ABUSE & VIOLENCE IN THE CHURCH, Church Discipline Process, Fred Butler, Grace Community Church, It's All About the Image, John MacArthur, Master's University / Master's Seminary, Spiritual Abuse, Women and the Church

Response to Pastor Eric Davis’ Article on “Do You See Me?” #DoYouSeeUs

Jane’s story, The Master’s University, rape, Eric Davis, John MacArthur, #DoYouSeeUs


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Eric Davis, pastor of Cornerstone Church in Jackson Hole, WY, posted an article at Cripplegate.com, “Do You See Me?”: A Partial Response, in response to the account of “Jane,” an alleged rape victim whose sexual assault, kidnapping, and drugging was reportedly mishandled by The Master’s University leaders. You can read the horrific story Do You See Me?.

Before we break apart Pastor Davis’ article, I received this text from Jane, and she gave me permission to post it. I thought it was a good clarifying statement about why she posted her story.

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Okay, let’s begin with excerpts from Pastor Davis’ article (in italics). Both Kathi and I will be making comments. We identify ourselves at the beginning of each comment so there is no confusion.

If you aren’t already familiar with these allegations, I’d encourage you to be thankful, and then just skip this post.

Julie Anne – Remember, Eric Davis is a pastor. Where he comes from, pastors are authority figures. As a pastor, he is telling you to be thankful and skip the post. He’d rather you not look at it. Why is that? Because it might make him or his tribe look bad?

I am concerned about the world my daughters are entering—one which too often can be a vicious place for women.

Julie Anne – From what I’ve been hearing from many women who were students at The Master’s University, it’s not the world that women need to be concerned about, it’s some of the leaders at The Master’s University and others like them who do not treat women as women of value and worth.

Kathi – If one of his daughters were to be raped by someone he knows, would he respond the same way as he did to Jane? Would he immediately believe his daughter and respond the way Jane’s parents did, or would he question that her story was “one-sided,” “maligning,” and “false”?

My post will not argue as to whether or not a crime was committed against Jane. Trained civil authorities have the responsibility to investigate such things. Nor is the purpose to present an exhaustive protocol for care for rape victims. And I am not speaking for the University, or in any kind of official capacity (they have launched their own investigation, and in the meantime, their response is here).

Julie Anne – Full stop! Pastor Davis says he is not speaking for the university, yet he was involved in this case. I have been told that he was a seminary student at The Master’s Seminary, and also an RD (resident director) at The Master’s University.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that is why he has been the most vocal and defensive in this case so far – not only because of his involvement, but his wife, Leslie’s, involvement. Leslie was Jane’s RD on campus. Jane had this to say about Leslie and her rape case:

“Leslie confronted me on multiple occasions over numerous days attempting to find fault, blame, and dissect my account of my rape. She focused on my “heart issues” and constantly accused me of lying to cover up what she thought was consensual, and initiated by hidden sins of lust.” ~”Jane”

Back to Pastor Davis’ post:

I was involved in the aftermath of this event. I was living at Master’s at the time, knew Jane, and talked to her before, during, and after the events described in the blog post. I am aware of a more complete picture, and it’s important to know that there is a significantly different perspective on how the matter was handled.

Julie Anne – Keeping in mind what I shared above about now-Pastor Davis, and now having information about how his wife responded to Jane, do you see how he can say this? It’s because he and his wife had come to the conclusion that Jane was in sin, and they were going to help her come to their conclusion (whether it was true or not did not seem to matter).

Kathi – Eric was “involved” during the event? “During??!!” Does this word stick out like a red flag to anyone? I am left to wonder if Eric knew the perpetrator because it is clear that he does not believe Jane’s story. If he knew what happened to her while the event occurred then he must think that she consented to sex. Otherwise, if he knew that she did not consent to what was happening while the events occurred, then he is a [_________________] (ja redacted Kathi’s word) for not putting a stop to her rape.

But I do want to clearly say this: Jane’s situation has been presented inappropriately.

