Monday, May 21, 2012

Court Day

Psalm 91
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.” 

Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence. 

He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 

You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday. 

A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you. 

You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked. 

 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the Lord, who is my refuge—
then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent. 

For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 

You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 

He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him. 

With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Regardless of the outcome of this court case, I am resting on Psalm 91.  I know that everything I posted on Google Review was the truth as I knew it.  Anything could happen at the court today.  I am prepared either way God is my judge.  And He knows my heart.  That's really all that matters to me.  

God is not pleased by those who call themselves shepherds and harm the sheep, leaving them emotionally and spiritually, and sometimes physically abandoned.  This message needs to be heard and those harmed sheep need to have a voice.

Thank you for your prayers and support!


  1. Praying this day for clarity and humility, victory and charity, and for the true meanings of "Christian community" and "Christlike leadership" to be vindicated.

    1. "...Let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, 'That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.'" Romans 3:4

  2. Praying for you, too. I love that you posted Psalm 91. Under the Lord's wing is not a bad place to be at all. Fear not, Julie Anne.

  3. Just wanted to say I am glad you did have the courage to speak out. Keeping you in my thoughts today.

  4. Worldwide, we all need to listen to each other, even if we don't like what we hear. Even if we hear harsh judgements of ourselves which spark our indignation if untrue, or ignite our shame if they cast light on truths we wish we could ignore. That Julie Anne is divisive- as accused, can hardly be disputed. But divisiveness when proclaiming the wrongdoing of others is a natural outcome. There will be those who cannot bear to face the shame, those who cannot bear to believe the facts, or those who simply believe that truth and light are not goals to be achieved, instead obedience and silence are considered the "true virtues." You cannot change these people, you can only pursue the light in your own heart as you feel it calling to you. I believe Julie Anne is doing this today. I honor her determination not to be silenced. It's a proud thing.

  5. Good Luck! Your Gonna need it!!!

    1. Learn to use correct grammar. It is you're, not your.

    2. Both sentences of your accusation use incomplete sentence structure and incorrect punctuation. I lol'd.

    3. Thank you, anonymous, 7:02.

      Anonymous 9:37: Did your mama forget to tell you the rule from Thumper?

  6. Praying for the Lord's favor be upon you, Julie!

  7. Less than one hour to go. Wishing I could be there at the court, but I'm working. Will be thinking of you and praying for the next few hours. Please let us know how it went!

  8. Love to all, God's will be done~bless you all.

  9. I have heard that John Calvin was intolerant of those who disagreed with him and even had people put to death over it. Looks like this church, in addition to having bad unbiblical theology of calvinism, wants to follow in his footsteps on how they treat people.

    1. False information, Calvin did not want to "deal" with the issue of difference with that man (forgot his name). That man, bugged him for years causing problems not only to Calvin, but the church body in general. Finally, the church fathers had him put to death, not Calvin. He wanted nothing to do with it, but the church used Calvin as an authority on the issues at hand and not all of them had to do with the Doctrine's of Grace. Calvin has been blame for something that he may have been involved with but not responsible for.

    2. Seriously, Janet!
      John Calvin publicly declaired:
      If he [Michael Servetus] comes [to Geneva], I shall never let him go out alive if my authority has weight."
      At the time of Michael Servetus' detainment and eventual death, John Calvin was the Magistrate; the one who gave the green light to go ahead with the burning.
      There are ALWAYS 2 sides to EVERY story; it seems like you have only heard one side, perhaps because you have been under the influence of a Calvinist pastor or preacher?!
      Do YOU really think that JESUS would have ordered someone KILLED for disagreeing with HIM?! NO WAY!! He would have simply told them to 'depart from me, I do not know you'.
      So WHY would it ever have been ok for John Calvin to order someone killed (Calvin 'claimed' he was standing up for the truth of Jesus Christ)
      Michael Servetus disagreed with John Calvins view that infant baptism was ok. John Calvin had been 'sprinkle baptised' as an infant and raised a catholic.. WHO baptised Jesus? John the baptist and it was FULL BODY IMMERSION baptism, not done when Jesus was an infant so what 'right', and in whose 'name' did John Calvin have to order Michael Servetus killed?! Certainly would NOT have been in Jesus' name, not at all!

    3. Yes, I believe it was wrong for Servetus to be killed and I agree Jesus would not have asked for his death. But, to heap the blame on Calvin's head as if he was this evil man, wrong. That is what was done in that time period, not saying that makes it okay, but there was a totally different mind set, which continued up until after this country was formed.

      Servetus was imprisoned by the Catholic Church and was going to be killed by them, but he escaped. Calvin and many others had been dealing this man's "issues" for awhile and maybe he had a good point on the baptism front, "he also spoke of the Trinity as a monster compounded of all heresies, however rank and portentous". This man had been harming the church for over twenty years and all the church fathers through out wanted him gone. "He thought the doctrine of the Trinity was tritheistic and atheistic and was the source of all corruption in the Church"

      Calvin requested that he be killed by the sword and not be burned alive. Now, I know he gave consent but, it was the Civil government that put him to death and I am not aware that Calvin was in the government. He was clergy. Also, he was not put to death only, if at all, about the baptism thing...this man was a trouble maker and unrepentant. There were other times that death was not used when someone raised a point against the church. So, although death was used at times, not on all dissenters.

      But, the biggest point is this. Doctrines found and supported in scripture should not be thrown out, because of human error. Putting heretics to death was a practice of Civil government even up until this country was formed. Not saying I agree, just pointing out it was a mind set that was prevalent and even had John Calvin fought to stop it...would have been ignored.

