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Reporting the Truth.
Restoring the Church.

Former Elder at John MacArthur’s Church Confronts ‘Awful Patterns’ of Endangering Abuse Victims

By Julie Roys
John MacArthur GCC Hohn Cho
Influential California megachurch Grace Community Church (GCC) and John MacArthur have “awful patterns” of siding with abusers and punishing victims, a former GCC elder alleges. (Video screengrab / Courtesy Photo)

Hohn Cho, a lawyer and former elder at John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church (GCC), accused the influential California megachurch of “awful patterns” of siding with abusers and endangering victims in an article published today in Christianity Today (CT).

Cho’s testimony confirms The Roys Report’s (TRR) investigation last March, which detailed how MacArthur and GCC excommunicated and shamed Eileen Gray for refusing to take back her child-abusing husband, David Gray, in 2002. Even after David was convicted in 2005 of child molestation and abuse, the church continued to support David and spurn Eileen, TRR reported.

Cho told CT that after TRR’s initial story published, GCC’s elders tapped him to review the decades-old case. When he did, he became convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that David Gray was guilty and GCC had committed a terrible injustice.

In a 20-page document submitted to the GCC board, Cho reportedly wrote: “Now that the facts are indeed known, it is not too late to ‘do justice’ even at this late stage, almost 20 years later. One’s own integrity, and upholding justice and righteousness, and being faithful even in the small things, even for something 20 years ago, all matter immensely.”

Cho told CT he expected MacArthur and the elders to right the wrong. To this day, the church and MacArthur have not admitted any error or issued any apologies concerning the case.

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Instead, Cho said many GCC leaders refused to even read the TRR article. And MacArthur refused to reconsider Eileen’s discipline, citing claims of her “bizarre behavior,” Cho said.

GCC Elder Board Chair Chris Hamilton told Cho he would need to “walk back” his findings if he wanted to remain on the board, Cho told CT. Instead, Cho and his wife resigned the next day—an event TRR reported last April.

“They sided with a child abuser, who turned out to be a child molester, over a mother desperately trying to protect her three innocent young children,” Cho told CT. “And that was and is flatly wrong, and needs to be made right.”

Pattern of endangering victims

After learning of the injustice done to Eileen Gray, Cho reportedly learned of other cases where GCC had counseled women to return to their abusers. This included a case from 2022 where woman claimed GCC leaders told her to return to her husband, despite evidence of him searching for incest porn and behaving inappropriately with the couple’s daughter.

Cho said God kept “placing reminders” in front of him of women endangered by GCC’s counseling practices. “When my wife and I were asked by a friend to pray for a woman my wife happened to know . . . we were horrified to discover the same awful patterns of counseling were still happening at GCC,” Cho said.

Hohn Cho Grace Community Church MacArthur
Former GCC Elder Hohn Cho

“This is when I sadly came to believe beyond any personal doubt that GCC congregants who we still love could effectively be playing Russian roulette if they ever needed counseling at GCC, especially anything involving the care of women or children.”

Likewise, eight women told CT that GCC had urged them not to report their abusive husbands and fathers to authorities. Instead, church leaders reportedly quoted the women Scriptures on forgiveness and submission and told them to return to situations they feared were unsafe for them and their children.

The accounts are consistent with teaching by John Street, chair of the graduate program of biblical counseling at MacArthur’s The Master’s University and Seminary, which TRR reported last April. In lectures posted online, Street claimed that a Christian wife should endure abuse by an unbelieving husband the same way a missionary endures persecution.

The woman in the 2022 case told CT that whenever she moved toward getting a restraining order, GCC leaders would warn her against a “heart of retaliation” and claim that seeking legal protection was “un-Christian.”

CT reported that the woman once called 911 in fear during an argument with her husband. Domestic violence officers dispatched to the scene reportedly told the woman not to return to her husband. But GCC pastor and elder Rodney Andersen urged her to submit to him “as unto the Lord,” according to court filings obtained by CT.

