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Looking forward to the eleven o'clock news on channel 2!
I know you will be articulate, praying for you and your family. Hoping the lawsuit will quickly be put to rest and your weekend will be blessed.
Thank you so much, Meaghan.
Wow Julie. Anne, that was a great interview and I think they covered it well.
Thank you, Don. I was pleased with this report. Anita Kissee did a very nice job.
Here is another good link for your Spiritual Abuse resources:VM Life Resources http://dallascult.com/Doug and Wendy Duncan are former cult members, and as professionally-trained counselors they now help people who are or were in abusive churches or religious groups. Wendy's book about their experience, I Can't Hear God Anymore: Life in a Dallas Cult, is one of the best ex-cult-member's accounts you will read.Blessings to you!
Nicely done, Julie Anne. The truth is the truth. I wonder why the pastor wouldn't give his side of the story? Oh ya, because he doesn't control all those listening. If he can't spin the story the way he wants it he won't talk. I'm sure he will have much to say to his own congregation. Hopefully, they will be watching the news to see the other side of things.Proverbs 18:17 NIVThe first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.
I don't know that I've ever paid much attention to that verse. Wow.I'm surprised Chuck didn't want an interview, actually. He's a very good communicator and I know he could have articulated his side well.
I would just like to say that I am an atheist. Well, an atheist with leanings toward Greek paganism, but primarily an atheist. I would also like to add that I like your style, Julie Anne. Excuse the archaic phrase, but you got moxy, kid. I found an article about you at katu.com, and was intrigued by the story. I did a quick search for you blog and I've enjoyed reading it. It sounds like Friar Chuck's a control freak with some pretty whacked out interpretations of the bible. I really can't understand how a youth group would lead to sin, how dark clothing on women is masculine, how no co-ed swimming is a good thing, or why a male pastor is teaching "at" a ladies retreat via a recorded video. He certainly sounds like a cult leader who has to have his hand on every aspect of every parishioner's life. Glad that you got out of there when you did. And if you don't mind, I will say a prayer to Zeus for you. Maybe he'll hurl a few lightning bolts at Friar Chuck (just to scare him a bit!). :-DSincerely,A fan.
A fan, Thanks for checking out the blog and your support. When you look back on an experience like this and see everything laid out in black and white, it's pretty obvious this place was not a healthy one. Too bad we didn't see the signs more clearly early on. I hope that our story helps others who may be blinded.
I am also an atheist (bordering on Anti-theist). And it is people like this pastor that push myself and others further into the Anti camp. How anyone can spew this kind of vile hatred in one breath and speak of the love of Jesus in the next is beyond me. Stay strong, and keep questioning.
Yes, I am aware that seeing this kind of negative situation really can put pastors and Christians in a negative light. I feel very bad about that. There really are genuine Christians out there. I hope you cross paths with some so that you can see for yourself.
Just so you know, your blog has gone national. Fark.com, a fairly large and well known news aggrigator has picked up KATU's story and put it on their main page. Anyway, best of luck to you, hope this goes your way!
Wow. I'll have to check that out. Thanks for letting me know.
A word of caution. Fark is known for its rough edges and snarkiness, but at heart we're mostly a bunch of good people with a soft spot for kittens. Don't take any negative comments personally.Sincerely,A fan.
Snark is a lesser evil than spiritual abuse. I've got my big girl panties on :) Bring it on!
And it has also made it to Reddit.com. Yet another massive (hundreds of millions of hits per day) website full of snarky cat lovers.
Its spelled "aggregator".
Snarky cat lovers? LOL Everybody needs to learn to deal with a good dose of snark every now and then.
Just so you know, I support your cause completely. It is a creepy cult tactic to sue any member of a congregation because they speak out about the way they feel after leaving a church. These control tactics (Shunning, and lawsuits) are a form of spiritual abuse, and a way to make you feel isolated until you crawl back, begging to return.
You're right and hopefully this blog serves its purpose to show that we are not alone so that none of us who left will go crawling back. We are strong! Thanks for your comment, Michael.
If memory serves me, he likes attention! Well now he's got it!
Your memory did not fail!
Look at the new Google reviews from today:Sam said"Pastor Chuck sets a terrible example for his congregation. Is this a Church of Christ or Church of Scientology?" Nick said"Pastor Chuck knows who his friends are and has no problem identifying his enemies and attacking them zealously."Hoarsy said"Pastor Chuck is a vindictive lawsuit happy jerk who has hardened his heart to his fellow Christians in pursuit of an almost Pharasean focus."The church congregants are going to have a harder time keeping the glowing reviews on top now.
