BGBC Church Members Still Leaving Reviews on Google

***
I know – this is a quick diversion.  I just could not help myself.




Remember this guy?   The Energizer bunny?  The bumping down of reviews by current church members reminds me of that old Energizer Bunny commercial – – – who keeps going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going . . . 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Current BGBC member Liz A  (yes, I know her last name, but I won’t publicize it, unlike her pastor who filed a civil lawsuit against me and my name and pictures are now plastered all over the internet, thank you very much, Chuck)  couldn’t stay away from the Google reviews and rewrote her Google review, bumping down the negative ones.   It looks like BGBC member  Peppermint Patty also revised her review last month.  
 




I thought of responding to every statement of Liz’s review, but decided to demonstrate shocking restraint.  Instead, I will offer a few thoughts:


Perusing the review, I tallied the use of the word “hate” seven times.  Patty, the BGBC member who revised her review below Liz’s also used the word “hate” in her review.  


Surprisingly, through all of the pain so many of the former members have experienced from the pastor/elder and members as a result of shunning, recording private conversations, stalking on social networks, etc, I have never heard even one person mention that they hate anyone from BGBC, including the pastor.  The notion that former members hate current members or the pastor is completely false.  


The most common heart-felt expression I’ve heard is that they love the current people of BGBC.  They feel sad for those who remain and pray for them.  When the first group of people who left heard that a new group of people had left – nearly 3 years later, we all rejoiced at the news and could not wait to reconnect with them.  Even though those people had hurt us immensely by avoiding us, refusing to talk to us, we still wanted to reach out and connect with them.  We never stopped thinking of them and praying for them.   No, Liz, there is no hate from former members.  The only hate I see is in your words.  Where is that coming from, Liz?     

Liz also uses the word “slander”.  Slander is defined as “the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation”.     The court said that none of the words we used were “defamatory”.  In fact not even one of the words/phrases met even the first tier of the definition of defamation.  Liz, accusing us of slander is a false statement and could perhaps be a slanderous statement.  






Better is a dinner of herbs where love is
than a fattened ox and hatred with it.
(Proverbs 15:17 ESV)
 




photo credit: sweet mustache via photopin cc

37 comments on “BGBC Church Members Still Leaving Reviews on Google

  1. An "unfortunate lawsuit involving the church" that was "dismissed" – is that the lawsuit the pastor brought against former members and lost or has there been some other lawsuit?

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  2. That review proves you right, Julie. Kool-aid drink much, Liz? No church is that good. Period. And phrases like this grate me:"Christ-focused""the lord has tremendously blessed this church"Only the Lord Himself can make pronouncements like those. Did Liz personally interview the Lord who told her how "Christ-focused" and how much He has blessed the church? Why is she putting words in Christ's mouth? Churches who purport themselves to be "Bible centered" use phrases like that on themselves all the time. How self-serving and self-congratulatory is that? Interestingly enough, the most self-congratulatory church in Revelation received nothing but bad reviews from Christ (not the Google kind :)) while the other 6 churches got at least some praise. I don't think Christ likes it very much when you pat yourself on the back. I am thinking of the Pharisee who went up to the temple to pray and to wallow himself in self-righteousness and piety: "God, I thank thee that I am not like other people…"Similar rhetoric can be heard from a lot of "Christ-focused" churches today: God, we thank thee that we are not like other people: liberal theologians, Muslims, homosexuals, feminists, abortionists, evolutionists, secularists,…

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  3. Liz does a good job of making it sound as though someone brought a lawsuit against the church and the judge affirmed it was nonsense. Yet the foolish enemies persist anyway. Sure they don't have a publicist?

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  4. Good point, Jackie. The lawsuit phrase in the review was the place where an audible sentence or two managed to escape from my mouth as I was reading it. lol It's quite a lovely paragraph portraying a perfect church being harassed by hateful people. Funny they have so many reviews. I don't even know if mine is still there. It's hard to sift through all of that.

