad to worse over the course of time. Its also why so many pastors are stuck in what they do and they hop from church to church. Now Tim is also a part of the Evangelical Industrial Complex as he draws a paycheck and a living from evangelicalism.  As such he is going to continue to defend evangelicalism as its his livelihood and his way of making a living. Tim in many ways is just doing to double down and surround himself with facts that he chooses to defend his belief system. But this is an example of why evangelicalism will not get better and why the problems inside are systemic to the core. You can’t have an honest discussion about the issues. To illustrate the problems in evangelicalism being toxic let me discuss two situations from modern evangelicalism to make my point that it is worse than Tim Allchin says it is.

 

When D.A. Carson Who Co-Founded The Gospel Coalition Attacked a Rape Victim From Sovereign Grace

At the blog SGM Survivors which documents and wrote about the issues inside Sovereign Grace Ministries in February of 2013 a disturbing story of sexual abuse was told. A person recalled how at a Superbowl Party at a prominent SGM Pastor’s house she was raped against the wall. She was 13 years old at the time. Her name on the blog was “Anon.” The comment came out as a lawsuit was filed against Sovereign Grace Ministries for allegedly covering up child sex abuse. In the comment “Anon” said, “The pending lawsuit is long-deserved. I hope it ruins the entire organization financially and every single perpetrator and co-conspirator financially, mentally and physically.” You can read Anon’s story and the comments in response to the rape here.

When the lawsuit was tossed out on May 17, 2013 it was done so because of statute of limitations reasons. At The Gospel Coalition on May 24, 2013 D.A. Carson who co-founded The Gospel Coalition along with other evangelical celebrities Justin Taylor and Kevin DeYoung issued a statement that defended C.J. Mahaney of Sovereign Grace Ministries. It should be noted that in time Kevin DeYoung removed his name from the statement. D.A. Carson referencing the 13 year old who was raped then wrote the following.

Reports on the lawsuit from Christianity Today and World Magazine (among others) explicitly and repeatedly drew attention to C. J., connecting the suit to recent changes within SGM. He has also been the object of libel and even a Javert-like obsession by some. One of the so-called discernment blogs—often trafficking more in speculation and gossip than edifying discernment—reprinted a comment from a woman who issued this ominous wish, “I hope [this lawsuit] ruins the entire organization [of SGM] and every single perpetrator and co-conspirator financially, mentally and physically.”

We are not ashamed to call C. J. a friend. Our relationship with C. J. is like that with any good friend—full of laughter and sober reflection, encouragement and mutual correction. He has regularly invited—even pursued—correction, and we have given him our perspective when it is warranted. While the admission of friendship may render this entire statement tainted in the eyes of some, we hope most Christians will understand that while friends should never cover for each others’ sins, neither do friends quickly accept the accusations of others when they run counter to everything they have come to see and know about their friend. We are grateful for C. J.’s friendship and his fruitful ministry of the gospel over many decades.

D.A. Carson had attacked someone who was raped at 13 years old. You can read the original statement in, “Why We Have Been Silent about the SGM Lawsuit?”

So what does it say about evangelicalism when the co-founder of The Gospel Coalition attacks a rape victim? What does it say about Trinity Evangelical Divinity School when they stay silent about a prominent professor who attacks a sexual assault victim?  What does it say about the Evangelical Free Church of America when they stay silent on this situation? When many Neo-Calvinists support, endorse and promote The Gospel Coalition what does that say? Is American evangelicalism as embraced by Neo-Calvinists a rape culture?

So when you see the issues with D.A. Carson what does it say about Trinity Evangelical Divinity School showering Carson with praise as he retires and they re-hire him to teach?  It makes me wonder not only does the EFCA not understand what Christianity is but has Trinity Evangelical Divinity school covered up sexual assault and abuse in its past? As this blog writes about the EFCA that is a question I would like to ask. You can read more in, “Is Trinity Evangelical Divinity School Ready for the #MeToo Movement? Reflecting on Professor Emeritus D.A. Carson’s Attack on an Alleged Rape Victim to Defend C.J. Mahaney.”

