"Exodus 20:16 says, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Meaghan Varela and Julie Anne Smith have given “false witness” against our church and families for four years. The statements and videos on this website tell our story of suffering and surviving their assault. We are the TRUE BGBC SURVIVORS."
Downtown Beaverton, Oregon – Wikipedia
Charles (Chuck) O'Neal – the Beaverton pastor who sued Julie Anne Smith, her daughter, and others for defamation – together with other church leaders, has launched a website called True BGBC Survivors: Surviving Four Years of Hate, Reviling Accusations, and Criminal Slander. If you've been reading here, you will remember Chuck as the pastor who sued former church members for $500,000. The story went viral and was covered by news outlets around the globe. Here is one of those reports.
The plaintiffs were ordered to pay the defendants' costs and attorney fees, according to The Oregonian. Here is an excerpt from that article:
"A Washington County judge has dismissed a Beaverton church's libel lawsuit against a former congregant who blogged about her experience there.
The Beaverton Grace Bible Church and its pastor, Charles O'Neal, sought $500,000 in damages in their suit against former church members Julie Anne Smith, her daughter, Hannah Smith, and Meaghan Varela.
The church claimed the women had defamed it and O'Neal in Google reviews and Julie Anne Smith's blog about the church.
Their attorney, Linda K. Williams, said the church practices "Old Testament shunning" and her clients were all eventually ostracized by the church. Their negative comments, which they published online, were protected free speech, she said.
Circuit Judge Jim Fun announced his decision in a letter he mailed to the parties Monday.
Fun granted the defendants' special motions to strike and ordered the plaintiffs to pay their costs and attorney fees."
That decision was made in late July. On December 2, True BGBC Survivors was launched. The web address is bgbcsurvivors.org, while Julie Anne Smith's web address is bgbcsurvivors.blogspot.com – extremely similar and very confusing…
You may find it interesting to read the About page. At the present time the website features a number of videos (five of Chuck O'Neal, two of his wife, and three videos of a married couple at the church) along with some select information.
Here is the title of the initial post, along with Pastor O'Neal's explanation.
OUR PURPOSE IS TO PROTECT
Posted on December 2, 2012 by admin
"The PURPOSE of this website and the videos on it is to protect Beaverton Grace Bible Church and our families from ongoing slander and criminal accusations of the worst kind. Meaghan Varela has lied to her family, friends, pastors, the police, the Department of Human Services (Child Protection), the court, and the world. Julie Anne Smith has joined her in her lies and heralded them forth to the world on her blog (BGBC Survivors) dedicated to the destruction of our church and families. Exodus 20:16 says, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Meaghan Varela and Julie Anne Smith have given “false witness” against our church and families for four years. The statements and videos on this website tell our story of suffering and surviving their assault. We are the TRUE BGBC SURVIVORS."
Take a look at Chuck O'Neal explaining the purpose of the website.
The website also features O'Neal's wife, who has been terribly distraught over what has occurred.
Even though the judge rendered his decision over four months ago, O'Neal and his followers are determined to tell their side of the story. Interestingly, each blog post ends with the following blurb:
" *This statement and the following video reflect the opinions of the author based upon the facts as understood by the author. "
I have watched ALL of the videos (posted on December 2) and read through the comments (all dated December 11, 2012 and later at the time of this writing). It appears the only comments that are approved are those which affirm Chuck O'Neal and the church. On the other hand, Julie Anne Smith has alerted her readers about this website, and she is allowing all comments as far as I can tell, including critical remarks (link).
I do wonder whether Chuck O'Neal and the BGBC leaders have contemplated the long-term consequences of their actions. Had they allowed a few negative Google comments to stand, we in all likelihood would not know anything about Beaverton Grace Bible Church or its pastor. Now the negative Google comments are exploding. In addition to paying the attorney's fees and defendants' expenses, the church has lost close to half of its members. It will be interesting to follow Beaverton Grace Bible Church in the New Year.
In the meantime, we'd love to have your feedback regarding the information Chuck O'Neal and his colleagues have posted on their website. If your remarks are in any way critical, it is highly doubtful they will ever be published on the True BGBC Survivors website. Looks like we're right back where it started – no criticism allowed!
Lydia's Corner: Leviticus 27:14-Numbers 1:54 Mark 11:1-26 Psalm 46:1-11 Proverbs 10:23
If you check out the Beaverton Church webpage, you will find a Scripture reference from 1 Cor. 4:12-13 right in the middle of the page. It is under ‘breaking the silence’ and others thoughts.
See what you think:
“12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. …”
Hmmm. See anything unusual in how this verse might be being practiced by this group??
Chuck O’Neal shouldn’t be using his family for this game of his.
In the video preceeding the second one you have posted, Mrs. O’Neal is not crying: http://www.bgbcsurvivors.org/thank-you-card-from-meaghan-varela/
Yikes, watched that video, Nicholas. “There own words condemn them”. I think that a lawsuit against a former member says a lot more than a card of praise.
The Suing Pastor must have unleashed all his sock puppets.
There are between one and three “Anonymouses” in the comment thread Righteously defending the man-o-gawd, alternately Righteously and Godly denouncing Julie Anne as the Antichrist and playing Poor Poor Me gaslighting blame-shifts. (Nothing like a sociopath to shift the blame and make himself the poor poor victim and his victim the big bad meanie.)
” *This statement and the following video reflect the opinions of the author based upon the facts as understood by the author. “
Legal Disclaimer, like the fast-talking whispers overlaying the last half of all those radio commercials promising the moon if you just buy this.
If your remarks are in any way critical, it is highly doubtful they will ever be published on the True BGBC Survivors website.
i.e. Cheerleaders, Yes Men, and Gushing Sock Puppets only. Ain’t God’s Kingdom Wonderful?
And do any of the videos feature crying begging children? That’s always good for a tearjerker.
Before analyzing Pastor O’Neal’s BGBCSurvivors blog, I was interested in exploring the larger context and timeline of how and when it came into existence. So, I put together a reference date list and key resource link to the court documents. (I’ve used “dot com” and the like for websites instead of giving the link so this comment won’t get tied up in moderation for having two or more links.)
Anyway, I thought others might be interested in the timeline I compiled, and thought this would be a good place to share it. I’ve also sent it directly to Julie Anne Smith. The following key dates have been drawn from public records and blog archives on the internet. They include dates that court documents were filed, court session and decision dates, creation of competing blogs/domains, and blogging milestones. This is a select list that I have reconstructed from multiple sources, and I apologize for any major dates I’ve left out.
The timing of certain events raises some rather intriguing questions. For instance, I find it especially interesting to note that Pastor O’Neal chose directly competing domain names (BGBCSurvivors dot net, dot com, and dot org) to Julie Anne Smith’s blog (BGBCSurvivors dot blogspot dot com). Also, his three domains were all created in April 2012, though only the dot org site is currently public. I’m sure other questions will surface as I reflect on this timeline more …
For links to the complete set of PDFs for the public legal documents in this case, plus a very helpful case profile and overview, see the following website. I definitely recommend reading this one-page case overview. And for a complete list of allegations, actions, and arguments, you can access all the court documents there:
KEY DATES IN 2009
2009 – Julie Anne Smith posted a “negative” Google Review about Beaverton Grace Bible Church (BGBC) and Pastor Charles O’Neal. (I could not find the exact date, but a response by Pastor O’Neal mentioning Julie Anne Smith’s review was posted November 18, 2009.)
KEY DATES IN 2012
February 22 – Co-Plaintiffs Pastor O’Neal and BGBC filed a civil lawsuit against four defendants – Julie Anne Smith, her daughter Hannah Smith, Kathy Stephens, and her son Jason Stephens. The complaint alleged defamation, and asked for $500,000 in damages.
February 24 – Julie Anne Smith began her blog, bgbcsurvivors dot blogspot dot com. The first post also notes that she had opened a related gmail account, and other early posts explain what the BGBC Google Reviews and subsequent changes to them had to do with why she started her blog.
March 12 – Plaintiffs were served with subpoenas.
March 28 – By this day, Julie Anne Smith’s blog had received a milestone total of 5,000 hits.
April 17-19 – Pastor O’Neal purchased his competing domains. Public records on the internet show the creation/purchase and registration under the name of Chuck O’Neal of three domains: bgbcsurvivors dot com, dot net, and dot org. Thus far, only the dot org site has gone public, starting nearly eight months later on December 2.
April 19 – By this day, Julie Anne Smith’s blog had received a milestone total of 10,000 hits.
April 26 – Defendants filed a special motion to strike, using Oregon’s anti-SLAPP statute; and plaintiffs filed an amended complaint adding Meaghan Varela to the list of defendants.
May 1 – Defendants filed second special motion to strike, as a supplement to their first motion.
May 11 – A late-night KATU news video interview with Julie Anne Smith and related print news article were posted: “Beaverton church sues family after they criticize it online,” by Anita Kissée KATU News and KATU dot com Staff. This news story went viral and global on May 12-14, with Julie Anne’s blog receiving approximately 7,000 hits per day on May 13 and 14.
May 14 – Plaintiffs filed response in opposition to the motions to strike, plus a declaration from a congregation member regarding the allegation that BGBC had allowed a known sex offender access to children.
May 21 – Court date. On this day, Julie Anne Smith’s blog went over the milestone of 100,000 hits, sometime between 9:00-9:45 AM (Pacific Time).
July 13 – This date was originally set for the next court hearing. But Judge Jim Fun was ready to review the case submissions and write his decision, which was due to be mailed to all parties within 10 days.
July 23 – The court granted the defendants special motion to strike; all defamation claims were dismissed. The plaintiffs were ordered to pay the attorney fees for the Stephens, and the remaining defendants were invited to submit statements for their court costs and attorney fees. The decision was dated July 23 and it was received July 26 by the defendants’ attorney.
December 2 – The first posts appear on bgbcsurvivors dot org and it appears that comments begin being posted on December 11. In the first post there, Pastor O’Neal explains the purpose of this blog.
December 13 – Julie Anne Smith’s blog has received a total of over 296,000 page views.
Our website just went public a few days ago. Julie Anne Smith and Meaghan Varela have been slandering us for four years. They have had their say. We’re going to let some truth get out. We will allow negative posts of a reasonable nature and answer them with truth in the near future.
It seems that you have a factual error. You wrote, “Had they allowed a few negative Google comments to stand, we in all likelihood would not know anything about Beaverton Grace Bible Church or its pastor.” This has nothing to do with a few negative Google comments. I have much thicker skin than that. Meaghan Varela tried to send me to prison, to send my adult son to prison, and to have my children taken from their home and mother. She did this by using the Department of Human Services (Child Protection) as her weapon of revenge. Why? I fired her and her husband’s good friend. Julie Anne Smith has been her spokeswoman, spreading her lies far and wide on the web. She has been telling the world that we allow “known sex offenders free reign in the children’s areas” of the church. These are lies meant to destroy lives, families, and our church.
The videos you reference in your blog are all on the first page of bgbcsurvivors.org. There is a second page that contains many more videos.
You mention the lawsuit in this blog entry. There are two videos on the second page that deal specifically with the legal action that we took in an attempt to try to stop Meaghan Varela, Julie Anne Smith, and their partners in slander. The kind of lies that these women are telling our local community, churches, and the world cannot go unanswered.
The videos at bgbcsurvivors.org tell the story of the historic and ongoing assault of our families and church. There is plenty of evidence to support our account.
Chuck O’Neal, Pastor BGBC
You say that I shouldn’t “use my family like this.” My wife, my adult children, and I are defending our family from criminal accusations designed to destroy our family. I have been holding them back from responding to Meaghan Varela and Julie Anne Smith’s attacks for the better part of four years. No one has to persuade my wife to protect her children or to go to bat for her husband.
Hello again Nicholas,
While trying to tell the story of what she and her family have endured my wife broke down into tears many times. Go and watch the videos. Think about what these people have done. Do you really think my wife is faking tears? She isn’t faking motherly righteous indignation for those who have attacked her children either. Both emotions are very real. Take care.
LeavitTaBeaverGrace : Whatz In A Name, Anyway?”
Are you saying Chucky O’4Real…is “A Zit”?
(And has started a venerable bodacious food fight?)
datz not nice… -snicker-
Soundz like Ole PC has a “plan B”. (If first you don’t succeed…Bla, Bla , Bla, Bla, Bla…)
Striking after da proverbial bell? …sounds so desperate, huh?
Thanks for that timeline! Here's what I found most interesting:
"April 17-19 – Pastor O’Neal purchased his competing domains. Public records on the internet show the creation/purchase and registration under the name of Chuck O’Neal of three domains: bgbcsurvivors dot com, dot net, and dot org. Thus far, only the dot org site has gone public, starting nearly eight months later on December 2."
And to think that this began with a few negative Google reviews…
Sooooo, does this then mean that Julie Anne can now SLAPP Chuck O’Neal ?
I was wrong. I guess the video of Mrs. O’Neal upset was the first one of her posted.
Links to O’Neal’s web site aren’t working for me. Anyone else?
Before and after seeing the midnight showing of *The Hobbit* (which was spectacular, by the way!), I had a chance to reflect on the context of what Pastor O’Neal called the “true” BGBC survivors blog. I think my conclusions are best seen from a response I wrote for a provocative comment left on Julie Anne Smith’s blog – the original BGBCSurvivors.
* * * * * * * * *
ANONYMOUS on December 14, 2012 12:21 AM said:
Man Anonymous you speak like you realy know the situation.
Were you there? Do you know ALL the facts or just the ones that were presented to you by this site?
Is it possible you don’t see the whole picture?
Is it ever right for a pastor to sue some one?
At what point do you or a pastor say, “Thats enough!!” and fight back with legal means?
Would you be mad if someone attacked your family for four years?
Are pastors suppose to simply lay down and let people kick them in tell they die?
Pastor Charles O’Neal and Beaverton Grace Bible Church did fight back with legal means through the defamation lawsuit they as plaintiffs filed. This is part of what the civil authority of the court decided:
“The court further finds that plaintiff [i.e., Charles O’Neal and BGBC] has not met the burden of presenting substantial evidence the defendant’s statements are defamatory.”
Judge Jim L. Fun
Order on Motion to Dismiss, page 8
Case No. C121174CV
July 23, 2012
[Here I put in the link to the PDF of the court’s decision on the case. You can find that document at the link I listed in my previous comment above. I removed it from here so this comment wouldn’t get stuck in moderation for having two or more links.]
The evidence the plaintiffs presented did not meet legal muster. The court so decided. So, “Anonymous,” are you suggesting that Judge Fun who presided over this case and dismissed all charges didn’t know ALL the facts? Didn’t see the whole picture? Didn’t let Pastor O’Neal et al fight back with legal means?
Or, do you not even accept the legal authority of this state court in which Pastor O’Neal and BGBC filed their suit?
The plaintiffs had their day in court. The plaintiffs presented their evidence — and is that evidence any different from what is on their website now? — and the plaintiffs lost their case.
Do you think you or they will somehow now win the case here on BGBCSurvivors.blogspot.org? Or will win it there on the BGBCSurvivors dot org/net/com domains registered to Chuck O’Neal in mid-April 2012 … not even two full months after Julie Anne Smith started her blog?
Are pastors supposed to simply lay down and let people kick them in until they die? Pastor O’Neal had his day in court and the presiding Judge, Jim L. fun, decided on behalf of the people that the plaintiffs did not succeed according to the law in making their case that the defendants defamed the plaintiffs.
What would the Scriptures now suggest as a resolution to his anger, since he has used legal means and the court found him to have lost his case? And what will you do with your anger?
* * * * * * * * *
Links working now. 🙂
Off topic to this thread, but did you see the latest GC blog:
Thanks for the link. I have been following this story and am grateful that justice has been done for this 13 year old girl.
Ex-megachurch worker gets 55 years for sex crimes
It’s time for all of us to SPEAK UP about the terrible abuse that is taking place in our churches.
Deb – Thanks for drawing attention to this situation (although it grieves me that this situation even exists!). I wanted to point out that I do delete comments on occasion and in fact deleted one yesterday. In my posting rules, I request that people refrain from using the name “Anonymous”. You will see that there are still quite a few Anonymous posts and I generally leave them alone. After going to bed last night, an Anonymous troll had some fun. The content on those comments was borderline, so I left them. Because I deal with a lot of hurting people, I want it to be a safe place where people do not feel threatened. I don’t care if they criticize or attack me (I had a laughing fit knowing that my former pastor called me a Woman of Mass Destruction – that is pretty funny), but if I see others being personally attacked, I am quick to remove those. I also will not allow Anonymous comments promoting Chuck’s Impostor Site. Here is a comment I left after removing one such comment yesterday (the only comment I removed):
I just deleted a post from “Anonymous” directing people to the Impostor’s Blog. Although the link is referenced in today’s post above, I’m not going to be allowing future promotion of that link here in the comments section. Thanks!
You never cease in giving me good laughs. “The Suing Pastor must have unleashed all his sock puppets.”
You are a machine! Awesome history. Thank you.
I think what I noticed right away is the fear if the money going away. What else would Chuck do if he can’t pastor. And, that is probably what his wife is upset about. If a church building starts losing members, then they panic and want to blame others for their loss. It’s a common human church response. Today, so many pastors are afraid of losing their income, well welcome to the economy. I can’t stand it either when others live off of hard working families that are trying to make ends meet. These are hard times, make the best of it and go get a job.
That’s just my take that I am picking up from all of this. What did Chuck earn by suing them, nothing!
During the court process, when discussing the sex abuse situation, my attorney took very special care to never reveal the identities of the sex abuse victims. She was livid that Chuck’s attorney allowed identifiable information to be included in the court declaration which is public information. I included a screen shot of a court documentation on my blog that referenced the abuser and even though his name was made public in court documents, during the court hearing, and elsewhere on the internet, I chose to blank out most of the name. There were a few spots that I missed and someone who formerly attended BGBC contacted me requesting that I completely remove all evidence of the perpetrator’s name. I honored that request.
Contrast that with Chuck. I haven’t watched all the videos, but saw 2 videos of the parents of the abuser/victims. (The abuser was a teenage son who sexually molested younger siblings, one of which was a baby – he was tried, convicted, and sentenced time.) In that video, I was told, the children’s names were named. The parents allowed Chuck to videotape them and they named their own abused children’s names. Here is the question – – – what parent in their right mind would publicly name their children who were sexually violated? The key phrase is “in their right mind”. This is manipulation. Chuck is using this poor family who suffered a horrific situation in their family for his own defense. All the other junk, his wife getting 5,000 business card to hand out with Meaghan and my name on it talking about how evil we are, the ridiculous copy-cat blog title, the war-like words – whatever. But I think this specific situation really shows the character. A loving shepherd would do everything he could to protect this family, protect their identities, but instead he exploits them for his purposes. I feel very bad for them because one day, they will be shocked at what they allowed this man to do. They will feel terrible for also victimizing their children by publicly naming them without their consent. That is some pretty thick Kool-Aid.
Another point: in one of the videos, it refers to the convicted sex offender’s crimes as “inappropriate touch”. This was also quoted in the msnbc.com interview as well as other online sources. My attorney looked up the criminal report. This young man was convicted of serious sex crimes and over 20 counts (rape, etc) with multiple children (his siblings). This was stated publicly in court, yet he still minimizes the extent of the crimes committed. (Perpetrator was convicted and served time – not sure if he is still serving or not.)
This minimization of sex offenses is most likely why Chuck was investigated by DHS.
In the second video on this post, the distraught Mrs. O’Neal claims that her husband’s critics “love it and they won’t stop” when in reality Julie Anne hasn’t had cause to mention Chuck for a while until this new videoblog of his just went up.
Eagle – Thank you for your kind words. I had to smile (not at you) when you mentioned Chuck Smith. I think you mistakenly got your Chucks mixed up 🙂
Chuck Smith is head guy at the Calvary Chapel empire and he has a growing rap list of covering up/ignoring spiritual abuse/sex abuse cases a mile long, too. I’ve been covering Alex Grenier’s story on my blog as well (his father, Pastor Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia and mother, Gayle are suing him and another former congregant). But you are right, the actions and inactions of both Chucks, Smith and O’Neal, have done much damage to families, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
April 17-19 – Pastor O’Neal purchased his competing domains. Public records on the internet show the creation/purchase and registration under the name of Chuck O’Neal of three domains: bgbcsurvivors dot com, dot net, and dot org. Thus far, only the dot org site has gone public, starting nearly eight months later on December 2. — Brad/Futurist Guy
Can you say “Pre-Planned”?
And sewing up all the possible suffixes (dot-com, dot-net, dot-org) and activating only one makes sense. Denies use of the others to The Enemy.
Jared Wilson’s article on sexual abuse really has a lot of good points. 2 issues I have: He says a wise church will “make use of legal authorities if necessary” but nowhere says “If abuse is reported/confessed, it’s ALWAYS necessary” or that those authoeities are the POLICE. More picky issue, perhaps: In his intro he links the Tulsa church case and adds “on its premises”. While it’s true in that case, it seems he’s giving an “out” to churches when the abuse happens elsewhere (the majority) as in the SGM case, which of course he does not mention.
Dave AA, thanks for pointing that out. It’s subtle, but Jared Wilson’s article is part of the problem, while making you think that he cares about child abuse.
“(I had a laughing fit knowing that my former pastor called me a Woman of Mass Destruction – that is pretty funny), ”
Oh, that is priceless. :o)
Julie Ann, I think Chuck has serious problems. Nothing he is doing is logical after the judges decision except that Chuck, the pastor, disagrees and his only defense is to ruin you and Meagan. And I agree with another commenter this is about his income. What else can these guys do that would make them in control over people who pay them to control them? There are not a lot of jobs like that out there. :o)
Now, if I had a dollar for everytime one of these charlatans used the “bearing false witness” routine, I could retire comfortably.
I a sure his advisors at McArthurs church will help him out. Right Chuck?
“premises”. While it’s true in that case, it seems he’s giving an “out” to churches when the abuse happens elsewhere (the majority) as in the SGM case, which of course he does not mention.”
It is not really “where” the abuse happened. It is what counsel the pastors/leaders give to the victims and their families that makes morally and ethically and perhaps legally accountable. Jared is simply looking for a way out because too much embarassing stuff is coming out from the tribes he is involved with.
During the court process, when discussing the sex abuse situation, my attorney took very special care to never reveal the identities of the sex abuse victims. She was livid that Chuck’s attorney allowed identifiable information to be included in the court declaration which is public information. — Julie Anne
AKA “Let Bubba Do It” plus “Slut Shaming” plus “Shift The Blame”…
The parents allowed Chuck to videotape them and they named their own abused children’s names. Here is the question – – – what parent in their right mind would publicly name their children who were sexually violated? — Julie Anne
Parents who are terrified of Eternal Hell by Rebelling Against God. A terror carfully cultivated by their Man-o-Gawd.
And I’ll have to avoid your blog for a while until this blows over. All the Anonymouses (and their Righteousness and Innocence(TM)) are triggering flashbacks of growing up with an NPD sociopath sibling whose shit never stank.
Actually we were not able to present the vast majority of our evidence in court. The counter suit that Julie Anne Smith and Meaghan Varela filed froze the court proceedings, no further evidence was allowed. There was no jury, no calling of witnesses, no cross examination, no body of evidence. We attempted to use legal means to stop the attacks on our families and our church. We never actually had our true day in court. The legal proceedings are more complex than you are presenting them. To have prevailed in court does not mean they are right and we are wrong, end of story. The fact is they have actively sought the destruction of a church and families through defamation of the worst possible kind. The videos at bgbcsurvivors.org lay out the truth very clearly. There is plenty of evidence to support the truth. There is no grand conspiracy. No secret plot. We are simply trying to stop these attacks on our families and our church. I am a father, a husband, and then a pastor. I have a responsibility to protect those whom I love on every level. This didn’t start with a few Google reviews. It started with a man being fired and his friends using the police and DHS as a weapon of their revenge.
