Pastor Chuck O’Neal Continues to Pull the Wool over His Evangelist Friends’ Eyes

Chuck O’Neal, Beaverton Grace Bible Church, Jeff Rose, Dr. Edward Delcour, Mike Gendron, Mike Stockwell, and Robert Gray, Evangelism Reformation Conference, Reformation Fire Conference

Continue reading

How our Pastor’s Biblical Interpretation Can Affect Our Understanding of Scripture and God

***

This is a very insightful statement from C.J. Mahaney.

 

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

***

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

Pastor Chuck O’Neal Badgers and Berates an Abortion Clinic Escort about His Manhood

Continue reading

The Fallout of Spiritual Abuse on Our Children

Children Harmed by Spiritual Abuse

Continue reading

Pastor Chuck O’Neal of Beaverton Grace Bible Church Taught Parents to Spank Adult Children

Continue reading

Pastor Chuck O’Neal Who Sued 5 Former Church Members for $500,000 for Defamation Claims His First Amendment Rights are Violated When Police Officer Asks Him to Move to Side of Road to Preach

***

Pastor Chuck O’Neal claims Portland-area police officer is threatening his First Amendment Rights. This is the same pastor who sued 4 former church members  $500,000 for speaking out publicly against him.

Continue reading

Whose Rights are Protected in The Gospel Coalition’s Article on Churches and Current Legal Culture?

 Church Membership is being pushed in The Gospel Coalition’s recent article. Whose rights are protected?


Christina Holcomb, litigation counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, wrote an article for The Gospel Coalition (TGC), 5 Actions Churches Should Take in a Changing Legal Culture, which was published today.

I can’t help but perk up and take notice when I read about churches and legal counsel after having been sued by my former pastor, Chuck O’Neal, and the church, Beaverton Grace Bible Church. Please note that both my former pastor and the church were plaintiffs named in the lawsuit. Here are a couple of screenshots from this lovely document that altered the course of my life:

bgbc2

Back page:

bgbc

Ms. Holcomb summarizes the new threats she sees in our current culture as it relates to religious rights and freedoms:

These new political, cultural, and legal realities directly affect the church’s freedom to live out its faith. While most church decisions about internal governance or doctrine currently enjoy constitutional protection, churches cannot assume that these protections will stand indefinitely. Maintaining a gospel-centered witness in today’s culture requires not only standing firm on the truths of Scripture, but also taking affirmative steps to protect the church’s freedom to continue peacefully teach and live out its faith.

She gave a brief paragraph for the following points:

1. Adopt a written statement of faith about marriage.

2. Establish religious employment criteria.

3. Create a facility use policy.

4. Establish a written marriage policy.

It is the last point, “Adopt a written membership policy,” where I would like to focus.  Here is what she wrote:

5. Adopt a written membership policy.

Only those persons who “unite” with the church have consented to the church’s authority over them. As a result, churches with formal members have greater legal protection when it becomes necessary to exercise church discipline. Churches are encouraged to adopt a written membership policy that explains the procedure for becoming a church member, procedures for member discipline, and procedures for rescinding church membership.

Of course, this recommendation does not mean that a church should adopt a form of church government to which it does not subscribe. Churches can still have designated members who affirm they are committed to and part of a church body, even if there is no voting or say in church practices.

Okie-dokie, I have a couple of thoughts:

Notice in the first sentence:  Only those persons who “unite” with the church have consented to the church’s authority over them

When you become a member, you are agreeing/consenting to the church’s authority over you.

Ok, now take a look at the second sentence:  As a result, churches with formal members have greater legal protection when it becomes necessary to exercise church discipline.

Look again closely. Who has the protection?  The member or the church?

Also please note that she’s encouraging all churches to adopt a written membership policy. 


Christiana Holcomb lays it out for us pretty clearly. She says the church must protect themselves first.

But when abusive church leadership has the law on their side and they don’t agree with you, a covenant-signed church member, you could be hosed.


