Tuesday, July 31, 2012

More Monkey Business and New Review by Former Member

I was reading an online article which gave the link to the Google reviews and clicked on the link.  

Seems Ed Chapman has gotten a taste of what it is like to leave a review for the church.  Current church member, Lori Nodurft obviously revised her positive review to keep it at the top of the page, bumping down Ed Chapman's review. (BTW, Ed, if you are reading this, your comment was excellent!)   Ed noticed that his review was bumped down and revised his to show that they are still playing the game.  Lori must have revised it one more time, because her review is now on top even after Ed revised his.  It reminds me of elementary school where kids are taking cuts in line to be the first to go outside for recess.  

I have always been concerned about the young people at the church.  The long meetings with the pastor for discipline issues, the lectures/teachings on discipline issues on Wednesday nights when we all knew he was using that as a lesson to deal with someone who was in sin and who was sitting in the pews (probably dying inside).  I wondered how these young adults would fare many years later.

As I clicked on the review link in the news article, I noticed my daughter had updated her review and there was a new review I hadn't seen before - this one by Emily.   Some of my readers may remember a story about a young lady I met in the nursery the first week we attended the church.  You can read more about Emily in this earlier blog post:  Disobedient Children and Meetings with the Pastor.  She is the young lady who told me that all kids end up in the pastor's office at one time or another.   She was to meet the pastor for an upcoming baptism.   Her comment stuck with me loud and clear the entire time we were at the church.  She told me so innocently, as if this was normal.  I had never heard of such a thing in any church.  Now, we'll read some more from Emily - in her own words.  She grew up at the church.  She met her boyfriend and future husband there.  All of her friends were there.  The friends were so close, they were more like family.  This is the only church she has ever known.  And she was shunned.  Try to put yourself in her shoes and imagine what it would be like to have all of your friends and church family shut you off like that.  In the profile picture, Emily is on the left and another former church member is on the right and both have given permission for me to discuss this on the blog.   

When I think about their situation (the young ladies in the profile picture below), both having been there for as long as the former pastor was there, it grieves my heart.  These young ladies are brave - leaving behind the only life they have ever known (very sheltered life) and walked out facing the unsheltered world head on.  Thankfully, they have a lot of support and love from friends and family who have since left the church.  They could have easily walked away from their families, but that has not happened.  It will take some time to replace the bad teachings with right teaching, to work through the emotions of what happened, but these ladies are on the right track and have a lot of support.  I'm so thankful for that.  


  1. A few questions:
    Did Ed Chapman attend that church? If he never did, then why is he leaving a "review" of a church he never attended? Why is his comments "truthful" whereas other members who do attend that church "lying?" Or as he states, "delusional?" Do you know if he has talked with your old pastor about these claims against him to get his take on the situation or is he merely going off second hand information?

    Also, he says that your old pastor tried to separate you and your daughter and he makes the comment "BOTH OF THEM BELIEVERS IN JESUS CHRIST." But at my blog you said your daughter was unbelieving and hadn't attended church in years. Is this a different daughter or the same one?

    1. Hey Fred, I thought you told me you were tied up all day. How nice of you to take the time out of your busy schedule to read my blog and comment - lol.

      As far are leaving reviews without attending the church, why don't you ask my former pastor and church member Stephanie why they left 5-star reviews on the church review site without reviewing the church and instead reviewed ME? Give me a break.

      Ed is mistaken about my daughter. I'm sure he's talking about Hannah. What I said on your blog is true - she doesn't go to church, hasn't gone for years. Simple mistake, no big deal.

    2. I had about five minutes of down time. I have about fifty people I have to attend to until later this afternoon. Thought I would pose my questions. I plan to give your other response more thoughtfulness.

      Chuck and that other person attend the church. They know you and the facts of the situation. I give them more leeway in this instance than a fellow who probably isn't living anywhere near the area where the church is located.

      As to the facts of your daughter, it is a big deal if it is part of his complaint against this church. The dynamics are different when their is hostility coming from an unbeliever.

    3. No, Stephanie does not know the facts. She only knows what Chuck told her which is not fact. This is one of the big problems at the church there. They believe their pastor 100% without checking out facts for themselves. I'm not normally one to go around double-checking the words of my pastor, but after seeing inconsistencies in stories, I began to double-check with sources and found that he was not telling the truth.

      The first time we heard that we were in church discipline was when we read it on the Google reviews. Fred, you understand the biblical church discipline process. Please tell me - don't you think we would have known if we were in church discipline? Please answer that question. I have the church by-laws in my home and have read them numerous times. I have read about the church discipline process in the by-laws. It never happened, Fred. What Chuck and Stephanie have said in the Google reviews is a lie. He has pulled the wool over her eyes. Not one of us who were sued were ever in any church discipline process (as stated in the by-laws).

    4. Honestly, the Ayatollah Fred Butler is full of himself. I would not tolerate his delusions that he is your or Ed Chapman's clerical judge. Ed Chapman's review makes it clear that he did not attend the Beaverton cult. The Ayatollah Butler should be able to figure that out.

    5. I want to add another comment. Pompous jerks such as the Ayatollah Butler and the Ayatollah O'Neal have damaged the faith of many such as Hannah. Those who are struggling with faith must understand that the Lord Jesus Christ represents Christianity, not self-appointed punks such as Butler and O'Neal. Sound harsh? So be it. The faith and well-being of those have been abused are more important than the thin skin of pompous pharisees. One must be able to point out these jerks and say "I will no longer allow you to damage my faith in Jesus Christ. Get thee behind me Satan!"

      Our faith is in Christ. He is our Judge, not little fred butler, not o'neal, not some other pompous pastor. There comes a time to get tough and this is it.

    6. I would rather be in a room full of those with Aspberger's syndrome (who tend to be rule followers and have difficulty lying) than spend any more time discussing Fred's views. A man with so little empathy for beings whom God has created and loves does not deserve space on your blog, JA.

