Thursday, August 2, 2012

The World is Watching Us

One of the key signs of a healthy person and a healthy church is looking at the fruit they exhibit.  What kind of love do they show?  How do they model Christ to the world?  The world is watching and judging.
I read some words yesterday that were shocking to me on many levels.  They hurt me as a mother.  They hurt me as I thought about my daughter and what those words might mean to her.  They were not loving.  They were not gracious.  They did not think the best in someone.  It baffled my brain how these words and suggestions could come from a Believer. 
Right now, I am issuing a Trigger alert.  What this means is that people who have suffered spiritual abuse are likely to get an emotional response to this post.  Read this post at your own risk.

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”  John 13:34
At church on Sunday, the speaker discussed something so important for Christians to understand:  we as Christians must understand that God has given the world the right to judge us.  The overall theme was love and as I read the comment that was posted about my daughter (which follows) and thought back over all that has gone on over the past 5 months during the lawsuit, the past 3-1/2 yrs we have not been able to get to any reasonable resolution because all communication has been rejected by the other side, the 2 years we were at a church where God's truth was distorted and twisted and left people spiritually abandoned and confused, some completely leaving the faith/church, dealing with the crazy Mark & Avoid lists of shunning and breaking up relationships, etc, one thing that has stood out so loud and clear to me is the lack of love for people and their souls.

“And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow.” 1 Thes 3:12

“But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another.
Indeed, you already show your love for all the believers throughout Macedonia. 
Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more.”  1 Thes 4:9-10
“If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” 1 Cor. 13:3

“ your neighbor as yourself”  Lev. 19:18
Now some may think this next comment is petty, but it really isn't.  God cared about names and we even see where he changed names (Saul/Paul).   I have informed him quite a few times how to spell my name, that I do not go by "Julie".  Addressing people properly by their name shows respect at a basic level.  It's not difficult to give this basic courtesy, yet I continually see my name shown in various forms by him, rarely the correct form.  I've even suggested using JA for simplification (and which I am perfectly fine with), yet it seems he prefers anything but my proper name.   What's up with that?  The fruit is evident.   Keep in mind, I have been interacting with him for a few months now, so this is not anything new to him.
You may have read The Other Tom's comment in yesterday's post regarding a comment that Fred posted on his blog.  Brace yourself.  It is disgusting. Here is Fred's comment that I copied from his blog.  Notice also that he brings out a major distraction to the real issue of spiritual abuse.  My daughter is the focus of the distraction below.  The lawsuit and the ongoing issues we have had with the church have never focused on our daughter, yet he wrongly puts Hannah front and center as a key piece in this battle: 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Blogger Fred Butler said...
Julie A. writes, Me afraid? I don't think so. I think it shows pretty clearly you were evading my question and it makes me wonder what you were trying to hide by not answering my question 5 times (Twitter, my blog, your blog and other blogs). 
Really???? Proof, please. My daughter posted one Google review before she was sued. That Google review was posted late Dec 11 or early Jan '12. I am not aware of any others before that. You sure are coming across like you have info. Provide it here publicly. He accused me and those with me of going from church to church spreading junk.  
I never spread anything in any church. My daughter didn't go to church. She has no interest in God or church since dealing with Chuck. So, please give me the inside story that even I don't know about, Fred. 

I haven't evaded any questions of yours and like I wrote on the previous occasion, I never had any insider information...

That is, until as of yesterday evening when I received an email from a church member at Grace Bible with some additional information I did not know before. According to this individual, who is not the pastor or in pastoral leadership to my immediate knowledge, one of the big parts to the back story that you demand proof about is that your daughter was fornicating with a guy.

Now. Before I continue, is that true or is this person lying? Was your unbelieving daughter involved in an illicit sexual relationship with a guy? 

Perhaps you have discussed this on your blog and I missed it, but if that is true, that places the events involving your daughter and this church into an entirely different context and changes the dynamics of your complaint against them. We can maybe discuss if how the situation was handled was good. Maybe they were overly harsh when they confronted her and dealt with the aftermath, but that hardly makes the pastor a terrible cult leader.

If an unbelieving daughter of a church member is found out to be fornicating are you seriously suggesting that a pastor is to just "let that go"? Just "let the family take care of it"? And not say anything? 
Do you readers know about this situation if it is true? Again, maybe you have written on it, but I haven't seen anything, so please direct me to a post where you have if that is the case.
7:05 AM, August 01, 2012

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I spoke at length with Hannah about this today.  What we have here is a man who has entertained gossip from a church member, not even someone in leadership.  This member does not even know any of us as she came after we left.   She is taking information told to her, not first-hand knowledge.  Fred has taken that juicy gossip and published it broadly on the internet without the decency to fact check.  Fred asked the questions publicly without regard to the harmful and hurtful consequences of such questions.  Just a couple days ago, I e-mailed Fred regarding duplicating posts on his blog and asked him to remove one.  Here is a copy of my e-mail:   
Fred could easily have contacted me before posting such gossip.  He also has my personal phone number and I have asked him numerous times to give me a call if he has questions.  He has refused.  He intentionally made the choice to not contact me and instead made the choice to publicize information that had no business being broadcast on the internet without fact checking (and actually had no business on the internet at all).   
Healthy pastors and church leaders do not behave this way.  This is wrong.

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Cor. 13:7 “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”  1 Cor. 13:13
Why would someone do such a thing?  Was his intention to harm Hannah and our family? 
“Love each other as brothers and sisters.
Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.” 1 Peter 3:8
Fred likes to go on about how I have been slandering my former pastor and church publicly.  When we had issues with our former church, the discussions began very small - with the pastor and elders.  When that didn't work, another pastor was brought in for mediation, but that mediation was turned down by the pastor.  The circled widened as the pastor/elders closed the doors to dialogue.  Fred did not begin small.  He took a piece of gossip and did not consider keeping the circle small.  Instead, he went straight to the internet.  Fred, is that what they teach you at Grace Community Church (GCC)?  I'm flabbergasted.  How would you feel if someone did this to your daughter?  I keep getting the picture of the Scarlet Letter in my mind with the big “A” hanging on my daughter.  Crazy!
Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  
It does not rejoice about injustice but 
rejoices whenever the truth wins out.”  1 Cor. 13:4-6
What has Fred learned at GCC and Master's College about entertaining gossip?  He has clearly not demonstrated anything that I have learned from his pastor/teacher whom I do respect.
“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.”  Eph 4:15
Secular media will not publish such a story without confirming with sources, yet Fred Butler, a Bible teacher from Grace Community Church, graduate of the Master's Seminary, employed by Grace to You, freely posted this gossip without regard to the ramification of my daughter's reputation, her person, her dignity.  He assumed the worst in our daughter.  That is not love.  That is not thinking the best of someone as scripture exhorts.  Does secular media hold higher standards of moral conduct than Christians?  It appears so in this case.  This is shameful behavior.  Fred, the world is judging your behavior.  
Healthy pastors and church leaders do not behave this way.  This is wrong.  

