Tony Miano’s New Digs: Grace Community Church

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Street Evangelist Tony Miano announced he’s leaving Faith Community Church and will be attending Grace Community Church.

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Beaverton Grace Bible Church and Pastor Chuck O’Neal – A Year after They Lost the Defamation Lawsuit

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But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blpasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,  having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!  2 Tim 3:1-5

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Admin note:  Ok, I apologize in advance for the length of this article, but I could not find a dividing point without losing the flow and making it disjointed.   The goal was to have all of the documentation in one post.  So . . .  if you only have time for reading the condensed version and important parts, read the BROWN font and the tweets.  

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One year ago today, we heard the ruling from Judge Fun regarding the $500,000 defamation lawsuit against me and 4 other members (2 were later dropped).  We won!  I was away at a Christian summer camp serving as a counselor when we got the news and quickly got away for about an hour to share the news. Continue reading

The World is Watching Us

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One of the key signs of a healthy person and a healthy church is looking at the fruit they exhibit.  What kind of love do they show?  How do they model Christ to the world?  The world is watching and judging.
I read some words yesterday that were shocking to me on many levels.  They hurt me as a mother.  They hurt me as I thought about my daughter and what those words might mean to her.  They were not loving.  They were not gracious.  They did not think the best in someone.  It baffled my brain how these words and suggestions could come from a Believer. 
Right now, I am issuing a Trigger alert.  What this means is that people who have suffered spiritual abuse are likely to get an emotional response to this post.  Read this post at your own risk.
 

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”  John 13:34

At church on Sunday, the speaker discussed something so important for Christians to understand:  we as Christians must understand that God has given the world the right to judge us.  The overall theme was love and as I read the comment that was posted about my daughter (which follows) and thought back over all that has gone on over the past 5 months during the lawsuit, the past 3-1/2 yrs we have not been able to get to any reasonable resolution because all communication has been rejected by the other side, the 2 years we were at a church where God’s truth was distorted and twisted and left people spiritually abandoned and confused, some completely leaving the faith/church, dealing with the crazy Mark & Avoid lists of shunning and breaking up relationships, etc, one thing that has stood out so loud and clear to me is the lack of love for people and their souls.
 

“And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow.” 1 Thes 3:12


“But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another.
Indeed, you already show your love for all the believers throughout Macedonia. 
Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more.”  1 Thes 4:9-10

“If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” 1 Cor. 13:3
 
“…love your neighbor as yourself”  Lev. 19:18
Now some may think this next comment is petty, but it really isn’t.  God cared about names and we even see where he changed names (Saul/Paul).   I have informed him quite a few times how to spell my name, that I do not go by “Julie”.  Addressing people properly by their name shows respect at a basic level.  It’s not difficult to give this basic courtesy, yet I continually see my name shown in various forms by him, rarely the correct form.  I’ve even suggested using JA for simplification (and which I am perfectly fine with), yet it seems he prefers anything but my proper name.   What’s up with that?  The fruit is evident.   Keep in mind, I have been interacting with him for a few months now, so this is not anything new to him.
You may have read The Other Tom’s comment in yesterday’s post regarding a comment that Fred posted on his blog.  Brace yourself.  It is disgusting. Here is Fred’s comment that I copied from his blog.  Notice also that he brings out a major distraction to the real issue of spiritual abuse.  My daughter is the focus of the distraction below.  The lawsuit and the ongoing issues we have had with the church have never focused on our daughter, yet he wrongly puts Hannah front and center as a key piece in this battle: 
 
 
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Blogger Fred Butler said…

Julie A. writes, Me afraid? I don’t think so. I think it shows pretty clearly you were evading my question and it makes me wonder what you were trying to hide by not answering my question 5 times (Twitter, my blog, your blog and other blogs). 

and

Really???? Proof, please. My daughter posted one Google review before she was sued. That Google review was posted late Dec 11 or early Jan ’12. I am not aware of any others before that. You sure are coming across like you have info. Provide it here publicly. He accused me and those with me of going from church to church spreading junk.  

I never spread anything in any church. My daughter didn’t go to church. She has no interest in God or church since dealing with Chuck. So, please give me the inside story that even I don’t know about, Fred. 


I haven’t evaded any questions of yours and like I wrote on the previous occasion, I never had any insider information…


That is, until as of yesterday evening when I received an email from a church member at Grace Bible with some additional information I did not know before. According to this individual, who is not the pastor or in pastoral leadership to my immediate knowledge, one of the big parts to the back story that you demand proof about is that your daughter was fornicating with a guy.


