Friday, August 3, 2012

A Personal Note From Hannah's Father to Fred

Thank you Fred for the apology - here. However the error has not yet been run to ground.

Now would you kindly follow through with that same stream of humility and post a sincere retraction apology on your own Hip and Thigh blog where the error took root? It grieves the church to perceive GCC leaders treating women as 'less thans' – humans not worthy of an honest investigation before public posting as even lowly secular media person would have done. Would you so casually defame my daughter and blame my wife on her blog (and yours) for the world to see by asking such a duplicitous “question”? Were you trying to blame Julie Anne for her blog themes exposing CON as a wolf, because the “hidden truth” is CON was victimized by an survivor blogger upset about Hannah's Biblical discipline? I wish you had the courage and wisdom to call me direct and get the facts straight – you have our phone number. Is the Smith family automatically discounted as a legitimate news source because we dared to hold a loose cannon pastor accountable?

Quietly removing a duplicitous & slanderous post from your own blog without an accompanying public apology (posted where the offense first occurred) is unabashed sneakiness after the damage is done.

The theme of Julie Anne's blog has been issues surrounding CON's continuing disgrace to the body of Christ, while he masquerades as a bold gospel minister who loves GCC and shuns sinners. What a juicy morsel it would have been if you could prove to us that CON was a true pastor (mentored by GCC nonetheless) in bringing correction into Hannah's life - thereby revealing the 'error of abuse survivors' and their vindictive blogs. Are you convinced JA began the blog as angry, disrespectful, unjustified backlash against a man of God? Is that why you brought our daughter into the discussion? I would be very grateful to get a phone call or email next time you want to get the facts. Fred, why is it so hard to believe that you could in fact have a kool-aid-mixing false teacher hiding beneath your sanctuary?  Please demonstrate to us the typical humility and graciousness of Grace Community that we are used to. I believe the head leadership will be hearing about this.

By the way, Fred, you seem to have an inadequate definition of “false teacher”.  Ezekiel 34:1-6

The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. 6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.

False shepherds are described as pastor-teachers who only take care of themselves, not simply by whether they teach "Biblical doctrine". Do you hold that because we haven't exposed false/twisted doctrine from CON he can't Biblically be labeled a false teacher? (BTW, is it only WORDS that teach, or also “actions speak louder than ...”? A pastor blatantly disobeying direct scripture and esteemed men of God by bringing a lawsuit against Christians is practical 'false teaching' – teaching his flock that plain scripture doesn't matter if you're being 'attacked'.) I remind readers that CON holds himself to not being simply a teaching elder but rather a full-blooded shepherding pastor-teacher who raises and protects sheep in the full sense of 1 Peter 5.  An elder who may teach good doctrine but does not humbly expend himself for the sheep, who rather rips apart Christian relationships at whim for the sake of his own kingdom and selfish pride is in fact a teacher with false pastoral calling. This kind of false teacher should be publicly 'marked and avoided' so the church at large does not take the enticing bait of "Biblical doctrine" and unwittingly become lunchmeat.  I have attended GCC's Shepherd's Conference a couple times (and would still like to go again), studied the Bible all my life, been exposed to MANY false teachers and it still took me 1.5 years to grasp the deceptiveness of BGBC.  If only others could be spared the devastation we endured.  CON was truly masterful with his veneer of 'sound doctrine'.  Fred, hopefully it will only take a couple months for someone discerning like you to understand the depth of this deceptiveness. 

If CON were the only “sound doctrine” false teacher I ran into, this would not garner so much passion in me. Rather what Julie Anne and many other bloggers have raised is a huge issue with many pastors across the US and it needs to be dealt with.  I praise the Lord that He knows how to purify His church, because I don't know the way out of this mess.

