Davey Blackburn and the Murder of Amanda Blackburn

FWIW, I initially suspected that Davey Blackburn, youth pastor of Resonate Church in Indianapolis, murdered his wife, Amanda Blackburn. He was at the gym, she was shot, he returned to find a dead wife, yeah…I was cynical. I have seen that scenario before, and usually the husband is guilty.

But according to the evidence we have on record, that is not the case: Amanda Blackburn, and her unborn child, were killed by two thugs who were on a violent spree that left at least one other person dead.

On that front, unless someone has some really high bombshell evidence that destroys the state’s case, Davey Blackburn is innocent of murder.

To that issue, I think Amy Smith of Watch Keep, whose blog I enjoy reading, is reaching way too hard.

OTOH, she is absolutely correct in pointing out Blackburn’s subsequent actions, which border on downright creepy. Check out the links for yourself.

I realize we all have our ways of coping with tragedy, and I don’t want to take anything away from Blackburn. What he experienced is one Hell of a loss. But from what I am seeing of his preaching before his wife’s murder, I must admit that I see a cause for concern.

Amy Smith is right: this certainly looks like “grooming.” And his actions after the fact do not resonate with me as being consistent with a man who is grieving over the loss of his wife.

If MrsLarijani were killed in such a way, let’s just say the bad guys had better hope the cops caught them before Pilgrim and I did. I would not be calling my wife’s death “serendipitous”, and I sure as Hell would not be writing books or doing speaking engagements. In fact, I would be focused on raising Abigail, getting business done at the office, and busting my ass for my next endurance event. I would NOT be granting interviews, that’s for damn sure.

Blackburn’s actions tend to raise no small number of red flags. He’s innocent of murder, but there is something totally off-kilter in his case.

I would not want him within 50 feet of a pulpit. And if I had kids who were youth age, I would not want them in his class.

More Trouble for John Smyth (and probably P.J.)

I wish I could say I was surprised at this latest set of allegations about John Smyth. (HT: Brent Detwiler)

To me, the larger issue here is not so much John, who is mostly a non-factor today, but rather his son P.J.

While P.J. cannot be held guilty for the sins of his father, he does owe the larger Body an accounting of what he knew, when he knew it, and what his role–if any–was in these “camps”.

To date, his denial–and clarification–has raised more questions than answers.

The nature of the allegations against his father are damning; if one percent of those are true, then he deserves to be hanged, drawn and quartered. If the allegations are true, then John Smyth is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

But P.J. has some things for which he needs to answer, as they are pertinent not only to John’s victims, but also the operations at Covenant Life Church.

(a) What was P.J.’s role in his father’s camps?

(b) To what extent was he aware of the abuses?

(c) Which abuses did he personally witness?

(d) Did he participate in any abuses?

(e) If so, at what age was he involved?

(f) If he was involved in abuses, did he ever break off his involvement?

(g) If the answer to (f) is yes, when?

(h) How many allegations of abuse came his way?

(i) What did he do with those allegations?

The answers to these questions are important, because the men, women, and children of Covenant Life Church have a right to know what kind of man is leading them. Does he consent to such abuses? What would he do TODAY if an allegation of abuse came his way? What culture does he foster among his fellow elders and deacons and small group leaders regarding such conduct?

As for you, P.J.:

I don’t give a crap about your theology.

I don’t give a crap how many books you have published.

I don’t give a crap how many butts you get in the pews on Sunday.

I don’t give a crap how many conferences at which you get invited to speak.

That you subscribe to a conservative theology makes it all the more incumbent that you provide substantive, honest answers about your past. This is because, in that past, you were an integral part of what was ostensibly a Christian ministry.

Your father’s sins are not your sins; you are, however, responsible for what YOU did.

And you have not been forthcoming about your roles.

I’ve said it before: what you saw and did as a child–or even as a teen–is one thing: I do not hold children and teens to the same level of responsibility that I would hold an adult.

But what you have seen and done in adulthood, that is something for which you owe the Body an answer.