Julie Anne – Would it be more appropriate if a man said it? It may be uncomfortable to read, but it is her story. It is not for Pastor Davis to tell a reported rape victim how her story should be presented.

I want the readers here to understand that the “Do You See Me?” post does not present some of the people it describes fairly or accurately.

Julie Anne – There is no possible way Pastor Davis could know this unless he was present as a witness in every situation that Jane was. Furthermore, opinions of people are subjective.

Kathi – I have a couple of observations regarding this statement:

  1. The Institution and all people involved with the institution are portrayed as the victim.
  2. He always mentions Jane’s name but he never mentions any names of the institutions or the people involved with the institutions. To me, he is setting a clear separation between the two. There was a relationship between Jane and the institution. Jane was a student. Why not mention The Master’s Seminary, Joe Keller (Assistant Dean of The Master’s College), Rick Holland (College Pastor), or John MacArthur?

But I can say this: “Do You See Me?” paints a picture of malicious institutions with a vendetta against Jane for being raped. The individuals shepherding her are pictured as negligent and callous towards the victim of an unconscionable crime. Yet this is not accurate.

Julie Anne – Correction, Do You See Me? paints a picture of a few leaders who had a vendetta against Jane for being raped, for going to authorities to report the rape, for going to the hospital to get a rape kit done, all without getting their permission.

And because the blog did not give the church, counselors, or college an opportunity to fill out the story prior to posting, it is impossible for readers to make a correct and righteous judgement. By denying readers the facts—or even both sides—the post and its advocates take truth hostage to their agendas, and the victims are those naive enough to believe it.

Kathi – Eric’s concern is that the opposite side’s story is not provided. Marci is providing Jane’s story. These are Jane’s words and Marci is giving them an outlet. There is no need to provide the opposite side of the story. Let the opposite side tell their own story. Let Jane have the freedom to tell hers.

Julie Anne – The only agenda I have is seeing truth exposed and victims having voices. (Please note the added “s” on victim and voice. That was intentional.)

God’s people are to provide skilled care to those who have been sinned against. We are called to demonstrate compassion. To listen.

Julie Anne – It’s important to remember Pastor Davis’ frame of reference when he wrote these words. In his eyes, Jane is guilty, too. Other known names have already publicly said that Jane is lying. One such name is Fred Butler (long-time employee at John MacArthur’s Grace to You program):

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And let’s also not forget how his wife, Leslie, assumed Jane was guilty:

“Leslie confronted me on multiple occasions over numerous days attempting to find fault, blame, and dissect my account of my rape. She focused on my “heart issues” and constantly accused me of lying to cover up what she thought was consensual, and initiated by hidden sins of lust.” ~”Jane”

Let me just add, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that tells me that The Master’s University has people who “provide skilled care” with someone who is sexually assaulted. I hope that problem is remedied.

To support a victim like Jane, we must exercise the utmost diligence. Advocates must keep truth and love a high priority. We must be careful.

Kathi – He states that we are called to: be compassionate, listen, notify police, support with the utmost diligence, then follows this up with, “We must be careful.” What is there to be careful about? When advocating for trauma victims, there is nothing to be careful about except to make sure that the victim’s needs are top priority.

“Truth and Love” – code words for her sin needed to be dealt with.

Rather than a recipient of responsible care based upon a thorough inquiry into the truth, she seems to have become leverage for maligning. When the dust settles I wonder if Jane’s name will have been dragged through the mud on account of the article’s slander and inaccuracies involving serious accusations.

Kathi – Eric, there is no wondering here. You have already started the process of dragging Jane’s name through the mud.

Eric allows no comments on his post. Why? Is he afraid to answer questions about how much he knows about what happened to Jane before, during, and after her rape?

Eric’s inability to validate Jane’s story makes it more difficult for victims to come forward with their own. If the women of his church see how he treated this victim of rape, how likely will they be to tell their own stories of rape and abuse to him, wondering if he will believe them?

