Jim Wright’s Claim to be an Elder
For the past several years, after being excommunicated from his last local church in Manassas, VA, Jim Wright has based his heresy hunting activities upon his claim to be one elder among multiple other unnamed elders from a network of “organic churches” in the Manassas, VA area. Jim Wright names none of these alleged people so there’s plenty of reason to question Jim’s claimed qualification based on the Scriptural qualifications of an Elder. This is relevant, especially as Jim asserts himself to hold Scripture as God’s Word and regularly criticizes others as heretics or cults who don’t hold to his very narrow definitions. He’s also very vocal in criticizing others with the bizarre claim of being “Apostles” even where they never claim or use the title. Jim Wright very clearly claims to be an elder though and as that’s the foundation of his claim of standing in these matters, that should concern anyone tempted to listen to him who don’t know him otherwise.
So, lets look at the Scriptural qualifications of an Elder and see how Jim compares to those.
One common passage used by Biblical, Fundamentalist Churches is:
Titus 6:1-9 If anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and to rebuke those who contradict it.
Is Jim Wright Above Reproach?
To be above reproach means to be without unresolved issues from the past. It doesn’t mean that someone is perfect or hasn’t made mistakes. It means that they have the character and integrity to have managed their relationships from the past in such a way that they have remained open to people approaching them about past issues and willing to resolve them to the full extent under their power. Jim Wright does not pass this test based on several past known issues.
- Jim Wright was excommunicated from his last local church and in the end the church involved had to conduct it’s congregational meeting to address Jim Wright’s actions with a police presence because of his threats and past pattern of action. Jim Wright was excommunicated from this church by a near unanimous vote. The only one who voted against it was a woman who is now Jim Wright’s second wife. (This is based upon direct interviews in person, on the phone and by email with the Pastor, other elders and members of this Church. There is no evidence whatsoever of Jim Wright taking responsibility for any of his actions, repenting or seeking to restore these broken relationships.)
- Jim Wright left his previous local church while in the midst of a nasty public divorce, after making outrageously false and exaggerated claims toward several pastors and the church in general and then seeking to use these claims to promote himself as an advocate for sexual abuse victims. The case Wright cites was against one pastor and filed in Federal Court as a discrimination case which was settled with no criminal charges involved. Jim Wright often produces a paper filed in this case as “evidence” of his claims which was not publicly ruled upon and not proven. This is just one instance of many throughout Jim’s life in which he’s been described by those who have known him or had any sort of relationship with him, as a purveyor of “false and exaggerated claims.”
- There are many other instances on this site regarding Jim Wright’s reputation on matters of attempting to deceive people through the use of multiple likes through advertising and possible click farms using people with no point of connection or sustained community, back-dated blog posts, continuous editing of posts to trump up and make more false and exaggerated claims.
Jim clearly doesn’t pass on the measure of being above reproach. His life is littered with conflicts, broken relationships and known unresolved church discipline issues. Any reasonable organic church that checked Jim’s history and contacted his prior churches would have plenty of issues of concern that would lead to questions if he should be welcomed into the group, let alone declared an “elder.”
Is Jim Wright the Husband of One Wife?
This is an area where many churches and believers disagree on the extent of what is allowable for Christians in general and even where things are allowable there is often a higher standard applied to Pastors and Elders. Jim Wright, clearly falls into the latter category as he attempts in his past blogs (and Jim has been cited in past court judgments related to this divorce with breaking an agreement with his former wife to not discuss the divorce publicly or defame either party) to accuse his ex-wife with Biblical grounds for divorce. This was either not proven in court or was disregarded as the divorce was granted on the filing and request of Wright’s first wife. Wright claims that his second marriage to his current wife Marianne was examined and approved by his fellow unnamed elders and unnamed additional network of churches. If Jim Wright is speaking on behalf of others and promoting a title of “elder” it’s entirely reasonable for any outside of Jim’s immediately claimed but unproven church circle to ask others to speak to support Jim’s claim to the title. Jim however, simply asserts the title and the role for himself with no open community support evident at all. Marianne Wright openly lends her name to their Crossroad Junction blog which they claim represents both of them.
Are Jim Wright’s Children believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination?
