Tuesday, June 19, 2012

All-Blogs-Are-Not-Created-Equal Rant

I moderated and subsequently posted a comment earlier this morning and this is only part of the comment.  I have family issues to tend to today and will be out of the house for much of the day, so I will only be dealing with this part of the comment, but you can be sure that my mind is stewing on the rest of the comment.   This comment is from Fred Butler who maintains a blog called Hip and Thigh.


To David

Sorry you were offended, but you need to know a little something about the blogging world.
I've been doing this for a while, so I speak with some experience.  
Those who seek to hide themselves by anonymity by commenting with a "nickname" or just anonymously, tend to have something to hide. The person is a trouble-maker or is running from some sort of accountability.  In honestly, it shows a profound lack of respect to the person's they are commenting toward.

I don't usually suffer anonymous individuals who have no profile page where there is something a little bit about the person, who they really are, where they attend church, where they live. Especially if they are accusing me of shepherding crimes of bullying congregants.

That isn't asking for much. I just want to know where the person is coming from, because I am in fact responding as a person to a person.

Hi Fred:  I want to welcome you to my blog and thank you for commenting as your comment has given me much to post about, not that I've experienced boredom yet.  Your comments and style seem to add a trickle of fuel to my fire.

 
I've read your blog and see how it works.  I've also read some of the blogs you have listed on your sidebar over the years.  I get blogging, too.  I've maintained another blog for years, one which would probably not be of interest to you (motherhood, sewing, knitting, crafting, food, children, etc), and interestingly, 99% of those who comment there use pseudonyms because they are posting about their families, pics of their kids, etc.  There are a lot of people who comment on blogs who don't want their first and last name out "there" in public on the web.  As a mother of children, I respect their privacy and they respect mine.

Some religious bloggers seem to work differently.  I understand that some religious bloggers do not care for anonymous posters.  The majority of the comments on this blog would not be approved on your blog because of the "rules" you have established on your blog.  That is fine.  That is your blog, your rules.  

However, all blogs are not created equal.  This blog is different in that we have a pastor who sued me right after the blog went public.  Has any pastor sued you because of your blog?  I couldn't find any evidence of that on your blog.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.   I saw your connection with Grace Community.  Is John MacArthur your pastor?  I saw that you work for Grace to You on your info page.  I know his personal opinion on suing (especially after my former pastor accused a Grace Community pastor of encouraging him to sue us), so I'm sure he wouldn't go against his own teaching and sue you.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.

At the beginning of the blog, readers commented under the names "Anonymous" and other pseudonyms.  After the first former member used her real name, she, too was sued (Meaghan).  Have you had a pastor sue any of your readers who comment on your blog?   In the past 10 years in which I have read blogs, I have never read of any pastor suing someone who started a blog about a church, nor have I encountered a situation where a pastor sued someone who commented on a blog using their real name.  

Just for a moment, will you please put yourself in my shoes.  Imagine what it might feel like to maintain a blog.  Each time you post, you have the dark cloud over your head reminding you that your former pastor is suing you for $500K for defamation.  Please put yourself in the shoes of my readers who might want to comment, but are fearful.  They have already seen me being sued, 3 others sued, and now an additional member who recently posted a comment on my blog using her name.  They may want to offer support or comment, yet are afraid that if they sign their name, their name will likely be added to the lawsuit.  

Keep in mind at the court hearing, the pastor's attorney mentioned wanting to bring more people in.  My attorney stood up and reread the anti-SLAPP motion reminding the pastor's attorney that they had already used up their one and only amendment by adding Meaghan to the lawsuit and they were not able to amend again.  What does that tell you?  That this pastor is finished suing former members?     What does his track record tell you?  Those facts speak for themselves. 

The former members of this church are in a real predicament.  If they speak out using their real name, there is a very real and valid threat of being sued based on factual history (do the numbers $500,000 mean anything to you?   they do to the ones who have been sued).   Do you get the seriousness of this situation?  Let me cut to the chase:  how many people do you know have $10K in their back pocket to plunk down to retain an attorney, who want to risk emotional turmoil, time, publicity to get involved by disclosing their identity publicly on a blog by commenting.  Is it worth it?  No!  This is the REALITY that we face here on this blog.  Please get your head out of the sand and realize that our circumstances are far different than the day-in-and-day-out brouhaha about doctrinal issues that so many "religious" blogs discuss.  

There is another issue that I have not discussed, but has been discussed among former members.  There are people who not only fear a lawsuit, but fear for their lives.  I refuse to go into more detail on this blog, so don't ask, but that is the reality for some folks who were former members.   Many concur with their assessment.

Another issue is that I am now dealing with on the blog is people from other churches who have dealt with abuse in their own church.  Some have e-mailed me privately telling me their personal accounts of sexual abuse that was ignored, overlooked by leaders in the church.  I am not about to expect them to reveal their identities and re-victimize their children who have already been abused.  Even the media does not do this.  

This is not a normal blog situation, is it, Fred?  