Dee and Deb…you know what you should do here at TWW….create a datebase of unhealthy churches and cults so that people looking for a church in MN would know what churches to avoid and why. — Eagle
Why limit the list to Minnesota? Why not all over the country?
For a start, I nominate anything connected to either Chuck Smith or Jack Hyles.
Julie Ann, I think Chuck has serious problems. Nothing he is doing is logical after the judges decision except that Chuck, the pastor, disagrees and his only defense is to ruin you and Meagan. — Anon1
Anyone want to have a go at using Chuck’s passive-aggressive blame shift tricks back at him directly?
Hello Headless Unicorn Guy,
This is a good example of Julie Anne’s lies meant to defame and destroy. Yet another lie:
“The parents allowed Chuck to videotape them and they named their own abused children’s names. Here is the question – – – what parent in their right mind would publicly name their children who were sexually violated?” -Julie Anne
Go watch the videos of this family that Julie Anne Smith and Meaghan Varela have assaulted again and again. You will not find any mention of the names of their minor children.
You never cease in giving me good laughs. “The Suing Pastor must have unleashed all his sock puppets.” — Dee
Let’s just say I’ve seen Internet fights before. I’m involved in a couple fandoms that have a more-than-average share of drama queens. And around ten years ago I was the target of some email harassment.
[mod] comment withdrawn by request
(Note to all: This is mostly a rehash of a comment I made over at Julie Anne’s blog. It’s late here now, and I don’t have the time to type up something fresh. Might follow up later.)
I took a quick look at your site the other evening. Your church, and you sir, have definitely hit a new low. My first reaction (like that of many others) was amusement. Something like, “Aww, ain’t that cute. They’re pretending to be like Julie Anne. They actually think they can beat her at this game. Heh.” Then, of course, I remembered what this means: You still have people under your thumb. And the fewer of them there are, the more they’re probably hurting.
What also saddens me, though, is your whole tone of persecution complex. I’ve watched only one of the videos so far, but the little I read on the site was just appalling. More and more, BGBC is resembling (again) the Church of Scientology. (BTW that’s no compliment.) The words and tones you use are almost exactly the same. “The critics are all liars! They’re bitter, gossiping apostates! They’re out to destroy us! We’re the real victims here!”
On top of that, you’re shamelessly using a misleading domain name to make a ‘smear site’ — yet another of “Their” tactics. Perhaps you think you’ll steal JA’s traffic. Or that you’ll somehow convince the public this way. But it’s so transparent it’s almost pathetic.
Most telling, it seems that you, sir, are utterly unable to learn from your mistakes. All of this simply makes you look more and more of a creep. And that will ultimately be your ruin.
For anyone who missed them, there are several comments by Chuck O’Neal with time stamps of around 2:30 AM. His comments were held for moderation due to him being new and were released around 9:30 AM EST.
Just a note. He makes some strong statements. We decided to allow it and gave him the rope. Let’s not anyone engage in a food fight here.
Now back to my cave.
Chuck, I admit I haven’t been able to stomach watching some of those videos. I watched one of the Haggerty videos this morning and did not watch the other one. Someone reported to me that the names were mentioned (as I mentioned “I was told” in the comment). If I find out otherwise, I will gladly remove that part and ask Dee or Deb to edit my comment. I’m all about reporting the truth as I know it.
That really isn’t the real issue – the issue is why would you use this family who has gone through so much pain to defend yourself? Why do you need to round up anyone in your defense? Why do you need to solicit people to add positive reviews all within days, bumping down the 600+ negative reviews? Why are you afraid of allowing dissenting comments on your blog? Do you have something to hide? Do you think people won’t notice? Shouldn’t your words/actions speak for themselves – especially as a pastor? Your words and actions are speaking loud and clear to the world: $500K lawsuit, 5,000 business cards your wife is handing out (not typical pastor wife behavior in my 30+ years being a Christian), videotaping hurting family, broadcasting it on the WWW. Did you ask MacArthur or your friend Fred Butler what he thinks of your new survivor blog?
“assaulted again and again” “attacks on our families/church” “weapons of revenge” “destruction of a church” = more war-like verbiage from a “man of God”
Chuck – I really wish you would have allowed mediation. I would gladly drive the 4+ hours to get this thing resolved once and for all. I miss those people that I came to love those two years. I just want all of the hurting to stop!
But I do have to thank you – – through the media attention and the response from readers, it has opened my eyes up to a world of hurting people and hopefully my blog can be a refuge – a place where people can know that they aren’t going crazy, that God is not some angry hateful being.
GBTC – I just saw your note about releasing Chuck’s comments. Thank you for allowing them. I have not been able to dialogue whatsoever with Chuck, so I hope that this can be a fruitful opportunity.
What is the matter with people? There was a shooting in a nearby school here, 27 dead and 14 of them elementary school children. One of my friend’s kid stayed home sick today, so she was not there. But I’m at a loss as to how to pray.
Churck you must of scratched your head and said “What would Jesus do” Then you did just the opposite. There is no other explanation.
“The fact is they have actively sought the destruction of a church and families through defamation of the worst possible kind.”
You sued a former member of your church for $500,000. Nothing else you say has any credibility until you can explain this.
Chuck O’Neal, Today you wrote: “We will allow negative posts of a reasonable nature and answer them with truth in the near future.” Does this mean you’ll post my two sincere comments being held (for days) in moderation at your site? Do you consider them “reasonable”? And will you post them now, or when you’ve written a response to them? I’ve dropped them, here, below.
Comment One: in response to your video and posting of Meaghen’s emails
(( /i-dont-need-anymore-of-the-varelas-love/ ))
> monax says:
December 12, 2012 at 11:12 am
Let’s then examine these “dangerous, vindictive lies” leveled against you from Tim and Meaghan Varela. First, the fact that Meaghan’s emails go from love and thankfulness for her pastor to anger and rebuke demonstrates that—Yes, there was a line drawn in the sand, a line of the heart, a line you ungraciously crossed. This line was crossed when you refused to heed Don’s loving reproof and fired him (your “right hand man” of all people) for speaking against you. “That’s called sanity!” Chuck’s wife say, “Of course he was removed.”
As an observer looking into Beaverton Grace Bible I can clearly see the abject insanity that runs the place. I’m certain Meaghan’s love was genuine. In fact the proof of this is her anger. But I also expect that much of Meaghan’s good will was a result of being under the influence of bgbc’s environment of insanity. When you fired Don maybe the spell of insanity was broken for many. I don’t think Meaghan’s a “monster” for appealing to her former pastor to be a faithful, humble, submissive man of God, to remember the Authority Pastor Chuck has been called to submit to. Meaghan finally (and, still, in love) reflects and characterized you as a Spiritual Rapist. And so do I. As an observer you have proven all by yourself that her reflection is truth. Remember, it is in no way slander if it is true.
If Beaverton Grace Bible was my home church when this “line in the sand” was crossed it would have been my spiritual obligation to the LORD, to His Church and to His Word, to stand with Don, Tim and others against a False Pastor like Y-O-U. It would have been a necessary act of protecting my church family from a “minister of righteousness” and a blind and dangerous W-O-L-F.
Yes, Chuck. Of course you preach the Word of God! I’m assuming what Don and others are getting at is the way you wield your Sword, and to what end? From where I am observing, it seems you have perverted and leveraged the Word of God to serve your own ungodly ends. See, it’s not just what you do or do not preach—it’s ultimately how you live your life before God and His people. Again, you may profess to preach the Word of God, but the real measure of your authority rest in whether you OBEY the Word of God or not.
So, then, Chuck—if firing Don has been the crux of the matter. Maybe we should investigate the dynamics behind you firing Don. That should be telling! monax says:
December 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm
you express how it is “good to finally have a forum to expose the lies being spread about [BGBC] and Pastor Chuck.” Your hope is that those outside your church “will take the time to hear the truth,” consider “the evidence,” and judge the elders to be ruling faithfully.
I’m personally glad for this opportunity to examine further evidence. In fact, your comment above appears to provide further evidence against you—evidence supporting my conviction that BGBC is in possession of a sick and abusive eldership.
As a faithful elder, a shepherd in the Church of Christ, What is your role? You remind us of what Hebrews 13:7 says: “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.”
Question, Dale. In your above comment, How have you conducted yourself? What sort of faith, hope and love have you exhibited for the world to see? As you “warn the church that [Tim and Meaghan Varela, and Julie Ann Smith] have not been and will not be a blessing to any church they attend” you mark yourself as someone who is neither thinking or speaking from the heart of a true shepherd. Where is the love that “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor 13:7)?
Do you realize your comment relegates these individuals to an unfruitful life of service for the Lord. Is such a sentence something a Spirit-filled shepherd should be pronouncing? Can you not believe something better for them, or for yourself when they were still with you?
I personally know Julie Anne to be a blessed sister in Christ. She’s your sister too, if you are His. And for all of us who are in Christ—this is our blessed reality: that we bear fruit for the glory of God, that we live as blessed expressions of His good pleasure. Yes, we are personally responsible for cultivating the gift of life we’ve been given, yet as we faithfully do this it is the divine work of the Spirit Who empowers us to will and to do according to His good purpose (for we are His workmanship). My point is this: every one of God’s children is an absolute blessing to the church. God, Himself, secures this reality. For you to say differently is false, among other things.
But yes, Dale, I will embrace your efforts here toward articulating the truth to outsiders. Yet I need to ask: Is this forum sincerely geared toward an open and true examination of your church? My last comment has been held for moderation for some time now. Will it post, or is this forum for BGBC members only? I’m ready to engage you, and I’d love to give you the chance to demonstrate that your not the Spiritually Abusive Perps you appear to be.
According to Channel 3 the # of kids is now 18. This is so awful. Thank goodness your friend’s kid was at home.
More and more, BGBC is resembling (again) the Church of Scientology. (BTW that’s no compliment.) The words and tones you use are almost exactly the same. “The critics are all liars! They’re bitter, gossiping apostates! They’re out to destroy us! We’re the real victims here!” — Serving in Japan
i.e. Squirrels and SPs. Flag Command Intention (Tone 40 Voice): Invoke Fair Game Law. Directive R2-45 LRH.
The horror of the school shooting reminds me just how petty many of our Christian fights are in the face of lost/troubled/wicked souls like the gunmn. Praying that police find second apparent gunmn ASAP and bring to justice.
My question for Chuck: IF you had been fully vindicated and proved fully right in court, do you imagine ONE lost soul like the gunmn would, on hearing it, glorify God and turn to Christ? Or might that soul more likely have said of you “See how he loved them” like Christ, or “God is really among them” had you turned the other cheek?
I missed that second person, if involved, is already in custody.
LeavitTaBeaverGrace : Whatz In A Scripture, Anyway?”
“We work hard with our own hands. When we are accused, we sue; when we are prosecuted, we seethe; when we are slandered, we get even…”
I have had my own experience with a church problem involving a serious pedophile incident. Had the pastors apologized to one of the families and their son for their failings the controversy would have gone away. The families involved were so willing to forgive. There have been long term repercussions to that church in terms of membership and income.
What is difficulty with the words”I’m sorry,” “I screwed up, “I could have done better?” Is it far easier to blame others? Kind of like Adam who blamed Eve?
I am glad you are here but I want you to understand that we allow all but the most lewd comments on this blog. We also urge those who have comments held or deleted by other blogs to post them here. So, open communications will occur here and some of them may be hard for you to hear. I hope you will listen.
Keep in mind that there are also nonbelievers who are very welcome here. So, your words and actions will be observed on a larger scale than the smaller closed church community.
Finally, just so you know, both Deb and I really love Julie Anne. She is a stong and brave woman who loves the Lord.
I’m actually glad Chuck O’Neal is coming here and willing to discuss this matter. That takes courage.
I personally do not want to see all Reformed churches nixed or rejected any more than I would want to see all Independent Fundamentalist churches nixed. Not all are bad and I wouldn’t necessarily put Bethlehem church in MN in the do not go to category. There is some bad teaching there, but there is also some good teaching.
There should be a tongue in cheek, after the word courage, typing too fast. I also don’t know why I keep coming up duplicate times.
Debbie, I must disagree with you on churches which self-identify as “fundamentalist.” I would caution people to avoid any such church. I think Jeri Massi makes a good case for this.
Eagle, most Christians reject determinism, which says that God ordained every single event to occur. It’s just that some prominent figures believe otherwise.
Eagle, humans are responsible for the evil that they committ, not God. Humans cause human suffering, and God cannot be blamed. God actively restrains the evil of man, so that events like this do not happen everywhere, 24/7, all the time.
God is worthy to be worshiped because He is God, and He is Good. And He is in absolute control.
Man often wants to blame his own evil on God.
Eagle, while I don’t have all of the answers, it is worth noting that of all the religions, Christianity is the one (that I’m aware of) that offers a God who came down, became one of us, and endured the suffering of this world.
The theological argument would be that if God eradicated all evil, he would have had to eradicate Creation post-fall. That he allows evil to exist is a mercy we all have experienced. But the compassionate argument is that God knows and identifies with our pain; he sent his son to die on the cross. He is not an aloof deity who doesn’t understand what our lives are like. He is the ultimate empathizer.
Eagle, while I don’t have all of the answers, it is worth noting that of all the religions, Christianity is the one (that I’m aware of) that offers a God who came down, became one of us, and endured the suffering of this world. — Jeff S
In other words, a big-G God who could say “I’ve been there, done that, got the scars to prove it.”
The problem with Pipers church is they make the “bad stuff” primary salvic doctrine which makes it a bad church to go to.
“I’m actually glad Chuck O’Neal is coming here and willing to discuss this matter. That takes courage.”
SEems to me like wrong headed boldness. Just like taking domain names to divert from Julie Ann’s blog. I have not seen anythng in his comments that lead me to see any “courage” as a teacher of the word. He does not seem to see anything he did wrong. There is a term for this. HUG is familiar with it.
If you post a comment and it doesn’t show up, take a breath, count to 10, then refresh your browser window. It’s likely there but the servers haven’t caught up with it yet.
I too hope that Piper, Robertson, etc. don’t cross the line again.
As usual, these narcissistic people are ALWAYS the victims. They never do anything, it is always someone else. You can’t have a real dialoge with these people because it goes no where. They are truly, truly delusional and twisted in their thinking.
Chuck, you obviously are willing to have discussion. At least, you are willing to have discussion here. Why are you not open to discussion on your blog (at this time)?
I don’t mean to ask this in a way to attack; I’m just curious. If you want the truth to be told, you need to be willing to have questions asked to you and for you to answer them on your own forum.
“Chuck, you obviously are willing to have a discussion”
Not really.It is disquised as such. The only thing he wants to discuss is how right he is and that he is the victim in all of this.
Angry or not, please tone it down. Why is it always God’s fault when we do something bad? You want free will, you’ve got it. Blame the boy that pulled the trigger.
I was deeply saddened by the news of this mass shooting tonight. Tragedy is the only word for it, apart from “evil”. Now’s probably not the time for anyone to start scoring theological or political points either way.
Horrible day, horrible situation…don’t see why Eagle should tone it down. It’s an honest response from his heart…not the same as yours Gavin, nor mine (tbh I didn’t even think of God, but of how anyone could shoot a child), but even ‘if’ wrong in content totally understandable in tone. Please don’t censor Eagle’s heart.
Chuck clearly states his purpose in his note to Brad above: We are simply trying to stop these attacks on our families and our church.
How does Chuck plan on doing that? By starting a blog that uses my blog’s name and names us as slanderers, haters, breaking up families, war with God, tearing apart the church, hurting mothers, children, fathers?
Is this normal behavior? Is it Christ-like behavior – to retaliate by making a new blog with accusations?
I’ve said time and again, I would welcome any sort of mediation with a neutral party. If Chuck O’Neal was really trying to “stop these attacks on our families and our church”, then he would avail himself to normal and ordinary ways of resolving conflict.
The behavior we see (starting a pseudo survivor blog, making 5,000 business cards to hand out by Tonya) is not constructive or helpful whatsoever. The evidence that we have seen is this:
Without wood a fire goes out;
without a gossip a quarrel dies down.
As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.
Chuck, my e-mail is bgbcsurvivors @ G mail dot com
Sitting here at Starbucks sipping on my latte digesting the story & when I read this comment it caught me by surprise. I suddenly laughed out loud and admit even a little snot came out my nose. Hilarious!
Hear, hear, JA!
Anonymous1@4:40: I did not mean that Chuck O’Neal had literal courage. This was said tongue in cheek which I failed to put in that comment due to typing way to fast. I think he has the right to tell his side of the story, but it takes little to name a website so close to the name Julie Anne gave it. It is done to take away from Julie Anne’s site. I should have taken the time to be more clear in my comment.
Regarding free will and God’s involvement in the prevention of sin, consider this:
Don’t you think there was a risk involved when God created us in His image, with the ability to make free moral choices? Choices that had real moral consequences?
I think there was a risk. The risk was that we would choose to make a wrong choice. And that is what happened. But if God had not created us with the ability to make real choices, we wouldn’t be able to truly love because you can’t force love.
Let’s imagine that God always came in whenever someone made a wrong choice and cleaned up the mess. He completely erased the sinful consequences. Zap! Poof! Gone. Nothing remained. It was as if the wrong choice never occurred.
But think of it. If that kept happening over and over, only the ability to made certain choices would exist. The ability to make a choice that led to wrong results would cease to exist, and so would free will. If God removed the consequences of every wrong choice we ever made, we wouldn’t have in truth, freedom of choice.
With the ability God gave us to make choices, the fact is we have the power to make wrong choices. If we didn’t have that ability, we would be programmed to make only right choices, which always leads to predictable consequences. Of course, that is what we want to do. We want to make right choices. But we can choose. And I think that is why we are fearfully made. But God wants us to make the choice to make the right decision from the motivation of love. That’s the way I see it. Ultimately, he wants us to love him and love one another, and to make the choice to do so freely, not from fear but from real, true love – which there is no law against. Love, that flows from a free choice. Something we want to do. Something we wish to do. Something we will to do. Something we desire and choose to do. The kind of love that makes God who he is. Who he made us in the image of.
Do you think God is grieved when people make choices that lead to consequences that we saw happen in Newtown? Of course he is. But lets not forget God’s son was slowly and brutally slaughtered. He understands our suffering and is involved in it.
At least that’s how I see it; and although I am saddened by the tragic consequences of sin which often results in innocent victims, I am thankful this time of year for the hope God has provided; that he loves the world, that he didn’t abandon us to our sin, and that he created us with the ability to love and be loved – all at an amazing cost.
At the time I wrote my comment I did not know about the shooting tragedy nor had I read the comment that referred to this tragedy. My heart is broken over this incident.
I realize there are those on here who do not know me or my background. Believe me, I too have been where some of you are. I know all the tricks. I make comments sometimes forgetting there are those who do not know me. I will try to be more clear in the future.
What Beakerj said!
Gavin, Eagle is hurting. Please let him just be, OK?
“I’m waiting for John Piper, John MacArthur, etc… to talk about how this school shooting was ordained by God since evil is ordained by God.”
Actually, one of my first thoughts after learning about the shooting was, how long will it take Phillips, Wilson or some other FIC proponent to claim that this was God’s judgment on the godless public education system. Hopefully they’re well aware that saying something like that publicly would discredit them instantly so they’ll keep their mouths shut, but I guarantee you it’s being said in private.
Hester, here you go
Yes, I saw that on the other thread. Completely inappropriate. I am dealing with the same types on my FB. “This happened because we took God out of our schools!” “Have today’s events made you consider homeschooling?” “Your children will be safe if you homeschool!”
Never let a good crisis go to waste and all that jazz.
(Actually, as I pointed out to one of these FB folks, since lots of homeschooled kids take classes in public schools nowadays, the idea that they are automatically safe from school shootings is pretty much bogus. All it would take would be for the homeschooler to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.)
re: Chuck O’Neal on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 12:19 PM:
Pastor O’Neal, Thank you for the information you posted on this thread. I have followed the lawsuit from early on, and have done what I could to learn from it. Your comments add some perspective.
Eventually, I will decide whether to spend time on your website or not. If I choose to do so, it would be as a “critical reader.” This is a complex situation with many internal and external dynamics, and I would be investigating with many factors and questions in mind. And I will also say that your input in this thread reinforces questions to explore similar to those I already have been asking myself.
For instance, initially, it appears reasonable that you are just trying to stop the alleged onslaught of the past four years that you see stemming from a man being fired. But that statement included a lot of conclusions and assumptions, which are not the same as facts.
Meanwhile, it also seems you’re just blaming Julie Anne Smith and Meaghan Varela for you not getting your hoped-for day in court — at least, not in the way you wanted to have it. And I don’t find that reasonable. Because, wasn’t the possibility of an anti-SLAPP motion considered before filing the complaint, since this was a defamation lawsuit? Wasn’t there actually a probability that the civil suit would be stopped with such a measure, and you wouldn’t get the kind of day-in-court that you desired? How did you and your lawyer prepare for that possibility or eventuality?
I was struck by something that seemed askew in your statement: “The fact is they have actively sought the destruction of a church and families through defamation of the worst possible kind.” Wouldn’t it actually be accurate to say, “In my opinion, they have actively sought the destruction of a church and families through defamation of the worst possible kind”? It seems to me you expressed an opinion, not a fact.
So, those are the kinds of issues I’d be looking at before, during, and after any perusal of your blog. I’d be analyzing to what degree I discern your evidence as being credible, complete, and coherent. I’d be analyzing to what degree I discern your perspectives as being reasoned, valid, and constructive. I’d be wondering over each assertion of “fact” you make, and whether it is actually just opinion. I’d ask how all of this might be affecting any evidence you posted on your blog, and wondering what evidences you might have deliberately left unposted.
Actually, wouldn’t that kind of critical thinking be exactly what I’d be required to apply, if I were a member of a jury in your lawsuit?
To Gavin re: Eagle’s comment, I think Fendrel, numo & Hester have answered. The only thing I wished to add was that though it may have seemed over the pond that Eagle was exaggerating, it seemed to me he was anticipating the crazy ‘Christian’ comments that then emanate after a tragedy. Ones of the wildly predictable Pat Robertson kind. The Westboro Baptist kind. And on…you get my drift. I’ve been away so now need to update myself on the tragedy and Huckabee’s comments, which would appear, on glancing at the link, to confirm Eagle’s comment.
Brad, When I grow up, I want to be as reasonable and wise as you are. This, is not something I had thought of before:
“Meanwhile, it also seems you’re just blaming Julie Anne Smith and Meaghan Varela for you not getting your hoped-for day in court — at least, not in the way you wanted to have it. And I don’t find that reasonable. Because, wasn’t the possibility of an anti-SLAPP motion considered before filing the complaint, since this was a defamation lawsuit? Wasn’t there actually a probability that the civil suit would be stopped with such a measure, and you wouldn’t get the kind of day-in-court that you desired? How did you and your lawyer prepare for that possibility or eventuality?”
A spiritual abuse case: creepy cult control tactics continue?
Wasn’t the heart of the lawsuit a simple question:
Was the online review protected free speech, or did it cross the line into defamatory speech?
Didn’t Washington County Judge Jim Fun decided for the defendants and dismissed the case?
Dissatisfied with results she was getting at the time, J.A. Smith subsequently went online to write reviews: “I thought, I’m just going to post a review, we do it with restaurants and hotels and whatnot, and I thought, why not do it with this church?” Later, other church members counteracted the blog with praise, so Smith started a blog called “Beaverton Grace Bible Church Survivors.”