“Always be humble and gentle.Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love."  Eph 4:2
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.  
Healthy pastors and church leaders do not behave this way.  This is wrong.  
“Dear brothers and sisters, we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing.” 2 Thes 1:3
If there was no church discipline, the church congregation has no business knowing about it.  The reason there was no church discipline regarding this issue is because the issue did not exist.  This is a complete lie, fabricated by someone, perhaps the pastor.  The pastor has shared sensitive information before, including names, on issues that the regular congregants had no business knowing (as I disclosed in court documents).  
Yes, our former pastor disclosed things to me that I had no business knowing - about specific people in the congregation regarding very sensitive topics.  The things he disclosed to me surely should have remained behind closed doors, kept only between the pastor and the congregant (or possibly with elders).  I was shocked and this was also added to my list of red flags that caused me great concern and eventually led to the several meetings at the end of our time there.  
Healthy pastors and church leaders do not behave this way.  This is wrong.  
Let this be a warning to those who remain there:  your personal information is never safe and it may be twisted and exaggerated or lied and possibly broadcast on the internet, spread by church members who believe they are spreading the truth, when in fact it is a lie.  
Here is the comment from church member, Bren (who is a frequent Google review burier):
Insider scoop?  Gossip?  Bren spread false information about my daughter - presumably told by the pastor and it was spread to the internet, yet when real rape/sodomy occurred in the church, the pastor admittedly covered it up and kept silent.  In fact, we have been told by those who were at the church at the time and now have left (a few families) that the church was only told about "inappropriate touch".   This convicted sex offender is not incarcerated for inappropriate touch, but for rape, etc, and multiple counts of sexual offenses.  This was not a one-time incident, but multiple incidences with more than one child.  So stories are fabricated about my daughter, yet when illicit sexual crimes are being perpetrated by a young man at church, the story is changed and minimized.  This is messed up stuff.  
Healthy pastors and church leaders do not behave this way.  This is wrong.  The world is watching and judging.
“Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”  John 13:34b
A bigger issue here is that a young adult's sexual indiscretions (whether it actually happened or not) has no bearing on the issue of spiritual abuse, period.  This is an attempt to draw attention to a side issue that never existed and to get me worked up.  

“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
Fred has a long-standing agenda to stand up on behalf of pastors who are wronged by congregants who have authority issues and seems to lump them all in the same bundle.  At the same time, he gives a free pass to someone who goes to his church's Shepherd's conference year after year and was selected to go to expositor's school.  Just because a pastor goes to Shepherd's Conference and expositor's school at a great place does not mean they pass the healthy pastor test.  
They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.   Titus 1:16
Listen, Fred.  Your buddy, the one who went against pastors Phil Johnson's advice and Bill Shannon's advice and against the Bible sued and lost the court case.  He is dragging his church through a financial fiasco to pay for attorney's bills, court costs, filing fees, etc.  Between his attorney bill and ours, the church's tithe money and/or other resources could be paying close to six figures for this ridiculous lawsuit.  God is surely not pleased.  He didn't need to do that.  Why are you defending a man who refuses communication with former congregants?   Why are you defending a man who did not report to the authorities gross sexual abuse against children (rape, sodomy)?  In your quest to defend all pastors who have disgruntled congregants, you are missing the bigger picture here:  Spiritual Abuse.  
We have gone the biblical route and have many more witnesses than the Bible requires.  We offered phone numbers of long-time members who were leaders/elder from the church, but you and other pastors from GCC refused to make the call, not wanting to get involved. You are overlooking very basic issues we have brought out and are blinded to the truth in your quest to protect pastors.  Brother, the blood is going to be on your hands.  You are acting like a spiritual authority and missing obvious signs and refusing to deal with people who have been crying out for years.
James 3:1 "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness."
At the very least, Fred, I am asking that you publicly apologize to my sweet daughter who has been hurt directly by you in your public blog post and comments.  Does her soul not matter to you?  How dare you do such a thing!  
The world is watching and judging Christians and surely they are observing this poor behavior.  You have the opportunity to make things right, Fred.  I hope you do.  


  1. These people are despicable! Julie Anne, you are right. Healthy churches do not trample sheep, and they especially don't do it while pretending it is pastoral care! This church falls right into the pattern of spiritually abusive groups: Elitist, scripture-twisting, manipulative... A healthy church would answer your objections lovingly and when you were determined to go, they would give you their blessing, maybe pray with you and wish you well. They would not demonize your family, try to crush you further and display such mean-heartedness. Keep on fighting for the victims! You write well and are an effective voice against spiritual abuse. Thanks for your blog.

  2. Julie Anne, you've have treated Fred far better than he deserves, which is exactly what our Lord calls us to do. Fred, would a pastor telling such a boldface, hurtful lie lead you to consider that he may indeed be a terrible cult leader? If he told such a lie and you published it, what does that make you?

  3. Wow Fred, I hope John MacArthur deals with this swiftly when he hears of it! I think you just went too far!

  4. Julie Anne, I have nothing to add except that you nailed it with every word. I know you don't wish to give someone any more press, but I agree with you that this needed to be addressed. Well done.

    I'm just sad for the need of it.

    1. I wonder if the press is watching or reading. I bet they are. Fred, I hope that your pastor and wife are reading. Yes, I think they both need to know what you have done. I also pray that this type of thing never happens to your daughter. I wonder how you would feel trying to comfort her while she is shedding tears over what a "man of God" wrote. I'd like to hear how you would explain this to her.
      Fred, what are your next steps to restore those you have so wounded.

      A few years ago my church contacted yours to get advice in how to correct and restore a staff member. I think that you need to go to the leadership of your church and share with them what you have done and then get some advice in knowing what you can do to help restore.

      Then I think you need to promise your wife that other people’s kids are off limits.

      Oh my, I can't even begin to imagine what God is thinking about this.

  5. I have been a supporter of Fred’s theology, although not his tone. I have agreed with the ideas behind most of what he has written……..and I know that puts me at odds with Julie Anne and many here.

    The post in the comments section on his blog containing the paragraphs Julie Anne has quoted above leave me speechless.

    Firstly, and must less importantly than the second point, I will disagree about this:

    “If an unbelieving daughter of a church member is found out to be fornicating are you seriously suggesting that a pastor is to just "let that go"? Just "let the family take care of it"? And not say anything? “

    YES. We are to judge believers. (1 Cor 5:12) If someone has clearly stated they are not a Christian, they are under no obligation to obey biblical principles…or submit to church discipline.

    As for my second bone of contention with what Fred wrote: I hope my words carry more weight because I’ve consistently been in his camp here. But now I must say:

    Fred, this is a grievous offense you have committed against Hannah. You need to fix it, and fix it fast. Hannah will be fine (as I wrote in a previous post…she GETS IT) with or without your apology and restoration; although she rightly deserves both a public and private apology.

    You Fred, however, may be deemed unfit for ministry unless you go into your prayer closet and come out with repentance on your heart and on your lips. Consider this posted comment my first step in the Matthew 18 sequence.

    My husband, who is in no way given to hyperbole (quite the opposite in fact) read the comments in question and looked at me very sadly and seriously and said “this unfortunately could become VERY big considering who he works for”. End it now please, I’m begging you.

    1. Old Mom, I will disagree with you on only one point. While you may disagree with many of us on this blog, I believe you are at odds with none of us. Your tone and words have conveyed nothing but love and grace. As believers, we are free to disagree, but we are called to put on love. Thank you for more good words.

    2. Old Mom, I have enjoyed much of your wisdom and wit on this blog. However, it's been apparent since Fred started posting here (and from some of his blogs I have read) that his theology is Fred-centered, not God centered. There are many leaders in the Christian community with whom I disagree but whom I still respect. However, I wonder why anyone would be a supporter of Fred. He has attempted from the first post I saw of his on here to discredit the idea of spiritual abuse. He uses degrading language in an attempt to force his view on people. You call that tone but I have to respectfully disagree. That's not tone. That's an attempt to use his standing (I assume he has one from what others have said) in a church to beat down those who disagree. I have seen nothing this man has written that would make me respect him as Christian.

      Frankly I am not surprised Fred attacked Julie Anne's daughter, and I am not speechless. It fits completely with his methods.

      Notice how he never addressed Julie Anne's questions but said that he was addressing her question by sharing the rumor on a public blog? She asked where was his proof Hannah posted more than one review. She asked where was his proof she spread rumors from church to church. He completely bypassed those questions and threw out something that had nothing to do with anything in an effort to stop Julie Anne from asking her questions. He's been claiming he was an authority on the situation and when push came to shove, he had nothing to prove it. He had to take a rumor he received the night before and use that as his proof. If that's all he had, then why was he claiming proof before? Where's that information?