I was sued without being a church member (despite the fabrications you read elsewhere by Chuck O’Neal). We never signed any documentation, never went before the church body to say we were formally agreeing to be members. I have a copy of the bylaws and know what membership entails and we were not official members, but my daughter and I were still sued.

Imagine, however, being in an abusive church in which your church membership is hung over your head and you are reminded that you signed the dotted line. You may have forfeited some of your legal rights. Please think very carefully about church membership. It is not a biblical mandate. It is a modern cultural trend.

Edited to add:  It looks like Dee at The Wartburg Watch blog also had a strong reaction to this article and wrote a blog post. There are some real practical helps here: http://thewartburgwatch.com/2015/04/09/further-proof-you-are-signing-a-legal-contract-not-a-membership-covenant-courtesy-of-the-gospel-coalition/

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

Continue reading

Some Pastors Think They Get to Control the Details of Your Lives, Even the Colors of Clothes You Wear

*** Continue reading

Post-Spiritual Abuse Change of Perspective: Buffer Zones and Abortion Clinics

 Post-Spiritual Abuse Change of Perspective:  Buffer Zones and Abortion Clinics

Continue reading

Learn to Discern: Doctrinal Statements and Spiritual Authority

*     *     *

We can learn a lot about the spiritual health of a church and how they function by reading their church governance bylaws and doctrinal statements of faith.

Continue reading

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

*     *     *

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

*     *     *

Continue reading

Beaverton Grace Bible Church’s Pastor Chuck O’Neal: Your Past Will Find You

*     *      *

Today, Willamette Week, a Portland news outlet, published their third recent article on Pastor Chuck O’Neal, my former pastor who sued me and four others for $500,000.  The first article dealt with his protesting at a local abortion clinic and how civic leaders were looking into whether any civil codes were being violated.  This particular situation got additional coverage beyond Willamette Week’s reports:  KATU.com and Oregonlive.com.

Continue reading

Outside Family Members: Why Are They Shunned?






After this busy weekend with the court case (no ruling yet), spending wonderful time with my friends and a little birthday celebration, I woke up in a funk.   Two e-mails were pressing on my mind and then I realized, no, there were actually three e-mails that arrived over the weekend that described the destruction of relationships caused by shunning.  They found the story in the media and contacted me.


This is the kind of thing that makes me in a foul mood and then I get upset and so I come to the keyboard and type.  The subject of the e-mails was shunning.

Shunning can be the act of social rejection, or mental rejection. Social rejection is when a person or group deliberately avoids association with, and habitually keeps away from an individual or group. This can be a formal decision by a group, or a less formal group action which will spread to all members of the group as a form of solidarity. It is a sanction against association, often associated with religious groups and other tightly knit organizations and communities. Targets of shunning can include persons who have been labeled as,  apostateswhistleblowersdissidentsstrikebreakers, or anyone the group perceives as a threat or source of conflict. Social rejection has been established to cause psychological damage and has been categorized as torture.[1] Mental rejection is a more individual action, where a person subconsciously or willfully ignores an idea, or a set of information related to particular viewpoint. Some groups are made up of people who shun the same ideas.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shunning)

After receiving the e-mails, I called around to see if anyone could verify the stories.   They were verified.   Ugh!  Later, I spent one hour on the phone listening to one person’s story as she shared the heartache of not being able to see her loved ones for a long while.  The pain in her voice was real.  It was gut-wrenching to hear of relationships torn apart.  She did not choose this.  She was not a member at the church.  She was a relative of someone who attends the church.  


All three of these e-mails were from outside family members who are being shunned by people in the church.  These are family members who don’t even go to the church, have probably never even visited the church, yet they are being shunned.  People, I am not making this stuff up.  Have you heard of such a thing?  


These family members outside the church could be sisters, aunts, grandparents, brothers, daughters, it really doesn’t matter, but what does matter is these relationships are being torn apart because of shunning:  nieces and nephews can’t see aunts/uncles, grandchildren cannot see grandparents, brothers cannot see sisters, etc.  