    7. Sigh.

      Part of me is frustrated that I am taking the Fred bait, but a bigger part of me couldn't leave his comment unchallenged.

      He says he gives credence to Stephanie's claims because she was there. Okay. It's good to know that he values first-hand accounts.

      But wait. Stephanie's isn't a first-hand account. She is going off of information given to her by Chuck O'Neal.

      Never fear, though. There is no shortage of first-hand accounts, provided by Julie Anne, Meaghan, Hannah, and others on this blog. Their accounts are consistent.

      For some reason, Fred dismisses those. It's curious.

      I'm now spitting out the hook and going to deeper waters.

    8. Darn shiny hook. I can't stay away.

      I wanted to add that I think you ought to leave Hannah's beliefs out of this, Fred. From all accounts, she was a professed believer in Christ when she was at the church, and wherever she is in her faith now is a direct result of the treatment of the pastor. Scripture is full of admonitions to teachers of God's word, that they not lead others astray, or in this case, drive them screaming out the doors.

    9. Fred

      Take a look at Matthew 23:24 and enjoy your lunch.

    10. Mr Fred Bulter, you again prove yourself to be a twisted and unreasonable man, wielding your sword in careless and destructive ways.

      Your logic, Fred, is outright twisted. You reason that a person can’t register a review and warning against a church and pastor based upon him never attending or having a personal conversation with CON of BGBC. Note: Ed, you or myself do not need to attend Creflo Dollar’s church to review the insanity coming out of his word-faith, name-it-and-claim-it, blab-it-and-grab-it prosperity cult. Or Eddie Long’s freakin circus-club. Or any number of other False Teachers utterly ravaging and spiritually raping the children of God through their institutionlized pride and lust and doctrine of demons! Do you see how utterly twisted and blind your thinking is? No, the evidence against CON and BGBC is all out in the open for the world to see.

      Also, you’re a destructive and careless creature in your condemnation of Hannah! You demonstrate your lack of faith, hope, love and understanding when you judge my dearly beloved Sister-in-Christ as an unbeliever. Even though CON was responsible for “ruining her faith,” consider what needed ruined and demolished in her life was the very legalistic fundamentalistic “faith” that was diametrically oppossed to the true gospel of grace and freedom and life we have in Christ.

      Although I have never personally spoken to either you or Hannah. I would warn everyone away from you. Fred, you’re a sincerely sick and abusive man!

      On the other hand, without even knowing the details of Hannah’s present situation, I won’t have any real concerns encouraging other wounded victims of spiritual abuse to seek out Hannah for encouragement and understanding. My belief is that Hannah is now in a healthy place. And you calling her an unbeliever—again proves to us where your heart is.

      Fred Butler you are no minister of Jesus Christ, but a minster of sickness and death. I’m saddened to hear you're still overseeing church people.

    11. I'm just going to come out and let you all know that around 5 times I asked Fred if he had been in contact with Chuck because he seemed to talk as someone who had an inside scoop on his blog and other blogs. I questioned him about this on Twitter, private e-mail (yes, I have privately e-mailed Fred), on his blog, on my blog. Each time and for weeks, he has avoided that question until it came out yesterday (or the day before - too lazy to check) on his blog.

      Oh, and while I'm at it, on his blog in the comments (a recent post with a latin name of wolf), he mentioned a new DexKnows review by someone named JulieAnnSmith and asked if I wrote it. Now, of course all of my regular brilliant readers would look at that name and say immediately that the review wasn't mine because I wouldn't misspell my own name, but Fred still decided to ask if that review was mine. This new bizarre DexKnows review (http://tinyurl.com/ctk5t5d) blathered on about me hating the church and Chuck and people yelling out that we were homosexuals. Ok, that is ridiculous. We have seven biological children that look very much like us (some people say little clones), so it's pretty apparent that these said seven children were conceived the normal method of heterosexual intercourse - good grief - I can't even believe I"m typing this, but yet Fred felt the need to ask me if that comment was mine. Um, no Fred, I did not write that review. Why would I write a brand new review after winning the court case when my original one is still there? Why would I write a new review when I have a blog and I can go on and on and on to my little heart's content? Crazy, huh? I laughed out loud when I realized that Fred actually wanted me to confirm that the review wasn't mine. Perhaps Chuck alerted him to the review? Fred actually takes the time to visit the BGBC review site each day to see whose name is on top? hahahahahaha Oh the behind-the-scenes drama!

    12. Hey, Fred! How you been? Hows the web click count these days? Dropping off a bit maybe, had to come stir stuff up over here? You also forgot to ask Ed if he has his pastor's permission to have an opinion, you might want to check that out.

    13. Freddie wrote on his blog regarding Cult Master O'Neal:

      "Your old pastor emailed me when I put up my second post on wicked sheep to tell me how much he appreciates my being discerning with my post and comments interacting with other "survivor bloggers" and to explain his side of the story. "

      Now the way he worded that does not say whether or not that was their FIRST interaction or communication.

      From the first time he blathered on about "survivor bloggers", Freddie had a chip on his shoulder about the subject. He seemed to take it VERY personnaly. So, Freddie, I am putting this to you right now: Did you know Chuck O'Neal before this issue began? Do you either know him personally, or know of him through third parties? Was that e-mail you claimed to have received from him the first time you two ever interacted or communicated??

      A man of integrity and honesty would answer these questions directly and without hesitation. But I am NOT dealing with a man of integrity and honesty, I am dealing with Fred Butler.

      And Freddie, if you choose to ignore this, as you did most of my previous statements to you, be certain that I will be relentless in pursuing your past relationashp with Cult Master O'Neal whenever you defile Jullie Anne's blog by your presence.

      Freddie claims that he is a "coordinator" with John MacArthur's radio minitry.

      When Cult Master O'Neal began his stupid and evil lawsuit with Julie Anne and the others, he said;

      "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."

      HMMMMMM!!!!!!! Just wondering??????