Jim Wright has 3 now adult children from his first marriage. I have limited information here and much of it is secondary and hearsay. Further I do not know Jim Wright’s children and by all accounts I’ve heard from multiple sources the relationship between them and their father is strained or non-existent primarily by choice of the children. There is evidence from the court records from the divorce case that the children supported their mother primarily and that some of the violations of the agreement alleged against Jim included the loss or destruction of items and family heirlooms under the control of Jim Wright which were desired by one or more of the children and not turned over in accordance with the agreement for which there were several summons for Jim Wright to appear before the court to account. It appears additional monetary judgments were assessed because of this apparent violation by Jim Wright which has all the outward appearances of an attempt to punish them.
Other accounts given in interviews and unsolicited contacts include stories of alleged spiritual abuse within the home, some of which included the alleged celebration or non-celebration of Christmas.
All of this should give any reasonable person pause as to whether Jim Wright’s management of and relationships with his first wife and now adult children show any sign of Jim Wright attempting to make amends and restore relationships insofar as it remains with him. All indications I’ve received, and I haven’t aggressively gone looking for any, indicate otherwise.
Based on all I’ve seen and heard I have a great deal of sympathy for Jim’s children for much of what they appear to have had to put up with all their lives. I won’t speculate as to their position as believers, except to say nobody I’ve spoken to has mentioned this element. Often children who grow up in homes with levels of alleged spiritual abuse have a great deal of trouble in returning to religious communities. I wish them the best and am willing to speak with them if I can help in any way.
Is Jim Wright Arrogant?
All indications from multiple sources as well as direct examination of his blogs and other social media outlets indicates quite clearly that he is arrogant and quite prideful. He routinely points to his education (I’ve confirmed Jim’s claim to a J.D. independently, after finding that Jim Wright’s chief collaborator, Keith W. Smith is in fact an academic and professional fraud), uses his writing abilities to attack and belittle those with whom he disagrees, and has many times been recognized in Facebook and other social media groups as disruptive, churlish and rather “full of himself.”
Well before Jim was excommunicated from his last local church, several who had contact with him through his former prison ministry have described him as “a big kid.” For a significant period of time, Jim spent large amounts of money renovating his home and remodeling areas into game rooms where Jim spent a great deal of time gaming online. Several have mentioned this as part of their opinion as to what damaged his first marriage, but that’s just speculation, of course.
Some claim as well that those who became involved in his house church, which by his own admission failed in large part because of his micromanagement and control of it, were often pressured to accept Jim’s decisions on matters secular and spiritual. While Jim was in still in local churches before being cast out and unwelcome in his last two churches, former prisoners involved in home studies warned Jim of alleged problems in his marriage which he refused to acknowledge and denied. It’s a common theme throughout the wreckage of Jim Wright’s first marriage and children, former organizations, former churches, former pastors, and other fronts that Jim is unapproachable and unwilling to listen to any contradiction of his take or interpretation on things.
He’s even presented as “evidence” in many of his public attempts to destroy others, old material that was involved in long since resolved matters where the person who wrote the original material has denied and withdrawn their statements and gone on to reconcile with the person involved. Jim, as is common of those who deal in rumors, gossip and slander, believes he knows better than the actual principles involved what happened. This is even more amazing given he has no direct knowledge of the people or situations involved. He often invokes unnamed victims and then infers he knows more than others and others should trust him as part of his irrational and bombastic outbursts.
There’s a loud chorus of voices for over 35 years that testify strongly to the opinion that Jim Wright is arrogant, unteachable, stubborn and that once he’s made up his mind on something, unwilling to change it no matter what the cost to himself and others.
Is Jim Wright Quick Tempered?
As hinted above, there are multiple evidences that Jim Wright is Quick-Tempered. The wreckage of so many past relationships in so many different contexts as well as observations that he is immature and adolescent in some of his personality characteristics would be consistent with this. His current campaign against multiple Christian authors began several months before he made his public accusations, with his taking great offense against a blog article in which he had this to say. It is lengthy, but it demonstrates many of the qualities cited above as to Wright’s temper, his arrogance and his personal offense taken many months before he launched his personal campaign of slander and revenge. I’ve added observations in the text to point out many of the things that demonstrate Jim Wright’s unfitness as an elder. You will find them between the <> symbols.
… with all due respect (and I mean that!), you don’t have a clue what you are talking about. <arrogant and quarrelsome. You’ll see no respect in what follows>
Your “history” of the “religious right” and “neo-evangelicals” and “fundamentalism” is so off base as to be shocking.