But the pastor claimed in the lawsuit he filed that her words, “creepy,” “cult,” “control tactics,” and “spiritual abuse,” were defamation. (*note to the Wartburg reader: this happened not to be the ruling in this case)
According to the said complaint, didn’t J.A. Smith write the following statements about the church on the Internet:
Sept. 29, 2011: “You will be fine at this church if you never question the elders or the pastor.”
Jan. 5, 2012: “What we had was indoctrination… That is how cult leaders work. Don’t waste your precious lives and relationships by being held emotionally/spiritually captive at this so-called church.”
Jan. 9, 2012: “How can she forget that her own beloved pastor knew about a sex offender in the church who had access to the nursery and children on a weekly basis and did not have any safeguards in place.”
Question: Wasn’t it determined by the court that these statements above are protected free speech statements? So now what is the beef? Someone connect the dots. Why all the septafuge with the copycat blog? Hasn’t this pastor taken his perceived continued grievances to the Internet, i.e. to the court of public opinion? Why? What does he stand to gain, having lost his court case? Is the Beaverton pastor now dissatisfied with court results he has gotten?
Judge Fun wrote in the ruling dismissing the case:
“(O’Neal) has the right to govern his congregation in the manner in which he chooses, and defendant Julie Anne Smith is authorized by law to express her disagreement with his performance of those activities….”
The Judge sounds decidedly clear.
Dear Haitch and others
There may be some people who get their kicks out of such a tragedy but few if any will be as Eagle described.
Guybehindthecurtain: That is not the problem. I only hit post one time and it comes up twice as demonstrated in the post concerning the awful tragedy. I hit comment one time and it posted twice. It may well do it with this comment.
Guybehindthecurtain: That is not the problem. I only hit post one time and it comes up twice as demonstrated in the post concerning the awful tragedy. I hit comment one time and it posted twice. It may well do it with this comment.
I told Barb that this was one of my favorite quotes of hers:
“An alarming scenario is that the spiritually keen are the most at risk to be victimized. In the final analysis, the cure for both abused and abuser is a sufficient dose of God’s mercy and grace.” – Barbara M. Orlowski
I thought of it reading your comment above where you actually wrote to Chuck. It is unfortunate that he wouldn’t do mediation. However, like you said, it has opened up a ministry for you and I for one, am happy I ran across your site! And, from reading a lot of this lately, it seems like Chuck is way beyond the ability to sit down in humility and give this all to God and move forward. Very sad.
Anyway, I am glad God has given you a great discern-o-meter! And, to steal a name from Barb, I think you’re “spiritually keen”! 🙂
In Julie Anne Smith’s first post in this string she shows that she completely lacks a conscience and a heart. She wrote: “I had a laughing fit knowing that my former pastor called me a Woman of Mass Destruction – that is pretty funny.” Where did she find the Woman of Mass Destruction title that provoked her laughing fit? On a blog post that outlined in painful detail the assault that she and Meaghan Varela have brought on my family. The verbiage and video of that blog post specifically dealt with Meaghan Varela’s use of the police and the Department of Human Services (Child Protection) as her weapons of revenge for firing her good friend. I go through the official DHS report and unpack Meaghan Varela’s lies one by one proving that she vindictively attempted to have me put in prison, my adult son put in prison, and our minor children taken from their home and mother with her disgusting false allegations. The big hearted, making a safe place for the broken to heal, spiritual abuse heroine, Julie Anne Smith had a LAUGHING FIT, “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA” in response to the plain ugly truth of what Meaghan Varela has done to my wife and children. To say that she is “heartless” is a kind understatement.
*This statement and all others that I post on this blog are my opinion based upon the facts as I understand them.
Chuck you sound like a broken record. You would think by the nature of the post here and the lack of support on your blog, except from the kool-aide drinkers from your church, that your attempt to turn public opinion has failed. If anything you are showing the world why a negative blog might be posted against you and your church. It would be really difficult for me to listen to you try to preach the bible when your actions are so not Christ like. You can tell a tree by its fruit.
Pastor O’Neal is assuming that Ms. Varela is the source of the statements made to the authorities, and is allegedly quoting from documents that are generally not available even to perpetrators or alleged perpetrators. I believe that he has mis-stated the actual complaint. If not, he should post whatever document he has to the web site so that all can verify his comment about the contents.
I work a lot with child protective authorities, and they do make mistakes. I have seen very simple complaints documented by the person who made the complaint become overstated and overblown accusations once in the had of the overworked, under trained and under paid workers in the agency.
Chuck, you need to be careful how much extrapolating you do. I do not believe that some of your statements will hold up to the standard of truth and are, in fact, the bearing of false witness against Julie Anne and Ms. Varela. Put up or shut up.
Grace: The road to mediation?
Thankfully there are laws in place (SLAP) to protect American citizens from frivolous lawsuits. Apparently, this pastor has become the enemy of free internet speech , and a world-wide laughing stock. He has given American Christianity a black eye. This latest attempt at some kind of satisfaction effort on his part has only worsened the already decided very public issue. We have witnessed this abusing the American judicial system, and apparently the Christian pulpit as well. This individual would do well to withdraw before he hurts himself and his family with further grief and embarrassment. It is the opinion of many that a simple public apology would go a long way in paving the way for a more comprehensive mediation in the future. Blessed are the peacemakers, the Savior said….
Your site, the “real” BCBG “survivors,” is awfully similar to the kind of character assassination we see on Scientology’s “Freedom” magazine websites. This is NOT a favorable comparison. Not by a long shot.
Let me be clear: I am absolutely comparing you and your web site to Scientology. And, since I have been, for the last decade or so, featured on the Scientology-affiliated “Religious Freedom Watch” (along with a few dozen of my friends), I think I really do know what I’m talking about.
Now, I’m pretty sure that Julie Anne and Meaghan can take care of themselves. But I’m telling you that putting up the “real” BCBG “survivors” website, you have more than just a case of sour grapes. You have revealed yourself to be a vindictive man who, unhappy with a court ruling, has decided to use the freedom of the Internet to go after those you perceive to be your enemies.
Let me quote the guy you claim to worship:
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:44, NKJV)
It does not say (and here, I’ll use first century equivalents) to go around and write nasty letters or send criers out in to the marketplaces denouncing your enemies. It says to love your enemies.
Love. your. enemies.
I may have walked away from church, but you know, that is the one thing I keep with me. Even if I dislike what people do, I try not to hate them, but try to find some good in them and work to steer them towards goodness. If I, a post-churched, heathen, former Christian can at least try to think there might be some sort of good in a guy like David Miscavige, then you can do so for Julie Anne and Meaghan.
And, in fact, the man you worship as God instructs you to do so.
Go, therefore, and do likewise. Unless you want to continue to be compared to the heinous acts of Scientology from now until forever on the Internet.
I’m just wondering if anyone here might have an idea of why I would laugh at the expression: “Woman of Mass Destruction” and can explain it to Chuck. If I try to explain it, it will become a new blog post at his Impostor Blog.
It’s important to understand what is going on. Although I left BGBC 4 years ago, it (BGBC/Chuck) has not left me or Meaghan. This is a perfect example of what many people experience with ongoing spiritual abuse even after leaving a church. Remember, we found out we were in church discipline by a church member who reported it publicly on Google review (in response to my negative Google review) about a year after we left the church. If church discipline is done properly, it is done while at a church and you certainly know about it. We never met with any elder/pastor regarding any discipline issue while we were at the church. The info about Smiths being in church discipline is what Chuck has fed to his followers and for some reason they are afraid to challenge the biblical basis for it. Is it any wonder – if they challenge him or leave his church, they might have to endure what we have endured, ie, unannounced visits to home with hidden recording device, scathing letters sent, etc.
To Chuck O’Neal:
DHS does not report names of people reporting. It is illegal for them to disclose names. You have continuously said Meaghan reported YOU to DHS for abuse. And now I’m reading that you are accusing her of reporting Charlie as an abuser. DHS by law must protect informants. But I will repeat what I know to be true. Meaghan told me what she reported to DHS and it did not include you or Charlie as an abuser of any kind. I’ve said this numerous places on my blog, on news article comments, on blog comments: I know of NO ONE who has reported Chuck O’Neal as an abuser. Now I will also clearly state that I know of NO ONE who has reported Charlie O’Neal as an abuser. I simply do not believe it to be true and neither does Meaghan. Meaghan vehemently denies any involvement in saying you or Charlie sexually abused children.
I do have bones to pick with you, Chuck, but falsely accusing someone of sexual abuse is not my character. I just won’t do that. Where these allegations came from, I do not know. I can understand why you would be alarmed, hurt, and angry at the accusations. I do feel very bad about the pain you and your family has endured regarding false accusations of sexual abuse. I have not experienced what you have gone through, but can imagine how painful it would be.
That said, I would really like to have more information. I do not believe you have provided factual information, nor that you have presented accurate information publicly. Here’s why:
Regarding the letter from the attorney posted on your website:
There seems to be a conflict with dates.
The attorney lists allegations. I believe those are your allegations, not DHS allegations, because the attorney does not reference the specific DHS report. If those were allegations listed on the DHS report, a competent attorney would clearly reference the DHS document next to the allegations (there is no footnote, either).
Elsewhere on Chuck’s blog there is only a part of the alleged DHS report shown, yet not the full page. Why not post the whole page? Meaghan’s name is already plastered all over the internet, you might as well post it for all to see. If Meaghan’s name is on that report, I think Meaghan has legal recourse against the government.
A few more notes:
Why are you refusing mediation?
Do you believe it is showing Christ-like character for a pastor to start a fake survivor blog using my blog’s name and calling people names: women of mass destruction, church destroyers, etc?
Do you believe it is Christ-like character for a pastor’s wife to print out 5,000 business cards to hand out in public in retaliation?
Finally, why are all the comments on your blog from only church members? I thought you said you would allow others to comment. What are you afraid of?
Julie Anne creates and tells lies so well and so fast it is hard to keep up. She wrote a long entry above where she CONTINUES TO DENY THE BLACK AND WHITE TRUTH. The two videos, Using the DHS (Child Protection) as a Weapon of Mass Destruction and Meaghan Varela… A Woman of Mass Destruction are simply comprised of me reading of the actual DHS report that Meaghan Varela made to destroy me, my family, and our church. Of course Meaghan Varela denies what she has done. What she has done is monstrous and she doesn’t want the world to know that she is a monster. She much prefers to tell the world that I am a monster so that she can be a hero.
Chuck: Show the entire DHS page so all can see, not just part of the page. Let the readers decide.
Chuck, I am very confused. It seems to me that you are the one who escelates.
I don’t understand how you are accusing her when you are the one who took out a lawsuit against her.
Yup, I have had to report child protection issues on several occasions, & I think you need to back up this claim that you know Meaghan Varela reported this. You need to provide evidence for your very strong claims Chuck…on this page few of us know you from Adam, & your being a Pastor does not give you a free pass from the normal rules of evidence & believability.
Julie Anne: “I’m just wondering if anyone here might have an idea of why I would laugh at the expression: “Woman of Mass Destruction” and can explain it to Chuck. If I try to explain it, it will become a new blog post at his Impostor Blog.”
I have an idea of why you would laugh, and I’ll attempt to explain it clearly.
Chuck is guilty of a logical fallacy in argumentation called an “Association fallacy”.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An association fallacy is an inductive informal fallacy of the type hasty generalization or red herring which asserts that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another, merely by an irrelevant association. The two types are sometimes referred to as guilt by association and honor by association. Association fallacies are a special case of red herring, and can be based on an appeal to emotion.
In calling you a “Woman of Mass Destruction”, Chuck is attempting to associate you with a “Weapon of Mass Destruction”.
weap·on of mass de·struc·tion
A chemical, biological, or radioactive weapon capable of causing widespread death and destruction.
There is a heavy amount of grief and terrible emotions attached to WMD’s, especially in American culture. In attempting to associate you with a WMD, Chuck is striving to stir up emotions against you in the hearts of his audience. It’s a cheap move.
There are few ways to respond to that sort of ridiculous labelling, and that is with either anger or mirth. You chose mirth. Laughter is healthy, and I would have responded in the same way.
It is not only cheap, it is crass, unChristlike and very sinful.
Chuck, I’ve been over to your site & though I see you say a thousand times that Meaghan reported your family to DHS, yet there’s nothing at all there to uphold this assertion. There is a cropped bit of the original report which shows the time it was made, on which you have written that this was made by Meaghan…where is this independently verified? How do you know what you are saying is actually true, rather than an assumption? If you can’t prove this point, nothing built on it will stand.
And it also appears that you were the one who told the Social Worker who came to investigate that it was a false report by Meaghan…so you told Social Services this, & you wrote a note on the clip from the DHS report that she was the one who had reported you. You’re telling us she did it. Who told you? Sorry to harp on, but this is really important to your testimony of what happened.
Chuck O’Neil, taking lessons from the Church of $cientology. *shakes head* Cropping reports to make them look the most favorable…an old Scientology trick.
Come on, Chuck, can’t you see that you can’t win when you stoop to use the tactics of universally-decried cults?
I’m sorry to harp on the comparison between Scientology and Chuck O’Neal’s actions (apologies for misspelling your name in the last post, Chuck), but someone I know has had information taken from his (allegedly) private counseling folders from Scientology and plastered on the Internet. You know, as in *yesterday*. So I’m just a little bit sensitive to people being harassed by their former churches. Just a little.
“There is a heavy amount of grief and terrible emotions attached to WMD’s, especially in American culture. In attempting to associate you with a WMD, Chuck is striving to stir up emotions against you in the hearts of his audience. It’s a cheap move.”
I suppose it means something in his circle. It is hyperbole and ridiculous. That is why it is funny. It is meant to insult her but makes him look ridiculous. What is even more silly about it is that Chuck is the one with a pulpit and a title to match. He is the one who is supposed to have the gravitas. Not a homemaker with a keyboard. In fact, Chuck is handing over a lot of power to Julie Ann and he did so the minute he acted in a legal move on a google review which most likely few read anyway. He is his own worst enemy. His words here prove it. Childish and quite frankly he sounds a bit narcissistic with his word choices when one knows the background of the thing.
Also, I want to know how he knows who reported whom to CPS? Seems there might be a breach of confidentiality. Does he really want to go down that path?
I like woman of mass destruction so much I am going to tweak it and use it with my kids: “Mom of mass destruction” when they are in trouble. :o)
exactly. It’s so ridiculous, the only appropriate response is to laugh!
The most hilarious part is, he probably thought he was being clever.
Julie Anne Smith wrote:
“Remember, we found out we were in church discipline by a church member who reported it publicly on Google review (in response to my negative Google review) about a year after we left the church. If church discipline is done properly, it is done while at a church and you certainly know about it. We never met with any elder/pastor regarding any discipline issue while we were at the church.”
She can’t keep her story straight. Was she aware that she was being “shunned” and deeply hurt by being “shunned” or wasn’t she? “Shunned” is her word (see the video “Shunned” at bgbcsurvivors.org). The elders had 11 hours of meetings with Julie Anne and her husband Steve to deal with their endless lists of accusations? Accusations that included that my children have “no sparkle in their eyes.” Interesting in light of the DHS report that would be given a few weeks later by her partner in slander, Meaghan Varela. Julie Anne was finally asked to leave the church by an elder because of her divisive behavior to join her husband who had already left to join the fired staff member at another local church. A few weeks later when Meaghan Varela tried to send me to prison, my adult son to prison, and to take our children from our home… the leadership of the church went to the Varela home to call them to repent of this off the charts, incredibly destructive behavior. We knocked on the door with Bible’s in hand, and heard “go away the police have been called” through the door. They called the police with lies of disturbing the peace, yelling, shouting, threatening, etc. Because of yet another false criminal report the leadership of BGBC (Dale Weaver, Dave Loynes, and I) had to meet with a police officer at the church to be legally trespassed from the Varela property. We recorded the visit with an audio recording device to protect ourselves from further criminal accusations just like this. We will release a video next week about the visit to the Varela home and their second false criminal report to the police that includes that audio recording. After we left Tim and Meaghan Varela’s home we went to the Julie Anne and Steve Smith’s home to continue to call those involved in this attack to repent. The Varela’s had called them to tell them that we were coming and that we were recording our visits. I told the Smith’s about Meaghan’s vicious report to the DHS and asked them what part they had in it. Their response was to say, “you are lawless, and now the DHS is after you, and you are sweating it… we could call the police, we could call a lawyer, we could call the press (THEY HAVE MADE GOOD USE OF THE PRESS)… you are trespassed, leave our property.” Do you suppose the leadership of the church would exhort the church to cease to have contact with dangerous and divisive people like this? Yes, that is called sanity and Biblical Christianity. Did Julie Anne and Steve Smith know that they were under church discipline? Yes, that is why Julie sat in the fired employee’s living room and talked to the evening news about how she was “shunned” as soon as she left the church (See KGW TV Interview http://www.bgbcsurvivors.org/julie-anne-smith-lied-to-the-press/). This interview reveals Julie Anne’s complicity with the fired staff member, and that she just can’t keep all of her lies straight. She complains about leaving the church and being immediately “shunned” in the video. Today she says she had no idea she was under church discipline. She also says that she had no idea why she was being “shunned.” I guess it never occurred to Julie Anne that her and her friend’s vilification and criminalization of the church and the pastor might be the reason. I guess it never occurred to Meaghan Varela and those supporting her evil deeds that the church might be called to steer clear of people who try to send others to prison with false reports of crimes against children. Julie Anne Smith and Meaghan Varela have told too many lies to keep straight. The truth is finding them out.
*This comment and all the comments that I have made on thewartburgwatch.com are my opinion based upon the facts as I understand them.
I hear what you’re saying Chuck, but you’re still not answering the question.No mater what else you say, or how loudly you say it the question has to be answered.
A HUGE amount of your complaint is based upon the idea that Meaghan made a false report of child sexual abuse to DHS. I’m still asking how you know this was her? I’m beginning to wonder if the ONLY thing that you have hung this whole complaint upon is that the complaint was made an hour after the email. Whilst this could be suggestive, it is far from definitive unless you have something to back it up with. Also fwiw, when reporting to social services you can be put on hold for long periods of time before someone is available to answer (I can’t imagine it’s any different in the States)…then you have the long chat about your concerns, then the report is written up. For all you know that report could have been made before the email went out, & by someone entirely different. How do you know?
You need to answer the question, please.
Chuck O’Neal on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 04:06 PM said: “We recorded the visit with an audio recording device to protect ourselves from further criminal accusations just like this. We will release a video next week about the visit to the Varela home and their second false criminal report to the police that includes that audio recording.”
I could be wrong, but I understood it to be illegal to record a conversation without the permission of the parties involved.
Did you confer with your legal counsel about the recording of this event/these events by yourself, Dale Weaver, and Dave Loynes?
And now you plan to air that on your blog?
Did you confer with your legal counsel about the distribution of what could be an illegally obtained recording?
I am not a legal expert, but something seems immensely amiss here, Mr. O’Neal. If I understand some basics about privacy issues, aren’t you potentially setting yourself up for criminal proceedings? Does that give you the satisfaction of justice that you were seeking? This doesn’t seem to be the day in court that you envisioned or hoped for. And if I am correct in my assumption about illegal recordings, didn’t you just admit publicly that you did an illegal act? And whoever Mr Weaver and Mr Loynes are, you have implicated them too, if this turns out to be illegal. Did they know going into the act of recording these events, or did you do so without their knowledge and consent?
Why isn’t this conversation taking place on your own blog? You want to interact with Julie Anne and others here but you don’t approve comments by these same people on your blog. What is the reason for that? Seems very strange to me . . .
Bridget: it’s all about the image. I imagine it might also be difficult for followers to see others question his authority like that.
Brad: Weaver is long-time elder and current member. Loynes is former elder and former member.
Chuck says how the leadership of the church went to the Varela and Smith homes to call them to repent. Imagine that! And somehow they expected the men of these homes to welcome these ‘ministers of righteousness’?
Chuck, if you dared come to my home to call me to repent or to pray for me or whatever. I’d video record your ass while instructing you how you’re now no longer legally standing on my ground. And if you didn’t back off IMMEDIATELY, you better believe I’d bring down all the powers at hand on your person. And if necessary, you’d get a little church discipline of your own, Sir.
Don’t you WOLVES EVER threaten ANOTHER family again!
They ought to post warning posters in the area with the mug shots of Chuck, Dale and Dave, warning people not to let these ‘elders’ into their homes.
Thank you Julie Anne for such a clear example of who you are. You announce you haven’t even watched Matt and Dawn’s videos, then proceed to accuse, chastise, and ask “what parent in their right mind would publicly name their children who were sexually violated?” You speak very authoritatively about something you know nothing about. You make a habit of this. You feign concern for this “poor family” while lying about them yet again to the world. Your website is not a place of “truth and healing,” but of lies and slander. You and Meaghan Varela are the ones with something to hide. Something very, very ugly.
my correction; hold off on making those Dave posters.
so who then are running the show? who’s the present BGBC eldership? Just Dale and Chuck?
David: Mr. Loynes has left BGBC. He is no longer part of that.
You do understand that slander is a prosecutable offense. Please be careful when using legal terms because you could get yoursef into significant hot water.
Good question. How do we know that Meaghan Varela made the report? The social workers and police both made it clear to my family (with our lawyer present) and Matt and Dawn’s family that the same reporter made both reports. The two reports also contained some of the exact same word for word accusations. Meaghan Varela has bragged multiple times of reporting Matt and Dawn’s family on Julie Anne Smith’s website (as recent as a few weeks ago). Furthermore, when the leadership of the church went to Tim and Meaghan’s home to call them to repent of this vicious attack on our church and families they called the police with yet more false criminal accusations of disturbing the peace. The police officer that met us at the church also confirmed that Meaghan Varela made the reports to the DHS. Finally, yes the time stamps show the vindictive nature of the reports that Meaghan Varela made.
I have heard of elders making those who were molested forgive their abuser. That approach is despicable. Secondly, as one of the attorneys who reads this blog has said, if one has resigned from a church and any member of the leadership of that church attempts to discipline them after receipt of resignation, said leadership of church could be sued. This is consdered harrassment.
To all the defenders of BGBC
You are making a bit of a mess with your approach. I implore you to humble yourselves and act like Jesus instead of some two bit 6th grade bully who got his feelings hurt. You lost in the court of public opinion, big time. Try serving the poor and stop this ridiculous crusade.
Chuck, this is the bottom line for me: honestly, it doesn’t matter if some wicked witches reviled and persecuted you and uttered all kinds of evil against you falsely. Let’s say for the sake of argument that, YES, there was evil done against you. Some women who were wounded took the low road and attempted to wound you back. Ok?
The bottom line is this: How have you responded? Did you take the high and honorable road? Or did you repay evil for evil? It terms of judging you, it doesn’t so much matter what was done to you, but how you answered. How are you know acting like a good shepherd? I’m not interested in your museum of justifications. I’m only interested in the man we see before us today. Is he truly worthy to be called a pastor in the church of Christ?
Random quotes of Julie Anne-“This minimization of sex offenses is most likely why Chuck was investigated by DHS.” “These people are speaking Chuck-ese. Have they lost their own voice?” “But I don’t worry about me – he has no control over me. I refuse to let that man control my freedom in Christ to say, think, believe what I want.”
