Please Partner With Me to Expose Corruption in Evangelicalism

By Julie Roys
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Over the past few months, I’ve investigated and reported stories that have prompted major leadership and institutional change at two evangelical powerhouses—the Moody Bible Institute and Harvest Bible Chapel and its many sub-ministries associated with James MacDonald.

In my articles, the byline has featured my name alone. But there have been numerous others behind the scenes, feeding me information, praying for me, and urging sources to talk to me about what they have seen and heard. From day one, this has been a team effort. And I’m grateful to everyone who’s contributed their time, talents or treasures to support my investigative reporting.

But the work is not done.

As I’ve investigated Christian institutions, I’ve discovered that the corruption is far more extensive than I had originally thought. The evangelical industrial complex is vast, and each investigation leads to another.

But as an accountant from Texas, who’s been uncovering corruption within evangelicalism for a decade or more, recently told me, warriors in this battle often defect. She wrote:

“It isn’t sustainable for anyone to work long term in the watchdog line without compensating for the real losses they endure. When I have forensic experts advise me on issues, they remind me that to do so, they are giving up a high hourly billing rate, so I need to use them sparingly. That’s true for all of us. We give up other earning opportunities, but also time with friends and family. It’s why people give up and quietly drop out over the years. Each time that happens, the movement loses a staggering amount of experience and expertise. The charlatans keep rewriting history, so only a person who was there when the bad stuff began can speak into the acts and the trends.”

After 18 months of investigative reporting, I’m not ready to give up—not at all. Like many of you, I long to see the Bride of Christ purified, and I have been so heartened to see all God has done these past few months.

He has removed those who were oppressing His sheep and fleecing them. He’s exposed doctrinal error and prompted reform. I believe we have witnessed a mighty move of God, and I don’t believe He’s done. There is so much more house-cleaning to do.

I believe we have witnessed a mighty move of God, and I don’t believe He’s done. There is so much more house-cleaning to do.

But as my accountant friend noted, without support and structure, these efforts can’t continue. The unfortunate reality is that investigative reporting doesn’t pay. It’s extremely time consuming and there are very few Christian media outlets willing to publish and pay for hard-hitting exposés. 

Most Christian media rely on the evangelical industrial complex for their survival, so they’re reluctant to publish anything critical of that complex.

Yet the need for investigative reporting and writing within the church is great. I would love to expand my investigative work and hire a writer and some support staff. But to do that, I need funds.

I’ve been so heartened by the dozens of you who have stepped up and sacrificially given to this cause over the past few months. Thank you so much. These gifts have helped me pay expenses for maintaining my website, sending out emails to thousands of subscribers, travel, etc . . . They’ve also provided me with a small stipend for the 40-plus hours I put in each week.

But to continue in this work, I’ll need a regular stream of donations. I’ll need a grassroots team of godly, sacrificial, and supportive donors.

I need you.

This year is absolutely critical. There’s an incredible amount of momentum surrounding truth-telling and reform initiatives. And God is bringing exciting new opportunities to expand my truth-seeking and truth-telling platform.

In the next few weeks, I plan to launch a new radio program. I’ll reveal more about that next week. But I am so excited about the prospect of returning to live radio and connecting with many of you directly in this way. I’m also extremely grateful to a major donor and several corporate and ministry partners, who are making the new radio show possible. I’ll be announcing those sponsors soon too. 

I’ve also been in contact with a watchdog ministry that’s re-launching and is interested in partnering with me to do more investigative reporting. I hope to be announcing that partnership soon, as well. 

I also hope to host a conference this fall to gather other whistleblowers and activists to inspire, motivate, and coordinate our efforts. The conference also will provide a place of healing for the many refugees and victims wounded by wolves. This type of conference is so necessary right now. But to make it happen, I’ll need resources and volunteers. Already, I’ve heard from several of you willing to help, so I’m extremely encouraged.

The bottom line is that the evangelical church desperately needs reform. And clearly, we can’t rely on supposed “accountability” groups like the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) to do it. If reform is going to happen, it’s going to be because you, and your friends at church and on social media, join with me and other like-minded Christians to expose and fight the darkness.

The bottom line is that the evangelical church desperately needs reform…. If reform is going to happen, it’s going to be because you, and your friends at church and on social media, join with me and other like-minded Christians to expose and fight the darkness.