GCC pastors also reportedly downplayed the woman’s evidence of abuse. A filing by the woman obtained by CT reportedly showed photos of her child touching her husband’s pants zipper and selfies by the husband with the child naked. GCC pastor and elder Brad Klassen said in his declaration that the woman told him about pictures taken by her husband but didn’t have “evidence” of abuse, CT stated.

The woman and her husband reached a settlement in the case in January. But the woman told CT that GCC’s betrayal harmed her profoundly.

“I hit subzero spiritually,” she reportedly said. “I was doubting if God is real. I thought, If God is real but we’re supposed to submit to church leaders when this is going on, I’d rather die.”

Several of the other women told CT that at some point, they felt somewhat responsible for their husband’s behavior. The women said they hoped their prayer and submission would change their husbands. But when it didn’t, they sought help from the church.

GCC pastors told them to stay with their abusive partners, CT reported, and to reconcile, rather than seek legal protection.

One of the women CT interviewed, Wendy Guay, told her story of abuse by her father, a former GCC pastor, to TRR last April. According to documents and eyewitness accounts, Guay confessed his abuse to MacArthur but remained on staff for three more years. And decades later, when Wendy asked MacArthur for help exposing her father’s abuse to the elders of the church where he pastored, MacArthur refused and shamed Wendy for her “obsession.”

“It takes a tremendous amount of courage, humility, and vulnerability to even seek help from the church when there has been abuse in the home,” Guay told CT. “Women have hidden, persevered, and tried to handle things on their own until there was no other choice.”

Call for repentance & independent investigation

This afternoon, Eileen Gray called on GCC and MacArthur to repent.

 “Many precious ones have been deeply hurt by GCC’s actions, causing some to turn away from their faith in Christ,” she wrote in a text to TRR. “God’s name and character have been misrepresented by GCC. It is my prayer they repent.”

In a Facebook post, Cho stated that CT’s article “accurately reported” his comments and added that he’s praying for the abuse victims mentioned in the story, GCC and “particularly John (MacArthur).

Many others responded to the recent revelations on social media.

David French, who helped found The Dispatch and now writes op-eds for the New York Times, tweeted that “a responsible organization would commission an independent investigation and leave no stone unturned.”

Rachael Denhollander, a well-known abuse survivor advocate, tweeted, “This is not a one-time mistake. When a case is handled this badly, when women and children are destroyed this thoroughly, it is a product of beliefs which are driving the ministry and the movement. . . . And if your ideas are crushing God’s children, you may want to reevaluate them in light of Scripture.”

Denhollander’s husband, Jacob Denhollander, added that he’s “proud of how Hohn has pursued justice for those who were wronged . . . He is the sort of leader that gives me hope for the church.”

Similarly, a Master’s University alum and former GCC member using the pseudonym Meg Wise tweeted: “I cannot tell your how HUGE this article is. . . .Hohn Cho, a VERY respected elder, like SO RESPECTED, spoke the truth & advocated for Eileen Grey. He pleaded for repentance. And he basically got kicked off the board.”

TRR reached out to MacArthur and GCC for comment, but they did not immediately reply. However, the church published the following message on its website,* saying it does “not discuss details publicly arising from counseling and discipline cases on social media, nor do we litigate disputes about such matters in online forums. Grace Church deals with accusations personally and privately in accordance with biblical principles. . . .”MacArthur Grace Community Church Hohn Cho

 

*This story has been updated to include GCC’s statement.

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58 Responses

  1. “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it were better for him to have a millstone hanged about his neck, and he were downed in the depth of the sea” Matthew 18:6
    I know they have read these verses, but apparently don’t think it pertains to them. How many children, mothers, families have to be ruined before they repent in sackcloth and ashes? John Macarthur is growing old, I hope he repents before he has to answer to God for this.

    1. A professed Christian that engages in ongoing grievous sin will when convicted by the Holy Spirit be broken, even shattered.
      How do I know this? I have eyes to see and ears that hear. Although I am not a pedophile as a result of my early childhood ongoing rape, I am guilty of ongoing grievous sin. I even think my conscience was seared, for a time and a time and a time.
      I was broken, shattered even, and it is a long and painful road to healing.
      And in the end only Jesus can sort it all out.