I’m going to preface this with a rather shocking concept for a lot of people. I am writing this because I want to*gasp*. No one prepped me. I’m not a “brainwashed,” abused little girl cowering in the corner. Why is it that when Julie Anne or her daughter speaks it’s clearly the voice of a strong, brave woman but if one of us dares to write/say something it’s just evidence of control? I am the daughter of Chuck O’Neal and Tonya O’Neal. I know who they are (and happily choose to identify myself with them) and I have been present for every step of this awful fiasco. That includes the DHS investigation on my family. I am one of those four children that were questioned about whether we could walk after discipline, whether porn was being distributed to kids in the church, whether or not we thought we were safe, etc. I also had the experience of going to my doctor and getting my body checked head-to-toe for signs of abuse. How would you like being asked if scars on your body were “normal,” as in did your parents put them there? I watched my mom walk around our home with a bowl day after day because she was constantly on the verge of vomiting. I spent New Year’s Day wondering if my younger brother and sister and I were going to be with our family the coming year. I was present as the DHS worker discussed who made the accusation (side note: you weren’t Julie Anne, so quit the omniscience act) and it was made very clear that it was Meaghan Varela. You want to talk about the pain and “abuse” experienced by us as if you’re sorry and it hurts you to watch, what a load of crap. I’ve heard you’re elated response to the news that my family was under investigation and I see your current response of mockery and laughter. Despite what you and those licking your feet want to believe, I am in no way oppressed and happen to have my “own voice.” I am a successful woman with a 4.0 currently possessing a spot in a highly vied for nursing program– you know, like most abused girls. I come and go as I choose. I happen to wear gray almost every day (it’s my favorite clothing color). Yeah, she went there too (FYI, my closet has never been investigated). I am respected by my father, brothers, and all the men at church. I am not holed away in some small church bubble unaware of the world outside. The only thing in my life I regret with a passion, the only thing that keeps me up at night is ever trusting Meaghan Varela. Ever loving someone who intentionally tried to rip my world to shreds. I refuse to let some woman “control my freedom… to say, think, believe what is [true].”
*”In” terms of judging you
*How are you “now” acting like a good shepherd?
Julie Anne why do you waste your time responding to anything that is. spoken by Chuck. And Chuck why do you continue to dig your whole dipper and dipper. So even if your name was turned over to the authorities, if you were totally innocent you should have just laughed at however filed the complaint. I assure you what you have done and continue to do is not helping your image outside your enter circle of followers. Your continued attacks is not tilting the scale in your favor. Sad thing is tomorrow you going to try to preach the Gospel, while all week all you have done is expresses hate. Or you seeking God at all, because from here it sure don’t seem like.
Chuck hinges this DHS thing to his firing of a man on staff.
So Chuck turns one family’s life upside down and he suddenly finds his own family’s life upside down. Ironic.
But, who should we blame for Tonya’s walking around with her bowl constantly on the verge of vomiting?
As an observer searching for clues toward understanding the etiology of BGBC’s sickness, tracing backwards toward the root of the present problem, I’m brought back again and again to the issue of Chuck firing Don.
Chuck’s website is but a symptom dealing with symptoms of a terrible sickness. Healers, what is the cause of this madness?
“In Julie Ann Smith’s first post in this string she shows that she completely lacks a conscience and a heart”
“Julie Anne creates and tells lies so well and so fast it is hard to keep up.She continues to deny the black and white truth”
LOL, all I see is a lot of projection here…
It’s unfortunate that these people drag their family down with them and the majority of family members(if not all) will always defend them. Even their kids and grandkids. That is usually because they ARE brainwashed and munipulated by whatever means and have choosen to believe the lies instead of the truth. Even when there is evidence. At one point they are victims then when they CHOSE to believe the lie, they no longer become a victim but just like the head narc/narcs. It’s a trickle down affect.
Elder Dale Weaver called us and told us we were not welcome back at the church in November 2008. Nearly a year later, Stephanie aka Sketch wrote this Dex review in response to my review first negative Google/Dex reviews. Although we had noticed people not talking to us and shunning us during that year, we were not aware that the congregation had been told we were in church discipline until reading this review. My understanding of church discipline is that there is a process of working things out privately, then taking it before the body. I have read the church by-laws and this process was not done. So obviously hearing that we were in church discipline AFTER leaving was quite a shock:
Beware! Negative Reviewer is currently under church discipline. by Sketch – 11/17/2009
Beaverton Grace Bible is a Bible believing church; we really believe and do as the Bible teaches, inc. church discipline for members in serious sin, rejecting Biblical counsel. We believe in the Great Commission, and we act on it by sharing the gospel, although each individual must act as the Spirit leads, not under compulsion by man. Our LORD and savior issued that command. This person is confused about the meaning of legalism, a belief that one is saved by obeying God’s law, something no human being can do. We are saved by grace,thru faith in Jesus. Salvation is an act of God alone. The right response of a grateful heart to God is to follow Jesus as Lord, seeking to obey all that He has commanded. Obedience isn’t what saves. Our church, offers an extensive doctrinal statement, see webpage, and free sermons in audio/video format. We have been blessed raising 2 kids in this loving/faithful church. We praise God for faithful elders shepherding the local flock with much love/prayer/biblical guidance.
Looks like Chuck has unleashed his loyal attack dogs — excuse me, his Christian Wifey and Daughter — on Deb & Dee as well as on Julie Anne. Except on Julie Anne’s blog they’re all posting as “Anonymous”.
Julie Anne Smith just won’t give up her lie; “…hearing that we were in church discipline AFTER leaving was quite a shock.”
-11 hours of meetings where she and her husband delivered endless accusations
-11 hours of meetings where the elders dealt with their divisive accusations
-asked by an elder to go ahead and leave the church to join her husband who had already left the church to join the fired staff member at another local church
-united with Tim and Meaghan Varela in their assault of our church
-responded to finding out that Meaghan Varela maliciously made a report to the DHS designed to send the pastor to prison and to take his children from his home by saying “you are lawless, and now the DHS is after you, and you are sweating it… we could call the police, we could call a lawyer, we could call the press… you are trespassed, leave our property.”
-trespassed the elders who came to talk with them about their part in the assault on our families and our church
-remained steadfastly united to Meaghan Varela despite her vicious assault of our families through her DHS reports
-recognized that no one was having any part of them
-feigned shock that people would have no part of them historically
-feigning shock yet today, that they are under church discipline
“QUITE A SHOCK”
Pastor Chuck O’Neal seems not to understand what constitutes actual church discipline.
He seems to confuse it with some church-sanctioned version of “Let’s all ignore them. That’ll teach them!” You know — like in junior high.
re: brad/futuristguy on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 01:57 AM, and the timeline of some key dates.
In fact-checking, I found two corrections/clarifications to update the timeline that I posted very early on in this thread.
March 12 – Plaintiffs were served with subpoenas. –> I got my date and group that received subpoenas wrong. This should have been:
March 1 – Defendants were served with subpoenas.
April 17-19 – Pastor O’Neal purchased his competing domains. According to the “Whois” internet tools, the three specific domains created and the dates were as follows, with all three registered in the name of “Chuck O’Neal.”
bcbcsurvivors dot com was created April 17, 2012.
bgbcsurvivors dot net was created April 17, 2012.
bgbcsurvivors dot org was created April 18, 2012.
Please note that I’ve spelled the dot com site name correctly. It is b-C-bcsurvivors, not b-G-bcsurvivors. Also, according to “netorginfo” tools, all three sites were recorded as registered on April 19, 2012.
On May 13, 2012, the site bgbcsurvivors dot com (with a “g” not a “c” as the second letter) was created and the registrant is listed as “Domain Privacy Group.” So, that may help explain some confusion there has been in dates and site names, for anyone doing research on this.
I apologize for my mistakes. As a “citizen journalist,” I believe it’s important to correct errors when they come to light, and I always try to do that as quickly as possible … the issue of there being FOUR close competitor site names to Julie Anne Smith’s original http://bgbcsurvivors.blogspot.com took a while and a virtual magnifying glass to figure out.
Chuck, are you so dim to not realise why Julie Anne and Meaghan’s families wouldn’t want to open the door to you? You say you wanted to ‘call them to repent’ – utter crap. You want to characterise it that way, but you wanted them cowed and silent while you self-righteously yelled at them. Given that the situation between both sides was already bad, did you really think they’d want to talk to you when you turn up unannounced? I mean, really, did you think they’d be receptive when you turn up out of the blue? The sort of language you use in comments here, the characterisations you make, they don’t show compassion or care, so why would anyone who you’re angry at open their door to you? They’d have to be mad.
Chuck and Tonya: Earlier, I said I had not seen all of the videos from the Haggerty family (I still have not viewed them all) and that someone had told me that the children’s names were mentioned. Even though I stated that someone had told me the children’s names were identified, I could have and probably should have verified before posting.
The rest of my comment and really the most important part of the comment remains – that I believe it is wrong to use a family who has suffered much for your defense – and that it does not show the heart of a caring shepherd.
There is more sentence that needs clarification after reading Chuck’s response . . . and this one embarrasses me:
I stated above: This young man was convicted of serious sex crimes and over 20 counts (rape, etc) with multiple children (his siblings).
It should read: This young man was charged with serious sex crimes . . .
My understanding is there was some sort of plea bargaining and so the more serious crimes were dropped.
But it is important to note that this young man was fit to stand trial. No reasonable court would put someone on trial if they were not capable of standing trial.
Nonetheless, I apologize for my errors and lack of good judgment in both instances above. Please forgive me. I would also like to extend this apology to the Haggerty family as well. I should have been more careful when posting.
Note to Dee or Deb: Would you mind adding some sort of note to that earlier post for me? I’m not sure if you are able to do that, but that might be helpful if you can. Thanks.
I could go line by line disputing much of the combined O’Neal’s posts, but it would serve no purpose. But I would like to ask Chuck for clarification: just this week for the first time we are hearing allegations that Meaghan accused Charlie (Chuck’s adult son) of sexual abuse. Where is this coming from and why is it just now coming up (it was not mentioned in any court documents, nor the court hearings). We are all puzzled by this new development.
One more note to Tonya: I’m trying to understand what you hope to accomplish by ordering 5,000 business cards with Meaghan and my name to hand out to people? I’ve never seen anything like this before, so I’m truly curious. Is that love? To me, it feels like retaliation or vengeance. I don’t want to make assumptions, but would like to respectfully ask why – especially coming from a pastor’s wife whose husband is in ministry.
Chuck when are you going to learn ? The anti-slap filing shutdown your lawsuit because you didn’t have a legal basis for filing it. You have made a total national spectacle out of yourself, your church and now your family. Posting on this blog that Julie Anne “lied” is defamation and foolish of someone that already has to pay the defendant’s legal fees. Are you looking for more time in court ? You are about the poorest excuse of a pastor that I have ever encountered. You are not qualified to pastor or serve as an elder under the biblical requirements. You lack the maturity,emotional balance and common sense as well. If you continue to insist on staying in the ministry you will bring further damage to this church and your family. For the sake of your family resign and let this church find a mature, qualified pastor that is capable of serving with humility and that can turn your mess into a well balanced and healthy church. YOU lost the case, get over it. Continuing this is SIN and I’m publicly calling on you to repent and leave the ministry. YOU CLEARLY ARE NOT QUALIFIED IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM.
There it is! Thanks, Andy.
Chuck, in case you may have missed it, you’re under church discipline. We need you to step away from your pastorate now, and go humble yourself before the LORD. Go now. You’ve been dismissed.
Becoming Aware: bold bloggers bringing welcome church change
You have gone a long way in helping the rest of us here at Wartburg, in answering such questions as :
“How can those looking for a church be helped by the kind of information that’s readily available throughout the cybersphere?”
No Chump Change?
For example, about four years ago we began having our questions answered concerning the peculiarities emanating from a certain one hundred church group called Sovereign Grace Ministries. Those bold enough to warn others on the Internet were dubbed underwear basement bloggers and shunned in those days.
In this instance (SGM), thousands have now become aware and many have made the appropriate changes. Today certain of their pastors and top leadership in this group face strong legal action. Many are to be commended for their efforts in this. (Wartburg is to be commended in this effort also.)
Thank you for making this stand. Thank you for making our churches safer for our children and loved ones.
Dear Chuck O’Neal,
Chuck, re: your 8:54pm comment where you start with “Julie Anne Smith just won’t give up her lie; ‘…hearing that we were in church discipline AFTER leaving was quite a shock.'”
Not one of your ten points that follow in any way give even an impression that she knew she was under church discipline at that time. What’s your point in listing those things?
Steve, according to the by-laws, it was impossible for us to have been in church discipline. That’s why I was shocked to read it posted publicly online by Stephanie and why we attempted to contact Chuck about it after reading her Google review. We were never members. Here are key notes from the by-laws:
Section 3 Purpose of Church Membership
Church membership is important in that it facilitates:
4. The exercising of authority and oversight in discipline and restoration of those members not maintaining a Biblical standard of doctrine and conduct.
*IF* we were members, there is a proper procedure to use and even those instructions were not followed at all. It’s a Chuck O’Neal Free-For-All at BGBC
Section 6. Discipline of Members
The motive of church discipline is the love of God, the love of the church as a whole and the love of the sinning member. The purpose of church discipline is to effect a return to a Biblical standard of conduct and doctrine in a member who errs, to maintain purity in the local church, and to deter sin.
Members of this church who shall err in doctrine or conduct shall be subject to dismissal according to Matthew 18:15-18, Galations 6:1, 1 Cor 5:1-5; 1 Tim 1:18-20, 1 Tim 5:19-20, 2 Tim 2:16-18; James 5:19-20
Before such dismissal, however:
1. It shall be the duty of any member of this church who has knowledge of the erring member’s heresy or misconduct to warn and to correct such erring member in private, seeking his or her repentance and restoration (JA note: did NOT happen)
2. If said erring member does not heed this warning, then the warning member shall again go to the erring member accompanied by one or two witnesses to warn and correct such erring member, seeking his or her repentance and restoration (JA note: did NOT happen)
3. If said erring refuses . . . . brought to the attention of the elders (JA note: did NOT happen)
4. The elders, upon careful and prayerful investigation, shall tell it to the church.
Hmm, what happened to Steps 1-3? These procedures are supposed to be done in order. They skipped the first 3 steps and applied Step #4 to a NON-Member who had already left the church. Say WHAT?
Evidently Chuck O’Neal is special and didn’t need to follow the church by-laws. They don’t apply to him, just like the Romans 6 verse on not suing didn’t apply to him, just like counsel from Grace Community’s pastors didn’t apply to him, just like his day in court didn’t apply to him. It’s anti-SLAPP’s fault. It’s the judge’s fault. Dee and Deb, it’s going to be your fault next. And maybe anyone who comments on this thread. Just remember, two people were sued who posted Anonymously. Watch out, people.
5. . . . if erring member refuses to heed warning of elders and church, he/she shall be publicly dismissed from the church.
6. There shall be no appeal to any court from that decision
All of this time, energy, and money spent by Chuck and his church. All of this effort for what?
(Galatians 5:13-26 ESV)
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Chuck, I challenge that you are not loving your neighbor as yourself. The deeds of the flesh…
“sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies”
Having seen the public face that you have displayed, having experienced the ripple effect of your pastoring in my own family, and having even sat in your church and experienced one of your sermons, I can identify the following deeds of the flesh being displayed by you.
Enmity: positive, active, and typically mutual hatred or ill will
Strife: a : bitter sometimes violent conflict or dissension
b : an act of contention : fight, struggle
2: exertion or contention for superiority
Fits of Anger: 1: a strong feeling of displeasure and usually of antagonism
Rivalry: a competitive or antagonistic state or condition
Dissensions: partisan and contentious quarreling
Divisions: the act or process of dividing; state of being divided
These have all become evident from your actions. The last I can personally attest to, as your heavy handed demands upon some of my own family members has caused a rift within my family, as well as others.
I will know you by your fruits Chuck. And before you decide to start pointing fingers, yes, I am sure I could assign some of these deeds of the flesh to Julie, Meaghan, and even myself. It is not what we have done, Chuck. It is what Christ did. The more you dwell on the sins of others, the less you dwell on the work of Christ.
The fruit does not fall far from the tree either. I know for a fact that your own son visited with former members of your church and with the words of his mouth, he damned damned those people for A. Leaving your church and B. Attending another church. He stood there in the presence of not only fellow Christians, but also an unbeliever and destroyed his witness.
Have you not taught your son the simple truths revealed from Christ. Matthew 5:22 – “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.”
I take comfort in this abiding fact. That when I fall on my knees before the Judgement Throne, neither you, nor your son will be sitting there to determine the state of your soul. Instead it will be God the Father, and His Son who died for me.
Chuck, every word the comes out of your mouth is of no worth, so long as you continue to speak from anger. If you wish to truly be a servant of God, and an example of Christ to the world, you need to forgive Meaghan, Julie Ann, and all those you feel have wronged you. And you need to shift your focus over to sharing the Gospel. Stop wasting the Lord’s time on defending your pride.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Ephesians 4:31
The court ruled. It’s over.
Julie Anne, out of your experience of being dragged into court, your on-line ministry was born. You are standing beside Alex Grenier, Tom Rich and those who will follow them. You are positioned in a unique group,with a compassionate calling and the challenging opportunity of teaching the rest of us.
Mr. O’Neil’s current task is to pay out what has been ordered, and to get on with his life. We who are watching can commit him to God and shake off the dust.
While his cyber-squatting isn’t necessarily evil, it is juvenile.
I’m a great believer in giving someone enough rope to hang themselves.
Julie Anne, guard your heart, in writing about spiritual, emotional and psychological abuse by religious leaders, you shine a light for those, who, in their deep love for God, don’t know they are bound in the dark.
The desire to defend ourselves is so human…but, is it necessary?
If Mr. O’Neil breaks the law in his ongoing pursuit of you, that can become a matter for you and your lawyer to deal with if necessary.
Julie Anne, your calling is clear, and you have embraced it with courage.
To re-expose yourself to circular accusations has to be draining and diverting.
We readers aren’t stupid, be at peace. We’re adults, we can identify bullying, re-treading, deflecting and distraction when it is put in front of us. We can weigh evidence and words, the many, many many words.:^)
Here is something I hope will minister to you.
Merry Christmas, may God come along side as you strengthen personal boundaries, and may you be enriched and warmed in the beauty of healthy, encouraging relationships.
Bene D – Yes, I second your words and your prayer.
God strengthens and encourage each of us and guard our hearts and minds.
Bene D, wise words. I agree wholeheartedly.
“Julie Anne, your calling is clear, and you have embraced it with courage.
To re-expose yourself to circular accusations has to be draining and diverting.
We readers aren’t stupid, be at peace. We’re adults, we can identify bullying, re-treading, deflecting and distraction when it is put in front of us. We can weigh evidence and words, the many, many many words”
Bene D – So true!
I’ve read every entry in Julie Anne’s blog and most comments. Maybe I missed something but I have had the impression since May that the only reason Chuck was investigated by DHS was the accusation that he allowed an accused child abuser to have access to children at the church. That would be pretty normal. Also as a former foster parent and director of a ministry specializing in children, it’s something I’ve heard of happening many times – the one who fails to report is then investigated for failing to report. When I read Chuck’s comments that he was reported and investigated (via comments by his church members on Julie Anne’s site), I interpreted his irritation as over the top for what is a normal interview for someone responsible for children accused of allowing a sex abuser to be alone with those children.
From a video on Chuck’s website I have now heard Chuck say that he and his oldest son were accused directly of sexual abuse. I also just learned from his daughter’s comments that she was physically examined for signs of abuse. Since she would have been an older teenager at the time (if she is in a nursing program now), it would take some pretty serious comments from her to the investigator for them to force an exam on her. I’m sorry but hearing someone say that he and his oldest son were investigated as abusers, as opposed to being simply investigated for failing to report, makes them sound guilty. It’s just the way we are – we think where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
The daughter’s exam says one of two things: either she made some comment that sent off alarm bells or the social worker was incredibly inept. Since Chuck says the social worker also shared information that is by law confidential – that Meaghan Varela was the source of the accusation – I would guess inept. If she knew that Meaghan Varela was the source and she knew that Meaghan’s friend had been fired recently from the church and there were no comments or anything in the interviews to raise suspicion, why would she inflict further trauma on the children by forcing an exam? That’s incompetence or something was said that triggered the exams. It could go either way. Chuck makes her sound sympathetic by saying she told who made the reports, but again, that doesn’t match with forced physical exams. However, the whole point is that Chuck’s videos do way more harm than good to his reputation.
Chuck, maybe it’s the law in your state to physically exam every child from a home investigated for child abuse, but it’s not that way in every state. This case has a national following. All you have done is raised questions about yourself and, unfortunately, your oldest son. People don’t generally talk about it when they are investigated simply because they know that 1) reports, even of failing to report a known sex abuser, have to be investigated so it’s the normal cost of doing business with children, and 2) it makes you sound guilty to the average person even if you are not.
Also if I had a spouse who was incredibly depressed by this whole scenario, I would care for him and help our family move past the trauma, not thrust him into it once more. So either your wife is not really depressed by all this or you care more about yourself than you do about her. You’ve also thrown your oldest son to the wolves.
It’s also curious, Chuck, that as Julie Anne has moved on in her blog since the court case, you have suddenly brought the issue up again. That makes me assume you are having problems raising the money to pay the lawyer and want to convince your church members and former church members that you were wronged, so donations will increase. So perhaps your website is not about Julie Anne at all or about trying to divert web traffic. It’s simply about money. You need to convince your past members to come back and your current members to up the offerings. Best way to do that is to appear the martyr. But good luck with that.
Psalm 103:10-14 ”He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.”
Julie Anne and Pastor Chuck, I have a challenge for both of you. I believe it is impossible for any of us who are not intimately involved in this situation to know the the whole truth. What we can know is that mistakes were and are continuing to be made on both sides of this situation. I’m going to go out on a theological limb and call it sin. Sin is coming from both sides. That being said, I challenge both of you to forgive each other in obedience to the Lord, who taught us to pray thusly: “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”.
There is so much hurt and damage on both sides that you are not going to feel like forgiving, but you must do it in obedience to our Lord, whom you both claim to serve. You both have been given a visible platform and I urge you to use it to show how the Lord can turn this horrendously acrimonious situation around if you both humble yourselves and forgive each other.
Julie Anne, rename your blog and continue your work in spiritual abuse without mentioning your former church or pastor again.
Pastor Chuck, take down your new website and trust our Lord to protect your family and defend your name.
I got sucked in, didn’t I? There’s a popular book called The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse and that title is so apt. Spiritual abuse is subtle. This week I have spent a lot of time communicating with former members about O’Neals new blog, trying to warn them about the trap, encouraging them not to fall into it, and when the first opportunity came to dialogue with a man who has refused all communication with me for 4 years came, I fell for it.
Thank you Bene D, and everyone for your support. I watched the video – the whole thing – it’s powerful. I don’t know if you saw my post last night, but I sensed the needed to guard my personal boundaries and posted about it.
This is a important lesson for me. Even though I have head knowledge of spiritual abuse, people like Chuck are able to work their way beyond the logic, hit those weak spots, and suck people (me) in.
The beauty that I see here and which I expressed on my blog last night is you all did for me what I attempt to do on my blog. You lovingly brought me back “home”. Thanks, friends.
Sad, You are putting Julie Ann and Chuck in the same category. That is another spiritual abuse tactic used when it is convenient. You might not know that and think you are being neutral or wise. Julie Ann did not make her career as a pastor and try to garner followers as such.
“Sad” is probably the person who calls himself “sad observer” when commenting on Julie Anne’s blog. He has the same routine there as well.
you’re making an assumption of sin—that there is unforgiveness in all this. I’m pretty sure from Julie Anne’s side there is complete and absolute forgiveness.
