CityView Church, an establishment founded by Matt Chandler’s The Village Church, has declared its separation from the Acts 29 church planting network, citing concerns over organizational flaws, theological drift and poor decision-making.
The departure, announced by CityView’s pastor, Rick White, signals a significant shift for a church deeply rooted in the network for nearly two decades.
In a detailed statement, White expressed his disappointment over the decision, stating, “Our church has resigned our membership from the Acts 29 network. It saddens me that it had to come to this.” White outlined three primary reasons for the separation: a flawed organizational structure, concerns over poor decision-making, and leftward theological drift within Acts 29 and a loss of confidence in the network’s ability to support church multiplication.
Our church has resigned our membership from the Acts 29 network. It saddens me that it had to come to this. After 18 years of serving and giving, along w/ my personal investment, it would be fair to ask, “why?” It would also be fair to ask, “why the public post?” (1/17)
— Rick White (@Rick_White) January 2, 2024
CityView Church, a participant in Acts 29 for 18 years, has played a vital role in the network, hosting conferences and assisting in the establishment of multiple churches. However, White raised concerns about Acts 29’s preference for larger churches, leaving smaller congregations with diminished influence.
The issues leading to the separation include Acts 29’s theological shift and a response to various social issues in 2020. White highlighted a video, “Walking with Jesus Among our LGBTQIA+ Friends,” posted by Acts 29, which caused relational rifts within member churches, including CityView. White deemed the video poorly conceived and an “embarrassing distraction.”
Criticism also arose regarding Acts 29’s handling of the matter of women preaching in its churches. Instead of maintaining a clear stance, the network formed a task force and surveyed member churches before drafting a letter on Complementarianism. White expressed dissatisfaction, stating the letter “lacked decisive clarity.”
Chandler himself has been the target of criticism, as many have accused him of adopting the tenets of Critical Race Theory and incorporating them into his sermons. Along with this criticism, Chandler briefly stepped down from his position after an inappropriate “online relationship” with a married member of his church. He was reinstated three months later to thunderous applause.
Apostasy and Doctrinal Concerns
Amidst this growing schism within Christian networks, it is crucial to heed the warnings of potential apostasy. The Bible foretells that during the end times, many will be led astray by false teachings. The need for biblical literacy is paramount, as deception can infiltrate even well-established institutions. As Christians navigate these deceptive times, remaining steadfast in the Word of God is the surest safeguard against doctrinal deviations and spiritual compromise.
The departure of CityView Church from Acts 29 highlights the challenges faced by churches grappling with doctrinal differences and shifts in theological perspectives. The call for believers remains clear—to anchor themselves in biblical truths, remaining vigilant against the subtle allure of worldly ideologies, and ensuring a deep commitment to understanding and upholding the Word of God.
James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.
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