|Six More Days Until Court Hearing|
There are a number of Christian bloggers keeping up with our story. Yesterday, two popular bloggers posted articles about our situation and I wanted to give more information so you can see how things fit together.
I'll give a little background. This is the original Google review that was posted February 25, 2012. It has since been revised one or more times and I've had several readers tell me Chuck took it down entirely very recently after the media got the story.
Admin note: If you click on the links below, you will see that the reviews have since been edited (in fact, multiple times). Below is what was on the Google review site as of the date of this original posting.
- Feb 25, 2012DEFAMATION IS A CRIME: Pastor Chuck O' Neal, his wife, his children, and Beaverton Grace Bible Church as a whole, have suffered JulieAnne's hateful lying slander for well over three years. After seeking counsel from a pastor on staff with Grace Community Church (under Pastor John MacArthur) and reading him several excerpts from JulieAnne's endless defamation, he recommended that we FILE A LAWSUIT in an appeal to Caesar as the Apostle Paul did when falsely accused of crimes against God and the state. The lawsuit has been filed in the Washington County courthouse. JulieAnne and many of those involved in her present and historic slander will be served within the week. Her many lies and vicious criminal accusations will not stand in the light of day in the Washington County courthouse or in the coming courtroom before God. OVER THREE YEARS AGO the reviewer known as JulieAnne or “BROWN” was Biblically put out of Beaverton Grace Bible Church for ongoing vicious slander. You can see my 2009 response to her in the reviews below .
This "review" (it's not really a review of Beaverton Grace Church, it's a review of me, but strangely, I don't see "Julie Anne Smith" at the top of the Google site, but Beaverton Grace Bible Church).
Side note: Can someone do me a favor and look up the rules on Google reviews and see if it is okay for a "business owner" to review the reviewer? Also, can someone explain to me how my reviews were mysteriously removed? I contacted Google to have one of Chuck's reviews removed (one where he is removing me) and they wouldn't do it. They said they would need me to send them official court documentation before they would do it. Well, nothing has gone to court yet, but many reviews of mine were removed. How did they get removed? Weird. Sorry - that is just one thing that has bothered me for a while. Anyway . .
Back to the story . . . . . after I saw that review stating we would be served, I made a phone call to Grace Community Church on February 27. We played phone tag and I believe we finally connected on February 29. I spoke with a "pastor of the day". I explained to him my story about the threatened lawsuit, the difficulties and challenges our family had with the church and wanted to know if he had any way of determining if in fact Chuck O'Neal had indeed been told by pastor(s) of Grace Community Church (John MacArthur's church) to sue me.
I don't have time to dig them up right now, but there are blog posts (on my blog) and/or comments discussing Grace Community Church's involvement in this. A number of readers have quoted John MacArthur from his sermons/books/teachings where he discusses that Christians are not to sue other Christians. In all of MacArthur's teachings that I saw, there was no exception for a Christian to sue another Christian, so that is why the interest in knowing if in fact a pastor from GCC recommended that Chuck O'Neal sue us.
The pastor told me, that as far as he could tell based on their record-keeping system, there was no record of Chuck calling any pastor regarding the lawsuit. I made sure he spelled it correctly "O'Neal", not "O'Neil", and he again confirmed it. He did say that if Chuck had a personal phone number of a pastor, then it was possible that he did hear from another pastor. I was a bit surprised that this pastor didn't volunteer something like: "Based on scripture, Christians should not be suing one another, so I highly doubt one of our pastor encouraged your pastor to sue you. " John MacArthur does not mince words on this subject, so why wouldn't his pastors? But that did not happen.
Six days later, on March 1, 2012, my husband received the subpoena. Whoa! It's pretty weird to see the names in all caps: CHUCK O'NEAL/BEAVERTON GRACE BIBLE CHURCH vs JULIE ANNE SMITH (etc) on an official court document.
The following week, I received a phone call and the Caller ID said "Grace Community". I thought that was odd - perhaps a follow-up call from the previous pastor to see how I was doing? No, it was a pastor from Grace Community, Bill Shannon. I had no idea who this pastor was, but he said that he wanted to hear my side of the story regarding the lawsuit. He told me that Chuck had requested counsel. Chuck O'Neal and other men from church were in S. California to attend the annual Shepherd's Conference put on by Grace Community. Bill asked me background questions and said they were planning on meeting with Chuck O'Neal later in the week. At the very end of the conversation he asked what it would take for me to remove my posts off the internet. I gave him conditions.
Later on in the week, they did meet. I had sent an additional e-mail of conditions we would like if Chuck agreed to drop the lawsuit. Chuck did not agree and so I received a follow-up e-mail from Bill that Grace Community could no longer help.
What I failed to do was ask Bill if he could confirm or deny that any pastor encouraged Chuck to sue us.
This is where things take off regarding Grace Community. Of course I personally wanted to know GCC's stand on this issue, evidently FBX Jax did as well and made it part of the focus of his post.
After I saw FBX Jax' blog post on Mother's Day (Mother and Daughter Being Sued by Their Former Pastor - Pastor Claims He Was Told to Sue by John MacArthur's Church), I remembered I had a draft copy of an e-mail I was going to send to Bill Shannon asking him to let me know whether or not he or any pastor at GCC had recommended to Chuck that he sue us. This had been a matter of discussion on my blog recently, so I finally sent that e-mail to Bill yesterday (May 14) afternoon.
A few hours later, I noticed that Dee of Wartburg Watch Blog also took off on that same topic.
There were a couple things I wanted to talk about regarding the post, so I called Dee. I was surprised to learn that she, too, had contacted Grace Community on the same day - only a few hours earlier, asking about the same info. That was a strange coincidence.
Late night, I saw a reader comment from Phil Johnson:
So I left this comment on Phil's blog since I couldn't find a place to e-mail him:
Julie Anne said...
Feb 25 - Chuck posts review saying he is suing us
Feb 29 - talked with pastor of the day from GCC
Mar 1 - Received subpoena
Mar 5 or 6 - Bill Shannon phoned me to ask questions
Mar 9 - Bill Shannon told me he can no longer help in our situation after meeting with Chuck
Did they or did they not encourage Chuck to sue us? That is the question!
So, now we wait for Dee and Phil Johnson to connect so she can post the official statement from John MacArthur on this situation. Would someone please send me a dose of patience?