 * * * * * * ADMIN NOTE:  Fred Butler has honored my husband's request and apologized publicly on his blog:  A Statement to the Smith Family.  Steve was heading out with a few of our boys on a camping trip when I got the e-mail from Fred, so he'll have to read it when he returns.   ~ja


  1. PS.
    We can tell false teachers by their FRUIT:
    Matthew 7:15-16a "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits..."
    It is not just doctrine we analyze to unmask the false teacher, but the very obvious fruit of CON's legacy which is mostly destruction and pain, not the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit he produced in so many lives is rotten.

    1. Yes, Steve, and since the inception of this blog we now know that it is a 13-year history, not just the time we were there. It is shameful and certainly not God-honoring. Many people are afraid to try church again after leaving this place. They don't trust God or pastors. That is the fruit.

      Thank you for spending the time writing out this post when I know you are trying to get ready for a camping trip with the boys. This was important and it is important that Fred and others hear from you!

    2. Very good article, Steve, and comments about the fruit. Jesus commanded His disciples to be servants and set the example for them to follow by getting on His knees and washing their feet. He said those who were the greatest would be the servants. Peter tells us to lead by being examples not by being lords over God's heritage. I think that many of the Church leadership today are like the Pharisees of old, they have a knowledge of the scriptures but are oblivious to the spirit of the scriptures. They give lip service but their heart is far from where it should be.

  2. 56 years a Baptist, mostly SBCAugust 3, 2012 at 10:23 AM


    I have spent time in communities in this country where a man who did what Fred did would not last another week with out either a severe beating or worse. Your post shows a reasoned and righteous anger over what was done.

    As I said on the previous post, MacArthur needs to severely discipline Fred Butler, get him out of the ministry of the church, apologize to Hannah, Julie Anne and you, and clearly demonstrate that such behavior is not condoned by him or GCC. Otherwise, I believe that MacArthur will lose all credibility as a pastor and teacher of pastors, if he cannot discipline on of his own.

    1. Steve, it's interesting that a secular medical equipment company, Vante, took quick action against its errant CFO Adam Smith for public bullying. But a church such as GCC seems to sit by and do nothing. So then, it seems that a small private company exercises a higher level of ethics than a supposedly Christian church.

    2. I have to add another thought. It's events such as these that confirms my decision to avoid churches. I've seen them as nothing more than businesses. But that view is unfair to businesses. Vante behave ethically when Adam Smith's behavior was brought to their attention. Churches have become more like cults. They are platforms for bringing glory to the head pastor.

      Further, this deal about churches trying to discipline people's children is very cultish. If a "pastor" steps in, he is basically saying to the husband and father of the family, "I'm the alpha male. You are the beta. Your wife is part of my harem. Get out of the way." If a "pastor" tried that trick on me, well, I won't say publicly what I would do.

  3. Fred Butler needs to come out and admit that what he published was a lie, plain and simple, and that he lied about Hannah to get back at Julie Anne as part of Chuck O'Neal's revenge for being criticized. Without that confession, his apology is without meaning.

    1. According to all involved here, it is not a lie. Fred thought it was the truth, and according to J.Fun, that is sufficient. Let alone no one is denying the allegation in here. Where are you getting that Fred published a lie? Who, close to the fact, says what he wrote is a lie?

    2. If you want to use that argument you will have to admit that everything JA said about CON is true.

      It has already been said and established that the person who made those allegations wasn't even at the church at the time so they could not have known if those allegations are true. Just like they clearly stated why Hannah left, and what the meeting was about

      I doubt that you will concede that point since your brain is incapable of processing fact.

      So sad that this is all your BGBC members can resort to at this point. The costs of the lawsuit must be truly damning for you. Is this your method of trying to take others down with you? Are you trying to drag others into the inferno along with you in an attempt to make yourself feel better about your life?

      Let go of your petty and shallow vindictiveness and focus on making yourself better. Unless your are only looking for pity from other. In that area you are truly succeeding cause everyone can see right through you. There is no substance to your being and you know it too. That is why you continue to lash out. Your desperation shows clearly in all your false arguments.

