Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lawsuit Update: New Information!!

Earlier, I was notified that Chuck O'Neal/Beaverton Grace Bible Church amended the lawsuit on Friday.   He added one more person to the lawsuit, so in total five people are being sued.  Additionally, in his suit against me, he added a handful of quotes from my blog as "defamation". 

I would like to remind my readers of something very basic that we have already covered.  Pastors do not have the right to tell you who you can or cannot talk to or what you can or cannot say.  Their job is to be your spiritual shepherd and guide you.  They are not to use their authority over you in a domineering fashion. 

Some of you were told to not talk to certain people and to shun them.  That is what we have called the "no-talk rule".  Some of you obeyed that shameful rule for a while and are no longer under that abusive control.  Chuck O'Neal is my former pastor and even if he was currently my pastor, he does not have the right to tell me what I can or cannot say in private, or public, including the internet.  The defamation lawsuit seems to be an attempt to continue that no-talk rule on former church members. 

Chuck O'Neal has now entered civil jurisdiction, not church jurisdiction.  I am no longer a part of his church.




In civil society in America, we have this neat little thing called Free Speech.  It means our speech is protected.  Sometimes Free Speech laws protect even shocking expressions like this:  Westboro Baptist picketing at military funerals, or burning the American flag, or using offensive words, etc.  This quote is from the Washington Post's article on the recent Westboro Baptist case:

The First Amendment protects a fringe church's anti-gay protests at military funerals, a nearly unanimous Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a powerful opinion that spoke to the nation's tolerance for even hateful public speech.
The court's most liberal and most conservative justices joined in a decision likely to define the term. It writes a new chapter in the court's findings that freedom of speech is so central to the nation that it protects cruel and unpopular protests - even, in this case, at the moment of a family's most profound grief.

It appears that Chuck O'Neal and Beaverton Grace Bible Church do not like some of the words we are freely speaking on the internet.  That's fine.  He doesn't have to like these words just as I don't care for the behavior and words of the Westboro Baptist group.  Because of the lawsuit, we are obligated to let the court decide if our words are defamatory or not.  Good!  We will both have the opportunity to hear what the Court says and it is in their hands now. 

A few months before we left the church, Chuck preached on Romans 13.  It's about submitting to government:
 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

I've copied the links from Chuck O'Neal's sermons on this passage - taken from Beaverton Grace Bible Church website (http://www.beavertongracebible.org).  In these sermons, we might hear how we are to submit to governmental authority.  Let me know if you do listen.  I need to try to have some life outside of this blog, but am interested. 


Chuck O'Neal's sermons on Romans 13 and Submitting to State Authority
 


My attorney recently sent me an additional 25 pages of documentation submitted to the court because of this recent amendment.  If you would like a copy, please send me a note.

14 comments:

  1. Freedom in Christ...............Legalism

    *Spirit led.................*Law bound
    *Grace......................*Works righteousness
    *Love/forgiveness...........*Hate/shunning
    *Open communication.........*Control/silence
    *Accept a wrong.............*Lawsuit

    Galations

    "The message of Galations is the message of the Christian's spiritual freedom, his deliverance by Christ from the bondage of sin and religious legalism." MacArthur Galatians commentary,pg.ix-x

    Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

    Galatians 4:16 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?

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    1. Those are great contrasts and when you see it side by side like that, it is so clear. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. bren says on Dexknows~'as I face hardship and persecution for the faith'
    very sad comment considering the persecution is happening because he doesn't follow what scripture says about lawsuits nor 'shunning'. Truly sad to see how much control and twisting goes on there....grateful to be free & praying for eyes to be open

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    1. I went back to that review to reread it: "Attended worship services on April 29 and found the message to be just what I needed as I face hardship and persecution for the faith."

      That is an interesting review. I think those of us who have left could leave the same review.

      We faced hardship and persecution for the faith! And we're being sued! And shunned!

      Delete
  3. comments from May 3, 2012 7:13~thank you so much, very clear and beautiful. AMEN

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  4. Please let us know which sites have your reviews. I would like to start a push for anyone with a spare 5 minutes to post a 'review' of that church. He can't sue everybody. Strength in numbers. I think a large protest should be organized.

