Reformed Baptist Pastor Tom Chantry convicted of felony crimes – a Prison sentence “will destroy me”

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DISCLAIMER: This is not an endorsement of the ‘Thou Art The Man’ blog, nor of their authors. 

I’ve been following this story for several years now. I’ve read volumes of articles, documents, posts, and even statements by mothers of victims. There’s so much more to say about this, and how this should have been handled, and how this could have been prevented, but I’ll limit my comments to just this.

For a long time now I’ve been a critic of ‘cronyism and nepotism’ amongst local churches, denominations, and associations. Rightfully so, it raises the suspicion that a leader’s friend or relative is placed in high positions based on relationship, rather than being anointed and appointed by God. In other words “It’s who you know.” Perhaps this is another rotten fruit of nepotism? Consequently the wrong man might end up in the pulpit. The end results is a reproach to Christ, a blackened eye on Christ’s bride, and repeating the practices of a Rome-like hierarchy.  

This below article also mentions Earl Blackburn and Pastor Tom Chantry’s father (Walt Chantry). Interestingly in one of Blackburn’s books [1], he quotes Walt Chantry making terrible derogatory remarks against Christians that might be “critical” of bad church practices, or that might warn them of any ecclesiastical “weaknesses.” He’s even referred to Christians who might have a “better idea,” or that might evangelize without the local church officially sending them out, as being “Zealous and self-promoting.” I’ll consider being called “zealous” a badge of honor. But to call one of the Lord’s elect “self-promoting” because they are alive in Christ, rather than lukewarm or dead, is way out of line. Mr. Walt Chantry the reason why you have so many Christians evangelizing “aside the Church,” is because their local churches are failing to send them out. It’s because their local churches lack the zeal that you criticize.  As I stated in another post –

I would rather it be the ‘local church’ that goes out as a team to Herald the Gospel into the public realm. That is the preferred Biblical model, but perhaps only 5% of our local churches do this. But instead, it is a remnant that gathers collectively from various local churches. Some may wrongfully call them “Nomads” or “Zealous and self-promoting,” but I see a large portion of these Heralds as the Ambassadors (presbeuō) seen in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20. They desire to be obedient to the Lord’s Word, in spite of their own churches disobedience. In that sense, these are the true Ambassadors for Christ.

This is why I prefer to be associated with Biblical names i.e. Ambassador, Bond-slave, or Born-again, rather than the name of a denomination or institutionalized church. Though we fail ourselves, the Scriptures will never fail us. Therefore let’s keep it Scriptural.

I pray that my allegiance will always be first and foremost to Christ (thee Head of the church), and secondly to my local body, and their local leadership. I am not opposed to all associations, but a healthy church will be able to self-govern itself, fill its own pulpit, and remain autonomous.

Lastly, as a reformer who has embraced all five fundamental Doctrines of Grace, I refuse to have a hypocritical log in my own eye, who will only point their fingers at Rome, or protestant heretics. We have much to repent from ourselves. Though that might sound “critical” or “zealous and self-promoting” to Blackburn or Chantry Senior, but let us never forget the Words of Christ in His letters to five of those seven churches.

Below is the aforementioned article.

[1] Earl M. Blackburn, Jesus Loves the Church, and So Should You (Alabama: Solid Ground Christian Books, 2010) 18.

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