    14. Interesting!!! One of those things that make you go HMMMMMM!!!

    15. Velly, velly intellesting...

    16. The Other Tom - you are too clever. The clues certainly point in that direction, don't they? It would also explain Fred's seeming obsession with proving Julie Anne wrong and appearing here so often when he obviously hates the blog.

    17. Fred, Ed Chapman here. I attended a similar church, but not Chuck's church. I do believe I spoke to you about it in your blog. My former pastor had a "farm" for the "disciplined" to go to, in order to work off, or, as the Catholics state it, do penance for being "in sin". If anyone actually took to heart the Love of Christ, if you are "in Christ", which is what Christian means, then there is no more condemnation, and yet, pastors like Chuck and my former pastor wants to discipline, rather than disciple. Get a clue, Fred.

      Ed Chapman

    18. @ The Other Tom, I find it interesting that you posted Chuck's words in the following: "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."

      When I first emailed Chuck I corrected him in that Paul did not appeal his case to Rome for the purpose of clearing his name. On the contrary. He appealed his case to Rome for the purpose of spreading the gospel. He was already called to Rome by God himself to be an Apostle to the Gentiles. Paul's name was never cleared by Rome, by the way. Besides, even before Paul appealed his case to Rome, he was going to be found innocent anyway.

      Acts 23:11
      And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

      Acts 26:31-32
      And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds. Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.

      This is God at work, not Paul at work.

    19. Acts 27:23-26 (Paul Speaking)
      23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,

      24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

      25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

      26 Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island.

      Notice that God told him that he must (MUST) be brought before Caesar. This shows that it is God's doing. This shows that Paul did not appeal his case to Caesar to clear his name, but to preach the gospel. It was God who controlled the storm so that they would be shipwrecked to be cast upon that certain Island. God controlled the journey of Paul. Paul didn't.

      So for Chuck to use Paul as his reasoning for a lawsuit was completely off base. Chuck did not appeal to Caesar to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, as Paul did.

    20. This is not the first time that the Ayatollah Fred Butler's mother church has thrown around the idea of suing critics. Butler's fellow imams threatened a lawsuit against a man named Bob Johnson: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2010/03/13/john-macarthur-i-pray-this-is-not-true/

    21. Fred has a new blog entry calling pastors to be "humble." LOL.

    22. How funny! I wonder how Ayatollah Fred feels about giving bad advice to Chuckie that could ultimately cause the Beaverton cult to fold.

    23. It would explain Fred's hostility and defensiveness. The Other Tom is a genius. It was staring us in the face the whole time, but the thought never occurred to me.

  2. My heart goes out to Emily and her friend. The only thing I can say is to keep praying for them. Keep your heart open to them if they choose to call you. Don't pursue them, it will only leave you heartbroken.

    Do a lot of people experience this? Even at non-abusive churches? I'm curious to know from other readers. I know that I had several very good friends at one church. After I left, I tried to maintain the same level of friendship, but I found that it wasn't reciprocated. It was as though I no longer existed because I didn't associate with them at church any more. It left me devastated.

    It has been several years since we left the church and I am just starting to gain new friendships. This time, they are mostly people who are not churched. While I still maintain some friends who are Christians, I have found these new friends who are unchurched to be less judgmental and a breath of fresh air.

    And, since I'm working on gaining new friends (Christian or non-Christian), I have found it easier to just be myself. I no longer feel the need to put on a mask pretending that everything is great in my life. I also am looking for friends who are real with me and their struggles/victories in life. No more fake friendships for me!

    1. Kathi - Maybe I didn't express it well in the blog post. Emily and her friend are fine with people contacting them. They get support from family and friends.

  3. I thiink that the Judges analysis of bloggers leaving incinerary comments such as the one the Ed left should be largely disregarded by reasonable people. You and Ed are welcome to your opinion, but with so much time that has lapsed since your last visit I really do not see the point in leaving a review. Ed's comment might have more of an impact on your blog.

    Gotta agree with fred... BTW didn't I read where you never actually joined the church? After you leave the church you are no longer under the by-laws, right?

    Just Curious

    1. I think most people will be able to see that the recent barrage of reviews was clearly a response to the media. My point of posting Ed's here is to show that the manipulating of the reviews is continuing.

      BTW didn't I read where you never actually joined the church? After you leave the church you are no longer under the by-laws, right?

      Yes, you are correct and raise great points. As I was trying to point out above, one would know if they had been involved in a church discipline process. You don't hear about it from someone else (or on Google reviews as we discovered). That's just ridiculous. The other point that you are mentioning is a good one, too. In order for us to have been in a church discipline process, we would have had to be members. We were never official members. Further, the church discipline process would never be initiated against someone who had left the church. This clearly shows that what the pastor did/said was out of line. He makes up rules as he goes (against the church's by-laws) and spreads false information to church members. Why the church members cannot realize very clear violation of the church by-laws is beyond me.

    2. "Why the church members cannot realize very clear violation of the church by-laws is beyond me."

      It's simple. They're deceived. Even if they recognized that he violates by-laws, it does not appear that they could question it, unless of course they want to be labeled as goats.

    3. Just Curious writes: with so much time that has lapsed since your last visit I really do not see the point in leaving a review.

      You would think CON and BGBC would mature with time, right? Isn’t that consistent with progressive sanctification? Thing is we still have a place of worship in Beaverton that is passing itself off as a Church, as Body of Christ full of grace. As long as this wolf and cult are still preying on sheep every review and means of warning against this place needs to be sounded. The point is protecting the unwary from every falling into this fundamentalist death trap.

  4. 56 years a Baptist, mostly SBCJuly 31, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Julie Anne:

    Keep in mind that Butler (and for that matter O'Neal) are not "of Christ" or even "of Paul" or anyone else, except the Great Deceiver. They are doing the work of Satan to drive people away from the true faith.

