Sunday, May 13, 2012

Support

Thank you to the visitors who have searched to find my blog.  I am overwhelmed.   It has really touched my heart.  Not only has it touched my heart, but the hearts of a multitude of families who have suffered silently from this experience.   They have been reading of your support not only in this blog, but on Google reviews, on sites like fark.com and even in places as distant as Australia.   Wow seems to be the word that we keep repeating. 

Happy Mother's Day! 





101 comments:

  1. I think you have hit a nerve, if this is happening at a church near you in Beaverton, then it is happen in a church near me in Austin, Texas.

    We don't wrestle against flesh and blood, but principalities. This is a spirit that is invading our churches, let us pray that God's Spirit can untangle the life-giving message of Jesus, grace, and wisdom from the death-giving message of legalism and condemnation.

    I will campaign that the Body of Christ uplifts you as you fight the darkness of the enemy's camp, because it isn't about a little church in Beaverton, it is about the fight between the truth and the darkness.

    John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

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    1. Thank you, Elaine! Great verse!

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    2. Thank you Elaine for your encouraging word of clarity! The national news is now picking up on that exact point for Christians everywhere, and bloggers anywhere who dare raise an opposing viewpoint. In all my electrical work I've never seen a 'dark switch' that was able to extinguish a brightly burning light!

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  2. Happy Mother's Day, Julie Anne. May the Lord bless you with a beautiful, restful day of fellowship with family and friends.

    This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!

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    1. Love you, Michelle. Great game of Rummikub! We all won!

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  3. Happy Mother's Day, Julie Anne. Your children are lucky to have such a strong, passionate, and loving Mother.

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  4. Happy Mother's Day!

    I am sending prayers/positive vibes your way.

    This is a great resource you may be interested in reading-http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/

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    1. I'm pretty sure I have that listed in my resource tab - great info there!! Thanks so much!

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  5. Everyone needs to read this blog about Julie Anne's story:
    http://fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/

    Here is an excerpt:

    " Read what Chuck posted on Julie Anne's review site explaining why he filed his defamation lawsuit:

    "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."

    Of course! Chuck justifies his lawsuit against Julie and her daughter by claiming he is only doing what the Apostle Paul did in Acts 25! Forget that Paul was being pursued by powerful religious leaders who wanted to kill him, and that Julie Anne is, well, a stay-at-home, home-schooling mom who is writing about her former church and pastor that she believes has spiritually abused her family and other families.

    Chuck has it completely backwards. In this saga, he and his church represent the Jewish leaders seeking Paul's (Julie Anne's) head because they don't like what Julie Anne is saying, while Julie Anne is more like the Apostle Paul who is merely doing what her faith calls her to do: to call out and expose what she perceives to be a false teacher and a spiritual abuser. Chuck, you're the religious zealot who is trying to silence a Christian, Julie Anne is the Apostle Paul doing what Christ has commanded her to do."

    SPOT ON!

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  7. Julie Anne, many around the world have experienced this type of cult like behavoir in churches. You are not alone in this. Thanks for taking the stand that you have-
    Shane

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    1. It's so true - sad, but true!

      Thanks, Shane.

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  8. Atheist and Church of Christ survivor Alan Canon sending best wishes from Louisville, Kentucky. All churches are cults, one way or another. May your journey lead you to freedom from religion's tyranny.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Aronnax. While I don't agree with you that all churches are cults, I do appreciate your thoughts about finding freedom from religion's tyranny. Thank you so much for stopping by. I wish I could hear your story. I wonder what we have in common.

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    2. Right Julie. In fact, our Lord Jesus hated 'religion', for example the Pharisees. But He clearly proclaimed that He had made the way for us to have a "relationship" with Him the living God. WOW! That is love. And after we receive that good news that He took our judgment that was due us having the Adamic fallen nature from birth, and He sacrificed Himself in our places to allow us to have an on-going, eternal relationship with Him Who is a HOLY God, then He comes to reside in us (believers) for constant fellowship, guidance, protection; He is our Shepherd and His sheep know His voice. Those of us who were around the types described in this blog came out of those places not hearing His voice but the voice of the one who came to rob, steal and destroy--the devil. He can portray himself as an angel of light for awhile but the Lord gives us wisdom and discernment and we're to share those for the sake of the body. I am grateful that is what Julie is doing.