Now. Before I continue, is that true or is this person lying? Was your unbelieving daughter involved in an illicit sexual relationship with a guy? 


Perhaps you have discussed this on your blog and I missed it, but if that is true, that places the events involving your daughter and this church into an entirely different context and changes the dynamics of your complaint against them. We can maybe discuss if how the situation was handled was good. Maybe they were overly harsh when they confronted her and dealt with the aftermath, but that hardly makes the pastor a terrible cult leader.


If an unbelieving daughter of a church member is found out to be fornicating are you seriously suggesting that a pastor is to just “let that go”? Just “let the family take care of it”? And not say anything? 


Do you readers know about this situation if it is true? Again, maybe you have written on it, but I haven’t seen anything, so please direct me to a post where you have if that is the case.
7:05 AM, August 01, 2012

 
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I spoke at length with Hannah about this today.  What we have here is a man who has entertained gossip from a church member, not even someone in leadership.  This member does not even know any of us as she came after we left.   She is taking information told to her, not first-hand knowledge.  Fred has taken that juicy gossip and published it broadly on the internet without the decency to fact check.  Fred asked the questions publicly without regard to the harmful and hurtful consequences of such questions.  Just a couple days ago, I e-mailed Fred regarding duplicating posts on his blog and asked him to remove one.  Here is a copy of my e-mail:   
Fred could easily have contacted me before posting such gossip.  He also has my personal phone number and I have asked him numerous times to give me a call if he has questions.  He has refused.  He intentionally made the choice to not contact me and instead made the choice to publicize information that had no business being broadcast on the internet without fact checking (and actually had no business on the internet at all).   
Healthy pastors and church leaders do not behave this way.  This is wrong.


“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Cor. 13:7“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”  1 Cor. 13:13

Why would someone do such a thing?  Was his intention to harm Hannah and our family? 
“Love each other as brothers and sisters.
Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.” 1 Peter 3:8
Fred likes to go on about how I have been slandering my former pastor and church publicly.  When we had issues with our former church, the discussions began very small – with the pastor and elders.  When that didn’t work, another pastor was brought in for mediation, but that mediation was turned down by the pastor.  The circled widened as the pastor/elders closed the doors to dialogue.  Fred did not begin small.  He took a piece of gossip and did not consider keeping the circle small.  Instead, he went straight to the internet.  Fred, is that what they teach you at Grace Community Church (GCC)?  I’m flabbergasted.  How would you feel if someone did this to your daughter?  I keep getting the picture of the Scarlet Letter in my mind with the big “A” hanging on my daughter.  Crazy!
Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  
It does not rejoice about injustice but 
rejoices whenever the truth wins out.”  1 Cor. 13:4-6
What has Fred learned at GCC and Master’s College about entertaining gossip?  He has clearly not demonstrated anything that I have learned from his pastor/teacher whom I do respect.

“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.”  Eph 4:15

Secular media will not publish such a story without confirming with sources, yet Fred Butler, a Bible teacher from Grace Community Church, graduate of the Master’s Seminary, employed by Grace to You, freely posted this gossip without regard to the ramification of my daughter’s reputation, her person, her dignity.  He assumed the worst in our daughter.  That is not love.  That is not thinking the best of someone as scripture exhorts.  Does secular media hold higher standards of moral conduct than Christians?  It appears so in this case.  This is shameful behavior.  Fred, the world is judging your behavior.  
Healthy pastors and church leaders do not behave this way.  This is wrong.  


“Always be humble and gentle.Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”  Eph 4:2

How would Bren (the BGBC church member you apparently got this allegation from) get this kind of sensitive information unless it was disclosed from the pastor?  Bren doesn’t even know us.  She received second-hand information and Fred posted it?  What kind of pastor discloses information that is privileged for only pastor/young adult/parents?  My daughter was never placed in any church discipline.  We were there for 11 months after Hannah left and there was no discussion of this whatsoever.  The topic of sexual immorality never came up.  Why?  Because it didn’t happen.  
Healthy pastors and church leaders do not behave this way.  This is wrong.  

