Spiritual Sounding Board: Updating the Legacy – Year 5

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Boy, oh boy, it’s been FIVE years today since the beginning of my blogs, and tomorrow marks five years since being served with the lawsuit by my ex-pastor Chuck O’Neal of Beaverton Grace Bible Church. It’s a good milestone moment to update the legacy.

Here was my profile summary from the original blog (on Blogspot):

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-4-41-05-pm

 

And here is the comment left on the Google review site wherein my ex-pastor announces that he has filed a defamation lawsuit against me.

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Here is a comment he left online years earlier in November 2009.

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The above comment now makes me laugh. I am currently taking a technical writing class and my instructor has repeatedly shown us how important white space is — the space between paragraphs, the margins, etc. This is important because crowded wording is difficult to read. When you have a crowded paragraph, you are forced to read the whole thing without stopping or you might lose your place because of the wordiness of it. Looking at the above comment without reading it, it feels heavy, like you can’t get a breath or think.

That is exactly what Chuck O’Neal was like: a whole lot of ranting with some yelling, and no breathing room. You felt obligated to stay and hang onto every word until the very end. It was squelching. He types exactly how he preaches. I felt constricted and couldn’t breathe spiritually or physically because we felt like we had to be at church all the time. It was truly an unsafe place. And, just looking at the way he writes, I can see the “my way or the highway” high-controlling behavior he used publicly online against me because I dared to challenge his assumed authority.

Beaverton Grace Bible Church as a church is still going, though it is not nearly the size it was when we were there. Instead of doing Friday night evangelism, each Saturday they now picket and harass the people who go into local abortion clinics and film them without their permission (and sometimes he posts them online without their permission). Way to evangelize, Chuck!  (So, if you notice, those who work full time now have a full weekend of church activities to keep them tethered to the cult/church.)

Shunning still continues. I’ve heard of more families splitting up. Some grandparents cannot see their adult kids or grandkids. There has been shunning in some families going on for over a decade! Why? Because a pastor said so, that’s why. Because a pastor felt threatened when someone didn’t believe the way he believed. Chuck O’Neal will have to answer to God for this. This is cult behavior.

And when someone questions or leaves the church, they know they are at risk for being shunned by their family and friends. This is at great cost because you are kept so busy at the church, you don’t have much time for “outside” relationships. So, to be shunned means you will be completely isolated. All your former friends/family no longer have anything to do with you since you didn’t give them the time of day while you were busy at BGBC. What a difficult place to be.

This year was challenging because of school/health issues, but it was also a very good year. For the first time in SSB’s history, we saw positive change as a result of very carefully investigated and timed blog articles. I am referring to the victims’ accounts of Tullian Tchividjian in which he habitually emotionally/sexually groomed them, and even had sexual relationships with at least three women.

The information provided in the blog posts, along with telling Rachel’s story in her own words, was key to having Pastor Kevin Labby publicly speak out and say that Tullian Tchividjian was unfit for ministry. That was huge. After Kevin Labby publicly spoke out, many other pastors followed suit.

During this time, it became known that Spiritual Sounding Board is a safe place for women who have been groomed and abused by their pastors. Many people for the first time came to understand that pastors and congregants cannot have “affairs” because of the power differential — it is clergy sexual misconduct, a form of sexual abuse. This is also spiritually abusive.

One consistently active behind-the-scenes part of SSB is wives of pedophiles. Women who are searching for help after finding out that their spouse or partner has been a pedophile have found the blog and find support here. This is the post that they usually find. Sometimes they don’t respond, but instead, send me an e-mail. I am able to refer them to Brenda or Anon3 who take it from there. I am indebted to Anon3 and Brenda who help these ladies based on their experience of also having been married to pedophiles, and the extensive research they both have done on the subject and on recovery for themselves.
brad1
I’m so fortunate to have a great team who assists me. Brad Sargent, who has been with me since the beginning, helped me for 9 months on the Tullian Tchividjian case, not only in writing articles, but also a lot of brainstorming and strategizing. Kathi helped me with the Facebook page and kept the Sunday posts going. She also is great at getting me domestic violence information quickly when someone contacts me in a crisis. I tell her the location of an abuse survivor, and she searches online while I’m on the phone with an abuse survivor. It’s so wonderful to be able to send someone help and practical information right when they need it!  Last summer it was great to meet together for the first time in person. And here’s the picture to prove it.

