Judge Julie: Accusing a Shepherd

Here we go again. Much like the last time I responded to a Julie Roys hit on John MacArthur, I hesitate to lend legitimacy to her attacks by offering a response. Yet given the volume of questions we’ve been asked about her article, the number of Christians blessed by John MacArthur’s ministry who are now apparently questioning the man’s lifetime of good and faithful service to the Lord, and the pile on from many online Christian personalities (Ruslan KD, Saiko Woods for example), I am compelled to respond.

It should be mentioned (lest any readers think we are automatic MacArthur apologists) that we do not hesitate to criticize/critique our elder brother when we believe it is warranted. Frankly, we love and respect him too much to do otherwise. This article is intended to help those who may not be fully aware of the underlying tactics used by Julie Roys, her history of attacking John MacArthur, and what can and cannot be known about this nearly 20-year-old situation.

This is Hardly the First Time

Readers aware of Julie Roys’ history of attempted MacArthur takedowns were likely not surprised to see another one posted on her website a few days ago. Yet this one is different. While the issue she is “exposing” has been publicly known for nearly twenty years, the case is rife with conflicting and unverifiable personal testimony, and the emotional nature of the subject matter primes modern readers to fill in the gaps in order to reach emotionally satisfying conclusions. This makes determining the truth extremely difficult.

Much like CNN or MSNBC, Roys is skilled at presenting selectively-framed facts that encourage partially-informed readers to fill in the blanks with judgmental leaps of logic.

Julie Roys spends her investigative time demanding from MacArthur and Company a standard of perfection reserved for Christ Himself. Any evidence of humanity displayed by a person near MacArthur is another chance to destroy him, and opponents of the true Church have been happy to leverage Roys’ articles to attack both MacArthur and Christian faithfulness displayed in the larger culture. For example, Julie Roys’ “reporting” was used by Los Angeles County to attack the religious liberty of Grace Community Church, as Roys sided with the civil magistrate’s usurpation of Christ’s headship over Christian worship. Roys rebuked MacArthur and the church for failing to report the personal medical information of church members, and later the Master’s Seminary for reportedly “violating and mocking” COVID restrictions and “shaming” a mask-wearing student. The church eventually won their battle with Los Angeles, and the county and state of California were forced to pay $800,000 to settle the case.

Whether it’s the gift of an expensive watch, the value of MacArthur’s long-owned family home in Los Angeles County, or the church refusing to disclose the minutes of their prayer meetings to government COVID chasers, Roys’ attempts at so-called journalism rely on the reader’s ignorance of biblical application towards complicated issues, worldly caricatures of Christian ministers, and the emotional fog created by her 38 previous smear attempts. Much like CNN or MSNBC, Roys is skilled at presenting selectively-framed facts that encourage partially-informed readers to fill in the blanks with judgmental leaps of logic (more on this at the end of this article).

This latest “exposé” is no exception.

The Overview

Roys’ article centers around the church’s involvement in the marriage of Eileen and David Gray, the abuse perpetrated by David in their marriage, and the subsequent discovery that David had reportedly been sexually abusing their three adopted children. Roys focuses on the involvement of Grace Community Church elders, including a video of a communion service where MacArthur reports the church discipline of Eileen for apparently being unwilling to reconcile with her husband.

Important things to remember when approaching this story:

  • This article addresses what can be discerned from one side of the story, reported by someone who has a clear bias against John MacArthur. As of this publishing, Grace Community Church has not officially responded.
  • All church members (including elders) are sinners. They do not have omniscient knowledge over church members or issues they are addressing in ministry.
  • Churches can only act on the information they have, in concert with what scripture instructs the church to do in response to disputes between church members. A husband and wife who are members of the church have (through voluntary submission to the membership covenant) agreed to submit to church discipline when necessary.
  • While pastors are mandatory reporters in California, communications between pastors and church members are notably exempt from reporting requirements. Roys’ article ignores this. While pastors are not prohibited from reporting suspected instances of child abuse to civil authorities, they break no law by not reporting. Please see the bottom of the article for an explaination.
  • Churches do not have investigation teams for serious crimes like sexual abuse (or really anything that happens outside the church). This is the responsibility of the civil magistrate, and even then the civil magistrate can only act in response to probable cause.

The Timeline

Roys turns the true timeline of events into a damning narrative, beginning the article with an uncritical recounting of MacArthur revealing Eileen’s church discipline to the congregation. The title of Roys’ article creates the impression that MacArthur knew David Gray was continuing to abuse his children at the time Eileen was being disciplined, but the evidence presented does not support this conclusion. Not to be deterred, Roys continues to create the impression that the elders at the church were acting out of malice rather than simple ignorance, yet this conclusion relies on confabulation (the reader filling in gaps). The following timeline of events (including what can be presumed from court documents) is based on what we can either factually verify (by admission) or reasonably ascertain from court documents:

  1. 1982: David and Eileen are married.
  2. 1994-1998: The couple adopts three children.
  3. 1998: David begins displaying abusive behavior in his discipline of the children.
  4. 1998-2001: David continues abusive treatment of children, including not being appropriately dressed when around the kids (walking around in his underwear).
  5. June 2001: Children reportedly tell Eileen they think David was trying to kill them (due to one particularly abusive instance of “disipline”). Eileen files a restraining order against David. Church members house her and the kids until the order takes effect and they can return home without David there.
  6. September 2001: Eileen and David begin marital counseling at the church with elder Carey Hardy. These sessions were taped, with the exact context of statements made during the sessions being disputed in statements from Eileen Gray and Carey Hardy.
  7. November 2001: Eileen requests to be removed from the church’s membership. The church denies this request in accordance with their bylaws, reporting that they believe they are dealing with a marital reconciliation issue that is within the disiplinary purview of the church.
  8. April 2002: The church continues to insist that Eileen reconcile with David, revealing their belief that there is no longer any biblical reason Eileen should continue to refuse reconciliation.
  9. May 2002: Believing that they are dealing with Eileen’s unsubstantiated refusal to reconcile, pastor MacArthur brings the issue before the church in a communion service.
  10. August 2002: The church elders reiterates their belief that it is Eileen who is refusing a proper reconciliation, and concludes that Eileen has no desire to reconcile the marriage.
  11. September 2002: The family court grants Eileen sole custody of the children and a legal separation, and she moves north with the kids to be closer to family, who were helping care for them as she fought cancer. David is still granted monitored visitation as Eileen still wanted the kids to see their father and in fact wanted them to have more time with him.
  12. February 2003: The children begin counseling with psychologist Melinda Adams.
  13. February-May 2003: The children begin to demonstrate negative reactions to David during visitations, and reportedly begin describing to Eileen instances of David sexually abusing them. Eileen reports thinking they were mistaken at first, but upon believing them she ceases David’s visitations.
  14. Late 2003: Eileen reports the children’s accusations to the police. She reportedly tells police that she recalls smelling semen on the children in 2001, but upon examination found nothing. There is no evidence that this was reported to anyone when it happened.
  15. February 2004: Detectives arrest David Gray on suspicion of 10 felonies, including sexual abuse charges.
  16. June 2005: David Gray is convicted on 6 out of 10 counts, and sentenced to multiple prison terms resulting in his incarceration for 21 years to life in prison. Gray had pleaded non guilty, insisting that Eileen had been more interested in “building a case” against him rather than reconciling. He testified that prior to December 2002, the kids reacted positively to him during visits, but that this changed in the following months. He denied all allegations of sexual abuse, insisting that Eileen planted these events in the minds of the kids to drive David out of their lives.
  17. November 2006: David Gray’s appeal is denied. The appeal alleged that the court failed to provide a fair trial by not severing the abuse allegations (which had admission evidence) from the sexual abuse allegations (which were entirely based on the children’s statements), but the court found that connecting them was proper. Gray’s attorneys also argued that it was wrong to admit as evidence an unsubstantiated allegation against Gray of sexual contact from 22 years prior to the trial.
  18. March 2022: David Gray is reportedly denied parole for another ten years, with the parole board reportedly describing Gray as a “sadistic predator who weaponized religion.” Roys celebrates the decision.

Hindsight is Still Not 20/20

As far as we know, David Gray claims to this day that he is innocent with regard to the sexual abuse allegations, even though he has admitted to being physically abusive in his discipline of the kids and engaging in other inappropriate behavior. He apparently began a prison ministry at Corcoran State Prison, receiving some support from members and elders of Grace Community Church. Neither I nor Julie Roys has any ability to validate the truth of the sex abuse charges, although a jury certainly found the evidence compelling enough to convict him. Similarly, I cannot speak to the authenticity of David Gray’s repentance or his prison ministry. There remains no physical evidence of the crimes, as guilty as Gray may be of committing them.

Most importantly for this article, the evidence I can positively confirm does not prove the Grace elders would have had knowledge of the scale of Gray’s purported abuse at the time they were exercising church discipline in the situation.

Might these elders have misjudged? Sure. Knowing what we know now, would they have done things differently? Of course. But should they be held responsible for not being aware of sex abuse that Eileen herself was not aware of at the time, or for not reporting abuse to the authorities that Eileen was not willing to report? Roys rebukes the church for apparently honoring Eileen’s wishes (not reporting Eileen’s accusations behind her back), then accuses them of not honoring her wishes by continuing the discipline process. The elders seemed to believe they were dealing with the sins of “he said, she said” marital strife, followed by what they believed was the wife shunning reconciliation with a contrite and willing husband.

Eileen was apparently refusing the church’s involvement in reconciliation with David after Hardy’s counseling (despite her church membership committing her to the discipline process), but was not willing to report the apparently continued abuse to the authorities or the church. I am in no position to judge Eileen’s reasoning or her choices (and indeed my heart goes out to her as this painful situation is resurrected), but if the elders indeed believed one spouse was ready and willing to reconcile a marriage while the other was inexplicably unwilling, their actions look much more like ignorance and much less like malice.

Roys uses David Gray’s subsequent conviction as proof of what the church should have known, attacking church discipline as a process that should apparently not take place apart from ministerial omniscience.

