Grace Community Church Releases Response to Recent Scandal, UPDATE: Not a Response from GCC

UPDATE: The statement below was sent by an individual close to the situation in response to personal emails asking questions. The statement was and is not a form or canned response from Grace Community Church (as stated in the first sentence of the emailer’s statement). The official image below was not released by GCC and is instead a screengrab from the PowerPoint slides John Harris used in his first video discussing the case. We reached out to Phil Johnson of GCC/GTY and confirmed that yes, the church will be issuing no official response.

While John MacArthur and Grace Community Church have not released a public statement regarding the recent scandal that ax-grinders and faith-bad journalists have been lobbying against them- one that started off as questioning the proprietary of the church discipline against a member 20 years ago and has since devolved into wild claims that anyone who doesn’t see the situation their way is guilty of harboring and defending child abuse,- the church has sent out a form email to anyone requesting more information about their position.

The response explains that their church is not likely to issue a public statement about it, citing the pledge of privacy and confidentiality of pastoral counseling sessions, while taking shots at muckraking journalists like Julie Roys and others who have been the main drivers of this non-story.

Grace Community Church Response

Thanks for your email. The elders of GCC are not likely to issue a public statement on the David Gray
case. Here’s why:

Objective viewers who examine the facts on record without prejudice should be able to see that this
case is complex, and there’s more to the story of this couple’s marital strife and their interaction with
counselors than the evidence contained in public court records.
The main exculpatory facts in this case
pertain to things that were said in the privacy of confidential pastoral counseling
—in sessions Mrs. Gray
herself requested when she was saying she wanted to seek reconciliation with her husband.

In other words, recently-published stories about the case are missing vital details. In almost every
counseling or discipline case, statements are made and issues arise that cannot and should not be
made public. Counselors promise confidentiality. Having made that promise, the elders of Grace Church
intend to honor it, even if it is to their own hurt (Psalm 15:4). They are not going to breach the bounds
of propriety or fuel the tabloid appeal of this story by feeding details from private counseling sessions
into the press or social media.

It is also the elders’ position that noisy, angry, sideline critics who have already judged the matter do
not need to be answered
(Proverbs 26:4; see also Proverbs 17:4). The chief gossip-mongers who are
fueling this story have already violated every biblical principle that governs how matters like this should
be dealt with
. A case such as this cannot fairly be re-litigated twenty years after the fact–especially on
social media or other online forums.
Given the way all the recent narratives have been slanted and the
timelines deliberately compacted, it is clear that those most aggressively pushing this story are not
genuinely interested in truth anyway.

Those who personally know and trust the leadership at Grace Community Church do stand with John
MacArthur and the elders. Our encouragement for people on all sides is to pray for everyone involved
in this case
. Pray also that the Word of the Lord will continue to spread. And pray that Christ will be
glorified (2 Thessalonians 3:1).

As one can imagine, Roys is torqued to no end by the response because her concept of what church discipline is and does is vastly underdeveloped (Julie, if you’re reading this, you need to become a member of a church. Staying out in the wilderness isn’t good for you, and a good church will help you understand this):

We’re sure she’ll have a response about it soon enough.


For a robust response that carefully goes over the timeline and does some deep discussion confirming and referencing our articles here and here, check out the video below:

14 thoughts on “Grace Community Church Releases Response to Recent Scandal, UPDATE: Not a Response from GCC

  1. Roys, in her hubris, obviously figures John MacArthur is another James MacDonald, ripe for the takedown. She’s in for a big surprise.

  2. Yes, she is attacking Biblical church discipline, and is also attacking Biblical parental discipline. She is confusing the issue by essentially equating over-spanking to sexual abuse, failing to make a distinction between the two, ignoring the two years elapsed between the two, doing plenty of obfuscating herself. And as far as that goes, she needs to learn the definition of obfuscation – the church is not camouflaging, over-complicating, muddying waters, or making anything difficult to detect – they’re just not releasing the transcripts of the counseling sessions.

    I’d say it would be wise to keep digging into her financing. Her apparent obsession with MacArthur is extremely weird to say the least. She’s being paid to do it. Whether she initiated it and her backers agreed, or whether they initiated it, either way. But I can tell them they’re wasting their time and money. They should understand, if he were to ever be fired, it would be according to Biblical principles. He will not be fired based on any worldly standards – such as the idea that any spanking of any sort is abuse, or some other nonsense. They can bellyache and moan on Twitter all day long every day from now to the End of Days, that will not happen.