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    3. I have been reading with interest many of the comments since I first came across the news article about the lawsuit. My heart goes out to you and the others, Julie. I have had similar experiences here in TN. Pastoral spiritual abuse is rampant. I agree that all churches are not cults; but by nature, they are all religious. They have to be in order to maintain any degree of order and with that...control. I have been on a journey now for over three years to re-examine my nearly 40 years of Christian thinking. I have been taking a hard look at all of it- church history, theology, the Bible and how it came to be, etc. What a mess! You have inspired me to start my own blog. I have remained silent for fear of further alienating my two daughters who have shunned me along with their husbands who are still on staff at the church that I left. No more. I have been "turned over to satan, for the destruction of the flesh" according to I Cor. 5. Not for "having my father's wife", but for running from God. What I haven't been able to get them to see is that I am not running from God; I am running to God from a legalistic, fundamentalist religion. But anyway...cudos to you and strength for the fight. The poor pastor in Ore. He's in way over his head and I predict within a year will be working at Starbucks....

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    4. ....or preaching from an overturned milk crate on a downtown street corner.

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  9. Hi Julie Anne - posted an article this morning at my blog on your situation. Would love to speak to you, you can reach me via email at my blog site. Stay strong.

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  10. You are strong without the church, your contact with god is truly a private conversation. A pastor may try to lead you, but really the only leader you need is yourself. Stay strong!
    Best of luck!

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  11. You will find a lot of support from a bunch of us free believers on Face book. Some amazing people who do know the what Grace really means.

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    1. hear hear, I would love to add you as a friend on FB Julie!

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  12. Julie: Know that I support what you are doing here and I am so sorry this has happened to you. BTW take FBCJax up on his offer. He definitely can help in this situation. He is a wonderful guy.

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    1. Hi Debbie - I'm familiar with your name from spiritual abuse sites. Thanks for the comment. I will contact FBCJax. His blog is on my reader :)

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  13. You will win this confrontation. In fact, you won when they filed suit. Their doing that violated several tenets of their own legalism and if there was any doubt as to the character of that church and pastor, it was erased by that action.

    The things that have been whispered in secret will be shouted from the rooftops. Church reviews will become more common and it will become clear over time which churches are engaged in abusive practices.

    They can try to silence the voices or they can examine themselves and change the behavior that their not proud to see exposed in public. Clearly this church has shown their colors.

    Perhaps the rest of the churches in the community could join together and sue this church for using the word "grace" in their name. That looks like a possible case of false advertising to me.

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    1. Great comment, Bart. I laughed at your last paragraph and then rethought: if the rest of the churches join together and sue, I don't want to go to them, either.

      Christians should not be suing, period. They should be dialoguing or agreeing to disagree.

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  14. Julie,
    I shared your story and a friend of mine who is a lawyer in Portland has requested that I put you in contact with him. He might be able to help you out. Contact Jay Bodzin at the Northwest Law Office. http://northwestlawoffice.com jay at northwestlawoffice.com

    -Steven Olsen

    P.S. You have my support! I don't like censorious bullies.

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    1. Thanks, Steven. The four of us involved in the court case are well represented, but please thank Jay for his kind offer. Perhaps if more names are added to the lawsuit (like Cop's below), I'll have his number handy! Love the support :)

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  15. Happy Mothers day to you dear friend, I know God is blessing you through this trial, He is our Wonderful Counselor~love to the Smiths and thanking God for Christ who sets us FREE ~
    love to you

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    1. Meaghan!! Love you, dear friend. Happy Mother's Day to YOU!! Wish I could have seen you this weekend. Big hugs, friend!

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  16. Julie Anne,

    I came across your blog via the JBFC Jax Watchdog site.

    I have spent most of my life (72 years) in ministry, half of that time as a pastor, and I am disgusted to see the so-called "pastors", who are so insecure, and immature, in their faith,as this fellow appears to be.

    As sad as I am at what the world at large is seeing taking place in what purports to be 'the church', I am pleased to see this Pharisaical sickness being exposed, and revealed to be the religious charade that it is.

    To be very colloquial, in the Australian sense,"Good on yer mate! Go for it!" :)

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    1. Aussie John: You make me smile! I tried to reread your comment with an Aussie accent.

      I wish I could meet you. I just clicked on your blogger profile and see you've been married over 50 years! So wonderful :)

      Thank you for commenting here.

