An Open Letter to Jason Dees (Senior Pastor at Christ Covenant Church Regarding Jordan Kauflin and Spiritual Abuse From Redeemer Arlington)

Thus is an open letter to Jason Dees of Christ Covenant. This open letter explains why Jordan Kauflin should not be hired by Christ Covenant. This is the story of how I learned why rape and sexual assault is an issue in the military. It was triggered through a false accusation by someone Jordan Kauflin discipled at Redeemer Church of Arlington. The unresolved abuse later popped up in my Mom’s terminal illness. Jordan Kauflin should not be leading worship or in a position of authority. He is not above reproach and this abuse situation has hung over Redeemer Arlington for the last few years. . 

 

“The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.”

Edmund Burke

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

Matthew 5:23-24 NIV

***Note Jason Dees is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant church in Atlanta, Georgia. This is an open letter to him regarding Jordan Kauflin and abuse that happened from Redeemer Arlington. ***

 

Jason-

I want to tell you a dark story of how I learned why rape and sexual assault is a problem in the military, and how it was triggered through a false accusation from someone who Jordan Kauflin discipled at Redeemer Arlington. The situation was badly mishandled with the guy continuing to run and Jordan Kauflin letting him go. The unresolved mess  adversely affected my life and later popped up in my Mom’s hospital room in a terminal illness. My Mom had the right to die in peace Jason. And despite even reaching out to Redeemer when Jordan’s son Jack had a relapse of leukemia and offering an olive branch. It was spurned. In my opinion Jordan Kauflin should not be in a position of leadership in any church. Too much is hanging over him, and he is not is not above reproach. Here is the story of what happened and blog posts that are linked in.

One of the many notes Andrew left on my desk when I was being evangelized. 

In 2011 in the midst of a faith crisis driven by the problem of evil. I was deeply into Christopher Hitchens and consumed a lot of atheist material. I called myself agnostic but in reality was more of an atheist. My path crossed with someone who at the time was an Air Force Officer and graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. He was a covenant member and leader of a community group at Redeemer Arlington. At this blog I call him Andrew White which is a pseudonym, He tried to get me involved in Redeemer which was the last Sovereign Grace church plant at the time from SGM Ministries of C.J. Mahaney. Initially I was open but when I looked at the details of SGM and started to notice blogs that documented how Mahaney allegedly covered up child sex abuse and other criminal activity I was horrified. “The Elephant’s Debt, SGM Survivors and Others. How Should Such Blogs be Viewed?”  As someone who rejected Christianity at the time being invited to an organization known for allegations of covering up criminal activity deeply validated what Christopher Hitchens taught about religion being corrupt. Andrew and I clashed and he begged, pleaded and tried to get me involved. I pushed back and said no and called Redeemer Arlington a cult.  I will be honest in that I said some things that I would not have said today, and yes I made mistakes. But what I was eventually accused of was false. On May 8, 2013 Andrew triggered a false accusation that threatened my name, ability to earn income and more. He triggered a false accusation that claimed I stalked him. It was one of the darkest situations in my life that was bizarre. Shortly before this happened Andrew actually invited me into his home and asked me to change the password of his computer because of his internet pornography problems. On May 8, 2013 I was warned not to contact him or I would be reported to the police for a crime that never was committed. Andrew after triggering this in time then focused on recruiting another person in my office. It was the darkest thing I lived through and was psychologically traumatic. When I saw how a military officer can abuse his authority it taught me why rape and sexual assault is a problem in the military. The false accusation hung over my life for 13 months and eventually Andrew left with it being unresolved. “How I Managed a False Accusation Given Birth to by a USAF Captain and Care Group Leader from Redeemer Arlington for 408 Days.”