    1. If you’re a pastor, and someone comes to you and confesses of over-spanking, over-disciplining, not being a good parent, saying things they shouldn’t, disciplining in anger, and so on. You know the family. You see the kids are not coming to church in bandages, casts, with black-eyes or anything. They appear healthy and happy. There doesn’t appear to be anything that would constitute abuse. This appears to be parents who say I struck my child too hard, or more times than I should, or I yelled at them, I haven’t been a good parent, I provoked them to anger, and so on, or maybe even a parent says I didn’t discipline them when I should’ve thereby failing to fulfill my responsibility, and I want to repent of that and change. What do you do? Are you going to report that? Would any pastor anywhere on the planet report that? Highly unlikely. You’re going to counsel, share scriptures, pray, and basically say “go and sin no more” – obviously you are dealing with people who love their children and want to discipline them in the correct manner, out of love, to train them up in the way that they should go, otherwise they wouldn’t be talking to you in the first place.

      There is far too much that we don’t know to be able to draw any conclusions. Are we talking about a child being beaten senseless, or are we talking about a child fighting a spanking, whacks striking places other than their posterior, and a parent failing to collect himself? There is a massive range of possible things that could’ve happened. It might be a mother who got angry and struck her child on the arm with a wooden spoon, felt guilty about it, and came to you in tears saying “I’ve abused my child!” Right? There are all sorts of possibilities, and we do not know anything about those details. There are reasons a Christian might confess to over-disciplining, or not being a good parent, that are based on the Bible’s standards, which have nothing to do with the law or what the law considers to be abusive.

  3. The coverup is not working boys. Heinous crime(s) were committed, the guilty party jailed for 20 yeas to life and the JM camp blamed the victims.
    Why are you clown defending the indefensible?

    1. That’s just plain stupid.

      When did John MacArthur or GCC blame Eileen or the children for the sexual abuse for which David was convicted and jailed?

      1. They blamed Eileen for abandoning her husband….who was convicted later of rape and abuse (21 year sentence). That public shaming is what Rev Enue is referring to. They made the victim the “guilty party,” then encouraged financial support to the guilty person later. Did they help her?

        It looks like you are not trying to understand what happened Ben. They did blame her and discipline her as the guilty person (for leaving her husband) while he was abusing. She was telling the GCC counselors he was abusive and they told her to “suffer for Jesus.”

        I went to GCC for years. It would be best for the church and the Church to admit that they counseled her to stay in an abusive situation.

    2. The church discipline occurred in 2002.

      David was charged with sexual abuse in 2004.

      Can we all agree that 2002 came 2 years before 2004, or are you progressive clowns trying to change the order of time the same way you’re trying to change the rest of God’s created order?

    3. In your clown world, murdering a child in the womb is the loving thing to do, but rapping a child on the behind is abuse.You can’t define the words parent, mother, father, or child anymore without the help of a biologist. You can’t understand that the year 2002 came before the year 2004. You’re not sure 2+2=4 because saying so might hurt someone’s feelings, but one thing you know for certain is them other guys are just pure evil and need to be destroyed because they believe the Bible and stuff.

      You’re not sane enough to be calling anybody else a clown.

        1. The Spirit did not compel you to accuse John MacArthur and GCC of blaming Eileen and the children for the abuse committed by David. That is a blatant, wicked lie.

          1. Ben, he is not saying that. He is saying that they “blamed her” (which was the disciplining for leaving her abusive husband). GCC DID blame the victim…. Not for the crimes committed by David Gray, but for leaving. Rev Enue’s sentence is not as unclear as you are making it.

  4. “We have exculpatory proof that there was nothing wrong!”
    “Where is it?”
    “That’s confidential; we won’t show you.”
    “What happened in the two years between her fleeing him and him being convicted of child shaming?”
    “Nothing whatsoever.”
    “Would you have responded differently if the genders were switched?”
    “It has to be. Woman was created for the man’s pleasure and usage. (1 Cor 11:9) and a woman’s sworn testimony is non-binding (Numbers 30) and may be annulled by her husband.”

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