I know: I lived it and was involved at the highest levels and also as one of the most touted grass roots leaders back in the ’80s. I was the object of books and national media for my leadership and organizing back during the time you now want to discredit with dubious and outright false “history”. <Arrogant and also quite a selective and misleading claim>
Where did your rhetoric and history from, the Washington Post and New York Times? I mean, are you characterizing us based on those who continue to have an agenda of statism and liberal utopianism – such that you now have become a mouthpiece for the those who want to discredit what was accomplished back in the 80s because they fear we might block them once again?
Really, if you think that those of us who established your reader’s right to home school, open church schools, not pay for abortions with tax dollars… <Arrogant and also quite incorrect. Jim Wrights antics harmed the causes he claims ownership for now. Jim failed repeatedly and lost the support of others otherwise sympathetic to his cause>
If you think that those of us who set up crisis pregnancy centers and homes for women and placed millions of children in Christian homes rather than see them killed…
If you think those of us who beat back the mob and the flood of porn in the corner grocery store, who passed the laws to affirm parental rights, and who did so many other things you now take for granted….
If you think we were fundamentalists or even mostly influenced by fundamentalism, you must be smoking something illicit. <arrogance>
Fundamentalists had a dualistic world view that separated the secular and the spiritual and thus had no theology for civic and political engagement. They were the ones who caused the mess we had to address, because of their theology of retreat, defeat and escape.
The main influences for those of us who actually lived out our faith and made a difference back in the ’80s (as opposed to those who now want to espouse revisionist theories about us) were the very neo-evangelicals you say we rejected!
…, it is one thing to be ignorant of history, but it is another thing to twist history or rely on the antagonists of a movement to now redefine the motives and activities of your own brothers and sisters – so as to now promote your own pet theories about “beyond evangelicals”. <Arrogant and pedantic, assuming a position of instruction over a lesser other. Typical of Jim however. He often seeks to put others on the defensive by accusing them of what he is doing himself. It’s a typical tactic employed by internet trolls>
Beyond evangelicals, as one who has actually taught church history at the college and grad level, <appeal to authority that doesn’t quite match reality. Jim has no accredited qualifications to teach these subjects. His BS is in Biology. He failed to complete a degree in Apologetics and has a JD in Law> seems to me to be nothing new. It certainly looks like warmed-over pietism from the 1800s. Get real! There’s little that’s “new” in what you are advocating, even though I agree with much of what you’ve written regarding the grand epic and centrality of Christ.
So tell me, in your revisionist history, what and who are your sources? Who did you actually interview from those days, before besmirching brothers and sisters who cared enough to get involved when our nation’s cultural walls lay in ruins?
Like Nehemiah, we held a trowel in one hand to re-build the walls, while also needing to hold a sword in our other hand to hold off the crazies who wanted to close our Christian schools, promote abortion with our taxes, open the flood gates for vile obscenity on every street corner, undercut the family and promote their statist ideologies. <Jim is also available for parties and Bar Mitzvah’s … sorry couldn’t resist>
… you seem to only want to see the sword that we needed to hold outward at the time, while ignoring the trowels and the wonderful positive things folks like us did – and now you want to sit on our shoulders to enjoy our successes while distorting our theological lineage, our motives and the good we did. <Jim is always quick to claim the role of victim and martyr. It seemed very important to him at the time to create this image of himself before others such as myself actually researched the truth of it>
Trust me <Jim likes telling people to trust him.> … our intellectual heritage did not trace back to Moody or other fundamentalist influences. Those folks who were trapped in their fundamentalist ideologies were at the margins, and had no staying power because their theology didn’t provide a framework for civic engagement.
We, in contrast, rejected the separatism and dualism of fundamentalism. We understood the concepts of jurisdiction and delegation as they were being articulated by what you call the neo-evangicals – especially as those concepts related to the different spheres of society and the supremacy of Christ’s Lordship. We never sought to confuse church and state, but neither did we shrink from proclaiming objective truth and virtue as it related to the state. That, my friend, was very counter-fundamentalist.
You may disagree with our focus and our efforts back in the ’80s. But don’t claim to be so “new” by disparaging and twisting the truth about so many others.