117 thoughts on “Response to Pastor Eric Davis’ Article on “Do You See Me?” #DoYouSeeUs”

  1. Your right Rachel!!!! I need to also note Who has the responsibility here? A teenager or a grown married man who is pastoring young people? If she was full on persuing him it’s obvious to any rational normal thinking man that the girl needs some help. I also need to note that it was his responsibility to contact her parents and let them know that she was having difficulty in her life and that she needs some help from home and a professional counselor. Instead this youth pastor preyed upon a young girl and whose to say that the scenario ken gives is correct. The U.S. Marshall doesn’t get involved in cases like these, it’s the state , the district attorney in their county who would file charges. I’m certain Ken spun it in a way where it looks like she was the aggressor.

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  2. I had a bit of a shock recently. 29 years ago, at age 15 I became infatuated with our young, handsome bachelor youth minister of 19 or 20. I was painfully shy and knew expressing an interest in him might get him in trouble. So I kept my crush to myself. He remained clueless and went back to Bible college a year later.

    He married in his early twenties like our church says we should. He had children and became a full time minister. Then his wife left him. Somewhere along the line he started having sex with underage girls. Including stuff he recorded on video.

    I don’t know when he started this nasty stuff. Quite likely not till after he had left his interim ministry with my youth group.

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  3. My point is no matter how bold and aggressive that girl was he could have run away

    I would never trust this description from a man who took advantage. Self serving lies most likely.

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  4. I guess my position is, Grown men and Women have no business touching kids. Teen girls are in my mind are children they are not developed enough to make certain decisions for their lives which will have lasting impact or consequences depending on their choices. The frontal cortex of their brains do not fully develop until around the age of 23 -24 years old. So however this young lady that ken ramey speaks of in his sermon acted where does he get off excusing a grown man touching a girl who would clearly have emotional issues? Not just that but a man in a position of authority in the church!!! Given that he followed this man to his first ministry and is a graduate of TMS we all know that they are authoritarian churches because these blogs are reporting on them. So imagine the environment this young lady is in. She is in an authoritarian church where men exert their authority and use scripture to do it. So now we have a young 17 year old ( if we believe ramey that is how old he says she is) and a youth pastor who is in charge of teenagers/children. Is it really necessary to machinate over whether the pastor should flee temptation? I absolutely believe NO WAY!!!! He had no business touching her , period!!! This is just one of the many research studies I found on the teen brain that I thought might be relevant. This also plays into Janes story as well because these are kids trying to process abuse. Their decisions at the time would be different had they been fully developed. I’m assuming Jane was a teen or early early 20’s.

    The frontal cortex

    What age is frontal lobe fully developed
    The rational part of a teen’s brain isn’t fully developed and won’t be until age 25 or so. In fact, recent research has found that adult and teen brains work differently. Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s rational part.

    The researchers found that when processing emotions, adults have greater activity in their frontal lobes than do teenagers.

    The frontal lobes of the brain have been implicated in behavioral inhibition, the ability to control emotions and impulses.

    The frontal lobes are also thought to be the place where decisions about right and wrong, as well as cause-effect relationships are processed

    In contrast, the amygdala is part of the limbic system of the brain and is involved in instinctive “gut” reactions, including “fight or flight” responses.

    The results from the McLean study suggest that while adults can to use rational decision making processes when facing emotional decisions, adolescent brains are simply not yet equipped to think through things in the same way

    For example, when deciding whether to ride in a car driven by a drunk friend, an adult can usually put aside her desire to conform and is more likely to make the rational decision against drunk driving. However, a teenager’s immature frontal lobes may not be capable of such a coolly rational approach, and the emotional feelings of friendship may be likely to win the battle. As Dr. Yurgelun-Todd told U.S. News, “Good judgment is learned, but you can’t learn it if you don’t have the necessary hardware.”

    The results from these studies do not mean that a teenager will always make irrational decisions. They do, however, suggest that teenagers need guidance as their brains develop, especially in the realm of controlling emotional impulses in order to make rational decisions.

