A prominent elder at John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church (GCC) has resigned, stating in email leaked to El Informe Roys that his “conscience and convictions” were not aligned with other GCC elders.
“My dear friends, after much discussion and prayer, on Friday I resigned as an elder of Grace Community Church,” wrote Hohn Cho, an elder at GCC since 2014. “It has become clear to me that my own conscience and convictions are not aligned with those of many of my brother elders, and based on what I myself have taught and advised in the past, I believe that it is appropriate to depart in such cases.”
Cho does not explain the source of his disagreement with his fellow elders. El Informe Roys reached out to Cho for comment, but he did not respond.
However, his resignation comes about a month after El Informe Roys published an exposé revealing that John MacArthur and GCC shamed and excommunicated a wife for refusing to take back her child-abusing husband. A follow-up article revealed that MacArthur and GCC continued to shun the wife, Eileen Gray, and support her husband, David Gray, even after David was convicted of sexually molesting and physically abusing children.
Neither MacArthur nor Grace Community Church has responded to the controversy. They also did not immediately respond to requests for comment about Cho’s resignation.
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Cho, a California attorney, has written articles in the past decrying sexual abuse for Pyromaniacs, a blog by Phil Johnson, a GCC elder and executive director of MacArthur’s broadcast ministry, Grace to You.
In a February 2019 article entitled, “Missing the Point on Sexual Abuse,” Cho writes that sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) “has been exacerbated by the relative lack of oversight . . . and accountability” within the SBC.
Cho’s article commends Al Mohler, president of The Southern Theological Seminary, for apologizing for his support of former Sovereign Grace Ministries President C.J. Mahaney, who was accused of covering up sex abuse. Cho also criticizes controversial Pastor Doug Wilson for calling Mohler’s apology “gratuitous and unnecessary.” Cho noted that Wilson, who is accused of mishandling sex abuse himself, has never “issued a material apology or owned up to a significant mistake in thinking.”
The article concludes that both Wilson and Mahaney have “badly missed the point, whether it’s their responses to sexual abuse cases, their attitudes and actions toward survivors, or their doubling down on a continuing strategy of stonewalling and diversion after being called out on it.”
en un follow-up article, Cho writes that complementarian churches (those that stress male leadership) should be “the safest places for women.”
“The ones under authority are to submit to the one in authority—but the one in authority should be trembling under the weight and responsibility that the Word of God places upon those in authority,” he states.
Cho adds, “What an opportunity we have to demonstrate a church culture that cherishes, values, and protects women, because the Biblia commands us to cherish, value, and protect women. That is my prayer for the church universal, and that is how I would strive to serve any church where I might have the immense and weighty privilege to help as a servant leader . . .”
Cho clarifies in his letter that he is not resigning for “any reason of sin or disqualification in my life, as affirmed by numerous fellow elders, my family, and my own heart and conscience.”
Cho adds that he was saved through a ministry of GCC, baptized at GCC, met his wife at GCC, and all but one of his kids were dedicated at GCC.
“GCC is the only church home I have ever known,” he writes. “I love the people there.”
Cho says he is transferring his membership to another local church and is “looking forward to immersing ourselves within our new church home.”