      Just to be clear I have gone to only one church for one year of my life that taught Doctrine's of Grace. I can see that the death of Servetus was wrong to happen, but that doesn't make Calvin evil or the principle's he pulled from scripture, wrong. It's like the mind set behind the Crusades. Now, we would not support them, but back would have been in huge trouble for not agreeing with it...

      I will say this that I don't feel that he wanted to put him to death, because he didn't want this man to be causing so many problems, but felt he had to stop it. Calvin was in an important position so he could not do otherwise. This is how I conclude he did not want to be a part of it. On the other hand I can see that if someone doesn't like the Doctrine's of Grace they could look for reasons to discredit the human source. In that light, Calvin could look awful on this issue.

    4. IF Calvin was truly against Servetus being put to death for disagreeing with doctrin then Calvin missed his golden opportunity to rebuke those who were calling for Servetus' death, and he could have done so on the grounds that Jesus Christ (the very man he claimed to be coming in the name of) wouldn't have called for Servetus to be killed.. the fact that Calvin stated publicly to his friend, William Farel, ''If he [Michael Servetus] comes [to Geneva], I shall never let him go out alive if my authority has weight", tells me that it was premeditated and that, as a man who was claiming to be so familiar with the ways & character of Jesus Christ, he should have 'known' what Jesus would have done.. Calvin has no more credibility to me than Jim Jones, David Koresh, Warren Jeffs, The Heavens Gate Cult or countless others who have reigned such evil terror on so many of Gods innocent ones.. Rather than become awestruck by mere men who use elegant words to capture and entertain the masses, I prefer keep watch for evil and wolves in sheeps clothing, like my best friend, Jesus Christ, advised me to do thousands of years ago in those beautiful scriptures written in red.

    5. Although I get where you're coming're also throwing the baby out with the bath water...yeah, true you're right...he should have thought that, and I dare say if he was alive today, he would. But, again...just as the thinking of that day seems abominable, so would our thinking be to them. It's easy to judge the past and claim to have it figured out, but unless you were don't know how you would of thought. Again, Calvin was not the only one to agree to put him to death. Many people wanted this man dead. I say again, even if Calvin had tried to persuade them against death, he more then likely would not have won the case. As is he wanted the sentence to be "lighter" and they ignored him. He is not is the same category as those men you named, that is a joke at best.

      The bible says ALL of scripture is given to us, to learn from, not just red letters...Jesus made us humans and knew we would make mistakes...and he still made us and uses us...God bless...

    6. calvinism would fit in better with Islam than christianity. with allah more than with jesus.
      sharia law more than the law of jesus.
      do a quick, simple honest, unbiased comparison
      of calvinism and islam, sharia law and you will see.
      islam/sharia law calls for beheadings
      true christianity calls for mercy grace forgivness love.

    7. Oh my Lord, no wonder christians look like pure freaks to the unbelieving world. murder a man for not believing the same thing as you do then claim in it is the name of God. isn't that just as bad as the ones who murdered Jesus? they were wrong but that calvin man is right? that is ridiculas
      thanks anonymous I didn't know about that until I read this. it changes my who perspective

    8. I hope in some way this explains my point that Calvin didn't desire to have Servutus put to death for his own pride and humor.

      "Nothing is “shrugged off” or excused but we also must at least try to understand the historical times rather than simply looking back at them through anachronistic glasses (through a 21st century lens). That is not always easy to do, but to understand the people and events of history, we must also seek to understand the thinking that governed hearts and minds at the time.
      We don’t have heresy trials in our day for the simple reason that today’s society does not view doctrinal heresy as a problem at all. Cults and false religion can exist without any fear of persecution. While I for one very much appreciate the freedom of religion in our day, the down side is the thinking that often goes with that, namely that it does not matter what a person believes, as long as they are “sincere.” However, this concept was not in anyone’s thinking in the 16th century. All society actually believed in heaven and hell and that individuals actually go to one of those two places, and that heresy was a terrible blight on society. People on both sides (Protestant and Roman Catholic) believed that heresy was a high crime against both God and the people, equivalent to treason. If we understand that, and also look at the facts rather than the hyped up inaccurate vitriol that is so often pervasive, while not in any way excusing the excesses, we can at least begin to have an understanding of the times in which these things occured and have some measure of sympathy. If we do not, then we will come to the false and sad conclusion that no one in the 16th century has anything worthwhile to teach us.

      - JS

      Posted by John Samson on May 19, 2012 12:00 PM

    9. Michael Servetus was a jew, John Calvin was claiming to be a christian.. good luck pulling that one off, Janet

    10. Janet is correct in what she's written. Most people don't know how much and for how long Servetus dogged John Calvin (decades) and how much effort Calvin put in to counsel Michael Servetus. The macro situation was war as well. Geneva had a Roman Catholic army camped around it for years. The penalty in those days for such blatant, really suicidal heresy was death. Servetus *went* to Geneva because he thought the time was ripe to turn the city *against* Calvin. This would have put the citizens (including the Jewish people who came there for refuge) in danger. The war was vicious. Servetus' death was a practical decision of war as much as anything. And like it or not he was tried and convicted by the law of that place and time. He was not murdered. Penalties for crimes were harsh back then. The Reformation made liberty of conscience a reality for people, but it didn't take effect *immediately*. There was a war to be fought. Kind of like the Constitution make freedom for slaves real, but it didn't take effect immediately. Though in historical time it was pretty quick. So many canards regarding that event...

    11. "If he [Michael Servetus] comes [to Geneva], I shall never let him go out alive if my authority has weight."
      At the time of Michael Servetus' detainment and eventual death, John Calvin was the Magistrate; the one who gave the green light to go ahead with the burning."

      One does have to understand here that the issue of separation between church and state was still being worked out. There is no reason to entirely trash Calvin's theology because he was interested in enforcing the civil law.