      I realize seeing this side of Fred may be painful when you have been a supporter, and I am sorry for that. But I ask you to consider whether this has been the real Fred all along and you merely could not see it.

    3. Jackie - brilliant post - you nailed it exactly. My daughter literally spent all of her time either earning $$ to stay fed and housed or was in school. She was 45 minutes away from her former church and it simply wasn't part of her agenda or concern anymore. She had no need to go church-to-church nor the time. It's a ridiculous claim.

      Fred also twisted the topic of the Mark and Avoid list I brought up. He completely avoided if it is appropriate to have a Mark and Avoid list. He didn't respond if it is okay to have a such a list naming church members who had never gone through any church discipline process as outlined by the by-laws. He didn't respond to whether it Is okay to read this Mark and Avoid list at communion services, to add more people to the list when someone talked to someone on the Mark and Avoid list. He didn't address whether it is okay that the Mark and Avoid list is never used as a method of restoration, but is used purely to SILENCE those he deems threatening to his agenda.

      Fred said that he read my Mark and Avoid post, but I have never in my 48 years of existence heard of any such list. I've never heard of MacArthur reading any such Mark and Avoid list at his communion services. Fred, are you hiding something? Is there some secret Mark and Avoid list going on there in CA's GCC and it's kept under cover? If not, why are you siding with this false teacher in OR who carries on strange extra-Biblical practices and sues former church members? What kind of relationship do you have with this pastor that you would defend this craziness. These are not minor doctrinal differences, these are abusive control tactics designed to control the talk of the congregation and not allow current members to have any contact with those who have left and have knowledge of what is really going on.

    4. Hi Jackie,

      Having a pretty sound apprehension of my own depravity makes it easier for me not to be disappointed in any human being. I know what we are made of.

      I’m not an apologist for Fred, I merely said I was in agreement with his theology most of the time. I think he’s a bit harsh and sarcastic at times…and I think that is true of a lot of the young male Christian bloggers. I will say that I think he has been unfairly vilified here and I believe that is because of his stand on complementarianism vs egalitarianism. The moment he asked Julie Anne what her husband thought about the Google reviews, the blog, and the lawsuit…he was hung out to dry with cries of sexism and abuse. And this has been unfairly carried over to folks now saying that of course he would hurt Hannah, because he is just “that way”.

    5. Old Mom -

      Hi. :-)

      I just wanted to clarify that my lack of surprise at Fred's tactics is not because of that one comment about Julie Anne's husband. It is because of the things he writes on his blog and the other comments he leaves here that are dismissive and mocking of people who have suffered at the hands of the religiously abusive. That behavior - and the post referred to above - are themselves abusive. Those are the reasons behind my belief that Fred is 'just "that way"'.

    6. I find it strange that Fred, as an ardent supporter of Dr. MacArthur's premillenial position, has posted eschatolgical views about the "imminency" of the return of Christ Jesus and then seems not to be aware that he (Fred Butler) might be held accountable for his words in this situation (where he has no pastoral authority) "in the twinkling of an eye".

      1 Peter 3:14-16 (NASB)

      "14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame."

    7. look what came up as a google search suggestion: "john macarthur cult leader"

    8. echo - You can't believe everything you read on the internet. Anyone can do a search on my name and find all kinds of things in comments, etc. It's not so reliable. However, I think you hit on something that connects with Fred with this link. It might provide a better picture of what is going on with Fred's involvement with our case.

  6. I didn't say anything on the last post re: Tom's comment because it threw me off guard. I didn't really know what to believe or think about it. What a shame that these two have chosen to believe lies instead of truth. And, what a shame for you and your family to have to continue to endure what these people have to say. It just isn't right.

    As for Fred and Tom, I believe that Jesus has some great words for you in Matthew 12:34-37,

    "You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."

    As for showing "love" from these men, don't expect it. I don't think that they truly understand what it means to love. I have met men like Fred and Tom. They think that love is just an emotion and that showing love is a sign of weakness. They think that if they show love to someone it is a sign of accepting whatever "sin" that other person may possess.

    Fred and Tom, I have a suggestion for you. Why don't you follow the words of 1 Thessalonians 4:11, "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."

    1. Kathi: Just a quick clarification. Did you mean to say Tom or are you referring to Chuck and Fred? Tom was the one who disclosed Fred's disgusting comment here. He has shown nothing but love and concern for spiritual abuse victims.

    2. Thanks for the kind comment, Julie Anne. I was about to post a response, but I'll just add to yours by saying that I really hesitated last night whether or not it was best thing to do to post Fred's filth. After giving it some thought, it was decided (A) that since the statements were made publicly, they had to be dealt with publicly; and (B) it would be far better to do so here than over at Freddie's blog where HE makes the ground rules and controls the content.

      And Julie Anne, I want to compliment you on today's post. Excellant response!

    3. Oh, one more thing, throughout the day, I thought about how Butler posted this evil trash just a short time after I made the connection between he and Chuck O'Neal through John MacArthur. Whether this was by coincidence or design, I have no idea. But based upon his behavior so far, I am absolutely convinced that Fred Butler has something in a connection with Chuck O'Neal and/or BGBC that he does NOT want to become public knowledge.

    4. Thank you, Tom. I understand it was a tough call. Fred seems to like the spotlight and I hate giving him a platform, but it hit a whole new level when we're talking about my daughter. I do agree with you. Once it's public, it needs to be dealt with publicly. Grace Community issued a public statement when Chuck accused them of encouraging him to sue us. It definitely makes sense to keep it public because it leaves too many unanswered questions if it is done privately and people don't get all of the answers.

      I find it interesting that once again Grace Community is involved in this case. It only convinces me more that not enough was done when they had a meeting with Chuck back in March. They left unfinished business and now have a mess to clean up. They did not heed my warnings I gave them on the phone and in e-mail. I felt they spent far too much time trying to deal with my personal life (my marriage and family), not wanting to dig a little further into what I knew about the pastor and his doings.

      Note to GCC high-up pastors: You had a GCC-approved pastor pull the wool over your eyes once and now twice. Don't make the same mistake again. Quit worrying about the fact that I'm a woman. God uses women to do His work, too. He doesn't think I'm a less-than. Please get involved. I still have the contact names and phone numbers. I'm upset at the way I was treated back in March, but still willing to give you guys the info that I know. Please, let's quit playing these sexist games and deal with the real issues. There is a 13-yr history of abuse going on in this church.

    5. To The Other Tom:

      I'm sorry that I misunderstood. When I saw your initial post I misunderstood your reason for posting it. I thought you were another "Fred" type person, and for that I sincerely apologize for the poor judgment call on my part.


    6. Apology accepted, Kathi. All the very best to you! :)

    7. I've seen this "dismissive attitude toward women' in a church (MacArthur Shepherd's Conference attendees). Also, in my personal opinion, on some blogs with Grace Community Church connections, not just Fred Butler's blog.

      Never been a radical feminist, or wanted women to preach, but it has grieved me to see the way some Christian men treat women -

      Haven't studied all the "complementarian/egalitarian" views, but the Bible says

      Galatians 3:28 (NASB MacArthur Study Bible) "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

      MacArthur Study Bible comment: "All those who are one with Christ Jesus are one with one another. This verse does not deny that God has designed racial, social, and sexual distinctions among Christians, but it affirms that those do not imply spiritual inequality before God. Nor is this spiritual equality incompatible with the God-ordained roles of headship and submission in the church, society, and at home. Jesus Christ, though fully equal with the Father, assumed a submissive role during His incarnation (Php 2:5-8)"
      (The notes are the same in the NASB MacArthur Study Bible, © 2006, Thomas Nelson, Inc. and in the ESV MacArthur Study Bible © 2010 by Crossway. We purchased both versions.)

      We attend a different church now and have not become members, but there seems to be more respect of women as members of the body of Christ and a warmth and love among believers that is helping us develop relationships there.