Last, but not least, a special thanks goes to Billie, aka GrandieMAW to 11. I’ve written her story before. She was harmed in the church, but now has time on her hands and anger about abuse that propels her to be one of the best online researchers I’ve known. If you are an abuser in the church, be advised that if I catch wind of your activities and send info to Billie, you will be exposed. She will find you out.

These wonderful people enable me to do what I do best as a blogger and “first responder” — assess crises, and get real and practical help to survivors quickly, using a variety of resources and networking with people I’ve met over the past 5 years. What an amazing journey. Thank you for coming along with me.

Brad, who never likes to forget anniversary dates put the following together. It’s always interesting to look back on the year and see what people like to read. Thank you, Brad, for compiling this!

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Year 5 statistics for Spiritual Sounding Board. There have been 3,462,013 hits on SSB total, as of the 2:19 PM on February 19, 2017. This includes 1,159,039 hits on the home page/archives, and 75,305 comments on a total of 1,062 published posts and 32 published pages.

Top 15 posts, 20,000 to 80,000+ views each:

  1. Christian Domestic Discipline (Wife Spanking): A Personal Story, and a Closer Look at Patterns Connected with this Abusive Practice [82,970 views]
  2. The Christian Patriarchy Movement’s Dark Secret of Wife Spanking
  3. Wife Undermines Her Husband’s Authority in Front of Children, He Disciplines Her
  4. Calvary Chapel Pastor Bob Coy’s Story of Moral Corruption Leads Calvary Chapel Members to Share Their Personal Stories
  5. Doug Phillips Resigns from Office of President at Vision Forum, Discontinues Speaking Engagements
  6. Survivor of Tullian Tchividjian’s Alleged Clergy Sexual Abuse Goes Public with Her Story – Part 1
  7. Former Long-Time Harvest Bible Chapel Elder Dave Corning Accuses Pastor James MacDonald of Abuse of Power, Lack of Accountability
  8. Compelling Evidence that Vision Forum Inc. is Closing, Liquidating and Doug Phillips “Show” of Repentance Revealed
  9. Doug Phillips: “Disowns” Former Vision Forum Executive Assistant to President, Peter Bradrick, Calls Him “Destroyer” When Confronted about Sins
  10. Supporting Survivors of Doug Phillips’ Apostasy
  11. Bill Gothard’s New Program/Ministry: Total Success Power Teams
  12. About Julie Anne
  13. Christian Parental Response to Teenagers or Adult Children in Rebellion
  14. Six Homeschool Brothers Arrested for Alleged Sex Abuse against Younger Sister
  15. Lourdes Torres, Alleged Victim in the Doug Phillips (Vision Forum) Sex Abuse Scandals Files Lawsuit

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64 comments on “Spiritual Sounding Board: Updating the Legacy – Year 5

  1. Congratulations Julie-Anne on a wonderful milestone reached. Thank you for your on-going support, not only to me, but to so many others who have been abused by the Church. Seeing your inner strength gives me the impetus to keep fighting even when everything seems stacked against me.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Five years? Really?! I remember seeing your story on the news and thinking, “I’ve got to find out who this lady is!” You’ve provided a great place for people to come find help, support, encouragement, or use their voice. Thank you!!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I’m glad to see the backstory here and thank God for how strong you have stood, and kudos to you for recognizing the need for white space as breathing room. Ha! I was just going to write to someone about the need to break up her writing into more paragraphs for that very reason.