      But there are still theonomists/reconstructionists/restorationists/postmillenialists that think we have to go about establishing God's kingdom on earth. I thought Jesus already did that? They're as bad as their legalistic 'free will' Arminian counterparts in the Christian Coalition and Moral Majority.

      Stick me with the Amillenials who have nothing to prove because Jesus already established his Kingdom and rule, and so we just are mostly content to go about preaching the gospel and leaving the results to God, and not controlling people. As Luther says "we are all just beggars telling one another where to find bread." And sometimes, as Julie is doing, warning people away from tainted stuff. She would be sinning if she did not, all you naysayers.

      Most of the decent Calvinists these days subscribe to two kingdom theology -- that being that the church does not enforce laws upon society. The kingdom of God and the kingdom of Man. I don't have much time for the other kind, though I do try to reason with them sometimes.

  10. Julie Anne,

    If you feel Pastor Chuck has an abusive interpretation of Scriptures and if you feel he was abusive to you and others you need to forgive him. Matt 6:15

    There is a War going on in the Southern Baptist Convention on Doctrinal Indifference for several years.
    I was researching Reformed New Calvinist/Hyper Calvinist movement trying to understand why some of these guys have an abusive view of scriptures and why others don't. (when I discovered your blog)

    I have discovered many of these guys are consumed with Methodology more the Message.

    If you feel you have been wronged, you need to forgive him. I haven't seen any evidence of forgiveness, in your blog. And Forgiveness needs to be included in all our stories.

    In Christ

    1. In my opinion, there first must be some sort of repentance on the part of the Pastor first, some sort of contrition on his part. Forgiveness is a very difficult subject to deal with apart from that. Based on the Lord's prayer, God does not forgive sin until we come to him in repentance first.

    2. David: Forgiveness is indeed an important part of recovery. However, Julie Anne is not the party who initiated the court lawsuit.

      In the United States, the act of filing a civil lawsuit is tantamount to a personal declaration of war against another human being.

      When an individual is served with papers in a civil lawsuit, are you arguing that they should not defend themselves?

      Should plaintiffs always win in court when a Christian is a named defendant, irrespective of whatever claims and allegations the plaintiff makes in their Complaint?

      Please advise.


    3. David, it's not any of your business whether Julie Anne has forgiven Chuck. Or the business of any of us. That is between her and Chuck. This blog is about the harm he is doing a Christian community and the harm he is doing the reputation of all Christians.

      Would you say to someone who is sexually abused, "Now why haven't you talked about forgiveness?" I hope not. You let someone tell her story, you listen with compassion, and you pray for all. Julie Anne was emotionally and psychologically abused and she suffers as she watches that continue to happen to others. This is traumatic. If she has not forgiven, that is between her and God, or between her and her immediate Christian community, or between her and her therapist.

      And when someone who is abused does forgive, we also do not ask them to forget and shut up, as several have on here. That in itself is abusive behavior and unworthy of Christians. We are only called to compassion.

    4. She can certainly forgive him and continue to warn others away from him. Forgiveness doesn't automatically mean everything goes back to 'wonderful' -- if he wants honest speech about his behavior to stop, then he must repent and stop the behavior.

      I have a blog too about my previous experiences at our ex church. It took me a long time to get over the anger and hurt. It's just an online 'diary' - not intended to be a back and forth, so I don't allow comments. I've forgiven my ex pastor, but he's moved on to preach the same trash at his new church. I occasionally listen to the online sermons and yes, he hasn't learned a thing. It's very sad, to me. But criticism doesn't mean I don't forgive.

      And, if you're willing to heap law on Julie to forgive, then you ought to be willing to heap law on the pastor as well. It's much easier to heap it on Julie however, because she's not as threatening and has demonstrated her willingness to take criticism. The pastor has displayed before believers and unbelievers alike, his unwillingness to do so.

      After the initial troubles at our church were processed my blog morphed into more of a running commentary on church issues around the world that I found interesting and some things I found very encouraging. But one thing I wanted to do was to at least add my voice to the mix (not that I thought I had much to offer) of those who were sounding the alarm. Those voices were fairly few when I started looking for answers... and the ones I did find were like cool water in desert places. Why would I not want to pass on that favor for one of Christ's struggling sheep? If I was insular and interested only in preserving myself and avoiding criticism, then yes, I would go away and mind my own business, too. Many people are confused about just what love does. Love rebukes the self righteous oppressors and offers hope to the downtrodden who had been abused by them (while still warning them not to become like their oppressors even in the midst of their anger over the oppression).

      That's what Jesus did.

  11. Julie Anne
    We are all on pins and needles over at TWW. We are praying for you.

  12. Be sure to ask Chuck just where exactly he was in 2008, all that time when he was not at church during the week.

    1. What does that have to do with anything? Maybe he has a home office? Just wondering.

    2. Was he away at a 'leadership' training seminar? It's amazing how that turns some of these guys into autocrats. I've heard it over and over again. They go away for a special training program and come back strong-arming and micromanaging everyone and everything.

  13. Anonymous,

    I know this is hard.

    When the people were trying to humuliate and with their mocking, torturing and crucifying Jesus, Christ was seeking God's mercy for them.

    In Luke 23:34 "Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing"

    The Bible is loaded with verses about unconditional forgiveness.

    "Doctrinal Indifference" that exploded out of control is the cause of this Blog and Lawsuit.

    In Christ

    1. David,

      Then the Pastor needs to take a Jesus approach and drop the lawsuit if he thinks that he is being persecuted as Jesus was. But he is not doing that. Your words appear to be crucifying Julie for her acts of defending herself, rather than on the Pastor who filed the lawsuit. Would Jesus file a lawsuit? No. There is more scripture to defend the actions of Julie, and no scripture to defend the actions of the Pastor.

