Pastor Chuck O’Neal of Beaverton Grace Bible Church Taught Parents to Spank Adult Children
One of the more challenging aspects about abuse is the recurring triggers, even years after abuse.
In the strictest sense of the term, trigger is used to refer to experiences that “re-trigger” trauma in the form of flashbacks or overwhelming feelings of sadness, anxiety, or panic. The brain forms a connection between a trigger and the feelings with which it is associated, and some triggers are quite innocuous. For example, a person who smelled incense while being raped might have a panic attack when he or she smells incense in a store (Source).
It started over a week ago when I heard the tragic news about brothers who were beaten by their parents and other church members in a so-called counseling session.
A mother and father whipped their 19-year-old son in church with an electrical cord and what appeared to be a belt during a deadly, all-night spiritual counseling session triggered by his desire to leave the fold, according to witness testimony and police Friday. (Source)
This 19-year old, Lucas Leonard, died from the beatings, and his younger 17-yr old brother, Christopher, remained hospitalized. If you’d like to read more on this story, my friends at The Wartburg Watch blog have written an article: The Fatal Beating of a Teenager in a New York Church – We Are Outraged!
trigger, trigger, trigger
The very first week we arrived at Beaverton Grace Bible Church in 2006, a sweet teenager forewarned me that all teens at Beaverton Grace Bible Church will have counseling meetings with the pastor – – – for discipline issues. That struck me as odd. The teens were that bad? The parents were okay with these meetings? Why weren’t the parents in the meetings? I filed that thought away and it was after leaving the church that I recalled the conversation.
I do not remember hearing about 10-hour counseling sessions with Chuck O’Neal and teens, but we know first-hand they were long, lasting certainly more than an hour, sometimes 2 or 3 hours, and longer. Those in the counseling hot seat were often beaten down spiritually and emotionally.
Reading about the beatings of the brothers in New York also reminded me of the teachings of Chuck O’Neal. He was very clear that if you had children and even adult children living in the home, and they were in sin, they needed to be disciplined with the rod. He said it didn’t matter what age they were, but we, as parents, were responsible for their “training” while they remained at home. I even remember him mentioning that “legal adult” age of 18 should make no difference because the Bible does not refer to any legal age. We were to obey the Bible before the laws of the land.
In Oregon, it is illegal to physically harm a legal adult. I can think of at least a handful of young adults who could report their parents for abuse, including my own adults, based on following the teachings of Chuck O’Neal. At least one of my adult children was spanked, possibly two. We, as parents, were trying to be godly and raise our children the way our spiritual leader taught us. I’ve discussed this topic here before, and it’s heart-wrenching to think about, and yes, sometimes I am still saddened and angry that we trusted Chuck O’Neal to guide us in our parenting when followed some of his abusive teachings.
When the story of the beaten 19 and 17-yr old brothers broke, I tweeted that it had triggered me. I also tweeted that Chuck O’Neal had taught us to spank our adult children. Chuck did not respond to that tweet. There was complete and utter silence. But in return, I have been barraged with tweets from Tonya O’Neal and Chuck O’Neal over the weekend and through the week on issues they have against me. No surprises there. They respond to my tweets with links to Chuck’s blog against me (cuz all pastors have blogs against former members who expressed angst against them, right?).
Rather than be a shepherd to his flock, O’Neal has been using his time revamping his blogging efforts against me on other fabricated stories aimed to destroy my image. This is how it works with Chuck O’Neal. I hit a nerve and now he is retaliating. I really don’t care what he has to say about me publicly. I think his public behavior speaks for itself. But he is a fascinating case study on narcissism. It’s interesting to look at how he words things to his advantage. He’s taught me a lot (and it’s a lot cheaper than my college tuition, I might add).
Me thinks he should change his Twitter profile picture back to the one which more accurately portray how he spends his time:
Chuck O’Neal even stooped so low as to publish personal e-mails from my husband and me on his blog in an attempt to show what a good pastor he was to us then. He apparently missed the memo on pastoral confidentiality when he went to seminary. Oh wait, did he go to seminary? He did get a degree in psychology (he’s against psychology, that’s a whole other story). He would have learned about confidentiality in his psychology classes there, but Chuck O’Neal has always been “special” – the rules don’t apply to him.
The personal e-mails he posted publicly mean nothing. The e-mails were sent to O’Neal a year before we left his church, while our daughter was in an unhealthy relationship. We were drinking the KoolAid then, and so obviously we would have been supportive of Chuck.
Chuck and Tonya have gone over the top this week. If you’d like to take a look, just scroll through Chuck’s Twitter feed. You will see that he is now going after my friends, R. L. Stollar (of Homeschoolers Anonymous), and Dee Parsons (The Wartburg Watch).
He also goes after people who follow me on Twitter, using their tweets in his blog against me (as if I have any control over those who follow me on Twitter).
So anyway, that’s what’s been going on with me lately. Sometimes I lose my writing mojo when I’m reminded of yucky times where my family was harmed. Sometimes I have to just roll with it and cut myself some blogging slack. That’s what I’ve done. Thank you for your patience and for your support.