A female encounters fundamentalism at Acts 29 and the EFCA’s Redemption Hill Church in Washington, D.C. Luaren Wynn left a message in a Google review that stands out as a warning for females to stay away. Immediately the Acts 29 church begins to do damage control.
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”
“Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.”
Villagers in Israel would not fight;
they held back until I, Deborah, arose,
until I arose, a mother in Israel.
Judges 5:7 NIV
The church sign for Redemption Hill in Washington, D.C.
There was an interesting situation that developed at Redemption Hill church recently that The Wondering Eagle learned about. Its a part of a long, ongoing problems of issues inside Acts 29 that need to be examined.
Lauren Wynn Encounters Hard Core Neo-Calvinist Complementarianism at Redemption Hill Church
Lauren Wynn could very well be like many people who move to Washington, D.C. Some people come here for schooling at universities like The George Washington or others. Or she came here for work and to start a new job. Washington, D.C. has a strong economy and it attracts a lot of people for work. Either way she came to D.C. and was looking for a church. She was having challenges and problems in life and like I did, or you, she thought the church was the answer. So it appears as if she got involved in Bill Riedel’s Redemption Hill. When she entered this Acts 29 church she ran into problems. What was the biggest? She was a female. When Lauren left Redemption Hill, she then left a scathing Google review in the May 1 through 3rd time frame. This blog captured it in a screenshot, and you can read it below.
The video Lauren references you can watch up above. But before we look at how this church responded lets’ look at some issues with Acts 29 first.
How Acts 29 and Other Evangelicals View the Washington, D.C. Area
Neo-Calvinists in the Acts 29 movement are really fundamentalists in many ways. By their nature they often regards themselves as having “sound doctrine” and believe they have church done right. Many Neo-Calvinists often have contempt for other Christians and believe that they are lost, not saved, or not even in a relationship with Jesus. For example here in the Washington, D.C. area I have had former members of Mark Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist Church tell me that churches like McLean Bible (when Lon Solomon led it over the years) and Mark Batterson’s National Community Church, an Assembly of God place of worship on Barracks Row on 8th and I, are not considered Christian churches by covenant members of Capitol Hill Baptist. They are lost, and not saved. Now Capitol Hill Baptist is not Acts 29 but it refers people to local Acts 29 churches because they are the only ones who get doctrine right. From what I have heard Mark Dever has a close relationship with Jordan Kauflin’s Redeemer Arlington. So who is not considered Christian by Neo-Calvinists? Those who are classified as Arminian, mainstream Protestant (Lutheran, Episcopal, etc…) Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox churches are considered lost and not Christian.
Many evangelical churches and ministries are drawn to planting churches in the Washington, D.C. area. They consider the area lost and in need of being saved. Its because of it being the hub for the federal government and being able to influence the government or engage in the culture wars. Acts 29 is drawn to cities like Washington, D.C. because it has high regard for urban areas. In the Washington, D.C. area there are at least 11 Acts 29 churches and more are coming from what I have heard.
Looking at Acts 29 Patriarchy Culture and How Women Have Been Treated From Mars Hill to The Village Church and Beyond
Acts 29 has always downgraded women and viewed them as less than human. Its roots go back to the influence and imprint that Mark Driscoll had on the Acts 29 movement. This occurred when Mars Hill Seattle was ground zero for Acts 29. For Driscoll he played up a hyper-masculine Jesus. He effectively taught of a Jesus that can beat his own chest and then knock the shit out of someone. You can read more on this hyper masculine Jesus in the following New York Times article. So if that is how men were to act then the question is, what about women? Women were to blindly submit to men. They were to be mounted on, and conquered in the bedroom. The only purpose they had is in popping out children, with at least 3 a year. At Edinburgh, Scotland in November of 2007 Mark Driscoll said that a woman should serve her man by performing a blow job on him. That was her purpose and in Marks’ disturbed mind why she was created. You can read more and actually listen to the sermon where Mark Driscoll boasts of a blow job bringing someone to Jesus in, “Reflecting on a Controversial Mark Driscoll Sermon About how a Repentant Woman Gets on Her Knees and Performs Oral Sex.” After Mark proclaimed that we live in a pussified nation and once called women penis homes Matt Chandler and the Acts 29 kicked him out of the organization in 2014.