    It’s very disturbing to see that the wife-spanking posts continue to be the top three. I pray that more and more of these women will come forward, recognizing that the shame is not theirs to bear.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on your fifth anniversary. May you continue your good work for another five or until all the predators/abusers are found out and made to answer for their deeds.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My those five years went by very quickly, though I am sure the beginning couldn’t go by fast enough for you. Julie Anne & your team, keep up the great work. What he meant for evil, has been turned around and used to help a great many people.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “After seeking counsel from a pastor on staff with Grace Community Church (under Pastor John MacArthur)…”

    What, and Chuck thought THAT was going to put you off? That was going to make you run for them hills? That’s not even namedropping or appeal; that’s downright hilarious and revealing.

    To five more years of exposing and roasting them. Give ’em hell, Julie Anne.

    God bless you and your team.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your perseverance, endurance, and faithfulness has not only been rewarded in your situation, but also is being rewarded in the lives of so many others, including myself, who are speaking truth modeled after your example. Thank you. Douglas Lay

    Liked by 3 people

  8. “After seeking counsel from a pastor on staff with Grace Community Church (under Pastor John MacArthur)…”

    What, and Chuck thought THAT was going to put you off? That was going to make you run for them hills?

    Isn’t that funny, Boston Lady? The funny thing is that Phil Johnson had to publicly give a statement about his erroneous words.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ken, I’m so glad people confused you and your church for Chuck O’Neal and started harassing you. What a great start for our now 5-year friendship! haha! My life has been enriched by your friendship and by what you have taught me about spiritual abuse, narcissism, your spiritual abuse story. Can’t wait to catch up when I’m in PDX again 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thank you, Rebecca. Yes, “hits” on the wife-spanking posts continue to disturb me. I don’t know if it is just people searching kinky sex stuff, or if they are genuinely thinking that it is appropriate to discipline a wife, but it is disturbing, for sure. But it has infiltrated the church and so I’m grateful for women who have allowed me to share their personal stories so that others may be able to leave those abusive relationships.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I hope the hits (ironic terminology there) are from the wives themselves seeking and finding help. And I hope they’ll reach out to someone to get the help they need, because the shame is not theirs to bear. Yes, I’m also grateful for those who are willing to share their personal stories for the encouragement and empowerment of others. Thank you for all you continue to do!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Five years! I admire your willingness to stick with your ministry even when life circumstances make it difficult! I would love to know what O’Neal thinks about your successes? How does he rationalize to himself the fact that your following is probably much larger than his!!! Thanks for all you do!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Julie Anne,

    You know how I feel about Mac and his lap doggie P Johnson. Keep your eyes on those two…Make a note on your kitchen wall.

    Yes, and the interest in wife-spanking (it is NOT normal as “discipline” and it is not normal as some demented kinky sex deal, just as “50 shades of Pervert” is NOT normal) is worrying, but I know that it is happening in “churches.” In some “churches,” women are simply whores and treated as such. Even the great heretic Luther had lots to say about us “prostitutes”! And his evil twin Calvin everybody-hates-me too said stuff too.

    However, I know that through your blog, many women have woken up to reality, and have claimed, rightly so, back their places in their rickety marriages or have seen the light and have left before death (either spiritual or physical) came a knocking (usually after some sort of church meeting where the real “men of God” had met and “discussed the way forward”, backward devils that they are!). I’m smiling at them, Julie Anne. I know things they don’t, as do you.

    In the end, Jesus is the only answer; the only remedy, the only savior for the lost. Not men; men can do nada, just destroy. Jesus loves and loves and loves, and His Father loved this miserable word so much that He sent (not forced) Jesus to save the LOST, not to condemn those who were/ are lost but to save them if they believe(d) on Jesus’ name and what goes with it,

    And it’s this Jesus that I see in you and your great team. Really be blessed, Julie Anne. Your work is being recorded in Heaven.

    Sorry for a longer post but when I write a bit longer it means I’m serious or can’t get out of my chair because I’m stuck.

    Lots of love, from my heart. Your blog has lifted me many days and still do, It is just, well, different!

    Love, Boston Lady (PS: We have nothing and nobody to fear).