Shunning can be broken down into behaviours and practices that seek to accomplish either or both of two primary goals.

1.  To modify the behaviour of a member. This approach seeks to influence, encourage, or coerce normative behaviours from members, and may seek to dissuade, provide disincentives for, or to compel avoidance of certain behaviours. Shunning may include disassociating from a member by other members of the community who are in good standing. It may include more antagonistic psychological behaviours (described below). This approach may be seen as either corrective or punitive (or both) by the group membership or leadership, and may also be intended as a deterrent. 

2.  To remove or limit the influence of a member (or former member) over other members in a community. This approach may seek to isolate, to discredit, or otherwise dis-empower such a member, often in the context of actions or positions advocated by that member. For groups with defined membership criteria, especially based on key behaviours or ideological precepts, this approach may be seen as limiting damage to the community or its leadership. This is often paired with some form of excommunication.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shunning)



Why are they being shunned?  Perhaps they are viewed as a threat.  Maybe they know too much of the inner-workings of the church or family situations and the pastor doesn’t want them to talk to their family member and risk losing them from the church.  Maybe outside family members are seeing questionable activities and actions and asking too many questions.   


Julie Anne asks the simple question:   WHY?????????????????????????????


These people were crying out to me asking me what is going on in the church?  Do I think the children are safe?   How long will this last?  What can they do?   I don’t know.   I didn’t know this was happening when we were there.  So I blog.    I tell what I know.  I encourage them to pray.  


Recently, I saw a reporter on tv fanning a pile of “hate mail” which was evidently e-mail sent to our former pastor.  This hate mail was a result of media attention to the case.  Would there have been any hate mail without the public lawsuit?  I think not.  A couple samples of hate mail were included in the court documents as exhibits, so I assume he must be upset about it.  I saw them.  There were strong words, but they were from strangers who didn’t like what they were seeing in the news media and quickly typed out a ranting e-mail.  I’ve had a few of those.  I usually send an oozing sweet response and hit “delete” 🙂   


A key detrimental effect of some of the practices associated with shunning relate to their effect on relationships, especially family relationships. At its extremes, the practices may destroy marriages, break up families, and separate children and their parents. The effect of shunning can be very dramatic or even devastating on the shunned, as it can damage or destroy the shunned member’s closest familial, spousal, social, emotional, and economic bonds.

Shunning contains aspects of what is known as relational aggression in psychological literature. When used by church members and member-spouse parents against excommunicant parents it contains elements of what psychologists call parental alienation. Extreme shunning may cause traumas to the shunned (and to their dependents) similar to what is studied in the psychology of torture.



Maybe I should have printed out all of the e-mails I have received since the inception of this blog to show reporters – hundreds of pages.  Some e-mails I have received have been particularly upsetting to me.  No, I’m not talking about the negative ranting.  Who cares.  There will always be those.  I’m talking about the pages and pages of personal accounts from people telling their stories of spiritual abuse, shunning, abandonment, shaming, etc.  The kinds of e-mails I’m dealing with are people crying out to me describing the pain and anguish of loved ones they know are alive, but are not allowed to see, but long to see.  The relationships were ripped from them.  


Try to imagine having a relationship with a close family member and then it is stopped immediately.  No explanation.  No closure.  Holidays that were traditionally spent together are now without that loved one or family.  No more birthday celebrations together.  No more camping trips, impromptu coffees, etc.  Death would be easier because there is something final, you can move on.  This is heart-wrenching because you know they are alive.  It’s always at the back of your mind reminding you of what once was, what should be, and what you cannot have.  You wonder if they think of you, what they are told about you, you remember those precious times together, but you can’t have it.  If this happened to me, I think I would go crazy.  I’d probably drive by the house, hoping to see family.  I’d drop off gifts.  I’d frequent places I knew they would go to just to “happen” to run into them.  I don’t know what else I’d do, but family is so important and I’d probably do anything to break through that wall.  Good grief, I cannot even type this without getting teared up again.  You guys have got to get a sense of what this does to families, relationships and how destructive it is.  And it is a complete FARCE – totally made-up rule only benefitting ONE person.  :::ja, calm down:::


Remember the post on False Teachers Mark and Avoid Church Members?   The key verse  used to justify shunning people was Romans 16:17.   I explained how false teachers twist the meaning of this verse  to encourage the shunning of congregants (and  apparently family members outside the church).  They entirely missed the real meaning of the verse which is to shun false teachers.  

Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.  Rom 16:17



I just found what John MacArthur (our former pastor’s favorite pastor) says about that verse and how it applies to false teachers (not congregants or people outside the church).  I know some of this is review, but it is so important because this shunning thing is absolutely huge in spiritually abusive churches.  It was found in an article entitled, Love for the Saints, Part 2:

Now particularly in the church the Apostle Paul says, “Look, here’s what you do when you come across it, you mark it and you avoid it.” Pretty clear. “To mark it,” simply skopeo, identify it, look through the scope, take a good look at it, observe it, scrutinize it, identify it, pick it out, see what it is. And if you know sound doctrine you’ll be able to do that. Identify it as heresy, identify it as false teaching and then avoid it, or really in this case avoid them because false teaching always has a source a propagator. That means to come away from it, to shun it.

See, we’re not talking about marking and avoiding church members, but false teachers.  Here’s more of what we’re to do with false teachers: 

 . . . . No, we’re not to kill and torture the people who don’t believe, just avoid them, move away. Nowhere are we told to stay around and argue with them. That’s fruitless. We’re told to shun them, go away from them. 

And here MacArthur describes the character of false teachers:

And then he gives two reasons why these lying teachers are not worthy of your ears in verse 18. “For they that are such, who bring in divisions and who cause people to stumble and be offended with their lies, they that are such…number one…serve not our Lord Jesus Christ but their own body.” Now I want you to understand that this is something that’s repeated frequently in the Scripture. They are in it for self-gratification. 

and

Notice also, will you please, the second reason why we ought not to give them our ears in verse 18, you first of all must know that their motive is wrong, secondly, you must know that their effect is wrong. “They use good words and fair speeches and they will deceive the hearts…they will deceive the hearts of the innocent.”

 

Good words, phrase means smooth speech. Oh they can talk…glib, clever. Well you know that, right? I mean, let’s face it, the devil wouldn’t put error in the mouth of a klutz if he wanted to get his point across, right? It’s going to be smooth speech and fair speeches. That implies the word praise, eulogia, like eulogy. It’s the idea of false eloquency, flattery, well chosen lies that sound good and appealing and they deceive the hearts of the innocent. So the false prophet comes clever, eloquent, polished, smooth-talking, praising, flattering. He gains the ear and deceives the heart…deceives the heart. And, beloved, that’s why we have to test everything by what? By the book.

Innocent is the word akakosKakosis sort of a basic generic word for evil, aat the front negates that. They deceive the without evil, the as yet uncorrupted. They corrupt the uncorrupted. They’re selfish and sensual and sexual and they deceive with cleverness those who aren’t corrupt. And as Peter said they are in bondage to corruption and they lead their hearers into that corruption. They did it in Corinth. That church became entangled in that. They’ll try it in Rome. And they’re at it today. 

(http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/45-120



I encourage you to read the whole article.  It is good.


Oh, why does this insanity continue?  It is insanity because it is not about God and love and shepherding the Saints.  The false teacher is self-serving for his own self pleasure.  This type of shunning I’ve described is false teaching.   There is no benefit for the congregant whatsoever.  You don’t shun outside family members.  ACK!!  Once again, I urge those of you who are in a church, following a pastor who is telling you to shun people based on Romans 16:17, leave that church at once.  Read Jude.  You cannot dialogue with someone like this.  You must leave and get out from that corrupt teaching.   


At times like this, my only hope is this:  

Psalm 34

15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous 
and his ears are attentive to their cry; 

16 the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, 
to cut off the memory of them from the earth. 

17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; 
he delivers them from all their troubles. 

