Our Response to the Recent Christianity Today Article
September 23, 2022
I wanted to take this opportunity to respond to a recent Christianity Today article containing various allegations against Gracepoint.
First and foremost, abuse including spiritual abuse is absolutely wrong, and we as a church are against it, period. It is entirely incongruent with our Christian faith.
Some of the stories in the CT article are from people that I’ve personally known for many years, and I understand where they are coming from. I understand human interactions can be complicated and fraught, and I am really saddened that their experiences were at times hurtful, and it is my sincere hope and prayer that they will find healing and continue their faith journey with God.
To be sure, our staff and leaders take responsibility for those encounters that did not go well. We deeply regret to hear about anyone who felt they were hurt. None of what follows is in any way meant to dismiss the reality that we have caused hurt. But I believe that this CT article is inaccurate on many points and misses a lot of context and nuance regarding our practices and culture. The incidents reported are not characteristic of our ministry and do not represent approved practices by our church. Many thousands have gone through our ministry, most of whose experiences are quite different from what has been described by a few. In other words, the sorts of incidents reported in the article are not the norm, and most of our members would testify that they enjoy strong relationships with friends and leaders as well as deeply meaningful ministry work for the kingdom of God – with a lot of joy and laughter along the way.
But our ministry is carried out by imperfect sinners, 1,600 mostly lay ministers, who are “works in progress.” And the ministry that we are called to engage in is a tough one: the church is called to welcome broken sinners to be saved by God’s grace and then to disciple them into maturity in Christ. We believe that a leader’s role includes candidly addressing human brokenness and confronting sin when necessary, as the Bible mandates, in a loving and honest manner. But in that process, there are definitely situations where individuals make wrong calls, interactions go badly, and leadership comes across too controlling or too harsh.
We are working hard at self-examination to ensure that we do better – particularly in properly teaching and equipping our leaders to approach everyone in a loving and Biblical way, and with realism and balance.
I want to end by once more expressing my deepest regret to anyone we have hurt and urge concerned individuals to personally approach our leadership so we can seek healing, apologize where necessary and seek forgiveness and reconciliation.
If you have any questions/concerns, please call Jonathan at 510-753-0675, and we will be available to speak with you.