The purpose of this blog is to provide a safe place in which all can comment.  Yes, it also means that people (whom we bloggers call "trolls") have the opportunity to wreak havoc and disrupt the peace.  I've had a few of those:  people calling me Jezebel, saying I'm evil, not a Christian, etc.  Whatever!

Keep in mind, for me, this is about free speech as well.  If there wasn't freedom of speech, I wouldn't have been able to tell my story and so many people wouldn't have been able to identify with my story.  So, daily I put my big girl panties on and moderate comments:  I deal with anonymous posters who "hide" behind a pseudonym telling their stories of abuse, who try to connect with others, who encourage others, and also I deal with the dark side of the anonymous trolls.

This is my blog and I will continue to allow anonymous posters to tell their story.  Those are people I care about and want to reach out to.  I don't care about the rules of other bloggers.  This is my blog and my rules.  And on my blog, I will continue to provide a safe place, regardless of the extra trouble it causes me by allowing trolls to comment as well. 

End of Julie Anne Rant.

72 comments:

  1. Here is a idea. I wonder if some Christian leaders in the local area of Beaverton could be found to follow the Scriptures and confront Pastor O`Neal about his violation of 1 Corinthians 6:1-6 And if he refuses to address the matter, then the other local pastors and their congregations should disfellowship Grace Bible Church and the pastor until he repents of the lawsuit. These matters should have been settled by Christians, not in secular courts. Pastor O Neal should know even if he was to prevail in his lawsuit, people will simply bankrupt themselves out of the judgement and he will be stuck with legal bills. And if he was start having the sheriff seize property and homes, just what kind of witness will he have in the community. Probably will be zero.

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    1. Chuck refused mediation by a local pastor. BGBC is an independent church. It would be no skin off of his back to have other churches/pastors "disfellowship" them. He didn't want anything to do with other churches anyway because he considered them inferior.

      Delete
  2. Julie Anne,

    There is another reason for a semblance of anonymity with a web identity that one uses from place to place. My choice is because I work with churches where the pastor has gone astray and I have fairly strong opinions on theological issues, which I put aside when I work with a church, and work within their theological framework. I cannot afford, for business reasons, to have my person opinions about abuse and theology interfere with my professional life where a part of my living depends on me working in other theological and ecclesialogical frameworks than my own.

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    1. An atty, You're preaching to the choir here :).

      Of course I agree 100%.

      Delete
  3. I'm glad you moved this to the fore front. Maybe that Dave Johnston guy will see this.

    Any how, I don't have the time at the moment to give a full response, but I would certainly encourage your readers to go over to the post where David left his comments and interact with what I wrote in response to that "Spiritual Abuse Survey" I found linked here. Which honestly was more of my point rather than telling you how to run your blog.

    See here: http://www.hipandthigh.blogspot.com/2012/06/wicked-sheep.html

    One gal has emailed me her response, which I appreciated. Another has sent me profanity laced email after profanity laced email. I don't appreciate that one so much.

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    1. Fred doesn't know what empathy is. If he did, he would show it in his compassion. Jesus showed compassion, time and time again. Did Jesus discipline the woman found in adultery? Of course not. All he said was to sin no more. That shows compassion to the sinner, and not a domineering authoritarian attitude. Get a life of compassion, Fred. You are too "religious". If you put a title on someone, aka Pastor, it means to be Christ like, not to play the role of a whack job like Fred.

      Delete
    2. Fred, I'm not ignoring you. I've got a 2-1/2 hr. drive home and then I can respond more effectively. Typing on a phone is not so easy. Hang tight, pls:)

      Delete
    3. Hi Fred, I'm back home now.

      I'm sure David Johnson (not Johnston) will see this. He's a regular reader.

      You seem to be a busy guy. You told me in your e-mail with me that you would prefer me to write you a page explaining everything rather than picking up the phone to call me after I gave you my phone number. I still extend that offer to you. I'm a redhead, but I typically don't bite.

      I would like to dialogue with you; however, it's hard for me to communicate with you if my questions are avoided. I didn't feel as if you addressed my issues on your blog and I also noticed you barely touched the essence of my blog post here.

      Maybe we can try again here. After reading my blog post about anonymous posting vs leaving names, does it make sense as to the importance of anonymity here and on spiritual abuse blogs? Do you concede that there are people living under real threat (of lawsuit or otherwise)?

      Re: profanity - I know you don't care for profanity. It was clearly stated on your comment directions. That's too bad. It's odd because I've never had anyone post or send me anything profane and my mailbox was pretty full for a while there. If people are treated kindly, it doesn't make sense that someone would use foul language. I have received the occasional "Jezebel" comment on the blog, but I attribute that to trolls and move on.

      Delete
    4. Just as you did to David Johnson, you did not address any of the points raised by Julie regarding anonymity. You chose to use the comments section to continue your spat with the "that David Johnston guy." Stay classy.

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    5. David: I'm hoping that Fred is simply busy and not ignoring my question. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

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    6. for the record: i 'f'-n hate being called 'Dave'

      that's not the name my mother gave me

      Delete
    7. Wow, David...Really? What about all them "Bill's" that ole mamma named William?...Or those Eddies that mamma named Edward, and not Ed? At least they don't call me Edwina. A bit too sensative, I think.