      In regards to Jesus forgiving those who crucified him, he qualified that they did not know what they were doing. In other words, they crucified out of ignorance. Had they known, they would not have crucified. The book of Acts shows this. They were pricked in the heart after knowing.

      This Pastor knows what he is doing. There is no ignorance here. Please be a bit wiser to scripture.

    2. David,
      IF (and that is a BIG 'IF') that preacher IS truly a repentant christian, as he claims to be, then since HE is the one who God put in a position of power, shouldn't HE be the one trying to open up communication with Julie Anne?
      She has made honest attempts to communicate with him but he has chosen to shut her out AND encourage her fellow church members to do the same, so you tell us; WHO is refusing to be the bigger christian here?!

    3. I just have to comment that in forgiveness, we don't always have the luxury of hearing "I'm sorry" and yet, we are supposed to forgive anyway. Sometimes forgiveness is a journey that is a whole lot longer than just "admitting" you forgive. I won't pretend to know Julie's heart in this but I can take a guess that it will be a process of forgiving over and over before actually having some peace on the whole issue. But, like someone said before, I don't know that it's really our business to be telling Julie she NEEDS to forgive him this instant. If she is walking in the Spirit, the Spirit will lead her to that and it's not our job to make sure she's convicted of doing it!

  14. Anonymous,

    As far as the current Lawsuit, I think the Plaintiff and Defendent need to negotiate a truce.

    I think the fact that neither party was going to accept their "Doctrinal Differences" from the very beginning is the catalyst for this explosion.

    It doesn't matter who needs to absorb most of the blame. I do think mistakes were made by both parties. And to me it is obvious if neither party is unwilling to forgive the other they both may be practicing sin.

    Both have suffered a lot through this mess, it time to end it.

    In Christ

    1. David, you seem to forget who the victim is here. Where there is a victim, there needs to be justice. You seem to minimize this as just nothing more than doctrinal differences of opinion. There are families emotionally hurt in this, due to the doctrinal issues, and you just want to have a truce? How dare you? The lawsuit was filed. It is in the judges hands, not yours. Julie is attempting to have the lawsuit dropped. But the Pastor is the one who wishes for it to go forward. Justice will prevail.

  15. David,
    If Julie Ann forgives, what will that, in your opinion, look like? And if Chuck O'Neal forgives, what will that, in your opinion, look like?

  16. Julie Anne,

    Praying and waiting anxiously at Mars Hill Refuge.


    1. Thank you, Sophia. We are kindred spirits, huh? :)

  17. I'm a wounded sheep, I've been wounded many times by supposed Pastors for asking questions. (like why should I believe so and so when they predicted Jesus would return in 1999 and He didn't?) I've been physically attacked and fired from jobs because of my Christian beliefs.

    I've posted Google reviews about poor business practices and been badgered daily about it with phone calls to take it down (local business). I did.

    I’ve been to this church and was grieved at the pastor because of their shunning us.
    I have been a cult member, I know what a cult is.

    I am a Christian, biased toward you and your fellows Julie Anne, after finding more grievance against Chuck because of dishonesty.

    I've read or skimmed your entire blog looking at as much of this controversy as I have been able to. I might imagine that your opponent would not want me in your jury, and I would probably be disqualified for an inability of being fair.

    You liken Jim Jones (don’t drink the kool-aid cult leader) as an image of what this church is like.

    I knew a Jim Jones that seems more like what this church really is like.

    I am positive that God the creator of everything is real, and completely intimate with our every single thought, and is totally repulsed by our thoughts words and deeds. We are so far removed from coming near Him, it's like the effect you get when you pass a UV sterilizer light over a bacteria. 100% lethal to the germ, and the more exposure the more sure death is certain. Irreconcilable difference! In Him is no darkness at all.

    There is no way to reconcile a germ to UV Light. God does not forgive sins, His very nature (perfect pure good clean) destroys all sin. Our very nature is sin, we were born hating this light so to speak because we know it will kill us and we know we are going to die, we run and hide and spit at Him and do all we can against Him willingly. Self preservation we think.

    How do I know? Just like you do. Your conscience tells you and you understand right and wrong. You know lying is wrong, but you do it all the time. You know murder is wrong, but you can't help but hate others, you know stealing is wrong but you entitle yourself anyway, you know adultery is wrong but you lust in your heart.

    Guilty as charged, condemned and destined for eternal hell and rightly so. The Bible says that while we were sinners Christ died for us. The Just for the Unjust. Satisfying the Justice of God, I am found “not guilty” because of Him. Personally not forgiven, not winked at ... but paid for! God doesn’t forgive me, He punished The Lord Jesus Christ His own Son instead of me. Therefore “forgiveness” is exclusive and only found in Christ. By His Grace through Faith.

    No longer turning away from God at every chance, I want Him to expose my sin, remove it, and bring me closer in Christ. I earnestly desire to turn away from anything remotely sin--Repentance

    In the Bible, the Spirit of God is revealed, you get to know Jesus Christ there, and His living Word gets into your very inner being, and coming in faith you begin to understand and grow.

    The Devil and enemy of God and man and life; builds himself up as important, “You are the most important” he declares. He is self reliant, self supporting, self gratifying, self righteous. He comes in his own name, declaring his own fame.

    “hey” he says “this church is suffocating you and won’t even let you show your cleavage or thighs!” “old fashion color monger is a legalist! wear what you want!” “who died and made the Pastor God? how dare he fire your friend!” “you know a lot more about music than this legalist, play something more contemporary!” “get him back! you deserve to let him have it! He tried to object to you!”

    What I am saying is, I don’t hear the Spirit of the Living God in these pages of this blog, I hear His enemy.