Yes, we must completely forgive the likes of Chuck, yet still hold them absolutely accountable, even tell our stories of our experiences with them to help others identity and either avoid or fight against spiritual abuse in the church.
Your requesting Julie Anne to never again name the abusive church or pastor is advice which I believe runs contrary to what the Spirit would have us do.
“As for those elders who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear” (1 Tim 5:20).
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Eph 5:11).
Sad, should we amend 2 Tim 4:14 to remove the reference to Alexander the Coppersmith?
Yes, agreed, Anon 1. Though Sad is trying to bring reconciliation and smooth over differences, there is lack of perception in what is going on here. Sorry, Sad. This issue is far more complex and your comments would be heartfelt, if there was a level playing field.
Julie Anne is making efforts to clarify, which is clearly needed, so that assumptions don’t need to be made. There may be gaps in some people’s understanding since this has gone on over a period of time and some people not have heard all the pieces.
Clarifying is not just about trying to defend one’s position, but simply about being clear. Facts need to be documented as best as possible, then others can have the information to draw their own conclusions.
Thank you Chuck for replying – this gives me a much greater insight into what is going on, on a lot of levels, & will help inform everything I read. It at least puts some of your cards on the table so everyone can see them & understand what you believe. Just be aware though that your response to this does not show any signs whatsoever of forgiveness…where is this in your thinking?
Julie Ann, I am not an expert but a lot of the wording Chuck uses points to his being a bully and perhaps exhibiting narcissism (There is evidence in his comments by not only what he says but what he conveniently leaves out). He is not capable of a rational convo with facts only. He uses perjoratives to describe those who disagree with him as if his saying them, make them true.
Yes, you got sucked in. We all have. I spent time with a woman this morning who went through a horrible season of spirutal abuse in a para church organization and then with her mega church who refused to believe her and condemned her for even telling them what happened to her. She became the “bad person”. At the time she had no idea the para church was just like the mega because she had been a pew sitter and had no idea it operated the same way as the para. I told her the same thing, there is no way to have a rational convo of facts with those who behave that way (and those who go along) and come to any conclusion. Something bigger and more sinister is at work. In a way, we can Praise God for giving us sight. However, we have a duty to warn others.
I will say this, though. Most of those in Chuck’s position would never file a lawsuit. They usually try to do their damage covertly so they present a different face to the world than what they really are.
Nicholas: Good catch. You and Sad commented on a thread in which I was noticing a Gospel Coalition love fest going on while never any mention of CJ/SGM issue.
Sad: I believe God did give me this platform to share my story. Could you be interfering with God’s work by encouraging me to remain silent when God’s word says otherwise?
“Sad, should we amend 2 Tim 4:14 to remove the reference to Alexander the Coppersmith?”
Good point, Jeff. And John was in sin for mentioning Diotrephes, I suppose. And Paul for rebuking Peter publicly instead of in private. Paul did it again with Hy and Al, too. It is interesting to think people could read about these names for thousand of years
Anon1: What’s very odd about my situation is that my situation is now so public, having Chuck and me commenting here, everyone can see the dynamics of what is taking place. Most people do their spiritual abuse “thang” in private. I get to be a case study on a public platform, lucky me 🙂 I’m fine with that, though. I’m always learning and if my example can help others – right on!
You are right, most pastors would not file a lawsuit. I pointed this out on my blog one time – – there are quite a few anti-John MacArthur websites online. John MacArthur knows about it, but he also thinks Romans 6 applies to him and will not sue.
Another issue you brought up regarding how there can be spiritual abuse in a para-church organization – I completely agree. I’ve also thought of it with regard to the whole big-boys club with popular pastors not mentioning SGM/lawsuit. When you look at that as a whole system, you can see the same dysfunctional system, too. I’ve been noticing it within the homeschool movement, too.
Sad is perfectly entitled to point out that there are faults on both sides. You only need to read some of the posts in the real survivors blog to understand nd this, not to mention some of the replies to the pastor in this forum.
14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.
Are they not quarreling about words and if not careful will ruin those who listen (tww readers)
Julie Ann, Your situation is public because Chuck filed suit against you for a google review. I wonder how many people it would occur to, to peruse google for a review of a church before attending? Most people attend a church because someone asked them to. I think you might be a pioneer for that venue on a much larger scale than thought of before.
There is a mega church near here that employs people to do nothing but searches in all forms of media for mentions of their church/leaders/events. If there is anything negative they immediately plan to counteract it. But they are sly and subtle how they do it. They might plant a story locally about some good work the are doing or something like that. They never defend. They are always on offense. They call it “Brand management”. It works.
Gavin, I disagree with you. No one is ever sinless. People make mistakes despite their best intentions. But as true as that is, the sides on this issue are not the same. He sued her for $500,000. Unless he has very, VERY good reason to have done so, this is completely over the top and abusive. He will get no mercy from me.
There are some people Paul and the other Apostles were willing to use harsh words against. Alexander the Coppersmith and Diotrephes come to mind.
Between Chuck and JA, which of the two shows a sense of entitlement? Which of the two abused others when crossed? Which has shown a willingness to see his or her own mistakes and own up to them?
When I see Chuck truly repentant over perusing an abusive lawsuit and there is still mud flinging in the air, then I will be ready to talk about sins on either side of the issue.
“Sad is perfectly entitled to point out that there are faults on both sides. You only need to read some of the posts in the real survivors blog to understand nd this, not to mention some of the replies to the pastor in this forum.”
Gavin, there is no clergy/laity distinction in the NT at all. If saved, we are all “priests” with differing gifts. There is no laity in the body of Christ.
Nicholas, I post on Julie Anne’s blog as Sad, not the other name that you mentioned.
In regards to over simplifying this issue or “interfering with God’s work” by calling for repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation…I will say this:
Repentance and forgiveness are the foundation of Christianity…both understanding the multi-trillion dollar debt we have been forgiven of by the Lord, and the ten dollar debt we must forgive our neighbor for. Both of these phenomenon must be active in our spiritual lives to do the most menial work for the Lord, otherwise it is done in vain. We cannot accept God’s forgiveness while at the same time refusing to forgive others; certainly not in any way that is efficacious for redemption.
In regards to Paul….his primary mission was to preach the Gospel, not to spend all of his time calling out his detractors, defending his name, or issuing warnings.
Sad, How would you define forgiveness? I find there is a lot of misunderstanding concerning what it means in terms of scripture.
Much of what is taught as “forgiveness” is actually a form of cheap grace. Much of the wrong teaching on forgiveness actually enables evil. In fact, one of the tactics of spiritual abuse is to chide people of sin for discussing what happened to them or pointing out wrong behavior or teaching of church/para church leaders. They call it bitterness, etc. And they will say the person is unforgiving. What I saw in your comment, CJ Mahaney would agree with. That way, he can continue in his methods while others are to shut up.
Sad, were Alexander the Coppersmith or Diotrephes forgiven?
There’s an important part of the puzzle you are missing. When spiritual abuse occurs, many times it closes the eyes, ears and hearts of those to anything of God. There is work to be done first. I had no idea the magnitude of this problem until my e-mail box was filled with hundreds of stories from people across the country offering me support, telling me their stories. Many of these people won’t set foot in church again because of what they have experienced in heavy-handed, abusive churches. I believe God is using my blog to build bridges, to show people that God is not an abusive God, but is loving and has given new mercies every morning. And at the same time, I also acknowledge abuse when I see it. Many need to learn that what they experienced is abuse in order to find out what normal is.
And btw, are you saying I haven’t forgiven Chuck? I’m not sure how you would know this. I’ve been annoyed at his present behavior, but isn’t that normal? I’ve been willing to have mediation for the last 4 years. Do you notice how Chuck evades that topic here? There must be a reason.
Julie Ann, Another important distinction is that we must help people separate who Christ is from the “religious leaders” they have been exposed to. I am constantly chilled that people equate God with mere humans who have a Christianese title.
Comments deleted at request of author
This conversation will go down in history of things a pastor should not say or do after losing a lawsuit.
So, the same thing happened with us. We were told that we did not leave correctly so they called the next pastor to prevent us from joining the next church. One of the stupidest waste of time and pretend authority that I have ever seen. iIchalk it up to a learning experience and my husband and I now laugh at the hubris of some of these people.
PS-We basically left by writing “We resign.”
Welcome to TWW. Fascinating conversation going on.
@ Gavin on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:32 PM.
I agree with your caution about the use of words, because they truly do build up or corrode the hearers. It is supremely important that we be careful WITH our words. But I don’t really think this dispute is as easy as saying this is simply a he-said/she-said quarreling ABOUT words.
Taking a far broader sweep of scriptural principles, this seems to be turning out to be a public lesson on huge issues of what constitutes trustworthy faith and practice in following Jesus. It’s raised topics of how we ALL navigate through issues of integrity, credibility, qualifications and disqualifications of public leaders in the pulpit, church discipline, conflict resolution, forgiveness, accountability, blind following of leaders, spiritual abusiveness and what to do about perpetrators and their victims, moving beyond our victimization, setting boundaries. Big stuff. And in a Christian culture that often doesn’t demonstrate or disciple in critical thinking skills, how else are we supposed to learn this?
And of course there are two sides to any story, but that does not mean both sides of the scale bar are equally weighted in this particular case. (The longer this dispute goes on, the less inclined I am to find assertions by Mr. O’Neal to be credible because of what they present AND what they leave out, and the attitudes in which they are presented. And I have on occasion communicated some disagreements and strong concerns directly with Ms. Smith, so I don’t give her a “pass” simply because she likewise is a spiritual abuse survivor.)
And of course there are bystanders who observe a conflict and are hurt thereby, but there are also many who are damaged by NOT observing it and so succumb to harm through ignorance. Part of what I believe is at issue here is that this became a public dispute because a lawsuit was filed by Pastor O’Neal, who apparently rejected at least one attempt by Ms. Smith to engage him in mediation behind the scenes. It will never be as if that didn’t happen. So, now we as a learning community are sifting through opinions and allegations and facts, less-than-calmly-reasoned presentations, and all sorts of disrespectful jibjabs kind of all around.
I hope we’re learning from the situation, even if it’s a lesson we didn’t want. Or, to quote that paragon of post-apocalyptic philosophy … okay, so it was *Tank Girl* … “It ain’t the world I woulda made, but it’s the world I live in.”
We have to deal with it, though it’s draining. I get it – conflict is uncomfortable. Public conflict full of contempt, calls to silence, and add-on abuse is even more uncomfortable. I don’t know your story about spiritual abuse and what brings you to TWW, Gavin, but I do know many of we who are spiritual abuse survivors despise conflict. But this one won’t go away – nor will the huge underlying theological issues here – simply by calling for a halt, or by taking down both BGBC Survivors blogs – the originator and the impersonator. In the bigger global picture of what’s been happening in 2012 with forms of abuse via Penn State and the BBC and Rupert Murdoch and Sovereign Grace Ministries and the BGBC lawsuit … this thing seems to need to run its course. And I don’t see that silencing it will be for the sake of Kingdom witness.
Many of us who are survivors had our voice hijacked by bullies in the pulpit and by their active supporters and by their stealth enablers. Is it possible that what they stole from us, the Lord will return through opportunities to defend the truth by presenting the facts? There is a difference between defending ourselves and being defensive. We’re all going to make mistakes in this. Of course there will be squeaks and squawks as we start to speak up again, but eventually may we find our voice and sing …
But, hopefully, any residual anger from our victimization is being gradually leached out of our hearts by the love of Christ and His faithful people around us. And, hopefully, their advocacy and accountability will help us keep any defensive tendencies in check while giving us space to reclaim and retrain our voice.
Let this run its course, let us learn what we can from it, let us carefully consider our words and their potential impact and not do unto others what was done unto us … and thanks Dee, Deb, and TWW community for allowing us all a relatively safe space for practicing that.
Meery Christmas to you as well. I have to admit, I would never have imagined such a dialogue on a blog a few years back. Needless to say, I love Julie Anne and am happy to provide a forum for this “discussion.” One thing is for sure, one side of the conversation is not going well.
Thank you for your excellent comment at 8:34 AM . I used to do child abuse and neglect followups as a public health nurse. The laws were passed to give the reporter immunity from prosecution and confidentiality in order to encourage more reporting. The name of the reporter of the possible abuse should never have been conveyed to the family. Something is wrong here. But, good for the reporter. Of course, some reports may be in error. But, the number of child abuse victims that go undiscovered is a national tragedy so good for anyone who gives a hoot about kids.
Tow comments by Jackie C removed at her request.
Many people who comment here, including your glamorous blog apostle, Dee, have fallen victim to spiritual hubirs and/or abuse. Today one of my pastors said that, in conflict, most people are in it for their own position. It is rare that a person is in it to seek justice. Well, if this blog is any indication, there are a good number of people, like yourself, who seek the truth to protect others. You are an inspiration to me.
Blogging is today’s equivalent of the Gutenberg press. The Catholic church was miffed that the press allowed the likes of Luther to publish criticism. The windows of the church are being opened up for the world to see. And guess what? It is the ones, like Julie Anne, who expose the hypocrisy that are getting the attention.
Day 51 of ignoring the cries of the victims!
WORD! brad Dec 16, 2012 at 03:30 PM
I cannot believe that you think that the fault rests on both sides. You do understand that the judge believed the pastor was problematic in his response, don’t you? I still remember when I first spoke to Julie Anne. I told her that she was in the right and that the courts would side with her. Also, take a look at this church. We are not talking mainstream here.
I remember when my kids were little. One time, I found a broken vase. All three kids denied doing it. They all claimed that they didn’t know who did it .But, ast time went on, the culprit was outed.The other two did not know who did it. Now, using your approach, I should have punished one child for lying about the broken vase and come up with some punishmnets for the others such as one didn’t brush his teeth and the others didn’t make her bed.
Your approach is the same one used by SGM if reports are to be believed. An average joe would question something about the church to the pastor. Said pastor would then attack the person, accusing them of unreported sin such as pride, etc.
No, the pastor was wrong and his current approach is leaving me almost speechless.
I guess Paul did not sue his detractors for lots of dough either, did he? $500,000 would go a long way to retirement. My guess he is not rolling in the dough from his current assignment.
Sad, not only is the pastor wrong, but his current approach proves how wrong he is. The points he claims to prove are not proven. He says the social worker told him who made the report but in his posted copy of the Attorney Interview Letter, the attorney says the O’Neals told the social worker. Chuck says his oldest son was implicated yet according to the attorney, the oldest son was “voluntarily” interviewed about his father because he was 18. Nothing is said about his son being investigated. We only know that because his father is shown reading something about it.
The complaints about Chuck that Chuck documented in his historical timeline are no more than the complaints a lot of ministers get. People complain, it’s discussed or not, the people leave or not. No big deal. Yet to Chuck, that’s grounds for dismissal from a job and charges of undermining a minister. I’ve asked lots of people to attend my church, even when they were going somewhere else. Had no idea it was considered such a sin. We have had people leave our church, attend somewhere else, and then stop by to invite us to their new church. Big deal. Things happen between people and while I thought most ministers understood that, I now know only some do. Apparently some use it as grounds for spiritual abuse. If I ever had doubts about Julie Anne’s story (I didn’t because there was just too much and too many people) seeing the evidence Chuck presented solidified Julie Anne’s side.
Dear Jeff S & Brad
Thanks for your replies. I disagree with you Jeff S because I think that your comment ‘he’ll get no mercy from me’ demeans you. By all means weigh up the facts and decide who you believe or support and offer words of warning or caution if you think there’s danger ahead. Who knows if Paul’s adversaries were forgiven. If they repented then they would have been.
Brad, I appreciate your insight and , in the main, agree with your assessment.
FYI, I came into TWW by chance a couple of months ago. I had been posting on Thabite Anyabwile’s blog on the Puritans and came across a TWW blog on the same subject. And I contributed my same thoughts to it, caused a bit of a ruckus and have been here ever since as the pet puritan. It was only afterwards that I began to learn more about the bloggers. I’m still trying to understand what this ‘hurt’ is that so many contributors are talking about. The more I read, the less I comprehend of the church scene in the USA. I find it hard to see why anyone would either go to or stay in a fellowship where things are so wrong. So in some ways I don’t really belong here because I’ve had no experience that comes anywhere near what is discussed here.
I remain Sad to see that the wounds of my Savior mean so little to people who claim to know Him. The God of the Universe condescended to bear our sins in His body. He took our punishment so that we could be reconciled to Him. The MAGNITUDE of this act of Love should make any suffering we endure at the hands of others pale by comparison.
@ Gavin Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:43 PM.
The only ones who actually don’t belong are those truly unwilling to learn. Might I suggest we sort ourselves out accordingly …
And one doesn’t have to have gone through the exact same situation in order to be qualified to have something constructive to say. Compassion through sympathy is as valid as through empathy, isn’t it? And isn’t that part of what we learn in 2 Corinthians 1 – whatever suffering we have gone through and learned the love of the Father through it then helps us share life with ANYONE in ANY kind of suffering.
But the situation of spiritual abuse and chaos, at least in many U.S. church, is insidious. If the bullies in the pulpit only all wore polyester disco outfits and platform shoes and mullet toupes, they’d be rather easier to identify. But sadly, not so easy. Power and position and prestige and their self-centered abuses are everyday discipleship topics in the Red Letter sections of Jesus’ teachings. And the set-ups now in the church are as ever-present as they were then. It’s not just the human heart which is corruptible and prone to overpowering others, it’s the toxic systems and structures we’ve developed over the decades here. Which is why the emergence of survivor blogs in the past few years has been such a crucial tool for healing of many, despite the wranglings. There often is no where else to go that is safe, especially when you’ve been socially conditioned and personally punished in ways that make you doubt yourself, doubt your salvation, doubt your heavenly Father. Insidious indeed …
If it’ll help, this post might give you links to stuff to think about in your quest to understand “the hurt” that happens, and why it affects victims so deeply, and how we move in recovery of our true identity as survivors of spiritual abuse.
Hello Gavin, Welcome to the TWW crowd. Yes, you have jumped into the deep end of the pool, but I think that you are slowly getting the picture about the nature and devastation of spiritual abuse. It is a dysfunction in the Body of Christ that needs to be recognized and investigated further.
I invite you to also check out my website and book on the topic. My book is: ‘Spiritual Abuse Recovery: Dynamic Research on Finding a Place of Wholeness.’
My website is: http://www.ChurchExiters.com
I have many articles on spiritual abuse and recovery as well as related topics.
All the best as you continue to seek answers on this topic!
Here we are AGAIN being victimized by you and your cronies!! And for what? So YOU can settle a score. Shame on you!! Why are you “us[ing] a family who has suffered much for your defense?” It is you and Meaghan Varela that have used and abused our family in your initial offense and your ongoing defense.
You say out of one side of your mouth, “I haven’t watched all the videos” then out the other side, (without taking a breath) “, but saw 2 videos of the parents of the abuser/victims.” Which is it? Did you watch them or not? And IF you didn’t watch them, WHY didn’t you? Who in their “Right mind” would not have spent five minutes to see the truth with their own eyes?
Instead, you admit to CHOOSING to receive gossip instead of going to the source that was a fraction-of-a- click away. Then you go on to sling shame and guilt on us as the parents of the children saying,” they named their own abused children’s names. Here is the question – – – what parent in their right mind would publicly name their children who were sexually violated?” Which is of course is not true. And you would have known IF you could see past your hate for pastor Chuck and had the heart to watch the videos.
Prov. 2:1 My son, if you will receive my words and hide my commandments with you, so that you attend to wisdom, you shall extend your heart to understanding;…..
v.12-15 to deliver you from the way of the evil man, from the man who speaks wicked things; those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness, who rejoice to do evil and delight in the perversities of the wicked; whose ways are crooked, and are devious in their paths.
Numerous times in numerous posting you say you are praying for the family (us) that God would allow us to see the light and be free of Chuck’s lies. What about your blatant lies? Do you really look for the truth or are you quick to receive gossip and lies?
If you would have watched the videos, you would know that we NEVER mentioned our minor children’s names. If you would have done any kind of research, you would know that our “baby” was never involved at all!
You and Meaghan Varela, started this ugly situation, not Pastor Chuck. You continue to deliver ugly on the world wide web for all to see.
Regarding the charges against our oldest son (who at the time was 15 yrs. old, with the mentality of an 8 yr. old) all measure 11 charges were dropped! He was convicted of “Attempted” allegations, because there wasn’t any real evidence to the contrary. While under duress he was coerced into confessing things he did not do. He was not allowed any legal representation, he was not read his rights, nor did he know he had any rights. Two armed police officers and a DHS case worker interrogated him. We (his parents) were not even allowed to be in the room while they were questioning him. They questioned our other children in the same manner as well. Their testimonies, their physicals, and their psychological evaluations all contradicted our oldest son’s coerced confession. You and Meaghan Varela know what kind of boy he was. He would have confessed to robbing the bank up the street if two armed police officers and a DHS case worker told him/suggested/coerced him to confess and told him it would go better for him if he just admitted what he had done.
You have no idea of the torment, of the threat of all our children being taken away from us, sleepless nights, and tears we have gone through in our family because of Meaghan Varela’s false report made to DHS/CPS.
You have continually lied about my son on your blog, making him out to be some kind of monster, perverted, sexual child molester. Like comparing him to that old man being arrested (picture on your blog site).
My children and I are tired of being relentlessly assaulted by you on your blog and all over the world wide web.
You know that Pastor Chuck and his family were investigated because of Meaghan Varela’s false report against them to the DHS/CPS. You continue to suppress the truth in unrighteousness making yourself out to be a fool! Anybody with a conscience can see you refuse to watch the videos so that you can continue to claim ignorance. You’d rather receive gossip, so you can throw out allegations of being “brain washed” claiming that we are “not in our right minds”. Stop lying!! Your sin has found you out!!
We saw the anonymous postings on your blog and they hit it right on the head, “Hypocrite.” That name surely suites you.
P.S. Barb Orlowski played a significant role in my blogging about spiritual abuse, beginning with my participation in her doctoral research project on church leaders who were survivors of spiritual abuse by other leaders. That was early in 2008. Until I completed her 20 questions – – many of which I had to answer multiple times because I’d been in several very major situations of toxicity – – I kind of sort of thought I’d dealt with the past. Instead, in that 18 pages single space detailing of the past, I found more patterns and layers and leftovers that needed addressing. Thus, I heal therefore I blog; I blog therefore I heal. And in great part thanks go to Barb for getting me started …
P.S. Barb Orlowski played a significant role in my blogging about spiritual abuse, beginning with my participation in her doctoral research project on church leaders who were survivors of spiritual abuse by other leaders. That was early in 2008.
Until I completed writing out answers to her 20 questions – – many of which I had to respond to multiple times because I’d been in several very major situations of toxicity – – I kind of sort of thought I’d dealt with the past. Instead, in that 18 pages single-space detailing of the past, I found more patterns and layers and leftovers that I needed to address.
Thus, I heal therefore I blog; I blog therefore I heal.
And in great part thanks go to Barb for getting me started …
re: what I said earlier, “The only ones who actually don’t belong are those truly unwilling to learn. Might I suggest we sort ourselves out accordingly …”
It’s also true that we never know what the Spirit will use to draw people to Jesus. Some might come here with other agendas and who knows, but the environment here, or one particular person’s story, or an issue that gets addressed might be just the thing that sparks transformation.
In the bigger picture, that’s what makes discernment and addressing issues tougher. They’re complex. More than one truth applies, eh?
You said:”I remain Sad to see that the wounds of my Savior mean so little to people who claim to know Him. The God of the Universe condescended to bear our sins in His body. He took our punishment so that we could be reconciled to Him. The MAGNITUDE of this act of Love should make any suffering we endure at the hands of others pale by comparison.”
