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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Jane’s Account of Rape, Response of Master’s University to Her Claims, and a Breaking Development Confirming Details #DoYouSeeUs

The Master’s University, The Master’s Seminary, Grace Community Church, John MacArthur, Sexual Assault, Sexual Abuse, Jane’s Story, #DoYouSeeUs

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Credit: TMU Facebook page

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Introducing the Account of Master’s University Student “Jane” Being Raped

Earlier this week (September 18), blogger Marci Preheim shared the story of Jane (pseudonym), a Master’s University student who was drugged, then raped. The horrific story of what happened and how she was treated afterward is entitled, Do You See Me?  This incident occurred in 2006, 11 years ago.

Of course, this has created quite an uproar in social media, so much so, that statements from Pastor John MacArthur’s church and schools were posted on the Facebook pages of Grace Community Church (GCC), The Master’s University (TMU), and The Master’s Seminary (TMS). John MacArthur is the pastor of Grace Community Church, and founder and president of both The Master’s University and The Master’s Seminary.

Here is the statement posted on these Facebook pages: Continue reading

Pastor Phil Johnson Shows His Heart toward Domestic Violence Victim

Domestic Violence, Phil Johnson, Grace Community Church, John MacArthur

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Church Member Responsibility and Church Discipline at Pastor Eric Davis’ Church

Church membership, church discipline, Pastor Eric Davis, Cornerstone Church


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Church Member Responsibility and Church Discipline According to the Cornerstone Church By-laws

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-by Kathi

I recently wrote about how Julie Anne and I dared to comment on an article at The Cripplegate which subsequently caused our comments to be deleted and comments to be closed. Pastor Eric Davis provided an entirely too long explanation about how the discussion had run its course, more humbleness in being a part of God’s community was needed, and that there was too much focus on logistics. Let’s not forget that he provided the wonderful 16-point article challenging excuses for not going to church. But who’s focusing on logistics? Continue reading

Help! My Family Member or Close Friend is Trapped in a High-Controlling Church or Cult. How Can I Encourage Them to Leave?

How to help a family member or friend leave a high-controlling church group or cult: spiritual abuse, trapped, thought reform, mind control, freedom


 

“Mind control is the process by which individual or collective freedom of choice and action is compromised by agents or agencies that modify or distort perception, motivation, affect, cognition and/or behavioral outcomes. It is neither magical nor mystical, but a process that involves a set of basic social psychological principles. Conformity, compliance, persuasion, dissonance, reactance, guilt and fear arousal, modeling and identification are some of the staple social influence ingredients well studied in psychological experiments and field studies. In some combinations, they create a powerful crucible of extreme mental and behavioral manipulation when synthesized with several other real-world factors, such as charismatic, authoritarian leaders, dominant ideologies, social isolation, physical debilitation, induced phobias, and extreme threats or promised rewards that are typically deceptively orchestrated, over an extended time period in settings where they are applied intensively.”
Steven Hassan, Combating Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best-Selling Guide to Protection, Rescue and Recovery from Destructive Cults

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I’ve heard it said that losing a child to death can be a parent’s worst nightmare. Now imagine having lost your adult child and their family, not to death, but to a high-controlling church or cult. Imagine not being able to celebrate birthdays or major holidays together. Imagine having only limited contact with your adult child and their family. How could your loved one entirely dismiss you, act like you are a stranger or enemy when you did nothing to them? Continue reading

Phil Johnson: ‘Some thoughts on CJ, T4G, and “survivor blogs.”’

Phil Johnson, C.J. Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Ministries Sex Abuse Case, Together for the Gospel, #T4G2016, Survivor Blogs

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Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood 2016 Conference #CBMW16 Live Tweets and Complementarianism Cool-Aid

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Street Preacher Tony Miano Yells to Woman, “You’re Acting Like a Man. STOP IT!!!”

Street Preacher, Tony Miano, member of John MacArthur’s church, Grace Community Church thinks this is how to stop abortions and win people to Christ.

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Phil Johnson, Tony Miano, Grace Community Church, and Public Rebuking for Public Behavior

 Phil Johnson, Tony Miano, Grace Community Church and Public Rebuking for Bad Public Behavior

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Council for Biblical Manhood and Woman: Will the Real Gospel Please Stand?