    1. Umm....okay. This is some twisted theology.

    2. Whatever Church you go to, remind me to run as fast as I can away from it. I don't believe in the total depravity of man as the Calvinists teach (Deuteronomy 1:39).

  18. Anonymous,

    I would like to see both the Plaintiff and Defendant negotiate a truce.
    I think Pastor O'Neal should pull his Lawsuit and I think Julie Anne needs to create a different Blog not referencing O'Neal or Grace Baptist.

    They both failed to accept their "Doctrinal Differences" that got out of control. I am confident both parties did make mistakes and there is enough room for both parties to forgive one another.

    In Christ

    1. David,
      Chris was the only perfect being in that he was able to forgive freely and make the greatest sacrifice for all man.
      You are neither judge nor jury. We only know what Julie Anne has posted. Somethings, even forgiveness, can be too personal to post on a blog that is as well and wide read as this. Have you forgiven every thing against you? Are you the best example for us? You know doctrine better than anyone, even enough to cover all religions?
      Forgiveness is hard. So unless you know all the particulars of this situation, I would suggest that you keep your judgement. In the words of our Savior.
      He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (John 8:7)
      So in other words, Get off your high horse!

    2. I so agree with David's comments. Both parties did wrong and you both need to repent. We are called to love our enemies..How much love are you showing in creating such blog? You are only showing hatred for your previous pastor. I was also hurt by my ex pastor's comments and behaviour (he has gone down a path which is not biblical). However, my Christian response was not to post nasty comments about him online. I was called to pray for him in a spirit of meekness knowing that I could also fall into the same sin if it wasn't for God's grace in my life. To conclude, you should ask yourself :"Does this blog bring glory to God?". Without a doubt, it doesn't. You will find that a lot of non Christians will support and encourage you. It is because they don't know Christ. Anne, does this blog bring glory to God?

    3. Anonymous,

      How do you know that this blog does not bring glory to God? It is merely your opinion. Jesus spent much of his ministry exposing the Pharisees. He called a spade a spade. Speaking truth about injustice and abuse is different than making nasty comments. Your holier than thou attitude is off-putting. Maybe you should read the verse about specks and logs. Oh, and I support Julie Anne 100%, and I know Christ.

    4. You bet your bottom dollar that this blog gives glory to God. God would expect the ravenous wolves to be exposed and to warn people such as what the Apostle Paul did in his warnings to people. It would be wise to read every aspect of the ministry of the Apostle Paul and how he dealt with people, individually. He had major contention with one of his own, actually two of his own. He put Peter in his place. He and Mark had a huge contention, so much so that he refused to go with him. Your comment and David's comments show a lack of knowledge in the Epistles of Paul regarding how he dealt with he dealt with the church at Corinth, and Galatia as well. Who has bewitched you?

    5. Here are attempts at "truce":

      Phone call = no
      e-mail = no
      mediation with local pastor = no
      mediation with Grace community = no
      encouragement from Phil Johnson to drop the suit = no

      It is apparent that Chuck has no interest in mediation or any truces.

    6. To Sophia Grace and Anonymous, clearly you do not walk in love. I do wonder whether you and Julie Anne are true Christians. It is impossible to have a proper debate with you because you twist Scriptures to your own advantage all the time. Yes, the church is very conservative and strict, but it does preach Christ. Comparing its leaders to ravenous wolves is indeed a crime. Patrizia

  19. David: I respectfully disagree with some of your suggestions.

    I truthfully do not see this as a situation where both Charles O'Neal and Julie Anne Smith are equally liable.

    Charles O'Neal, individually and as a pastor, refused more than one attempt by Julie Anne Smith to arrange impartial third-party mediation.

    Too many Christians have endured reprehensible abuses by power-intoxicated authoritarian church leaders around the United States.

    Too many Christians have become literally frightened to death of participating in ANY Christian faith-based gathering, because of adverse past experiences at the hands of domineering, heavy-handed control freaks who have intentionally warped the teachings of Holy Scripture to suit their own private agendas.

    Too many Christians have been mercilessly beaten into submission - through emotional abuse, brainwashing, physical abuse, peer pressure, financial abuse, and public disparagement - by certain types of church leaders who misinterpret and misconstrue Biblical teachings for inappropriate purposes.

    I do not think Christians should be prohibited from sharing their stories and concerns about abusive churches and abusive pastors on the Internet.

    For what it is worth, I do humbly acknowledge that doctrinal differences between different faith bodies, and different leaders, can be an enormous sticking point for believers in Jesus Christ.

    In closing, my big concern is that some church organizations and their leadership teams have adopted an extremely harsh approach to handling disagreements, particularly when individual members, their families and their friends resign from a church body. Too often, the pastors and leadership teams intentionally refuse to allow their members to peacefully and gracefully resign from a church body when there are honest, genuine differences of opinion.

    I think the best possible outcome for this situation would be for Charles "Chuck" O'Neal to immediately withdraw his lawsuit, for him to pay the reasonable attorneys' fees and costs incurred by Julie Anne Smith and her lawyer, and simply to leave her alone. She should not be FORCED at gunpoint to stop sharing her concerns via this blog, and she should not be FORCED to enter into a "non-disparagement" agreement against Charles "Chuck" O'Neal.

    Were Mr. O'Neal to listen to this reasonable advice, he might find that the slow process of moving towards "peaceful coexistence" might begin in this matter. -RB

  20. Anne,

    Thank You for your words of wisdom and for sharing John 8:7.

    I have have been doing a lot of reflection in my life. The are people from 30 or 40 years ago that I never apologized or openly have forgiven.

    For whatever reason God lead me to this blog. During the last 12 months I have been surrounded with different passages about forgiveness. Yesterday I watched the most powerful Sermon I have ever seen on forgiveness by Adrian Rogers.