“I’m still trying to understand what this ‘hurt’ is that so many contributors are talking about. The more I read, the less I comprehend of the church scene in the USA. I find it hard to see why anyone would either go to or stay in a fellowship where things are so wrong. So in some ways I don’t really belong here because I’ve had no experience that comes anywhere near what is discussed here. ”
What you see in the US church will be happening in the UK in due course. The exported church influences, both good and bad, will bring about the same problems in the UK as they have in the US. It works both directions. The Alpha course, worship music and pastors with attractive Scottish accents are influencing the American church culture!
The UK has had its own church problems for decades. The Exclusive Brethren were a huge mess. It started in 1848 and resulted in abuse of all kinds for decades. 110 years after the EB got going my extended family was ripped apart by EB spiritual abuse.
The Free Presbyterians in Northern Ireland have been a scourge, IMO, on the face of the UK church. I know people who have had some serious run-ins with their “Pope” and his lackeys. I have never seen an American home with a photo of the Moderator of the church on the mantelpiece! The spiritual abuse I have seen in the US is infantile compared to what I know of the FP’s.
Church issues which used to be word-of-mouth are now seeing the light of day on the internet. People are looking outside of the closed society of their small group of people led by controlling leadership and seeing that they can live in christian freedom. Freedom from the fear of man, the respecting of persons, the “do not touch the Lord’s anointed” thinking.
Spiritual abuse is not evident on one visit to a church. Usually. And once people are part of a fellowship, so intrinsically part of it that the spiritual abuse becomes apparent, it is far from easy to walk away. People who are spiritually abused are often at the heart of the church, have invested and committed and stayed for years. If it was only a case of walking away from obvious wrong, life would be so much easier!
Please stay. I like that you are here and have opinions!
The key is that he has NOT repented. But actually, I’m not going to say those men that Paul and John write against weren’t forgiven by them. However, they were publicly called out and dealt with, forgiven or not.
As for the “no mercy from me”- for a repentant heart there will always be mercy. It may not be what the repentant heart wants, but it will be good. But with an unrepentant abuser, mercy just feeds their hunger.
The thing is, when people start taking a “both sides are at fault” attitude in cases of abuse, they are becoming co-abusers against the victim. I’m not lightly calling what happened here abuse, but keep in mind that this man took out a lawsuit for $500,000 against her. If he had succeeded, it would have destroyed her family financially. We are dealing with a man who willingly tried to destroy another human being. Abuse is not too strong a word for that.
Did Paul show mercy for those who beat him when he shook the dust off of his feet? No, he walked on and found those who would listen in the next town. And when more abusers came, he left and moved on.
Spiritual abuse is not evident on one visit to a church. Usually. And once people are part of a fellowship, so intrinsically part of it that the spiritual abuse becomes apparent, it is far from easy to walk away. People who are spiritually abused are often at the heart of the church, have invested and committed and stayed for years. If it was only a case of walking away from obvious wrong, life would be so much easier!
Yes… and in many, many cases, they are the people who would never dream of walking away. It’s so much easier for abusers to get to them, and to try and control them.
Been there, done that.
Here are the comments that “Sad” previously left on Julie Anne’s blog: http://bgbcsurvivors.blogspot.com/2012/11/cj-mahaneys-bffs-philosophy-dont-bite.html?showComment=1353439247991#c3055665208774178887
ah, I feel like I’ve stepped into the twilight zone here. Sniping from a minister and his church – and all on the public record – permanently. My head is just blown Julie Anne. I’ve never seen anything like this.
re: the discussion by Heather/Gavin about church exports, I just want to apologise for Hillsong. Consider this a national apology for inflicting Hillsong music on the global churches. I shut up now.
“People who are spiritually abused are often at the heart of the church, have invested and committed and stayed for years. If it was only a case of walking away from obvious wrong, life would be so much easier!”
“Yes… and in many, many cases, they are the people who would never dream of walking away. It’s so much easier for abusers to get to them, and to try and control them.”
True. We were the last men standing, so to speak. The only ones willing to continue to support the pastors in public leadership roles (with the attendant grief). The only ones who didn’t capitulate. So much invested. In time, we recognized our lives & relationships were in tatters. We knew the church wouldn’t survive our exit. Enormous pressure, so we kept on. Until we couldn’t. Church folded.
Sorry. Old news again.
”I remain Sad to see that the wounds of my Savior mean so little to people who claim to know Him. The God of the Universe condescended to bear our sins in His body. He took our punishment so that we could be reconciled to Him. The MAGNITUDE of this act of Love should make any suffering we endure at the hands of others pale by comparison.”
Oh boy does this bring back memories. Let’s see if we can apply this to the situation. This means Jesus hung on the cross so born again believers, many in paid ministry, could spiritually abuse people and then expect those who were abused to be more spiritually mature than they are. Ooooookay.
I once heard a mega church pastor tell a woman who had been horribly wronged and lied about by a STAFF Minister: “Why not be wronged”?
(Since I was there, I knew he just wanted the problem to go away. It was about the image of the institution. The woman was in sin for even mentioning the evil done to her by a staff minister. How dare her! . NO way was he going to admit the staff member was wrong. It would have been out in no time and they cannot afford that. All bad stuff has to be kept hidden. So, they make the victim the real offender because they dared to question the behavior of a leader)
In other words, the woman who had been wronged was taught she was to be more holy and spiritually mature than the paid staff minister who did evil to her. Amazing. Nevermnid the spiritual condition of the one who did the evil. They have a title so they are good.
But I found that many in Christendom believe this backwards twisted doctrine.
elastigirl – your comments made me think there’s something to be said for being a ‘quitter’ at the right time. I don’t know why we (the ‘human we’) cling and hold on and don’t realise that ‘quitting’ is the best thing in these circumstances. I’m speaking from my own experience here also, of not wanting to let go and being proud of ‘not being a quitter’. I think we’ll have to come up with a better word for quitting maybe…
Anon 1 – I had a very dear ‘adopted grandmother’ who would share her faith with me. One principle she (unsuccessfully) tried to impart was her constant prayer, “Dear God, give me my cross to bear”. Well, in her case the prayer was answered… I don’t know why you would pray like this, life will dish it out quick smart anyhow…
Dawn, if I have read absolutely nothing else of the issue, if your comment here was the first thing I read about it, your comment would have been enough to make me sympathetic towards whoever wanted a Child protection investigation in your home.
Firstly, you give your name, which make it possible for anyone who know you and the faces of your children to know your children were molested.
Secondly, simimilar to mothers whose children actually do land in foster care for abuse or neglect, you move the problem to be not your family situation or the molester, but the #%*& who reported your family to social workers.
I do not blame you – in a case where one child molests his siblings, obviously your loyalties are divided. That is part of why you actually need some objective outside help from trained professionals.
“…I don’t know why we (the ‘human we’) cling and hold on and don’t realise that ‘quitting’ is the best thing in these circumstances… I think we’ll have to come up with a better word for quitting maybe…
Very hard to see and understand when it all is overspiritualized in a religious environment — perseverance is godly = good, those who jumped ship demonstrated poor character = evil = bad, sabotaged what God has been building, abandoned us (the pastors) and broke our hearts. So, a helping of co-dependency, as well.
When the concept of “God” is in the mix, a persuasive person can convince many people of many things. For a while, at least.
Instead of “quitting”, perhaps setting boundaries and making the boundaries the rule. When the rule is broken or infringed on, then the understood action is taken. Making the rule the bad guy — instead of the person labled as “quitter” (even by self) being the bad guy.
”I remain Sad to see that the wounds of my Savior mean so little to people who claim to know Him. The God of the Universe condescended to bear our sins in His body. He took our punishment so that we could be reconciled to Him. The MAGNITUDE of this act of Love should make any suffering we endure at the hands of others pale by comparison.”
Is this what you tell rape victims? Or the families of all those children who were murdered?
It’s comments like these that keep women who are beaten and abused in marriages that destroy them. Using the Gospel to destroy people is absolutely sickening.
“Jesus suffered so you should just suck it up. It’s not that bad.”
I heard those same words many times myself. Yeah, I tried to just wish away the pain. To look at Christ more so I wouldn’t feel the hurt. But I still felt the hurt.
No, your way doesn’t work, and that kind of God is not my God.
I belive in a God who cares about the opressed and those who suffer. I believe in a God who cares about these things so much that that over and over again he commands his people to do justice. And justice means treating one another as image bearers of God- defending the weak and punishing the wicked who opresss them.
Not only that, Jeff, but Sad is talking about “suffering” at the hands of long time supposedly born again Christians who make a living from ministry! You would not believe the amount of people I have met who actually think this way. Talk about trying to paint evil as good and good as evil!!!
Spiritual abuse is not evident on one visit to a church. Usually. And once people are part of a fellowship, so intrinsically part of it that the spiritual abuse becomes apparent, it is far from easy to walk away. People who are spiritually abused are often at the heart of the church, have invested and committed and stayed for years. — Hester
Just like the mechanism of a successful swindle. Get the mark emotionally invested in the con, and he’ll stay in even after he knows he’s being ripped off.
And the mark will even defend the con man. Anything to avoid having to admit — even to himself — that he got taken.
I remain Sad to see that the wounds of my Savior mean so little to people who claim to know Him. The God of the Universe condescended to bear our sins in His body. He took our punishment so that we could be reconciled to Him. The MAGNITUDE of this act of Love should make any suffering we endure at the hands of others pale by comparison. — Sad
CHRISTIANESE BUZZWORD BINGO!!!!!!
There’s an important part of the puzzle you are missing. When spiritual abuse occurs, many times it closes the eyes, ears and hearts of those to anything of God. — Julie Anne
i.e. what I call the “Take Your God And Shove It!” reaction. Since the abuse was in the Name of God, No God = No Abuse.
Gavin, I meant to respond t this:
“The more I read, the less I comprehend of the church scene in the USA. I find it hard to see why anyone would either go to or stay in a fellowship where things are so wrong.”
You go because it doesn’t seem bad- you don’t see the underbelly until it’s too late. Plus you have the pride of going to churches where the preachers are “unafraid to teach the whole counsel of God”, which means we want to show we can hang with the kids who are really tough.
And once you’re in you stay, because if you don’t you lose all off your friends and your entire social network,
“The more I read, the less I comprehend of the church scene in the USA. I find it hard to see why anyone would either go to or stay in a fellowship where things are so wrong.”
Gavin, What would be considered a mega church in England? I ask because I used to host film crews from other countries (England, too) who wanted to tour American mega churches for tv specials. This was back in the 90’s. It was sort of one of those American things that freaked out people in Europe. I was under the impression from some researrch a while back that only about 10% of your countrymen attend church at all. Depending on what stats you read, in America it can be anywhere from 40-60% attend church from all the time to occassionally.
And over the past 30-40 years, church in America has become more and more commericalized and more like a business in marketing strategies to reach the “unchurched”. And in America, church has always been more of a social center for people, too. And we do not have a real long time history of an official state church. That makes a difference in some ways.
I mention this to at least give you some idea of why spiritual abuse is a problem here but not as bad there? Sheer numbers?
Dawn: I want you to know that I did see your comment. I’ll try to respond tomorrow since you addressed it to me. I’ve had a busy day and want to have a clear head when responding.
Obviously those film crews weren’t about to check into filming weekly services at Catholic, Episcopal, Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist (etc.) churches.
Just church as usual; no fancy loud bands and light shows, no ranting from the pulpit.
too dull for TV, I guess.
I agree with you. Losing a lawsuit is bad enough.
To all (and especially to Julie Anne, Dee, Monax and Barb),
I wanted to point out a dirty little secret that I think lies right in the middle of the whole topic of authoritarianism and spiritual abuse. Please note Julie Anne’s response to my question to Chuck O’Neal. She posted the by-laws of her former church dealing with church discipline. Her comment on this is Dec. 16, 3:16am.
Compare the by-laws with Jesus’ words in Matthew 18. Notice any additions? Jesus told us to 1) approach the one in sin privately, and if they don’t repent, 2) bring one or two witnesses. Then, if they don’t repent, 3) tell it to the church. Well, well, well – and this has been one of my issues over the years – many churches in America (certainly most I’ve attended) add something between 2 and 3. They push #3 back to #4 and insert a new #3. “3. If said erring refuses . . . . brought to the attention of the elders (JA note: did NOT happen) 4. The elders, upon careful and prayerful investigation, shall tell it to the church.”
Most church leaders write by-laws that, intentionally or not, insert themselves in the middle of Jesus’ plan for church discipline and give themselves veto power over Jesus’ own words. If one in sin doesn’t listen to one or two witnesses, they are supposed to be able to take it to the church. But with this special by-laws version, elders can stifle anybody they wish and prevent the church from knowing about any sin issue. And, as we’ve all read about in oh soooo many cases, the elders themselves are often the ones in sin. They, through their own by-laws, have the power to withold knowledge of their own sin, or the sins of their friends, from the church!
But if we take Jesus’ words to heart, the elders are nowhere to be found in the church discpline process. They aren’t necessarily needed.
Thanks for all your replies. I’ll try respond later today.
I found this interesting article on mega churches and the UK perspective.
In issuing my challenge for repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation I believe that I was pretty clear in addressing both parties. It is obfuscating the issue to liken the call for reconciliation to telling abused women or rape victims to keep quiet. This is about a very public disagreement between two parties that claim to be believers but are acting anything but Christ-like in their treatment of each other before the watching world.
Or, are we saying that anyone who perceives themselves to be a victim of mistreatment by a fellow believer is then immune to the Lord’s commands? We can forgive only when it costs us nothing?
One of the earliest comments tht we received on this blog was from a former member of an SGM church in England. He was thrown out on the “witness” of one church member who claimed she saw in a a gay bar. This man was celibate. He said it was not true. He asked how the woman could have seen him there-what was she doing there? When he finished his impassioned defense, his “pastor” asked him if he ever struggled with “gay” thoughts. The man honestly answered that he did. The “pastor” (I use quotes because I do not believe he deserves that title) told him that meant he was in sin and “turned him over to Satan” by kicking him out of the church.
You have Mark Driscoll being happily invited to speak in church in the UK, along with others. I get email after email from people in the UK who are butting up against the samethings we speak of here.The tell me that there are only a few speaking out about this stuff over there.
You sound like me a decade ago. All was well in the church-great pastors, etc with one exception of Ed Young Jr for a short time and I thought he was anomaly. Well, God opened my eyes and I am so glad that I have taken my head out of the sand so that I can see the pain in churches around the globe.
The UK church has serious problems, just like the US and every other place in this world.
Thanks for thel ink. One of the first lessons I learnedi n nursing is to call a patient by her/his preferred name. It shows that one cares for that person.
This public discussion has been most illuminating.
When people keep silent about evil, evil prevails.
I give you the comment of the orning award-followed closely by Pam. This is the very danger of ignoring abuse and I ahve seen it happen.
“Take Your God And Shove It!” reaction. Since the abuse was in the Name of God, No God = No Abuse.”
Well said 3:17 AM. You do keep late hours!
You wrote, “It is obfuscating the issue to liken the call for reconciliation to telling abused women or rape victims to keep quiet.” Actually, for her part in ‘reconciliation’, you told her earlier: “Julie Anne, rename your blog and continue your work in spiritual abuse without mentioning your former church or pastor again.” You’re essentially telling her to act as though the issue with her former church is entirely resolved. And it’s not.
And what exactly have you seen in Julie Anne’s behaviour that is ‘un-Christlike’? Her occasional snark notwithstanding, she has talked about her experiences at BGBC with intelligence, insight and self-reflection. Her response to Pastor O’Neal’s vitriolic and immature actions has been surprisingly gracious on this thread. She has made some mistakes in her statements of fact, but has also apologized and made retractions once she’s become aware of them. She’s even apologized directly to O’Neal, which couldn’t have been easy for her. From where I sit, all the Christlike behaviour is entirely on her side.
By contrast, Pastor O’Neal hasn’t apologized for any of his actions towards Julie Anne, or her daughter. Not once. JA has offered to meet with him through mediation; nothing suggests that he has accepted her offer. O’Neal hasn’t even paid for her court costs — which a judge ordered him to pay.
Perhaps you think that you’re encouraging Julie Anne to ‘take the high road’, whether or not O’Neal smartens up. Perhaps you’re convinced that this is ‘Christlike’. In this situation, though, I think that being silent about O’Neal, and her experience at BGBC, would simply encourage him. He would assume that he’d been let off the hook. And until he shows signs of changing — which means, as long as he’s still hurting people both inside and outside of his church — no one should let him off the hook. We can’t allow ourselves to be bitter or hateful, but whistleblowing is neither of these things.
“In issuing my challenge for repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation I believe that I was pretty clear in addressing both parties.”
And this is a HUGE problem. In a victim-abuser relationship, treating both parties as guilty is blaming the victim. You are asking JA to “reconcile” with a person who has not repented. You are claiming that somehow her actions are responsible for what Chuck did. They aren’t- Chuck stands alone as guilty in this matter.
“It is obfuscating the issue to liken the call for reconciliation to telling abused women or rape victims to keep quiet.”
No, it is not. You made a very grand statement about the power of what Jesus accomplished on the Cross and then accused us of not seeing it. Well I believe in the power of the Cross, and I believe it is bigger than ALL of these sins, including rape and mass murder. But that does not mean that I turn a blind eye to evil or I ask the afflicted to grin and bear it.
“This is about a very public disagreement between two parties that claim to be believers but are acting anything but Christ-like in their treatment of each other before the watching world.”
Jesus Christ and the Apostles were not afraid to name names when people were abusing others, especially in the name of God. Remember Jesus going into the temple with a whip? These people were abusing others in God’s name, and Jesus was not the least bit hesitant to deal with them in a very public way. Publicly decrying the abuse of the oppressed is very Christ-like.
“Or, are we saying that anyone who perceives themselves to be a victim of mistreatment by a fellow believer is then immune to the Lord’s commands? We can forgive only when it costs us nothing?”
In what way is JA “perceiving” herself to be a victim of mistreatment? Chuck took out a lawsuit against her. He sought to ruin her financially. This is no mere “perception”. It is documented publicly for all to see. He, as a self proclaimed protector and communicator of God’s word, used that position to try and control JA, destroying her if that is what it took.
You would have JA not call out Chuck church for his misdeeds, yet he has clearly demonstrated a willingness to use his “spiritual authority” to control others and cause harm to them. Would you prefer for unsuspecting people to remain ignorant of this and continuing to attend his church? What would you tell the woman who saw JA’s blog and was warned off who, had JA not publicly stood against this evil, had instead gone to this church, become a member, and then found herself in Chuck’s sights when he felt the need to control her?
Sad, you are siding with an abuser and a man who has done evil. You may think that you can remain neutral, but you cannot. There is no sin of JA that makes what Chuck did OK. He has not repented, rather he has continued to go on the attack and seek to exert control he does not have. You are trying to make this possible, and I hope that your aid is unwitting rather than intentional.
And I will say as an addition, nothing makes a false accusation of sexual molestation OK. No evil that Chuck has done justifies it. So if anyone thinks so, he or she needs to repent and seek forgiveness.
I have not sided with either party. I believe both are wrong. I also commend you for pointing out what you did about a false accusation of molestation being “not OK”.
I’m also very troubled by the fact that we have such different explanations of what happened with the young man accused of sexual abuse coming from both sides. How can they both be true?
I would further like to add that from reading the posts of both Julie Anne’s and Pastor Chuck’s daughters it would appear that each family has done a fine job of raising an intelligent, thoughtful daughter.
@ Sad, Dec 17, 2012, 06:54 AM
You keep going on about how Julie Anne needs to repent and forgive. I’m telling you that Julie Anne is harboring no unforgiveness nor is she unrepentant in this as far as I have discerned in my public and private conversations with her.
Most certainly Chuck’s latest assault against those who called him out for his abuses is reopening some terrible wounds. Your words lack understanding. They are like salt on a wound—not balm!
I want to echo the words of Job to one his friends who assumed to offer advise:
“Oh that you would keep silent, and it would be your wisdom!”
Sad said: “I’m also very troubled by the fact that we have such different explanations of what happened with the young man accused of sexual abuse coming from both sides. How can they both be true?”
They probably can’t be, and aren’t both true. The reality is there are more people involved than just the offender, his parents and family, Chuck, Meaghan, and me. I’ve seen mention of police involved, a DHS report, social worker(s) who came to the home, doctors visits, attorneys, etc. When you have that many people involved with so much enmity between the sides, it’s nearly impossible to have everyone on the same page.
Could it be that what was said to Meaghan by people she dealt with is not the same thing that was said to O’Neals and Haggertys? There is clearly a disconnect somewhere that is apparent to all. We are being accused of being liars and their version of the story does not line up with what we have been told.
This won’t be resolved with a new impostor blog or with a pastor’s wife passing out business cards talking about how horrible we are. And it won’t be resolved until clear heads get together. Have I mentioned mediation on this thread – that I’d still be willing to make the 4+ hour drive to discuss this rationally with a neutral 3rd party? I already offered to enter mediation in March 2012 and even back in 2009, but Chuck would not agree to it.
Actually, I do not believe that Chuck wants this to be resolved. A pastor, of all people, should know proper ways of conflict resolution. However, I have come to the opinion that it has never been Chuck O’Neal’s intention to resolve this conflict or he would have agreed to mediation. We keep referring to only Meaghan and me, but let’s keep in mind that Chuck/BGBC sued 5 people. Above he said: “This has nothing to do with a few negative Google comments. I have much thicker skin than that.”
If that’s the case, he never would have named my adult daughter on the lawsuit. She wrote only one review telling her story and she was sued for $500K along with the rest of us. She had no more dealings with the church or their people whatsoever for years. I can only conclude that his adding Hannah to the lawsuit was intended to hurt me. He, a pastor, had no regard for my daughter who left the church in so much spiritual pain.
The lawsuit, the impostor blog, the involvement of other BGBC commenters, the give-them-the-business business cards — are those reasonable, Christ-like ways of dealing with conflict with the goal of resolution? In my opinion, it has always been about vengeance, gathering his people behind him, spoon feeding them his strong war-like words against us. Go to his website and read the way they comment – they repeat his exact phrases. Weren’t such self-willed people like this the very ones Jesus confronted?
“I have not sided with either party. I believe both are wrong.”
But this is where the disconnect is, and I’ve already said it. When you take the position that the victim is at fault in any way, you’ve already taken the side of the abuser. There is no way to not side with either party. You say they deserve it, that if they had acted better or stronger then they wouldn’t have been hurt. You have NO IDEA how much damage that does to a person. It’s the kind of thing that can drive them away from other Christians and the church (if not God) for years. It can make them feel they shouldn’t desire anything pleasurable because they don’t deserve to be happy due to their sin.
“I also commend you for pointing out what you did about a false accusation of molestation being “not OK””
Thank you, and I really mean it. Whoever is responsible has done a horrible thing and there is no justification. Every single word I’ve said about what we know Chuck did with his lawsuit I would turn on anyone knowingly making false accusations of that nature.
“I’m also very troubled by the fact that we have such different explanations of what happened with the young man accused of sexual abuse coming from both sides. How can they both be true?”
They can’t, and I’m not going to presume to know the truth. What we DO know with absolute certainty is that Chuck sued Julie Anne. There is no doubt about that, and he has not repented for doing so. With that fact I can safely say that Chuck has the traits of an abuser- he both feels entitled to abuse the system to silence his critics and even feels justified in doing so.
What can I say about the accusations of molestation? I don’t know, and Chuck’s clear abuse of power and willingness to manipulate to get what he wants makes him an unreliable source. Could he be telling the truth? Yes, but how are we to know it? People who show the capacity for unrepentant abuse are also known for being manipulators and liars to curry favor. Thus, if he knows something he is going to have to show a lot more evidence that Julie Anne is somehow guilty in this.