So having explained the issues with D.A. Carson and The Gospel Coalition can you see the problem when they publish an article an article about why survivors of abuse don’t come forward? Why would you come forward when the co-founder of the organization has publicly attacked a rape victim? Why would you open up about your sexual assault when many people celebrate and extol The Gospel Coalition? What this shows is really how sick modern evangelicalism can really be.

 

The Corruption of David Powlison and Christian Counseling Education Foundation As Broken by The Wondering Eagle

As previously mentioned this blog writes and reports about the EFCA. In writing about the EFCA there has been some deeply disturbing situations that came forward. This blog broke the story of one such situation in Elverson, Pennsylvania which is outside Philadelphia. It is the story of Steve Estes and Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson. Steve’s son who was an alleged alcoholic allegedly raped his wife while intoxicated. He also abused her and allegedly loaded a gun and pointed it at her. Knowing that she could be dead the senior pastor’s daughter-in-law filed for divorce and the church moved to practiced church discipline on and excommunicated her. In the story Steve Estes was close to David Powlison who heads up Christian Counseling Education Foundation (CCEF). CCEF rejected the rape and domestic abuse victim which allowed the church discipline to go forward. And Steve Estes who is on the board of director for CCEF still remains. CCEF did nothing to remove the man who covered up his son’s alleged sexual crimes. If you want to read the story you can do so in the following articles.

  1. Steve Estes and Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson, Pennsylvania: A Painful Story of Domestic Abuse, Inappropriate Church Discipline, and Failed EFCA Polity
  2. Hurit’s Public Excommunication While Alleged Criminal Activity by Brock Estes is Withheld from the Congregation: Appeals for Help Fall on Deaf Ears to Steve Musser of the Eastern District and National Evangelical Free Church of America
  3. What do David Powlison, Cecilia Bernhardt and Christian Counseling and Education Foundation Believe on Domestic Abuse? Why is Julie Lowe and CCEF Holding an Abuse Event at a Church that Excommunicated an Alleged Rape and Domestic Abuse Victim?
  4. Community Evangelical Free Church Update: Should Christians Respond to David Powlison’s Fundraising Campaign in Light of how CCEF Treated an Alleged Domestic Abuse Victim? Plus a Congregation Meeting and Brock Estes Proudly Displays his Gun Collection on Facebook
  5. Does Christian Counseling & Education Foundation Take Domestic Abuse Seriously? Why is Steve Estes Still on the Board of Directors?”

Then another issue with CCEF is that of Dave Harvey who is the Chairman of the Board. Dave Harvey is known for being in leadership inside Sovereign Grace Ministries. His former Sovereign Grace Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania also was known for covering up child sex abuse just like many other Sovereign Grace churches. Despite all that Dave Harvey is now the executive director of The Sojourn Network out of Louisville, Kentucky. You can read about Dave Harvey and his issues in, “An Overview of the Sojourn Network out of Louisville,  Kentucky.The real message in all this for Tim Allchin is the following. Inside evangelical Christianity if you want to go places make sure you cover up child sex abuse. If you had successfully done that and have that on your CV you will go places inside your little bubble. But Tim Allchin needs to do some hard core thinking about how bad the evangelical church is. The question is as follows can he?

 

Avoid Biblical Counselors Like You Would Avoid Cancer

It is this blog’s goal to make sure that people avoid “Biblical counselors” like Tim Allchin. As I have written above CCEF is a racket. CCEF is out for making money and those organizations abuse sexual and domestic abuse victims. This blog is a firm believer of science and psychology and has a great deal of respect for Warren Throckmorton for how he engages on psychology from a Christian perspective. The fact of the matter is that for your health its best to avoid biblical counselors in the same way you would avoid cancer. If you have mental health issues, depression, bi-polar, anxiety and so many other issues go to a psychologist and psychiatrist. If you have a mental health issue and you go to a “Biblical counselor” you are setting yourself up for harm. Because they are not qualified to deal with your mental health issues. To see a “Biblical counselor” is really setting yourself up for malpractice and further abuse. It would be akin to the following. To see a “Biblical counselor” is like having a brain tumor and approaching a gardener in the neighborhood and asking if they can medically treat you. So by all means avoid organizations like the Biblical Counseling Center, CCEF and other like mind places. They are a racket and a fraud.

