Born: June 20, 1974, Seattle, Washington
B.A. in Biblical Studies, Hardin-Simmons University
Former Staff Member, Beltway Park Baptist Church, 1996
Founder, Waiting Room Ministries, 1999
ERLC Leadership Council Member
President of Acts 29 Church Planting Network, March 2012 – Present
Lead Pastor, The Village Church, 2002 – Present
Matt Chandler is the current lead pastor and an elder at The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas. He also serves as the President of the Acts 29 Network. Chandler is a proponent of certain core doctrines of Critical Race Theory, a reality which is clear from sermons that he has preached and by certain associations that he has made.
Matt Chandler on Choosing Black Candidates Over White Candidates:
Matt Chandler has said that if he were to be forced to choose between a less qualified black person and a more qualified white person for a staff position at his church, he would choose the less qualified black person. This is a prime example of his adherence to the diversity and inclusivity tenets of Critical Race Theory.
The Village Church’s Resources on White Privilege:
In 2017, The Village Church posted a YouTube video entitled ‘How to Understand and Address White Privilege,” wherein Matt Chandler promotes the idea that, because he saw people who “looked like” him on television as a child, he experienced “white privilege,” which acted as “lenses” that were put over his eyes. “I have grown up with this invisible kind of bag of privilege, this kind of invisible toolkit, that I can reach in there at any given moment and have this type of privilege that a lot of other brothers and sisters don’t have, don’t possess,” Chandler said in the video.
“And so what happens when you have my upbringing and even my current reality is that you’re forced to, if you’re not careful, if you don’t let the gospel kind of purify your heart, if you don’t lean on the word of God to shape your understanding, you begin to kind of judge harshly those who can’t quite get to where you are, and you will be able to see that getting people to where you are is what’s normative… What I’m talking about right now is white privilege… Nothing makes Anglos more angry than the idea of white privilege… So, white privilege isn’t overt racism, right? Instead, it’s just this unique kind of experience of life in predominant culture…” he continued. This quote betrays Chandler’s affiliation with the doctrine of white privilege that pervades the social justice religion of CRT.
Further, Chandler remarked:
“Growing up, throughout your history books, if you learned anything other than white people built and made America great, it was during the month of February, it was condensed, and it was kind of a millimeter of depth of really what kind of other ethnicities contributed to now modern-day America. And even if you are– and then even when you open up your newspaper or you grab a magazine, you’re gonna see Anglos portrayed mostly in a positive sense, right? …We don’t get anxious every time we open up a newspaper about how we’re going to be portrayed. These are aspects of– it’s an invisible air that we breathe, a type of lens that we wear.”
Chandler presumes to speak on behalf of white people (or “Anglos,” as he refers to European-descended peoples) with this description, which is a reflection of the CRT idea that white people have a singular, shared experience called “whiteness,” which is not the case.
“So what happens is, when things blow up, we can look at African Americans or Asians or Hispanics and– because of the lenses in which we wear, and how we’ve been shaped by this invisible force– we tend to expect: ‘Why can’t they just…,’ ‘Why won’t they…?” And what we’re saying in that moment is ‘We’re harshly judging, and we’re expecting: ‘If they would just look like us, if they would just do what we’ve done, then none of this would happen.” And so, really, it’s a kind of terrible, judgmental place to sit. So, what we want is– we want the truth of God’s word and the beauty of the Gospel to wash over us. We don’t need to feel bad about our experience in the predominant culture– we just need to be aware of it so it doesn’t shape how we interact with the world around us.”
In this video, Chandler’s words reflect his dedication to the Woke narrative which portrays white people as inheritors of the benefits of supposed institutional racism, and that inheritor status is what is meant when he speaks of “white privilege.” Rather than acknowledging the reality that, far from being “privileged,” white people, on the whole, do not experience socially or governmentally-given benefits on the basis of their skin color, Chandler attempts to sell his church members (and those who use Village Church’s resources) social justice propaganda.
Matt Chandler on Black People Who Agree with White People:
Chandler argued in a 2018 sermon that “white pastors must say something regardless of the cost,” regarding race, implying that racialized sermons are a duty of every pastor. “I am not asking you to find the black person who agrees with you,” he said, which is a nod to standpoint epistemology which holds that “oppressed minorities” hold an inherently superior perspective on issues of race that white people do not share and cannot truly experience for themselves. “Becoming friends with the African-American who agrees with everything you say isn’t helpful to you as a white evangelical and probably has that African-American trying to win approval or position.”