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  17. Julie, I just wanted to let you know that you and your family are in my prayers. You are right to speak out against BGBC. I have attended one of their services and have seen the effect that the church's teachings have had on people close to me. Pastor Chuck and his hateful ways have caused divisions even within my own family. It is very unfortunate that anyone puts their faith in him as a Pastor. I wish the folks that attended that church would put their faith in God and walk away.

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    1. I wish we just visited one time. Wait, no - maybe not. Look what is happening here - so much exposure about spiritual abuse - from viewers all over the internet. To God be the Glory, Great things He has Done! Time to clean up the church!

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  18. Julie Anne,
    I'm sure you're getting tons of messages from supporters now that your story has gone pretty viral. I just wanted to add my support. Stay strong! By exposing what this pastor and the church is doing, you're doing good work! May God strengthen you and protect you!

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  19. I posted a link to an article about your situation on my facebook page.... and someone linked me to this page.... Stay strong, keep on keeping on... Congrats to your entire family for being able to raise a girl like Hannah who had the strength to stay sane and still finish college and be successful.... keep on posting, take advantage of anyone who offers you help.... and keep on exposing these FALSE christians.....

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  20. I have not read the blogs but I wanna know if tis church is a part of the UPC!!

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  21. I havent read all the details of what has gone on with both sides, I just caught the article online. Beaverton Church must have torn out the page in the Bible that says Christians dont sue Christians in instances such as this. They would look better if they would have taken the high road and ignored it. Common sense would tell me they dont have a case...but, then again, common sense would have told me no church would do something this stupid. I left a spiritually abusive church back in the 80s. I remember being treated like scum by them afterwords. Prayerfully God will guide your pathway.:-)

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    1. Yes, there was some dialogue on this topic on the reviews and someone alerted me that Chuck must have taken down that particular "review". That is another example of twisting scripture that I refer to on the blog.

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  22. Totally support you Julie Anne.... The church is a cult...and I am ready to be sued by them too!!

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    1. Well, you go, girl! Glad to have you on our team, Susan! :)

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  23. I'm astonished that your ex-pastor is so easily intimidated and so easily driven to anger. It takes no special spiritual insight to know that this man is extremely insecure for reasons yet to be fully explained. I would not accept his spiritual authority either. I can't imagine your personal anxiety will last for long. This case meets no existing legal standard of defamation. I can't see how this threat serves the spiritual or political arms of any organization the claims to be Christian. I can envision a situation where this pastor is explicitly told to back off by whatever earthly heirarchy he may answer to. His suit can only serve to make all Christians look narrow and arrogant. I'm betting he has more than once pulled out this "whole armor of God" line to justify the suit against you...and probably whenever it serves his personal agenda. Thank you for being a strong Christian and what I instinctively recognize as a real American. I admire you.

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  24. Aussie who hate Bully-boysMay 13, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Gee, this Pastor seems to be extremely thin-skinned and defensive!! What truths have you exposed Julie Anne? He sounds like a bully-boy to me and typical of so many religious authorities who demand you do as they say. He's a Preacher, not a spreader of "the Word", for those who believe.
    You stick to your guns, Julie Anne, and I only hope you are getting support from those in your community who are not bigots.
    The only thing this so-called "Pastor" has done by this law suit is to magnify the story and spread it globally and it makes him look like the complete idiot he is. Go on bully boy, try suing this Aussie chick!! Bring it on you weak, pathetic creature!
    Gosh, I hope he gets to read some of these posts.

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    1. I recognise these fighting words :-)

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    2. Well, I know he read the blog because he took quotes off the blog and added it to the amended suit.

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  25. Just wondering.

    If enough people get on your blog and mention or comments on the abuse at the hands of the pastor. Would he have to extend the lawsuit to everyone that gets on your blog?

    Happy Mothers day Keep doing what your doin.

    I am not a lawyer, but I can pray for you and others that have had to go through this bully pastor(oops, I guess I'll be added to the lawsuit as well)

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    1. I don't know. If your real name is Cop, I might get a heads up if his attorney wants to subpoena you. :) I'll make a post out of it, too!

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  26. Hi Julie Anne, I saw this article this afternoon and thought it was a different take on things. I put the link below!

    "Neither the pastor, the pastor’s wife, nor his attorney wanted to speak with the press. Because, you know, they don’t want any negative attention…

    Interestingly enough, in the few days since the story went public, the church has gotten multiple 1-star reviews on the Google and DexKnows websites

    The way Pastor O’Neal’s handled all this just goes to show Smith was right to point out the “control tactics” in the church. They can’t handle honest criticism — it messes with the whole “let’s brainwash our congregation” thing.