There is no doubt that Chuck has shown the entitlement and self justification of an abuser. Julie Anne has not shown these traits.
Finally, when you’ve been in the position of having well meaning people gloss over the abuse you have received by another in the name of the Cross and forgiveness, you would know how deeply your position here would cut against a victim. This is the kind of stuff the church does and says that destroys people. It tells them that their pain doesn’t count, that God is OK with the abuse, and that they should be comfortable being used by other people. When we tell people it is wrong to stand up for themselves, we are telling them that their identity is not a beloved child of God, but a toy to be used and cast away by their abuser. Please don’t be that voice. This is not the message you want people to identify with the church and Jesus. He came to bring freedom, not bondage.
Dear Brad and Barb
Thanks for the links. If you don’t mind I’ll take my time to read through them before making any comments. I do acknowledge that one’s own faithfulness to a church makes it difficult to see wrong in the first instance and then to walk away from it. Loyalty demands that you stay.
I’m hopeful that the megachurch/big personality syndrome won’t get a grip in the UK. So far there are only 3 or 4 that I know of and several others have had planning permission refused so they can’t develop the size of their church. The link I posted earlier today also thinks that the megachurch. Might not take off here.
The EB I know a lot about as they’re quite numerous throughout the towns of the West of Scotland/Central Belt. Or rather, the ‘ordinary ‘ brethren as I call them are. The exclusives are called Plymouth Brethren here. There is a trend for the ordinary ones to rename themselves as a ‘Christian Fellowship’. They are quite large in places like Glasgow.
The Free Presbyterians in Northern Ireland are a slightly different breed from the Scottish ones (up to a point). The history of Ireland makes religion a very sore subject on both sides and they both have long memories. The FPs see the Pope as the Antichrist and are exceptionally strict. I have to confess that I love their bookshop!
As for the Alpha Course, you have to admit that Nicky Gum bell is an exceptionally charming man. The problems only seem to start once you meet one of the happy helpers. As for Attractive Scottish accents, I take it you’ve met my young friend Alistair Begg? The Baptist church was thriving in Central Scotland when he came through the ranks but they’ve gone a bit wobbly since then.
Dear Dee and Anon 1
As I noted above there only a handful of megachurches and all of them are in England. There are no SGM churches in Scotland or England and perhaps half a dozen in Northern Ireland.
Certainly in Scotland it’s more a case of the normal denominations. Within them there will be individual churches where the minister is evangelical or reformed or charismatic and their reputation attracts larger numbers. For example one of the ‘best’ Church of Scotland places was in Glasgow with an active/weekly attendance of about 500. And it’s been like that for years, evangelical ministers one after another. Until two weeks ago when they were evicted from the premises after disagreeing with the General Assembly over the ordination of homosexuals.
Figures for weekly attendance are low, taken as a percentage of the numbers on the roll and churches are closing or amalgamating on a regular basis.
I disagree that Mark Driscoll is happily invited to the UK. He came once in 2008? and upset many church people and I don’t think he is all that popular here. He might still have connections with the New Frontier churches but his style is not attractive to sober Scots (in other words to real men).
At one time part of my remit was to investigate new religious movements – cults is the old word for them and over the years I’ve dealt with The Children of God, Divine Light Mission, TM, the Unification Church through to the Way International, Cross basket and a host of smaller US based organisations.
As I said to Anon 1 in another thread, I’ve never met any group or adherent who told me the truth on first meeting them. The trend was to say you were involved in a social problem program’ like drugs or alcohol rehabilitation and set up their base that way. Invariably the base was a rambling mansion or castle, imposing but set apart from the local population, and they obtained grants from local authorities to meet specific needs. But in fact it was just a cover for their’missionary’ activity. And there are a fair number of them in Scotland now although they’re not linked to any of the people on your side of the pond. And as I said we successfully shut down some of them. But they just morph into something else.
So although we lag behind you in the Mega churches I don’t honestly think they will appeal to many here. Having said that there is an attraction for it in the Afro-Caribbean communities in the larger English cities so you never know.
Jeff S said that if the perpetrators wore platform shoes and clown’s outfits they would be easier to spot. I’ll have you know multi-coloured platform boots with orange jeans and purple waistcoats were once Very fashionable in my part of the wardrobe!
“There are no SGM churches in Scotland or England and perhaps half a dozen in Northern Ireland.”
Northern Ireland isn’t that big…how many SGM churches per square mile does that work out to? ; )
Alpha Courses became popular in certain circles in the Washington, D.C. area over 10 years ago.
Am sure there are many other parts of the US where they’ve caught on.
Gavin said: “As for the Alpha Course, you have to admit that Nicky Gumbell is an exceptionally charming man. The problems only seem to start once you meet one of the happy helpers”.
Ooh yes. Then there’s the content. The first session “who is Jesus” I thought did not do justice at all to the man. Embarrassing actually. It was all downhill for me after that.
Also, with the new religious movements and cults that Gavin was investigating, I’ve ‘allegedly’ heard similar modus operandi by the Scientologists out of Sydney/Central Coast by starting drug programs, offering solutions, and receiving government grants. Treatment ‘allegedly’ included a drink of mixed powdered magnesium and zinc or calcium in water. Making new disciples is a nice by-product.
I made a mistake. According to SGM there aren’t any in N I but there is one in Bristol, England! But if there had been six that would have meant one every 890.83 square miles 🙂
Gavin said: “As for the Alpha Course, you have to admit that Nicky Gumbell is an exceptionally charming man. The problems only seem to start once you meet one of the happy helpers”.
Like the main guy himself isn’t so bad, but watch out for his fanboys?
@ Jeff S, Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Thank you for taking the time to break that down for us as you have. Those are some good and hard words to take to heart.
A sincere thank you @ Jeff S, Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 09:26 AM too!
There is an SGM church in England and more are/were planned unless SGM goes down the toilet which may also happen.
Also, I was able to put the man who went through this awful situation in touch with some people in the States to provide some support. Be very careful when you attempt to negate something that I write about. You may not like the story, it may not fit your narrative but if I say it you can be pretty darn sure that I have looked into it pretty carefully.Instead of saying “there are no SGM churches in England”, why don’t you ask me how I came to that knowledge?
That is one of the hallmarks of this blog. In fact, we still hear from him from time to time but I’ll let him self identify.
Your comment reminds me of someone who, upon hearing someone walked away from the church due to the what they perceived to be lies on the part of AIG, said “That’s just an excuse.” No it wasn’t. I know the situation well and interacted deeply with said young man, trying to get him to reconsider.
I checked with the SGM website so you might need to tell them that things are better than they think.
I do feel however that your reply confirms what I’ve thought for a few weeks: and that is that you appear to have a problem with me. You reacted to my earlier comment very defensively saying that the UK had its problems too and then you threw MD into the mix. I can tell you that he is not at all highly regarded over here. I wasn’t saying the UK is better than the USA (but it is) or that Calvin is the top banana (but he was). After all we did send you the Puritans.
And no, I don’t expect you to see the humour in my reply but at least try
Gavin, I don’t know if ‘coloniser’ humour will go down too well. Anyhow, sure you’ve said this before sorry, but do you identify as English, Welsh or Scot? (Scotch – ha !)
Especially Puritan colonisers . . .
IMO – The many American Indian tribes are the true “colonizers.”
“Ichecked with the SGM website so you might need to tell them that things are better than they think.
I don’t think it has been updated since the flagship church Mahaney started, CLC, just voted 93% to separate from SGM. :o)
I think I have been in that “bookroom”! (If it was the one out in the country..) I felt conspicuous without a hat. But then I always did when I was visiting certain Armagh churches! These people dress to the nines!
I don’t know if you caught what I was saying, but I have personal experience and knowledge of these church situations. I have seen Ian Paisley’s photo displayed on the mantelpieces. I have first-hand knowledge of things that have transpired in the NI FP churches.
And I spent part of my childhood in the EB. They can change their name but until they change their ways…
Reading that site is reading what my parents lived through and are still affected by in some ways.
Interesting to note that both the FP’s and EB’s have Irish origins and are big into women wearing headcoverings! lol But they both sing well!
My point is that both the US and the UK have aberrant church groups. Spiritual abuse is not a US phenomenon.
OK-I admit it. I am tired. But, isn’t Bristol in England? My reaction to your comment about the UK was not defensive. It was merely reiterating what other readers have told us. For example, re:the evangelcial Anglican church in England there have been readers who have informed us that the NeoCal movement is really big amongst the young people. Also, it is the YRR crowd who got Driscoll over there for his infamous appearance which, I understand, was heavily attended.
I not only blame England for the Puritans but also for go go boots which I made my mother purchase for me as a young girl.Paired with fishnet stockings, go go boots made me look like a waif out of a Dickens novel.
Dee – go-go boots started in France, I think – but we can all blame England for those crazy mod fashions and Twiggy haircuts. (Not to mention brothel creepers *and* Benny Hill.)
I have first hand experience with being sucked in, and I thank you for receiving my comment in the spirit in which it was given.
I started blogging on an Australian blog about 12 years ago, and we had the first ‘God-blog’ blogroll. A US tech volunteered to take over the blogroll and opened a portal called Blogs4God, after a US reporter wrote about the original blogger and the list, which rapidly grew faster than the two of us could handle from the publicity.
Blogs4God had 4 or 5 US moderators, me and a Kiwi.
It also grew very fast, and being who I am, I wanted to keep the more open international tone. The owner was a headstrong, nationalistic Southern Baptist.
Does oil and water come to mind?:^)
I am deeply ashamed to say the portal owner and I got into it behind the scenes, and we both escalated. I sinned in words and attitude. I got sucked in. The dude knew how to push my buttons and I didn’t have the maturity or sense to step back. It got ugly and sad and I wanted to reconcile, so I made a gesture which was er, uh, strongly interrupted.
He deleted my blog, wiped it out. My Australian buddy got hold of me and told me to get away from the kerfuffle and shut my mouth. My kiwi friend and a few other techs scrapped my blog together again from Google and put it up for me once more.
I was devastated by my own behavior and by the behavior of the portal owner. The conflict fallout didn’t end right away, lies were said about me, and assumptions ran rampant.
I stayed silent, because my Australian friend was wise, and I knew what he advised I do was the correct action at the time. As a bit more time went on, in frustration I hired a mediator.
If I thought what had occurred was hard, what came next was harder.
The mediator did the first part of his job (interviews) then emailed both of us and said he was unable to mediate, because neither one of us were ready. He did so with respect, transparency, encouragement professionalism and truthfulness.
There would be no resolution.
God continued to deal with me, I gained perspective, and I eventually wrote a post called Loshon Hora on a UK blog I guested on.
That post was my public repentance, statement, stand, boundary setting and closure.
I had learned valuable lessons about the internet, myself, cultures, blogging and God’s fearsome commitment to mold us into the image and likeness of His Son. A weight, a burden, loss, and unrealistic expectations were lifted from me and I’ve been peacefully blogging ever since. (Well, almost peacefully:^)
brad/futuristguy @ Dec 16 3:30
Wo0t. Word. Thanks.
opps…’was strongly mis-interpreted.’
Dee said, “You do keep late hours.”
Dee, I rotate between day shift and swing shift at my job, plus I’m on the west coast, 3 hours behind the time stamp in the comments. Nevertheless, I’m a night owl at heart. Or was I born that way?… 🙂
Within the UK I fill in my nationality as British. Everywhere else I am a Scot. I’m only Scotch if if I sniff malt whisky in the room. 🙂
I agree entirely with what you say. We seem to have something in common – the chori I was in sang for Mr Paisley when he came to Scotland. Have you driven along the North an trim coast where the kerbs are painted red, white and blue and there are signs over the road stating that drink is the Devil’s vomit?’ (To be said in a heavy Ulster accent).
If I may pick up one of the threads of this discussion, I may be able to add a little information.
It was in 2007 – close, Gavin! – that Park Fiscal spoke in Scotland; in Edinburgh, in fact, where of course he brought that powerful new revelation about Song of Songs (Song of Solomon, if you prefer) for which we are all so weepingly grateful. There is a connection here with the idea of “mega-churches” in the UK here, because I think it was in the context of that visit that Fiscal bemoaned the lack of famous young preachers over here.
The particular congregation whose guest he was on that occasion is part of a Glasgow-based movement led by an individual about whom I happen to know a certain amount. At least in the past, he aspired to build a mega-church or something like it. He, like Fiscal, is a gifted leader who grew up in one of the 1970s-born church movements in which leadership was highly prized, a little like scholarship was prized in the medieval english church. So if you had a clear leadership gift in that setting, you were probably an apostle or something like it, and you would rise through the ranks. He is also a gifted networker, and has often managed to draw “big names” from the Christian world who might not normally travel to visit a local congregation.
He is, as I said, a leader, not a pastor, an apostle (I do believe in such things as I don’t believe their main function was to give us the bible) or even necessarily an elder. Our time in “his” church was not a happy one, overall, though God meant it for good and we learned a great deal. But to extend grace in his direction, I can say that he was discipled in a movement that aspired to grow – and I think that’s good – but had few models in this country to learn from and limited “spiritual technology” (I know there’s no such phrase, but bear with me a minute) to work with.
At least two completely separate ancient cultures built pyramids. Some have said this proves the Mayans and the Egyptians were both taught by space aliens from Atlantis. Sigh… the thing is, if you want to build a huge monument that doesn’t fall down, and you don’t have arches, steel or concrete, your best bet is to build a big pile of stones. In the same way, if you want to build a large and influential movement, but you don’t understand how the Holy Spirit can not only give people pictures and messages-in-tongues in church services, but also lead people in a much broader sense, then it’s almost inevitable that you’ll build a big pyramid with one person at the apex “casting the vision”.
I told you that you are smart. you even know the origin of go go boots, an obscure info bit to be sure! I grovel at your feet. 🙂
You were sovereignly appointed to be a night owl.
Ah…..Go Go Boots…..easy on the eye but sore on the feet ( I’m told!.
Thanks. Very well put.
Dee – curiously enough as a young punk (British sense, not North America) I too looked like a waif from Dickens. I also has a fantastic grasp of Dickensian style street language 🙂 I’m getting scared to ever see your picture in case we are twins!
One of my first boyfriends nearly blew it by turning up to our first date in b/w brothelcreeers…they were still around on the alternative scene in the early 80’s…
And Nick, your ‘weepingly grateful’ statement made me laugh so hard surely you heard it up there. I know I often feel moved to weep when MD shares his wisdom with the world. And where the US goes, in the church scene, part of the British scene will surely follow…forewarned is forearmed.
P.S. Sorry about Benny Hill.
Beaks – when I said “weepingly grateful”, I was naturally thinking of the kind of tears I shed when I first saw the “radio mike in the toilet” scene from The Naked Gun.
Who is Park Fiscal?
I was wondering the same thing . . . Mark Driscol? is my guess as it rhymes 🙂
Just wondering, as an original US Midwesterner, are any of you UKers familiar with the Jones brothers, Alan Scotland, etc., etc.?
Bridget – correct, “Park Fiscal” is a kind of rhyming slang (such as exists in London and Glasgow). I just didn’t keep wanting to talk about M**k D******l. One or two folk were starting to take up the theme here, so I thought it had become embedded. Obviously it needs a bit more work. 🙁
I’m very familiar with Alan Scotland, Paul Scanlon, Bryn + Keri Jones and co, yes; I spent around ten years in CMI (Covenant Ministries International) churches. Indeed, ’twas they whereof I spake in my previous post.
Beakerj – you do know that brothelcreepers have become fashionable again, in some circles, at least?
It is such a small world some times. I was first involved with CMI as Restoration Ministries. So I go back a bit further than you and am I bit older I believe. The two cultures building towers that you spoke of could easily be SGM and CMI. Many in the states don’t know of the UK version of SGM (CMI/RMI) as it didn’t take as well here and seemed to fall apart when Bryn passed away and a younger, heavy handed man took the realm in the US. He also started introducing Reformed Theology. He personally went from Pentecostal to Restoration (mixed with Shepherding Movement) to Covenant Ministries International (we purposefully broke covenant along the way) now infused with Reformed Theology. I have watched SGM progress along the same path.
I have met all of the men you speak of and more. Knew some better than others. Sadly, watched most of them try to make a name for themselves.
I am thankful for faithful King who keeps his covenants forever.
I read your post and it was very painful for me to read. I have written a number of responses and deleted them, but now feel I have the right response for you. I have always felt very sad about what you and your family has gone through. I’m also sad that you feel I am to blame for some of the pain you have experienced.
In reading what you posted and comparing it to what was told to me by people I believe to be credible (including my attorney), there are clearly some inconsistencies. I do not know why that is and do not see how we can resolve these inconsistencies, as much as I would like to.
In November of 2008, we were friends – we shared things in common and enjoyed conversations together. Shortly after that, I became your enemy – without ever having spoken. I have never thought that you were my enemy, but I have been labeled your enemy.
Most friends who go through difficulties are able to have an opportunity to put things on the table and try to gain understanding in an effort to restore relationship. This opportunity was never afforded to you or me. Any communication to me or anyone who left would have labeled you as a gossip or divisive, or siding with the enemy. You have been fed words from one side only for the last four years.
As much as I would like to go through line by line of your comment to me, it makes no sense to do so. As long as Chuck is your pastor, you will not be able to communicate freely with me without being put on the Mark and Avoid list and then labeled as an enemy. That is how he controls you. If he had no fear of the truth, he would allow you to contact me or any of us who left. He should not feel threatened when anyone tries to find the truth.. He feels the need to control the flow of information.
I cannot get out of my mind that Chuck O’Neal has identified you and your husband by name publicly on the internet. The liberal secular media provides safeguards for victims by concealing the identity of relatives of victims because people might know/recognize the relatives. A pastor’s first responsibility is to safeguard his flock. You and your family have now been exposed to the whole world to defend your pastor. Your children did not have a choice to be violated. Did you give them a choice as to whether or not they wanted their identities exposed to the world as victims of sexual abuse? At their young age, can they know the full ramifications of having their identities exposed? They can’t know the full ramifications, so this is when responsible adults need to step in and make decisions on behalf of their children for their protection. Chuck should have done this for you as you were obviously emotionally distraught. Can you imagine how your children might feel when friends/neighbors see the videos (with website now being publicized by business cards, magnets on vehicles promoting the pseudo survivor site) and recognize you as the parents? Why would you want to advertise to the world that your children were sexually violated? Who is protecting their right to privacy? Dawn, please, as a mother, I beg of you to please put your children first, before your pastor. Tell Chuck to remove those videos. He can plaster my name anywhere he wants, but protect your children.
Bridget – I also joined what was part of Restoration, back in 1987. Almost no-one has heard of it these days!
Nick – Yes… the “senior pastor” of That Church (in D.C.) was part of various “leadership” movements/groups in the UK back in the 1970s.
I’ve heard of Restoration, among others.
Is CMI still around, well known, etc.?
@Nick, rhyming slang fan here. How about Hark Fiscal? (or Hark! Fiscal)
Really liked the pyramid building analogy.
Oh – and the Mayan prophesy – what day is the world supposed to be ending again? I’ve forgotten already.
Haitch – the 21st, I think.
Thanks Nick, that really made me laugh. The other thing about guys like Mr Park Fiscal is that they do take themselves sooooo seriously, I suppose all that annointing hangs heavy on a man.
Numo: what shoes are YOU wearing right now? 😉
Bridget: CMI is kind of still around; it’s now called Together, with congregations in England (though not Scotland or Wales, at least as far as their website shows), the US, Sri Lanka and southern Africa. That doesn’t tell the whole story, of course, because there are four other organisations that emerged from what was CMI, though I know little about them. Some others had also split off, reasonably amicably as far as I was able to tell, earlier on. I think the days of large Dales or Builth Wells bible-weeks are over, but CMI’s influence does still live on. And it’s by no means all bad, though certainly there were casualties – the organisation had a lot of internal politics at times.
Haitch – the date I’m looking forward to is 22nd December, the Day After Tomorrow as ’twere, when all the conspiracy crackpots will have to wheel out their excuses. Apparently, even The Watchtower is denying it will happen. Speaking of rhyming stuff, the best I ever came up with was an otherwise insignificant email informing a colleague called Suzanne that I had processed two IT service requests she had sent earlier. I wrote: Yoo-hoo, Soo. Two through… phew! Toodle-oo, Nick. Understandably, I urged her to exercise a little linguistic restraint should she feel inclined to send a reply using rhymes of my name.
“Park Fiscal” isn’t supposed to mean anything, btw; they’re just the first two suitable words that came to mind.
Beaks: Indeed… RIP Leslie Nielsen: a true comedy great. Park Fiscal and the other Gospel Discombobulation guys are not, if I understand it, problematic because they take themselves seriously. They are problematic because so many others take them seriously. If they didn’t, the men themselves would be better off. If I were surrounded by flatterers and yes-men day and night (other than faceless and avoidable critics on the blogsphere) then I’d probably believe a sheep of height too.
I wanted to make this statement here so that you could see as well as other’s what I have learned and what I have come to understand. A wise man tonight helped open my eyes up to a couple of things and I want you to know them.
Firstly, I did not know that DHS had provided you with the documentation concerning Meaghan’s own report to the DHS. I did watch both of the video’s you posted concerning the documentation and listened carefully as you read off the accusations that had been reported. I then decided to put myself in your shoes.
My conclusion was thus. I would have been boiling angry. Not just because I was accused of such things, but that my own son would be included in the “concerns” of participating in the distribution of pornography and participation in sexual abuse. In your position, I would have been furious. I wanted you to know that.
I also want you to know, that I would have done everything in my power to make sure such false accusations and lies were met with the truth. I would have held a very serious grudge towards the person(s) that made the accusations in the first place. I would have even felt bitter against anyone that sided with my accuser because they chose to believe lies instead of the truth.
Chuck, you have been wronged. You have been sinned against. And I completely understand that.
I have asked the administrators of this site to remove the part of my prior post concerning your son. I realize that I made those statements more out of anger, and it was not made out of wisdom. The remainder of the post, I have asked to be preserved.
When I look to the Bible about how a man ought to act when falsely accused I see one prime example. That man is of course Jesus Christ. He was unjustly accused, he was beaten for crimes he never committed, and in the end he was hung on a cross. From that cross he looked up to God the Father, the Righteous Judge upon his throne, and he made his case for the sins of man, including the sins of those who put him there. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Chuck, in your position, I would not want to forgive Meaghan. I would not want to show her any kind of love what so ever. And I most certainly would want to make sure everyone knew to stay clear of her because of how terribly she has wronged me. But God’s Word demands that if a perfect sinless man can still love me despite my sin, if a Righteous God is willing to judge his own child in order to grant me forgiveness and salvation, than I am required to do the same to those who accuse and attack me.
Yes, Julie Ann and Meaghan have continued their campaign against you, and yes they will probably continue to do so. Why? Because they genuinely feel that they and others have been wronged by you. You can’t fix them. I can’t fix you Chuck, and I can’t fix Julie or Meaghan. Only the Lord in his awesome power can do this.
I have been accused of betrayal in “siding with” the defendants of the lawsuit back in July. I want to make this declaration. I do not side with Julie Ann Smith or Meaghan Varela. I love them as sisters in Christ and I will continue to embrace them as such. I do not side with you Chuck. You are my brother. I love you, and I understand how you came to be where you are today in this matter. Ultimately I cannot side with anyone here because we are all sinners and guilty of all manner of sins which have condemned us to hell. So rather than siding with anyone of you on this issue, I have decided to side with Christ on this matter. And I hope that everyone reading this will do the same.