    In 56 years as a Baptist, I can recall only two families being asked to leave the church, and that was because of continual sowing of discord through gossip. In both cases, it was the wife of the pastor. He was given months to get his wife's gossiping under control and could not, so the deacons asked him to leave to stop the harm being done to the church. In both cases, there was a generous severance and encouragement/assistance to move on to another career or position.

  5. The telephone goes both ways. How many of you so called "shunned" members have reached out to anybody. I am always convicted of this when i get upset that family hasn't called me in months and then I remember i haven't tried to call them either.
    Also when people leave church's reguardless if its bad or good they don't always keep in touch. I left a church on good terms years ago and nobody ever called me and looked me up after I left. I tried to send e-mails and get hold of people but it just didn't work out. Was I being shunned....NO, just realized when you don't seem them at church each week its hard to keep in touch. Just my 2 cents worth.

    1. Anon 12:01 - If I saw a church member who was shunning me, I tried to make a connection and engage conversation. They always walked or drove away. I did contact someone by phone and we got a couple sentences in and she said she was not able to talk to me. Keep in mind if it was found out that a member spoke with a shunned person, they would get put on the Mark and Avoid list and be shunned themselves.

    2. You are right, Anonymous, that many of us are guilty of what you describe, being upset that nobody reached out to us when we haven't reached out either.

      That's not what happened in this case, where the church people were actually instructed by their pastor not to have any interaction with Julie Anne and her family.

      There is a difference between just being out of communication and being shunned.

    3. I don't get it. What are you preaching?

  6. My 2 cents worth...when I called members who were told to shun me, word got back to the man, my conversation was turned against me in that I was trying to 'steal' 'his' members away by speaking my truth. Calls went unreturned. In October, I found out a letter was sent to former members telling them to cut me off their facebooks all framed with 'suppose' this or that was done to you by his truly...those folks unfriended me without EVER addressig me-so what do I do with that? Pray for them.
    When I left, I called Lori N to meet for coffee...she said she couldn't go out that day only to see on facebook she'd met with 2 women in the church for coffee instead. I sent her an email saying my feelings were hurt and asked why she didn't just tell me the truth...that she had other plans? Her response as I recall, she needed to only meet with the flock from her own church. Hurtful yes but then I was immediately cut off her friends list and Don, her husband and deacon let me know I was not to contact her anymore.....so what am I to do? Pray for them and surrender the outcome to MY LORD and SAVIOR.
    may I remind you, I had a, what I thought sweet friendship with Lori & Don for about 14 years at that point.
    As for Fred, pretty sure you NEVER attended BGBC, so your comments are merely heresay in my opinion.

    1. It seems that Fred completely believes everything CON has said based on how Fred voraciously defends him here, on his own blog, on Twitter, and other blogs. Our former pastor evidently passed the "approved pastor test" by going to the Shepherd's conference each year and going to the expositor's school offered there. That gives him a free ride. Somehow, suing Christians and non-Christian doesn't factor into this approved pastor test. Also interesting is that no pastor from GCC wants to dig a little deeper and talk to anyone else, including a former long-time elder. They have only contacted 2 defendants in the lawsuit and asked us if we were taking care of our homes and our husband. Hmm, a pastor goes against scripture and says he's suing former members for a half a million dollars and they are asking the defendants how their homes are doing? Something is NQR = not quite right!

    2. I'da told them I was watching Married With Children reruns and eating bonbons on the couch all day, myself.

      You are a more patient woman than I will ever be, Julie Anne. :-)

    3. Wait a minute...you realize that your actions and blog posting were a bit over the top. I would have to say that were I a congregant I would not want to associate with you as long as you were behaving contrary to the body of Christ. Having read some of your comments, from that era, and considered the volume and quantity, I would not really need much convincing. I do not regard that as spiritual abuse or shunning.

      I am not terribly impressed with Oneal. However, I would not enjoy walking a mile in his shoes. Really, take a look within.

    4. Anonymous, would you be willing to sign your name (feel free to use a pseudonym) and demonstrate how Julie Anne was "behaving contrary to the body of Christ"?

      I really would like to have a conversation with you. Will you come back and engage me on the issue of spiritual abuse?

    5. I think that you post a review and move on. Look up the definition of stalking and what these ladies did and continue to do. They did their damage. Why continue to twist the knife? What is to be accomplished? How do their comments edify the body of Christ? If posting vitriol is not contrary to the body, what is? Please do not use Oneal as an example in your answer.

      Seeking the truth.

    6. Well at least Anon 7:21 has given me permission to post a review. That's a lot more than others have done.

      As far as what is being accomplished? Light is being shown on the darkness. Truth is being exposed. Do you really think God is pleased with what has happened in the last 13 years - with a path of destruction, spiritual abandonment and confusion, broken up relationships of friends/family? Vitriol? No, truth.

    7. Seeking the truth.

      Their comments don’t so much edify the body of Christ as they serve as a warning to others to stay away from a dangerous pack of wolves. These women are watchmen, it is their duty to tell the truth of their experience, to do everything in their power to save sheep from being spiritually abused by the elders of Beaverton Grace Bible Church.

      Actually, their brave comments did serve to edify the body of Christ by eventuating this blog, dispensing balm, giving us a place to tell our stories, helping to fortify the body of Christ against W-O-L-V-E-S.

      These ladies were not stalking. And 'vitriol' has a cruel and bitter dimension to it that doesn't fit anything I've read from Julie Anne. Do you have anything particular in mind that is contrary?

    8. And according to Judge Fun we 3 didn't commit what we were accused of, speaking only a part of the damage I experienced is a warning to others for God's glory and those who have ears to hear, their good. Thank you for sharing your opinion about our experience.

    9. I remember the watchmen and I wish I had kept my comic books now... Look you are not a caped crusader for truth, justice, and the American way. In fact, if you think you are a crusader then get help. Better yet, go get a job or get into full time ministry and see for yourself what it is like.