    3. I absolutely denied the allegation in yesterday's post here: How would Bren (the BGBC church member you apparently got this allegation from) get this kind of sensitive information unless it was disclosed from the pastor? Bren doesn't even know us. She received second-hand information and Fred posted it? What kind of pastor discloses information that is privileged for only pastor/young adult/parents? My daughter was never placed in any church discipline. We were there for 11 months after Hannah left and there was no discussion of this whatsoever. The topic of sexual immorality never came up. Why? Because it didn't happen.

      It is a complete lie. And if "all involved here" are believing it, they are believing lies because they are afraid to venture out and go to sources to discover the truth.

      I understand why you are afraid to check sources, though, because it means that you might get put on the Mark and Avoid list if CON finds out. That's a scary place to be and I will be praying for you as I have prayed for all who remain there.

    4. "I understand why you are afraid to check sources, though, because it means that you might get put on the Mark and Avoid list if CON finds out. That's a scary place to be and I will be praying for you as I have prayed for all who remain there."

      Julie Anne, this could be a blog post in itself. I hope this hits home with some who have the courage to consider it.

      I am praying with you for truth to prevail.

  4. Viva GCC and Fred Butler !

    1. Blind devotion?

    2. Anonymous, viva what??? That he caused pain or wrote lies???? This statement was more than blind devotion, it was said by a very sick person.

    3. @ Anonymous 10:26 am.

      You "viva GCC and Fred Butler!" exclamation stikes me as odd.

      I suspect Jesus is crying and interceding for EVERYONE involved.

      You're cheering, thus jeering.

      You're happy? That's s.Sad.

    4. Uhm, it could also be an extreme form of sarcasm. ;)

    5. @ Steve, you could be absolutely right. Point noted. My default learning styles make it so I tend to read things at concrete, face value, where sarcasm is abstract, between-the-lines.

      And I truly do try to avoid using sarcasm (but don't always succeed), because its affect on the soul of others is all too often like a literal translation of its root words, "flesh-rip" or "flesh-tear."

  5. Hannah I'm so glad to see you demonstrate a forgiving spirit and want to move on even when you are the subject of bad journalism. Wish more Christian pastors would behave like that.
    Your papa

  6. Beloved in RecoveryAugust 3, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    BRAVO!! Just as some posts about abusers are triggers - this post is opposite and brings some healing - and some hope - that God is, indeed, dealing with the spiritual abusers of our day.

    His words to the abusers of His day were harsh:

    “ But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

    “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘ Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’ You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold? And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’ You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering? Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.

    “ Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

    “ Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

    “ Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

    1. ADMIN??? why do you keep censoring what i wrote. why can't you engage me with it. the truth of the matter is Jesus was name calling and making personal attacks. i ironically make note of that and you delete me. i wasn't being a rude troll. nor have i disrespected anyone in either of my posts. what was inappropriate with what i wrote?

    2. Fair enough, I'll keep it up. Thanks for explaining and I apologize for not understanding what your point was. I misinterpreted it to be disruptive. Today broke records for rude/disruptive posts. It's been crazy. Is there a full moon out?

    3. thank you. and yes it's a waning full moon.

      so Jesus called these blind men sons of hell, brood of vipers and serpents. do we charge him with name calling? is it name calling to refer to Fred as wolf, snake and monster?

      i thik this was my original comment:

      and I thought name calling and personal attacks were unchristlike

    4. i hope my being disgusted is not seen as being disruptive

  7. ADMIN NOTE: I had to switch to moderated posts again because the rude trolls are trying to have a feast on my daughter. That ain't happenin' here.

    1. Julie, I think to protect your daughter even more, it would be nice to have a sentence or two of warning from your/her attorney.

    2. I am sure some will criticize you for your "censorship," but you have been very generous in allowing other ideas and viewpoints here, even some rude ones directed at you. Your drawing the line with displaying nasty comments about your daughter is not only understandable, it's commendable.

      To those who are trying to post such venomous things: Your words do not bring glory to God.