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Is Complementarianism the Gospel? Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) Seems to Confuse the Gospel with Their Agenda

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Phil Johnson Claims the Main Trouble in Churches are the Sheep, not Wolves

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So, what does John MacArthur really think about young women going to college?

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Karl Heitman and Matt Tarr come to different conclusions about whether it is okay for young ladies to go to college. Both cite John MacArthur and the Bible to back up their claims. Who is right?

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Russell Moore and John MacArthur Offer Diverse Responses on Challenging Issues

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Two Influential Christian leaders offer diverse responses regarding (1) professional counseling and (2) response to [adult] children with same-sex issues or identity.

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Can High-Controlling Pastors Lead Their Members into Depression and Even Suicide?

 

Commenters share about high-controlling pastors who leave a path of mental health destruction, even suicide, because they cannot get appropriate help.

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The Photo Promotion of C.J. Mahaney at Together for the Gospel

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C.J. Mahaney is pictured in front-row seats at the Together for the Gospel conference after publicly saying he would not participate due to the distraction of the Sovereign Grace Ministries lawsuit.

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Question for Tony Miano: Did Joni Preach?

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Tony Miano, author of Should She Preach?, attended John MacArthur’s Strange Fire conference at Grace Community Church, along with Pastor Chuck O’Neal (suing pastor who had minister’s license revoked and currently in discipline), Phil Johnson, Dr. Steve Lawson, all of whom contributed to Miano’s book.

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Strange Fire Conference: John MacArthur, “Reformed Theology is not a Haven for False Teachers”

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I apologize in advance for the length of this post.  Please read the Facebook status slowly and let it sink in, would you?

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Are Bloggers & the Internet Having a Direct Effect on Churches and Their Policies?

Before I get to the subject of this article, I wanted to give a brief update on my court case:  I’ve had a few people asking me on the blog and privately if my former pastor has paid the attorney’s fees.  He and/or the church did pay the attorney fees for the two defendants who were dismissed early on.  I believe this amount was just under $17,000.  Judge Fun has not issued an order for the fees yet for our portion, nor has there been any action on the plaintiff’s side to appeal.  So basically, my understanding is we are waiting for Judge Fun to issue the order to get that ball rolling.

“Church” as seen through the eyes of my now 10-yr old resident artist.

It appears that my case is winding down or is seemingly quiet for the moment.  The case victory means I am free to speak my mind on the internet within the rights of the Constitution.  Yea for Freedom of Speech!   Other bloggers like me are continuing to share their difficult church stories and their speech is protected, too.  My blog did not remove my pastor from the pulpit, but it has served the initial purpose of having a place to tell my story in hopes that others could identify spiritual abuse and we can all learn and heal from our experiences.

 

Has this blog served any other purpose?  Regulars may be familiar with my friend and reader brad/futuristguy.  Brad has experienced spiritual abuse and has been compiling information, following trends and patterns regarding spiritual abuse for years.  We’ve been observing how bloggers and social media are impacting the views of church by uncovering and creating document archives for church abuse stories, discussing the financial misdeeds and power plays of pastors, watching how churches handle sex abuse in church.  The internet has allowed us to get a close-up look at what churches are doing right and wrong.

 

Disclaimer:  I am keenly aware that there are in fact troublemakers in churches who are chronic grumblers and complainers who have posted negative comments online about their church.  This article is not discussing that problematic issue, but real cases of abuse coming from pastors and leaders in the church.  

 

It’s interesting to note that my church was a Podunk church of maybe 100 congregants, yet it made the headlines as if it were a mega church.  Most people in Beaverton probably didn’t even know of the small church.  The church is not on a major road and sits back behind a small housing development.  Reader, Kathi, is from the area and had no clue where the church was until I told her, yet, the media attention broadcast the church’s and pastor’s name far and wide around the world so that names Beaverton Grace Bible Church and Chuck O’Neal became publicly known as the church/pastor who sued a mother and former congregants for $500,000.  The internet and social media have put churches, regardless of size, on an even playing field.   What this means is that my single voice  – – –  or your single voice  – – – from Podunk, USA – –  can be heard just as loud as someone’s voice from a mega church with a celebrity pastor.  This is very important to note.