    I think it could be fair to say that there have been times that all of us haven't been forgiven or recieved a well deserved apology.

    Anne, I found this Blog by accident. I was trying to understand why "Reformed New Calvinist/Hyper-Calvinist by appearence have an abusive interpretations in Scripture, sometimes offering minimal or no redemption.

    I think many Hyper-Calvinist sometimes act like the Pharisees who abusively judged the Sinner and Tax Collector. (I believe they probably had a problem of forgiving them, so John 8:7 is a lesson not only for me, but everybody else)

    If I have come across disrespectful to Julie Anne or to anybody else, I will be judged, but believe me it isn't my intention.

    My intention is for healing to take place. I believe I went through much of the same kind of pain Julie Anne and others on this blog have experienced with ism's.

    In Christ

    1. David,
      In your first post today, you said, "I haven't seen any evidence of forgiveness, in your blog." If that isn't as judgmental as it gets, I don't know what is. You have no clue what she's done. Telling people someone is abusive, which is what Julie Anne has done, has nothing to do with forgiveness.

      You speak of wondering why others have an abusive interpretation of scripture. Yet that's exactly what you are doing. You are very mistaken if you believe scripture allows you to call on Julie Anne to forgive. That is reserved for those closest to her and for God.

      What you are really trying to do is shut her up. Be abused, forgive, and then don't tell others you were abused, is what you are saying. It's not healthy. The very fact that this occurs so often in some churches tells us that too many people have kept their mouths shut for too long. Chuck didn't back into Julie Anne's car and then lie about it. He abused her and he led others to abuse her.

      Your only response, if you are concerned that she needs to forgive, is to pray for her heart to be convicted. You don't even get to tell her about it. Just pray about it. Nowhere does scripture allow you to judge her or to call on a stranger to forgive, especially in a public forum. And don't make the mistake of equating your actions with the creation of this blog. Your actions are about ego. Julie Anne's are about protection. There is a difference.

    2. Hey David, I'm not one that has written you but thanks for saying something about forgiveness of men. I didn't think I was packing a grudge against someone but some of your words keep coming back to me over and over. It seems that little old bugger grudge I was packing has been in there a while, and what was little has grown big. Thanks for posting. (if you come back to see this)

    3. snicker...
      Why Jaci, you are sounding quite authoritarian and abusive. I guess it's okay for you to tell others what they can and can't say.


    4. You are probably right but there's a difference. It's one thing to say, "Hey, I think what you are doing is wrong." Though with someone who is a survivor of power abuse, that's iffy when they are merely telling their story in an effort to protect others. If you knew a regiatered sex offender lived next door, would you tell the neighbors with children?

      But saying an action is wrong and telling someone they lack a spirit of forgiveness are two different things.

  21. Praying all day for you guys, Julie Anne.

    1. Thank you so much, Barb. That means so much to me.

  22. My name is Patrizia

  23. Jaci,

    Forgiveness is a personal issue I wanted to share as a remedy for Julie Anne and Pastor Chuck to get out of this mess. I regret trying to emphasize a solution that made me look more judgmental rather than helpful.

    I think some of us are dangerously Judging and so you have humbled me. You are correct that it is difficult to know everything that transpired with Julie Anne and Pastor O'Neal.

    I'm sure Pastor O'Neal would find it difficult choking down much of what I have observed as well.

    I think this issue goes beyond Chuck O'Neal or Julie Anne. The problem to me originated with "Methodology".

    There are a lot of seemly nice people that are being trained in "Reformed Geneva" type seminaries to deliver their Methodologies that many of us would find abusive, offensive that lacks Biblical balance.

    I'm under the impression they have been trained to retaliate toward people who they consider "Doctrinal Challenges" using select scriptures to rebuke people as a way to defend their Methodology.

    I have been more focus on the source being "Reformed Geneva" type seminaries is where I myself have been reading about in the Net.

    I haven't followed this Blog since its inception so maybe I missed the identified forgiveness that I was hoping to see.

    If Julie Anne endured what I went through for rejecting New or Hyper Calvinism I know it wasn't pretty. If it was worse, then it makes that much harder to forgive.

    What I don't want to see happen is Letterman or Bill Maher cracking jokes about 2 people who profess the Gospel going public and verbally assassinating each other.
    Seeing on the Huffington Post a Liberal News Outlet is bad enough.

    In Christ

    1. David: Can you please describe what forgiveness looks like to you? What are you seeing in me that in your opinion shows an unforgiving spirit?

    2. It was seeing it on the Huffington Post that led me to the story :-) But here's the good that came out of it. I had no idea this kind of thing happened in churches. I've heard of it in a few denominations - like the Amish (shunning). I've had a relationship with God since I was 16, and it sustains me day by day. But I've only been part of healthy church communities - fairly healthy anyway because no church probably is completely, being made up of imperfect people.

      However, after seeing the story and reading the blog, I did more research, read other blogs, investigated other stories. And what I discovered is I didn't lose a friend because she's an idiot (only associates with other members of her church), I lost a friend because she was sucked into something unhealthy. Another friend on discovering we had voted differently in the last election also quit speaking to me. She goes to a church somewhat similar to Beaverton. But lately she's been reaching out again. I have hesitated to respond, fearing a fake friendship or a repeat performance and too much pain. What I know now is she was taught to avoid people like me but maybe she's breaking free. Which means I am called to risk it.

      We have nothing to fear by this story being ridiculed on TV. God is greater than that and can bring good out of anything. If we, as Christians, don't bring abuse into the light of day, who will?

  24. Hey David, do you have an links to any of the stuff you are studying? I'm particularly interested in where you are developing your impressions about these "Doctrinal Challenges" being retaliated against. Thanks!