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    8. true dat, Chapman

      Delete
    9. Fred seems to have a common theme of being too busy to give us his full attention, I have noticed.

      Delete
  4. Fed up with the hypocrisy!June 19, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    To Tom,
    There was an attempt 3 and 1/2 years ago with my former pastor (he has sinced moved out of the area) to resolve these issues with Mr. O'Neal and the then several families who left for different reasons...Mr O'Neal refused. He didn't want reconciliation then nor does he now...he has to be right and will not yield to anyone else's desire for peace on these matters.
    I too wonder why pastors in Beaverton, especially after the filing of the lawsuit, do not step up and 'counsel' him and the others~seeking peace and reconciling the matters at hand...but he can't have someone else hold him accountable with all parties involved, he wouldn't have absolute control.
    Only the first pastor offered to sit with Chuck and the parties involved for resolution. Since then, I have been told to avoid him. That leaves others to continue to be scarred and abused spiritually...I have seen years of people treated with out love, thrown out as goats and spiritually shredded to self doubt, fear and feeling abandoned by the 'church'.
    True colors are being shown by a pastor who disregards godly counsel and sues former members.
    BTW: I have heard that biblical passages don't apply to Chuck...hmmmm, wonder why? W-O-L-F

    ReplyDelete
  5. I believe Mr. Butler felt he was being called out for the content on his blog and he needed to come out and defend himself.

    But I don't know why he needs to know more about his critic. Instead of addressing the merits of an argument presented, he would rather go after the source, hence his request for the critic's identity. In that comment, Mr. Butler did not say a thing about the substance of David's points.

    It reeks of an ad hominem logical fallacy which effectively kills the conversation.

    An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting).

    Then Mr. Butler issues an "invitation" to his turf (blog) where he gets to call the shots and enforce his rules. This follows his insinuation of cowardice directed at people who "hide themselves by anonymity." The irony!

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    1. Are you kidding me David? Did you read my comment to him? I dealt with the substance of his points. Show me where I missed interacting with David's substance.

      Delete
    2. Let me summarize each of the paragraphs from your comment.

      1) prologue to your lecture to David Johnson about the blogging world
      2) your credential: long time blogger
      3) anonymity is not cool
      4) anonymity is not cool
      5) anonymity is not cool
      6) anonymity is not cool
      7) David Johnson is being "hateful" to you
      8) You don't give victims of spiritual abuse a pass (so are you implying Julie and her readers do? Sounds insulting), and you don't like being called a "bully."
      9) Come to your blog and behave.
      10) How you were informed of David's comment directed at you. So you have your informants.

      No, you did not deal with the substance of David Johnson's points. But coming from a guy who is so dismissive of spiritual abuse, you are pretty good at playing the victim card yourself.

      Just so you know that I don't intend to hide behind anonymity, here is my Facebook profile. I see that we have three mutual friends.

      Delete
    3. David: I just checked out your FB profile (being the stalker that I am), and noticed you and my husband have a mutual friend. You can send me a note if you're curious: bgbc survivors @ gmail dot com

      BTW, I appreciate that good outline and summary :)

      Delete
    4. David, let me respond to your points,

      1) prologue to your lecture to David Johnson about the blogging world
      2) your credential: long time blogger

      Okay, how exactly was what I said wrong? Seeing that I have been doing this for 7 years, I would think I would have some wisdom about the subject.

      3) anonymity is not cool
      4) anonymity is not cool
      5) anonymity is not cool
      6) anonymity is not cool

      You're correct. It isn't cool. In fact I think it is beneath Christians who have some ax to grind against a church or pastor. Can you explain how I am wrong? Julie Anne is at least attempting to, though I think she is mistaken.

      7) David Johnson is being "hateful" to you

      Well. Was my charge correct? He accused me of being a "bully" based upon a couple of posts. The guy, to my knowledge, has never met me. And based on two posts questioning abuse survivors, I'm equal to Chuck Oneal suing her?

      8) You don't give victims of spiritual abuse a pass (so are you implying Julie and her readers do? Sounds insulting), and you don't like being called a "bully."

      Yes. I am implying that. I find it a woeful lack of discernment to just take a person's word on it, particularly a person from the internet you've never met, when he or she complains of the situation when there are multiple parties involved and you've not heard the other side of the matter.

      9) Come to your blog and behave.

      It's respect. I would expect the same from you of me.

      10) How you were informed of David's comment directed at you. So you have your informants.

      The informant was unsolicited. I have no informant. You're reading into that situation.

      Now go back and try again to explain how I am not addressing David's points and using ad hominem?

      Delete
    5. Fred, you say you think I am mistaken. Please elaborate on that thought.