18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted 
and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 

19 A righteous man may have many troubles, 
but the LORD delivers him from them all; 

20 he protects all his bones, 
not one of them will be broken. 

21 Evil will slay the wicked; 
the foes of the righteous will be condemned. 

22 The LORD redeems his servants; 
no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.


The No-Talk Rule is Not Allowed Here!

***

This mom’s comment breaks my heart.  I can relate with it so well.  We as moms try to make sure our children are safe, are raised in a loving and nurturing environment.  Having to acknowledge that we failed when we were doing our best is a tough pill to swallow.

This happened to my teenage and adult children as well. As I read this I cry for the abuse I allowed my children to endure because I was doing what I and my husband thought was the right thing to do at the time. Currently none of my sons go to church, the humiliation and shame they were put through was just plain wrong and very damaging to their self-esteem. Shame is never the answer to change hearts, love is the answer, ultimately Christ…the perfect example of love. After attending this church for their whole lives and being shunned at the end have left them confused to say the least, and refusing to attend church today. I understand, it has taken me over 3 years to even begin to connect with church myself. Even now, I am not the same person I was. God is healing but it has been the HARDEST time in my life. I pray for my family daily~that Christ will heal their broken hearts and renew their love for Him. May God’s grace redeem the years that were lost.

***

How do we deal with the guilt?  How do we deal with the issue that we made bad choices for our children?  How can we help them when we have been affected deeply by the spiritual abuse?  Some people may not even want to go to church again after this experience. I was certainly leery of pastors when we first started to find a new church.

When studying about abusive environments, you will find a common rule that is used:  the no-talk rule.  You can do a quick Google search for “no-talk rule” and see what I mean.  Sometimes in an alcoholic family, people will be quick to “fix” the problems caused by the alcoholic:  cleaning up vomit messes, making excuses for missed appointments, missed responsibilities.  There is a cover-up and the whole family is a part of this, but the main issue of alcoholism is the big elephant in the middle of the room and many times never discussed.  They are unconsciously following the no-talk rule.

In abusive churches, legitimate concerns can get labeled as gossip.  Questioning a pastor may get turned around back to the person asking the question:  “why are you not trusting the men God has placed in authority over you?”  Essentially these responses create the unspoken “no-talk” rule.  We don’t talk about the no-talk rule, it is an understood rule and in an abusive system, most people comply – it keeps that abusive system functioning well.

It’s time to break out of that well-functioning abusive system by breaking the unspoken no-talk rule.  That is the first thing that needs to be broken.  In this blog, we have the talk, talk, talk rule.  If you have something to say, say it.  If you want to remain anonymous, fine.  If you want to ask a question, ask it.   The no-talk rule needs to be broken in our homes, too.   We need to discuss what we went through with our children and adult children.  We need to make it very comfortable to talk – even about uncomfortable issues.  People won’t want to talk initially because we’ve been conditioned that it’s gossip or wrong.  By casually mentioning things and setting the example, you will be showing that it is a safe place in your home to talk about what we went through.

For those who have left and especially those who have recently left,  creating an atmosphere where talking is permissible and encouraged is going to be the beginning of getting back on the right path.   We need to share our stories, talk about how it affected us.   Talking this openly may be uncomfortable at first.  It is not gossip to talk about how church leaders treated you.

Our former pastor called out many “wolves” from the pulpit and it is recorded on sermons, posted on his blog and easily available on the internet.  It is not a sin for me to say I believe our former pastor as one who abused his authority.  Our children need to know the truth.  It is not gossip to talk about how people in the church treated you and inappropriately shunned you.  It is not gossip to talk about how you have felt and discuss how going to an abusive church has affected you.  Once the no-talk rule is put to rest,  you will be well on your way to recovery and healing.