    8. Anon 12:01 - I have not studied much on complementarian/egalitarian views, either. I've always been treated as an equal and respected my whole life. It was not until my conversation with pastors at GCC that I first experienced it. It took me completely by surprise. And then it happened once again with Fred.

      I dont know if it is just coincidence that it happened with 4 people from GCC or if it is widespread, but I found the treatment alarming. It was as if nothing I had to say was credible in their eyes. One of the other defendants also experienced the same treatment. And just to make sure I didn't feed into her response, I asked her very generally, "how did the phone conversation go?" and did not share anything of what I had experienced. That was the first thing out of her mouth. That was confirmation that I was not imagining it.

      Paul Dohse wrote up an interesting blog post discussing the history behind some of this treatment.

  7. Julie: I am so sorry this has happened to you. It's one thing to go after us, but when they come after the children, that is the lowest of the lowest of the low. I hope Fred and the person who gave Fred this gossip, will read this and be embarrassed. No, not embarrassed, but humiliated. This is beyond vitrolic. I don't even know how to label this kind of act.

  8. I am thankful for your character JA, pray for Hannah and the 'other's' whose lives have been brutally ravaged by the Beaverton pulpit...repentance and restoration for those 'drinking' the kool-aide.
    Speaking the truth, in love ALWAYS will bring hope. True colors always shine the brightest...thank you for your brilliant words, truly inspired by the One who brings forth hope and life-Christ, to Him be the glory, great things He has done.

  9. I run a website that has a great deal of information about spiritual abuse. As a former member of the Worldwide church of god I can attest that this kind of crap happens more often than people may think.

    To speak out and exercise your right to free speech is wonderful. I am glad that the judge did not overlook your rights and judge in favor of the corporate church.

    Imagine, Jesus running a corporation. Just what would have Jesus done if he didn't agree with you? Sue you?


    "Armstrong was a man utterly without honor, without principles, without a shred of genuine decency or patriotism. He was the ultimate exterminator of religious life for thousands, and the grand compelling creator of a vast army of atheists."

  10. Fred's comments are inappropriate and reflect on GCC badly - spreading rumors because you are grasping at anything to support claims you've been making is not the hallmark of a great leader. As I said yesterday, I think it indicates something deeply wrong. However, one of the reasons he used a supposed "illicit" sexual relationship as a weapon is precisely because we give that so much power. Wouldn't it be just as bad, when you interpret the Bible literally as he seems to do when it suits him, to accuse her of being a glutton?

    It's not the worst he could have accused of her, but it is something people use against women because then they feel superior and holy. Notice how it's not used against single men? Somehow it's not a weapon against them.

    I realize that this is a delicate subject and when I first read Tom's post yesterday I wanted to erase it myself. Frankly it was such a clear dodge of your persistent questions, it was ridiculous. But knowing the power such an accusation has in certain cultures, I hurt for Hannah. However, it's obvious you are right that it needs to be addressed publicly. Since it has been, I want us to take away the power such an accusation even has.

    For those who do believe sex outside of marriage is a sin, is it not the same as any other sin? If Chuck actually does pull someone's daughter into the office to discipline her because she is guilty of a sexual sin, does he do the same with those who overeat? Both are sins against the body - if one is, then the other is. This ranking of sins is one of the worst characteristics of the church and one of the things that is driving our young away.

  11. a Christian FatherAugust 2, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    If my daughter or son were behaving in a sinful way--sexual or otherwise--I am their Father, no Pastor on earth had better even think about disciplining my children. He'd find out lightning quick just where his authority ends!

    1. Good for you! Sadly, most of the parents were so blinded, they drank the kool-aid and allowed this intrusion. This pastor seemed to think he needed to get involved in who got to court whom, how to discipline, which adult child to shun, etc.

    2. AND I would also hold a person liable who would slander my daughter and spread untruths about something that God honors--purity!

  12. You're right Julie, I went too far. In my haste, probably born by my aggrivation with you and your crew here, I posted that question without thinking through the repercussions of what would happen. One example is that you are automatically blaming the source as Pastor Chuck, but he is not. He's completely innocent, though I doubt any of you will accept that. In fact, none of the particulars you note in the article were the source.

    That said, however, your daughter was grieved and you were grieved as a parent. Being a parent myself I can understand that. So please accept my heart-felt apologies and forgive me for the slight. It was unacceptable and is as you say, reflects poorly on the Body of Christ to a watching world. I'll go remove that comment from that post. Any record of it will be here.


    1. Apology accepted.

    2. Fred, thank you for this. Will you also please do Julie Anne the courtesy of calling her by her name? It's Julie Anne. She has stated many times that she does not go by Julie. I have given you the benefit of the doubt thus far, as I would hate to think that you are calling her by the wrong name intentionally.

      I take issue with your characterization of Chuck as completely innocent. Are you certain that he has not spread those very rumors, whether directly to you or not?

    3. What class, Hannah. What class.

    4. Ok, I see a lot of blog activity going on. I just got off the phone with a dear lady from TX who found my blog and told me her story of spiritual abuse and have to get dinner for the kids - it's getting late. I noticed Fred's apology and I can't put my complete thoughts together in such notice, so I'll come back when I have fed my body and calmed my brain a bit. Hang tight. I don't want you all to think I'm ignoring this.

    5. The pastors at GCC still need to know about this action and the attitude, hurt and words that Fred has posted on this site. Words Matter Fred. Instead of you giving CPR to those who are wounded you've insisted, insisted on not offering a breath but spitting on them. Yes, I am very angry with you. I do not, do not expect a leader, a brother in Christ to behave as you have. What you have posted can NEVER be removed.Hanaha's children can one day read your lies.... And with people like you, I can see what others would not want to have the Jesus you speak of. You have hurt many!Saying your sorry is wonderful. Now let me see what your plans are to restore. Isn't that what GCC is known for??

    6. Julie Anne, I think that your lawyer should go into action and get a court order to get the name of who gave Fred this info. I do believe that your lawyer needs to know about this.

      Also, I do not believe that Fred said or wrote what he wrote out of aggrevation or haste. It might be good for Fred to read the following, "It's my heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to my words. I produce good deeds and words season after season…. Every careless word is going to come back to haunt me. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; I take them seriously. Words can be my salvation. Words can also be my damnation." Matthew 12:34b MSG

    7. Fred you need to do more than remove the post. You need to confront the person who passed on the gossip, make this right between you and God, and help to restore Hannah. Fred maybe now you understand the kind of abuse we are talking about as you just added to Hannah's experiences of being "loved" by a Christian leader. As a fellow writer, I believe it might be good for you to review the laws about slander and reporting lies. No, I don't believe that Christians have a Bibical right to sue others but I do believe that your intent, actions and words leave you wide open for this kind of action. What you have seen and experienced from Julie Anne and Hannah is grace. It is my prayer that you, too will one day be able to show this to others.

    8. Fred I am also bothered why you are so intent on protecting the source who gave you such false information rather than your own ministry and the lives of the innocent? Or do you believe that Hannah and Julie Anne are sinners and it's okay to treat them carelessly? You need to take a step back from ministry and evaluate your heart, motives and relationships/sources. You need to ask yourself why you wrote what you did. I do think it was in haste, yet as a writer I ask myself "is it truthful, helpful, and God honoring" before I publish. Haste is what happens in a first draft.

    9. Fred,
      I was always taught that an apology is not Biblical. Nowhere in the Bible does it instruct us to say "I'm sorry", however it does instruct us to repent (turn away from our sin), and to make restoration that is greater than the original offense. I believe "apologies" are a cop out and a part of the secular world. Additionally, what good is an apology that is proffered with an immediate excuse as to why your actions are justified? IMHO, it doesn't indicate a heart that is even mildly engaged, but more like damage control by someone who realizes he may face consequences.......

    10. Justice, FYI, confess your sins to one another is one...if you have something against your brother, go and reconsile...Jesus said that in the Sermon on the mount. The Bible does teach apologies. I was taken aback at your statement that it doesn't, when it actually does. How does one reconcile without apologizing? Hello?