  25. Anonymous,

    I typed different words like Reformed or New Calvinism, Hyper Calvinism. Sometimes I would type Abusive Calvinism just to see what would pop up.

    I don't remember what I typed in to get "Beaverton Grace Baptist Church Survivors".

    I found "Doctrinal Challenge" from a site called "Paul's Passing Thoughts" who has raised concerns about Biblical abuses of New and Hyper-Calvinist.
    I can't keep up with him because he has daily and lengthy articles about spiritual abuses practiced by New Calvinist.

    I'm less into naming names of Pastor's because I think they are merely the symptom of the real problem which is the Seminaries that are being taken over by New and Hyper Calvinist.

    You will find as you surf around, that much of the strife is coming out of the Southern Baptist Convention.

    I think the SBC should split because they are unable to come up with a consensus on how to present the Gospel, in particular their conflicting views on Salvation, that Calvinist and Arminianism and Baptist who practice neither, that is dividing and splitting churches, which I think is major.

    I finding many Churches (including mine) don't really know what Doctrine their Pastor embraces. Many of these Pastor's purposely "hide" their Doctrine all the while they accept support from their congregations.

    There are some that have expressed to me, that consider this, less than honest.

    In Christ

  26. David,
    Search for churches that believe the 5 points of T.U.L.I.P.
    I don't think Calvinism originated in the SBC, I believe it originated in other churches and the SBC is now beginning to give it a 2nd look and adopt some of the methodologies you speak of..
    Key words: Sovereign, grace, landmark, mission, bible church.
    Pastors that are heavily influenced by calvinism also tend to favor books written by Charles Spurgeon, A.W. Pink, W.E Best

    1. Anonymous,

      I believe Calvinism originated in Europe. I believe Calvinism has surged more aggressively into SBC Seminaries for the last 20 years.

      Although in SBC blogs some SBC Calvinist Leaders are taking the credit of founding the SBC back in the 1800's.

      On the SBC Blogs your will begin to scratch the surface of the Doctrinal Indifference going on. That is spreading confusion and splitting churches.

      On the internet type in "Calvinist Universities and Seminaries". Wikipedia will show a partial listing. I discovered several Baptist and Non-Baptist Denominations represent that list.

      In Christ

  27. Julie Anne,

    This is tough because I find that you are courageous and true to your convictions.

    The length of time, this has been going on gives me the impression that there is an indefinite time frame before any ending resolution is possible for you and your former Pastor.

    I think, when the focus of your Blog alters away from the negatives you experienced from your former Pastor and Grace Bible Church, healing will take place. I seems like things are getting too personal for healing to take place.

    Even though I can see you have a nice smile, how is it possible for you to experience real joy as long as this blog keeps the memory of the pain you have gone through alive?

    My Pastor is out of my life but in your case your former Pastor is still very much in yours.

    I can see that you have enough Biblical knowledge to turn your blog into a ministry of guiding people away from "Reformed Geneva" type preaching without using the name of your previous Pastor.
    There are enough Presidents of Reformed Geneva type Seminaries that embrace defending there Methodologies on their personal blogs that will accomplish more than trying to change the mind of a Pastor in Beaverton.

    For me I had to stop venting and replaying the things my Pastor did to me and our church. When that finally happened I went from two hours sleep a night to 7 hours a night.

    I sense that you feel like you have been targeted when you attempted to understand where your Pastor was coming from. My Pastor used the word "Truth" and nothing else in describing his theology.

    I can't imagine the pain you have gone through, but I do know the pain I went through and the burden of Un-Forgiveness was even harder for me to bear.

    I sense that my Former Pastor struggled more with women whom he considered a "Doctrinal Challenge" which may have happened to you.
    Our Pastor seemed to be trying to control and indoctrinate the Congregation without disclosing his Doctrine.
    Our Church stopped Christmas Programs when he first arrived. By the end of his tenure he was sending kids home from Sunday School if they didn't bring their parents. (ending the children's Sunday School)
    He was also attempting to close the doors of the church and meet in a much smaller place large enough for his following whom weren't going to be a "Doctrinal Challenge" to him.

    Your and my former Pastors' were indoctrinated to Preach and lead Congregations within a certain Methodology.

    I have to be careful even now, because it isn't doing me any good thinking about the past.

    The positive from all of this is the Holy Spirit woke me up. Right now our Church is still affiliated the SBC which is going through "Doctrinal Indifference" and we are all paying attention to the Doctrine of Candidates, something we never did before. Personally I hope we get away from the SBC.

    What we all don't want to see happen is for Letterman and Maher to joke about 2 people who profess the Gospel attacking each other.
    This should motivate Pastor Chuck to seek a truce and pull his Lawsuit if you agree to withdraw his Name and Grace Bible from your Blog.

    Find comfort in knowing that the Holy Spirit is deeply working on your former Pastor.

    I think you blog has greater things to focus on than your former Pastor.

    In Christ

    1. David,

      I hear your concern over methodologies and the problems they can cause. I'm sorry you and your church suffered and that you worry they will continue to suffer.

      I have a question for you. Do you believe the author of this blog, and her family, was severely emotionally and spiritually abused by her former pastor and church?

      Do you believe he led others into also being abusive?

      Understanding whether we are on the same page will help me understand your thoughts. We may be viewing this completely differently. If you hit the reply right below this, then I will know you are answering me. Otherwise, I may miss it.

      And if you haven't had a chance to read many of the entries in this blog, I recommend "In Honor of Hannah" and "Walk the Talk." Both give a clear, quick picture of the story behind the story.