  8. No apology was nessasery ! Fred was telling the truth!!

    1. Anonymous, the people who had first hand knowledge have said that it was not true. Fred wrongly repeated gossip.

      Take off your blinders...

    2. Anonymous, I have asked God to speak with you and do what He needs to to help you understand your own heart. If you are so sure you are right, then post your name.
      On the other hand, it does not really matter cause God knows who you are.

    3. Beloved in RecoveryAugust 3, 2012 at 1:05 PM

      Anon, if you are going to print an accusation such as this, be brave enough to leave your name. NOT that you, if you are a Christian - should deal with such a thing here and now. It is not your place and it is not Fred's place. However, an accusation thrown out there by "just anybody" could be just that - some troll getting his kicks. You may as well not waste your time or ours. I used to belong to a forum where some goofy member started a fight with himself under two names just to get people going. He was caught and looked foolish. Maybe you're him. Who knows. I can see him now, chuckling to himself - found this forum and collecting his checks - in his do nothing life - decides to stir the pot. Some trolls truly have no attachment to the situation whatsoever. They are just bored, ignorant people.

    4. Perhaps Fred was telling us what he wanted to hear? That is one question I would ask Fred.

      Fred, if you are reading this - If you did get this bit of information about my daughter, how did you feel when you got it? Did you feel sad that my daughter was in sin and needed help or did it give you glee to know you had something on me to discredit me and my (our) story?

      That might give you (and us) an idea of where your heart was. If your heart was to discredit me, then why is that? Why do you have so much against me without trying to find out the whole story? I've tried to put you in touch with others who could give you more information, but you have refused to contact me. Why is that? Why are you so prone to tell what you want to tell, defend the pastor, but not willing to do due diligence in seeking the truth, ALL the truth?

      I'm hoping that Fred will respond to this. That would be the right thing to do, but if not, thank you readers for being my sounding board. Wait, should that be reading board?

      PS Just a reminder: the truth is that my daughter did not engage in illicit sexual behavior at BGBC as the second-hand information Fred received had claimed. The above scenario was hypothetical.

    5. As Harry Reid said of Mitt Romney, that he hadn't paid taxes in ten years, Romney retorted with, "Put up, or shut up"; in other words, reveal your sources, Harry. I would implore Fred to reveal his sources. Romney said that Harry's statement was NOT TRUE. If people are going to use gossip as truth, then reveal the source of the gossip. As I had said in the Google reviews to "joyin persecution", that "joyin persecution" is not the persons real name, and if "joyin persecution" is really enjoying persecution, then he/she wouldn't be hiding behind a false name, but he/she would put their name out there in public. Otherwise, they are cowards.

    6. there’s that word again—coward
      how GCC of you, Ed
      that’s what Fred first called me
      that’s what John MacArthur called Gideon

      truth is:
      neither I nor Gideon are cowards

      smashing idols

    7. Are you spreading gosip, monax? If not, then the word "coward" is not directed at you. There are justifiable times that the word "coward" can be used. This is one of them. The trolls here making disparaging remarks, too, are "cowards". Why? Because they hide behind a mask with an agenda that is not for the good of anything. They, monax, are cowards. I think we can call a spade, a spade. Should we show what the bible discusses about busy bodies?

      2 Thessalonians 3:11
      For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

      1 Timothy 5:13
      And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

      1 Peter 4:15
      But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.

      Let's not be afraid to call out a coward who does these things.

    8. Am I spreading gossip, Ed? Why would you say such a thing?

      You know, I wasn't assuming your "coward" remark to be directed at me. I just noted the use of the word, and I'll further note that it was used the same way Fred employed it against me. Since I didn't use my "real" name Fred assumed I had something to hide and called me a coward.

      I decided to listen to one of MacArthur's sermons, and was surprised that he leveled such an accusation of cowardice against Gideon the judge. When I heard J'Mac use the word "coward" I then understood why Fred felt so free to throw that term around. Seems maybe it's a cultural thing at GCC to call people cowards.