8 thoughts on “Not All Churches are That Bad. The Cognitive Dissonance of Tim Allchin and a Response to a Blog Post at the Website of Biblical Counseling Center

  1. Having been a victim of biblical counseling, which is the most satanic form of counseling Tim Allchin needs Jesus. There are basically 4 forms of counseling. The most abusive and destructive is biblical counseling. You can flip flop 2 and 3 depending upon the counselor and is a secular counselor or a Christian counselor. Neither one is as bad as biblical counseling but I wouldn’t agaonize choosing one over another. The best counseling option is a counselor who is a Christian. They will apply their faith but they won’t force it on you. Garrett Higbee is a biblical counselor and has allowed more abuse to happen by the counselors that work for him to the point it makes me sick. As a side note, at last check Rick Donald was on the 12 Stones board. Steer clear of these men.

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  2. Right on! This is an issue that needs to be addressed and exposed for what it is. No telling how many peoples lives have been ruined by this so called “counseling”. It may be fine for minor issues but if people are having real mental health issues this amateur talk therapy will do more harm than good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tom Allchin wrote an article for the Biblical Counseling Center saying that not all churches are that bad. Tim, who used to come from Harvest Bible Chapel Naperville (Today Highpoint) reveals in the article that he just doesn’t get it.

    Perhaps its hard for someone like Tim who draws a paycheck from the evangelical industrial complex to actually admit this issue.

    It’s always hard to see anything wrong with a system that personally benefits YOU.

    “I Got Mine,
    I Got Mine,
    The World’s the Way It’s Meant To Be,
    I Got Mine…”
    — Glenn Frey

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Now Tim is also a part of the Evangelical Industrial Complex as he draws a paycheck and a living from evangelicalism.”

    As was implied, religion is their occupation and their meal ticket.

    It looks like Tim is doing pretty good for himself, judging by his home. He lives in a 2000 Square foot home with three baths that has a book value of $321,000. His property tax is over $7000 a year.

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  5. I experienced “Biblical counseling” at an HBC plant and it was an extremely bad experience. This was called Biblical Soul Care which was rolled out by Higbee to most/all HBF churches. I also interacted with 12 Stones which did not end well. Once I was in this type of counseling, it seemed like I couldn’t get out. I was told it was the only way I would get through the difficulties.

    In hindsight, I have learned how dangerous it is to have untrained pastors and lay people tackling major issues. It has a place for smaller issues, but they can and do get out of their league really quick. It is a nice idea that the church should be able to meet all of our counseling needs, but it is not practical or wise. I believe the Word of God can be applied to most all situations, but the person administering any type of deep counseling needs to be highly trained. HBC seems to think a few videos and a few hours of discussion magically makes everyone with a fundamental understanding of God’s Word a counselor capable of leading others through complicated issues. I agree it sounds good and looks good on paper, but it is so dangerous, so risky, and so reckless.

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    • Thanks for the comment. Terribly sorry that was your experience. What you are describing in Garrett Higbee’s “Biblical Counseling” I have heard from others.
      Its dangerous, toxic and to be avoided. “Biblical Counseling” in my view should be treated as medical malpractice. The sad part is that people are hiding behind religion which adds to the problems.

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  6. Pingback: Advice for The Well Community Church in Fresno, California as they Want to Reset | Wondering Eagle

  7. I know people in Seattle still hoping that Mark Driscoll will own his mistakes. I have read about people in the Washington, D.C. area hoping that C.J. Mahaney will own his.

    “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
    — P.T.Barnum

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