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How Julie Roys’ Attempted Takedown of John MacArthur is a Battle in a Larger War

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
March 11, 2023 1:00 am

How Julie Roys’ Attempted Takedown of John MacArthur is a Battle in a Larger War

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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March 11, 2023 1:00 am

You’re probably heard or read something about the conflict brewing and intensifying over a professing Christian investigative journalist, named Julie Roys of Chicago, accusing pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church in California of protecting male abusers and shaming females in counseling cases that have taken place within the church over the years.

Article after article, tweet after tweet, comment after comment has been written by Julie Roys and her allies against John MacArthur. Roys has called for MacArthur to be removed from preaching engagements and his daily radio program, Grace to You, to be taken off the air. She and others want John MacArthur “cancelled”.

Grace Community Church and John MacArthur rightfully won’t answer outside accusations regarding inside church matters.

But we at The Christian Worldview, not affiliated with Grace Community Church or John MacArthur in any way (although grateful for his preaching ministry), think it’s important to discern these public accusations in light of the following:

  • What are the beliefs and goals of the accuser?
  • What are the beliefs and reputation of the accused?
  • Are conclusions being made that shouldn’t be made?
  • And importantly, should church outsiders hold sway over inside church matters, rather than the church’s pastors, elders, and members addressing them?

We will examine the accusations of Julie Roys against Grace Community Church and John MacArthur to see how this is indicative of a larger war in Evangelicalism to dismantle the biblical command for male eldership in the church and male headship in the home.

This week we’ll look at the details of the situation and then next week pastor Travis Allen of Grace Church in Greeley, CO, and former elder at Grace Community Church in CA, will join us.
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How Julie Roy's attempted takedown of John MacArthur is a battle in a larger war. That is the topic we'll discuss today right here on the Christian Worldview Radio Program where the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. I'm David Wheaton, the host. The Christian Worldview is a non-profit, listener-supported radio ministry. We're able to broadcast on the radio station, website, or app on which you are listening today because of the support of listeners like you.

So thank you for your prayer, encouragement, and support. You can connect with us by visiting our website, thechristianworldview.org, calling our toll-free number, 1-888-646-2233, or by writing to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. You've probably heard or read something about the conflict brewing, and greatly intensifying actually, especially over the past year, over a professing Christian investigative journalist named Julie Roys, R-O-Y-S, from Chicago, accusing Pastor John MacArthur in Grace Community Church, the church that he pastors in California, of protecting male abusers within the church and shaming females in counseling cases that have taken place within the church over the years. Article after article, tweet after tweet, comment after comment, has been written by Julie Roys and her allies against John MacArthur. Roys has called for MacArthur to be removed from preaching engagements, and his daily radio program, Grace to You, one of the most prominent in the country, to be taken off the air.

She and others want John MacArthur, to use a modern word, canceled. Grace Community Church and John MacArthur rightfully won't answer outside accusations regarding inside church matters. But we at the Christian Real View, not affiliated with Grace Community Church or John MacArthur in any way, although we are grateful for his preaching ministry, think it's important to discern these public accusations in light of the following. What are the beliefs and goals of the accuser, Julie Roys? What are the beliefs and reputation of the accused, Grace Community Church and John MacArthur?

Are conclusions being made that shouldn't be made? And importantly, should church outsiders like Julie Roys hold sway over inside church matters rather than the church's pastors, elders, and members addressing internal church matters? Today we will examine the accusations of Julie Roys against Grace Community Church and John MacArthur to see how this is indicative of a larger war in evangelicalism to dismantle the biblical command for male eldership and pastorship in the church, and male headship in the home.