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  5. Well, you know, David, this is the only church that preaches the right gospel message with authoritative preaching (we wouldn't want any wussy preaching, would we?). Also, this is the only church who knows the right way to evangelize (let's ignore the fact that people are leaving out the back door of the church and do they go after them? Noooooooo. But actually, it's probably a good thing they don't go after the people who have left – – – they are going to have to do enough detoxing to get back on their feet again. And the sentence that she has 3 generations attending – – – it struck me that perhaps that is the only way the whole family can remain together. I've had e-mails from people who are extended family members of current BGBC members. They told me they are being shunned because they don't believe the same way BGBC does. So I guess if you want to still be connected with your family and be able to spend time with them, you'll have to go to BGBC and drink the Kool-Aid? Wowowowowow!! I cannot make this crazy business up. I just report it.I better go drink my breakfast smoothie (the one with lots of chocolate in it). I'm feeling snarky.

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  6. Did Liz A's husband approve the comment before she posted? (Sorry – snarky and sarcastic comment. I repent!)LizA – If you're going to loosely throw out James' words (being a doer of the word, not just a hearer) perhaps you should consider all of James' words, such as James 3:17-18:"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."Not once have I seen Julie Anne mention that she wanted to close down that church. Yet, your pastor has not responded peacefully to her and others who are only working at exposing the truth. If suing former members who talk about experiences at your church is the fruit (result)displayed by your pastor, then count me out. I'd want no part of your "Biblical and Christ-focused" community.

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  7. Looks like all those 'haters' have someone 'personally praying' for them by Liz. Bottom line, those nasty people better repent of hate and slander or burn!Wow, some pretty serious stuff here!! One's eternal destiny seems to be in jeopardy if they don't get with the plan!

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  8. Such a good verse, Kathi. Reading the review, there's a pseudo-love. It's not real. Real love is going after my daughter when she decided to leave or the many others. Hurting people were abandoned. She did not matter to them. Since they claimed she was in "rebellion" there was no need to go after her. What kind of Christianity is that? It's FAKE!!! Real Christianity gets in the muck with people who are hurting. Real Christianity is sacrificial and loves people, shows graciousness and kindness. You see, in this church it is easier to SHUN than to show real sacrificial love. Shut the door completely and isolate yourself with your BGBC people and new people whom you can pass tracts to and indoctrinate using their superior method of evangelizing. Those who leave out the back door? Oh well.

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  9. The other thought that hit me was this: "The lawsuit was dismissed…."Is this what Chuck O'Neal is telling the congregation? Is this what she really thinks that happened? It obviously wasn't dismissed since there was so much news coverage before, during and after the trial.If he has led his congregation to believe that the lawsuit was dismissed, and they are so blinded by him that they don't even read the news reports on what directly affects their church, then he is deceiving his congregation. They have to pay for his deceit – to the tune of thousands of dollars for a lawsuit that they lost. Their hard-earned money given to the church through tithes (most likely with a joyful heart) is now being given to the "haters."

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  10. Today’s post had me curious enough to look up Google reviews of my old church, same tactics were used. Whenever a negative review was posted several positives by the faithful were posted right after. People don’t like their idols critiqued.

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  11. "I've had e-mails from people who are extended family members of current BGBC members. They told me they are being shunned because they don't believe the same way BGBC does"Sorry, not true. You shouldn't say such things unless you know the Whole truth of what is going on in their family dyamics. A one sided e-mail is not always what is really going on."Real love is going after my daughter when she decided to leave or the many others. Hurting people were abandoned. She did not matter to them"And from reading this blog and knowing the matter…….I really don't think you daughter would have wanted anybody chasing after her. She didn't want any thing to do with church so having a bunch of people after her would have done even more harm to her. That is where mom and dad need to step up do their job as a parent. They did love her and prayed for her many, many times in their prayer services. As far as her being in "rebellion" they only knew what you told them. Maybe you selectively forgot that.

