The following accounts are given to demonstrate that Apologia Church in Phoenix has repeatedly used secret recordings of church members in an abusive fashion and engaged repeatedly in ‘hard shepherding.’ All of the information to follow has come directly from those closely associated with Apologia Church who contacted Pulpit & Pen or Bible Thumping Wingnut after seeing their elders continue in the same cult-like practices repeatedly. In some cases, names were changed to protect the innocent.
(Seth Dunn – Pulpit & Pen) Sean Samson* looked down at his iPad, troubled by what he saw. Being a bit of a tech geek, Sean had set up his iPad to save all of his daughter Eleanor’s* text messages….
Now he was reading them-even the ones that had long been deleted from Eleanor’s iPhone, for the first time. Just a few months prior, Eleanor had been a friendly 12-year-old-girl who was interested in typical 12-year-old-girl things like cartoons, games, and her after school performing arts group. Now, Eleanor was withdrawn and sad. Like her father, she had been isolated from her friends and her church family. The Samsons were members of Apologia Church in Phoenix, Arizona. Apologia was founded by its pastor Jeff Durbin. Durbin, a former drug abuser and martial arts performer, has become moderately famous in Reformed circles over the past few years through his online videos and podcasts which are disseminated by his church’s media arm, Apologia Studios. Durbin is known for his distinctive style, street evangelism, sidewalk abortion protests, and presuppositional apologetic method. Sean Samson had engaged in ministry under Durbin’s leadership, occasionally teaching mid-week Bible studies at Apologia Church. Their families had been friends. Now, there was an uncomfortable distance between them, a distance that had a lot to do with what Sean found on his iPad: numerous texts of a profane nature that had been sent from a member of Durbin’s household to Eleanor. The messages were full of profane language and were of a sinful nature. One of them contained a link to inappropriate content on the internet and encouraged Eleanor to look it up. The profane messages had a notation, “DAR,” which in teen textspeak stands for “Delete After Reading.”