      Seeking the truth

    10. @Meaghan - Fun ruled on whether you expressed an opinion or defamed someones character to the point of financial loss. What you wrote and continue to write is mean but pretty irrelevant. Fun is telling anyone that cares to read his ruling not to base your decision or formulate an opinion based on what someone writes in a blog. Reasonable people should be able to discern between fact and entertainment. Your entries are summarily dismissed as anecdotal and colorful.

      I think that he is telling Oneal to grow up and telling your side to find something to occupy your time besides mischief. The only people that made out were the lawyers.

    11. At present you seem blind and ignorant concerning the issues of spiritual abusive, but keep Seeking the Truth. All the while those with discerning hearts will do all they can to minister to the wounded, defend against “savage wolves” (Acts 20:29), and proclaim the Truth of what it means to be the body of Christ.

      Ezekiel 33:6, “But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in its iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand.”

    12. Ohhhhhh you just wanted to engsult me. I will get back to you when I find time.

    13. No, I don’t mean to insult you. I’m glad you’re engaging me.

      Were you speaking to me? JA? all of us here? when you wrote: if you think you are a crusader then get help. Better yet, go get a job or get into full time ministry and see for yourself what it is like.

      There’s a lot, there, in your words. For one: my assumption is that every Spirit-filled believer is or should be engaged in ‘full time ministry.’ That every one of us within the Body of Christ are ministers is a key tenet that much of the church has lost. And telling whomever here to ‘get help’ and such, don’t you think what you wrote might convey an insulting tenor?

      But, Yes, Seeking the truth, do get back to me. When you answer consider selecting the Name/URL above the Anonymous option and type your name in, you can leave the URL blank. It will be easier to identify you then.


    14. Anon said: I think that he is telling Oneal to grow up and telling your side to find something to occupy your time besides mischief. The only people that made out were the lawyers.

      The lawyers did their job because we were forced in to a lawsuit. Judge Fun certainly did not say for us to find something else to occupy our time. He was clearly saying that it was our right to publicize our opinion.

    15. to anon~by your comment you seem to assume I don't have a job or have full time ministry~both your opinion, which you are entitled to. You assume I haven't been getting help~ I have from professionals in their fields of expertise, not leaning on my own understanding. Thank you Linda Williams! You are a saint! Among others professional Christians helping me to make sense of the confusion that followed leaving the church I loved and followed Christ in. Submitting to the authority until the insanity was just too much to bear. We left with peace, but quickly spun out of control, due to, in my opinion, deceitful leadership.
      I am more than a conquerer in Jesus Christ, He is my Shepherd and leads me to love others as myself, forgiving others.
      When, after months of waiting on Him and seeking Him in these matters, I did post only a small portion of the twisting and controlling behaviors that go on at this church~to this day~in my opinion.
      When I love others I die to what I want to do in my flesh, which would be to look the other way when I see control tactics dragging others down. Deception that causes confusion.Just walk away and let others learn their own lessons.
      You see I wrote what happened to me and got sued for my opinion. AND Judge Fun ruled against the filing. Justice served, yes BUT the name of Christ has been trampled upon by those who consider themselves undershepherds....even after pastors in 3 states rebuked these elders and counseled them not to pursue litigation.
      Almost 4 years ago, I left a church. I am and have been open to meeting with these elders (with a mediator) and the refusal is coming from them...I want peace. Instead the 'no speak rule' is trying to be forced upon me and the others who are trying to warn others of the danger~just as the Word of God says to do.
      Thank you for visiting this site and leaving your comments. May the peace of God rule your heart and mind in Christ Jesus~as HE does in mine.

    16. Seeking the truth

      I have given this a bit of thought.

      At this point you ladies have pretty much blogged yourselves an bgbc into irrelevance. I realize that you all think that you are righteous and that nothing that I write is going to convince you otherwise.

      So here is a challenge. Think of how you can use all of this experience to help better the Christian community. I will give you a hint. You are not going to impact very many people by continuing to assault Oneal.

      Think about it. If you gave him and his church rave reviews under the best of circumstances how many people would you possibly effect in a year? If you continue to harass him and his church, how many people will you effect in a year? How many people could you possibly persuade or dissuade?

      Either way, not very many.

      So here is you challenge. Write church reviews. Think about the top 20 or 30 questions that you would want to know about for any given church, visit, and answer the question in an honest review.

      Send me my royalties.

    17. At present you seem blind and ignorant concerning the issues of spiritual abuse, but keep Seeking the Truth.

    18. ??

      Now Monax...if I did not know better I might think that you are intentionally trying to raise my ire.

      Spiritual Abuse is all about opinion. People have different ideas about what spiritual abuse is. It is like saying that chevrolet is the best automobile or New Hampshire is the best state to live in. I do not regard not getting invited to tea or coffee as shunning. I accept that there are those that think that not getting invited to something is spiritual abuse. Can't fix all the worlds trouble.

      Is it a matter of a thinned skinned Christen or a calloused over bearing manipulative pastor? Who knows.

      Anyway......you want to spend all night staring at a blog or doing something productive?

      Seeking the truth.(I only put that there to help you id me)

    19. @ Anonymous 5:52 PM.

      Intriguing analogy. Suppose it is accurate, as you say, that "spiritual abuse is all about opinion," and you like a Chevrolet etc., etc. Well, if a car runs over you, does it matter what make and model it was? The damage is evidence that something bad happened.

      And it is unfortunate that you trivialize "shunning" as if it were a melodramatic matter as simplistic as being invited out for tea instead of "high tea." Again, the damage shows itself in the brutality. And while the degree of damage and degree of brutality may be relative matters of opinion, that doesn't mean there are absolutely no well-researched, well-documented indicators of the motivations and effects of shunning.

      For instance, if you are truly seeking the truth, you may be interested in reading Dr. Robert Jay Lifton's book on *Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of Brainwashing in China.* You should find criterion #8, "The Dispensing of Existence," of specific relevance. This is a pattern used by a totalitarian "cult" (his term, not mine) that exercises their “right” to decide who has the right to exist in public and who needs to be isolated [shunned] or excommunicated.