Be sure to check back. It's amazing how those glowing reviews get back on top.
Here's the newest Dex review:Once was enough by Jcooli09- 05/12/2012I attended one time in Early May, what a disappointment! The pastor seemed like something out of a cheap movie, very creepy! All the members seemed to share thoughts, I've never seen anything like it. It's almost like they've been told how to think, feel, and act and they follow instructions very well. This was a cult, it's like he was simply reinforcing his strange version of Jesus to his slaves.I ran out of there, and suggest you stay away.Share Review
Seattle has the cussing pastor, now Portland has the suing pastor!
That is a sad reality!
Don't worry, the Cussing Pastor is just as coercive as the Suing pastor, even if he doesn't sue. (there are lots of similar stories of shunning and whatnot coming out of there including church discipline contracts (copies/scans of these documents) wherein you must list all your private sins so someone can give you an exam every so often to make sure you're getting them under control..?
Caught your story on the news. Very sad that this nut job chose to file a defamation suit which is most certainly frivolous. The guy must not feel very comfortable or secure with his abilities to manage "the flock" as it were. I took a look at the church website and watched about 15 minutes of a sermon he gave. I don't blame you for leaving the building. I'm sure you're going to have a lot of support from the community at large. I usually don't post but this thing really struck a nerve! You're gonna mop the floor with this guy.
Hi Fred and Anne;Thank you so much for your support. It really should strike a nerve to anyone. I don't appreciate being a part of this lawsuit, but now that it's out. I'm ready.
This Google reviewer got it right!"This church should be called graceless. If you haven't heard the news, Pastor chuck thinks he is above the law and that his rights as a US Citizen are more than others. In other words he has the right to free speach in slamming other churches, and belief systems but when someone posts a negative review about his church he manipulates the review sight, and sues the reviewer. It remindes me of the book Animal Farm: all pigs are created equal, some are more equal than others. It is people like this who give the God of Grace that I believe in a bad name and condem many to an eternity in Hell. I hope that the attention that this story recieves shows that he is an outcast in Christian society not the real deal. God is full of love, grace and forgiveness, he longs for all people to come to him as his children just like those of us who are parents have sweet memories of our children sitting in our laps. He wants to bless us, heal our hurts, and fill us with hope. Pastor Chuck is an abomination of this message preaching leagalism and fault rather than grace and love. People need to know that this is not the Christian way, this is not a servant of the Lord rather a self appointed God of his own church."
Great comment from KATU news site:"I wonder if Pastor O'Neal realizes that by filing the suit and making the public aware of it,he has invited every member of the public to judge for themselves the actions of the church. Pastor O'Neal has put a brighter light on Beaverton Grace Bible Church than Ms. Smith ever could have! I'm off to do a little light reading..... I wonder if I'll find the words 'Forgiveness', 'Charity', or 'Humble'. Yessir, the Lord sure works in mysterious ways!"
People ought to be aware that we're not in the Dark Ages anymore, no institution is above criticism. This pastor is a crook.
The following text has become the key counsil for this situation:Proverbs 26:20Where there is NO WOOD, THE FIRE GOES OUT; And where there is NO TALEBEARER, STRIFE CEASES.Looks like GASOLINE has been poured on this fire!
From Chuck O'Neals Google review of over 2 years ago:" It is our prayer that there will be no more wood thrown upon the fire of contentiousness, strife, discord, and division. It is our prayer that the fire will go out and that the body of Christ at BGBC will be able to press on “in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Phil. 1:27). It is our prayer that those who started the fire and have cut, stacked, and stoked much wood upon it, will repent, for God's glory and their blessing. If you have any questions, please contact the pastor and elders..."Who exactly has been putting more wood upon the fire? Oh ya,it's you, Chuck. And which elder should we contact.....the one who left your sick church recently? Better to talk with those who have left, like Julie Anne, than those that are still brainwashed.
Here's my Google Maps review: Never been to this church, just read about the lawsuit. Hey, pastor! I opine that you are a delusional idiot! You can't sue everyone. Go ahead and try. I dare you. I guess this frivolous pursuit means you have free time, now that you have solved poverty, famine, war and every other human rights abuse. Spare time, spare money and an overdeveloped persecution complex? In my own, humble CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED SPEECH, you are a self-important grudge-holding petty pathetic fool. hoo,boy - did you EVER pick the wrong thing to do. I hope that Ms Julie Anne Smith gets the best possible lawyer in the country and when your ass gets handed to you in court and you are liable for her legal fees as is the standard practice that you get to write the biggest check of your life. And then I hope she sues you for infliction of emotional distress and you get to write an even bigger check.
