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Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have been waiting for this response from Mr. Butler for a while. He has now addressed the issue and I would like to open it up for discussion. I was concerned that we wouldn’t hear from Fred again and that the questions might remain unanswered. Thank you, Fred, for responding.
My blood pressure rises each time I read his comment. Mr. Butler is not the first person who has given me this response. And sadly, I notice a trend of similar responses coming from people of Fred’s ilk. I may address that at some point because I believe we clearly have a systemic issue that has gone rampant in our churches – the failure to appropriately deal with false teachers and pastors who abuse their flocks. Did Jude 1:3 – the part where we are to earnestly contend for the faith – get removed from their Bibles? Do pastors get to pick and choose their battles and ignore false teachers? Really? Is that how it works now?
While you read this, I ask you to do one thing. Please imagine this is a situation in which there are abused sheep, a whole church full of abused sheep who are being misled. Ask yourself what will happen with the abused sheep if we follow Fred’s response?
You have stated on more than one occasion that the blog on which we are now interacting should not exist. I’m curious: Under what circumstances would Julie Anne’s blogging be appropriate, in your view?
Appropriate blogging against this current pastor and church specifically? Never. If she felt inclined to leave a comment with google and it got removed, that honestly should have been the end of it. But she persisted. Julie Anne seems to suggest that she was under some obligation to warn everyone about this church, but why? She hadn’t attended there in three years before leaving that google review comment, at least that is how I understand it. All of the sudden she felt she had to leave a negative comment and stir up strife with this pastor and church? I can be a gadfly at times on blogs, but if the blogger or web moderator is deleting my comments, I know when to take a hint.
What would have to transpire in order for you to concede that Julia Anne’s blogging is no longer something she need repent of?
In my opinion, she needs to discontinue this blog and leave Chuck and that church alone. Her and her family live in an entirely different state now, as I understand it. This should no longer concern her. Further, make some sort of faith effort that she will cease and desist from bothering them again. That’s I see it.
Interestingly, this is part of a similar discussion I had with Fred on his blog a while back. I posted the following comment and received no response from Fred.
Julie Anne said…
I did what I felt was right. Yes, it is messy. The whole thing is uncomfortable. What feels right about false teachers? Nothing! However, after beginning the blog, I have been in contact with countless people who discovered the story thanks to the pastor’s foolish lawsuit and subsequent media response. These people have told me story after story of abuse that I was unaware of because they experienced it many years before me and I had never heard of them. They have been living in silence for years, sometimes more than a decade, some families have been torn apart, some no longer go to church or are afraid to go to church – – – all because of this one man. I felt by not doing what I did, I would be sinning:
Criticize and rant all you want about my method, but until you walk in my shoes . . . .
I would also like to remind Fred more words from his pastor, Dr. John MacArthur. In MacArthur’s Truth War book, he mentions, “even some pastors and popular writers in the Christian market might be the enemy disguised as comrades. The apostle Paul warned of that very danger in
2 Cor. 11:13-15.”
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15
Once again – if all other appropriate Biblical methods were employed, if the pastor refused to communicate, refused to meet with a local pastor who offered mediation, if he refused to listen to MacArthur’s people, including Phil Johnson, what next, Fred? There were a number of pastors in the local area who knew of this situation and all chose to not get involved.
Are pastors and church leaders the ONLY people whom God uses to point out abuse and false teachings? Luther’s nailing of the ninety-five theses to the Wittenburg church door was one method of calling out wrongs. Do you think if he had the internet available, he would have snubbed modern technology?
Fred, now what? Walk away from abuse? Don’t you have a child, Fred? Would you walk away from your son if you saw him being abused? Would you take the blog down and walk away? Which reminds me of this brilliant post from Craig Vick, who asked you some questions that you perhaps missed earlier. I thought I’d bring the comment here so you’d be sure to see it:
You are clearly very bright, and I think you are interested in real discussion. Consider, then, what I take to be a central problem in all of this. There are churches that do not overtly transgress orthodoxy and yet are very cult like in their behavior. Do you agree that such churches exist? If so, how do we spot them? I would find it more constructive, and a better use of your gifts, if you would wrestle with that question rather than simply tearing apart the tests that someone else has proposed. I don’t think it’s easy to do. Some wolves are very adept at looking like sheep. If we say, for example, that such wolves differ from sheep (or true pastors) in that they are manipultive and controlling it’s easy to respond by saying that’s a bit vague (it is). That doesn’t mean, however, that this test isn’t getting at something very real. So how do we distinguish between cult like control and normal, responsible teaching and care? What would you suggest? You yourself say “There are pastors who are controlling and lord it over the flock they are to shepherd.” How do you distinguish these from those using Scriptural authority appropriately?
My readers have asked some great questions. I hope you will be so kind as to respond.