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I remember see a clip about a church suing one of their X members and that lead me to this site. I have been reading for about the entire 5 years but don’t post much here. I do however post a lot on the other site you run and have found that when I have tried to help others, the helping of others has brought healing to me in greater abundance than what I gave. Your work is a necessary work to help those that have been hurt by so called pastors that thirst for power over their flocks.
    Keep this going for another 5 and then anther 5 after that. Power mongers abound and will continue to harm. Congradulations on 5 very successful years.
    Jim

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Hi Julie Anne,

    Thank you for all of the help you have given so many people by blogging. After my own excommunication and shunning from my oppressive, 9Marxist, NeoCalvinist, John MacArthur-ite church (Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley) on some trumped up charge (like the doctor before me in his 70’s, and the middle-aged woman in finance before the good doctor), I lost all of my “friends” of 8 1/2 years.

    My life centered on the cult, like yours did.

    In my internet search on “excommunications and shunnings”, I found the Petrys blog, the former members of Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. I read their story. I didn’t realize that this Salem Witch Trials II practice was alive and well and spreading in so many of our churches.

    After the Petrys brave blog, I stumbled on your blog, and then Dee and Deb’s blog over at The Wartburg Watch. All of you brave people, you kind people, helped me on my own journey of healing.

    I also joined Twitter because of you and GovPappy. I was behind the times. And then I finally joined Facebook only a few months ago.

    And I too am blogging. And many times I’m just re-blogging, because I’m still processing my own horrible experience.

    But I am FREE. Free at last. Out of Egypt-land. Out of Darkness. Out of hate. Out of oppression.

    Like

  16. It seems like yesterday..

    JA I became a ” known” problem around my own neighborhood because I dared to speak up when something was not biblical…well no church likes when you say the tithe is for Israel. That’s an easy one for shunning. We are not under any law.
    No work at all is needed..

    There are many problems with pastors today.. mainly a watered down message or a rock concert, or a platform for joking and story telling..no amount of reviews would change the masses opinions..

    You mention the isolation. It’s tough..and most turn a deaf ear to what’s going on.
    Their needs are being met. That’s what matters..in the case of abusive leadership.
    If they don’t experience firsthand the abuse, they surely won’t sympathize with you.

    I forget what specifically you said to bring on the lawsuit..I never knew before it was a pastor from JMacs church…Phil Johnson!
    Wow..I really have to clean out my closet of all JMacs stuff. At one time he was my long distance pastor…

    It won’t take much to be shunned at any church.
    Just disagree with anything.
    I do remember Tulians rants to me defending his theology.
    All he is now is dust in the wind.

    Congrats on 5 years well spent…keep on keeping on!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Wow..I really have to clean out my closet of all JMacs stuff. At one time he was my long distance pastor…” -Hannah

    The best thing I ever did was take all of those NeoCalvinist books, all of those oppressive men and women and their oppressive teachings, rip those books to shreds (and DVDs and CDs too) and toss them in the recycling container.
    I refused to donate them or even give them away. I didn’t want anyone else to be poisoned by their hateful theology.

    Like

  18. Happy Anniversary, JA! Even with studies and family and everything else in your life, you’ve stuck with this blog. And I know so many people are grateful!

    To borrow a phrase from Stan Lee: Excelsior!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. velour

    i bought into JMacs theology bc I wasn’t getting any real teaching at Calvary Chapel (except for David Guziks online commentary.). I have thousands of CDs. I even got permission from his ministry to copy them (Until they were free online)
    I had a lot of gray areas that even JMac did not solve for me. I did respect him For being what I thought was a stand up guy, doing a wonderful job with his family.

    I am finally discovering how to make sense of what was said in the gospels vs what Paul says. Different program for Israel vs this age of grace.
    It’s now perfectly clear to me..although I have much more time needed to fully understand the end times.

    I think you were on Wartburg Watch telling me I was in a cult because I said the same thing. Unless there is another Velour. I asked you what I said specifically to have you make that comment. I don’t think you responded. I think there can be abuse on blogs when others sincerely want to share their views based on the topic of the post. I felt misunderstood..and I really didn’t even say much to be labeled a follower of a cult.

    So, persecution is everywhere. When you go outside of what is generally taught doctrinally. These men have tiny churches, bc they don’t put any “works” into their message, and people love works, especially the tithe for blessings.