      Fred said:"I find it a woeful lack of discernment to just take a person's word on it, particularly a person from the internet you've never met, when he or she complains of the situation when there are multiple parties involved and you've not heard the other side of the matter. "

      You have heard the fact that my former pastor is suing me. What about that issue? Does that at least give an inkling of the character of this man? How about when Meaghan posted publicly on my blog using her name and then he immediately amended the lawsuit to include her? Those are two facts clearly and publicly displayed for all that show what kind of person we are dealing with. How about the fact that your top men at GCC spent cumulative hours with the man and he refused to back down. Is that fact good enough for you yet?

      Even atheists are alarmed at this behavior (in comments on news stories and personal notes and comments here). So the abused need to go through hoops to prove their story is accurate, yet a pastor displays his behavior to the world and you are still focusing on finding out if the "alleged" abuse took place. Something is messed up here, Fred.

      Delete
    6. Mr. Butler, you harangue me as a man who failed to exhibit to you “a profound lack of respect.” You suffer me as someone who needs to “hide” and “is running from some sort of accountability.”

      I trust you know now that in monax and David Johnson—my real name, I am far from an anonymous “trouble-maker.” I’ve given the identity of my churches. Those in my world know who I am.


      Happy Solstice Everyone!

      monax

      Delete
    7. 3) anonymity is not cool
      4) anonymity is not cool
      5) anonymity is not cool
      6) anonymity is not cool


      Unless it as a blogger that Mr. Butler "hits daily", such as the ANONYMOUS Turretinfan.

      Delete
    8. Fred,

      Matthew 18:16
      in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

      Julie Anne has that. So who are you to make an argument otherwise?

      Delete
    9. I don't hit him daily, and I do think he ought to come out in the open. Of course, the primary reason he claims his anonymity is his secular work place would have issues with him blogging on the subjects he touches on and he could lose his job. It's a different situation from striful commenters.

      Delete
    10. EXCUSE ME!!!!!

      But YOUR OWN BLOG says that you do!!!! Your comments only serve to demonstrate that people shouldn't have any confidence whatsoever in the scribbling you post on your blog.

      You have absolutely NO idea what some of the people who post here anonymously have to deal with in their personal lives. Yet you DARE to sit in judgment on them like the hypocritcal Pharisee that you are.

      No, sir, Turretinfan's situation is NO DIFFERENT from those who post anonymously here. In fact, those who post here may have MORE justification for not revealing their true names than does Turretinfan. Not that your baseless attacks againt "anonymous" posters have any merit from the outset, but your refusal to apply the same standards to Turretinfan as you do to them proves to the world that you are a hypocrite who is morally bankrupt and devoid of personal integrity.

      Delete
    11. Fred, you are being evasive and you know it.

      Only two of the 10 paragraphs had anything to do with the content of David Johnson's comment, and neither really addresses the substance of what David is saying other than playing the victim card. Being called a bully does not automatically prove you right.

      You want me to prove you are NOT addressing the substance of David's comment? Are you asking me to prove a negative? The onus is on you to tell me how you addressed David's points. So far, you have not.

      Delete
    12. Fred, as a Ph.D. psychologist and a practicing attorney, who works with churches and other non-profits to deal with abusive church staff members, including pastors, I believe I can say that the abusers are all bullies. And I can say, without reservation, that Chuck O'Neal is a bully.

      And, sadly, so are you.

      Delete
    13. Re An Attorney's comment...

      This leads me back to a question that has been asked before. Is it possible for a pastor who shows some abusive behavior be in denial that he is an abuser? Would he be horrified to know that his behavior and words come across as such? Would he consider the comment and seek the Lord about it, or would he quickly dismiss it without another thought?

      Mr. Butler, I don't know you and can't say for certain whether you are a bully. From your words here, though, you do give that impression. I don't mean this as an attack. It just might be something to prayerfully consider.

      Delete
    14. An Attorney (same as earlier)June 21, 2012 at 6:00 AM

      Almost all abusers deny that they are abusers and most portray themselves to be victims and actually believe it. But you don't find the bruises and scars on them but on others! But the claimed victimization is a psychological defense against admitting their own evil behavior. "She made me do it" is No. 1 on the hit parade of abuser statements.

      There is also a continuing attempt to maintain control over the abused, through manipulation of the facts.

      Chuck O'Neal is doing exactly that with his suit. And I see the same behavior in Fred.

      Delete
  6. Apparently Mr. Butler is unacquainted with the long, noble literary tradition of people using pen names (or no names at all) for their literary products instead of their real names. This was the practice used by, among many others, the writers of "The Federalist Papers."

    But if he wants to be consistant in his condemnation and rejection of anonymous works, then he must immediately tear the Epistle to the Hebrews out of his Bible; because nobody--and I mean NOBODY-can state with certainly who was the author.

    After reading his scribblings, I can be thankful that I do not belong to any church for which he occupies any position of leadership. It is the Fred Butlers of this world who are the enablers for the Cult Master O'Neals that plague the churches, defame Christ, are stumbling blocks for unbelievers, and are a torment for Christians. People such as Mr. Butler are partakers in the sins of people like O'Neal. I will NEVER have anything to do with any church which allows petty little ecclesiocrats like him to run loose and play Pope.