    So where are all the people who attend the church? Why aren’t they speaking out? Even if they like the church, do they support this frivolous lawsuit? Or are they just keeping silent so they don’t piss off this pastor-dictator?"

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/05/13/mother-gives-former-church-bad-reviews-online-pastor-sues-for-500000/

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    1. Remember the "no-talk" rule. I wouldn't be surprised if Chuck has instructed them on how to behave.

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  27. Go for it! All this religious nonsense is designed to create control, to assume power over others.. it's just a matter of how obvious a particular church or cult's methods are. Whether it's virgin births or attacks on gays, they justify it as 'God's will' when in fact the Bible's Jesus never makes any comments about sex (straight or gay) or indeed much else, other than instructing people to love one another, which is exactly what most churches fail to do!

    What Jesus teaches is just common sense, why do we need special buildings, paid priests and learned by wrote prayers. I'm not a God believer myself, but I do subscribe to the simple ideas about love fellowship and compassion that Jesus is said to have taught. What a shame his church has so egregiously twisted his message?

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    1. So true - that love and compassion was so missing. It took a while to realize because we would hear about love and compassion from the pulpit, but when the rubber met the road, it was not always there.

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  28. Happy Mother's Day! Stay strong and cling to the Lord as He will see you through! God will deal with people like him as anyone who is a pastor will be doubly accountable for how they "lead" the Lord's sheep and especially so if they abuse their calling, position and the people they are called to shepherd not control and abuse. May the Lord minister greatly to you sister and don't worry - God already has something worked out related to this legal ploy. This "story" is getting attention all over now and he better take note and see that he's playing with fire here and the day of accountability will come for him!

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  29. Julie Anne, I am old enough to remember Jonestown. I am also old enough to remember that the threat of lawsuits were a big part of why nobody seemed to know how bad it had actually gotten in the Peoples Temple.

    Stay to the truth. Let no one intimidate you into silence.

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    1. Well, I'm sure you couldn't tell by the interview, but I'm old enough, too :)

      I'll pass on that koolaid and I won't shut up.

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  30. Julie Anne...keep fighting, speak your truth! I just saw your story on the 11 0"clock news and when I heard the name of the pastor and church I got a bad feeling in my gut. Just a few weeks ago, Chuck himself and a young male member of Grace Bible knocked on my door after 8:00 PM on a Sunday night. I live in a "no solicitation" permitted community and it is clearly posted. I told the pastor Jesus is already my homeboy and I have a place to worship as I am Christian Catholic. He continued to yap, I made brief eye contact with the younger man (I'd say early 20's if that)and I was struck by the vacant and uncomfortable look on his face. I closed the door on the pastor mid-sentence. The next time I spoke with my property management company, I reported him.

    I also want to tell you that I am a Survivor of Clergy Sexual Abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest over the course of 5 years during my childhood. I am originally from Boston and since moving to Oregon in the fall of 2008 I finally feel some peace restoring itself within me as I continue to work on my recovery. I know all to well about the abuse of power and faith, the betrayal, the exposure, and the fear. There are organizations that are here to help even if it is only emotionally. I am a volunteer for one such organization...SNAP (Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests). If you want to talk I am available to listen.

    God Bless You and Your Family

    sincerely,

    crat68 aka Jeannie

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    1. Strange coincidence! I'm concerned about that young man.

      How wonderful that you volunteer to help with those who have been abused.

      Thanks for posting, Jeannie!

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  31. You are a strong person, and hopefully our support will make you even stronger.

    PS
    It may not be right to spam O'Neal's e-mail account, but it sure is fun!
    =P

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    1. Also, it would be funny to protest outside of the church (off of the property of course) and watch him try to sue everyone.

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    2. Albert, Good stuff!

      Protesting outside a church is protected free "speech". I no longer live in the area, but if I did, I would have done this. This Mama Bear has been worked up for a long while.

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    3. There are some people trying to put together a picket protest on Sunday the 20th, feel free to join if you are interested

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    4. plee, do you know the time?

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  32. Please keep on doing what you do, spiritual abuse is often a sign of a cultish practice. I am not sure where they practice the love of God, certainly in a lawsuit I see the love of Christ.....

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    1. Yes, the love was certainly missing!