    I give JA permission to give you my email address if you want to further discuss this subject!

    Like

  20. I forget what specifically you said to bring on the lawsuit..I never knew before it was a pastor from JMacs church…Phil Johnson!
    Wow..I really have to clean out my closet of all JMacs stuff. At one time he was my long distance pastor…

    Thanks for your kind words, Hannah. Just one note of correction that I didn’t clarify in my post. The words that my pastor used claiming that a pastor from John MacArthur’s church told him to sue me was not correct. Phil Johnson told me that Chuck O’Neal took liberty with advice that a pastor gave him, and then he exaggerated it to his own benefit, claiming that he was encouraged to do so by JMac’s people. Even though I am no fan of MacArthur or his cohorts, I will defend them on this: I’ve never seen them sue anyone or encourage anyone to file lawsuits. MacArthur has preached on this topic. My ex-pastor probably never in his wildest dreams imagined that this lie would get back to John MacArthur.

    Like

  21. I do however post a lot on the other site you run and have found that when I have tried to help others, the helping of others has brought healing to me in greater abundance than what I gave.

    Isn’t that the truth? I love it. Jim, you are such a kind soul. I love the way you encourage hurting people in the forum. That is another one of the coolest things: to watch others encourage each other, even though they have gone through similar pain. It brings tears to my eyes 🙂

    Like

  22. “I think you were on Wartburg Watch telling me I was in a cult because I said the same thing. Unless there is another Velour. I asked you what I said specifically to have you make that comment. I don’t think you responded. I think there can be abuse on blogs when others sincerely want to share their views based on the topic of the post. I felt misunderstood..and I really didn’t even say much to be labeled a follower of a cult.” – Hannah

    Hi Hannah,

    Yes, I was on The Wartburg Watch. I did respond to you. I told you to be careful of the teaching that you were hearing online, because it didn’t sound like the Gospel and it sounded like ‘another Gospel’. I didn’t say that you were in a cult. And I was clear about that. I did respond to you. I told you that I didn’t know the teachers/group.

    I had given you a link to psychologist/Thought Reform/author Steve Hassan’s website. Julie Anne has also posted Hassan’s videos here. Brad/FuturistGuy has also written about Thought Reform and Dr. Robert Jay Lifton, who mentored Steve Hassan. It’s important work since many groups and teachers try to hoodwink people.

    You posted that you took offense to my posting of Steve Hassan’s webpage.
    You are entitled to take offense if you wish.

    I did post to you that I didn’t know if the online teaching you were getting was a cult.

    Like

  23. I am currently taking a technical writing class and my instructor has repeatedly shown us how important white space is — the space between paragraphs, the margins, etc. This is important because crowded wording is difficult to read. When you have a crowded paragraph, you are forced to read the whole thing without stopping or you might lose your place because of the wordiness of it. Looking at the above comment without reading it, it feels heavy, like you can’t get a breath or think.

    Like a kook rant conspiracy flyer from that screaming guy in the tinfoil hat.
    Doubly so if there’s a lot of ALL CAPS, BOLDFACE and Exclamation Points!!!!!!!!!!

    Type example: COMMUNIST GANGSTER COMPUTER GOD WORLDWIDE SECRET CONTAINMENT POLICY by Francis E Dec Esq:
    http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/subgenius/images/6/6b/Gangster_Computer_God_Worldwide_Secret_Containment_Policy.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20120421023009

    Like

  24. Velour,

    I wouldn’t say I took offense to his page…I read that it was about cults… I wondered why you sent me a link, where the man was talking about cults.
    I addressed this specifically.
    After I said that I now understand the gray areas, you posted the link, .so I drew a conclusion, which I don’t believe was wrong,that you believed I was in a cult. That is what I responded to.

    The confusion I have had over the years was applying scripture that was for Israel to “the church”.
    I didn’t even really explain this position.

    I felt it was an attack on me, and I made a comment that I had not been on that blog for over 8 years(There are hundreds of posts a day on a topic and I don’t have the time to read them all)

    I also went back for a few days and didn’t see any response, and then I forgot the thread.

