I recently visited its website and read its "mission" statement, and in reading it, I can see how Joal and Sarah believe they are justified by their lies, and there is nothing in Eastwood's "mission" that contradicts that point. An especially telling paragraph states:
Jesus was extremely critical of the religious leaders of His day because they set rules above relationships. We desire to follow in His footsteps and place people above these man-made rules -- whether they are cultural, traditional, or religious.This sounds good on the surface, but it actually undercuts the Gospel and it certainly can be used as a tool for deceitful, predatory people like Joal Henke. I will explain why I believe that.
Jesus did not speak out against the Law, no matter how much the Emergents want us to believe He did. Furthermore, He did not condemn the Pharisees and other religious leaders for following the Law; he condemned them for breaking the spirit of the Law, for placing the rules that made up their interpretations of the Law above the Law itself.
This is much different than what the Eastwood people want us to believe. They want us to think that as long as we claim to have a "relationship" with Jesus, then everything else is fine. The fact that a number of Eastwood members refused even to look at the evidence and instead blindly followed Joal and Sarah -- despite their obvious perjury -- seems to be living proof that they don't consider things like "truth" to be relevant. In the Emergent view, "truth" is relative; it is subordinate to relationships, and because of it, one can justify almost any behavior that clearly violates the Law of God.
As I am going to point out in future posts, there is no question that the Henkes lied on the stand. They were part of a prosecution strategy that kept introducing "new, I just remembered" material in an attempt to fill the obvious holes in the prosecution's evidence against Tonya Craft. Furthermore, Sarah kept a Facebook page up during the whole trial in which her featured picture was that of her holding Tonya's daughter, claiming that the child was her own.
This, people, is sick, sick, sick. It is evil. It is a woman being willing to lie in a court of law in an attempt to steal the child of another woman, and receiving encouragement from her church in telling those lies.
However, because the lies were about "relationships," the Eastwood Church swallowed the falsehoods whole and justified the action with its "mission" statement. The members of that church fool no one other than themselves, and they certainly don't fool God.
So, if the Eastwood Church needs a new motto, it can be: "Perjury, not Purity."