I think you owe us an apology, and a retraction. <Jim got neither and has continued his tantrum now for several years.>
Jim Wright wrote this in February of 2012. His blog and social media following this became clear evidence of a man obsessed with harming and discrediting a man with whom he had a theological disagreement. The content of his bombastic diatribe is open to discussion of course, but he’s clearly upset, and is not interested in discourse. He makes accusations about the author, claims to be an authority on something based on very dubious and now discredited claims and it’s all about bullying and backing someone else off who must then accept Jim Wright’s position as self-appointed expert and arbiter of truth. There’s very little room in Jim Wright’s world for anyone to disagree with him. It’s one of the things he will not tolerate and he’ll drive himself to the absolute end until he’s thrown off the blog or out of the group he’s engaged in doing it within.
Jim Wright, started posting book reviews on the material he disagreed with, going to Organic Church groups on Facebook and attacking this author, and then looking for any others who had disagreements or grudges against him. It was about this period of time that “Prof Dr. Keith W. Smith” (he actually used this title of some of his responses on Jim Wright’s blog) came to Jim Wright’s blog and began hinting that he had some deep dark secret to share but couldn’t do it publicly, though he made these statements publicly. Jim Wright then began coming with claims of unnamed abuse victims which were clearly based on Keith W. Smith’s representations. Jim couldn’t wait to go public with them. He didn’t even bother to check the credibility or credentials of Keith Smith as the vehicle which conveyed these unconfirmed rumors and outright character assassinations to him. He wrapped himself in the cloak of being a “sexual abuse advocate” and took the position that anyone who challenged him was a supporter of sexual abuse. This is a common pattern for Jim Wright. He ignores his own issues and then attacks others, often with issues that are false or exaggerated and designed to silence or discredit them. The saddest part about this is that this harms the people Jim Wright claims to represent in general with his fraudulent and unnamed victims. Irresponsible loose canons like Jim Wright harm the legitimate causes they claim in promoting their own narcissistic and hidden agendas.
He hasn’t apologized or retracted his accusations and has attempted to keep his frail ship constructed on the foundation of an old conflict that was long ago resolved and false accusations brought forward by a now self-confessed fraud. He presents no evidence. He relies upon innuendo. He claims people should trust him because he’s an attorney (and attorney’s are greatly respected for their manipulation of the truth in society, aren’t they?). He clearly took offense and got angry months before he launched this campaign. He doesn’t reveal his conflicts of interest in making his initial accusations, instead he tried to hide them by attributing them to an organization named Nathan’s Voice which just happens to have no other name involved with it other than Jim Wright himself.
Is Jim Wright a Drunkard?
I don’t know.
Is Jim Wright Violent?
Physically, I don’t know. His last church however, apparently had enough evidence that he represented a threat at the Church Membership meeting that excommunicated him that they felt the need to enlist the support of attorneys and request a police presence on the church grounds to guard against actions on Jim Wright’s part to disrupt the meeting or threaten those present. Previous churches have mentioned several tense situations around meetings or even Sunday Morning services surrounding Jim Wright.
Violence and abuse comes in a physical form but also in verbal, emotional, and spiritual forms. Attacking innocent people with fabricated lies that seek to destroy their reputations, bullying people, harassing them, threatening them etc. is violence and abuse. Wright has done all of these things with various people. He has been banned from at least 10 FB groups because of it. He’s been banned and removed from multiple blogs because of it. If there’s one thing that is consistent in looking at Jim’s patterns over many years, it’s that once he has any form of slight or offense against him, real or imagined, he takes a scorched earth approach toward that person or group and he only feeds fire to it. He doesn’t look for solutions. He only looks to surrender or the destruction of those who resist him.
Is Jim Wright Not Greedy for gain?
This is something open to interpretation. Jim Wright certainly likes to boast in many different forums of his past successes in business that left him wealthy and able to pursue hobbies such as his Gaming obsession and other expensive hobbies such as owning a private plane. He claims he lost it all because of illness and has also intimated many times that the reason his first family is estranged from him is because they only valued his money. It certainly raises questions as to who in the family was and is the most focused on gain.
Is Jim Wright hospitable?
It appears Jim does extend hospitality and has had people stay at his home when involved in prison ministry. There’s mixed reports as to what sort of strings were attached and what kind of control had to be surrendered to Jim for this in some contexts. Jim also occasionally puts up pictures of gatherings at his home of different people he claims are part of his network. A close look at them doesn’t see very many repeat people other than Jim Wright’s immediate family.