***

Disobedient Children and Meetings with the Pastor

 

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children

are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4

 

On our very first Sunday at the church, I recall being in the nursery with my baby. A sweet teenager was helping with childcare and she told me in a matter-of-fact way that she was going to be having a meeting with the pastor. She was going to be baptized soon. I remember smiling and thinking how sweet that was until she volunteered that all kids have meetings with the pastor at one time or another. I asked her why all kids usually have meetings with the pastor and she told me that kids who get into trouble are brought in to the pastor’s office. She mentioned that this was her 4th meeting with the pastor, but at least this time it was for a good reason and she seemed excited about that.

The meeting regarding baptism seemed perfectly normal to me, but as I looked at this sweet young lady, I couldn’t help but wonder why she had met with the pastor three times before. She did not seem at all like someone who was difficult to deal with. She was thoughtful and respectful to me and had a bubbly personality. It didn’t make sense.  And it also puzzled me that she volunteered this little bit of information on our first Sunday.

I had to ponder this thought:  would my kids ever do something to that level to necessitate a meeting with the pastor?  Probably not.  Our kids weren’t perfect, but had never caused any sort of trouble that would need to be dealt with by a pastor. To be honest, it made me wonder if this church was a good environment in which to raise our children if so many teens were having discipline issues requiring meetings with a pastor.

That little meeting on our first Sunday faded into my memory for quite some time until I heard about other incidents in which teens were brought in to meet with the pastor.

Unfortunately, it turned out our family was not exempt from these meetings. I recall my nearly 21-yr old daughter having a meeting with the pastor after she had been associating with an “unsavory” male whom she met at college. We had told him about their relationship. The meeting lasted for hours.  Scripture was read over and over showing how she had sinned.  There were tears, there was anger, it was not a pleasant experience. I left the meeting emotionally beaten down and can only imagine how my daughter felt. But because the pastor was involved and we trusted him, we convinced ourselves that we were doing the right thing.

There was also the other meeting that I previously blogged about (a technical problem erased the blog post, but you can read my daughter’s Google review here). This same adult daughter was forced into a meeting with the pastor, church leader, close friend, and parents. She didn’t want to be there.  We all sat in a circle and I imagine she felt physically trapped. We were advised to remove her cell phone, have her quit college, quit work, not allow internet use, so that she could use the “free” time to turn her life around. This was not grace. This was a berating.  Scriptures were read repeatedly to show how she was in sin. And once again, it was a long meeting.

In talking with others, the meetings our daughter endured were normal. Typically a parent was present and meetings lasted for literally hours. Scriptures were always used. Strong emotion was present, sometimes with the pastor pounding his hands on the table for emphasis. Voices were loud and intimidating.

Just as the young lady warned me about this on our first Sunday, I’ve been told that other congregants actually warned new attenders about this practice. It was an accepted practice and parents went along with it because it seemed the right thing to do. If a pastor, man of God, is encouraging this, how can it be wrong?

Looking back, it is my opinion that allowing the pastor to speak with our children in those meetings with that kind of emotional and spiritual intensity for that length of time was not the best thing to do.  In fact, in our family’s situation, I believe it was the wrong thing to do. I feel guilty that two of my adult children endured those meetings.

God has given parents the responsibility to raise our children, not pastors. Pastors are to be shepherds, not authoritarians.  It is completely appropriate for pastors to give guidance and suggestions to parents on how to deal with discipline issues, but not to berate, spend literally hours, raising voices, pound hands on table, read scripture after scripture showing our kids they are in sin. That feels abusive.  It does not take hours to tell someone that their behavior was wrong.

I found it very helpful to discuss this situation with my daughter even years later. I apologized to her and she was so gracious to say that she understood that we were only doing what we thought was best.

Our children are a blessing from the Lord. We don’t need this kind of thing from the past to pull us apart and unfortunately, because we felt sucked into this environment, we may have made wrong parenting choices. Some of us may have unfinished business (and I may not be done yet). Let’s deal with that. Let’s love on our adult kids – even ones who may not be going down a path that we would have chosen for them. Some may have chosen the paths they are taking because of the unhealthy church environment. I can’t think of a better time to extend love and grace to them, certainly not shun them or exclude them from our lives.