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  12. Sideline Sally: Regarding your first paragraph – – The e-mails from family members fit perfectly in line with what I witnessed there. If you do not measure up with their belief system or agree with him, you are considered an outsider. I did not personally see shunning when I was there, but after we were shunned, it apparently became a common way of dealing with people he deemed as divisive. (This is taken from members who left after us.) This issue of not knowing the whole story. That really is irrelevant. The way the pastor uses shunning to "discipline" is ridiculous. The Bible has very specific times to enforce Biblical discipline and shunning is a very rare situation reserved for very unique circumstances. I have been a Christian for over 30 years, been a part of many churches due to my husband's Navy life. I have seen church discipline, but never this kind of thing where people in church discipline get put on a Mark and Avoid list and the list is read at communion. Your pastor is on a church discipline frenzy. His name should be on the Mark and Avoid list. Please read your Bible on church discipline issues. Research for yourself. A word of warning: if you research and find that your pastor is wrong on church discipline (and by all the research I have done, I believe 100% he is), keep in mind, if you bring this up to him, you might be labeled as divisive, added to the Mark and Avoid list, and be shunned for questioning his authority. You are in a serious predicament if you seek to find the truth. You will have to decide if you are seeking God's truth or Chuck's truth. You can't have both because they are worlds different.

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  13. That's interesting. I did a quick survey of churches in the area – even mega churches. Before the media went crazy and strangers left comments, BGBC had far more comments than any church. I think there were around 30 or so before the media got the story. Even the very large church down the block had maybe 5 comments. Leaving reviews for churches on Google is just not a popular thing to do. Most of the churches in the area had no comments.

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  14. Sideline Sally: This is in response to your 2nd paragraph:And from reading this blog and knowing the matter…….I really don't think you daughter would have wanted anybody chasing after her. She didn't want any thing to do with church so having a bunch of people after her would have done even more harm to her. That is where mom and dad need to step up do their job as a parent. They did love her and prayed for her many, many times in their prayer services. As far as her being in "rebellion" they only knew what you told them. Maybe you selectively forgot that.There is some truth to what you say. Hannah would not have appreciated being "chased", but she would have appreciated a kind phone call or e-mail saying that they were thinking of her. Meaghan did just that and she was the only one who reached out to her regularly. You are also correct that there were people who prayed in the Wed. night service for her. I always appreciated that and never secretly forgot that. I can name names of those who said those prayers – and those prayers brought me to tears (I pretty much was crying every service there after Hannah left). But it doesn't take much effort or time to send a quick e-mail, make a quick phone call. That did not happen. It seemed to be understood among the church body – – – we can pray for those who left, but just let them go – – – no need to reach out. They had/have no problem reaching out to new people by evangelizing, just not the ones who left out the back door. Nope. That's dirty laundry. Interesting note: During our last weeks there, we were meeting with elders/pastor over key issues that were bothering us. At one point, I think the pastor seemed to think we might be remaining there and I remember him talking to my husband recommending that they go together and take Hannah to coffee. I think I almost vomited. This was ELEVEN months after she had left and he was just now deciding that it would be good to visit Hannah? He had never contacted Hannah after she left – no phone call, no e-mail and I do not recall him even asking how Hannah was during that time. No – – – – – this was not about Hannah whatsoever – – – – this was about keeping the Smith family at church – – appeasing us – – – a show – – – – trying to win us over by saying that he cared about Hannah. Eleven months is a little too late. Sorry. I also wonder what your definition of "love" is in a situation like this? How would you show love to someone who has left? I have no idea who you are, but if this was your daughter, how would you want your daughter to be treated?

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  15. I found this comment particularly intriguing: "All of it goes back to this church standing on the narrow path of salvation through Christ alone"Yes, congregants left you because your on the straight and narrow. You lost your court battle, because you are on the straight and narrow. Everyone hates you, because your on the straight and narrow.Narcissistic much? Cult like even? So glad I got out of churches with celebrity pastors & haughty spirits

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  16. I'm so glad I took a screen shot of this review. It will be interesting to see how long it remains. Liz – – – – I have no doubt my readers will be watching to see if you revise it. They like to inform me of things like this.