So we'll get up to speed this week on the details, and then next week in part two, Pastor Travis Allen of Grace Church in Greeley, Colorado, and former elder at Grace Community Church in California will join us. Julie Roys is the founder, according to her website, of The Roys Report, which is a Christian media outlet reporting the unvarnished truth about what's happening in the Christian community so the church can be reformed and restored. Founded by investigative journalist Julie Roys, that's what she calls herself, The Roys Report began as a personal blog where Julie published her commentaries and occasional investigative pieces while working as a national radio host on Moody Radio. However, in 2018, Julie published a series of articles on her website exposing corruption and mission drift at the Moody Bible Institute. This led to the exit of three top officers at Moody. It also ended Julie's relationship with Moody and changed the focus of Julie's website from a blog offering cultural commentary to an independent Christian media outlet exposing corruption, abuse, and what's been termed the evangelical industrial complex.

Next paragraph. In 2018 and 2019, Julie wrote dozens of stories revealing bullying, deceit, and financial abuse by celebrity preacher James McDonald. Again, this is her writing this in Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago. In the course of her reporting, Harvest fired James McDonald and the entire board of elders at the church resigned. Other issues Julie has exposed include the sexual misconduct of Ravi Zacharias, nepotism and multiple large salaries of John MacArthur, we're going to talk about today, sexual abuse, and mismanagement at Willow Creek Community Church where Bill Hybels pastored in Chicago, and a pattern of bullying and abuse within the Acts 29 church planting network, which was led by Mark Driscoll. Just as an aside, notice the moral equivalency already being made between James McDonald, Bill Hybels, Ravi Zacharias, and Mark Driscoll, all confirmed by many within their own church or organizations to have been sinfully disqualified.

The moral equivalence is being made here, implied here, that John MacArthur is part of that same group. And notice also the focus on quote unquote abuse, specifically abuse by men toward women. So how would you define abuse? Is talking sternly to someone abuse? Is spanking a child abuse as scripture prescribes? Is a man asserting leadership in the home abuse? Abuse is a spectrum of definition. Abuse to one is not abuse to another. Julie Royce has also written a book.

Here's the description. In Redeeming the Feminine Soul, God's Surprising Vision for Womanhood, that's the title of the book, popular national radio host Julie Royce reveals the stunning truth that no one else is talking about. Women are destroying themselves. Internalizing society's devaluation of the feminine, some women are killing their own natural impulses to pursue a feminist ideal that bears no relation to God's good design. Other women struggle to conform to a fundamentalist feminine caricature, which requires denying their full humanity in gifting unquote.

Julie Royce perceives John MacArthur as a fundamentalist because he holds to scripture with regard to male leadership in the church and the home based on passages like 1 Timothy chapter 2 and starting in verse 11. A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. Paul writes, but I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man. That has to do with the church and the home, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created and then Eve.

This is not a cultural thing. This goes all the way back to the beginning of creation, verse 14. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived fell into transgression. That is what John MacArthur believes from scripture.

And that is why in our changing cultural moment of this day, so many dislike him. A website called Church Leaders wrote a story about a conference that Julie Royce founded called the Restore Conference held at Judson University in Chicago. And quoting from the conference promotion, this year's conference is taking place on May 21st, 2022. This is actually last year's conference. It is going on this year again in October, and we'll cover topics including, quote, where is God when there's abuse?

There's that word again. Another topic, recovering from spiritual trauma. Another topic, effective victim advocacy. Quote, Julie Royce, I put together Restore Chicago because I've witnessed firsthand the pain and the devastation left by two major church scandals in the Chicago area. Royce said in her podcast while recapping highlights from the 2019 conference.

She's referring to the scandals at Harvest Bible Chapel with James McDonald and Willow Creek with Bill Hybels. Moving on with this article from Church Leaders website, what this year's conference won't include, this is in 2022, is its founder, host and speaker, Julie Royce. Royce announced last Friday that she made the difficult decision to step down from both leading and speaking at the conference due to something she wrote in her book, Redeeming a Feminine Soul, which released in 2017. In the book, Royce details her obsession with helping a high school senior girl who identified as a lesbian. The girl was part of her church's youth group when Royce was a youth leader.