I know there are many, worthy Christian ministries to support—ministries that save souls and rescue people from desperate situations. We need to give to those worthy ministries and continue supporting our local churches. I also want to report on those churches and ministries that are representing Jesus Christ well. We need those stories, too. Otherwise, we’ll lose heart and a proper perspective.

But we also need to support watchdog ministries that truly hold those other ministries accountable. As my Texan accountant suggested to me recently, perhaps Christians need to consider giving an extra 1% above their tithe to watchdog groups and consider it “tithing insurance.”  Or to use a building analogy, we don’t just need to support the construction of new homes, we need to support building inspectors, so the houses we build are properly constructed and maintained.

One of my major ministry partners, Judson University, has established a fund to support my expanding ministry. All contributions to this fund are tax-deductible. And I promise to be completely transparent about how these funds are spent and will publish a line-item accounting at the end of the fiscal year. 

Already, some of you have contributed generously to this fund, and for this, I am extremely grateful. Your continued support means the world to me. And I’d be thrilled if some of you would consider becoming regular, monthly givers. These are going to be key to the longevity of this truth-telling ministry.

But for many of you, this is the first you’ve heard of the need and opportunity to help. Would you please prayerfully consider partnering with me to continue this important work? I can’t accomplish this vision without a team. But with a devoted, mission-minded, and sacrificial team, there’s no limit to what God can do. Thank you and God bless!

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33 thoughts on “Please Partner With Me to Expose Corruption in Evangelicalism”

  1. Susan Vonder Heide

    Is there also an address for this fund to send a check if somebody prefers to do it that way?

  2. Yes. You can send it to:

    Judson University
    Advancement Department
    1151 N. State St
    Elgin, IL 60123

    Please make the check payable to Judson University and in the memo line write “Initiative for Julie Roys.”

  3. I’m so grateful to you and what you’re doing. Exposing the evils of leaders at Harvest was redeeming for me, not because of anything that happened to me there, but because of the spiritual abuse I experienced at a local church plant. As small as they are, there is similar secrecy, pride, protecting their own, blame-shifting, leader/church-worship, and abuse of authority. And they will never own up to it or apologize for it. So to see those things being condemned elsewhere has been healing for me. There are some good churches out there, but there are SO many pastors and elders who are destroying people. Just another reason why the world hates Christians – our very leaders are often unrepentant abusers. I’d love to see a day where all pastors and elders serve God and shepherd their churches faithfully. But in the meantime, THANK YOU for doing what you are doing to expose the greed, pride, and corruption that is so common in churches today.

    1. Susan Vonder Heide

      Laura, I love your term “church-worship”. That says so much about when a denomination or even a local church is, in effect, worshiped (with a little lip service to God when convenient).

  4. We are passionate about exposing the evil within the Church and also Christian institutions. We have experienced first hand the cover ups and lies which include innocent children/teens being assaulted and no accountability for the damage done. We’ve seen Scripture twisted to condone evil and reputations distorted because of lies. We STAND with you in monthly support but more importantly, we STAND to be PRAYER WARRIORS against the assault of evil for you JULIE ROYS. Thank You ( ‘ ‘ )

  5. Julie:
    You have learned so much and have opened and continue to open those great sealed doors of pride and arrogance where those who have lost their first Love now reside. Thank You!

    As your investigation continues to grow and expose more foxes in God’s House, would it be worthwhile to consider maybe something like monthly updates on your work?

  6. Thank you for this piece. Donation made and will prayerfully consider an ongoing gift. I would volunteer for any of the above roles you may need. Need an envelop stuffer, I can do that. Need someone with legal, mailchimp, administrative skills, can do that. Want me to pray, you got it. What you do is vital and I want to be a part and help in any way that is needed.

  7. “I also want to report on those churches and ministries that are representing Jesus Christ well. We need those stories, too. Otherwise, we’ll lose heart and a proper perspective.”

  8. Jessica Hockett

    Thanks, Julie. Happy to support your work.

    I appreciate you saying, “I promise to be completely transparent about how these funds are spent and will publish a line-item accounting at the end of the fiscal year.”