      Of course, his research - which has served as the foundation of studies on political, sociological, and religious "cults" for the last 50+ years - is likewise just all about opinion, I suppose. However, his understanding based on 40 extensive professional case studies of political prisoners interrogated and in some cases brutally tortured in Maoist China certainly seems more weighty on the issue of shunning than does yours about a Chevrolet or New Hampshire or tea versus coffee.


    20. Brad, excellent analogy with car running over someone and the lasting effects. There is clear evidence of spiritual abuse. Abandoned faith, trust issues with God, destroyed relationships, etc. These are not imaginary, they are real. At this blog, we will continue to validate the reality of spiritual abuse. I hope Anonymous sticks around and gains more understanding about this very important and serious subject. The Bible validates it, so why shouldn't we?

    21. And I can argue pejorative. So what is your point? Shunning can generally be overcome by changing behavior or attitude. You do not have to compromise your moral integrity. I do not see any Chinese water torture going on.

      Generally, you can determine that you are going to be a solution to a problem and not part of the problem. For example, if your church nursery needs security improvements, you can offer your services to assist with researching new and better procedures and bring the standards up.

    22. Shunning can generally be overcome by changing behavior or attitude.

      Not at this church. I have never seen anyone who was shunned brought to restoration of relationship. There is a refusal to communicate whatsoever once you are on the Mark and Avoid list. They reject any form of mediation or negotiation. Obviously, the goal is not restoration. Do you have a Bible verse for that? I can't find it.

    23. Anonymous: I am going to put my moderator hat on right now. Although I am a great proponent of Free Speech, the purpose of this blog is to be a support for those who have suffered spiritual abuse. We are not going to debate here about the validity of spiritual abuse. I'm sure you can find other places for that. If you would like to remain and try to learn about what we have gone through, please be our guest. I reserve the right to delete posts that go against the intended purpose of this blog.


    24. LOL - So I am getting shunned? You are too much.

    25. To: Seeking the truth

      No, spiritual abuse is not "about opinion" at all. Though I've never experienced it myself, I've read enough to know that it is very real, and it causes real suffering. Your characterization of Julie Anne and others as "thin-skinned" is horribly dismissive, I find. It's hard for me to respect someone who tries to dictate how others should feel about a situation. Since neither of us have been though it, it's arrogant of either of us to tell Julie Anne how she needs to work through her own pain.

      "... not getting invited to tea or coffee ..." You may be referring to another commenter, but Julie Anne's experience (as she has written abundantly here) was and is far beyond that. She reaches out to those she loves, only to have them turn away without a word. Some refuse to even look at her. Treating her like a non-entity. That's not just snubbing -- it's shunning, and it's wrong.

      As for "using their experience to better the Christian community", I'm sure that's what these women long to do. But they can't do that effectively without dealing with their pain; to some extent that must come first. In the meantime, this blog does serve a purpose for body of Christ, I think. It's bringing to light the horrors of spiritual abuse -- which may be a much more prevalent problem than we know.

      You say that neither Julie Anne nor Chuck O'Neal impress you very much. I'm afraid your attitude so far has not impressed me. Your "watchmen/caped crusader" crack a while ago was particularly irritating. I don't know whether you're a Christian; if you are, you strike me as a very immature one.

    26. Anon: Yup - if you are disruptive and go against the flow of the blog, I will be happy to delete. There is a solution which I already suggested if you would like your comments to remain. You can call it shunning if you want. Maybe I can make up my own Mark and Avoid list. If you would have selected a real name, I could have added that. It's going to be boring to use the Anonymous name time and again ;)

    27. You give me too much credit Japan. In fact you put a few words on me that I did not write.

      I do not share your views of spiritual abuse. I think that most problems are more about how you react to a given situation. Really, look at your post. You are doing to me what you think I am doing to others. You will get the last word as JA seems to think that some are more entitled to free speech than others. It is her blog and if she wants to limit it to only those that see things her way, I respect that. The good thing is that I bring a lot of comments. The bad thing is I do not necessarily agree with everything she believes. There are two sides to every argument though.

      Seeking the truth.

    28. Anon: Do you think there is such a thing as spiritual abuse? Can you define it?

    29. What is wrong with my post, Seeking Anon? Please be specific. And what exactly did I quote that you did not write?

      And no, no one is shunning you. Julie Anne (as far as I can tell) is telling you what this blog is about. There are people in recovery here, recovering from real (and in some cases ongoing) suffering. You seem to be minimizing their pain, and that helps no one. It most certainly is not Christ-like, friend.

    30. Actually Julie, for the most part I do not think that "spiritual abuse" really exists. There are occasions where pastors, SS teachers, Choir Leaders, and various staff members have treated congregants rudely or took advantage to the point of criminal abuse.(See Darrel Gilyard) I am talking about lightening strikes and not the rule for certain.

      I do not think that all types of abuse is borne of spiritual abuse. Rather just good ole abuse and it just happens to come from individuals that are part of the church. If they were at a school or the Lions club it would make no difference to those individuals. I do not necessarily think that everything that is labeled abuse is abuse. Sometimes, and most often, abuse is simply perceptive.

      Now we are not talking about persecuted Christians. Yes persecution really takes place in this world and Christians are still martyred. That is a separate issue.

      Having said that, yes there are the cults that practice brain washing and mind control.

      Do you think that every reported spiritual abuse is genuine?

    31. You say that neither Julie Anne nor Chuck O'Neal impress you very much.........didn't say that.

    32. My name is Julie Anne.

      Have you read Jude or Ezekiel 34 or 2 Peter?

      I wish I could send you just a fraction of the private e-mails I have received to give you a reality check of what happens when pastors bully, twist scripture, abandon people, interfere and control people's private lives.

      No, I do not think every reported case of spiritual abuse is genuine. There are frauds everywhere. Some people refuse to deal with legitimate correction in their life and label it abuse. That is not right. I'm not talking about those cases. I'm talking about legitimate abuse.