Yet Roys’ article creates the worst possible characterization of the events and people involved, as she employs a caricature of John MacArthur the chauvinist, enabler of abuse, and church authoritarian who purposefully attacks abused women and children. This is the narrative the reader is expected to accept against decades of evidence to the contrary.

Roys spins a narrative that leads the reader to ascribe nefarious motives and connect dots that remain disconnected without the underlying presuppositions of modern feminism and the so-called #ChurchToo movement – namely that all accusations from women are to be automatically and uncritically believed while all claims made by men are automatically suspicious if not categorically false. Most tellingly, she uses David Gray’s subsequent conviction as proof of what the church should have known, attacking church discipline as a process that should apparently not take place apart from ministerial omniscience.

Roys claims to be an investigative journalist. Yet true journalistic skepticism should have produced some obvious questions:

How could the church assume reconciliation-preventing abuse was continuing when Eileen herself was encouraging David’s continued (and later increased) presence in the children’s lives? Might the discrepancy between Eileen wanting no part of David while simultaneously wanting the kids to be with him lead elders to believe her animus was personal?

Why was Eileen apparently unwilling to report to the elders the continued abuse that was preventing her from being willing to participate in reconciliation?

Was the church’s apparent unwillingness to report the abuse to the authorities based on Eileen’s unwillingness to report the abuse?

Why did Eileen not question or report the semen she later reported smelling on the kids, or at least not actively seek to increase David’s contact with the kids after this suspicious discovery?

Her real target is clearly John MacArthur, and she fails to present any real evidence of complicity beyond the unfortunate circumstances and incomplete knowledge that would fool many well-intentioned ministers attempting to follow the biblical prescription for church discipline.

Again, I have no interest in undermining Eileen’s testimony (or that of the kids), nor in devaluing the pain and trauma David’s sin undoubtedly brought to their lives. I am not close enough to any of this to judge any of the most pertinent issues. Neither is Julie Roys, even as her time spent interviewing Eileen and other witnesses has obviously led her to side with Eileen. She has every right (and plenty of reasons) to come to her conclusions on David Gray’s abuse and guilt. Yet her real target is clearly John MacArthur, and she fails to present any real evidence of complicity beyond the unfortunate circumstances and incomplete knowledge that would fool many well-intentioned ministers attempting to follow the biblical prescription for church discipline.

While I pray for truth and justice to prevail, I don’t automatically assume that juries get it right (Ironically, there is at least one other David Gray in the United States who was later exonerated of crimes for which he was initially convicted). I make no claims regarding the truthfulness of any of the claims of Eileen or David in this article, only that the claim that MacArthur is somehow guilty of supporting abuse, reflexively supporting men over women, or abusing the church discipline process is entirely unfounded based on the information Roys presents, no matter how artfully she spins her preferred narrative. I suspect this will not deter her from continuing to attack him.

The Shadow of Scott Peterson

One more interesting note: The trial of David Gray took place in the shadow of the Scott Peterson murder trial, which was a legal and media fiasco taking place just north of the Gray trial. The national media was obsessed with Peterson, and the eventual jury for the Gray trial was undoubtedly aware of the proceedings of the Peterson trial, which took place June-November 2004 (Gray was arrested in February 2004 and convicted in June 2005), including the prevailing characterization of Peterson as a predatory husband committing heinous violent acts against his family.

The trials share eerie similarities: Both defendants committed prior offenses that undermined their character (Gray’s previous physical abuse was charged alongside the more serious sex crimes, while Peterson’s adultery was “charged” against him in the court of public opinion). Both crimes lacked physical evidence, and both suspects continue to claim innocence.

If somehow evidence later reveals that David Gray did not commit these crimes (such things have been known to happen), would we similarly attack Julie Roys for purportedly acting on what she believed was true at the time, finding her guilty of promoting abusive false accusations and prosecution? Should her career and reputation be destroyed like she is attempting to destroy John MacArthur’s? Or would this be categorically impossible because men in power cannot be victims of scurrilous accusations and women cannot victimize?

Julie Roys’ reputation as a journalist is almost entirely based on her work exposing James MacDonald, and her attempt at similarly “taking down” John MacArthur reveals that she is (at the very least) unwilling to distinguish between the faithful and the corrupt. She placed a target on the back of MacArthur when he rightly told the false teacher (and now apparent Anglican) Beth Moore to “go home.” Roys platforms barely-veiled liberals like Karen Swallow Prior and race-baiting trauma clown Kyle J. Howard. She has become an unskeptical hatchet woman for anti-conservative and woke forces in and out of evangelicalism.

With her doctrinal integrity and discernment effectively destroyed, she seems to be burning through whatever journalistic credibility she has left as she attempts to add more trophies to her feminist mantle.

Addendum: Non-exaustive Examples of Julie Roys’ Yellow Journalism

Roys slyly shifts between reporting allegations made in testimony:

Eileen testified that she went to the living room of the family’s home, where she found David holding a belt and one of her children crying with disheveled hair.

and provable facts:

The day after learning these details, Eileen found a lawyer and filed a legal separation and restraining order against David.

Notice how the statement “learning these details” ties the prior allegations to the provable fact of the filing of the restraining order, leading to the easy confusion that both are provable.

