The behavior of pastor John B. Carpenter on social media is concerning.
Over the past few days, my friend and others were having a debate with him concerning biblical principles of treating the poor. Instead of engaging respectfully, Mr. Carpenter simply hurled insults at then, insulting their intelligence, questioning their Christianity, and ignoring any kind of respectful discourse. When I reached out ask Mr. Carpenter about his behavior and if he was feeling okay, he simply responded with the same talking points, continuing to denigrate me and my friends, calling us liars and a frauds. From the perspective of someone looking in from the outside, this looks like harassment.
I understand that social media conversations often involve miscommunication and talking past each other, particularly on contentious topics. But this seemed like a deeply problematic temperament.
When mentioning my connection to pastor Tim Keller and Redeemer in NYC as a way of connecting, he replied "Your friend is a viscous liar and total fraud and you’re a sick person for enabling his slander. We don’t share any values because you and your perpetually lying friend aren’t Christians." And proceeded to black me.
Personally, I'm surprised that a pastor representing a church that supports compassionate care when it comes racial justice and equality, treats people as uncompassionately and disrespectfully as he did in these interactions.
I am concerned for Mr. Carpenter's mental health. This is a stressful time for us all, but this does not excuse Mr. Carpenter's disrespectful and un-Christ-like behavior.
I cannot recommend a church lead by this man.