Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come. Henri Nouwen link
Update 10/24/17 Phil Johnson has posted rebuttal to the claims of Howse. He claims I should have called him but ever since the little dust up with Turk’s *necrophilia* accusations, I have been a little gun shy…
Phil removed his Twitter account but is now back on,climing he did nothing wrong. While throwing my hands up in the air because I cannot figure these guys out, I present Phil Johnson’s defense.
A Word about My Twitter Account
(in 1200 words or so)
Phil Johnson17 October 2017
deleted my Twitter account last week to fulfill a rash promise.*
I had hoped keeping that promise would end (or at least curtail) the ridiculous, relentless campaign of slanderous accusations and ill-tempered vitriol Brannon Howse and some of his broadcast partners have been publishing against Grace to You and various members of our staff (including John MacArthur) since early June.
Instead, my Twitter silence evidently emboldened Howse and his newest broadcast partner (a character who calls himself Jeff the Gatekeeper) to step up the invective. They took the occasion to imply that my exodus from Twitter was tantamount to admitting I lied. In their world (despite the exaggeration and inexactitude that permeates nearly all their accusations) adversaries are not permitted to be merely mistaken or forgetful. Every inaccuracy must be treated as a deliberate falsehood, proof of the person’s fundamental dishonesty. Every disagreement is an excuse to hurl anathemas. So that’s what they did in my case. They pretended that when I deleted my Twitter account, it vindicated all their bizarre allegations against me.
As soon as I was off Twitter, “Jeff the Gatekeeper” boasted to his Twitter audience he had thus proved Brannon was telling the truth when he accused me of making a sustained and savage Twitter attack on the entire Howse family. link to continue reading
Yesterday, I saw a couple of posts and tweets involving a dust up between Brannon Howse and Phil Johnson of Grace to You. As I read about the circumstances surrounding this disagreement, I felt I was experiencing deja
vu. So, I reached out to Brannon Howse.
Before I go further, I want to explain what this post is not about. This is not about the beliefs or politics of Brannon Howse and it is not about the theology of Phil Johnson and Grace to You. It is about the disturbing tendency of some people to defend their point of view by attempting to destroy another person.
I have this strange belief that we should be able to disagree with one another without feeling like we have to humiliate and annihilate those who disagree with us.
Approximately one year ago, I wrote a blog post about Tom Chantry’s arrest for accusations of molestation. What I did not know at the time was that Tom Chantry was one of the untouchables for someone who had once written for Pyromaniacs, namely Frank Turk, who wrote along with Phil Johnson. They, as well as Fred Butler, have long been known on the Internet as individuals who *take no prisoners* when they decide that one of their own is being discussed in a negative fashion.
I suddenly found myself being attacked on Twitter by Frank Turk who accused me of slander for my belief in the testimony of victims in the Tom Chantry situation. Sadly, Turk escalated his attacks on me (as I resolutely stated I believed the victims) and demonstrated what true slander is all about. He accused me, along with Nate Sparks, of necrophilia, knowing full well that he was deliberately lying. I have heard that the statute of limitation for defamation is one year in North Carolina…
I then asked Turk if John MacArthur was aware of his despicable tweets. Shortly thereafter, Frank Turk shut down his Twitter account and left social media. Frank Turk Retires His Blog and Demonstrates That He Hardly Knew Us.
A couple of months later, I began receiving vile comments at our blog which eventually culminated in a letter sent to my church (including the custodian!), my husband’s place of employment and a community board on which we sit. This tactic failed miserably and if the identity of the person who sent it is ever revealed (we are pretty sure we know who he is) said person will find out that he is in violation of federal postal laws. Thankfully, I belong to a church and denomination that are not amused by such actions. How a Letter Meant to Hurt Dee in Her Church and Community Gave Her a Precious Gift Instead.
The eerily similarity of Brannon Howse’s encounter with Phil Johnson and Fred Butler to my encounter with Frank Turk.
Once again, let me remind you, this is not a commentary on whether or not I agree with Brannon Howse regarding his perspective on any given situation.
Howse criticized Pastor James White’s interfaith dialogue with an Imam. Here is one link. Howse, like Dee, did not know he had critiqued one of the untouchables. What ensued from there was deeply concerning to me. I spoke with Howse who said he has not trouble being strongly critiqued. Being threatened is another matter altogether.
Here are some excerpts from Howse response to the threatening behavior that was occurring. Refuting the Recent Lies & Slander of the Grace to You Internet Bullies.
The lies of Phil Johnson and Grace To You employees are too many to name, but include the following:
• Brannon does not attend church
• Brannon never teaches the Bible at all
• Brannon’s wife uses her maiden name as a board member to hide her identity
• Brannon’s ministry is a “sham”
Brannon and his family do attend a particular church regularly, but do not broadcast the name of the church for many reasons. For example, on April 9, 2017, a Muslim man with multiple guns entered the Sioux Falls Worldview Weekend with his Quran, and then sat in his car and made videos on Facebook Live, in which he brandished 5 guns and 1,200 rounds of ammunition while telling Brannon Howse and Shahram Hadian that they should be “terrified” and “afraid.” This man has now been charged by both state and federal authorities and is awaiting sentencing.
Brannon’s family was urged by nationally recognized security experts, who are friends of his family and are concerned for their safety, that they should not keep a set routine or visit the same places over and over on a set schedule. Brannon also was not going to release the name and address of the church he attended just because he was being bullied online for days by Fred Butler and Phil Johnson, who both work for Grace To You. Why is it any business where Brannon and his family go to church? What would they want to do with that information?