      See, the word "coward" is hardly in my speaking vocabulary. I think I called someone a "coward" once over twenty years ago, but No, I'm not in the habit of employing that term. Neither, really, is it a term I hear circulated among my circle of friends and family.

    9. It was a rhetorical question, monax. No, I didn't think you were spreading gossip. The word means "person who lacks courage". I suppose I could have said "people who lack courage" instead of "coward", since it seems that the word "coward" offends? Maybe the definition is more polite than the word itself? I dunno.

    10. ok, Ed, i misread you. i clearly see now it was a rhetorical question.

      however, i don’t think being a trollish troublemaker or spreading gossip under a pseudonym equates to cowardice. it doesn't necessarily follow. one can still do these things in the fullness or absence of either courage or cowardice.

      honor, of course, is a different thing. while it is true that courageous persons can act dishonorably (such as you describe), their dishonorable actions in no way automatically qualifies them as cowards.

      in the art of warfare there can much courage behind masks, feints, deliberate deception, etc.

    11. Like undercover police work. Takes great courage but with lots of deception.

    12. monax, you said:
      "i don’t think being a trollish troublemaker or spreading gossip under a pseudonym equates to cowardice. it doesn't necessarily follow. one can still do these things in the fullness or absence of either courage or cowardice."

      I disagree.

    13. yes, i know, we disagree on much

    14. We still have unfinished business that you began. However, those trouble makers who wear masks are cowards. Those who wear no mask have courage. The cowardly lion in the wizard of oz should have taught you this. How was his ACTIONS BEFORE he got courage? He wanted to pounce on TOTO. Then he got slapped in the face. He balled his eyes out. Then later, he sang a song about courage. If you have no courage, you are a coward. I don't see how you can disagree on such a trivial matter as this.

    15. There’s principles of logic here that are being violated, which have somewhat brought us to an impasse. An Attorney gets it.

      Likewise with our eschatological and soteriological email discussions we have also reached somewhat of an impasse. I do, Ed, want to continue our discussions, but would you be willing to wait until we get the forum in place so that’s others can help inform our perspectives?

      Btw, Ed, personally I'm a troublemaker who has at times worn different masks, yet all the while I was in no way a coward behind the mask. The Poet (T.S.Eliot) expressed how we put on a face to meet the faces that we meet. The Apostle Paul became all things to all people—weak with the weak, strong with the strong. And we get our English word "person" and "personal" directly from the Ancient Greek word for "mask", persona.

  9. Here is where Fred works. His supervisor is Jay Flowers.

    Grace To You

    28001 Harrison Parkway, Valencia, CA

    (661) 295-5777

  10. Thank you Steve for your wise words and example. I'm a dad too. I have to admit that when I first read what Fred wrote I was so upset I had to give myself a timeout.

    1. Craig, as a pastor, what do you think needs to happen to Fred? If he was on your staff what would you do about this?

    2. That's a difficult question. I'd pray a lot. Then I'd ask Fred to arrange a sit down meeting with himself, the Smiths and myself. My hope would be that we would find the appropriate remedies. If you'll forgive a philosophical reference, I think Levinas' writings, on the power of the face of the other, are words of great insight. That's why I'd want this done face to face and not over the internet (much as I love the high tech world). If Fred refused I'd take it to the session. I wouldn't want to see him fired. I'd pray for much better things. My response may be a little simplistic. I don't think this would be an easy road to travel.

    3. I keep thinking about this apology thing. Yes, the apology was there for the hurtful words, but there are so many unanswered questions that could so easily be resolved with a sit down, face-to-face with neutral parties present. That has been our desire all along. It's so sad that it came to this. I get very upset about the money involved, the amount of time involved, the interruption to our family's lives, etc. But then at the same time, there have been so many wonderful, amazingly beautiful things that have happened along the way. I t have been blessed with getting to know so many wonderful people here and behind the scenes. Somehow that makes it all worthwhile. I think I have new life-long friends because of this experience. How can you put a price tag on THAT? Thank you, God, for this amazing experience. (amazing covers both positive and negative, right?)

