After exchanging messages with a married woman, a Texas megachurch pastor blamed his brain cancer diagnosis.
Matt Chandler, 48, bared his soul on Sunday seeking forgiveness for any ‘additional weight or hardship,’ he may have caused his congregants and spoke about the intensive counseling he endured.
During his sermon, his first since August 28, he spoke about his battle with brain cancer in 2009. He also talked about the ‘disorientation’ he experienced, the ‘accusation’ which revealed some unhealth’ in his body, and a blindspot he couldn’t see.
Chandler was suspended after he was discovered to have shared ‘notsexual but unguarded’ Instagram messages with a woman other than his wife. After the news broke, he resigned.
Matt Chandler, 48, made his triumphant comeback to the Village Church, a Southern Baptist congregation just outside of Dallas. He told his congregation: “I’m sorry, you failed me.”
Chandler, 42, and Lauren, 42, are pictured here.
He He became choked up when he apologized for his actions to worshippers at Village Church in Dallas. He said, “I’m Sorry, I Failed You,” adding that he felt he had “fallen short of God’s glory.”
Lauren Chandler, his 42-year-old wife, was there for him. She is a deacon of a church.
Chandler returned to the stage to be greeted by congregants. He spoke about the two intensives and the neurological exam that he had to go through as part of his healing process.
‘I told you back on August 28th that I was disoriented because I didn’t understand how it happened. I mean, I’m a man that guards his Doctrine and life very carefully. I was therefore disoriented by the accusation and then confused by some of what happened.
“I think it revealed some unhealthiness in me. It was a blind spot I couldn’t see, so I couldn’t be more grateful.
‘If I don’t tell you my backstory, you probably need to ask. Right? Right? If you remember that back in ’09, if you’re a guest, I had brain cancer. I had to undergo some surgery. I believe that this process has given me insight into what actually happened.
According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the frontal brain is responsible for mood, personality, self-awareness, moral reasoning, and social interaction. The common symptom of frontal-lobe damage is difficulty interpreting feedback from the surrounding environment. This can appear as risk taking.
Chandler has been the lead pastor at the Southern Baptist Church for 20 years, and Friday marked his anniversary at the church.
After Chandler’s direct messaging on Instagram with a friend, a woman approached the church with concerns.
Before Chandler was re-instated as the leader of the church, he underwent extensive therapy. This position he held for the past 20 years.
At Sunday’s end, the Chandler family was at the pulpit.
Last week, church elders were informed via email that Chandler would be returning after a time of reflection and healing.
In a pre-Thanksgiving Instagram post – November 24 – he shared the terrifying ordeal he went through that brought him to the emergency room due to a ‘grandmal seizure’ that, he said, happened in front of his children, and the grim diagnosis he was given.
“I hit my forehead on the mantel, bit into my tongue, and was unresponsive,” he wrote. They found a golf ball-sized tumor in my right side frontal lobe. After a resection, we would learn that it was Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma WHO Grade III with a prognosis between 2 and 3 years.
“That was the beginning of radiation, followed by 18 months’ high dose chemotherapy. He wrote that the whole holiday season was terrible.
How can brain tumors cause personality changes in people?
Extreme personality changes can be caused by brain tumors or surgery.
As a brain tumour grows, it causes pressure on surrounding tissues, affecting the function, processes, and parts of the body that are controlled by the brain.
People with a tumor in their frontal region, which controls personality and behavior, as well as emotions and problem solving, are more likely to experience personality changes.
A tumor in the pituitary gland, which controls hormone levels, can also cause personality changes.
This can be caused by treatments such as radiotherapy, surgery, and chemotherapy.
Most people will experience gradual changes in their personality and behavior as they recover from these treatments.
Large tumors may have a greater impact if they are located in a larger area. Even a small tumor located in a brain structure can have a significant effect.
As a natural response to treatment and diagnosis, patients may experience personality changes.
The emotional impact of a brain tumor diagnosis, treatment and lifestyle changes required for someone living with it can have a negative effect on mood and general personality. It can also cause people to become more angry.