Hey GeekGurl - thanks for the support. I think I probably do have the best attorney in the area. I'm feeling confident.
I have just learned of what is happening to you and your family. I am sorry that such wolves in the Instititional church have decided to attack you now with a law suit. I guess if the hirelings can't get money by milking the sheep through tithes, they must now resort to lawsuits. The organized religion out there is nothing but the apostate church. It is time to flee them. "Come out of her my people." God has preserved your daughter and your family.God be with you. They will not win this law suit. If anything, this institutional church will be exposed for what it really is, and it has begun.Jesus be with you,Sandra http://dividingword.wordpress.com/http://dividingword.net/
Thank you for the note, Sandra!
It is this kind of behavior that turned me away from organized religion. Why preach from a book that tells you to be a decent human, then going and doing something as pointless and ridiculous as this. Good luck throughout your ordeal, and stay strong- the truth shall prevail.
Be encouraged. This "pastor" is attempting a carnal solution to a spiritual problem. It won't work. In the long run, it will backfire on him. Galatians 6:7-8 says, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption..."Life and peace to you and yours.
Thank you, Mark. Great verse and application. It's clear he's avoiding the little bit in the Bible about not suing Christians. Sad :(I appreciate your support.
I, too, once pulled my family from a church situation that was eerily similar to yours. The pastors preached "a different gospel," based almost their entire doctrine on out-of-context scriptures (while ignoring whole sections of Bible that refuted their doctrine), and did not allow discourse in any fashion. When I had questions I was told "that's just how we believe" -- and rumors about me and my family ran rampant. Thankfully, my military profession took us overseas, far away from that hell. That was 11 years ago, and the church hasn't changed their message -- and we haven't been back to church since, and don't miss it. Don't give up.
I'm glad you got out when you did. Isn't that interesting how questioning causes so much strife? I'm not giving up when I have support like this :)thanks!
By the way, the local news account of your story has made it to fark.com where you have a lot of supporters. Here is the link to the discussion thread: http://www.fark.com/comments/7101926/Praise-God-serve-$500k-defamation-lawsuit-for-a-negative-online-review-from-a-shunned-parishoner?fpost=kiYU5pSJbs_1MCc1EYGk9eHFUHBKQgTmydyZk
I read some of those comments. Fun group! I'll have to visit again when things calm down.
just wanted to say the story doesn't surprise me... just so you know... pastors seem to think that they are smart and can get away with this... and they have been for a long time... anytime there is something that doesn't set well with their religion they tell you to shun someone... its been happening since the dark ages... and to hear that the low life want to sue a single mom is just the icing on the cake... thats what lowlife pond scum do... thats why people become pastors... they teach you about your bible just enough to get you to put that almighty dollar in that collection plate... i guarantee that if there wasn't free housing and food and a retirement plan attached that there wouldn't be one single pastor... at least none that didn't have the purist intentions... how do i know all this you ask... i was once "called to ministry".. i saw the hypocrisy up front and personal... i know from experience... and thats why church stays where it should be.. in my heart... and don't try the congregate thing on me because that just means to gather every now and again.. there is nothing in the bible that says you must have a multimillion dollar church and have church every day of the week... but i digress... bottom line.. people should keep there religion secret like jesus said: "pray in secrete so that no one sees you".. thesecretapostle
I'm wondering if the leader of your former church was trying to get publicity himself with this lawsuit. Seems to me that it's backfiring. It's making him and the church look far more ridiculous than this blog ever could have, while at the same time driving people to this blog to read all about it. I notice the visitor counter is WAY up.
Julie Ann: I am very sorry that BGBC and Chuck O'Neal have so much hatred and evil in their hearts that they have been harassing you, first through intentional "blacklisting" (aka "shunning") and now through litigation.I am very active in a home church, and lately have become very disturbed at the realization that some Americans who no longer participate in a faith community do so because of rotten experiences in abusive churches, at the hands of self-centered bullying "pastors" who really have no legitimate business impersonating true ministers.
Seems like this guy is not what the scriptures identify as being "of God". The things of God are edifying, uplifting and seek not contention. I don't know for sure but wouldn't you think God would take no greater offense than someone like this that is supposed to represent Him?
Get a life, when are people of this country going to be free of religion....god damn christians! They loved anyone except those who believe different from them.
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