    4. Craig Vick! No YoU DIDnT! You done referenced one of my favorite books—Totality and Infinity. I love the french theorists, they have categories of thought that often go unexplored in other languages. And then you have Levinas’ Jewishness to boot. What a thinker!

      Serious question for you though, Do you understand Levinas? I’m not sure I do. But you know, the french theorists are all about misreadings. I like reading him, the thoughts his thoughts generate, it’s like reading poetry.

    5. Queen Julie Anne, on the day when those brothers of yours stand before you. You can repeat the words that Joseph said to his brothers, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive” (Genesis 50:20).

    6. Thinking about seeing God face to face

      "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known" (1 Cor 13:12).

      . .

      A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, "I'm drawing God." The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like." Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."

      (( Kids say the darndest things ))

    7. Monax

      There's way too much I don't understand or haven't read, so I couldn't say I understand Levinas. Like you, though, I enjoy reading him. There is a kind of poetry there, and, like great art, I think I see the world more fully after spending some time with him. I'm glad to find a fellow reader.

  11. I'm slow sometimes, but I think I get it now. The game appears to be to make outrageous, demeaning and condescending comments. Then, when many in our virtual community respond in anger and upset, thrills are achieved with smug self righteousness comments. I'm baffled because I find real conversation to be a treasure greater than gold. How could anyone value a silly game over real discussion, debate and thought? The game is a false experience. It's a lie. It's a way to have the appearance of interaction and yet hide one's true self. Whether a real name is attached or not, it doesn't matter. It is, in its essence, anonymous. I hope I'm wrong. I hope I'm simply guilty of not listening very well.

    1. Craig, I think you are right. I was thinking similar thoughts but couldn't articulate them as well as you. It seems that some people may be getting their jollies from wielding a big spoon and stirring the pot.

      I am with you that I value the genuine conversation that takes place here. I am going to make a point not to take up my own Big Spoon. I try to contribute helpful and edifying things, but I am sure I have been guilty of responding too quickly, especially when I am incensed by some of the things I have read.

      As always, thank you for your words. "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1

    2. I like your analogy of a big spoon. There's an old parable (I have no idea where it comes from) about heaven and hell that goes something like this:

      A godly man is granted a vision of heaven and hell. First he sees hell. He sees a large group of angry people sitting at a table filled with all kinds of sumptuous food. The people are angry because their spoons are so long that eating the feast isn't possible. They're arms are too short to manage the task of bringing the spoons to their mouths. In their hunger and fury, they attack one another with their spoons.

      Next the godly man sees heaven. There he finds the same feast and the same spoons. There's no hate, however. There's no hunger either because the people in heaven use their spoons in order to feed one another.

      So perhaps we don't need to put our big spoons away. We just need to find a better use for them. Failing that, though, we should put them away. I too am guilty of responding too quickly and using my spoon as a weapon.

    3. Craig, you so often have the perfect word. Yes, you are right. We shouldn't put our spoons away but instead should be using them to feed one another.

    4. Love the old parable! Here's something from Andy Stanley

      The story is told of a Sunday school teacher whose assignment was to explain to the six-year-olds in his class what someone had to do in order to go to heaven. In an attempt to discover what the kids already believed about the subject, he asked a few questions.

      "If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale, and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into heaven?"

      "NO!" the children all answered.

      "If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into heaven?"

      Again the answer was, "NO!"

      "Well then," he said, "if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children and loved my wife, would that get me into heaven?"

      Again they all shouted, "NO!"

      "Well then, how can I get into heaven?"

      A boy in the back row stood up and shouted, "YOU GOTTA BE DEAD!"

  12. Beloved in RecoveryAugust 3, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    And ya know what else, for those who are coming on here defending blatant wrong actions?? Even if the allegations were true, which they clearly were not -- but even if they were -- then Fred is on par with the scum tabloid papers. Shock value, opportunistic, self serving, no concern for who it hurts.