Roys relies on reader ignorance of the criminal justice process:

In 2004, two staff pastors at GCC were written up by LAPD for their alleged mishandling of David Gray’s abuse.

“Written up” means nothing in and of itself, but Roys creates the impression that these pastors were charged and prosecuted with crimes. In fact, she follows with “Carey Hardy was charged with two misdemeanors” before revealing the case was “dismissed or not prosecuted,” meaning he wasn’t actually charged with anything prosecutable. She writes that “the reason Hardy’s case was dismissed is not clear.” Perhaps it was because pastors cannot be charged with failing to report abuse as they are not mandatory reporters. The other “written up” pastor was not charged.

Roys obfuscates the source of quotes. For instance, she attributes to Grace elders (by way of Eileen’s testimony) this statement:

…professional counseling is “worldly” and wrong.

But according to a sworn statement from pastor Alvin B. Barber Jr., this statement was something David Gray said he was told by church elders. This qualifies as hearsay.

Perhaps most offensively, Roys implicates God’s Word itself as culpable in the abuse, quoting a letter from Grace elders:

“. . . Though you are ignoring the shepherding role in your life that God requires from our church, we must still choose to follow the mandate of Matthew 18, verse 17, if you persist in preventing the restoration of your family.”

before implicitly condemning the words of Jesus:

Matthew 18:17 says that if someone refuses to repent of his sin, the sin should be told to the church and the person treated like “a pagan or tax collector.”

Roys describes a couple at church visiting Eileen late one night to (according to the couple) encourage Eileen to reconcile with David. Despite the meeting likely being unscheduled, Roys characterizes it as akin to a late-night break-in:

In an account for David Gray’s trial, Eileen wrote that Bonsangue and his wife entered her home at 10:15 p.m.

This list is not every instance of these techniques used in the article. Roys says she is working on a follow-up article, which we suspect will contain much of the same journalistic trickery. Stay tuned.

Update: Mandatory Reporters

Note: The original version of this article mistakenly claimed that pastors were not mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse. They are mandatory reporters, but not when the suspicion arises via communication while in the “course of the discipline or practice of the clergy member’s church, denomination, or organization.” The below section is meant to clarify the issue.

Confusion remains on how California’s mandatory reporter laws applied to what we know about this case.

California Penal Code lists 49 categories of “mandatory reporter” – that is, a person required to report if they have “knowledge of or observes a child whom the mandated reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect.” One of these categories is “clergy member,” described in Section 11165.7:

A clergy member, as specified in subdivision (d) of Section 11166. As used in this article, “clergy member” means a priest, minister, rabbi, religious practitioner, or similar functionary of a church, temple, or recognized denomination or organization.

Yet in section 11166 subsection (d), the code contains an exception (emphasis mine):

(1) A clergy member who acquires knowledge or a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect during a penitential communication is not subject to subdivision (a). For the purposes of this subdivision, “penitential communication” means a communication, intended to be in confidence, including, but not limited to, a sacramental confession, made to a clergy member who, in the course of the discipline or practice of the clergy member’s church, denomination, or organization, is authorized or accustomed to hear those communications, and under the discipline, tenets, customs, or practices of the clergy member’s church, denomination, or organization, has a duty to keep those communications secret.

As far as the evidence indicates, the church elders’ suspicion of child abuse (they did not have first-hand knowledge) was acquired during a confidential communication (counseling) with Eileen and/or David. An elder (authorized clergy) counseling church members fits the exact definition of the above exception. Again, as far as the evidence indicates, neither Eileen nor David wanted any instances or accusations of abuse reported to the authorities (and evidence indicates the elders believed David was repentant of these sins), so in accordance with the principles of 1 Corinthians 6, the elders actually had a responsibility to not go to the civil magistrate. And California law seems to honor this principle in the interest of the Constitutional freedom of religious practice.

Despite the fact that ministry and church discipline can be exercised improperly, imagine the damage done to church ministry and reconciliation if church members believe that confessing our sins to one another will automatically result in being turned in to the police. The Christian sinned against would similarly want to seek reconciliation within the body of believers, and a mandatory reporting requirement might interfere with this. The clergy exception provides discretion for Christians to exercise church discipline, forgiveness, and reconciliation without involving the “unrighteous” (1 Corinthians 6:1). If the elders believe that the sins described to them are within the scope of the Christian family (sinfully practiced child discipline, for example), they are not sinning by attempting to adjudicate the issues within the church.

56 thoughts on “Judge Julie: Accusing a Shepherd

  1. Roys is a wonderful example of a woke feminazi child of satan. Great article ;very detailed. Thank you for laying it all out in a timeline so that the reader can clearly discern the true picture.

    1. It seems to me that she’s trying to profit from her success in exposing McDonald. She is emotionally and spiritually immature. Shame on her. Ultimately, she will have to face the Lord on judgment day. If she thinks she can pull the wool over God’s eyes, she has another thing coming. Shame on her.

      FYI…. I graduated from the Master’s College, and I attended GCC during this time. I personally know Carey Hardy. He is, in my view, the kindest elder I knew. I lost my father in a horrible accident during this time, and Carey Hardy was incredibly respectful and comforting during my hour of greatest need.