    Like I said, I would be happy to explain more thoroughly on a one to one if you care to.

    JA Thanks for the clarification! I remember JMac did a series on lawsuits, since he was sued in his church.
    Took liberties—false testimony…wow..not surprising.
    Good thing for him we are not under the law…stoning is no picnic 😉

    Like

  25. Hi Hannah,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. There is no need to explain your choices to me. You are an adult and can make whatever choices you want.

    I only gave you a tool to evaluate groups/teachers, etc. that has been shared here on Spiritual Sounding Board and over at Brad/FuturistGuy’s. I found the tool — knowledge of Undue Influence/Thought Reform techniques (the work of Dr. Robert Jay Lifton and Steve Hassan) helpful.

    Take care.

    Like

  26. Julie Anne,

    Can’t count the times we’ve linked to you at Thinking Out Loud. Thank you so much for all you do; the tireless work, the exhaustive research and the motivation to speak the truth even when it’s not popular. Hope you’ll stay at this for another five years.

    Paul Wilkinson

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Congrats, JA. I found you about 2 yrs ago through TWW. I’ve never been physically abused, or been caught up in a “cult”. I was just searching for some people to help justify my opinion that women are equal to men and not subject to men/husbands’ authority. (Changes in local churches over the past few years have really started to stick in my craw! Some of the Mohler/Piper, etc cr@p is filtering down into our rural Kentucky churches.).
    I’ve read some great articles on SSB – some things that I really didn’t want to know about, but things that EVERYONE needs to know about! You may be busy, but you are strong, talented, and committed! You, Brad, and Kathi make a great team!
    PS: if Chuckie O feels worthy of comparing himself to the Apostle Paul, how about we banish him to a small, uninhabited island?

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I’ve never been physically abused, or been caught up in a “cult”.

    Nor I although I did find this site, and TWW and Cry for justice after coming off a bad relationship.

    So it hasn’t been more than a year for me, but congrats on 5 years!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Julie Anne,
    Congratulations on five years of blogging! I check out SSB every day, even though I rarely comment, and when I do, I can’t seem to get anyone’s name spelled right.

    What I find so refreshing and rare… is a real feeling here of dedicated, sincere compassion combined with intelligent, responsible research. You are blessing a lot of people. I also appreciate the contributions of Kathi and Brad. SSB is the real church in action, everyone’s special gifts are used to make a difference in this world. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Thanks, J.A.! Your site has been an invaluable source of information. Also, just an FYI–I remember you also posting about the whole Gothard mess. Here is a link about a documentary exposing Gothard: https://vimeo.com/196530717 . (Hope it comes through ) 🙂

    Like

  31. I see you posting on other sites and think to myself, “Go, Serving, you tell ’em!”

    Thanks, Julie Anne. I spent/wasted a fair bit of time over the weekend butting heads with commenters on Doug Wilson’s site, trying to give him a bit of pushback over that disgusting ‘Potiphar’s wife’ post. Boy, that bunch gets my blood pressure up — which is the main reason I usually stay away from there. No idea whether I’m doing any good on that board, but I feel that some things can’t just go unanswered.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Oh, I didn’t bother reading the comments there because I have the same blood pressure issues. Lol. He has his followers so brainwashed, it’s futile to debate with them. However, it’s important to consider the many lurkers who are using critical thinking skills and learning when they see both sides of the argument. You are so clear headed and explain things very well. I think your “voice” is important. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. He has his followers so brainwashed,

    On other sites, one his followers will tend to pop up and say something like ‘what if I told you I know people who think he has helped them so much? What then’ like it will make you drop all of your objections as in ‘it’s so simple, why didn’t I see it before’.

    So irritating!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Happy Anniversary!! I still remember when your story made national headlines. We were only out of our cult just a few months prior. Little did I know how much you would impact my life.

    From CON:

    Her many lies and vicious criminal accusations will not stand in the light of day in the Washington County courthouse or in the coming courtroom before God.