So the Acts 29 network which was dealing with patriarchy problems was transferred from Seattle, Washington down to the Dallas, Texas area and Matt Chandler took the lead. Ground zero for Acts 29 had shifted and now was at The Village Church. About a year after all that happened a dark story came out of Matt Chandler’s church. A woman, who was in a membership covenant, had annulled her marriage to her husband who she learned was sexually attracted to children and addicted to child pornography. Matt Chandler’s church tried to place her under church discipline after she moved away from Dallas. It remains one of the darkest stories that show how women are subjugated inside Acts 29. You can read more in ““The Explicit Gospel” at Matt Chandler’s “The Village” Includes Child Pornography, Church Discipline and Membership Covenants.” and “Has Matt Chandler’s The Village Church Recovered from the Karen Hinkley/Jordan Root Scandal?” Issues in patriarchal teachings continue to be a major problem in Acts 29. The Acts 29 pastor who Bill Riedel reports to is called Bryan Laughlin. He is the lead pastor of Acts 29 Remnant Church in Richmond, Virginia. Laughlin also leads the Acts 29 district that goes from Virginia up to Maine. This blog was approached about issues inside Remnant. Laughlin’s church allegedly intervened and told a female who was in the process of becoming a police officer for the city of Richmond, that she could not. It was not Biblical for a female to become a police officer as she was to submit to her husband. The issue crushed her and she was forced to leave. Recently this blog learned that she entered the military and is a commissioned Army officer serving in the D.C. area. You can read more about Remnant in, “Bryan Laughlin’s Remnant Allegedly Tells a Female She Can Not be a Police Officer; Examining Women in Law Enforcement and National Security Roles, Plus Does Acts 29 Deny the Story of Deborah?” and “An Open Letter to an Unknown Female Formerly of Remnant Church (On Wanting to be a Police Officer for the City of Richmond).”
After a Google Church Review Redemption Hill Goes into Damage Control
When Lauren Wynn left that negative review it appears as if on the same day people started to rally to the church’s defense. Acts 29 churches as I have learned are sensitive about their image. But it appears one review could have overlapped. I leave Google reviews for churches and organizations I have written about and some times they kick back and I have to redo them. The first review is as follows by Tatum Janel.
“My husband and I have been attending RHC for 3.5 years. At first I was hesitant to engage and commit to RHC because of past church hurts. My former church made me feel unheard and therefore not valued because of the views it held in regards to women. Not only did RHC welcome me in, but extended extra care because of my past church experience. The emphasis placed on community, vulnerability, sound doctrine, and most importantly grace enabled me to not only enter a process of healing, but also gave me the courage to extend grace to my former church. I feel heard and deeply valued by this church. RHC is a family of imperfect people. who desire to walk alongside each other in seasons of suffering, in seasons of celebration, and all the seasons in between.”
That was followed by the comment by Emile Laliberte:
“I have attended Redemption Hill Church for the last three years and found an amazing community built on sound, gospel-centered teaching. I am challenged every week by the sermons and enjoyed digging deeper into the community groups.”
That was followed by Quiana Richburg who stated the next Google review.
“Very welcoming and people are super friendly. Gospel-centered, dedicated to reaching the city and focused on community. Community groups are fun and personal, allow you to get to know each others outside of church and give you people to encourage and support in your walk with Christ. We don’t have family close but RHC has become that for us.”
The last response is by Alisha B who stated the following:
“Never have I felt so immediately welcomed and cared for than at Redemption Hill Church. This place is a diverse community welcoming in everyone to hear the good news, celebrate the way God is working in our lives and see Jesus work and change lives for the better, as well as see DC prosper. Thankful for such a great church in out city. My family away from family.”
Half of the Google reviews rallying to support Redemption Hill came that same day or within a day to appears. This is a church having issues and people are starting to talk about it and Redemption Hill goes into damage control. Its trying to push back against what Lauren Wynn wrote upon leaving Acts 29 Redemption Hill.
A Personal Note to Lauren Wynn…
Lauren I read your Google review of Bill Riedel’s Redemption Hill. This blog writes about issues in Neo-Calvinist and modern evangelicalism. It also explores church culture in fundamentalism at many places here in the Washington, D.C. area. Some people may not understand your experience, this blog does. This blog interacts with many people who have been deeply affected by fundamentalism. The Wondering Eagle gets the dark side of evangelicalism quite well. Just go through the blog archives and read up on some of what has been written about other churches in the Washington, D.C. area and the United States. If you would like to tell your story about your time in Redemption Hill this blog will give you a platform. I wish you well, and please take care.