What Comes Around…

artThere has been some recent news coming out about my old pastor, Art Azurdia: http://www.trinityportland.com/blog/post/a-statement-regarding-art-azurdia-from-the-elders-of-trinity-church-of-portland

I’ve been trying to figure out how to address the whole thing.  Do I just talk about the recent events that caused him to be fired as Senior Pastor, from his church, or do I start at the beginning and talk about why I wasn’t really shocked to hear that he is not the man everyone thought he was. I think the only shocking thing to me is that his Elder board had the balls to confront him and fire him.

I’m thinking I should start at the present and then go backwards.  Even if I do that, there’s a lot to be teased out:  His affairs, his confessions, why did this have to be the nail in the coffin, the response online to his “immoral” behavior and how women are treated on these forums, why so many try to sweep things like this under the rug putting others in harm’s way. Also, how women are treated in Evangelical churches as a whole, the power that men like Art have over women (and men too) and how they use that power, who is the true victim in all this, and what does his “confession” really mean?  Whew!  There’s a lot.

My mind is still swirling and, to be honest, much of this is opening up some scars and bringing up old traumas I thought were long gone, which is making it difficult to put thoughts into words. It’s still hard for me to wrap my brain around the idea that he’s finally been taken down, not for what I’d hoped would take him down, but taken down and taken down publically he has been, at least for a time.  Men like him have a way of making come backs. Sometimes this should happen.  I mean, everyone makes mistakes, but in this case, it should never happen.

The truth is this is not an isolated incident, just a good man led astray. I mean, the sexual part might be, but Art Azurdia, the person? He is not a good man. He is a user, a power-hungry narcissist, that cares only for himself.  (I can hear the voices now, “Oh bitter woman!”) I need people to understand that he’s hurt so many men and women, lied about them, sullied their reputations, and yet no one would listen to them when they would ask for help. The elders of the church failed them—failed to protect them.  I failed them—we all did.  Art always had a story and no one could believe that he would lie.  He was oh so eloquent. I always defended him to people who would try to tell me their stories.  I regret that.  Like so many, I was Team Art all the way.  Like so many, I was star-struck by his preaching and just so honored that he wanted me in his inner circle. (Narcissists are good at that.) Of course, that would all come crashing down and I would limp away as well, the only difference was I did not go quietly and I won’t be quiet now.  I hope that in some way I can facilitate others to find their voice as well.

Art should never pastor a church again; he should never hold a position of power over vulnerable people again and the only way to stop him is to speak out and tell our stories.

More to come.




6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Julie F
    Jul 14, 2018 @ 11:23:49

    So glad to see another Blinders Off post! And I’m looking forward to hearing more about this. This issue of church hierarchy and the power plays of those who the flocks revere was a big issue for me while I was de-connecting and de-converting. Of course this kind of stuff happens – men in these positions are only there BECAUSE of their narcissism and hunger for power. They are assholes, no denying that. But at the end of the day, they are human. With no spiritual super powers bestowed by a ‘holy spirit’ to keep them from being and acting human. Further proof for me that it’s all bullshit – why would an all-powerful and all-knowing god use human men in this front-line and most-visible-example-of-what-christianity-is capacity?


  2. Alex Bachinskiy
    Jul 24, 2018 @ 10:20:36

    Interesting post, hope to see more information regarding your connection to Art. Seems like lately everyone has an opinion on the matter but not many take a second to explain where they are coming from.


    • notabarbie
      Jul 25, 2018 @ 06:16:40

      For some people, I think, it’s that old fear of being divisive or bitter, or even envious of Art–weird, but also when you start talking about the things that happened, it sounds kind of petty, or paranoid even, but that’s what narcissist do–they gaslight and it takes so long to lay it all out to other people,so they can understand it. You have to be in it for the long haul to get it completely. I remember, before my wake up call, that people would tell me things and I thought they were nuts. People thought I was nuts, probably still do, haha. I don’t care about that anymore. I’ll try to share more soon. I’m trying to figure out how to let other people, who Art harmed, know that I want to hear their story, or that there’s a place to share their story here, anonymously. Still working on that. Thanks for reading though and for commenting.


  3. ... Zoe ~
    Aug 03, 2018 @ 17:46:42

    I’m not sure why this post didn’t show up in my reader. Will check back on more often incase I miss another post. ❤


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