Eventually, Fred Butler tweeted where the Howse family attends church. Knowing the threats to Brannon and his family from April 9th, 2017 [not to mention the other threats that have not been released to the public], why would an employee of a Bible ministry do this to a ministry leader and his family who have, in fact, promoted Grace To You for many years?
Within a short period of time Phil and other GTY employees were in a Twitter thread that included a link to Brannon’s home address.
I guess that could be one way to permanently shut Howse up from reporting on the religious industrial complex and their Good Ole’ Boy Club activities. (Following Phil’s attacks on Brannon’s family online, Brannon did respond as most men would, but later apologized on social media and on his radio program.)
Continuing in the pattern of slanderous actions by Phil Johnson, the Director of Internet Ministries, Gabriel Powell, sent an email to a supporter of Worldview Weekend. His exact words are: “…the problem with Brannon’s ministry,.. he doesn’t teach the Bible at all.”
Then there was a parody account that was created using Brannon’s name, logo, and picture. We have reason to believe that this account might have been set up by one or more employees at Grace To You. This social media page was used to send out tweets that we believe included sexual, as well as racist tweets, as though they were coming from Brannon Howse. Many people were fooled. One tweet claimed Brannon’s favorite password was “SUCKITj@mesWhite. Are you as offended as we were by this? Another tweet contained racist words being sung about Ben Carson. Here are the words of a “song” that this parody account tweeted out in Brannon’s name and picture: “In the words of my dear friend Dr. Ben Carson, boop, bop flippity jiggity don shaggitty.” Would not most people deem this to be a racist joke? Of course, they would.
There were jokes that Brannon’s church has his dog as a deacon, even jokes about Brannon actually being the father of Trump’s children. This, again, is not only an attack on Brannon and his character, but also Brannon’s wife.
The public has a right to know if one or more individuals who work for Grace To You were involved in this, or knew who was or took part in any manner whatsoever. One tweet claimed that the person’s Internet Technology department was going over a voicemail to see if it was the voice of Brannon Howse who was using the words G-D and the F word. They later pulled that tweet and stated they could not verify that it was Brannon Howse. Well, of course they could not, because it was not Brannon. Was the Grace To You IT department spending the donors’ money on this type of foolishness?
Many of the adjectives used on this fake account were also used by either Phil Johnson or GTY employee, Fred Butler on their real social media pages. Some of the graphics used on this fake account were also used on Phil Johnson’s social media pages. In addition, many of these vile and disgusting tweets were tweeted at Phil and Fred’s personal twitter accounts. There is reason to believe, if they were not involved in some way with this fake account, they might know who was involved. Whoever set up this account used a purchased phone number to hide behind and send harassing texts to Brannon from a California area code. The individual mocked Brannon and said he was buddies with Phil.
During this back and forth, Brannon apologized for trading insults on Twitter.
Phil Johnson said he would leave Twitter if it could be proven that he attacked Howse’s family.
A friend of Howse, @JeffGK, found one of Phil Johnson’s tweets and posted it. This tweet is wrong according to Howse and Johnson must have known it.
And guess what? Shortly after the evidence was posted, Johnson closed down his Twitter account
The similarities to my own story were so uncanny that I decided to tell Howse what happened to me in case the boyz over at Grace to You decided to use the “let’s sent a derogatory letter to everyone Howse knows” approach.
In both instances, there is a question of whether John MacArthur had/has any understanding of how his ministry is being represented by those associated with GTY. When that question was raised by me, Frank Turk took down his social media accounts. It looks like Phil Johnson is following in his footsteps.
Frankly, Johnson, Turk and Butler could have done much, much better. They could have used their intellect and their knowledge to thoughtfully debate the issues. Instead, they turned to the ho hum tactic of those with little imagination by attempting to personally destroy those who disagree with their BFFs. Somehow I expected more of those who claim to preach the most correct doctrine.
The following are some tweets to back up the narrative above.
Brannon is a member of a church. Like me, he doesn’t broadcast it to prevent creepy letters like my church received.
Yes, Phil Johnson, with creepster men like Frank Turk around it is totally credible not to mention the name of one’s church.
Sadly, even the Sola Sisters got into the act with Fred Butler. I wonder if they knew what was actually going on.
Sounds like Phil is getting ready to write a letter to Howse’s church elders just like someone (I wonder if Phil knows who it is) did with me. It is totally none of Phil’s business. In fact, it is creepy and strange that Johnson would think he ha any right to know the answer to this question. Is GTY in charge of the entire church world?
Well, if Phil can’t find it, it must not exist…
This is where it really gets weird. Note that a fake Brannon *House* account is set up, perhaps by Fred Butler, and an attempt is made to smear Howse.
In this next fake account tweet, there is an attempt to make Howse sound like he is a racist.
Friend of Howse began to pick up on the fake account that was started allegedly by Fred Butler.
Here is where it gets even a bit more weird. I tried to call the number but all I get is “Please leave a message.”
Apparently, Fred Butler is concerned* that Howse’s church wasn’t responding to their inquiries.
Shame on these men! Time for them to grow up and at least pretend that they know what it looks like to be a sacrificial and humble Christian.
20171014 GBTC: Corrected a spelling error and some punctuation.