Earlier today, I was a participant in the Zoom meeting with +Budde and Randy Hollerith over the Max Lucado debacle. Here are my thoughts:
- Bishop Budde was far more convincing than Randy Hollerith. Specifically, +Budde opens up and becomes vulnerable as she discusses this mess. Randy seems very much the narcissist who has learned responses by rote, and lacks real understanding of the underlying issues.
- My feeling is that +Budde is spot on when she says she is not the person she thought she was. And that’s probably true for many of us—we reach inflection points in life where we realize that we are blind to our own shortcomings.
- Randy Hollerith in particular does not appear to understand a Christian theology of forgiveness. Indeed, while he repeatedly said he was sorry, at one point he says there is nothing he can do to undo the hurt he has caused. And while for many, myself included, that is true, neither does it give him a free pass. And forgiveness and reconciliation by definition require reparation. Indeed, Randy appears to fall into the cheap grace camp so common in TEC.
- There was considerable tension in the chat room. Some were quite angry, including at the fact there was no time for Q&A; others drew criticism for immediately saying, “Thanks for the apologies, everything is fine.”
- While +Budde talked about how this is just a beginning, and the virtual meeting was undeniably a necessity, the whole thing feels like too little, too late.
- While Hollerith acknowledged his arrogance in pressing ahead with Lucado despite myriad warnings, he still doesn’t appear to grasp just how incredibly arrogant he was and is to lecture others on being open to other viewpoints, even as he refused to listen to others who warned him of the impending danger.
- I am reminded of the incredible arrogance and stupidity of his wife Melissa Hollerith in her role as President of the Virginia Disciplinary Committee. This is a woman who can look you in the eye and say that illegal behavior by clergy is okay as long as criminal charges are involved. This is a telling barometer of the narcissistic thinking that appears to be front and center in the Hollerith household.
We also have not meaningful change. Yes, lots of references to doing things differently going forward, but very few details, and Randy Hollerith has not offered to step down. Given the pain he’s caused to so many, resigning would be the courteous and right thing to do.
In short, if Randy Hollerith doesn’t have the common sense to avoid going over this cliff in the first place, we shouldn’t run the risk that’s going to show such remarkably bad judgment a second time.