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  5. I discovered your blog yesterday, and added it to my blog roll. I discovered Chuck O'Neal at Sermon Audio a couple of years ago and mentioned this series in my post at http://suspiciousberean.blogspot.ca/2010/05/american-christians-is-your-pastor.html.

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  6. Sorry you are wrong. Free speech limits you to your opinion and not the claim of fact. If you claim facts then you get to prove them in court. Therein, if you claim as you did that the church "is FAMOUS for shunning" and other such claims, it is presented as fact.

    NOW you get to PROVE your statement that they are FAMOUS for shunning. And anything else you said. I stopped reading at that line on your site because I knew you were immediately going to be guilty with that one.

    You should have said "I was shunned and in my opinion it was because....".

    You seem to think this will be "fun". NO, it won't be fun and you will lose. You will have the option to take it down or DEFEND IT. And your opinion and scripture is NOT a legal defense to defamation.

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    Replies
    1. In general I agree with this statement (the part about saying "in my opinion") except that a review is by its very nature an opinion. One states an opinion about something, then gives reasons or examples to support that opinion.

      For example, when I read restaurant reviews, one person says, "I won't go back -- the service was terrible and the food was cold." Another says, "This is our family favorite -- we always go there for the pizza when we're in town. It's a kid-friendly place." Different people have different experiences and different perspectives, and they can like or not like a place, business, church, etc., for completely different reasons. I may dislike a movie for the same characteristics that make it a favorite with another viewer.

      Freedom of speech includes the freedom to be wrong -- hence the Supreme Court's ruling about the Westboro Church's defamations.

      Maybe one's opinion of a church depends on whether one is being shunned or doing the shunning!

      Delete
  7. How could this idiot sue you for expressing an opinion?

    Why isn't this case, and this jackass "Man of """GOD""" " more widely known for trying to suppress free speech?

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  8. How can anonymous claim that this church isn't famous for shunning when it shunned you?

    And I notice that he, and these jackasses are always he's, did not refer to a single statute or case law.

    Obviously if we allowed jerks like him to make our laws, we would have no free speech.

    Many Christian churches preach that The Mormons are a "cult". Does that mean they have to prove the Mormons are a cult?

    And the way this bully has gone after you proves he is running a cult and is afraid that people will get wise to him.

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  9. Just got to ask, is it $500,000 from each defendant or in total?

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  10. I cannot stand what this church is doing. I heard your story on the news and my heart reached out to the 5 of you. People like Chuck O'Neal make life so much difficult for all of us. They abuse us to keep us under their control, then they try and take our liberties in a pursuit to control our very souls. So many people who have yet to come to Christ might choose not too because of men like Chuck O'Neal. He should be sued for defaming us! Just remember that God is with you and he has a plan for you and your admirable cause.

    The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
    He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
    He leadeth me beside the still waters.
    He restoreth my soul:
    He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake.
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
    Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
    Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
    Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.
    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
    and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

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  11. My sister was attending this Church, between 6-7 yrs ago! She had a 12 yr relationship, which ended badly. She was inconsolable. I had suggested she seek out "GOD"! She was trying different church's and found " Beaverton Grace Bible Church ".
    She felt she could have fellowship with others and hear the "Word Of God". At that time, "Pastor Chuck" had not been with that church very long and it was a small congregation. She invited me to attend a service with her, so I did. Half way through the service, I was so irritated and getting so angry..I apologized to my sister and got up and left!
    I waited in the car til people started coming out and I went back inside. I confronted the Pastor about what he was saying during the service..He had talked about Santa Clause, Christmas and how he didn't want to hear anyone talk about"The man in the red suit!" About giving and receiving gift's on that day. It seemed to me,that he was directing his comments to the children,Especially!
    It felt to me, that he spent more time, trying to brainwash his congregation..than reading from the Bible!!! I told the Pastor, I would not be coming back to his Church, nor would I EVER refer anyone! The Only other Church I felt that way about, was the Pentecostal's. I have attended a lot of different church's in my life, and tried different Religions... I have decided that To love GOD, I don't have to go to a building, a Bible Study or a Bible Camp.. God, Is in my heart!

    ReplyDelete

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