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  33. Grace and peace family. Just want to encourage you to keep pressing forward. If God, the Great I Am, is for you, none can stand against you! Father God has many homes, though not every home knows Him. In Jesus name i pray that you weather the storm, stand firm, and maintain Christs standards. The only real head of the church is Jesus, pastors are called to bring the Gospel to the flock. And yes we are steady engaged in battle against principalities. Let your lifestyle reflect Christ Jesus first then let your lips speak life! BrooklynCHRIST1st

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    1. Great encouragement, Brooklyn, thanks!

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  34. Let me try this on you: Grace to you and peace from our Lord Jesus Christ, and be ye steadfast, unmoveable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain. Expose the wolves in sheep skins. They stink and they rot. Amen.

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  35. I just read your story on http://fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/.

    As a pastor, it hurts my heart to hear about situations like this. Unfortunately, most fundamentalist churches that call themselves a "Bible church" have adopted this kind of authoritarian leadership mentality, instead of the servant leadership practiced by Jesus.

    Prayers are with you as you seek to move on.

    Grace and peace.

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    1. Thanks, Matt! Always appreciate the prayers.

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  36. Now I am not an attorney, but does the church's lawsuit have any legal leg to stand on?

    The year I graduated from High School, the Westboro Baptist Church came to picket not only our graduation, but also every church in my town. As they typically do, they published their picket schedule on their website, throwing every insult in the book at each specific church. There was no defamation lawsuit, there wasn't even any talk of a defamation lawsuit. Not to mention, the WBC's are all lawyers themselves.

    So if a complete stranger can defame an individual church without any legal repercussion, than how is it that someone very familiar with said church cannot? That is, unless you signed some kind of prior agreement with them.

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    1. We do not believe it does have legal leg to stand. The WBC group is very well aware of their First Amendment Rights and use it to their full advantage - as horrific as it is to most moral people.

      I didn't sign any agreement.

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    2. Good. I used that as an example because it is comparable. And the simple fact of the matter is: if the WBC is within its First Amendment Rights to defame any church it wants, then so are you.

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    3. I think you are using the wrong word. If WBC had actually defamed someone, that would be illegal. I think they know the law well to know the boundaries. I know that I have not defamed anyone. What I have posted online is 100% what I believe to be true based on my experiences or opinions.

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  37. Julie Anne,

    Stay strong and courageous. No religious dictator can thwart God's sovereign will, and it is obvious to me that the pastor of Beaverton Grace Bible Church is a religious dictator.

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  38. Saw you comment over are SGM Survivors and read about your story at FBC Jax Watchdogs. Thank you so much for speaking out and standing up for the character of God - that He is NOT like what these abusive pastors portray Him as. Keep standing with God Julie Anne! Jesus said in John 15 that if they persecuted Him, they'll also persecute you so you are in good company my friend!!! The likes of Chuck O'Neal and C J Mahaney will one day give account and unless they repent - I fear for them on that day!!!

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  39. Julie Anne,

    I saw your story mentioned on AR Talk. That is a resource used by those of us who work with cults. I am with Watchman Fellowship, Inc. and specialize in spiritual abuse cases. I have written a workbook titled Spiritual Abuse Recovery that I would like to send to you if you want it. You can reach me, David Henke, at our Watchman.org website. I hope to hear from you.

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  40. And then I looked around and said "somebody needs to do something about this". At which time I realized.... I AM somebody.

    Good for you Julie Anne, standing up for the truth and what's right. I don't believe in letting any human being tell me what's right or wrong, I can figure it out by myself by asking God. Nobody needs a pastor like that.

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  41. Great job Julie Anne. I am a blogger and just posted a blog in support of your issues with the Pastor and his Church. I get about 5,000 hits a day so hopefully some of my traffic will click the link and come over to check out your blogs and your issues. Keep the pressure on! chuckslowe.com

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  42. I'm so glad you started this blog and I pray that God uses it to open people's eyes and lead them out of spiritual slavery into His wondeful freedom and relationship!!

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  43. Thank you SO MUCH for what you're doing. We too were shunned when we were forced to leave our church in 1999. I was working for the local theatre and therefore was deemed a "danger to our reputation" (as per the pastor). In addition, our severely ADHD 14 yr-old son was declared to be "too hard" and we were told to not bring him back. We were told, "It's time your family leaves this church."

    Our family was devastated. We were shunned - no more friends, no choir involvement, no invitations to coffee, no Bible study - NOTHING!! Our children were 11, 12, and 14 and they decided they wanted nothing to do w/church...and eventually God. Two became drug addicts and one became an atheist.