In other words, Chandler assumes that African-Americans cannot agree fully with White Americans without attempting to gain status or social standing, which indicates that Chandler is operating under the twofold assumption that black people are intrinsically disempowered and that white people are intrinsically empowered, so any agreement between black and white contributes to a dynamic of “white supremacy,” or “institutional racism.”
Matt Chandler on Critical Race Theory:
In a sermon entitled “Ethnic Harmony,” Chandler said this in response to an increased level of criticism pointed against him by individuals who began to realize that his teachings were not Biblically sound:
“There became this… especially ridiculous notion that I’m Marxist, or that I’m a socialist, and now we’ve got the bogeyman of Critical Race Theory. Now, I’m aware of these tactics; the Enemy has always used them to discredit and malign the truth. See, if we can create a category and jam somebody into it, we don’t have to be uncomfortable.”
Here, Chandler attempted to distance himself from accusations of alignment with Marxism and socialism, which are at the root of Critical Theory, from which Critical Race Theory was born. Instead of owning his alliance with CRT, Chandler deflected, implying here that he has merely spoken an uncomfortable truth that others (that is, non-Critical Race Theorists) do not want to hear. This tactic is an example of the motte-and-bailey fallacy, given that Chandler explicitly promoted themes and tenets of CRT before he released this sermon, and given that one does not have to hold to the entirety of Marxism, socialism, or CRT in order to promote parts of it. He claimed that neither he, nor his elders, nor any of his staff were Marxists or socialists.
Later, Chandler remarked:
“The constant refrain that I’m being too political when I’m teaching about racism, but not a peep of that nonsense when I preach on life and being against abortion and we send a few hundred people to D.C. to march, that’s not political– but let me just read this passage out of Galatians and all of a sudden I’m being political? No, no, no. Personal responsibility and systemic injustice.”
In this segment of his sermon, Matt Chandler again betrayed his allegiance to the doctrines of CRT. “Systemic injustice” is a tenet of Critical Race Theory in and of itself. It is the privileging of white people over black people as an inherent feature of Western systems of governance, social structures, businesses, churches, academia, and other cultural institutions. When Chandler refers to systemic injustice, he does not give specific examples of it, because systemic injustices (per CRT) do not occur on a specific level. That is why Chandler speaks of white privilege, for example, in such atmospheric, general terms, like “invisible toolkit,” or “lens.”
At the IF Gathering conference in 2021, Chandler had this to say about “systemic racism,” which serves as further evidence that he has committed to the religious Woke church movement:
“Until there’s a kind of a heartbreak that gets all of us asking the Spirit of God to break this thing [systemic racism] that was woven into the foundation of the nation…theologically it was, in regards to the system to the system of structures, it was. In regards to the mindset, it was. So, the quick fix here is for the Spirit of God, by the grace of God to destroy this principality and power that sits over us…”
Woke Church Conference:
In 2019, Matt Chandler was announced as one of the speakers at the Woke Church Conference at Concord Church in Texas, alongside Eric Mason, author of the book “Woke Church,” which promotes social justice ideology and Critical Race Theory. His participation at a conference with the explicit purpose of making the Church more “woke” serves as evidence in itself.
The Village Church’s “Microaggressions” Worship Song:
In 2021, The Village Church released a worship song which contained overtly racialized overtones and focus, alongside explicitly Leftist terminology. Some of the lyrics are as follows:
“Our sovereign King gave a dream to Martin Luther King Jr.
A concept so beautiful hard to believe it could be true
But that dream was just a glimpse, like a flicker in the night
From the northern star pointing to where the freedom is
This dream it spoke of revelations of a nation
That no longer operated under a hierarchy of different races
Justice, unity, equality were realized,”
“Cause it’s a daily fight to remind myself that I am worthy
When microaggressions lie behind every other corner lurking
We been hurting for a long time, weary souls
Why’s it seem like my brothers in Christ can’t understand it though?”
These lyrics betray an underlying emphasis on black racial movements and anti-Christian liberation theology at Chandler’s church. It also betrays the false assumption that Martin Luther King Jr. is a Christian, despite the fact that he denied the Virgin Birth, the Divine sonship of Jesus, and the bodily resurrection. King also denied the Trinity, the supernatural plan of salvation, and the second coming of Jesus. He was not a Christian.
More than that, the use of the term “microaggressions” is a red flag in and of itself. The term “microaggressions” compares occurrences that minorities happen to dislike with actual violence. Further, the fact that this song released by The Village Church claims that microaggressions are “behind every other corner lurking” reveals further, deep-seated loyalty to the doctrine of systemic racism in every area of Western culture.