  2. As having been brought up in a cultic church , the Exclusive Brethren , I see the same cultic features with GCC. There is an adulation and unhealthy reverence for JM. And a real stench of spiritual pride. How Jesus must weep with those offended defenceless little ones.

    1. Ron, unhealthy reverence for JM indeed! And a real stench of spiritual pride, absolutely! Trying to get through to JM and company is like trying to knock down a building by throwing a wet noodle at it. I have often said and still believe that the church is not the place to go when spousal/parental abuse is being experienced in the home. The church has no legal authority to act against the perpetrator. As difficult as this may sound to the victims, more than probably women and children, go to the police and find a safe haven and remove yourself and your children from the abuse. Easier said than done I’m sure. But again, the church cannot act in the authoritative capacity of the law, as they do not represent the law neither do they have the powers of arrest and seizure. These are criminal activities not to be confused with church discipline or even biblical counseling. Assuredly, the day will come when those who have perpetrated abuse against their wives and children, and those who have strutted around the church environment urging women to return to their husbands and submit to his abuse as a missionary would submit to persecution as unto the Lord, twisting Scripture to say something it doesn’t, assuredly these individuals will stand face-to-face with the Lord and I for one would never want to be on the business and of that.

      1. David Gray was found guilty of child abuse by a jury of 12 people. He is now serving 23 years to life in a California state prison. Justice was served.

        1. And yet, GCC and JM still fully support him, and are grateful for his “ministry” in prison, during his “trials.” Nothing at all is said about support for Eileen and what she went through. Because of course, GCC and JM are all about blaming the victim and “moving on” from the past. Justice? Sure. You wouldn’t know it from JM and GCC’s behavior though. And I’m saying this as someone who respected JM and his vast knowledge of theology and the Bible, which is greater than I will ever know in my lifetime. And yet…they behave like this towards the very ones they were supposed to protect? Did you even read the article?

        2. No, justice was not served. They hung Eileen Gray out naked and ashamed…even though she had NO reason to feel naked OR ashamed.

          What a DISGUSTING display of power disguised as “love.” Make it right with her – every one of [them] should get on their knees in front of Eileen and her family…and beg for forgiveness.

          And you know the underlying beauty in this deal?? I bet Eileen’s response would be…”but I’ve already forgiven you.”

          1. Justice was served within the four walls of the courtroom. Justice was NOT served At Grace Community Church regarding Eileen Gray. Church going wives should not use their church as a police station. If the husband is committing crimes against the wife & or the children she should call the police ASAP. Forget the Elders.

  3. What will leaders, who spiritually abuse those who are already severely abused, say to God’s face someday? Someday, they will be without excuse. Jesus is the number one advocate for humans. It’s apparent that leaders who add abuse to dangerous situations are on a very different end of the spectrum. Very sad.

  4. Weird. I love the Lord and have for many years. Always listened to Christian radio. The minute John Macarthur would come on to preach, I had to turn it off. It wasn’t necessarily what he said although I did not listen for more than a few minutes, but his spirit seemed so wrong, so harsh. It seemed so strange to me that his broadcast was called “GRACE to You”. It sounded way off to me. Sadly this report does not surprise me.

    1. Val, I agree. Grace, as offered by MacArthur, and too many of his fellow travelers in Baptist and (in his case) Baptist-adjacent Calvinism, is a distortion of the concept.

      I left a nondenominational church a few years ago over a variety of theological and practical issues, including an increasingly overt Calvinist and complementarian emphasis. Among the early clues that I would need to start thinking about a change was when I started hearing John MacArthur quoted or referenced with increasing frequency in sermons. And then there was a sermon that attacked the notion of Christians even being psychologists while touting biblical counseling as the preferred route for true disciples. The implication was that unconfessed sin was the root cause of most mental health or relational problems among believers, indicating a struggle session with your pastor as the appropriate route in most cases.

      To be fair, my former church is not remotely like MacArthur’s in terms of how it actually handles spiritual direction or church discipline. But with the latest news on GCC and their use (and abuse) of pastoral counseling and authority, my queasiness a few years ago about MacArthur and his influence sure seems justified.