    If only American megachurch pastors & Elder boards would make the same commitment. (Looking at you, Harvest Bible Chapel…)

    1. Jessica, I am fully committed to that. It’s crucial. I’ll also be publishing my board members. I want everyone to know there’s accountability and transparency.

  9. Susan Vonder Heide

    I suspect that God may be raising up people who tend to be undervalued by the religious establishment (women, for example) for the purpose of exposing things that should not be hidden by the religious establishment.

  10. It would be better if we handled these matters within the Christian Church and not the secular media. Much damage is done that could keep many from Christ. Remember of the 3 main indices reporting only the elephants debt does not earn money from sensational reporting that this has become. Parading the sins of others for personal financial gain is problematic in itself.

    1. Jessica Hockett

      Douglas, do you attend/have you ever attended a church that is run by unrepentant, corrupt leaders? What’s your solution when such churches refuse “handle these matters within”?

      Where is the sensational reporting on this blog? What makes it sensational, in your view?

      Are you aware that news reporters who work for media outlets (secular or Christian) are paid for their work, some of which includes exposing people’s sins? Are you altogether opposed to the public exposure of sin in the church via media? Or do you have guidelines/parameters for how/when it should be done, if it all?

      In her profession as an independent investigative reporter, do you believe that Julie Roys should work for free? Do you work for free? (Full disclosure: I don’t work for free and don’t believe that Julie should work for free either.)

    2. More damage is done by abusive pastors/elders that turn people away from the Gospel for life. I walked with the Lord for decades and it’s by God’s grace alone that I even set foot (and I don’t do much more than that) in a church today because of what a pastor and some elders did to me. Calling them out and bringing their evil into the light is one of the most loving things a person can do. It means these wretched people can’t continue to destroy lives and turn people away from God. If anything, calling them out publicly shows that not all Christians are like them and shows other that we hate what they are doing, too. Acknowledging that a lot of pastors/elders have screwed up royally might be that thing that shows someone that they don’t represent God after all. So bring it on. Purify the church and get the power-hungry, abusive leaders out of there.

    3. Douglas…”personal financial gain”? The woman has to eat, doesn’t she? She is a journalist and deserves to be paid for her hard work, time and desire to tell the truth. It would appear that handling these matters “within the Christian church” is what got us here in the first place! And I beg to differ that it could keep many from Christ. I think it will have the opposite effect. If we are willing to be transparent and humble, it will be a breath of fresh air to the non-believer and possibly attract people to Christ.

  11. We are THRILLED to hear you’re launching all of this!!!!! Just donated, and plan to donate again asap!!!

  12. Thank you, Juile. The updates would be great!

    I think God is opening a door for you here and Yes He is purifying his Bride.

    Would you be happy to share some prayer requests for your intercessors and fellow watchmen on the walls?

    Thank you!

  13. does anyone know what happened to the HBC truthers on Twitter. They alll seem to be gone. Did HBC win?

  14. I would ask you to tread lightly. In the Scriptures, we don’t see the ministry of the “watch dog.” Being honest, “watch dog” groups many times consist of bitter heart hurt people looking for action to ease their bitterness and acts as a justification for their anger and bitterness and “spirit of suspicion”. News flash, there exist no perfect minister or ministry. If you want examine and inspect, every single ministry on this planet that proclaims Christ, has something imperfect about it. Because we are not always perfect.
    Are there ministries that misuse funds? That pressure or “bully” people? That kinda present the celebrity Christian leader syndrome? Yep. Accountability is important. But where is Grace in this? I know of a “watch dog” group in Texas. Well, they got one fellow kicked off the air in the late 80s and cause the church to go bankrupt. Sounds good? Well, upon further research, you find they hold anti-Pentecostal/Charismatic/Word of Faith bias. Then to find they run some form of house ministry where the main fellow controls the people just like a cult.
    Fault finding and stone throwing isn’t the right response to hurt in the Church! Allow God to heal hurting hearts. Let God work in the leadership of ministries. Without doing anything those who are out of control will expose themselves. To my knowledge no one was investigating Jimmy Swaggert. Yet he was out of balance. He was attacking fellow ministers and sought to control the assets of Jim Baker’s ministry. He exposed himself when his pride took control and he was caught in sexual sin. God knows how to protect the sheep from hirelings and not shepherds.