    11. So did JA apologize to Oneil for accusing him of being the source?

    12. Julie Anne said that Chuck O'Neal repeated private things about parishioners. He repeated them to her. She is sharing her first-hand account of what she witnessed.

      Keep seeking. God promises that when we seek, we find. I pray that your eyes are opened.

  13. Fred has committed a prima facie case of defamation, taking a rumor that he did not verify and publishing it, when resources to verify or debunk were readily available to him. He would not be protected by the CA or OR anti-slapp statutes.

    His church should dismiss him as an embarrassment to the faith. His pastor should denounce him from the pulpit. He should not be able to show his face in public without being shamed by those who see him.

    Fred, Repent of being a liar's liar. And email Julie your entire correspondence with the person who put this atrocity on your doorstep.

    And then get down on your knees and ask God to occupy the part of your heart where Satan has been living.

    1. I so agree Arce. I am thinking that Hannah could consider a lawsuit. Fred wrote what he did, not to help the body of Christ heal. But out of spite. If I were Julie Anne and mom of a daughter who had been so slandered after experiencing the past few months of abuse, I would most certainly have my attorney write Fred a letter warning him. And I would also send this letter to Fred's church where he supposedly teaches others about the love of God...yep, something is missing Fred. I think it begins with the love of God.

    2. Arce - you were just defending JA's right for doing the same thing.

    3. Seeking the truth,

      It is so very much not the same thing. Julie Anne posted her own experiences.

    4. True, Ben. And I have witnesses, many witnesses, but Fred doesn't seem to care about that.

    5. Oh come on now. Is anyone going to make a real argument that Fred can be sued? J. Fun just ruled that you can write an out right lie on a blog and reasonable people should be able to discern.

      Some of this stuff is just ridiculous.

    6. @ Seeking the Truth.

      "Oh come on now. Is anyone going to make a real argument that Fred can be sued?" Didn't it appear that Arce, who happens to be an attorney, seemed to be saying that was possible?

      "J.Fun [assuming you actually mean Judge Fun ... you might show some respect for his position as a judge in the court system] just ruled etc etc." Would appreciate your sharing the specific page and paragraphs where Judge Fun said exactly what you said he said ... or is that just your interpretation of what he said? I think I've noticed in several of your prior comments that you seem to do that: say he said something when it doesn't seem the actual court documents support that. So I'm trying to figure out if you have a novel theory of what *should* be the interpretation, or whether you have read/not read the primary source documents, or what.

      "Some of this stuff is just ridiculous." Really? What exactly is "ridiculous"? You are being vague. Such sweeping conclusions are certainly opinions, but you might want to be more specific about things if you actually want substantive interaction based on details. But do you actually want anyone to respond rationally? Or are you wanting just a reaction emotionally?

    7. "seeker of truth, while putting out lies":

      In my opinion, Fred committed defamation and could be successfully sued for it. He told a falsehood that he could easily have checked prior to publication. Julie Anne et al. told the truth!!! What the judge ruled is that the things complained of by the plaintiffs in the suit did not rise to the level where analysis of whether they were true or not was needed, because they were in the nature of opinion and not in the nature of statements about fact. That did not mean that truth is irrelevant. Fred's statement was about statements that are factual in nature and, in fact, false: (1) whether a young lady had engaged in fornication and (2) whether she had been in church discipline at BGBC. Since those statements could be demonstrably true or false and are not in the realm of opinion, Fred could be successfully sued for defamation.

      I, for one, think that that realization is what led Fred to make his apology and basically retract the statement.

      If you continue to post suggesting that the allegations are true, I will investigate, determine who you are, and will take appropriate action against you.

  14. I had not seen Fred's "apology" before posting my last comment. But I still think Fred needs to do some serious penance.

  15. Fred said, "your daughter was grieved and you were grieved as a parent...So...forgive me for the slight."

    Do you NOT think the Holy Spirit was grieved, and also the rest of us?

  16. Why is it that the offended party here, Hannah, has graciously accepted the apology in a very succinct and elegant manner but that is not enough? Names were purposely (?) misspelled, not enough people were included in the apology, and penance must be done?

    I’m quoting from Hannah’s words yesterday:

    “From that point on, I never referred to myself as a Christian. I don’t hold any judgment on those that do, but I’m tired of the endless debates that go on between and within any type of believer, be it pagan, atheist, mormon, baptist, etc.”

    Can we let Hannah’s acceptance be the final word and move on? She did say she was tired. Let’s respect that.

    1. Old Mom, I'm not moving on until Fred Butler is removed from his teaching position at GCC. There's a pattern to his wicked ways, Hannah is just the latest victim of his "unacceptable" behavior.

    2. Old Mom, I agree with you that Hannah was very gracious. However, what should be acknowledged is that Fred is the one who drew the public in. Perhaps Hannah could clarify but I thought her mention of being tired concerned arguments about God and religion between those of different faiths. This is not that. Fred chose to be part of this community and chose to make his accusation public. We are part of it, by his choice. Hannah forgave. I can forgive him polluting my mind. You can choose to forgive, forget, and move one, but that doesn't mean I won't call him into question. He made me part of it; therefore, I will do that. Forgiveness and allowing abuse to continue without being discussed are two different things.

      Fred refers to it as a "slight" when it was an attack. A slight is failing to acknowledge your mother's childhood friend when you pass her in the store. This was vicious. He deliberately used a young woman to attack her mother and avoid her questions. Then he blamed his attack on aggravation caused by Julie Anne and her "crew." Crew implies a group of people who follow Julie Anne. She's not our leader. She's our wonderful host and fellow traveler on this journey to address sexual abuse. She does not command us as to when to speak or what to say. Fred's deliberate use of these words minimizes what he did and puts the blame for it on Julie Anne and us. That's not accepting responsibility. He claimed secret knowledge and attacked those who are victims of spiritual abuse. Julie Anne, and many of the rest of us, asked for proof and background. Attacking Hannah was his response.

    3. You also have to consider, Old Mom, that what Fred did was precisely what people do who want to shut others up. Are we to wonder what rumors he might publish about any of the rest of us should we dare to push him on an issue? It's a fear tactic. And how do we know anyone actually said this? He claims a source, publishes it on a blog, and then shrugs and says sorry?

      So let's go back to where's that proof, Fred?

    4. Jackie,

      I pushed him pretty hard in a way that was going after the very heart of what he does for a living...talking/writing about spiritual issues. I also pushed him harder than you saw in an email. It would be like pointing out to a surgeon that he used the wrong scalpel and made the incision too large. I told him that he made a wrong choice in the very thing (using words) that is his raison d'etre. And he owned it. Can you not see that?

      You may not agree with his brand of conservative orthodoxy, which happens to be my own as well, but you cannot say he did not step up to the plate.

      He goofed and he knows it. Lets all learn from it.

      As an husband wants to know why there is not more falling on faces prostrate here thanking God that the lawsuit was dismissed. A huge bullet was dodged...HUGE...but the current seems to be wading back into the firing range. And Julie Anne...he did not mean you at all when he said this..just the general pitch and tenor of pugnacity.

    5. Old Mom asserts: you cannot say he did not step up to the plate.

      What plate? A plate of deep fried twinkies?

    6. Old Mom, I wonder if you understand the seriousness of what Bible teacher Fred did. He posted lies, slander and wrote words across the World Wide Web that can never be erased. He tried to harm the reputation of a young girl on purpose. A girl that God loves and Jesus died for. Yes, I think that it is good that Fred said he was sorry. But Fred also needs correction. My doctor's made mistakes and then lied about it. When they were caught they said that they were sorry. Yet the Medical Board still felt it necessary that my doctors get some additional education so this type of mistake would not happen again. What Fred did was listen to juicy gossip and then splattered it. There was no wisdom, love or compassion used. Fred needs some help to help him understand what he does not get. The leadership of his church need to know about this action and it is a direct reflection of God and his church. It is also a reflection of Fred. So sad.