    33. Hello Anon.

      For what it is worth, I did doctoral studies on the topic of spiritual abuse and recovery. This is no longer a covert dysfunction in the Body of Christ. It is a documented malady which has been researched by numbers of people.

      Not only that, I know of a number of people now in PhD studies who are researching and will write on this topic. So go tackle the doctoral programs of the various academic instituions for awhile.

      Maybe you just lack knowledge on this topic, but you can find all kinds of genuine research on this topic if you really want to. Don't remain uninformed or in the dark. Get some serious answers for yourself and you will avoid coming across as someone who just 'doesn't get it'!!

    34. To Anonymous ... I second what Dr. Orlowski said. And who knows. Maybe you'll change your view someday. Meanwhile, the way you express your opposing opinion does seem to skate around the edges of belittling and belligerence. (My linguist's opinion of your commentary style.) As such, Julie Anne has stated and paraphrased for you her ground rules for her blog, and yet you seem to think you're being "shunned" if your comments are deleted for unrepentant ground rule breaking.

      Wow. If/when you ever experience the kind of shunning that Dr. Lifton talks about, or that some of the people who've commented on this blog have described and documented, perhaps you'll see the sad irony in your witticism.

      And actually, I hope you DON'T experience the real thing. It's emotionally excruciating. I don't wish it on anyone, period.

    35. Seeking Anon said (to me I think): " 'You say that neither Julie Anne nor Chuck O'Neal impress you very much'.........didn't say that."

      You did say this, Seeking: "I am not terribly impressed with O'Neal. However, I would not enjoy walking a mile in his shoes. Really, take a look within." I guess I meant to paraphrase this (along with your general tone) in my first post on this thread. I'm sorry if I misrepresented you.

      That being said, your opinion that "spiritual abuse does not exist" is seriously uninformed. It has one aspect (in particular) that differs from abuse in other settings. In an abusive "Christian" church, what gives the abuser power is the underlying threat, whether explicit or implied, that the believer's eternal destiny is at stake. The abuser sets him/herself up as the arbiter of every member's salvation. In simple terms, the threat is "shut up and agree with everything I say, or you're going to hell".

      No, you "do not see any Chinese water torture", and there doesn't have to be any. The threat may be an ephemeral one in secular eyes, but no less real or frightening to the believer, because it involves what's most precious in the believer's life: his or her relationship to God. That is one thing that sets spiritual abuse apart from others.

      I join Dr. Orlowski in suggesting that you educate yourself on this subject. Doing so will help you in sounding much less arrogant.

      P.S. to Julie Anne: Sorry if I've been dragging things out too much with Seeking For Truth. I didn't like his tone towards you, and felt it shouldn't go unanswered. And my thanks to everyone else for chiming in.

    36. Japan - You are misrepresenting me again. Why? My posts are available for all to review. I make no bones about it, I think that JA and company are, for the most, part trouble makers. That is my opinion and certainly is not in majority on this blog. In the world, I think I represent the majority.

      67 - 75% of people who have a regular church experience have no problems.(the number varies depending on who you read) Almost all the dissenters claim problems with the pastor or pastoral staff.

      I think that it is safe to say that at least half of the reported problems can be attributed to newer or more thin skinned congregants or plain trouble makers.

      Aside from the lightening strikes and the trouble making congregants, that leaves few genuine cases of spiritual abuse. How many cases of genuine abuse do you suppose are intentional?

      I can tell you that a much higher percentage of pastors experience "spiritual abuse" by congregants than vice-a-versa. There are some trouble maker congregants that delight with making trouble for pastors that are simply doing the best that they can to divide God's word. In some severe cases the congregants continue to focus attacks for years.

      Seeking the truth.

    37. Hey seeking the truth (which I really doubt..)
      " if your church nursery needs security improvements, you can offer your services to assist with researching new and better procedures and bring the standards up." You are assuming that any one beyond the tin hitler and his immediate circle knew the nursery needed ANY security. Would have been nice to be informed that there was a reason to be concerned. I certainly would not have brought my children to such a place if I knew there was even a hint of danger from a sex offender. Don't ass-u-me.

    38. Seeking the truth

      If we use your numbers conservatively, that's still a lot of people that experience real spiritual abuse. Even one percent of church goers in this country is a very large number. Does not Jesus call us to at times leave the 99% and minister to the one? I wish I could give you a way to know for certain whether or not a cry of abuse is real, but I can't. We have to listen, pray and make fallible judgments. The danger and harm done when we pour salt in open wounds is far greater than that done when we misplace our trust. For myself, I carefully followed this blog before I commented. I observed how Julie Anne listened, sought truth, received criticism and stood her ground. She is, in my view, a very credible witness.

      Pastors experience abuse too. I've seen men enter the ministry full of hope and leave disillusioned. It breaks my heart. As far as whose at fault in pastor congregation conflicts, in my experience, that's like deciding whose at fault in husband wife conflicts. There's usually plenty of bad decisions and bad behavior to go around.

    39. Seeking Anon,

      Just out of curiousity, where do you get your numbers from? ("67 - 75% of people who have a regular church experience have no problems", "at least half of the reported problems can be attributed to ... trouble makers") Are they based on actual research, by yourself or others? Or are you just making them up out of thin air?

      Even if your numbers are accurate, I have to agree with Craig Vick. The incidence of spiritual abuse, even if low, needs to be dealt with. I've read enough to be convinced that such abuse is real, it is dangerous, and it must be brought to light.

      Your characterization of Julie Anne (and those like here who speak out) as a "trouble maker" reminds me very much of what King Ahab called Elijah. Elijah didn't "make" the problems rampant in Israel; he merely brought them to light. As far as I can see, that's all that Julie Anne has sought to do against Ahab O'Neal.

      Whistle-blowing is not "trouble making".