Chuck, I have decided that with this post, I am now going to walk away from this issue all together. I will not be returning to this website, or your website, or Julie Ann’s Blog, to continue my participation. I am done with this and have given it over to the Lord. I pray that God give you peace, and that you are filled with the love of Christ. You are a good man who is only trying to defend what is precious to him. Put down your wrath and have faith that God the Righteous Judge will deal with those who are unrepentant in their sins.
With Love, Peace, Hope, and Joy,
This Friday, the 21st. Mayan New Years.
Cable Documentary Channels are all Mayan Calendar Apocalypse, all the time. It’s the Da Vinci Code 24/7 all over again.
Argentina had to cordon off a mountain fearing it would become an end-of-the-world suicide destination after it got publicized as such (or a refuge from same) on Facebook or somewhere on the Web.
“What a long, strange trip it’s been.” — The Grateful Dead
Regarding Benny Hill, “Yackety Sax” is the only appropriate background music for a lot of today’s media.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
What the Millerites in 1844 called “The Great Disappointment.”
Most brazen comeback from an End-of-the-World fizzle:
“The world DID end, but Satan hath sent you strong delusion that you should beleive a Lie.”
Best comeback ever:
“Anyone can make a mistake. Be glad I did!”
For the Mayan specialists, this is hot off the press
Perhaps a position similiar to this one is fitting for BGBC, especially in light of the actions displayed on their website. It certainly seems they are in absolutely no position to engage in honest discussion:
Hey, Western calendars end on December 31, every year! The only issue about the Mayan calendar is that, a millenia ago, they did not put out the next cycle. How far into the futures do published calendars in the West go today, five years, ten years? Cutting rock is tough, printing paper is easy, and we do not go hundreds of years into the future with our flimsy paper calendars.
Evie: Someone sent me the video: http://youtu.be/eB3wSK0Xi58 about that because they thought the same thing as you.
Evie, Thank you for posting that amazing quote. It could be quite suitable for using regarding many wayward groups.
Does anyone know who the actual ‘anonymous’ source is?
Did you hear that some group, I think it is the Anonymous you quoted, hacked the Westboro site, took them down and then posted all over the internet credit card info for the members of the church?
Numo: what shoes are YOU wearing right now?
Not creepers, though I did have a single-layer pair back in the late 80s! 😉
A tad more seriously, I’m a big fan of dessies (desert boots, folks), espadrilles, Vans slip-on sneakers and Sanuk “loafers.” (Which are really a California-made combo of loafers and espadrilles.) I also *love* Merrell’s Jungle mocs and have several pairs in different colors.
At home, I wear both hard- and soft-sole moccasins.
Women’s dress shoes rarely fit me, so I’m more than happy to avoid them! (I even got terrible bruises once from a pair of Easy Spirit pumps, if you can believe that…)
Dee – Speaking of shoes… is your Navajo outfit complete with traditional moccasins and leg wraps?
Enquiring minds and all that…
Loved that link Gavin – Y2K here we go again.
Ok, there’s a small problem with the apocalyptic scenario, because I’m one day ahead of y’all. It must be a staged thing across the timezones yes? So anyhow, I’m happy to give you advance warning tomorrow, on Friday 21st, of what to expect before I get beamed away. That way you won’t need to rush out and buy extra cockroach baits or dental floss or anything, but make considered purchases, like stocking up on aluminium foil hats to retard the embers and fireballs. And I’m quite certain that there needs to be a new pair of shoes in the scenario somehow, I’m sure of that.
New shoes… maybe – both my winter-weight and lightweight walking boots now leak. Which is slightly problematic; you tend to find that even when the Munros are in winter condition, the lower slopes are not frozen and, therefore, are boggy. The practical upshot is that I get soaking wet feet really early on a hill-walk and then have to tramp thus through ice and snow for the rest of the day. Still, it’s better than being stuck in traffic.
Also de rigueur for the end of the world is a plentiful supply of real ale. I’m thinking two complementary varieties; a ruby (Orkney Red MacGregor being the best example I know of) and a pale (say, Coniston Bluebird).
I have a pair of Squaw boots. Funny thing, they almost look like go go boots. There are silver buttons with rawhide on the side that tighten the boot. I did not get leg wrappings. Most of the ladies out there now wear some of the thick, woolen tights which are easier to put on and acheive a similar look. These outfits are still worn during ceremonies, etc. Some of the elderly wear them all the time.
I still remember the day I arrived in Gallup, NM where we lived although my office was in Window Rock, AZ. Bill worked at the Gallup Indian Medical Center which was the main medical center for the Reservation. The sickest patients would come there from the smaller hospitals. We stopped at McDonalds. There were grandmothers lined up at the counter ordering burgers dressed in their long skirts and hair tied in buns. I was so excited because I ws hoping for a culturally rich experience. God provided that for me.
I was in charge of developing a community program to care for the elderly. Since the Navajos are sheepherders, it was quite a task. In the winter they would live in their hogans and in the summer herd sheep and live in lean tos. They had no running water or electricity and needed to haul water and wood. So, the care of the elderly involved setting up a way to find them and help them with basic needs, along with helalth care.
There were no roads, merely some grading tracks. They do not live near one another, preferring to be isolated for their day to day life. So, to find in elderly person would go something like this. Head north from the Chinle Community Center. Go about 20 miles and turn west when the butte looks more like a camel’s hump. Look for a stand of pinon trees. Grandpa Jim is probably herding his sheep somewhere in a 5 mile radius! I loved it. It caused me to slow down and enjoy since much of my time was spent in hunt and search. Bill and I hope one day, when he retires, to go out there a few moths at a time as fill ins for people needing time off, etc.
Dee, I did see that Anonymous has decided to go after Westboro Baptist Church, the members are whom are mostly attorney’s who have continuously used the court system and the laws regarding freedom of speech to use as a basis for their continued actions, that and their twisted belief in what the bible teaches. WBC was going to petition at the funeral of the principle who was killed in Newtown. A petition is going around asking for the status of the group to be changed from a religious institution to a hate group, and effectively changing their tax exempt status.
While I do not agree with the actions Anonymous against WBC that are illegal, I find it interesting that a group like Anonymous exists, and that they have targeted WBC. I don’t think anyone would disagree that they’ve asked for extreme push back in response to their extreme actions. It’s true what they say in the part of the message I quoted. The correct position to take is not to debate, argue, or attempt to reason with them.
Has BGBC displayed similar attitudes that one could say have been germinated from the same type of seed? And in response, are they at the place where they’ve demonstrated that they’re unwilling to come to the table and respond to logic and reason? Are they acting in self-defence, claiming to be the victims? Do they assume they are serving the will of God through their tactics in which they are attacking Julie Anne accusing her of violatig Gods word in a similar, albeit a much less extreme way, WBC falsely uses to accuse others of being violating Gods word.?
I think the answer is yes. I don’t believe BGBC should be engaged. There’s no need to pardon them, or to show them a sense of pity by attempting to reason with and debate them. They haven’t earned the privilege.
We are told to expose the unfruitful works, which means taking action. I applaud Julie Anne and I think TWW is involved in a necessary & important work in doing the same. And I trust no one would think my motivation in posting part of Anonymous’ message to WBC was intended to encourage taking illegal actions or a show of approval for any kind of violence. It was intended to point out what I think is an appropriate position to take when taking a stand. You set your face like flint and resist them, steadfast in the faith.
One thing I have noticed through viewing this blog is that many of Julie Ann’s supporters seem to be ignorant of Proverbs 18:17.
Julie Ann’s pride flares up when she laughs about the other BGBC survivor blog mockingly joking about what did any of them have to survive?
Well Julie Ann, because I am aware of Proverbs 18:17, I have read both survivor blogs, know full well both sides of the story, and have come to the conclusion that what the TRUE BGBC survivors had to survive is your deceitful tongue, your hypocritical nature, your slander, and your attempts to cause division in a good biblical Church. You laugh and mock as your haughtiness leads you to think that the poor souls who have suffered at your wicked and sinful hands see you as some force to be reckoned with, but in reality, the true force is the one behind you, the one working through you…he is the god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4), the father of lies (John 8:44), and you are merely his weapon of unrighteousness, nothing more.
I remember some time back, when Julie Ann and company showed up at my Church. With forked tongues they attempted to manipulate my Pastor with their smooth talk and flattery (Rom 16:18). They approached him with much praise and adoration, speaking fluent Christianese in a ruse to win him over, but soon Julie Ann and company showed their true colors and started to gossip and slander Chuck O’Neal. I stood there, listening with amazement, at their utter lack of shame to act so unbiblical and be so blinded and self-deceived to think that they were actually in the right as they sinned openly in front of my Pastor and me. Thank God Almighty they never returned to my Church, but their impression they left made me want to dig further into the truth of this matter. I had never witnessed a person or group so intent on gossiping and slandering their old Church and Pastor, that I wanted to find out just what reason they had to act so openly wicked. Thankfully, my Pastor had the discernment to see through their smooth talk and flattery and warned our Church at the next Bible Study of these vicious ungodly people.
Lastly, I wanted to point out the reasons I said you are a hypocrite and liar, because I don’t make false accusations as Julie Ann does. I have clearly shown in the above paragraph Julie Ann and company’s attempt to be divisive in the universal Church of Christ, so I can only imagine how extremely venomous and divisive you were when you were at BGBC. Julie Ann complains how unbiblical it was for Pastor O’Neal to bring her to court in a lawsuit, citing 1 Cor. 6:5-7, but did that verse at all enter you mind when your cohorts called Child Protective Services on Pastor O’Neal and made false claims of child abuse against him? Did you even consider the 9th Commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness”? or does your selfishness and need for vengeance know no bounds? Oh, but of course, Julie Ann will claim that it was not a false claim of child abuse…but even the unbelieving state government found the complaint to be false and found there to be absolutely no abuse, so yes Julie Ann, you and your co-conspirators did and have given false witness and thus sinned against God and Pastor O’Neal. That single fact alone exposes Julie Ann and company to be liars, hypocrites and slanderers. I could go on to site other instances, and other offenses but there is no need to beat a dead horse. I have clearly made my case…now comes the two important questions.
Will Julie Ann have the integrity to actually leave my post on her website this time? Other posts I have attempted to leave have been deleted by the woman who claims to be so truthful and transparent, so, I of course, am inclined to believe that she will cowardly delete this post as well. Lastly, will Julie Ann and the one behind her, her father, the devil, do what they do best and seek vengeance against me and my church? Her track record tells me yes, but my guess is that Julie Ann has been so busy doing Satan’s work and sewing so many seeds of discord that she can’t even remember all the Churches she has attempted to slander Pastor O’Neal at.
I will close in saying, that Christ said in Luke 6:28 to pray for those who mistreat you, and in 1 Peter 2:19-23 Scripture instructs us that it is commendable to God to bear up under unjust suffering and mistreatment. So tell me Julie Ann, since you claim to have been so mistreated, why is it that you have attempted to wage this war of slander, gossip and divisiveness, instead of quietly (1 Pet 3:3-4) bearing up just as Christ did, and to pray for Pastor O’Neal? Anyone with a smidge of biblical knowledge and discernment can tell exactly who and what you are Julie Ann, that is why you have no godly allies, such as the men at Grace, down in California.
Hmm, Solid Brother, were you posting on the correct blog? The only comments I’ve removed in the past week have been Anonymous advertisements for the Impostor Blog which I said up front I would be removing. You must have spent a considerable amount of time concocting such a story, but your choice of word phrases gives you away as an O’Neal follower (deceitful tongue, attempts to cause division, weapon of unrighteousness, smooth talk and flattery, Julie Ann and company, sewing so many seeds of discord). I give you an A+ for effort, but overall, you failed with me. Someone else may be able to be convinced, who knows.
PS – You’d get more credibility from me (even as a naysayer) if you’d spelled my name correctly. Julie Anne (with an E).
Apparently, just as I was responding to “Solid Brother” above, he also posted his comment on my blog. I have copied and pasted the comment above in response to his comment on my blog, too.
Or is it Peter Paul? Comment on Julie Anne's blog
Julie Anne has no godly allies? Hmmm…
Dee and I are her allies, and we are very serious about our Christian faith.
Your comment gives me a glimpse into the condition of your heart, and we plan to let it stand.
Deb – -Did you catch the important message in the last line – evidently you can’t be a godly ally unless you are a dude, I mean a man. Wow – the reality of this statement is powerful – this was the environment in which my family attempted to worship, where women are less-thans.
Well, Deb, you must not be on the same godly ally level as the “men” at Grace Church down in California. I don’t think you’ll take it to heart though.
When I read some of the comments to Julie Anne I feel like I’m in Europe during the inquisition. Based on the language and content it seems some commenters might burn someone at the stake if they were allowed. And I’m just an uninvolved observer.
Julie Anne –
Your comment wasn’t up yet as I wrote mine. We picked up on the same line.
Off Topic, someone just shared this with me…it’s from 1976 .. watch and tell me if that couldn’t be 2012.
Solid Brother wrote:
They have ministered to the wound of my daughter with disdain.
They cry “grace, grace” but there is no grace.
Hey Julie Anne,
Women are bad. A group of them is worse!!
It’s not just people – it’s WOMEN!
Go to minute 01:11/02:19
(Even Chuck O’Neal finds his wife’s statement amusing)
Well, yes, Evie, we are the WMDs, you know – the Women of Mass Destruction.
Good catch, Evie! Yes, when you go back and have a look at that, yup, sure enough, an atonished head jerk with an amused smile! LOL!
I appreciate that Todd Rhoades and Ken Silva posted about this issue on their sites. I felt that it was important to make a differentiation between ‘spiritual abuse’ by a church leader and the issue of ‘troublesome congregants’ who are in many churches.
Here is something that I posted on Todd’s site which seems to have an appeal for pastors. See what you think:
December 21, 2012 at 6:38 pm
“Thank you for your post on this topic. I would like to draw attention to the difference between the issue of ‘spiritual abuse’ by church leaders and the issue of ‘troublesome congregants’ in churches.
So often, pastors see issues through the lens of ‘troublesome people’ in their churches. There is no doubt that there are many pastors who have been wounded by hurtful and troublesome congregants. Nevertheless, there has been an increasing awareness about the harm that is caused by authoritarian and legalistic church leaders in stifling church families. They do not understand or walk in the full grace of God and seek to control, rather than minister Christ’s love, to their flock.”
To Solid Brother,
Just to be clear, the context for 1 Peter 2 is Living Godly Lives in a Pagan Society.
11 “Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”
The 1 Peter 3:3-4 passage refers to how believing wives should behave especially around an unbelieving husband.
One fails to get the connection that Julie Anne should have with either of these passages.
How one bears up in being truly ‘persecuted for Christ’ in a pagan society and being sued by their former pastor in America are clearly two different contexts, wouldn’t you say?!
Could it be that ‘Solid Brother’ is twisting scripture?
Things that make you go hmmmmmm
@ Barb Orlowski:
Barb – that’s a good point, and one that can easily be missed against a background of very strong leaders using a congregation to further their vision (which may be inseparable from their personal ambition). In congregational churches, the pastor is often in a very weak position organisationally (or politically), and this kind of post does not often attract strong individuals. The people in power in that kind of church are the influential members of the congregation. You certainly don’t have to have a job-title that rhymes with “faster” to have power in a church, and you don’t need a theological degree from a calvinoid seminary to be capable of abusing power.
A few years ago we were talking to a couple who’ve been in church leadership for many years. We mentioned that we’d had a tough time of it in our previous church (one dominated by strong leadership). The wife, interestingly, mistook our meaning at first, and said Oh, yes – we call it “sheep bite”!. Such has been their experience. Although the job titles and superficial roles may be different, the profiles are similar: people who, in good faith, join a church setting in order to serve others, can be taken advantage of (up to the level of severe exploitation and abuse) by others who believe the church exists to further their interests.
i just dropped this quote as a comment on ja’blog, but after reading Barb’s and Nick’s comments above i’d like to share it here with TWW.
“The worst kind of evil is the wrong kind of love, love that clutches and possesses rather than loosening and liberating. . . . That is Lewis’ final statement on evil. Essentially, it is the wrong kind of love. . . . What the evil man calls love is only a sort of hunger aimed at the total consumption of the emotional lives of those around him. What he calls justice is the selfish granting of his own welfare and pleasure, whether on a personal or a universal scale. And what he calls good is that which will benefit his own aims at the expense or despite the needs of those around him. He is evil not because he wills to be an evil man but because he can do nothing else but will his own narrow desires.”
~ Janice Witherspoon Neulieb, reviewing Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis, in Christianity Today, 28 March 1975, page 16.
Barb: Good catch. Solid Brother is most likely Chuck or one of his followers. It’s interesting that Constance mentioned scripture twisting. On my current blog post, I am trying to gather scriptures that pastors frequently misuse or twist in order to control/abuse/manipulate their congregants. Having a comprehensive list showing how the verses are wrongly used will be very helpful for those who have had to endure this kind of pain. It will be very eye-opening to many when they see the pattern that their pastor used is similar to so many others.
The reality is that the people at BGBC are sometimes being fed scriptures completely out of context. One of the most shocking misuses of scripture that O’Neal uses is Romans 16:17 referring to Marking and Avoiding: (Romans 16:17-18) “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
The context is marking and avoiding false teachers, however O’Neal turns it around to Mark and Avoid church members or former church members. He has a Mark and Avoid list that is read at each communion service to “remind” his congregants who they are to be shunning (he doesn’t how I use the word shunning, but that is essentially what they do – they completely sever all ties with those named on the list). The people who are Marked and Avoided may be current members, former member or . . . . . get this . . . . distant family members who may never have gone to the church. These may be people who expressed concern to a current church member – this distant family member would be labeled “divisive”. Here is a post I did on how destructive this Mark and Avoid twisting scripture has been to families/friends.
The amount of pain people have dealt with due to this specific verse is astounding.
@ Julie Anne:
Re: “scriptures completely out of context” how about Prov 18:17, of which Solid Brother is aware, but *Julie Ann* and her supporters are ignorant? Is SB aware of Prov 18:18, which suggests casting lots to settle disputes? Isn’t Prov 18:17 a favorite of Jimmy/Seneca?
It is scary to think of how many “solid brother” types there are out there. Using all the scripture twisting and code words that they think make them look pious and right. But there are tons of them. While they are in every nook and cranny of Christendom, the REformed movement seems to be churning them out in droves.
One told a friend of mine just the other day that unless she was in an “approved” local church she was out of the will of God and on “dangerous ground”. Approved means the what he says are “approved” and preach the true Gospel. REformed only.
I am finding it incredible these types have any credibility at all. But then, when people leave or disagree they have a scripture verse handy to make them feel right.Or they just claim they are being persecuted.
Dave A A – That is brilliant – casting lots to settle disputes – – – but noooooooo, let’s use our church member’s tithes to pay for attorney fees/court filing fees to sue Christians. And then when the ruling is not in our favor, let’s say we didn’t have our day in court. Classic. I guess Judge Fun wasn’t so fun after all.
Prov 18:17—The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him—reminds me of this quote from Animal Farm:
“The animals listened first to Napoleon, then to Snowball, and could not make up their minds which was right; indeed, they always found themselves in agreement with the one who was speaking at the moment.”
Where’s the Chuckster???
Prov 18:17— “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him”
You’re exactly right, Solid Brother. Many people have believed what you believe – for years if not a lifetime – until it is challenged by somebody else. The tragedy is that many people never get that second opinion.
Proverbs 18:17, huh? “In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right,
until someone comes forward and cross-examines.”
Since Chuck brought the lawsuit, he was the first to speak.
The judge wasn’t gonna have any of it. The judge already told Chuckles that he has no standing, no merit. In other words, Chuckles, SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP.
Besides, who really cares who called CPS on Chuckles? BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY!! If I was falsely accused of something that I did not do, WHO CARES? Dust your feet and move on. Why all this nonsense of the fake and phoney tears from the Chuckles family, with all of their “woe is us” sympathy seekers?
“‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”
THAT IS GOD’S LAW, CHUCKLES!!!! YOU ARE DISOBEYING GOD’S LAW, AS A MAN OF THE CLOTH, YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO THE WORDS GRACE AND MERCY.
@ Julie Anne:
Hi Julie Anne,
You have some kind of hold on Chuck O’Neill. He personally emailed me (a total stranger) to send me his links. Clinical Obsession anyone? My father was extremely abusive and also filed a lawsuit against my sister and I in 2008 which he lost. This seems to be the new tool of the abuser. Fortunately, the court system doesn’t live in the same bubble as these pricks and their tricks. Thanks for holding your ground. I hope Chuck and his wife seek therapy, and soon. This behavior is extremely unhealthy. I guess that’s what happens when you only have half as many people to tell what to do. Have a great 2013!
Wow, Melissa. I guess nothing surprises me anymore. Do you live in Beaverton? One would wonder why he would think someone who most likely doesn’t live anywhere near Beaverton would care about his links. How did he get your e-mail address?
Even though he got his degree in psychology, he won’t be seeking therapy. And since no one goes outside the church for counseling and he thinks he is the only one qualified to counsel, that’s out of the question. Maybe his wife would submit to his counseling.
I notice he doesn’t come to TWW anymore, however, he seems to have time to keep up with comments here (adding one this afternoon): http://toddrhoades.com/pastor-starts-website-to-attack-churchs-attackers/
Notice how he corrects a pastor who called him out. Also notice how he refers to my mentioning of the word “mediation”, but doesn’t say anything beyond that. And he does not say a thing about his recently revoked minister’s license. Wonder why?
I am officially creeped out by this behavior, Melissa. I’m working up a blog post right now to warn my readers. A warning to TWW readers: Be forewarned – – – if you attempt to make a comment on Chuck’s Impostor Blog, Chuck will have your e-mail address and may use it to contact you later.
Melissa originally corresponded with Chuck back in May and now he resurrected her 7-month old e-mail (from a stranger, no less) and is trying to prove himself.
This is the same guy who kept files on all of us. Be forewarned, people!
It doesn’t seem you can trust this pastor at all.
Julie Anne –
Do you know any of the facts about his credentials being revoked?
Bridget: I know very little. I’m working on a post to describe what I know right now. It should be up shortly.
Let’s keep an eye on this. I am going to put a note at the top of our home page to alert people to this behavior in case it gets out of hand.
Thanks, Dee. That’s a good idea.
Check out Brad’s comment @ Todd Rhoades site. It is the first of a few. Brad identifies the fact that there is a huge problem with ‘the system’ that many at TWW have commented on over time.
♥ ♪♫.•*¨ Happy New Year ¨*•.¸♪♫ ♥
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@ Barb Orlowski:
Watching for Brad’s third comment, where he’ll address the BGBC situation specifically. Wondering if Chuck will respond.
In case interested, I just posted the third and final comment that I prepared for Todd Rhoades’ blog article on the BGBC situation.
I see this as one of the top news story from 2012 for the spiritual abuse survivors’ community, so I’m already in the process of expanding it into an archive piece with more detailed descriptions of events, and adding documentation quotes and links. Whenever that gets done, I’ll let Dee and Deb know.
Meanwhile, many thanks for prayers on behalf of all parties involved in this difficult situation … and for all of us to learn from it what we can.
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Chuck O’Neal: “In Julie Anne Smith’s first post in this string she shows that she completely lacks a conscience and a heart.”
Without any empirical evidence to back up such strong accusations, they will only be regarded as ad hominem attacks. On the other hand, if such hard evidence exists, most here would be willing to review it carefully, with an open mind, IMHO.
Can I get an Amen anybody?!!
There is a reason that people run from the faith if they only encounter folks like O’Neal or Driscoll.