    2. Jaci,

      I don't know Julie Anne or Chuck O'Neal, but much of what Julie Anne described is identical to what my wife and I experienced.
      If I asked the right questions early on. I would've left the Church after his first Sunday and avoided much of the strife I had to endure.

      If we don't take the time to consider a Pastor's true Doctrine we are partly to blame.
      If he is vague or avoids disclosing and the Elders don't do anything about it, its time to quietly move on.

      If our situation was simular, then Julie Anne and I both failed to realize (until it was too late) what was happening. Maybe she did everything right, but I was unprepared and scriptually caught off guard.
      If I was in her place right now, (blog/lawsuit) I would be taking this very personal and struggle with forgiveness, but she might be stronger than me.

      My wife and I were shunned or judged attempting to figure out our Pastor's Doctrine.
      After a year I stopped attending my church. Church Members were asking me why I stop attending I responded: "I'm failing to embrace and understand his "Methodology" (I'm sure it got back to the Pastor)
      A person suggested I was trying to run the Pastor out. (I'm sure that got back to the Pastor as well) It was the farthest from my mind.
      I'm sure my Pastor knew exactly what I was talking about when I referenced his "Methodology", (Doctrine) which only exacerbated the problem.

      When I realized my own sin, (Judging the Pastor more than his Methodology) I apologized to him. He refused to forgive me and accused me of "Maligning" against him.
      The Pastor's unforgiving heart is probably what I needed at the time, because it lead me to ask God for direction. I realized I had been taking this on my own.
      The Holy-Spirit revealed to me that I had many unresolved issues including Unforgiveness and harm I caused others all the way back to my childhood.
      Then God lead me to discover parts of my Pastors' Theology that I disclosed to an Elder.
      I found it difficult forgiving my Pastor, because I felt he was dishonest to me and in some respect an opportunist because he was accepting support from a Congregation while keeping his Doctrine a mystery.
      When he resigned, there was no resolution with him but God continued to lead me to verses of forgiveness. God showed my problem with my Pastor, was "Methodology" and I allowed it to become too personal.
      I finally forgave him.

      I believe my former Pastor and O'Neal have been endotrinated by a Methodology. I don't know if O'Neal was more forthright about disclosure to Julie Anne.
      I found a blog of a 5 point Calvinist and I asked him about disclosure and he believed that they don't have to openly be up front. (in order to protect the flock)

      That is my fault for not being scriptually literate enough. I believe "Methodology" is the real problem here and from what I can see Julie Anne may disagree which means I have been extremely presumptous to her feelings.

      I still thinks Julie and O'Neal need to call a truce.

      I've seen alot of Scriptually sound Pastors and Bloggers that are using God's word to challenge some of these "heavy handed" Methodologies. They aren't targeting smaller ministries rather the Denominational Leaders and Seminary Presidents who are teaching this stuff, defending what they are doing, on the Internet.

      I would find it difficult to forgive if half of what Julie Anne said was true, especially if my kids were innocently involved.
      If I were in Julie Anne's shoes I wouldn't have peace but maybe I'm not as strong.

      If O'Neal hadn't filed the lawsuit, what kind of exit strategy did Julie Anne have with her blog regarding her Doctrinal Indifference with her former Pastor?

      I believe when the Method is stronger than the Message it distracts us away from "Truth".

      In Christ

    3. David,
      Thank you for sharing your story. It does sound painful. Part of the difference in your two stories though is that your pastor left and you stayed. Julie Anne lost her entire Christian community because of the pastor's lies. Is that a pastor? No. Just because someone calls himself one doesn't make it so. Hours and hours of interrogation at night, people showing up at your house, friends turning their back on you in public - that's not merely doctrinal differences, that's abuse.

      I also notice you never answered my question as to whether you think it's abuse.

      You mentioned your pastor refused to accept your apology and said you were maligning him and you don't find that strange?

      There are people in the world who have a mental illness. I have no idea whether your previous pastor is one of them and it's none of my business, but some pastors do have a problem. Think of ones who are pedophiles. Like physical illness, mental illness does exist. And, as difficult as it is to swallow, pastors can be mentally ill. Just like some pastors have hearts that don't work right or they get cancer, they can have a brain that doesn't work right.

      Some illnesses make it so the mind does not understand the world as you and I do. If I told you I disagreed with your doctrine, I doubt you would be angry. Even if I told several people, you would probably see it for frustration or disagreement. And if I apologized, would you not forgive? Probably even without the apology you would forgive.

      But some people are so lacking in self-esteem and for some biological reason their brain simply doesn't work right, that when they hear you disagree, it is as if you took a loudspeaker and told the world they were a murderer and deserved to burn in hell. They can't forgive you, not because it was minor or maybe not even because they have a hard heart, but because to them the hurt is so deep, they can only survive by saying you were wrong. There is no way they can examine themselves and see if they were wrong.

      They may find every way in the world to blame it on you and to get everyone around them to blame you. That's how they prop up their ego. It's like people who are color blind - they don't see the same colors you and I do. A mentally ill person, pastor or not, may have a brain that works completely different from yours.

      That doesn't mean their actions aren't abusive or worthy of warning people about. They can get help or remove themselves from ministry. And those around them can refuse to be drawn into the illness. That's what Julie Anne is doing - refusing to be drawn into the illness and warning others not to be either.

  28. Christianity has already become a laughing stock and you can thank those fake, greedy, manipulative, conning, lying pigs who stand behind their pulpits each Sunday morning for making it so.
    No need to worry about Letterman or Maher making jabs, it's the other 5 billion ppl on the planet you need to be concerned with; they see right through the bull and want no part of it; and what a shame it is because Jesus Christ deserves so much better than that!!

  29. #1 God
    #2 family
    If anything gets between or becomes more important then those two then there is something horribly wrong. This includes church.


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