      1. The implication was that unconfessed sin was the root cause of most mental health or relational problems among believers, indicating a struggle session with your pastor as the appropriate route in most cases.

        A *struggle session* with the pastor about one’s unconfessed sins?

        I’m not saying this is what’s at play here. But a dominant, controlling and manipulative pastor could sure have a LOT of control of the elders if he knew all of their secret sins.

        1. You raise a good point, Greg, regarding the manipulation potential of certain practices. Because I still know people who are actively involved there, I’m pretty sure this is not what was or is going on at my former church.

          To explain further: Around the time I left, MacArthur and some Calvinist-leaning Southern Baptist voices were being quoted regularly as authorities on a variety of subjects, including biblical counseling. Looking into it further, I found the polemics these folks were trading in to be more than a little off-putting, and was alarmed that these were people my church’s leaders were looking to as ostensible fellow travelers.

          In the years since, as we know, lots has come out about various individuals and groups in the corner of American evangelicalism where things like hard complementarianism and biblical counseling are promoted most vigorously. Not much of it has been good.

      2. They are practicing a form of biblical counseling developed by Jay Adams called Nouthetic counseling. There are other biblical counselors who do not follow the Nouthetic model, but believe in accepting clinical and evidence-based practices that mesh with Scripture.

    2. His self-righteousness indignation, and guilt-tripping, shaming has always been the hallmark of JM. Some people are just that way, like our former POTUS, and will never change.

    3. I had the same response to his preaching I’m afraid! I followed my Gut instinct and turned off. Very disappointing when men are believed over women. May God forgive them for their arrogance…

    4. Val, having just read your comment I have to reply. I thought it was just me. I too had to turn him off, it truly was a harsh spirit that I would hear from him as well as judgemental. I could not bear to listen. There was no love in his messages. I tried, I really did, but I never heard the love of Jesus coming through. When I figured out his theology was far different than mine, I understood the basis for it all. Now to learn how he treats women and abuse victims, my gut instincts about him were right on. Haven’t listened to him in years now.

  5. Weaponising or Misusing Scriptures is as bad as false teachings and this church is more dangerous than such as Bethel because so much IS correct truly time to stop worshipping MacArthur and that he repents

  6. I saw that this story made it to the front page of Christianity Today on 2/10. I’m hoping this matter can be fixed instead of GCC and MacArthur crying “We are being persecuted!” and doing nothing.

  7. Would welcome Hohn Cho as an elder in the church I serve all day long. What a fine man of Christian integrity. It was so heartening to read his words of grace and mercy in the midst of a difficult situation. To paraphrase James, his faith is being perfected in his works.

  8. That Cho was told to walk back his report or resign as an elder shows the dark M.O. of GCC and many other organizations, Christian or otherwise: be loyal and toe the party line or else. If someone like Cho can’t raise concerns about a church and be heard without retaliation, how much less the pleb in the pew. How Cho was dealt with by GCC could itself be considered spiritual abuse by other leaders there who were severely derelict in their duties; add that to the long list of things for which they need to repent.

    It also shows why internal investigations by an organization often cannot be trusted. If Cho had complied with GCC, they could have pointed to their report, by an esteemed elder and lawyer no less, absolving them of wrongdoing and any need to make things right.

    Churches need more elders like Hohn Cho.

  9. A defining moment for me occurred some four years ago when I heard a female lawyer state her very strong opinion that most men are outraged at the thought of violence against a woman, and this is especially so in the case of sexual violence.

    Speaking as a man, I wholeheartedly affirm that the lady was right on the money. In French Canada where I grew up people speak about la grande publique, which translates roughly as the greater public or the greater society.

    I find it incredible (yet not so incredible) that whereas la grande publique appears to be wholeheartedly on side in this regard, there are still segments (yea, and highly regarded segments) of the evangelical church where the message has yet to sink in.

    May God in heaven have mercy on us all!!!!

    1. yes – (agree) – Thank You Mr. Cho, and all church elders out there who must hold good judgement without caving to the pressure to ‘go with the flow’.