    7. Correction, it's a reflection of what Fred believes, and what his church will stand for...

      I also wonder what kind of friends Fred has to bring him such gossip. I wonder what Fred believed it, other than he trusted his friend. I wonder why Fred thought it was such great news that he wanted to share??

      Fred, Proverbs says that you become like who ya hang around.

    8. So Fred Butler is a Church Bible teacher? Who does he answer to?

      Earlier as I was thinking about my own daughter and of all the predators out there, I thought of how there are differences--legally--between "sexual abuse" and "sexual assault." In my estimation what Fred did to another man's daughter was more than spiritual abuse, it was a spiritual assault.

    9. A Christian Father, Fred says that he is in leadership and teaches a Bible study at John MacArthur's Grace Community church.

      I also agree with you about this being a spiritual assault. Fred took lightly something very precious to a young woman. Something that God deems as precious and honorable and treated is with no regard. He tried to tarnish ones reputation at no cost to himself but at the expense of others.

      I do remember awhile back Fred asked Julie Anne (Fred, note the spelling J U L I E A N N E) if her husband had read the reviews that she had written. The answer was yep. Fred, I want to remind you that he is still reading. And I am sure that you have enraged a father...
      How dare you try to steel what was and is not yours--the reputation of a young woman and her family!

      Old Mom, tonight I am again thanking God for the outcome of the lawsuit. I am praising Him for His faithfulness. And I am asking him to deal with Fred.

    10. Old Mom, a professional writer does not "goof-up" in this manner. A reporter knows the laws and holds esteem in reporting accurate information. Fred is caught up in the drama that is being portrayed to him through his source. Old Mom, you have not answered the question asked to you. Do you or do you not think that Fred should be held accountable for his actions and words? And also, I'm wondering what you think Hannah is now thinking about the body of Christ. I am sure Fred's actions must be breaking the hearts of Julie and Steve.

      And yes, Old Mom, I wish you lived close by. I would love to have you loving me and praying for me!

    11. A Christian Father: I've never heard of the term spiritual assault before, but I like the word picture it presents. It's powerful. It's ugly. It is so unnecessary. It absolutely infuriates me. Thank you for expanding my vocabulary. I think I will tuck that one away for future reference. I wish I didn't have to tuck it away. I wish I could just chuck it (hmm, that was not intended). I better stop now.

      JLM, Jackie, and A new grandmother - Thank you so much for your contributions on this thread. I appreciated each post. You definitely get it.

      OM - an apology is a simple first step. The 2nd, 3rd, and following steps are where we see the fruit of the apology - if it was legitimate. I'm hoping to see change. Eyes will be watching.

  17. JA to Fred: You are acting like a spiritual authority

    Yes, because Fred is a teacher in the church of Christ he is entrusted with a measure of spiritual authority. Fred’s character ((as evidenced by his repetitive abusive behavior documented throughout this blog)) disqualifies him from serving in any position of spiritual authority within the church.

    I’m, also, calling for GCC/GTY to have this man step down until a time of future maturity.

  18. JA: While Fred's brief "apology" is a first step, it raises more questions than it answers.

    I agree with Monax's conclusion: Fred’s character ..... disqualifies him from serving in any position of spiritual authority within the church.

    JA, you have been far more gentle and kind to Fred than I would be, and to be honest, my opinion of Fred's expressed thoughts, words and deeds is much worse than I've verbalized here.

    He exemplifies part of the crisis faced by church bodies in the United States of America - declining membership, declining attendance, and diminishing impact on the day-to-day lives of the American people:

    There are other articles online, but to be honest, I want to make it very clear to my fellow readers: what's at stake here is not merely the loss of shared Christian values in our society, but SALVATION.

    I may have a milder, more moderate approach to theology than others on this blog, but I am very worried about the serious harm of abusive ministers and abusive churches on the SALVATION of unsaved souls here in America.

  19. "one thing that has stood out so loud and clear to me is the lack of love for people and their souls."

    1. Yeah, I agree. You know, Jesus loves Hannah so much that He was more than willing to die for her. It's too bad that Fred is/was more interested in proving someone wrong or proving himself right that he forgot to prove to Hannah that Jesus loves her and died for her!

    2. Anonymous, what you have written is not helpful in pointing anyone toward Christ.

    3. Julie Anne, as soon as my comment appeared, the inappropriate comment from Anonymous disappeared. Just want to clarify that my comment above to Anonymous are not to the Anonymous whose comment remains. That Anonymous wrote truth.

    4. Joy - Yes, you must have posted it just as I was deleting the rude comment. We've never had so many rude comments here and I've deleted more comments yesterday than the combined total. One more rude comment and we'll go to moderated comments again.

      Obviously someone is viewing this blog to be a threat and they are using it as a vehicle to attack. All of us who have left the church expected this. Fred would call it a conspiracy theory, but it really is not. This is the kind of ongoing menacing we have dealt with. You just can't leave that church without repercussions long afterward. Some abusive churches you can leave and that's the end of the story - not this one. I'll say it again: it's CREEPY!

  20. Beloved in RecoveryAugust 3, 2012 at 5:27 AM

    His apology is tainted by still calling you by the wrong name, even though it has been pointed out that this is offensive. I have seen this before, and it is narcissistic - a way to keep the upper hand, as though that's what's important. You've got an abuser protecting an abuser. My oldest daughter has a lot of wisdom - and she has told me more than once that you can't reason with crazy. This guy clearly doesn't get it, and he's not going to get it. I understand why you had to "entertain" him this time - to set things right with your daughter and tell the truth. But is this not also a ploy? Was he baiting you with something you could not refuse? Instead of that lame apology, he should be face on the floor weeping for what he has done. How dare he bring a false accusation on a young woman like that?? Is that not one of the things God hates?? In Prov. 6 - "... a false witness who breathes out lies" I read the trigger warning, and went ahead and read anyhow. I'm burned. I'm glad I read it, but I'm burned. And this is the hard thing to deal with in spiritual abuse. That I keep having bitterness come in, needing to be dealt with. Maybe that's good - keep you on your toes concerning the "weeds" that come. Shame on these so called men of God. This type of issue was so close to our Lord. Even when they were right about a woman - our Lord was not pleased when they brought her before Him, seeking to stone her. What was He writing in the sand? Was it possibly the sins of those around him? Did He write "Liar" "Thief" "Adulterer" "Tale-bearer" ... one by one they walked away. I roll this over to the King of Kings - "Behold His hands and side - rich wounds yet visable above, in beauty glorified ..." Only He can take my pain and bring peace. Only He can calm this anger in my soul right now. My wise daughter would say, "This is not who we are ... we are free - but this person - this person has to live with who they are every single day. We must pity them." Of course, they don't have to ... they have a choice too. But as long as this is what they choose, they are not free. May the anger be replaced by pity.

    1. Beloved, I can see you get it. You understand my deep pain. I am so sorry you get it...I am sorry for your hurt. I am too praying that my anger towards Fred will turn to pity.

  21. JA: Reflecting a bit more on Fred's extremely-ill-advised allegations against your daughter Hannah, accompanied by Fred's habit of selectively cherry-picking Bible verses to provide a "rationale" for his ends, I have serious questions about not only his personal character and integrity, but his mental and intellectual capacity.

    If Fred truly believes that every single verse of the Bible must be followed literally, then it's time for him to personally "walk the talk" and literally read these mandates commands of Jesus:

    Matthew 5:30 "And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell."

    Matthew 18:7-9: "7 “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! 8 If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell."

    It's very unlikely that Mr. Fred will literally cut off his own hand or his own foot, or gouge his own eye out, nor am I recommending that he do so.