Mega-churches are certainly realizing the impact of social media and the effect it has on their reputation.  Take my case for example.  My former pastor falsely said in his Google review that a pastor from mega church Grace Community Church (Pastor John MacArthur’s church) told him it was okay to sue me.  (That is my paraphrase.)  This comment was picked up by popular Christian bloggers and went viral.  Even mainstream media picked up on this information and added it to their news stories.  This false comment threatened the reputation of Grace Community Church, Grace to You, and Pastor John MacArthur to such an extent that Phil Johnson, John MacArthur’s right-hand man, had to involve himself in my Podunk church’s lawsuit mess and issued a press release on behalf of John MacArthur and Grace Community.  Do you see the ripple effect?

There is a new reality for pastors and others who may be attempting to hide their spiritually abusive practices.  The internet has become a real threat to pastors who once found a safe haven in the walls of their church to continue their destructive behavior.  The internet has allowed individuals to voice their concerns LOUDLY.  Podunk pastors may not realize this new reality yet, but larger, more popular churches like Sovereign Grace Ministries, Grace Community, Mars Hill, and so many other Christian celebrity people and places are certainly aware of it.  

 

The BGBC/O’Neal lawsuit was pivotal to watch last summer because it discussed freedom of speech regarding church abuse.  Because of the clear victory in my case, a precedent has been set, giving bloggers added confidence to know that it is within their rights to publish their stories and express their opinions about their negative experiences in churches or ministries with strong words like:   spiritual abuse, cult, creepy. They can even discuss publicly online how churches handle sex abuse or sex offenders.  

 

My case represented spiritual abuse and also discussed sexual abuse and how it is handled by leaders within a church.  A huge case that has been in the headlines around the same time has been the handling of the sex abuse case at Penn State.  The world has been watching how Penn State staff, administration, and trustees handled (or mishandled) the many sex abuse cases connected with Jerry Sandusky.  This case has caused outrage across the nation as we have seen how those involved in that system, one after another, failed to take appropriate measures and/or report crimes to authorities.  

We have seen in many news accounts that there were far more efforts in defending the image of Jerry Sandusky and Penn State than protecting and defending innocent children.  This story has caused many universities and organizations to take a closer look at their abuse policies.  That is good.  I recently posted about mandatory reporters at church and how some states allow pastors an exemption from reporting abuse, yet other states will arrest church leaders who fail to report.  These are hot topics in churches and organizations across the States.  Hopefully, as church abuse cases are coming to light, church leaders will be taking a good look at their policies regarding sex abuse and spiritual abuse.  

My strong words were regarding my little church, but they represented a small sampling of what is happening all over the states in small churches and mega churches. There are a number of ongoing church situations similar to mine, with bloggers and members/former members sharing their personal accounts.  I think it is important to take note of these situations and observe how they are handled in the church setting, and also observe how other pastors and outsiders are responding.  Here are some that come to mind quickly:  

Calvary Chapel:  Abuses are noted in the Calvary Chapel family of churches.  A current situation is Pastor Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia threatening to sue 4 former church members for defamation.  Other personal accounts of spiritual abuse are shared involving many Calvary Chapel churches.  

The Elephant’s Debt – This blog discusses Harvest Bible Chapel, Pastor James MacDonald and has uncovered financial corruption, spiritual abuse, first-hand accounts, etc

Sovereign Grace Ministries:  The blogs, SGMSurvivors.com  and SGMRefuge.com, deal with the heavy-handed abuse, sexual abuse cover-ups in the family of churches, Pastor CJ Mahaney’s abuse of authority, blackmailing former church leader, etc.    

Mars Hill:  Joyful Exiles and Mars Hill Refuge – these blogs are no longer “active” but the stories are there  – permanently archived on the internet.  These cover the heavy-handedness of Pastor Mark Driscoll in use of “church discipline,” his use of church memberships in controlling ways, etc.

 

I will be highlighting one of the above church groups in the next post because there’s a whole lot of shakin’ going on and it is important to keep tabs on this situation in light of church trends in dealing with spiritual abuse and sex abuse.