    So I guess Ken Rameys youth pastor “Paul” his guidance was to sleep with a kid? That was his problem solving method. Rather than lead her to Christ he led her to the bedroom to defile her because that is what he did. He also broke vows to God and his wife along with his children. He used the church as a means to act out his deviant behavior against a kid. Here we have ken making excuses for him rather then show him Christ by correcting him. Instead Ken shames the memory of this girl to do what? Build himself and this guy up? I wonder what her parents would think if they knew about this sermon? This all falls back to Jane’s story, this is how these sick men in the good ole boys club think!!! Their buddies abuse or a man abuses and they not just cover it up but make excuses or call the victims liars.

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  5. He had no business touching her , period!!!

    Well of course not. He is rationalizing. He is blaming. That’s what they all do.

    I’m just saying these guys are unreliable narrators. Certainly they shouldn’t touch a teenager even if she is really coming on to them, but I don’t for a second believe that happened.

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  6. Jane was a college senior. They gave her Fs instead of As for 3 years of college. That would have made her 20 or 21 at least. But rape is rape even if the victim is in her seventies.

    My mom was barely 20 when she married. But Dad was only 7 months older. And they had known each other for over 2 years.

    Ken sounds like a predator himself. If he isn’t one already he will be soon. He rationalizes it for another man–probably grooming his own victim. Keep your daughters and nieces the heck away from him!

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  7. If you’re a girl and don’t marry before 23 in my church you probably won’t. That’s my experience. They tacitly expect you to remain celibate but offer NO support. Then singles leave the church and everyone speculates it’s due to lack of spiritual maturity. Try social ostracism or shunning and you’ll be more on target.

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  8. You are so right Lea. I wasn’t trying to imply that was what you were saying. I am going more by what Ken is saying. I think these fools fail to understand the brain and how it operates. They miss key reasons why children can not even be capable of giving consent at a certain age. The neurons in their brains up to a certain point in their life have not even connected yet. Therefore their ability to reason, for see the consequences down the road , to understand their emotions in a way where they associate them in the right places and on top of this life experience is not even there. So kids have yet to have the ability to succeed or fail and learn through those successes or failures as a result of their decisions. This is especially for teenagers. Think about when you were a teen, did you think you knew everything yet now realize we knew nothing at even age 23? Predators know these things which is what makes them more superior in decision making when dealing with kids. This youth pastor is a predator. He understood full well the gravity of his decisions and the consequences emotionally and physically. Being this girl wasn’t a fully developed adult we must assume she lacks good decision making skills at the very least if it played out the way ken says. I don’t think it played out the way he portrays her.

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  9. Oh sure, Shauna. An adult who pulls this with a teenager under his care, no matter how he or she acted, is a predator. Period. They are an adult. As an adult, you should be able to handle people coming onto you. Teenagers certainly have to! Why are your standards for grown men lower than for teenage girls?

    Ridiculous.

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  10. Yes!!!! Lea you nailed it! My other issue with this sermon other than how distasteful, insensitive, ugly, nasty, and downright pointless it is to speak about the memory of someone’s child unless you get your rocks off doing that to someone. Why in the world would he use this as a preaching platform just a few months after a child in his church is raped by another member? In response to it he blames the child and labels the child not just a liar but also a homosexual. The child was sexually abused with a knife to their throat and told ” if he screams he dies and so does his mother”. Yes I was in the house when he did this to my child and had interrupted the assault.

    With that said what was his purpose in degrading the memory of this girl? What was his motivation to slander and lie about my child? To throw him out as if he never meant nothing to the church? For petes sake this pastor has children of his own. My son had played with his son since they were little boys. He has shown and ugliness to children that are not his own for which I still don’t get.

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  11. A lot of the premises they make are bizarre/self-contradictory.

    “Men are all spiritual giants with extraordinary powers of discernment. But they are also lecherous horndogs who can’t look away if a chesty woman wearing a low cut blouse walks by. If he rapes her–this spiritual giant with extra discernment–whines that she MADE him do it.