In the course of time before he left realizing the mistakes that I made I approached 140 people roughly and asked for forgiveness. You can read that here. The one person who spurned it was Andrew White from Redeemer Arlington who boasted of how solid his faith was because of all the Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler and John Piper he podcast. He left with the false accusation still in place and conflict unresolved. With the situation still affecting my name I consulted an attorney who looked at the situation and told me that I was sitting on a defamation of character lawsuit. He thought I had a good chance but counseled me to try and work things out with Redeemer. Lawsuits can be messy. What I had to accept was either a letter by Andrew that nullified the false accusation or for him to go back to the person he triggered it with and clarify the situation. He felt it important to leave an out and said that the false accusation could be explained as a misunderstanding and that it could be mitigated. So I first met with Eric Simmons who encouraged me to meet with Jordan Kauflin. In 2015 I took Jordan Kauflin out to lunch in Arlington, Virginia and told him the story and what happened. I approached Redeemer in a good faith effort. Eventually there there was a conference call between myself, Andrew White and Jordan Kauflin. Cautiously  I was optimistic but when Andrew heard what he triggered he said that I didn’t do what I was spoken to about. He said that he was “sorry” under pressure but after the call he cut off communications and continued to run. Jordan Kauflin said that Andrew was “sorry” and let him go. The situation was not resolved and Jordan Kauflin ended up covering for him.

Does this look like a place for spiritual abuse to drag into?

Earlier I told Jordan that this needed to be resolved because one does not know how things can grow or what can happen in the future and how they can affect other areas of life.  That was true at the time and I did not know how that would come to be an issue. With the situation not being resolved and it being a threat I realized that I would have to change jobs. That was a challenge in itself and took years. Eventually my Mom learned of what happened. Actually I never told my Mom about the false accusation because I didn’t want her to worry. As a mother in California she felt when it happened and knew that her son was threatened and harmed. I was stunned when she asked me what happened. How could she know? She responded, “I’m your mother I know these things as I gave birth to you.” The situation left my Mom in tears. While I was still looking for a new job my Mom developed what would be a terminal illness that began in December of 2016. I flew back from Washington, D.C. often to help my Mom as she went in and out of the hospital. I took care of my Mom with another family member and poured my time into that. It was a hard illness as my Mom developed delirium due to the stress of being in the hospital. In one of the times she was cognizant she expressed worry about me finding another job because of what happened. I fucking blew. This spiritual abuse situation from Redeemer Arlington had no business in a terminal illness. My Mom should not have worried about her son as he terminal illness was progressing. She died roughly two months after that on April 1,  2017. “Was Redeemer Arlington Removed From McLean Bible’s New City Network? The Wondering Eagle Asks Why? Plus how Spiritual Abuse from Redeemer Affected My Mother and Popped up in Her Hospital Room When She was Ill.

So I had a military officer on the run from a spiritual abuse situation and Jordan Kauflin went silent for the most part as this continued to drag on.  After getting a new job I reached out to Redeemer and Jordan Kauflin and extended an olive branch to resolve this spiritual abuse situation. Why did I do that? Jordan Kauflin’s son Jack had a re-lapse of leukemia. After what I have seen in the hospital with two parents and terminal illnesses I didn’t care to see this drag on. I offered again a truce more or less. And I even donated to his son’s leukemia fund. All of this was ignored by Jordan Kauflin. “Jordan and Tali Kauflin’s Son has a Relapse of Leukemia. And an Olive Branch to Redeemer Arlington is Ignored” and “Go Fund Me Established for Jordan and Tali Kauflin as their Son Deals with Leukemia.” Plus, “Unless You Experience Spiritual Abuse Then You Won’t Understand How Painful it is.

 

Let me be clear with you Jason. Jordan Kauflin has no business being in a position of leadership at Christ Covenant or any church. He has enabled abuse. He has contributed to it. And when  a person makes a good faith effort his response is one of contempt. Jordan Kauflin is making the same mistakes his father, C.J. Mahaney and others have made from the SGM abuse situation. The problems have duplicated and Jordan Kauflin has not learned the lessons from it. I was willing to work with Redeemer at the time. However, I will also not be manipulated. Messes like these are not resolved over night and not quickly. They take patience, understanding, empathy, repentance and remorse. 

Here are the tragedies of the situation Jason. 