    The Church needs to wake up and see the damage they do! We're not just talking about a family - we're talking about the Kingdom. I know it breaks the heart of God.

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    1. This breaks my heart, Liz. PEOPLE LOOK at ^^^^this^^^^ story above. This is many times the result of spiritual abuse. Please get involved, people!

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  44. What kind of flipping church sues people!?!?!? What the heck. I don't know or care what you wrote about that silly pastor and his church. If he is suing you then it must all be true, and there is no doubt that he is not a Godly man, and has no clue how to read his bible. He's going to get nothing but bad PR from this. Which is good, cause maybe now he can go sell used cars.

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  45. Hi Julie Anne,

    I 'just happened' to check your blogsite on Saturday evening. I was brought up to speed with your recent news interview! Good job, well done!
    I have shared about this with my Spiritual Abuse Conversation Cohort.

    It has been exciting, to say the least, that your story has gone viral. Glad to see that you are standing strong and that there is so much support out there for this craziness.

    My initial thought has been that this pastor is a huge 'object lesson' for spiritual abuse. All of this publicity has served to raise the awareness about spiritual abuse in the local church.

    Thanks for continually raising the awareness about spiritual abuse in the church on your blog. Love and prayers!


    Others might be interested in my website and my book, based on my doctoral research about spiritual abuse.

    www.ChurchExiters.com

    Book: Spiritual Abuse Recovery: Dynamic Research on Finding a Place of Wholeness.

    “To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—-to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”
    Jude 24-25

    All the best,

    Barb Orlowski, D.Min.

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  46. Julie Anne:

    Where can I find the most complete version of your story--as opposed to sifting through all of the previous posts?

    Thanks,

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    1. I really haven't done a "complete" story, sorry. I had planned on telling bits and pieces of story over time.

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  47. Hi there. I just wanted to wish you luck <3

    The whole thing is hard and stressful. I know you'll overcome!

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  48. I want to wish you luck in this case. This is such a ridiculous situation and this church has forever tarnished it's name. Hopefully within a year or two it will no longer exist as it's member wake up to the hypocrisy that this church represents. A church should be caring and supportive, never dividing or hateful as this one has seemed to be. I really hope that this pastor never works again.

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  49. I posted this under "Who's Reading This" but hope you'll add it here for you sure have my support, love, compassion, and prayers!
    Julie, I'm really beginning to think that 'preachers' who act like what you and I have experienced, have really given place to the devil with their angry pride; it seems they've given place to real, demonic, 'religious spirits' to fill their minds and their preaching to subvert the true gospel and 'Christianity'. Truly the evil one uses this kind to block true seekers of the Lord and attempt to tear down true believers (for they at first sound so good using Scripture, right? but they leave out dozens upon dozens of other Scriptures, as when the Lord told them they're not to be 'over-lords') as well as their lives not showing forth the fruit of His Spirit, love being the first-- (they re-define "love" as just being harsh rebuke and nothing else, and they leave out compassion, tenderheartedness and countless other things they don't get right with God over).
    been there, still 'doing that' (having to deal with husband still in one like you were)
    According to an oft quoted fundamental preacher, David Cloud, one sign of a cult is unquestioning loyalty to a particular person (who calls himself a preacher) My heart's with you and my prayers.
    Here's my post under "Who's Reading This?"

    Thanks! I am signing in as 'anonymous' for my husband is still in such a legalistic church here in CO,and totally now brainwashed; and I never joined after visiting and trying to ask questions about their beliefs and the extra 'ground rules' I kept accidentally breaking and getting awfully, hatefully "dealt with"; but my conscience is clear for I was obeying the Lord to 'test and to prove' as I visited; (I didn't know that is the biggest 'sin' of all); my husband is greatly deceived and the marriage has now been over for many, many years thanks to these amazingly condemning, Phariseical, "Christians" (in name at least, one can't tell it by the 'fruit'); He thinks they are superior and faultless for they took him in without me and built up his ego.
    Hang in there, girl! You've done a great service to expose things that are not Biblical nor Christlike, and therefore give our precious Lord a bad reputation. (I kept hoping I'd wake up from this Hollywood B movie-nightmare, but couldn't awake; but His Spirit kept taking me to all the Scriptures to see who I am in Him as a new creation; how dare these people try to destroy the faith in those facts?! but they did with their great pride and arrogance; I really worry if they aren't going to bust hell wide open as they perform their legal acts in His Name, not showing the fruit of the Spirit; As you know, the Lord is faithful and merciful, loving and gracious as well as 'just', and delivered me (or they'd have destroyed my faith and mind for Satan does use this 'religiosity' in that way; but Jesus is more than conqueror in us, making us so, for we are 'in Him' aren't we? But I sure feel for young ladies who are new converts and may be taken in (and 'apart') byt such people. How awful they are to do such hateful things using our Lord Jesus's Name, saying they're sharing the Gospel. Not done in the right spirit, that perverts the Gospel and destroys faith, doesn't it?
    May He bless you! (I know He is).