Chuck O’Neal Secretly Recorded Private Conversations

*     *     *

Pastor Chuck O’Neal sometimes recorded private conversations without getting permission from involved parties.  The elders were aware of this practice as you will read below.   This  was not a rare practice for him according to some people who personally saw this taking place.  I’m wondering how many churches have pastors/elders who tape record conversations of their church members/attenders?

I mentioned in Comparing the Two, Part 2, that Chuck O’Neal and the two elders came to our door unannounced and demanding information from me a few weeks after we had left the church.  A commenter asked me a question:

*     *     *

Click to Enlarge
*      *     *

Later, Meaghan added a followup comment sharing her experience with Chuck O’Neal using a recording device.  Here is her story copied directly from the comments section. Meaghan’s story needs to be read.  It is important and shows the type of treatment she and many others endured at the church, but was never able to share because of shunning.

Meaghan Mar 29, 2012 03:59 PM

on January 1st, 2009~C’ON, DL and DW were on my front porch, there on the word of my new pastor to speak with me about my not submitting to them and causing discord with the flock…by the way, my pastor offered to sit ‘en masse’ with the several families at this new church to settle the disputes with Chuck, he refused. Instead came to my home unannounced with a recording device. I knew this because I didn’t open the door instead listened to their conversation via my peephole listening device. Heard DL say ‘Do you have the recorder on? To which Chuck said yes.

When I didn’t open the door, they left only to return an hour or so later. Then we told them the police were called and to leave us alone, at which Chuck yelled all kinds of reviling remarks about us and they left. The police later spoke with Chuck and he told the officer he was given permission by our pastor to speak with us! The officer informed him only we could give him the ‘permission’ to be on our property and speak with us.

Then Sept of 2010, after we returned a ‘family’ heirloom piano, of which we were only storing, the ‘church’, a mob of 30 or more, showed up on our front yard with the piano, all the while Chuck was video taping it. We didn’t engage, though it was very very sad and sickening to see the hatred in their faces~next day the piano was given away via craigslist to a very happy large family.

God works wonders as painful as it was to see true colors. Since that day, I have been praying God will lead HIS children out of there, and give grace to those still there being blindly persecuted…may your day be filled with His love and grace. I am so thankful to God for leading us out, and when my eyes were opened, they were OPENED!

This is just one of possibly many cases of using recording devices. I have talked with other sources who have confirmed that they saw him using recording devices during meetings and he did not disclose to the meeting participants that he was recording their conversation.

Someone mentioned to me that they knew of a meeting in which Chuck played a recorded conversation that I was involved in. If Chuck had an issue with something that I said, why didn’t Chuck come to me personally?  Why don’t I know about it?  I wish I could hear this conversation.

It feels very strange knowing that someone heard a private conversation of mine without my permission and knowledge. I am typically a very open person and what you see is what you get, but I like to share when it feels appropriate and safe for me. Knowing that something private was shared without my permission kind of feels like being stripped naked in front of a stranger – a very vulnerable feeling.

It makes me wonder how many people were violated in this way. To me it is a violation of privacy to record someone’s private conversation.  I also think it is wrong to take that recorded conversation and play it in front of people who were not privy to that conversation. It is wrong on so many levels. What would make a pastor stoop to such a level? Why would a pastor have a need to record conversations?  Why can’t someone’s recollection suffice? Why does he need “proof”? Are his witnesses (elders) not proof enough?

Out of the 40+ yrs I have been going to churches, I’ve never heard of a pastor using recording devices to record his congregants’ conversations.It really is hard to wrap your head around this kind of thing. This seems like something one would see in a criminal tv movie, not a church, and certainly not from a loving shepherd.

If you are going to Beaverton Grace Bible Church, you need to know that this may happen to you.  If it happened with Meaghan and me, who knows how many others?  Do you feel safe knowing that at any time your conversation may be recorded without your permission and played for others? Are you okay with that?  A number of people have also told me their stories about recorded conversations, but I will not share them without permission.  If you would like to add your story to the comment or send me an e-mail.  I would be happy to feature your story.