  10. Macarthur’s statement that
    he will not address lies and allegations is shameful. He needs to discuss this openly. Tell us exactly how you do address an abused woman who is afraid of her husband.

    He is way too prideful to admit anything. I really liked him and his teachings but I am highly offended with the way he has handled all of this.

    God bless Hohn Cho for being courageous to stand up for truth. I believe him to be very truthful and honorable.

  11. Rightly or wrongly, I always look at the financial angle. It’s a fact; John MacArthur has gotten very rich off of Jesus.

    This is not to say his teachings are wrong. But there’s a financial aspect that is probably being considered.

    Truthfully, this article is very sad. Protecting and enabling child abusers should make any Christian sick. Thanks for exposing the truth that this church wanted to keep secret.

  12. TNSTAAFL* Many folks in the pews (including elders) do not believe that TNSTAAFL*. Mr. Cho can confirm that doing the right thing is costly. Not doing anything is also costly, but never to the one who fails to act. That cost always accrues to someone else. TNSTAAFL* At some level, whether in families, communities, businesses, or churches…there will likely be a cost for doing the right thing. Its my sense that when we decide to not act or exact a price from someone who does act, personal cost will often (not always) be somewhere on the list of reasons for our choice. We rarely will acknowledge that even to ourselves, but I submit it will usually be somewhere in the mix. No story appears on this blog or any other of the same genre where it is not true that someone could have acted earlier or more effectively. In churches, this reality goes directly to every person in the worship center. That door through which we all entered swings the other way as well. It’s not the door that keeps us from leaving. It is the personal cost of walking through the door. Walking out is hard to do, but it can be the most eloquent of expressions. It will never get the coverage or have the effect that Mr. Cho’s action did. But you never know, it may be the trickle that eventually becomes a torrent. That torrent, as well as the “trickle”, will consist of folks who have decided to own themselves, regardless of the cost for so doing.

    *There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

  13. Jesus said, “Woe to you!” 2 millennia later the spirit is the same, only the names have changed. There is no point in asking this brood of vipers to repent. They simply do not care. I have seen a room in hell reserved for goats. These are going there for sure, according to Jesus’ own words. Actually the leaders are going to ones worse than what I saw. It was the most real experience I have had.
    These guys are just snakes. All you can do is warn the followers about drinking the flavor-aid. Things are far worse there than any of us know. They have failed the test in the worst ways possible and will pay the price. Satan is an angel of light for sure and so are such as his followers.

  14. I am thankful to see the CT article published! As a woman walking this same path, the vile re-abuse by spiritual leaders who side with abusive husbands must be exposed and addressed. Raising the “sanctity of marriage” above the safety and sanity of an individual in the marriage is nothing less than idolatry.

    The pastor I am dealing with is a John MacArthur follower and “biblical” counselor seeking ACBC certification. His counsel to my husband and me was damaging and dangerous. He said nothing to my soon-to-be-ex-husband’s admitted long term pattern of deceit and anger but chastized me, in front of my husband, for feeling the need to protect myself from his anger. All of this occured in the midst of a stage 4 cancer diagnosis while facing treatment.

    I survived the cancer treatment and then left my husband only to have the pastor turn my children against me and tell them I was sinning because I don’t have “biblical grounds for divorce.” The pastor says that he is sure that the things I say happened in my marriage didn’t happen. I have evidence to prove him wrong but neither he nor the elders of the church are interested in the evidence.

    It’s a miracle that I am alive on this side of heaven and I praise God that I am currently cancer-free! I will speak up and speak out as opportunities arise.

    There are thousands of women in abusive marriages being counseled to submit more and try harder but this just further entitles the abuser to do what he’s always done.

    Abuse at its core is about wielding power and control over another. This sounds a lot like GCC’s modus operandi and not at all like Jesus’ teachings and example.

    1. “Abuse at its core is about wielding power and control over another.”

      Exactly, and a marriage that includes abuse does not meet the Biblical definition of marriage: a covenant relationship between a man and a woman, grounded in love.