“Dear brothers and sisters, we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing.” 2 Thes 1:3

If there was no church discipline, the church congregation has no business knowing about it.  The reason there was no church discipline regarding this issue is because the issue did not exist.  This is a complete lie, fabricated by someone, perhaps the pastor.  The pastor has shared sensitive information before, including names, on issues that the regular congregants had no business knowing (as I disclosed in court documents).  
Yes, our former pastor disclosed things to me that I had no business knowing – about specific people in the congregation regarding very sensitive topics.  The things he disclosed to me surely should have remained behind closed doors, kept only between the pastor and the congregant (or possibly with elders).  I was shocked and this was also added to my list of red flags that caused me great concern and eventually led to the several meetings at the end of our time there.  
Healthy pastors and church leaders do not behave this way.  This is wrong.  
Let this be a warning to those who remain there:  your personal information is never safe and it may be twisted and exaggerated or lied and possibly broadcast on the internet, spread by church members who believe they are spreading the truth, when in fact it is a lie.  
Here is the comment from church member, Bren (who is a frequent Google review burier):
Insider scoop?  Gossip?  Bren spread false information about my daughter – presumably told by the pastor and it was spread to the internet, yet when real rape/sodomy occurred in the church, the pastor admittedly covered it up and kept silent.  In fact, we have been told by those who were at the church at the time and now have left (a few families) that the church was only told about “inappropriate touch”.   This convicted sex offender is not incarcerated for inappropriate touch, but for rape, etc, and multiple counts of sexual offenses.  This was not a one-time incident, but multiple incidences with more than one child.  So stories are fabricated about my daughter, yet when illicit sexual crimes are being perpetrated by a young man at church, the story is changed and minimized.  This is messed up stuff.  
Healthy pastors and church leaders do not behave this way.  This is wrong.  The world is watching and judging.

“Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”  John 13:34b

A bigger issue here is that a young adult’s sexual indiscretions (whether it actually happened or not) has no bearing on the issue of spiritual abuse, period.  This is an attempt to draw attention to a side issue that never existed and to get me worked up.  


“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

Fred has a long-standing agenda to stand up on behalf of pastors who are wronged by congregants who have authority issues and seems to lump them all in the same bundle.  At the same time, he gives a free pass to someone who goes to his church’s Shepherd’s conference year after year and was selected to go to expositor’s school.  Just because a pastor goes to Shepherd’s Conference and expositor’s school at a great place does not mean they pass the healthy pastor test.  

They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.   Titus 1:16

Listen, Fred.  Your buddy, the one who went against pastors Phil Johnson’s advice and Bill Shannon’s advice and against the Bible sued and lost the court case.  He is dragging his church through a financial fiasco to pay for attorney’s bills, court costs, filing fees, etc.  Between his attorney bill and ours, the church’s tithe money and/or other resources could be paying close to six figures for this ridiculous lawsuit.  God is surely not pleased.  He didn’t need to do that.  Why are you defending a man who refuses communication with former congregants?   Why are you defending a man who did not report to the authorities gross sexual abuse against children (rape, sodomy)?  In your quest to defend all pastors who have disgruntled congregants, you are missing the bigger picture here:  Spiritual Abuse.  
We have gone the biblical route and have many more witnesses than the Bible requires.  We offered phone numbers of long-time members who were leaders/elder from the church, but you and other pastors from GCC refused to make the call, not wanting to get involved. You are overlooking very basic issues we have brought out and are blinded to the truth in your quest to protect pastors.  Brother, the blood is going to be on your hands.  You are acting like a spiritual authority and missing obvious signs and refusing to deal with people who have been crying out for years.

James 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”

At the very least, Fred, I am asking that you publicly apologize to my sweet daughter who has been hurt directly by you in your public blog post and comments.  Does her soul not matter to you?  How dare you do such a thing!  
The world is watching and judging Christians and surely they are observing this poor behavior.  You have the opportunity to make things right, Fred.  I hope you do.  

How Far Will We Go to Contend for the Faith?

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have been waiting for this response from Mr. Butler for a while.  He has now addressed the issue and I would like to open it up for discussion.   I was concerned that we wouldn’t hear from Fred again and that the questions might remain unanswered.  Thank you, Fred, for responding.

My blood pressure rises each time I read his comment.  Mr. Butler is not the first person who has given me this response.  And sadly, I notice a trend of similar responses coming from people of Fred’s ilk.   I may address that at some point because I believe we clearly have a systemic issue that has gone rampant in our churches – the failure to appropriately deal with false teachers and pastors who abuse their flocks.  Did Jude 1:3 – the part where we are to earnestly contend for the faith –  get removed from their Bibles?  Do pastors get to pick and choose their battles and ignore false teachers?  Really?  Is that how it works now?

While you read this, I ask you to do one thing.  Please imagine this is a situation in which there are abused sheep, a whole church full of abused sheep who are being misled.  Ask yourself what will happen with the abused sheep if we follow Fred’s response?

