A Brief Example of How Julie Roys Mixes Good Facts with Bad Narrative to Create a Bad Story

We’ve written at length about the axe to grind that Julie Roys has for John MacArthur, particularly with her recent hit piece accusing the elders of Grace Community Church of bullying and abusing a victim through church discipline. This was covered in Judge Julie: Accusing a Shepherd and Roys vs MacArthur: Anatomy of a Smear. We’ve taken the position that Roys is very good at sourcing primary source material, but it’s the narrative she attaches to it that is so troubling and quite frankly, emblematic of sloppy journalism.

One such example is found in her post The Prosperous Lifestyle of America’s Anti-Prosperity Gospel Preacher where she investigates and blows the whistle on how rich and prosperous MacArthur is as overseer of a multi-million dollar empire. She writes at one point:

Since 1996, MacArthur has also owned a $700,000 villa about an hour west of Santa Clarita, according to a document The Roys Report obtained from the Ventura County Tax Assessor’s office. 

The three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home is located next to a world class private club with a championship golf course, tennis courts, pool, and fine dining. The home also is just 11 miles from the beach.

Roys takes her facts- finding the home and having a basic grasp of the geography around it- and mixes this with her narrative and agenda, using this information to suggest that there’s something wealthy or upper-crust about having his house in that location and having those amenities nearby. That’s her clear implication. She wants us to sit back aghast and marvel at these little details she has uncovered and the fact that he’s a skip and a hop away from some pricey places and is JUST 11 miles from the beach.

11 miles!? 20 kilometers!? He has a house just 20 kilometers from the beach!? He lives near a fine-dining restaurant!? There’s even a tennis court nearby!? What a spendthrift! Hobnobbing it next to a fancy golf course! Can you believe this guy? Living near a club with a pool. He probably lives next to a fancy hotel too. Just 11 miles? To a nice beach or ugly beach? Along with 100,000 other people that live 11 miles from that same beach? Or the millions of people who live within 11 miles of the beach near LA? Goodness! That’s a damning indictment if there ever was one. Imagine the nerve of a pastor having a home somewhere next to a golf course that serves fancy meals and has tennis courts and is 11 miles from a beach.

Do you know why that information is utterly irrelevant, despite the impressions she is seeking to give?

Apart from all that, in that same area, in that same neighborhood, you can also buy a $67,200 two-bedroom, one bathroom mobile home located next to that ‘world-class private club with a championship golf course, tennis courts, pool, and fine dining’ that is even CLOSER than 11 miles to the beach. If you want to splurge to $74,900, you can buy a 1060 sqft, two-bedroom, two-bathroom mobile home that is closer still.

The impression she is seeking to give is so dishonest in what it intends to communicate, but this is an example from Roys that we see over and over again in her reporting- taking what she has to imply something she hasn’t.

14 thoughts on “A Brief Example of How Julie Roys Mixes Good Facts with Bad Narrative to Create a Bad Story

    1. All of this is to influence and manipulate the 38.2 percent of female messengers that pushed Ed Litton over the line at the last Southern Baptist Convention when the conservative Mike Stone was blatantly mischaracterized by Moore, the set-up, and the liberal Christian media all working in unison. The current deception is targeting the same apparently easily deceived audience. Try not to fall for the same deception again (unless of course this is merely cheerleading for the deception to further an unbiblical cause). Following the Bible rather than activists is a much better way to align with the will of God.

      Satan and his demonic influences appear to work the same today as he did in Eden.

  1. As if owning a house is the same as telling people they will become wealthy if they send you large sums of money.

    1. Prosperity Gospel is not Biblical. That does not mean that Christians are expected to all be dirt poor. It means that the Gospel is not about money.

  2. I think her point is that this is allegedly his SECOND house – which he does not regularly live in but is close to these amenities all purely for leisure. Your argument is therefore fallacious. It doesn’t answer the real concern.

    1. Might want to do something and read the earlier well researched articles that does address “the real concern.”

      1. I have read it. I don’t see how that relates to what I’m talking about which is the argument made in this article.

    2. I’m fairly certain Roys’ “real concern” doesn’t have to do with having wealth, considering her net worth is reportedly over 1.5 million. If she were trying to claim that having money is wrong she’d have some explaining to do. It’s not a sin to have wealth. or own a second house, or to play golf, or to take vacations, or have leisure time. No, the article tried to contrast MacArthur to prosperity gospel preachers, with the basic accusation either being that he is a hypocrite, and/or that he has ill-gotten gains. But there is no basis for an accusation of hypocrisy. Speaking against a false prosperity gospel, that basically says the gospel is all about getting rich and improving your circumstances in this life, is not equivalent to speaking against prosperity itself. It’s not a sin to have money. How you obtain it might be. What you do with it could be. But having it is not. And there is no evidence that any of his wealth is ill-gotten.