  15. I wish that all elders in our congregations were as Godly as Hohn Cho. Mr. Cho did what I expect every elder to do in situations like this. He researched the facts with a heart of compassion for victims. That he was harassed by Rev. MacArthur and the church leadership and eventually forced out speaks to serious issues at the heart of this congregation and clear evidence that Christ is not being honored. Folks have asked me what I think of Rev. MacArthur and I simply respond, “I do my best to ignore him.” That may be a cop-out, and I hope the subtle nature of that statement communicates a need to be very cautious with him and others like him.

  16. Scriptural arguments will get us nowhere with narcissistic leadership. Do a search on the behavioral characteristics encountered in narcissistic personalities. Run those characteristics against many/most of the spiritual leaders who come up on the radar in these kinds of scenarios. Above all else, the narcissist will display a demand they be granted the right to not be disagreed with. To them, disagreement is never about definitions or concepts. Rather its solely about their identity, authority, control, etc. (Ask Julie Roys about her experience with James MacDonald and John MacArthur, among others.) Independent, autonomous churches have little or no process in place to identify these folks. Most of these people would not survive very long in appointed public service or private commercial enterprises. The attitude they bring would not be tolerated under even the most rudimentary standards of organizational behavior and customer relations. It works like a charm in churches because its tolerated, even celebrated. Sitting in the pew, I cannot fix that. But I don’t have to keep sitting in the pew either. Easy to say. Hard to implement. (I have done it, leaving a fellowship from a position on the elder board in such an environment.) I choose what I consume in terms of nutrition, media, community associations, etc. I reserve the right to make the same choice in this scenario. This is easy to sit and write about. It is excruciatingly difficult to implement. I get that and will never critique one who for their own reasons decides to not make a change.

  17. So let me get this straight. A church has a Pastor who has a very domineering personality, and is matched with a church board full of willing yes-men.

    Why are people surprised? This model exists in many many U.S. evangelical churches and we wonder why nutso things then happen in the local church……

    Now extend the current model to things like politics and a man with a deformed character will be nominated to become president for a third time…. with the full support of white evangelicals who also support their local domineering pastor at their local evangelical church…..

    At the end of the day, evangelical political ambitions simply reflect what is going on at their local church… pretty pathetic……

  18. Precisely, Mr. Jansma, None of these guys survives except by the support coming from the likeminded folks to whom they preach. One wonders how the Bible would read had the prostitute tried to dry these preachers’ feet with her hair, or how things would have gone for the woman at the well, or the woman about to be stoned…..an account from whence comes the observations about casting stones that many drag out when they don’t have the stomach for accountability. H. L Mencken (1880-1956) had no love for Christians and was a toxic satirist of many other things we hold dear. I sense a resonance, however, with his observation: “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it.” He was talking about the so-called fundamentalists of his time. These contemporary “leaders” will always be around. They have read the “market” precisely and know what the market will consume. Their success says less about them than it does the “consumers” from whom that support comes. When you’re in that worship center, you’re surrounded by them. I am well over half way through my 81st year. I am currently not a member of any church. I am a lifelong believer, tithe, worship regularly, etc. But there’s no way I’m signing on any dotted line. I’ve been there, done that, and got stung more than once when the usually unwritten details emerged regarding what I had really agreed to. Except for God, when it comes to the question of who owns me, I’ll always choose me provided that is not done at the expense of another.

  19. This is why if you are doing counseling at a church, you need to be licensed. This is despicable! That kind of advice gets more kids molested or spouses killed. It needs to be punishable by law!

  20. When livelihood and lifestyle is at stake, Macarthur tells you what to do with the truth: “forget about it”. He should have included that in his book on integrity when he said “integrity is what you do when no one is watching”.

    What is more sinister here is not that they made a mistake and refuse to correct it, but the hypocrisy of it all. What they do behind the scene to bury wife/child abuse cases done by fellow pastors, elders and church leaders. Macarthur is just all about money..book royalties, exorbitant pay packages, power and influence. A scandal that threatens the status quo, most of all the TRUTH must be silenced. It is the unwritten job description of their elders and biblical counsellors to serve and protect the goose that lays the golden egg. That includes shaming and expelling victims. Great job John !