    Besides being terribly melodramatic, how’s that working for you Chuck? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Pingback: Wednesday Link List | Thinking Out Loud

  36. Congratulations, Julie Anne, and THANK YOU! you are a light shining in the darkness. I am so grateful for the work you, Kathi, Brad and others here do for those who are suffering abuse in the church.

    I laughed out loud when I read the rantings of your former pastor and juxtaposed it in my mind compared with your excellent research and writing abilities. So many of these pastors sound just like the wizard of Oz, blasting out warnings of fear and doom and pretending to great authority when they are just a little man hiding behind a curtain.

    I wish I could reach out to those still trapped in that church (and other similar ones) and encourage them to just let it go and cut themselves free! Yes, it is miserable being shunned, but it passes, and you find yourself in such an invigorating freedom, such a lightness of being, that you would never be willing to lose again. New friends who are true friends will replace the old ones that come with conditions and strings. Your relationship with Christ can become so much more real when the middle man is removed. It takes some time but life is too short to waste. There is support here in internet land!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. don’t really know O’Neal, but I wonder why you, who claim to be Christian, won’t let it go? At some point moving on is both healing and healthy. No sense in continuing to rehash.

    Like

  38. “don’t really know O’Neal, but I wonder why you, who claim to be Christian, won’t let it go? At some point moving on is both healing and healthy. No sense in continuing to rehash.’ – s.c.

    I don’t know why ANYONE who claims to be “a Christian” would ever conduct himself in such an evil way as her ex-pastor, bossing people around, treating adults like children, bullying them, ordering them to be excommunicated and shunned.
    All of it evil. This is NOT of Christ.

    Chuck O’Neal’s theology is wrong and the fruit is sick and twisted. But he’s not alone. There are hundreds if not thousands of “pastors” doing the exact same thing with the vile spread of NeoCalvinism.

    Julie Anne has helped countless people, including me when I was ordered to be excommunicated and shunned from my NeoCalvinst church in Silicon Valley for discovering a Megan’s List sex offender/child pornographer in our midst. The pastors/elders had invited him to church, given him membership, access to all church activities and children, and told NO ONE. The pastors/elders even invited him to volunteer at a 5-day summer basketball camp for children that the church hosts for church families and unbelievers in the community who enroll their children. No one was told about that, not parents. Not the owners of the facilities who can be sued if a child is harmed on their property and it “all goes wrong”.

    Julie Anne’s courage gave me courage.

    Chuck O’Neal has never repented for the damage he’s done to countless peoples’ lives, not just Julie Anne’s and her families. He sued her, after all, and lost. Did you miss that part?

    Where is his “fruit”?

    Like

  39. I’m glad you benefited from my story, Velour. That is what SSB is about. I rarely think about CON anymore, but on the occasion of the anniversary week, as I was looking through the beginning of the lawsuit, it took me back to the cult reading his words. The reality is that the process of leaving a cult is indeed a process. By reading his long/ranting comment I made a connection that I hadn’t made before, and that’s why I shared it. I’m an open book and if I’m learning something, I figure that there’s probably someone else who will make similar connections with their former church/cult. The patterns are very similar.

    Does it mean that I haven’t gotten over it? No. It just means that I’m seeing things through my own eyes. I’m using my critical thinking skills. This is all part of the separation process and is healthy. I actually now get excited when I make these connections. Each new discovery helps me as I work with others who contact me and are trying to leave their cult.

    Like

  40. “I’m seeing things through my own eyes. I’m using my critical thinking skills. This is all part of the separation process and is healthy. I actually now get excited when I make these connections.” – Julie Anne

    You helped me tons! You saved my sanity at a very low point when I was excommunicated and shunned.

    I know what you mean about critical thinking skills. I am using mine and every now and again I get a connection. It’s important for those of us who’ve been in High Control groups/Thought Reform groups.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. I have accidentally deleted my post three times and just realized its because my left thumb hit the arrow back…oh well.

    S.C.

    I hope your family and kids if you have them, never suffer the church abuse mine has.
    It would serve you well to not defend an abuser but have compassion on the abused.

    You represent everything about ” church” I abhor.