    When it comes to pseudo-preachers such as Fred, they are full of B.S. Their negligent and mean-spirited presentation of the Gospel is a significant factor in the disturbing trend that increasing numbers of Americans are rejecting the church and are increasingly resistant to the message of Jesus Christ as Lord.

  22. After reading all the comments this morning, I have been praying about my response and went looking for some helpful ideas on conflict resolution from a biblical perspective. I’ve been really bothered by the name calling and personal attacks. I ran across a blog that I had never seen before called “Bloggingtheologically”. The blogger has written a book on contending for the faith. Here is a link to the article, and here is a quote from it that I believe is highly applicable.

    “We must not forget that there are people involved in every debate, both “those who are evil” and those who are, as Storms puts it, “Christ-loving Christians.” We must remember contending is an act of mercy on those who doubt and those who have been deceived. It’s much easier to view those with whom we disagree as being demons when they’ve more likely just been duped. But in doing so, we do them a great disservice and dishonor Christ in the process. There is a tension in contending that requires us to uphold both people and doctrine. We cannot contend without compassion anymore than we can contend without a love for the truth. “Doctrinal precision is absolutely necessary. But it isn’t enough. May God grant us grace to love others with no less fervor than we love the truth.”

    1. I am searching for the name calling... So far it is unclear to me the names people have called Fred. I see them speaking truth about his actions and calling truth for what it is. Old Mom, can you help me out and. Show me the name calling?

    2. Lyndee: I deleted one comment that I considered to be a personal attack (attacking his personal appearance).

  23. Why does Fred have such a vested interest in this blog? Julie Anne and Hannah are not members of his church. They don't fall under the "discipline" of his church. Is it only because a pastor felt like he was wronged and so he feels that he must stand up for the one in authority? His interest in this blog really confuses me since what has happened to Julie Anne's family and others from BGBC don't really affect him personally. He needs to move on and mind his own church business.

    1. Not to belabor the point, but The Other Tom presented a rich argument for Fred's interest in a previous blog post.

    2. Kathi - Fred goes to Grace Community. Our former pastor loves John MacArthur and attends the Shepherd's Conferences each year, went to expositor's school, etc. Most of the congregants had MacArthur study bibles. On one of the pastor's Google reviews (against me), he claimed that a pastor from Grace Community encouraged him to sue us. That brought Grace Community into this case in a public way. Big bloggers picked up on that story and asked for responses. Phil Johnson released a statement for Grace Community saying that they do not believe in Christians filing lawsuits against and gave their Biblical reasoning. Phil Johnson also had a lengthy phone conversation with Chuck where they discussed Grace Community clearly would not have encouraged the lawsuit. According to Phil, Chuck conceded and the review was removed.

      Fred seems to have his own agenda in the case. He has now done 4 blog posts on spiritual abuse blogs, criticizing them at his site and others, and he is extremely critical and suspect of anyone who questions a pastor or publicly criticizes a pastor.

    3. Ben - I'll have to look up Tom's arguments. I'm sorry, but I'm just not recalling them at the moment.

      Julie Anne - I get the connection with Grace Community, and I understand how they got involved with Chuck. However, when it comes to some of the "discipline" issues of members, shouldn't that be handled in that own person's congregation? I guess I understand why Fred brought it up based upon the lawsuit. However, it if this were a true story, it should have stayed within the church that is involved. (That's the start of the problem.) He should not have to continue with his attacks because he is not in leadership at BGBC.

      I guess that's why I'm conflicted in his involvement. I understand how he got here, yet I don't understand why he cares so much. He should be more concerned about his own church members.

    4. Kathi - It should have stayed at the church, but Chuck brought GCC into it, first by mentioning in the Google review that GCC recommended that he sue us. Then by going to the Shepherd's Conferencing and requesting counsel from the pastors there. I"m not exactly sure what the intent was. He had already filed the lawsuit. A pastor did call me and another defendant to hear our side, but there was not much accomplished. Chuck was insistent on suing and they couldn't talk him out of it.

      Fred obviously has a personal thing going on and he really should stay out of it because he's trashing his church/boss's name by his actions and his words. According to Fred, Chuck reached out to Fred via e-mail to thank him for defending him. He bent Fred's ear. I'm not sure when that initial contact occurred. Now on Fred's blog, it appears Big Bren also forwarded "the inside scoop" to him (I reference this comment in this post above.)

      Fred is in California, not in Oregon. He has entertained gossip sent to him from people outside his church in another state and also has bent his ear towards our former pastor who sues congregants. I'm sorry, but when you hear about a pastor who sues congregants for $500K, that should tell you something. Even the secular world said "whoa, that's not right". And once again, this fits right into my post that the world is watching and judging the behavior of the Chucks and Freds around the world.

    5. You know, I drive around Beaverton every day and I still have yet to see BGBC! Not that I'm looking for it! I remember when The Oregonian put out your story and I thought, "I've never heard of that church." Such a small, obscure church. Just think how wonderful it would be if they were known for how much they love the community of Beaverton and not for their disdain toward (former) members.

    6. Kathi, look at the comments under Julie Anne's "More Monkey Business" post, but I'll summarize. Chuck said he was advised by a pastor at GCC to file a lawsuit, and GCC eventually publicized that Chuck never spoke to a pastor but - I believe - a respected teacher and that person's comments were not as clear as they could have been.

      As you point out, Fred has had an interest in this blog, and Julie Anne has repeatedly asked him whether he'd had private conversation with Chuck because he seemed to reject categorically everything she said or wrote.

      The Other Tom makes an interesting case for the identity of the "respected teacher from GCC."

    7. Kathi: It's on Walker Rd about one block east of 185th. They had a lot with property and sold the property in front of the church to a developer, so there are new homes in front of the church.

    8. Ben - also the fact that on other blog sites (my blog stats tells me the sites where people are coming from and occasionally I check them out), I have seen Fred post misinformation - information that has not been published in the media. That has led me to believe he is getting information somewhere else.

    9. Why did you tell me? Now I'll actually look for it! ;-) Actually, I live just down the road from there.

  24. I believe that we can compare Fred Butler to the Chick-Fil-A bully, Adam Smith. Smith would not have lost his Vante CFO job for simply expressing his opinions. The public, however, was enraged over the way he treated a young girl. Vante was not going to stand by and watch their business suffer because of Smith's vile behavior. Fred demonstrated a similar outburst. Fred did apologize. But it would appear to me that Fred has become a liability to GCC as Adam Smith was a liability to Vante.

  25. Old Mom, I want to be respectful and yet I must tell you that you have so confused me. It appears that you are more upset with the harsh truth spoken than you are at Fred for doing such a sick, twisted thing. (note that I did not say Fred was twisted but his actions) You were so quick to say, Fred said he was sorry, Hannah is tired so let's move on. Old Mom, do you not think that Fred needs some type of accountability? Do you think how Fred has behaved acceptable? Julie Anne created this blog to be a place for those who have been hurt by the church or others representing God. I know one person who will not return to this blog as Fred's word's and behavior have increased her feelings of fear and pain.

    1. Anonymous - may I please ask that you use some sort of name other than Anonymous. I have been inundated with trolls stirring the pot, deleting posts, and I would hate to delete your very good comment. I have instructions on how to make your own name (fictional if you prefer) on the posting instructions. You can e-mail me for help if you like, too:

      Thank you for your comment. I want to say how much I agree with you. This fruit that we saw from Fred Butler was not love. It has been destructive and self-seeking. We do not see secular reporters do what Fred did. It was most harmful. It showed no love, no grace, but everything opposite of what a man of God and a teacher of God's word would stand for. I still working through the emotions of what happened and haven't responded to Fred. I need more time.

  26. Got it. And , by the way, Hannah may be tired, but I am not. What you see here is the body of Christ in action.

    1. I'm not getting that tired reference. I talked with Hannah last night. I think she's tired of all the crap, frankly. Fred is perpetuating the same stuff she walked away from 4-1/2 years ago. What a shame.