      1. Thank you for your direct perspective. Roys timed this to come out during the Shepherd’s Conference on purpose. Remember, Satan wants distraction and confusion.

    2. Yes. Roy’s despises MacArthur and has added Saiko Woods to her posse after he got her to “cam up” after her article on the homes story. I would like to see a story on Woods. I don’t think his “house” doesn’t have one bit of non-glass either.

    3. What about his confession and the testimony from the pastor at GCC that married them?
      “David Gray’s List of Abuse of Children_Redacted.pdf(Review)- Adobe Document Cloud” https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:e4d2ffc0-adc9-3fc8-98e0-91c88cb1055d#pageNum=1

      “Alvin Barber Declaration1_Redacted.pdf(Review)- Adobe Document Cloud” https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:01fab3ab-0b42-3daa-baee-ac0b7fe26915#pageNum=2

  2. Ms Gray’s interactions with elders should have ended when she asked to have her name removed from the church rolls. If you can’t get out of GCC then it’s a cult. JMac is the classic beloved, misunderstood and maligned, long-suffering, brilliant, justifiably cruel, semi-divine, authoritarian cult leader, just as he is treated by his enthusiastic followers.
    I gave my JMac study Bible away years ago. He has occasional great insight into scripture but he sort of gives me the creeps. The cult of adoration around him doesn’t help but I try to separate it from the man himself.

    1. Wow! Do you hate him or what 😳! Please meditate on Matthew 7:5. The passage involves a hypocrite, a log, and a speck 🤔! Seriously though, please learn how to think objectively. You make it abundantly obvious that you don’t. So incredibly immature 🙄!

    2. Julie (or Roy’s follower), you must listen to different things. I think you might need to look in the mirror for where your problem lies. Excellent job though on continuing the distractions.

    3. Dear kitty,

      I’d like to continue in the spirit of your comment, if I may.

      (ahem)

      Note to all readers: The Supreme Court of the U.S. guarantees your right to free association. In the States, church association is voluntary. No one can force you to join, or attend, or continue membership in any church. And no one in that church can legally refuse your right to resign membership at any time, for any reason — it doesn’t matter what you’ve signed, or what its bylaws are.

      The refusal of MacArthur and his men to accept Eileen’s resignation was, in short, illegal. And they had better learn that lesson quick.

      1. There is a provision in the requirements for joining that church, and one of them is that a person cannot just quit membership because they want to, for situations where people would quit to avoid church discipline. By joining that church, they gave up the right to not be a member without cause, as agreed upon.

        1. Just stop attending. You are no longer a member of that HOA. The church has by-laws saying you can’t quit are meaningless in real terms. But I suppose the show must go on, the cinema finishes showing the film even without an audience.

        2. I do not want to get drawn into the controversy surrounding this article. I do want to say that I have spent years researching the rules in membership covenants that one “cannot quit” the church while under discipline or without the approval of elders. The US gives one the right to resign from ANY voluntary association at any time. One does not lose that right because some church has come up with a preference or “mandate” that the person not leave the church.

          Therefore, upon proper notification to the church (via written letter, certified mail) anyone can quit at ANY time. In fact, the constant pursuit of such a former member can result in tort action against the harassing, former church. Successful lawsuits have proven this can occur.

      2. Oh, give me a break. You guys are making assumptions on something that happened 20 years ago and you obviously haven’t read the FACTS or know what really went on. Just sad how easy it is to assassinate someone’s character these days. I would love to see anyone here have done every single thing every single day perfectly and never wrong. Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

        1. Really. Then you haven’t read David Gray’s confession or the declaration from the GCC pastor that married them

          “David Gray’s List of Abuse of Children_Redacted.pdf(Review)- Adobe Document Cloud” https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:e4d2ffc0-adc9-3fc8-98e0-91c88cb1055d#pageNum=1

          “Alvin Barber Declaration1_Redacted.pdf(Review)- Adobe Document Cloud” https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:01fab3ab-0b42-3daa-baee-ac0b7fe26915#pageNum=2

        2. Dear Susan Jones – You say, “You obviously haven’t read the FACTS.” Julie Roys provides documentation. You say, “You obviously haven’t read the FACTS.” She provides video evidence. You say, “You obviously haven’t read the FACTS.” She provides written proof of the abusive spouse’s confession, which the GCC pastor didn’t want to look at. You say, “You obviously haven’t read the FACTS.” She provides video of MacArthur himself blaming, shaming, and excommunicating the wife for not accepting the abusive spouse back into her home. You say, “You obviously haven’t read the FACTS.” Julie Roys then provides examples of how MacArthur and GCC continue to support the abuser (and not the innocent wife) long, long after he was sentenced to decades in prison. You say, “You obviously haven’t read the FACTS.” She provides evidence, evidence, and more evidence. You say, “You obviously haven’t read the FACTS.” I’m not sure if you really know what your words mean.

    4. True, biblical Christianity is often called a “cult” by watered-down Christians who worship the god they created in their Build-a-God Workshop. Members cannot simply walk away from membership in the middle of church discipline, or there is no such thing as church discipline. Of course, to those who claim Jesus yet haven’t truly bowed the knee to Him, undermining Matt 18 church discipline is the goal.