    1. Susan Vonder Heide

      Scripture says to speak the truth in love. It does not say to conceal the truth and pretend that everything is pretty much OK when things are deeply problematic. Although trivial problems should not be nitpicked, neither should serious problems be trivialized. It is true that all have sinned and all are imperfect but some of the stuff that is being exposed throughout denominations is not about ordinary human imperfections but about outright evil.

      1. Hi Susan. I agree speak the truth in love. However, where do we see a “watchdog” committee set up in the Word of God? The internet is full of watchdog sites. Mainly they are sites which have bias and target their opposition theologically. Don’t agree with the gifts of the Spirit for today? You will find sites that will confirm that bias and proclaim that those who do are false. Believe in the gifts for today? Surely you can find sites that will also confirm that view and respond similarly. Calvinists versus the many other theological persuasions, you can find sites and groups that will take sides and blast the others as wrong.
        If there are criminal activity being conducted by ministries we have plenty of remedies available. Reporting criminal activity to proper authorities and working with the authorities is a good step. Transparency is a good step as well.
        My point earlier was only about using wisdom, love and grace as the basis for any action taken as a believer. God’s richest and best be yours

        1. HEY JOHN , where in the Word of God does it say or better yet where or when anywhere in the universe but more specifically this world did Yahweh or His Salvation Yeshua tell YOU OR ANYBODY ELSE to go and get a TITLE and stick it in front of your name? IT ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT SAY TO DO THAT. YOU HAVE BEEN DECEIVED and HAVE DECEIVED 1000’s more like the
          “pastor” Doug whose comment of adoration is below this comment , at least he used a “small g” in regards to your “service”.
          How is it that you have failed yourself and the Dallas cemetery has failed you in not rightly dividing the WORD OF TRUTH ? What part of “call NO man Rabbi” Mat 23:7-8 is really that difficult to rightly divide ? THIS IS JUST ONE SMALL EXAMPLE of the disobedience to God’s Word which is SIN and SIN separates one from God’s Spirit , so then how could one (or anybody) teach HIS WORDS WHICH ARE SPIRIT PROPERLY? You can’t possibly, therefore the sin remains and perpetuates forward through the cemetery to the “sheep” that PAID you for the TRUTH.
          Oh oh Dallas we have a problem……………………………. probably in Houston as well, actually with out a doubt there is a HUGE problem everywhere…………..
          Yeshua said clearly “YOU CANNOT SERVE GOD and MAMMON” meaning ” the system of the world ” of which the illusion of money plays a very large part. Are thousands paying to have you and others speak to them? Is the cemetery and churches a business ? The answer is YES THEY ARE.
          Simple math says one CANNOT SERVE GOD if one is in the system , a part of the system and/or paid by the system. Mat 6:24 also says “NO MAN CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS FOR EITHER HE WILL HATE THE ONE AND LOVE THE OTHER or else he will hold to the one and despise the other”
          Can one imagine hating and despising the very Word one is claiming to teach ? (for money)
          Come out and be separate John, Harry, Bob, Jane, Mary, Sue 2 Cor 6:17-18 or does the system mean more ? does the money mean more ? does the “worship” mean more ?
          Remember Luke 4: 5-8 KJV ? The enemy of our souls owns ALL the kingdoms of this world AND the glory of them. I would suggest by pure mathematical expression , that the amount of the “world” in our lives DIRECTLY corresponds to the amount of worship that we worship satan with……… THINK ABOUT IT …..ouch!
          So if one has the faith , one would come out from among them and be separate………
          Last time I read , our God is ONE , so you John talking about all the denominational abomination of division across North America so matter of fact like and then throwing a little “grace and love” around at the end of your comment shows me that you are just part of the problem as a Hireling that cares not for the sheep and that your soul is in grave grave danger, but hey at least you are a educated doctor , should work out pretty good before the THRONE.

    2. Thank you, Dr. Reed. What a timely, gentle, wise word of counsel drawn from a lifetime of godly service. May God bless you richly as you continue to impact the next generation of church leaders.

  15. Thank you for your informative reporting. My husband and I were looking for a new church and would have attended HBC Naples, had it not been for your post we read on Yelp which led us to your articles. We never knew anything about this until now. God Bless you in your endeavors for truth.

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