  1. Redeemer Arlington failed to deal with a member who engaged in spiritual abuse. In the end they let him go while the abuse was unresolved. 
  2. The military officer in question and Redeemer Arlington failed to understand how the conflict affected my life and family. Redeemer failed to handle a situation from a member from their church who wounded an outsider.  
  3. While I have had a lot of dark experiences with evangelicalism. In my case I saw what happened when someone boasted of their faith, sound doctrine and more. His abuse was basically encouraged by Jordan Kauflin when he was let go. 
  4. Redeemer Arlington bungled an opportunity to create peace and resolve conflict. How does a secular attorney understand conflict resolution better than a pastor of a church? So if you have the right “doctrine” you can abuse at will and do what you want? How does that make sense? 
  5. Redeemer Arlington, the military officer and Jordan Kauflin caused conflict in my family and caused undo stress in a terminal illness. My Mom deserved better and no spiritual abuse situation should interfere with a terminal illness before death. It had no place in a hospital room.
  6. The mistakes from Sovereign Grace Ministries were not learned. I am 45 years old and writing about similar themes that blogs like SGM Survivors have done about the C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries. The children of SGM leadership are repeating the mistakes of their elders. 
  7. Jordan Kauflin, and the military officer and Redeemer did the cruelest thing a person can do. Deny a person peace and closure to where it adversely affects their life.  Its pathetic to occasionally download a sermon and hear Jordan or Redeemer talk about faith and the glory of God and know this has dragged on and the pain it has caused. Its like when I write this blog and I meet with someone who tells me how their child was sexually abused in a church and then covered up by pastor. I will attend the service to take notes and observe. To see the pastor in question give a talk and discuss about giving it all to Jesus and then I think what I heard about what he did in allegedly covering up the abuse situation. I often think to myself, “What the fuck?” Its warped and twisted. 
  8. This situation helped drive a person away from church. It also validates atheism when you read atheist personalities and authors who talk about how corrupt religion can be. Jordan Kauflin, that military officer and Redeemer illustrate why religion is corrupt and quite toxic. 

None of this had to happen Jason. I was willing to work with Redeemer. If there was a good faith effort I would have dropped this issue. But that never happened. At the time I wanted to follow the legal counsel I was given at the time. I wanted very much for both the military officer and Redeemer Arlington to understand the pain that was caused. Even as this mess dragged out I extended an olive branch to Jordan Kauflin and Redeemer when Jordan’s son Jack had a relapse of leukemia. Why did I do that? Because from late 2016 until late 2018 I almost lived in the hospital dealing with two parents who had terminal illness. I know what its like to be in the ICU at 3:30 in the afternoon and to be in a hospital room at 3:30 in the morning watching a loved one suffer. I didn’t want the Kauflin family to go through that so I extended an olive branch. It was ignored even when I made a donation to help the family’s medical expenses. 

The reason why Evangelical Christianity is so cancerous is because Christians never say they are sorry. They wound someone and leave them alongside the road broken and devastated.  Then while boasting of sound doctrine and holding events like Passion of T4G they ignore the abuse that they have done. Worship by a lot of evangelicals is largely bullshit Jason.  Jordan Kauflin has no business leading Christ Covenant in worship. He has no business being in a role of responsibility. If Redeemer and Jordan handled things differently I would not have written all this. And in different circumstances I would endorse him being in a pastoral or worship position. That is if the situation were resolved and a sincere effort took place.  Because mistakes do happen and I think people should be given a second chance. But that is not what happened here. This situation was badly mishandled and apparently Jordan Kauflin thinks that one can just run and leave pain, hubris and damage in their wake.  Is that the “Gospel” for Christ Covenant? That is my question to you. “When Religion is as Destructive as Alcoholism or Drug Addiction.”

Very Respectfully,

David Bonner  

One thought on “An Open Letter to Jason Dees (Senior Pastor at Christ Covenant Church Regarding Jordan Kauflin and Spiritual Abuse From Redeemer Arlington)

  1. Pingback: Why Jason Dees and 9 Marks’ Christ Covenant Church Will Not be Able to Reach the Lost of Atlanta | Wondering Eagle

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