    2. Old Mom wrote that Fred said he was sorry and that Hannah said she was tired. This gave me the impression that this situation was taken care of and people needed to move on. I get what Fred has just repeated in Hannah's life. It makes me sick. This is why I am saying I am not tired. I will back Hannah, pray for her, and contact GCC regarding Fred.

  27. 56 years a Baptist, mostly SBCAugust 3, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    If MacArthur is to have any credibility in the Christian community, he needs to institute discipline of Fred Butler, publicly, disavowing Fred's actions, apologizing to Hannah and Julie Anne, and demoting Fred from any leadership position in GCC. Otherwise, I, for one, will assume that MacArthur is a HYPOCRITE, and will tell all of my Christian friends that MacArthur's words and teachings are not to be credited. He needs to lance this boil on his ministry.

    1. I for one, am prepared to launch a campaign against GCC if they do not address the issue of Fred Butler and have him removed from his position of spiritual authority. I would like this matter addressed publicly by the leadership of GCC.

      Can anyone direct me to a database of GCC affiliated or sister churches?

  28. One who is listeningAugust 3, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Where is "an attorney"? I want to hear his/her response to Fred.

    1. I saw a response from an attorney on the new thread.

  29. READING THIS Blog over the last few months has made me think about lots of issues that I have pushed from my mind for my own well being. I grew up in a "church" much like Beaveraton Grace Bible. Believe me I have my wounds even after all these years (I'm 45 and left the church at 18). Often I have found myself thinking they did the same thing to Hannah as they did to me. Then this Fred character (who doesn't seem to have much, character that is) pops off with this latest shot at this young woman. Twenty seven years ago church people did the exact same thing to me and a close friend of mine, a classmate. I was very hurt, angry and dropped out of church for years. The young lady unable to deal with her reputation being destroyed and all the horriable comments committed suicide over the Christmas break. That left me unable to stomach church people, people like Fred for many years. Fred I hope you really think about what you did here over the last few months. You basically toyed with a family and a young woman that needs to see Christ in the life of the believer and to be loved, prayed for and ministered to.

    Today I work in the fugitive recover unit for a national bail bond company and we have access to many databases including DMV,occupational licences, real estate records, even utility bills. I actually just got done researching John MacArthur's home address. This weekend I'm working up an exhaustive letter explaining what you have been up to here these last few months. John MacArthur and the entire elder board of Grace Community Church from Mike MaHoney on down will soon now what kind of guy you truly are. Hopefully this will be the last time you have a need to toy with a family as you have here.

    Trust me Fred, if you ever jump bail we will meet. That's a case I will work for free, just for the shear satisfaction of kicking your door in (LIKE YOU HAVE THE SMITH'S).

    Better go pay that ticket......

    1. Anonymous, ouch. Your past pain is palpable, and I'm sorry you went through that. Your comment, though, seems vengeful and borderline threatening. We all need to show the respect to others that we want ourselves, whether we agree with their actions and words or not.

    2. Anonymous, I understand completely. And I'd like to see you put together something sound and wise. Just don't write anything in anger but in love (if the tone is angry the board might dismiss us altogether, we want their ears). Write it in love for Fred and for the Church of Jesus Christ. Here's my email:

      Send me your thoughts. I'd be happy to be a pair of second eyes and even a voice if you'd let me help you draft something for the board. Anger can be a very healthy emotion, however, the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

      Please get in touch with me,

      David Johnson

    3. I'm going to be the odd one out here. I've read through this comment a few times and don't see it as threatening. The "kick your door in" is obviously just an expression because it included the phrase "(LIKE YOU HAVE THE SMITH'S)". Smith's door is fine - these are just passionate words of expression in response to something that was cruel. To me, that is righteous anger, just as righteous as the anger I had when I discovered that a sex offender was without supervision.

      What I see is anger and sadness. We've got a 45 yr old who obviously went through a horrific church experienced which possibly contributed to the suicide of a dear friend at the tender age of 18 - when the transition from child to adult is such a challenge. These are pivotal days in a young person's life and to experience that would be very traumatic - obviously lasting for years.

      With regard to looking up personal info - people do it all the time at their places of employment. I did it when I worked at a utility company. I don't know anyone who didn't. I don't remember any rules against it. It's what you do with that information outside of work that can get you in trouble. I don't see a threat there.

      Working for free? No biggie there, either - meaning Anonymous would be willing to do anything to help justice be served, even working without pay.

      When I read this post for the first time, I was struck with immense sadness and then when I thought about it later on, it brought me to tears thinking of the possible outcomes had Hannah not been so strong and/or had support. Bullying can yield devastating results on someone's psyche. If done to someone who is weak, it could lead to emotional scarring or even suicide as we have seen in the media. This is serious business and why it must be addressed at a higher level.

    4. David - your post must have gone up when I was in the process of mine. I'm not sure that Anonymous' post is NOT righteous anger.

      I appreciate your willingness to be a sounding board, though. I've done that with a number of people regarding posts and comments - thanks to my BTS (behind-the-scenes) friends :)

      Gotta love good friends for critique and even rebuke. I've had some of both lately - lol.

    5. Julie Anne, I respectfully disagree with you that there isn't a problem looking up personal information about people that isn't in the public. I don't care whether or not it is used. Those databases should be used for the appropriate purpose, not curiosity. I'm very, very uncomfortable with the thought that people with access to personal information would use that access inappropriately.

      While I can agree that Anonymous may have righteous anger, there can be unrighteous behavior associated with it. I took as a possible threat the "pay that ticket" comment, which indicated at least to me that Anonymous may know something or wants others to think he or she knows something.

      I do agree that Anonymous' hurt is deep, and as I said, I am sorry for that. I also believe that the Smith family was treated in an unspeakable way. I'm not excusing that. Still, at least to me, there is a line that shouldn't be crossed.

      That is all. Don't want to make an issue of it but just explain where I was coming from.

    6. Thank you for explaining, Will. No prob. We're not all going to agree on everything. I do remember thinking that I wished the comment had ended after the first paragraph, so I was a bit uncomfortable with it, too.

    7. I do not think that it was truly a threat, other than a promise to enforce the law if Fred is in violation for not paying a ticket or otherwise does not fulfill the requirement of a bond.

      I also have access to all of the same databases, and, if I determine a business purpose for using them, I can do so. Finding info to send an employer a letter about the behavior of an employee that is damaging to the image of the employer, which is the Fred situation, is a perfectly reasonable business activity for me or a private investigator working for me, if I am representing or considering representing the victim.

    8. No doubt it's righteous anger. As we wield our swords it's a good thing to feel the holy energy of that, yet anger needs the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit to be most effective toward the advancement of the kingdom. That is my prayer. The words of Jesus here: 'the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force' (Matt 11:12).

    9. One thing that I would add, to amplify your thought, is that there is a place for an individual to take action, based on the urging of the Holy Spirit regarding a particular situation. An individual is wise to consider the need, the timing, and the best possible (Christ-honoring) approach.

      There is also the participation 'in' and 'with' community, the Family of God. Sharing one's insights and passions with others in a caring spiritual community, where Christ is Lord, is a way of testing, modifying, expanding, and tackling an issue with the wisdom and the blessing of community.

      No one gets it all the time, that is why we need each other. We need to bounce some of our ideas off others and see how they 'see' things from their vantage point.

      The Holy Spirit works in and through Christ's Body. That is something tried and true in caring, authentic Christian community--whether we chat in person or via the internet.

      May we each be energized by the Holy Spirit in how we can best use our skills to benefit the cause of Christ especially around the topics that arise around spiritual abuse and recovery, which this blog is dedicated to.

    10. Well spoken, Barb. Thank you.

      This is so true: No one gets it all the time, that is why we need each other.

  30. Oh, Freddy, Freddy, Freddy. What would your mother think - that is, if she were allowed to have an opinion?

    I have some words that would describe Fred really well, but I think Julie Anne would not like me using them in here, so I won't.


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