    If a piece of cake is so attractive to my eyes and nose that I eat it, should I say that wicked cake schemed to make me break my diet?

    If Christian men would quit viewing their sisters as THINGS TO EAT, lust in our churches would no longer be an issue. That would end all sexual misbehavior automatically. Just like getting rid of hatred would end murder.

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  12. Rachel you raised a great point! Also women can be aggressive as well but no one can force you to assault under the premise “she made me do it” and therefore that justifies rape nobody is buying it. My son in the last few weeks has had a young lady his age aggressively pursuing him. He recognized that she has problems and has done everything from politely turning her down by being honest. He has offered friends as a means or just being kind, he finally told me. So also recognizing the girl is struggling emotionally I sought out her parents.

    Needless to say they attempted to focus on my son rather than the issue with their kid. My son also has texts and emails to me expressing that he is trying to avoid her we also spoke to the principal but in a way where it didn’t limelight her pursuing my son in a negative way. Bottom line the parents finally recognized her issues and the principal was able to assist her. She is not pursuing my son any longer. Now she is 17 obviously she needed guidance at age 17 and with the proper support and guidance she is doing better. Now how is even a teen boy can recognize she needed help and rather than take advantage he sought help in that situation?

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  13. Raising boys and teens into men is a task but when boys are taught and modeled to treat EVERYONE with Dignity they will do what is right. Unless there is something off balance about them. I have ingrained in my son to never ever strip someone of their dignity. To never participate in someone else doing it. Be it a male or female we are all to at least on a basic level be decent to each other.

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  14. When a church, especially the larger churches compromise dignity (great thoughts shauna) to the level of horrible customer service of say DirecTV, then we are in real trouble. I had to cancel a bogus order and it took NINE phone calls. I got the run around, dropped calls, any and everything but deal with the actual problem! The end result: cancellation of all services!

    When people blow off the “little things”–there are always little leaks in the system along the way, then there is a leadership problem. The case of Jane (HUGE problem) only reflects a broken system that should have been exposed much earlier. To use their own theological language, they are naive (hamartiology in method)!

    How people react to problems reveals their true self…I cannot tell you how many times men make excuses over the “little things” because it is inconvenient, uncomfortable, might actually cause them to get out of comfort zone. We are all guilty of this at some level. Looking the other way as long as it doesn’t impact our lives.

    I agree with Julie-Anne, generally speaking, “these people” are totally unqualified to counsel real adult problems–anything serious in nature. Not only that, but arrogant, as in they cannot learn anything from a “secular counselor” on how to deal with sexual abuse victims. I mean, the “world” can never offer the church any wisdom right? This means those who were fortunate to never experience a dysfunctional family system, who you would think would be able to support, tend to be the most insensitive. How many people have stories of pain thinking more bible study will help them, more commitment, more service when the healing power lies in the body of Christ itself through support and offering a person a place to unpack! That will NEVER happen if there is no opportunity for vulnerability. These types of churches do not allow vulnerability or transparency…that is the first mark something is off!

    When you share a difficulty, what is the reaction? Rarely is there compassion or any true support, any awareness of what lurks beneath the surface. What you will see a lot of is a man in a bible study say, “Pray for me with anger…when I drive to work I lack patience.” That is as deep as it gets. Never will you hear anyone look at a shadow of their anger or impatience.

    In other words, they always “dance around the fire.” The message is clear: I can never really deal with what is going on in my life, even to the point of not believing myself! Doubting self. Feeling guilty, and the end result, living in shame! Now there’s “body life” for ya! But also, let’s attack any form of “Charismatic” methods because they are too emotional! How dare they deal with feelings and emotions, transparency and all that psychobabble…how dare they get messy!

    If it looks too perfect, too clean, too orderly something is off. We all know those homes that are always “showroom”…that ain’t real life! That is “cover-up” and projecting an image of a system that has real problems!

    Sorry if anyone here works for DirecTV, but my experience was horrible over several separate occasions!

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