    Oh, by the way Mr. Butler, I notice that among the blogs you "hit daily" is Turretinfanns' blog. Do you apply the same standards against his "anonymity" that you attack those who post "anonymously" to blogs like Julie Anne's At least we know her true name, while addressing "Turretinfan's" true identity has caused a great deal of activity on certain internet blogs. Or are you going to admit that you are a double-talked hypocrite? Either you must be among those who condemn Turretinfan, or you must confess your own hypocrsiy.

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    1. Still awaiting your reply, Mr. Butler.

      Delete
    2. Waiting.....

      Delete
  7. BTW: I have heard that biblical passages don't apply to Chuck...hmmmm, wonder why? W-O-L-F

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  8. Fred,

    You are clearly very bright, and I think you are interested in real discussion. Consider, then, what I take to be a central problem in all of this. There are churches that do not overtly transgress orthodoxy and yet are very cult like in their behavior. Do you agree that such churches exist? If so, how do we spot them? I would find it more constructive, and a better use of your gifts, if you would wrestle with that question rather than simply tearing apart the tests that someone else has proposed. I don't think it's easy to do. Some wolves are very adept at looking like sheep. If we say, for example, that such wolves differ from sheep (or true pastors) in that they are manipultive and controlling it's easy to respond by saying that's a bit vague (it is). That doesn't mean, however, that this test isn't getting at something very real. So how do we distinguish between cult like control and normal, responsible teaching and care? What would you suggest? You yourself say "There are pastors who are controlling and lord it over the flock they are to shepherd." How do you distinguish these from those using Scriptural authority appropriately?

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    1. Craig: These are very good comments and questions. I really appreciate you posting them.

      Fred: These are the same questions that I have as well. I look forward to reading your responses. Thank you!

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    2. I'll try to cut out some time to maybe write up a blog post.

      Delete
    3. Fred, if you are responding to the questions that are posed by readers on my blog, please do so here. Another idea, you can send it to me and I could post it. Thanks so much :)

      I think you already have my e-mail, but here it is again: bgbcsurvivors @ gmail dot com

      Delete
  9. Mr. Butler, I kindly ask you to get my name right.

    Please, Sir, as I have introduced you to myself. To You my name is monax. Mr. Monax, if you prefer.

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  10. John Calvin used many aliases in his correspondence. It was rather common. Because we live in a fallen world.

    I have a lot of experience (as Fred likes to say when he himself starts sentences) with Fred Butler. And I don't say this to be mean, nor do I say it assuming Julie Anne or any others here agree with me, but Fred Butler is a mental case. Arguing (or even conversing) with Fred is like arguing with a guy who thinks his apple sauce is his deceased mother as he walks around at Happy Lawns Extended Stay Counseling Center.

    And don't bring up the Reformation era doctrine of the priesthood of all believers, or the fact that all Christians are prophets, priests, and kings. He'll throw that apple sauce at you.

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    1. c.t. - Thanks for stopping by. I'd love it if you can help me by keeping the conversation constructive. Some people are more challenging than others when conversing, that is for sure. I would really like to make the biggest effort possible to make our conversation somewhat pleasant. There is a bigger purpose here than personalities and abrasive communication styles: the lives of those who have been spiritually abused. Thanks so much, c.t. :)

      Delete
    2. I have dealing with c.t. in the past. Check out our exchange in the comments under this post if you are interested.

      http://hipandthigh.blogspot.com/2011/11/jamin-hubner-offers-his-advice-to-fan.html

      c.t. has attempted to take me to task for my Dispensational ideas and doesn't like the fact I am a Calvinist who is not a Covenant Theologian. R. Scott Clark of Westminister in Escondido tells me he has been banned from various Reformed blogs. SO much again for anonymity.

      Delete
    3. Fred, I listened to a bit of one your devotional messages. You really are a good teacher.

      c.t., I'm impressed with your breadth of knowledge, you far surpass me in understanding. I've bookmarked your PURITAN blog.

      Delete
    4. Fred: I checked out the link you posted. I fail to see any problem with c.t.'s comments your blog. He seemed respectful while debating. What exactly is the problem? It seems you encourage reasonable debate on your blog.

      Delete
    5. c.t.’s only “offense” is that he utterly destroyed Mr. Butler in the exchange about dispensationalism. But now Mr. Butler resorts again to employing his double standards. On June 19, 2012 5:30 PM, he wrote to David Johnson, “Please don't begin to gossip or slander.” Yet, now Mr. Butler is employing GOSSIP from another party to malign c.t.’s character! Mr. Butler’s credibility gets washed further down the drain with each new message he posts.

      Delete
    6. is it a Christian thing to lmao? am free to do that here?

      Delete
    7. Absolutely, David. lyoa! I lmao.

      Delete
    8. c.t.’s only “offense” is that he utterly destroyed Mr. Butler in the exchange about dispensationalism.

      Uhhh. No. He didn't. That is not the only post I have in which I have interacted with "c.t."

      Yet, now Mr. Butler is employing GOSSIP from another party to malign c.t.’s character! Mr. Butler’s credibility gets washed further down the drain with each new message he posts.