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  5. Look, I’ve seen to much abuse in the church to not believe this. These actions protect abusers. We’ve taken such a high view of marriage that we’ve forgotten that those in the marriage are made in God’s image. Your article doesn’t deny the knowledge of physical abuse, and yet you feel that they were justified in demanding that she and her children return to that unsafe situation. The idea that a women or her children should submit to physical abuse because of Christ is disgusting. When the church demands that of people or they face church discipline, that is enabling a cycle of abuse. How do you not see that. Also as to MacArthur’s role, is he not serving as the shepherd of that body? Aren’t leaders called to accountability? Scripture talks about this.

    1. So based on other cases, you know what happened here. That is what your first sentence says. You are prejudiced in favor of believing abuse charges. You have disqualified yourself and your opinions on abuse issues. And nobody said they should submit to physical abuse. That is your own twisted and prejudiced view of what happened. It is untrue. I think you need to take a good look in the mirror. What you are doing is wrong.

    2. That’s an illogical premise. “I’ve seen much abuse, therefore, that means GCC was knowingly complicit.” That’s utterly ridiculous.

      Secondly, GCC did not counsel anyone “to submit to physical abuse.” They counseled reconciliation between a couple where the sins were confessed and out in the open. IT’S IMPLIED THAT DAVID NEEDED TO CEASE HIS SINNING. If you think there’s any sin that is unforgivable, you know nothing of the gospel, nor the underlying gospel principles involved in discipline/reconciliation.

  6. Thanks for this report. The details greatly help Roys’ narrative. If David Gray was denied parole in March 2022, then her report came out days later. All talk of any ill-will in timing her report are clearly false.
    It seems totally understandable that a mother might suspect she’s smelling semen around her daughter but not file a police report.
    If the detectives had “written up” the GCC pastors, I read that as a special effort by the detectives to identify the pastors as criminals in the face of likely First Amendment claims. The Kenneth Nally case was operating in the background.
    So it all comes down to whether the church can claim to do divine action then be able to claim limited human knowledge?
    If the pastors aren’t God then they should stop playing at it.

    1. Jonathan, you obviously know nothing of Julie Roys’ history as it pertains to MacArthur. Her report was released to coincide with the Shepherds’ Conference. She has a history of this. What do you personally know of all the facts in this situation? I would wager to get none beyond what you have read in the media. Shame on you. Hope you never had a light turned on your life and every single second of it.

      1. So what that it coincides with the Shepherd’s Conference!!! Is it true or not??

        “Hope you never had a light turned on your life and every single second of it.” ….No. – I hope your child is never sexual abused or yourself and you turn to the church and they treat you all the same. I and those like me Susan would be the ONLY ones that would truly help you and your children if that was ever to happen to you. Good luck finding the grace that you think you have in those that are proven to have none.

        1. If you think GCC purposely protects sexual predators, you are truly a clueless and hate-filled person. I hope you get help. I will pray for you as well as all the misguided like-minded people.

          1. Dear “Roys is dishonest” – You keep saying, “Julie Roys is not credible.” She provides documentation. You say, “Julie Roys is not credible.” She provides video evidence. You say, “Julie Roys is not credible.” She provides written proof of the abusive spouse’s confession, which the GCC pastor didn’t want to look at. You say, “Julie Roys is not credible.” She provides video of MacArthur himself blaming, shaming, and excommunicating the wife for not accepting the abusive spouse back into her home. You say, “Julie Roys is not credible.” She then provides examples of how MacArthur and GCC continue to support the abuser (and not the innocent wife) long, long after he was sentenced to decades in prison. You say, “Julie Roys is not credible.” She provides evidence, evidence, and more evidence. You say, “Julie Roys is not credible.” I’m not sure if you really know what your words mean.

          2. Yo Tom…you skipped the article entirely and just dove straight into the comments section, didn’t you? lol.

  7. Floyd is right. That “provision” is completely unenforceable. You cannot sign away your freedom of religion, or freedom of conscience. If Eileen had fought back against that provision — for example, by following the steps laid out at the site I describe below — MacArthur and his crew wouldn’t have had a legal leg to stand on.

    For everyone’s edification:

    If you want to resign your membership from John MacArthur’s church — or any church — without its bigwigs hounding you with disciplinary action, please consider following the steps provided by the amazing Dee Parsons at the Wartburg Watch. You can find the link on the homepage, in the sidebar under the heading “Permanent TWW Pages”.

  8. Thank you for the Update: Mandatory Reporters. This exception certainly applies to the Catholic practice of confession to a priest since priests cannot be forced under penalty of excommunication to reveal confessions. Everyone knows this is a millennia-long standing practice in the RCC. I imagine we will see this challenged in court when evangelicals say it applies to “confession of sins to one another” and to people who are not official clergy. That’s seems like a weasel excuse.

    It’s not enough to say “can you imagine what would happen if…” As someone who has worked in healthcare I could say “can you imagine what would happen if doctors and nurses were mandatory reporters? Why, people would stop seeking healthcare!” Except they don’t. And doctors and nurses ARE mandatory reporters. Can you imagine what would happen if teachers were mandatory reporters? People would stop going to school! Except they don’t. And teachers are also mandatory reporters. Churches are mandatory reporters. We’ll see what the courts say I guess.