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

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    2. Dear Julie, What edifying you've already given to me and many others, dear sister in the Lord! You've expressed my sentiments about a lot of things that I've gone through, too, so perfectly. I really especially appreciate your call for "protectors to make the choice" and using one of my favorite verses: Psalm 82:3 (I feel sure the Lord put that in yours and my hearts). It has really been nauseating to me to hear people say they knew what was going on was wrong (the preacher preaching one thing but not going by the Scriptures himself or ignoring others to justify doing wrong--like what you're seeing. But also, they stay in the 'church' and keep funding it also. Then others have just said (ah, so lovingly, ha 'go get a shrink'--nevermind that that wise and loving church 'body life' is what the Lord told us should be the 'cure' for souls' hurts and dilemmas, right?) I hope I am wrong, but it appears that many 'sheep' are just not interested in contending for the faith. It does cost you (I've lost my whole family and husband. But like our Lord said in Luke, "jump for joy, for your reward is great in Heaven". Also, we'll always be accused of being 'contentious' when , one stands for truth, but don't listen to that noise. You and I have the honor of 'setting our faces like flint'(Isaiah 50:7) for the battle. The Lord sure has made His presence known to me extra and His approval and acceptance and given me joy. I know He is, and will continue that, for you, too. I saw you on MSNBC today and was grateful He has raised you up for this and saw His Spirit work in you on the several interviews. Know that I and many others find it a privilege to keep you uplifted in our prayers. He will give you wisdom and guidance and 'the wise answer of the tongue'. Go warrior lady! (and yes, I know our feelings don't always catch up with what the Lord has said about us and we feel more like the "Warrior is a Child"--but that makes us depend upon His strength all the more and He said that is when we are strong, right? He will keep manifesting His strength 'in your weakness' (whenever you feel weak. Maybe someone else should deal with the bad emails that come in for you so you can just concentrate on abiding in Him, you think? There's no use in your having to keep hearing things from the devil's advocates. Hope you get help with that! (hope you don't mind that input). There's a lot of us out here praying for you--like holding up Moses's arm over the battle. Love in Christ Jesus!

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  50. I have seen the damage extreme religious organizations and cults can do to people. There are few things worse than having your soul trampled by people with crazed narcisstic/sadistic tendencies who claim to have a direct line to God. It takes immense courage to stand up and take your life back.

    Whether this lawsuit goes forward or not, know that your willingness to face these psychotic bullies down will ultimately give others in the congregation the strength they need to leave. As unified a front as they appear to present, I have no doubt there are others who are just as "awake" as you and just needed someone to show them the way out.

    God be with you and light your way on this difficult journey. Blessings.

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  51. Julie,
    I sure hope the courtroom fills up with those that support you. Freedom of Speech!

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  52. It is bewildering how many believers in Christ Jesus submit to spiritual authority like Chuck O'Neill's. We are told in scripture that of faith, hope and love (all important), love is the most important. There is a complete absence of love in this style of leadership. In fact, it is totally self-focused. Believers under this style of authority are deceived through the misuse of scripture on authority and the exclusion of Jesus' teaching on servant leadership. Thanks to your faithfulness in speaking hard truth in love, Julie Anne, the Lord is blowing a breeze from the Holy Spirit into your former church (and others like it) to reveal the deception. May the Lord pour His blessings into your situation and continue to equip you to continue to speak and act with truth and grace. And thanks, too, to Justice for coming alongside you in this calling. Blessings to you both.
    Susan

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  53. I just read your story in the news and just wanted to let you know you have my full support. That church has no case at all against you. An opinion should not be conveyed as defamation, especially when your opinion reflects the truth of what this church is doing. If anything this church should take it as constructive criticism and figure out ways to change it's image instead of reinforcing the stereotype that Christians are only for free speech when it benefits them.

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