    Those who would defend him lose all credibility along with him and the man he is defending. A whole lot of ignorance there, and a whole lot of blindness.

    1. It smells like the National Enquirer, doesn't it? Smut reporting.

  13. been there, seen thatAugust 3, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Seems like the BGBC has taken the gloves off. Channeling their gossip to the pastor and spreading it from the pulpit aren't enough of a thrill any more so they are taking it online. Too bad they have to use Fred to do it. Yep, Fred you are a tool. Doubtless they think they are doing what JA did. The difference is that they are lacking truth. BGBC start your own blog and spread your poison there so that the world will get a true view of who/what you are.

    1. Good point. Fred seems to have a lot of compassion for pastors who are falsely accused. There's nothing wrong with that except if you are blinded by real abuse and hastily believe everything presented to you by a pastor.

      I still get this crazy notion that if I was a male Bible teacher or pastor and accepted an e-mail or phone call from a pastor who sued FIVE former church members, that I would be very suspect and would want to dig very, very deep before coming to any conclusions or come alongside that man in support. That is one of the biggest mysteries of all to me. Hello, the dude sued FIVE people? How many witnesses does the Bible require? Didn't we already pass the test on witness count? Why was that ignored? Come on, Fred (and GCC pastors), how can that obvious $500K boo-boo be overlooked? Is that just a little oopsie-daisy or what?

  14. If people who comment here in support of Julie Anne and/or Hannah will write to John MacArthur in care of Grace to You, 28001 Harrison Parkway, Valencia, CA 91355-4190, I think it can have great effect. Request that Fred Butler be investigated for discipline for spreading a gossip rumor that a young woman had been fornicating, which was untrue, at least in the time frame alleged, and that he could have checked with people who could have debunked the rumor and failed to do so. That the rumor alleged that a person had been under discipline by the pastor for that offense, which never happened. Thus Fred Butler repeated a damaging lie, as part of a campaign to discredit a woman who blogs about spiritual abuse by a pastor.

  15. In a sense, Fred Butler has rendered a service by exposing his heart by his words. Mt. 15:11, 18. His libelous posting is just one more example of how readily, automatically even, spiritual abuse becomes the weapon of choice to men in positions of responsibility in organized religion—I will not call it Christianity. Yet, to see the problem is much easier than to know how to respond. Surely we are to follow Hannah’s example in accepting Mr. Butler’s (prompted) apology, which he has now belatedly communicated on his own blog. Mt. 6:15; 18:35. Inasmuch as others would not, indeed have not, apologized, we can have hope for Mr. Butler. But beyond that, what? In one of his postings on his own blog, Mr. Butler seems to suggest that those who would complain of spiritual abuse are largely (always?) self interested and insubordinate. He says the one who is the object of spiritual abuse should “move on to a place where no one will interfere with your life.” Good advice in many situations, no doubt, except that consequences such as shunning and defamation so often follow the spiritual refugee. Still, after removing ourselves from an abusive religious environment, are we to shut up and not warn? Are we to simply swallow the hurt and pretend there is no pain? I submit that Love requires that the answers to these questions be no and no. I thank you for your efforts, both to warn and to heal.

    1. After my sentence that ends with "Mr. Butler seems to suggest that those who would complain of spiritual abuse are largely (always?) self interested and insubordinate," I would add the sentence, "Say what?"

    2. You're right, Gary. He doesn't understand that part of the picture and that is a stumbling point for many. The best choice in most spiritual abuse cases is to move on - - - except this case. Is it any wonder that so many people remain there? They know what will befall them if they do leave. Some people might say that it seems easier to remain there quietly without rocking the boat. I'll never forget one of the Google reviews a while back. It was easy to tell the person was disappointed in the lawsuit. I felt so badly for them because obviously they felt stuck. We all knew why they were stuck there.