 

Fred ButlerJune 20, 2012 8:25 PM

You have stated on more than one occasion that the blog on which we are now interacting should not exist. I’m curious: Under what circumstances would Julie Anne’s blogging be appropriate, in your view?

Appropriate blogging against this current pastor and church specifically? Never.   If she felt inclined to leave a comment with google and it got removed, that honestly should have been the end of it. But she persisted. Julie Anne seems to suggest that she was under some obligation to warn everyone about this church, but why? She hadn’t attended there in three years before leaving that google review comment, at least that is how I understand it. All of the sudden she felt she had to leave a negative comment and stir up strife with this pastor and church? I can be a gadfly at times on blogs, but if the blogger or web moderator is deleting my comments, I know when to take a hint.

What would have to transpire in order for you to concede that Julia Anne’s blogging is no longer something she need repent of?

In my opinion, she needs to discontinue this blog and leave Chuck and that church alone. Her and her family live in an entirely different state now, as I understand it. This should no longer concern her. Further, make some sort of faith effort that she will cease and desist from bothering them again. That’s I see it.

 

Interestingly, this is part of a similar discussion I had with Fred on his blog a while back.   I  posted the following comment and received no response from Fred.

Blogger Julie Anne said…

Fred: Let’s back up a bit. I did not originally start a “Survivor Blog”. I posted a one paragraph Google Review. Evidently, it was removed by the pastor. I added it again, and it was removed (repeat this story a few more times). This was the only place I intended to say anything. He removed my voice, so I went to a different venue.

I did what I felt was right. Yes, it is messy.  The whole thing is uncomfortable. What feels right about false teachers?   Nothing! However, after beginning the blog, I have been in contact with countless people who discovered the story thanks to the pastor’s foolish lawsuit and subsequent media response.   These people have told me story after story of abuse that I was unaware of because they experienced it many years before me and I had never heard of them.   They have been living in silence for years, sometimes more than a decade, some families have been torn apart, some no longer go to church or are afraid to go to church – – – all because of this one man.  I felt by not doing what I did, I would be sinning:

http://apprising.org/2010/11/22/john-macarthur-jesus-and-false-teachers/

Criticize and rant all you want about my method, but until you walk in my shoes . . . .

9:17 AM  (Click here to read entire blog post and comments)

I would also like to remind Fred more words from his pastor,  Dr. John MacArthur.  In MacArthur’s Truth War book, he mentions, “even some pastors and popular writers in the Christian market might be the enemy disguised as comrades.  The apostle Paul warned of that very danger in

2 Cor. 11:13-15.”

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. 

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

 

Once again – if all other appropriate Biblical methods were employed, if the pastor refused to communicate, refused to meet with a local pastor who offered mediation, if he refused to listen to MacArthur’s people, including Phil Johnson, what next, Fred?   There were a number of pastors in the local area who knew of this situation and all chose to not get involved.

Are pastors and church leaders the ONLY people whom God uses to point out abuse and false teachings?  Luther’s nailing of the ninety-five theses to the Wittenburg church door was one method of calling out wrongs.  Do you think if he had the internet available, he would have snubbed modern technology?

Fred,  now what?  Walk away from abuse?  Don’t you have a child, Fred?  Would you walk away from your son if you saw him being abused?  Would you take the blog down and walk away?  Which reminds me of this brilliant post from Craig Vick, who asked you some questions that you perhaps missed earlier.  I thought I’d bring the  comment here so you’d be sure to see it:

Craig VickJune 19, 2012 6:30 PM

Fred,

You are clearly very bright, and I think you are interested in real discussion. Consider, then, what I take to be a central problem in all of this. There are churches that do not overtly transgress orthodoxy and yet are very cult like in their behavior. Do you agree that such churches exist? If so, how do we spot them? I would find it more constructive, and a better use of your gifts, if you would wrestle with that question rather than simply tearing apart the tests that someone else has proposed. I don’t think it’s easy to do. Some wolves are very adept at looking like sheep. If we say, for example, that such wolves differ from sheep (or true pastors) in that they are manipultive and controlling it’s easy to respond by saying that’s a bit vague (it is). That doesn’t mean, however, that this test isn’t getting at something very real. So how do we distinguish between cult like control and normal, responsible teaching and care? What would you suggest? You yourself say “There are pastors who are controlling and lord it over the flock they are to shepherd.” How do you distinguish these from those using Scriptural authority appropriately?

 

My readers have asked some great questions.  I hope you will be so kind as to respond.

Thanks!
~ja