      It's not gossip. It's public information. You don't know what your talking about. You're just annoyed with me because I have the wear-with-all to press you guys as to your claims of spiritual abuse and I won't back down.

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    9. “Uhhh. No. He didn't. That is not the only post I have in which I have interacted with "c.t.””

      Yes he did destroy you in your totally inept attempt to defend the anti-Biblical nonsense of dispensationalism. c.t. is to be COMMENDED in his efforts, not condemned. And it was YOU who provided the link. So if you have any others, please do provide them. If they are like this one that YOU gave, it should make for more interesting reading.


      “It's not gossip. It's public information.”

      I recognized it for the cheap attempt that it was. And if it is as you say, ”public information”, then provide the documentation for it.


      “You don't know what your talking about.”

      I “know enough” to have proven to the world that you are a hypocrite since you won’t condemn Turretinfan as you do the victims of Cult Master O’Neal.


      You're just annoyed with me because I have the wear-with-all to press you guys as to your claims of spiritual abuse

      “Disgust” would be a more accurate term. A pompous, self-righteous, hypocritical, dishonest Pharisee such as you who is actively working to defend a corrupt ecclesiastical tyrant while attacking his victims merits nothing but utter contempt from faithful Christians.


      “and I won't back down.”

      Neither will I.

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  11. Rev. Butler:

    You have stated on more than one occasion that the blog on which we are now interacting should not exist. I'm curious: Under what circumstances would Julie Anne's blogging be appropriate, in your view? What would have to transpire in order for you to concede that Julia Anne's blogging is no longer something she need repent of?

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    Replies
    1. Good questions! Thanks, SMG!

      Fred? Eagerly waiting for a response here :)

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    2. You have stated on more than one occasion that the blog on which we are now interacting should not exist. I'm curious: Under what circumstances would Julie Anne's blogging be appropriate, in your view?

      Appropriate blogging against this current pastor and church specifically? Never. If she felt inclined to leave a comment with google and it got removed, that honestly should have been the end of it. But she persisted. Julie Anne seems to suggest that she was under some obligation to warn everyone about this church, but why? She hadn't attended there in three years before leaving that google review comment, at least that is how I understand it. All of the sudden she felt she had to leave a negative comment and stir up strife with this pastor and church? I can be a gadfly at times on blogs, but if the blogger or web moderator is deleting my comments, I know when to take a hint.

      What would have to transpire in order for you to concede that Julia Anne's blogging is no longer something she need repent of?

      In my opinion, she needs to discontinue this blog and leave Chuck and that church alone. Her and her family live in an entirely different state now, as I understand it. This should no longer concern her. Further, make some sort of faith effort that she will cease and desist from bothering them again. That's I see it.

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    3. Fred,

      Julie Anne seems to suggest that she was under some obligation to warn everyone about this church, but why? She hadn't attended there in three years before leaving that google review comment,

      So is there a statue of limitations set somewhere within which Julie should have written about her former pastor? is it 23 months? 10 months? 1 month? 2 weeks? Who makes these rules?

      When I attended your church (GCC), there were people from the Catholic church, charismatic churches as well as liberal denominations. They did not cease talking about their negative experiences at their former churches DECADES after they had parted ways with them. I bet somehow that is okay with you.

      Also, how do you know Julie did nothing during the 3 years leading up to the Google review?

      I can be a gadfly at times on blogs, but if the blogger or web moderator is deleting my comments, I know when to take a hint.

      Except that Pastor Chuck does not own Google. What a spectacular failure of your analogy.

      In my opinion, she needs to discontinue this blog and LEAVE CHUCK ... ALONE.

      Hehehe, you should make a video (warning: language)

      Memo to Pastor Chuck: Me thinks Fred is vying for an assistant pastor position at Beaverton Grace Bible Church :)

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    4. ADMIN NOTE: You sensed Julie Anne's blood boiling when she read the above post, right? LOL

      Yea, I thought so. I am taking Fred's comment (above) and making a new post because this is such an important topic. Hang tight. If you have a comment stuck in moderation, I will try and move it to the new post so we can keep them all together. Thanks!

      ~ja

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  12. Sorry for the typo, Julie Anne.

    It's not what you think!

    SMG

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    1. SMG, Please send me a note. What typo? bgbcsurvivors @ gmail dot com

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    2. Ah, found it. I easily overlook typos when they are written from friends. People who behave contentiously . . . . different story.

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  13. Julie Anne, I knew I was going to get gently scolded, and I accept it. I think I'm successfully making a transition on my blog to be less of a maniac with language and personal stuff. I ask for patience as I make a real effort to use language more gracefully.

    Thank you, David, for the compliment.

    Sorry, Fred, for the mental case crack. You compared Julie Anne to a plate of cookies. A bit condescending there. As long as we all know our own smell, so to speak.

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    1. I will extend an amazing amount of patience to you, c.t. I want to see more of your comments (especially after checking out your blog). Do you have an e-mail address posted?

      I also agree with your condescension assessment. That might be one reason I was noticing my body acting strangely upon reading Fred's blog - particularly the posts regarding spiritual abuse.