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  17. Unless you have walked one step in my shoes Sideline, do you really even know what has been slung around to discredit? The 4 year battle has been brought against a group of members who would not follow any longer a man who didn't have the best interests for sheeps souls. As for Liz, the contempt poured out from plaintiff and company at the trial was so thick you could cut it with a knife. I have no hatred in my heart for him, nor his family nor those still there. I understand how the wool has been pulled over their eyes because I lived it myself. I pray for those who have a vendetta to assasinate me and my truth, and know the Holy Spirit comforts and guides me through all of this. These trials strengthen my faith that God will keep His children. Keeping my eyes on Christ, loving others and walking in His sanctifying grace has been a blessing to me. I am blessed by the people I met while attending for a little over 15 years. Right before we left, I spoke with CON's wife and she hurled Holy Scripture at me with the same contempt she shows in her interview with KPTV. I asked her why we were being told from the pulpit why several families who had left were not saved and we were to shun them? I had run into these families around town and they were ALL in churches growing in the Lord. She was shaking and visibly angry when she accused me of causing dischord among the brethren-no, not so much. She yelled at me twice across the courtroom, shaking 'hate' letters at me as if its my fault they were getting them. Taking responsibility for our own actions is a sign of maturity, not blaming others. I have no agenda to take down any 'church' but I also will have no part in covering up deception.

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  18. Wow Julie, I just heard about your story. What an inspiration. Congrats to you for fighting the good fight, not backing down, and standing for truth. I think one of the most hidden and destructive things going on in America right now are the powerful churches bullying people around, manipulating scripture to try to intimidate and scare people into sitting idly by as they abuse their power. So two thumbs up to you for doing the right thing.PS: I am an administrator on a blog that started for thise very same reason. Not sure if it's been mentioned to you yet, but when you have time check out http://www.citybusinesschurch.org/blog. Always good to find others in the same fight.Be well.

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  19. Hi AJ – – I'm familiar with that blog. In fact, I just looked at your site and in May my story was covered there. Cool! Thanks for your kind words and support.Julie Anne

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  20. There are many issues that have been swept under the rug regarding CC, in fact up untill recently they have done a good job covering up scandals. Visalia is one of the worst, but there are others that come close. CC seems to breed authorative attention seeking pastors. Rick Ross has a good collection of some of the older stuff, for the newer things a google search gives you a broad snap shot. Alex also has covered quite a lot of the newer stuff.

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  21. I was shocked hearing how Bob Grenier of CC Visalia could be in the pulpit basically one week after conversion. I wonder if there are other similar stories within CC? That would be a breeding ground for power-hungry pastors, especially since CC churches seem to operate independently with no oversight/accountability.

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  22. Kathi – "Dismissed" actually is the correct word. The judge dismissed the lawsuit because the words/phrases were not deemed to be defamatory. But her wording in the review makes it seem as if someone else initiated a lawsuit against BGBC – – – -very strange. Anyone not familiar with the story after reading her review may not understand that her very own pastor initiated the lawsuit against 5 former church members. I'm fairly certain that the whole church knows that they lost the lawsuit. I"m trying to think – maybe 20-30 people from BGBC at each hearing. How could they possibly have missed it? A news crew even showed up to the church on a Sunday after the news first broke.

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  23. Faith Tabernacle Apostolic Church in Junction City also thought themselves to be special, with the greatest pastor and in believing they were better than the churches around them due to the standards they followed. When people left or were kicked out by the pastor, they were shunned.And look what ended up happening there……

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  24. Lois – – I continue to be amazed at the amount of hits on my blog from people searching for information on the Faith Tabernacle church situation. One of my posts on Faith Tabernacle is now the most popular post with over several thousand hits – more than my most popular posts on the court case when I was receiving 17K hits to the site a day for a few days. There aren't as many comments as other posts, but I think it tells us something. People are definitely looking for answers. That makes me glad they are coming to my site and your site (your site continues to bring hits). I hope something "clicks" for them just as it clicked for me when I was reading SGMSurvivors.com blog. Lord, let them see the truth! And let that truth set them free from abuse and false teaching!

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  25. Yes, you're right. Thanks for the clarification. It's amazing how stubborn people will be to want to believe something was true even when it blatantly isn't.

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  26. Thank you, little birdie. This appears to be the 3rd review she has posted this week. The 2nd one was posted late last night or early this morning. I saw it on my phone, but when I got to my laptop to get a screen shot, it was already gone.

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  27. It seems the apple didn't fall far from the tree, huh, Hannah? Liz learned well from her pastor. But I've learned well, too. I have a screen shot of it and I know at least one more person does as well.

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