      So what exactly is the real concern? What is the sin? What’s the wrongdoing? What’s the purpose of her article?

      1. What I said was the argument made in this article does not actually address what Roys is saying. This does not mean I agree with her concern though.

        But to your point, I am a pastor and I would consider it unnecessary to own a second or third house for leisure. Just because I have the right to it does not mean I should. This is the point of 1 Corinthians 9. I must filter everything by what promotes the gospel and not hinders it. Your arguments ignore this.

        1. Some would use similar logic to say a Pastor shouldn’t marry, shouldn’t have children, shouldn’t ever take a vacation, shouldn’t own anything, shouldn’t have a dime to their name, shouldn’t do any work outside of church business, and shouldn’t do anything at all except preach the Gospel every waking minute.

          I know Pastors who own farms. But if you’re only concerned with absolute necessities, you don’t need that land. Is it wrong to own more than a few hundred square feet of land? It’s not necessary. Is it wrong to own a house at all? It’s not necessary. Where do you draw that line?

          What about furniture? You don’t need it. Silverware? You don’t need it. Bed? You can sleep on the floor. You don’t even need a house at all. You can live in a tee-pee, or a lean-to or sleep under the stars. Where do you draw the line in terms of what is necessary and what isn’t? How much comfort is allowable? How much leisure? How much rest?

          Is anything you own absolutely necessary?

          Where do you draw the line? And why?

          I don’t believe it is wrong for a Pastor to take leisure time, to take vacations, or even to own a vacation home. You need rest. God created a day of the week for rest. But I’m not arguing with you. I don’t understand exactly what MacArthur has supposedly done wrong. I don’t know what Roys is trying to say. So far she’s accomplished very little except to let the world know she just really, really, really doesn’t like him for some reason, and that’s about it.

          1. One scripture that does come to mind, though is Philippians 4:12. In Philippians 4, like 1 Corinthians 9, Paul is basically saying that he needs financial help. In 1 Cor. 9:6 he asks, is it only he and Barnabus who have the right not to work.

            If you say the rights specified in 1 Corinthians 9 should not be exercised, then shouldn’t you get a job outside of the church, forego any salary from the church, and pay your expenses that way instead? Have you done that?

            But Paul both abounded and was abased, as he mentioned in Philippians 4. At times he had plenty. At other times not. And as you know, the idea that one’s goodness and holiness is dependent on how much they own or don’t is not Biblical. And that includes those prosperity gospel preachers who say the more holy you are the richer you’ll become, and also those who say the poorer you are, the more holy. It includes both.

            Understand, I’m not taking any extreme one way or the other. I’m not supporting the fakes and frauds who become billionaires fleecing the sheep. I agree there is a line, but I don’t exactly know where it is drawn, and why. The questions become then, is there sin involved, is there false teaching involved, are there ill gotten gains, and so on. We should not add to or take away from scripture, right? We should not make up sins that don’t exist. We should not ignore sins that do. We should not apply worldly standards that are not of God. We should not replace doctrine from God with the commandments of men (Jesus – Mark 7:7). And all the finger-pointing and trouble-making and division caused, based on such worldly standards that do not come from God, are bad for the Body of Christ.

        2. It would be very difficult to claim that John MacArthur hasn’t done enough to promote the Gospel, or has done something wrong in that regard.

          He has been the Pastor of GCC for 53 years. He’s 83 years old and still preaching. Most pastors retire and go into 100% leisure mode long before they’re 83 years old. He’s written countless books. Worked tirelessly for more than half a century, and is still going.

          Yet while working at 83 years old, he’s being bashed for leisure. ????

          1. If the accusations weren’t so serious, they would be comedy gold. At 83 years old most people can’t do anything but leisure lol.

  3. Julie Roys refuses to post my fact based comments on her blog. I have challenged her, exposed her lies, and asked her publicly why she chases good men with decades old issues that hold no water. She will only post my comments that support her agenda. She refuses about 75% of what I say.

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