    Why, oh why, do followers try to protect these people?? This just ADDS to the overall creepiness of GCC.

    1. Yup. I saw so disgusted with this article. Excuse after excuse. They are people void of the Spirit. Just imagine how they would act if their child was sexually abused by a teacher and then that teacher confesses it to the Principal and the Principal doesn’t report it to the police. They would be livid! Bunch of hypocrites.

      1. Clearly you didn’t read the entire article. You may want to do that before commenting next time. The sexual abuse was reported AFTER Eileen moved out of the area and the kids were seeing a counselor not affiliated with the church.

        September 2002: The family court grants Eileen sole custody of the children and a legal separation, and she moves north with the kids to be closer to family, who were helping care for them as she fought cancer. David is still granted monitored visitation as Eileen still wanted the kids to see their father and in fact wanted them to have more time with him.

        February 2003: The children begin counseling with psychologist Melinda Adams.

        February-May 2003: The children begin to demonstrate negative reactions to David during visitations, and reportedly begin describing to Eileen instances of David sexually abusing them. Eileen reports thinking they were mistaken at first, but upon believing them she ceases David’s visitations.

        Late 2003: Eileen reports the children’s accusations to the police. She reportedly tells police that she recalls smelling semen on the children in 2001, but upon examination found nothing. There is no evidence that this was reported to anyone when it happened.

  9. It is interesting that you write “discernment” articles about pastors, yet when Julie Roys writes, it classify it as a “hit piece” and it’s an “accusation against an elder.”

    It’s very strange that Eileen Gray was disbelieved, and David Gray’s innocence is believed when the the number of witnesses stand on Eileen’s side but not David Gray’s. Does the OT say that one is to be deemed guilty with two witnesses?

    Lastly, why doesn’t the church respect the authority of the government who ruled that Gray was guilty?

      1. Dear “Roys is dishonest” – You keep saying, “Julie Roys is not credible.” She provides documentation. You say, “Julie Roys is not credible.” She provides video evidence. You say, “Julie Roys is not credible.” She provides written proof of the abusive spouse’s confession, which the GCC pastor didn’t want to look at. You say, “Julie Roys is not credible.” She provides video of MacArthur himself blaming, shaming, and excommunicating the wife for not accepting the abusive spouse back into her home. You say, “Julie Roys is not credible.” She then provides examples of how MacArthur and GCC continue to support the abuser (and not the innocent wife) long, long after he was sentenced to decades in prison. You say, “Julie Roys is not credible.” She provides evidence, evidence, and more evidence. You say, “Julie Roys is not credible.” I’m not sure if you really know what your words mean.

  10. Why does your website have ads for abortion, tarot cards, and heretical cults? I guess mammon rules this page.

    J-Mac and crew are wolves. Stay away from them.

    1. Because syndicated ads are not chosen by websites. They are chosen based on your browsing history.

  11. Julie Roys is not credible. Don’t believe a thing she says. Her website also went on the attack against John Piper’s old church with the most ridiculous “abuse” facts ever.

    1. Dear “Roys is dishonest” – You keep saying, “Julie Roys is not credible.” She provides documentation. You say, “Julie Roys is not credible.” She provides video evidence. You say, “Julie Roys is not credible.” She provides written proof of the abusive spouse’s confession, which the GCC pastor didn’t want to look at. You say, “Julie Roys is not credible.” She provides video of MacArthur himself blaming, shaming, and excommunicating the wife for not accepting the abusive spouse back into her home. You say, “Julie Roys is not credible.” She then provides examples of how MacArthur and GCC continue to support the abuser (and not the innocent wife) long, long after he was sentenced to decades in prison. You say, “Julie Roys is not credible.” She provides evidence, evidence, and more evidence. You say, “Julie Roys is not credible.” I’m not sure if you really know what your words mean.