I’ve asked Jim multiple times to either meet with him personally in the presence of witnesses, or to visit a meeting anywhere that is part of his network and his only response has been to claim I’m out to get him and therefore not welcome. Interestingly enough, Jim has visited a group I’m involved in and then used it to attack them publicly on his blog. There doesn’t seem to be any real sense of community for Jim Wright than those he has some sort of formal or informal power over because they’re people who are hurting and trying to reenter society after being in Jail. Jim seems to appeal to them to support himself more than there’s any real evidence that he has any sort of sustained and impactful ministry in this area.
All evidence of hospitality by Jim Wright is made and the evidence presented by him and it’s carefully managed and groomed.
Does Jim Wright love good?
Jim Wright, to me, seems to love Jim Wright and being the center of attention while claiming to protect others others with no names and no evidence to their claims. He appears to love conflict or else he wouldn’t seek to create it as he has in so many areas of his life for such a long and sustained time.
Is Jim Wright self-controlled?
Jim appears based on all the history I’ve seen to be rather impulsive. It explains why the Moral Majority cast him out when he staged a publicity stunt attempting to close down a local bakery for selling “pornographic Gingerbread Men”. The post above from Feb 12 of 2012 is pretty clear evidence that Jim doesn’t exercise a great deal of self-control. He imagines a wrong or slight against himself and then begins telling tales of his importance (tales themselves which are often false or exaggerated) and then he launches an attack. He did it to his last two churches, his ex-wife, his children, the organic church community locally here in Northern Virginia, and he’s still doing it today.
Is Jim Wright upright?
This means is what you see what you get? Does Jim Wright wear mask or is he open about who he is and what he does. Clearly Jim Wright has spent his entire adult life attempting to present himself as something he is not. Even in his current “network of organic churches” he’s set up legal entities for which he’s the primary spokesperson and controlling entity. He’s opened and closed many resultant organizations as a means to mask his activities with a corporate veil.
There’s many words to describe Jim Wright, but upright is not one of them.
Is Jim Wright Holy and Disciplined?
I don’t normally attribute the term “holiness” with a nasty, argumentative, arrogant, proud and unteachable person, but beyond that, I’ll leave that judgement to God.
As to disciplined, it appears to me that Jim Wright has fled or fought in every context I know of him any efforts to hold him accountable for his actions. He’s used his position as a lawyer to apparently harass and create as much difficulty for his ex-wife as he can as well as past churches where he gravitated to conflicts like a pig to slop, including taking small elements of his divorce settlement to appellate court. He loses quite frequently, but last I checked it was still going on.
Jim Wright claims to have fellow elders for whom he acts collectively but they’re never named. He can’t and won’t even name them when he appeals to them as the basis for his own position of “elder” and his position of having divorced for Biblical Reasons. Figure that one out.
Jim Wright clearly doesn’t receive any form of discipline or correction from anyone but himself. I wouldn’t believe a claim he makes about himself as an elder or his “network” of churches without independent confirmation from named people.
Is Jim Wright fit to teach and rebuke others?
I’m really not interested in arguing theology with Jim Wright. It’s a red herring for him and something he twists and manipulates to rationalize and justify his attacks on others. So I’ll leave it to others to decide for themselves is Jim Wright is a fit teacher. As to rebuking others? Jim Wright clearly is a hypocrite with regard to how he judges others and resists any and all judgement of himself.
As to his position and claim to be an “Elder” I can only say, I’d really like to speak with or at least know the men or women who would put their names and reputations between asserting that Jim Wright is an elder in their midst.
All we have is the puppet-master claiming these titles for what apparently is a secret underground society with more to fear than the underground church in China.
If anyone can explain to me how anyone who claims to be a Christian in any form of organic, home or simple church can identify Jim Wright as an elder or any form of leader, I’d surely like to know.
I’m addressing these issues publicly as Jim Wright makes his claim to be an elder publicly and claims to speak for others publicly. As a part of the organic church community in Northern Virginia, I and others here as well have a need and right to know of our concerns and to have answers as to the basis upon which Jim Wright makes these claims given the clear evidence I’ve seen to the contrary. I don’t believe any bible-believing church institutional or organic, or any group of responsible elders would attribute elder qualifications to Jim. The only way I could see it happening is the way Jim Wright appears to have come up with, and that’s to claim an underground church, with no named people and then to appoint himself the spokesman behind a corporate veil. It’s certainly legal. It’s not in the least bit Biblical, however.
I would prefer that these types of matters be addressed and resolved in private, but as Jim Wright has chosen the public forum, it requires being addressed in the same forum.