    Like

  42. Says Julie Anne: “I will continue to speak out until he’s out of the pulpit and not harming people.”

    Amen!

    And there are many, many more “pastors” and “elders,” etc. who should not be close to a pulpit or in any imagined or manmade form of authority, power, or manipulation (ACBC “counselors”, etc.). This harm must stop.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. I only asked a question, I did not defend O’neal. Perhaps your readers need to sharpen their own ‘critical thinking’ skills no?

    Like

  44. BTW, if this forum represents ‘Christianity’ I will have to pass. No thank you! I want no part of you all’s back bitin’ ways.
    Adios folks…

    Like

  45. Julie Anne, I’m glad to hear of your fifth anniversary of blogging. I started reading your blog and The Wartburg Watch around two years ago, the same time as Nancy2 and Velour. I have learned so much about domestic violence, spousal abuse, and child sex abuse, and how victim’s voices in particular, are silenced in abusive churches. Having been a member of a toxic, Christian cult, I have been able to identify with many posts and commenters. What a source of healing your blog has been to so many! It is only when we use our voices to bring these kinds of abuses out into the open that we begin the process of healing from those deep hurts. The opposition seeks to squelch victim’s of abuse by silencing them. Keep speaking out, J.A. Blessings to you in your work and continuing education.

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Thank you, Darlene. I love hearing the stories of how people found SSB. It’s good to know that this place was an encouragement to you. The people here make it that way and I’m so grateful to them!

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Hi Julie Anne,

    Throwing my Congrats re your 5th Anniversary!! Wowzers!
    It has been great to look back at all of the hills and dales, the bridges, and the new territory that has opened up for you.

    Yes, there has been much progress through the internet being stations with information and being places for healing and refreshing–that have made such a difference for people. For example, in my own area, I see a couple quite often now who were in a desperate state of seeking for help while in the middle of their own painful family/church dilemma. They were so glad that they could actually find someone via the internet to talk to, to just listen to their story in their time of need. It worked out that they were close enough to even have a face to face visit and provide them with immediate support.

    It has been great to see their spiritual growth through that painful season. This is what those who have experienced spiritual abuse can provide for others, after they have first come through their own muddy tunnel church experience–with God’s amazing help!

    Regarding Biblical Gender Equality, this is a subject now also close to my heart. There is such a need to raise awareness about spiritual abuse and to raise awareness about gender equality from a biblical perspective.

    I will be heading out on my third ministry trip on March 20. I will be speaking and teaching on the topic of Biblical Gender Equality in Uganda and Kenya. There will be 5 conferences, about 2-3 days each; 4 in Uganda and 1 across the border into Kenya. It will be a busy but joyous time as brothers and sisters in Christ get their answers from the Scriptures and can be the change agents that others in their nations need to hear.

    Thanks for prayer for this amazing ministry opportunity in Africa!

    All the best as you continue to herald the good news and to expose the junk of unhealthy churches and flawed church leadership!!

    Your Sister in the same battlefield!

    Barb

    Liked by 1 person

  48. @Lea:

    On other sites, one his followers will tend to pop up and say something like ‘what if I told you I know people who think he has helped them so much? What then’ like it will make you drop all of your objections as in ‘it’s so simple, why didn’t I see it before’.

    Lea, that sounds like Witnessing Practice from Campus Crusade. Present the Four Spiritual Laws and a couple Bible verses, and the Hardcore Heathen drops all his/her objections as in “It’s So Simple, Why Didn’t I See It Before?” and says the Magic Words. (Just like the Altar Call Ending of bad Christianese fiction.)

    (Every time I saw those practice sessions, I wanted to ring in my D&D DM instead of the usual CCC shill. He’d have given them some REAL sales resistance.)

    What are these guys using for Reality?

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Congratulations, Julie Anne, on your 5 year blogiversary! As much as I admire you for standing up to a bully, I am more amazed at how you have helped others by both example and as a friend to help. I include myself, as I was able to use things I learned from reading your blog in a recent ordeal that my family went through. Blessings to you.

    Liked by 2 people

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