  12. Sigh. Well, first off, let me offer up a little update for Protestia and all those commenting in the comments section. In September 2004, the State of California passed SB1313, which was an amendment to CANRA, the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act. One of the purposes of SB1313 was to amend the Mandatory Reporter section (11165.7) by adding a significant number of categories of Mandatory Reporters. Here is a link to that law: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=200320040SB1313
    Please note #32 is clergy. It was in 2004, long after Eileen Gray sat down with Pastor Carey Hardy, that clergy were added to the list of Mandatory Reporters.
    I would also like to point out that Julie Roys does not have “David Gray’s confession” as some here have loudly proclaimed. What she has is one page of a four page handwritten document from David Gray that he gave to Pastor Carey Hardy. It is not a confession to anything, but rather a list of “sins” that David claims he has partaken in, and which he wants help with overcoming. A “confession” (as it is being used in these comments) is something a criminal writes out and gives to police to aid in their investigation, and which is used as evidence against the criminal during a trial. What you are reading in that document is at best taken out of context (it is one page out of four and it is heavily redacted). The pastor that married states in his declaration that he listened to only one of the eight counseling sessions. We also don’t know if Eileen gave him an unedited recording. Additionally, he was not there, and based his purely subjective opinion on a recording given to him by someone with a clear bias against David Gray.
    The “video evidence” Roys presents is a cell phone video of MacArthur following Scripture to the letter, as all Christians should do (see Matthew 18). He did nothing wrong. If you have a problem with what he did, then you have a problem with Scripture. You also have a problem with Jesus who verbally taught that Church leaders were to do that. Now, then, how many of you were there for all sessions, and especially there to state as 100% fact that MacArthur was in on all aspects of this situation? For all we know, Pastor Carey Hardy and Pastor Shannon handled all of it themselves, including making the determination to remove her from the church, and then simply passed that determination, presumably along with their justification to MacArthur, and he acted accordingly.
    Then the claim is made, “Julie Roys then provides examples of how MacArthur and GCC continue to support the abuser.” This is untrue. What Roys actually provides is her subjective opinion about that MacArthur and GCC are doing, as based on hearsay. Roys wasn’t there, and has no actual evidence to any what she is reporting on. She has second hand hearsay from Eileen Gray, coupled with some of the documents associated with the court case. She took all of this and added her imagination, and came up with it all. And the result? At least one person in this comments has come to the definite conclusion that GCC is protecting pedophiles. Not a pedophile, but plural pedophiles.
    If you people are truly Christians, then please put away your torches and pitchforks, and manufactured rage that is based on emotion and only part of the evidence of something that happened more than 20 years ago; and start acting like you truly are a biblical based follower of Jesus. Stop acting like a mindless mob.

  13. Amazing how the sexual abuse allegations don’t start until after the kids start seeing a psychologist.

  14. The unsaved world views this “situation” as “why should I join a church or any organization that will banish me from their sanctimonious presence ?” If Eileen Gray was treated by J MacArthur as reported, this was abuse, humiliation in the presence of other congregants. We are all sinners! even J. MacArthur. Sounds rather cultish and Calvanistic, ” man burned alive for disagreeing with J. Calvin and his religious cronies.” I am a Christian, raised in a Baptist church. The church has no authority to disciple it’s congregants only God Almighty! The “church” is actually the “people” or better said the “congregants.” What happened to freedom of religion, the right to worship wherever and whoever. Although I would prefer the latter. The Christian loves Jesus. Is that a good description of a Christian? We should love one another. “We are to burn you alive because we have judged you to be an offence to the church.” Old lady, 81 years, has had last of the last days dreams. The lost are running away from God, and refusing salvation. His devout servant, Linda

  15. How terribly sad this all is! I don’t know much about Roys, but her exposes on MacAurthur do seem unnecessarily harsh. I also don’t know much about GCC, except that I came to know Jesus through the ministry Grace to You. I will admit, though, the culture that has been exposed at GCC explains why some of the churches that have been extensions of John MacAurthur are so love-less. As soon as they found out that I was a true sinner saved by grace, the leadership/people in the “cliques” have shunned me ever since. So painful…

  16. We all have sinned, daily. 82 year old woman , Christian. You are missing the point. This, church discipline, sounds like a cultish experience. No church has the right to make demands on an individual! I do not know John MacArthur personally but am aware of who he is from years past. Really, to humiliate someone as he did is uncalled for. He (she) who is without sin…………. I have attended church from early childhood, The church(people) are supposed to be supportive of one another. It is possible Eileen Gray was seeking loving support and help for her husband. In all of this, the church is looking like a bad place to be to the unbeliever.

  17. A lot of “ifs” in this kind of accusatory story. Shooting the messenger does not negate the message. A lot of supposition rather than fact. You can prove anything with Scripture taken out of context just as you can prove about anything with statistics misused. GOD wrote the divorce decrees which were handed to Moses. He did this in order to PROTECT women who back in that day were being abandoned by their husbands which forced them into either prostitution or begging. Mrs. Gray went to the church to protect herself and her kids and GCC backed the abuser not the victims. Then the church turned around and shamed her for not wanting to reconcile and put herself and her kids back into danger. It was Mr. Gray who filed for divorce, Mrs. Gray filed for a protection order. Court records, emails, recorded therapy sessions, confessions by Mr. Gray, and now even video of what is taught in J Mac’s seminary classes with regard to handling abusive men ALL clearly show that GCC, the elders, and J Mac all need to GO HOME (to use J Mac’s own words to Beth Moore – just turned around and used against them). People, take off the blinders, you are a bunch of hero worshipers – you make J Mac an idol, someone who can do no wrong in your eyes and do the same with his two institutions (his church and his university/seminary). Facts are facts. Mr. Gray sits in prison, recently denied parole and told by the parole board not come come back for 10 YEARS and they also stated that Mr. Gray has “weaponized religion.” To continue to defend him and J Mac and his church is beyond belief – at least it is IF you live in a sane world where reason and fact rule the day. There are many who are morally offended by these ongoing behaviors, and causing someone to stumble in their faith – well it won’t be good for you. Repent GCC. Repent elders. Repent J Mac. Admit your errors, your astoundingly bad judgment, your horrific treatment of women, your brazen lies and cover-up, your defending and financially sponsoring an abusive man (who was a pastor in your own church)…and the list goes on. As did Pilate, I am washing my hands of you.

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