  16. What a great dad you are! This is a great response to Fred, and, it seems to have made some impact. I truly hope that the impact is heartfelt and that change will happen.

  17. Steve Smith, I pray you and the boys have a most wonderful camping trip.

    As I read your words here just now—BTW, is it only WORDS that teach?—my thoughts went to this:

    When earlier I was at the feet of Jesus, when he so dearly ministered to me, I asked Him if the Father was a man, if he was human (I was thinking of Daniel’s Ancient of Days). Jesus smiled and said, “If you’ve seen me...” and ended his words in mid-sentence as he often so does with me. I laughed and wept, marveling at how deep and cryptic his words to me, to us so often are.

    As we were parting ways (although His Spirit is ever with me) I asked Him with a thought: “There are ineffable mysteries of the Godhead,” (meaning: there are realities that cannot be spoken). As He got up he kissed me, and I had my answer.

    I then read the story of Jesus cleansing the ten lepers.

    (( Luke 17:11-19 ))

    On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”

  18. IF we had a forum I would certainly post this one from Agence France-Presse (( Friday, August 3, 2012 20:14 EDT ))

    Swiss sheep to be outfitted to cry ‘wolf’ by text message

    GENEVA, Switzerland — Using sheep to alert shepherds of an imminent wolf attack by text message might sound fanciful, but testing is already under way in Switzerland where the predator appears to be back.

    “It’s the first time that such a system has been tried outdoors,” said biologist Jean-Marc Landry, who took part in testing on a Swiss meadow this week.

    In the trial, reported by the country’s news agency ATS, around 10 sheep were each equipped with a heart monitor before being targeted by a pair of Wolfdogs — both of which were muzzled.

    During the experiment, the change in the flock’s heartbeat was found to be significant enough to imagine a system whereby the sheep could be fitted with a collar that releases a repellant to drive the wolf away, while also sending an SMS to the shepherd.

    The device is aimed at owners of small flocks who lack the funds to keep a sheepdog, Landry said, adding that it could also be used in tourist areas where guard dogs are not popular.

    A prototype collar is expected in the autumn and testing is planned in Switzerland and France in 2013. Other countries including Norway are said to be interested.

    The issue of wolves is a divisive one in Switzerland where the animals appear to be back after a 100-year absence.

    On July 27 a wolf killed two sheep in St Gall, the first such attack in the eastern canton.

    1. What a great idea. What an interesting way to use technology. Thanks for posting this, David.

  19. I sure hope they take your attorney fee's out of lil chuckies salary.


    1. HA - that would fit perfectly in the following post on wolves! Thanks, Tom

    2. So true. Thanks, TK, I saved a copy of it.

  21. And... the apology no longer exists.

  22. Thanks, Snow White, for commenting about "Fred's disappearing apology".

    Thought maybe Fred had "moved on", but he is still pontificating about "survivor bloggers" as of August 1, 2012. Still having the "last word."

    Even if that means banning comments from someone who was trying to reason with Fred. 35 comments - all were the man trying to "reason with Fred", or Fred's "answers" except for one man who agreed with Fred's "analysis".

    Other than those comments, Fred's had about 10 comments since August 1.

    No way to compare his 6 years of Blog Visitors to Julie Anne's Total Page Views of less than 1 year (since Feb. 2012). Two entirely different calculations - comparing "oranges and apples". But Fred's blog anniversary is coming up soon - (that's when he writes about his blog stats and 'highlights' of his experience.)

    Last year Fred was very busy, so he "cut and paste" a previous blog anniversary post and just "updated his stats".

    Since Fred told the man he banned that he had seen his "cut and paste" comments around the Internet, I don't think Fred will do his own "cut and paste" again this yr. (But Fred has fooled me in the past. Like me thinking he had "moved on".)

    "Hip and Thigh" is really in the OT, but it does sound a little "risqué" -

    Maybe Fred needs a new blog name? "No Apology Needed" or "Foot in Mouth"?


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