      Here's one for example: "survivor blogs write up garment-rending laments bitterly complaining about how churches and pastors so utterly abused them. The only true recourse they had once they freed themselves from the shackles of their enslavement was to hit the internet and start a website detailing their spiritual abuse at the hands of wicked pastors.

      :::::::blech::::::::

      Me thinks he's never endured spiritual abuse, eh? No one who has ever suffered spiritual abuse would use words so callously.

      I really want to know what kind of cookies were on that plate, though. Were they Nestle Tollhouse recipe slightly undercooked with nuts? If so, I might take that as a compliment. If they were the kind in a roll pre-made from the store . . . yuck.

      Thanks for your comment, c.t. :)

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    2. Julie Anne, the irony and maybe the tongue-in-cheek of your comment—Me thinks he's never endured spiritual abuse, eh? No one who has ever suffered spiritual abuse would use words so callously.

      is this: every one practicing spiritual abuse is not only abusing, but being abused and used. Not only are they the victimizers in this, they are some of the biggest victims. there’s blindness, pride, lust, fear—variation upon a theme of these things, there are real satanic strongholds manipulated by real dark spirits using these men and mindsets to use and abuse, to control and to kill. We call these adversaries of God—W-O-L-V-E-S

      I’d love to write a parable about the little lamb who was hypnotized into believing he was a wolf, and was used by the wolves to serve their own ends. Some of these characters that are acting like wolves, are in essence charmed sheep, charmed by the lies of the Adversary himself. That is why we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers, even the darkness residing within the institutional church. May we extend grace to these monsters, these abusers, so that they might know the truth that it was for freedom Christ has set us free.

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    3. I read Fred Butler's blog and appreciate some of his posts -

      I understand how Fred sees this as a "cut and dried" issue from the way he shares prescriptive verses. Then he wonders why that doesn't "settle the issue".

      The reason may be that there are verses Fred has perhaps not considered:

      "discernment" is a term Fred uses frequently. Sound doctrine and discernment are extremely important. But so is LOVE (and the other fruits of the Spirit which include peace, meekness, patience, gentleness).

      "And this I pray, that your >LOVE< may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
      — Philippians 1:9-11 (NASB)

      There are many bloggers who "contend, defend and discern", but I've found few that show agape love in the "meta".

      "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." 1 Corinthians 13:1 (NASB)

      When I read Julie Anne's comments it's as if she has served up a plate of cookies made with love.

      (Don't think I'm "against" you, Fred. You have ministered to me with your posts several times. But please consider the verses in Philippians 1:9-11.)

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    4. Not a Rebel: You have hit on something that a number of people have noticed: lack of love. I am definitely going to go deeper on this subject. Thank you for your beautiful post. A noisy gong or clanging cymbal is not music to my ears (even though I'm a musician) - it needs to be combined with something else to make beautiful music.


      echo: are you hungry for cookies? LOL

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  14. Well, here is another anonymous comment. Abuse in conservative, Bible believeing churches is too common. For me, I would say that one of the reasons is that we have failed to identify and wrestle with OUR own sin and mess. Too often we discuss and refine our doctrinal/theological positions, and only discuss the sin of others outside our group. I've been in church my whole life, and sadly it seems that many "don't give a d***" about what others are truly struggling with. I've heard many a sermon and Bible lesson, but one thing I cannot ever remember hearing in church is my pastor/or deacon/or elder saying "I was wrong, I ask your forgiveness" or anything even remotely similar -- and believe me, there were plenty of opportunities. If church leaders can teach about 'the sanctified life' then why can't they model it, put skin on it. I've often wondered, if we cannot even handle the basics of "encourage one another" ... then how in the world will we be able to effectively interact with one another at the harder levels of "admonish one another" or "rebuke one another." These are not simply tasks to be done; rather, they are discerning attempts to reach into another's life with loving words and actions. So, discussion of abuse in churches is a good thing; but hopefully we can individually and collectively aim at a deeper level of interaction where one's soul is addressed and truly loved. I believe that abusive leaders/churches do many of the "tasks" without bothering to develop a "heart" which connects, empathizes with, and truly loves the other in all the varying ways. My hope for Julie Anne is that she will some day (soon would be awesome) again experience true, God honoring community where we gather together and encourage one another toward love and good deeds -- not only with nicely defined theological lessons and sermons, but up close and personal as wrestling with how truth and life intersect. God help us to be faithful in finding His heart and reflecting that in all of life's arenas! Hoping the best for you Julie Anne! I must admit I stumbled across Julie Anne's 'rant' and comments; didn't take the time to read the whole back story, but just wanted to add my hope for all to strive for something more. A book that blessed me in the past couple years is John Fischer's "Twelve Steps for the Recovering Pharisee (like me)" -- Under His Mercy! I apologize if this got a little long, feel free to edit or even delete.