    Their respond is a standard cult-like reply…in short, they are always right in their own eyes and not accountable to anyone. Thank you Elder Hohn for taking a stand for the truth, for your courage and compassion that is clearly absent from any of the 37 member elder board.

    thank you Julie for faithfully reporting the TRUTH. As Macarthur would say, given time truth comes out…

  21. I read a lot of indignation in the comments but I don’t see where GCC is supposed to have deviated from biblical terms. Many of the comments suggest doing the opposite of what Paul wrote. JM is said in the comments to be arrogant or self righteous, but he follows the Word and doesn’t just hear it. What did James say about that again?

    As far as JM or GCC not responding to mudslinging allegations against him, there are surely a great many who demand responses and will never end their obsession for trashing JM due to his public profile and stances. Such people are not entitled to a response and certainly not about things that took place decades ago or things said during biblical counseling.

    1. “Such people are not entitled to a response”.

      Fair enough, Andy. As long as we acknowledge that it cuts both ways, and the flip side of your coin says that neither JM nor GCC are entitled to an audience. Salvation is free, teaching and pastoral authority are not. Especially in a context where there’s a thing called religious freedom.

      Paul had something interesting to say about teachers (even a couple good ones) and their most ardent followers (1 Corinthians 3, especially v.4). He also speaks against certain legalistic traps and those who fall into them in a way that might be instructive if we think about it long enough (Philippians 3, especially v.2). To follow your reference to James’s argument in chapter 2 of his letter, he goes on in chapter 3 to have some very specific things to say about teaching authority and the tongue, and from the context I get the idea he’s warning against more than just a foul mouth. Jesus also says some things to some spiritual authorities somewhere that seem to echo down the millennia, but perhaps only if we have ears to hear (Matthew 23, especially v.15; similarly Luke 11:37-52, especially v.46. No small wonder they wanted him dead).

      Fact is, authority (especially the kind so many self-proclaimed church leaders and their acolytes like to call “biblical”) must be rooted in, earned, and maintained by moral example. And such authority can (and sometimes should be) be lost.

    2. “Such people are not entitled to a response.” Actually Andy, Mr. MacArthur is a public figure and for this reason his public audience is indeed entitled to a response. When a man puts his writings, sermons and opinions out for the world to partake- and they even pay him for it- the world at large should indeed be able ask him hard questions. And he should willingly give a response.

      Is this man a king that no one should be able to question him?
      Jesus the King of Kings allowed peasants and great leaders alike to ask him questions. And he answered.

  22. If MacArthur and GCC admitted wrongdoing it would destroy their church and MacArthur’s business empire. The church gets 30-40 million annually and MacArthur makes probably that much individually. There is no way they would admit any wrongdoing. They made 2 big mistakes in electing Hohn Cho as elder then ask him to look into the case. This church keeps people under complete terror. And if Hohn’s public revelations caused 8 such people to come forward with their stories, then MacArthur admiring guilt would cause 800 women and adult children to come forward with their stories. I was part of this church for years and saw tons of destroyed lives because of MacArthur. He has $100 million wealth while majority of people in his church live in complete poverty. MacArthur is an evil man.
    Back in 2011-2012 when I got out I told Hohn to get his wife and flee the church or else he was going to be damaged. I am so glad he didn’t listen to me and ended up exposing this evil church.

  23. Absolutely to all of these godly comments. I am seeing how blind I myself have been to the fact that God warns in scripture to BE ON THE ALERT, as satan prowls around like a roaring lion seeking to devour those whom Jesus has purchased with His precious blood. There is a spiritual WAR going on and satan has stealthily woven in MANY MANY evil “pastors” (the really stealth ones call themselves “shepherds”) to try to damage His beloved children. His infiltration tactics are now so clear. But satan is fighting a losing battle with his minions. True Christians always fight – and SHOULD. False teachers always try to stifle emotion, truth, and openness – whether by silence or active aggression. They can’t hide their true colors from the Spirit-filled children who love His ways more than anything in life. May more open their eyes and follow Jesus alone – the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls!

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