  7. shakin the dust and movin onJuly 31, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Anon 12:01....suppose you were to find out when trying to contact people at a former church that YOU WERE BEING SHUNNED but they wouldn't /couldn't tell you why you were put on 'the' mark and avoid list?

    1. That is a good point that people have a difficult time understanding. This kind of practice is so outside the realm of normal, it's hard to fathom.

      Thank you!

  8. Just who is this Fred Butler and why do people here care what he says or writes on his blog, when you know he believes most people who speak out on spiritual abuse are whiners and such? I haven't understood the focus on Fred on this blog from the onset.

    Why invite or tempt him to post here when you know things will be said to discount what happened to people? Go to his blog and converse with him there. Why bring more triggering comments to this blog for those reading who truly know there is spiritual abuse because they have lived it?

    I am weary of the fuss over what Fred writes or thinks. And it brings out personal name calling here, which causes the discussions to deteriorate.

    1. I don't go to Fred's blog because I don't want my web traffic to line his pockets, myself. I know I shouldn't feed the troll by replying to him here but when he posts things like his 'does your husband know you have an opinion' drivel I just can't keep from it.

    2. Lois, don't look but Julie Anne did converse with Fred on his blog. Seems Fred was hungry like a wolf for some attention and started snapping his jaws here again.

  9. I don't normally delete rude comments about me, but if you leave a rude, rude comment about my friends, off it goes. Thank you to the two who rebuked the rude commenter. I would have left your comments, but Blogger has it set up that if I remove the top comment in a thread, all of the following comments are also deleted.

    My sincerest apologies to Emily and friend if you saw this comment. That was uncalled for. I love you two and what they said was furthest from the truth. {{{hugs}}}

    Carry on :)

  10. I found the comments on the length of time the pastor had the young person in the office interesting. If one were to look up Reid interrogation methods, you would find that length of time is important and the longer the better. Even to the point of not allowing the person to go the the rest room. Its about control and getting the person to agree with your point of view. The person will be asked the same questions over and over. Sounds like a pastor has learned some neat control tools. Google "Reid" interrogation methods and see some of the control tactics used that could also be used by any controller.
    Break a person down and they will agree to almost anything to get out of that office.

    1. You are so right anon 8:11pm!!! I wanted to get out of that room so bad I agreed to things that I really didn't want to do... and went against my "promise to reform" within a day or so.

    2. Hannah's mom nods her head in agreement. :)

      I was so glad to get together with you on Sunday, Hannah, and that I got to crash at your place and raid your fridge :) Love you so much, sweet daughter!

  11. Thanks Julie Anne, I had no idea that my review was going to get such attention, but I think that Fred wasn't done venting his displeasure at your "whining" about abuse yet, either. It's obvious that Lucifer isn't happy about the lawsuit outcome.

    I spoke with my brother-in-law tonight about legalists, in conjunction with your case. He stated that the only way that we can control the darts of the devil is by confronting it, and not by avoiding it.

  12. From the Beaverton church website:

    a God-glorifying and Christ-centered church engaged in expository preaching and public, house to house Gospel proclamation.

    How self-congratulatory can one get? How does pastor Chuck know his church is "God-glorifying"? Did God tell him that? How does he know how "Christ-centered" his church is? Who is he to make these spiritual pronouncements that only God can make?

    You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

    That is what Jesus said to the another self-congratulatory church. The church of Laodicea is often equated with liberal wishy-washy denominations by Calvinistas like Fred Butler, but I believe it is much more descriptive of rigid Calvinista authoritarian churches.

  13. I would sure like to know where in the Bible that we can find Paul's descriptive by-laws on Church discipline. I thought that there was only two choices, in that you are either in, or out. And if you are in, you are under grace, not law. If you be in Christ (Christian) from the rudiments of the world, why, as being in the world, are you subject to ordinances, touch not, taste not, handle not? The law was not made for the righteous (Christians are righteous), but for the lawless. If you want to be under the law, then you are a sinner, "IN SIN". If you are under grace, then you have put off the old man, and put on the new. So if we are saved by grace through faith, why are grace named churches under by-laws with discipline, rather than discipleship? Who did Paul discipline? He admonished many, but disciplined no one. He admonished those who wanted to be under law, rather than Grace. That is what the book of Galatians is all about. That is what Romans Chapters 6 and 7 is all about. Either grace, or law...but not both.

    1. Dear Ed,

      Jesus dealt briefly with the issue of confronting fellow Christians who sin in Matthew 18:15-17. Also, Paul had to deal with a case of flagrant, unrepentant sin in 1 Cor 5: 1-13. (2 Cor 2:5-8 seems to speak about restoration to the congregation.)

      I agree that we're not under law, but don't have license to act however we please. I think church discipline is necessary; the question is how to apply it with love and encouragement. Outright shunning doesn't cut it.

    2. Dear Serving in Japan,

      In 1 Cor 5:1-13, that was an admonishment to the church for allowing a person in the church to outright sin, but the one "IN" sin was to be kicked out. Like I said, you are either in, or out. There was no discipline. There was no "Hail Mary's", etc.

      In Matthew 18, again, there was no discipline. It was a matter of forgiveness to the one who sinned against another, IF he/she admits to the sin. But if the one who sinned against another denies the sin, then you kick them out of the church. The choice is still the same...either you are in, or out. Matthew 18 is not discussing discipline. Neither is 1 Corinthians 5.

      Church discipline is not discussed in the Bible at all. Mercy and Grace and Forgiveness and Discipleship and Encouragement and Lifting Up is discussed in the Bible...but not discipline.

  14. Julie Anne, I saw the review with the homosexual comment and instantly knew it was not from you. No, I did not need to ask. I have had it with Fred's attitude and comments and/or lack thereof. I plan to be calling John
    Macathur tomorrow. Freddy is harming the reputation of Grace Community Church and abusing the people on this site who are already struggling from abuse. Don't know if he thinks he is helping???? But I am sure he needs some guidance and a bunch of compassion. Tonight I am feeling sorry for his wife. I can't imagine...


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