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    1. I currently attend a church that ministers to drug addicts while in jail/prison, and while they are out of jail/prison. My ex-brother in law goes to this church, so I go with him. The Pastor is a great Pastor that I can see so far. He explains that church is a spiritual hospital, and we are all in need for healing, no matter what that healing is, as we are all sinners, and he includes himself as one, a sinner that is in need of the same. He has several times told us what his sin was, and it did not have anything to do with addiction to drugs, by the way. But addiction is addiction, no matter what the sin is. He is humble. He is gentle. He explains the love of Jesus in an easy way that can be understood by people that previously only wanted to get high. To see these people's smiles every Sunday is awesome. None of it is fake. He partners with several church's in the area, and is well respected. He is non-denomination. Bottom line, there are church's out there without an agenda to brow beat people into submission to bondage, but show the freedom that we have in Christ. People respond to love. Genuine love. Gentle love. The love of Jesus. It reminds me of that song as a child...Jesus loves you this I know, for the Bible tells me so...little ones to him belong...they are weak but he is strong.

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    2. chapmaned24, your comment is the kind that humbles me when the subject of church comes up. There are so many different people with different experiences. Just the way each of us was treated when vulnerable, innocent little children. Not everybody has bad experiences in life, but many if not most do. And so many people are never around anyone that will encourage them and help them. It truly is a difficult fallen world we are all in. The church as you describe it is obviously the most necessary.

      I guess I am an ultimate type. I seek and strive for ultimate understanding, and I fortunately don't have any addictions (yet I do have a fallen nature with all the features and sins of a fallen nature). But I've never felt a need for a church to pursue what I need.

      I just say I'm in the invisible Church of which Christ is King. And I am. And I feel guided by the Holy Spirit in a strong way. It's not like I've been in a waste wilderness just because I haven't belonged to a local church. I also seem to be good at evangelizing over the internet, not so good at it in physical space.

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    3. Anonymous,

      Your comments, "Too often we discuss and refine our doctrinal/theological positions, and only discuss the sin of others outside our group." And "I believe that abusive leaders/churches do many of the "tasks" without bothering to develop a "heart" which connects, empathizes with, and truly loves the other in all the varying ways." show that you understand.

      I'm grieved by this and also fear that the things you outline may be driving people AWAY FROM SOUND DOCTRINE and into what Fred Butler calls "one of these fruiffy emerging style churches with the water-downed doctrine."

      Recently as I've been reading in Acts and Corinthians about the Apostle Paul and his ministry I've noticed the word >TEARS<:

      Acts 20:19 "serving the Lord with all humility and with >TEARS< and with trials which came upon me through the plots..."

      Acts 20:31 "Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with >TEARS<."

      2 Corinthians 2:4 "For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many >TEARS<; not so that you would be made sorrowful, but that you might know the >LOVE< which I have especially for you."

      I've seen this tenderness in very few under-shepherds, but rejoiced when I read the posts by Pastor Ken Garrett from Grace Bible Church in Portland that were linked to by Julie Anne. His ministry of the Word brought grace and healing to my spirit.

      Thank you also for your book recommendation, Anonymous. And your "hope for all to strive for
      more". Your post refreshed and encouraged me!

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    4. I've been reminded of this verse:

      "Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay, Close by me forever and love me, I pray. Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care, and fit us for heaven to live with Thee there."

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    5. Anonymous: I wouldn't want to edit or delete your comment. It was good. Thank you.

      Not a Rebel: I loved your comment, too. Obviously I'm not a shepherd, but your focus on "tears" reminded me that I have told some of my friends that the day I stop crying when reading personal spiritual abuse stories is the day I need to take the blog down or at least step away for a while. Tears are an expression of heart-felt connection with people in their joys and sorrows. If I fail to "feel" connected to those who respond here, then the blog has become about me, not about them.

      I've also been on the recipient side of that kind of love, crying my heart out, and I'm so thankful for some of those people who have walked the trenches with me - especially over the last few months. You know who you are!

      Living life in an abusive church may prevent some of those amazingly deep and rich relationships. It's difficult to live a life being completely transparent and vulnerable when you are living a life with secrets.

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  15. Recovering PhariseeJune 20, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Thank you Not a Rebel, Anonymous, and chapmaned24 for the encouraging posts about the importance of love and the hope that there are church communities and leaders who are less concerned with having the c orner on "sound" doctrine and more focused on loving extravagantly as Jesus has loved us.

    Coming from a place where accountability was formulaic and mandatory, I'm wondering if those of you in churches emhasizing and practicing grace and love could help give the rest of us recovering pharisees an idea of what transparency, loving challenges, "accountability" (I still cringe at that word) look like in a healthy church.

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  16. I don't know how many are still reading this thread, but I just have to tell you all that I have been so pleased with the responses from the last couple of days. If our church had godly folks like you speaking out as you have done here, we wouldn't be in the predicament we are in now. I love what I am seeing and hope and trust that this is what is going on in the communities where you fellowship, that you are indeed standing up for those who have been hurt and graciously confronting those who are not acting Christ-like and showing love to all. The people who have been beaten down many times do not have the strength anymore. They have given up. We who can and are able need to speak on their behalf and defend the sheep. Bravo!

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