Royce was in her mid 30s and had been married to her husband, Neil, for almost 15 years with two children. Royce called the relationship with the student, quote, dysfunctional and wrote that it made her, quote, confused and distraught. While describing her relationship and her intense desire to rescue the troubled teen, Royce explained that she, quote, didn't want to give up the relationship. I became emotionally hooked and the thought of ending the relationship killed me. Deep down, I knew something was seriously wrong, but I didn't want to admit it. I didn't know how or why I had gotten so emotionally entangled with someone so incredibly dysfunctional and needy, Royce said, but I knew our relationship was unhealthy and dangerous.

I needed to get help, unquote. The article goes on to say the investigative reporter, Royce, said it was, quote, one of the most painful times in my life and explained her reasoning for sharing her story in the book. Quote, I shared the story because it showed how I had failed to help a troubled teen because I had not first dealt with my own issues.

And by telling the story, including my own missteps and subsequent journey to healing and wholeness, I had hoped to encourage others to recognize their own issues and do similar work, unquote. The article says others saw Royce assigning blame to a teenager who at one time had been a student in a ministry she helped lead. She admitted that it should have been obvious to her that as a youth leader, Royce held a position of power. Quote, I regret I didn't see this at the time I wrote the book, unquote, Royce said. Now, I'm not going to conjecture beyond what Julie Royce admitted about her relationship with this younger woman while Julie was married to her husband. Beyond the fact that Julie Royce admittedly did the wrong thing in this relationship with this girl who identified as a lesbian when she was a youth leader at a church, in a counseling situation, if you will. How ironic that she would say that for what we're going to be talking about today with a counseling situation that took place that Julie Royce has written endlessly about on her website at Grace Community Church in Los Angeles. Quote, in a desire to be sensitive to the safety of the survivor community, Royce wrote, I have made the difficult decision to step down from leading and speaking at the upcoming Restore Conference.

Again, this was in 2022, last year. Given the controversy and the hurt caused by what I wrote in my book, I fear that speaking at the conference would be a distraction. The primary reason I planned the conference was to provide a safe space for those hurt by the church to find care and community. Now, coupled with having a painful experience of my life publicly debated, Royce said, it's been hurtful and disorienting, and with help from others has realized her need for, quote, some time away with Jesus.

I will continue reporting, but sadly, I can't be with you at the conference. This also is painful, but I think necessary, unquote. Again, how ironic that she, Julie Royce, was having a, quote, painful experience of my life publicly debated.

It's been hurtful and disorienting. Well, as we talk about this counseling case at Grace Community Church, where Julie Royce has really slandered Grace Community Church, the elders there, and John MacArthur, I wonder how they feel, MacArthur and the elders of Grace Community Church. How do they feel with the repeated, one-sided, slanderous attacks by someone who doesn't even attend that church, wasn't there when this case she's tried to, quote, expose happened, and has stated her goal, her actual goal is to have John MacArthur taken off the radio.

I will read that tweet in a second. Just one more paragraph from this article from the church leader's website. Cult survivor, abuse survivor, and author Ashley Easter tweeted, here is Julie Royce's statement. I've highlighted every section that puts the focus on her pain, struggle, and perception that this is a contract controversy about her versus a clear-cut calling out of misdeeds to support a survivor.

Notice she doesn't seem to call her actions abuse. Just as a follow-up note, Julie Royce is holding the Restore Conference this year in 2023, in October of this year. Two of the six or eight speakers listed on the website are Kyle James Howard, who calls himself a trauma-informed soul care provider. Here's what he has written on Twitter just recently. You can go to his Twitter page and read all kinds of things just like this.

Here's one of the speakers at Julie Royce's conference. He wrote on Twitter on March 8th. He's a black man. He said, it's fascinating to observe how much of white Christian Twitter is fighting over where power should be centralized within the hands of white men or white women. Meanwhile, BIPOC, which means Black, Indigenous, People of Color, BIPOC Christians, are largely spending their energy trying to decolonize what they learned about power. There is absolutely a large segment, if not the largest, of white Christian Twitter that is really just a battle for the throne of white power. There is no looking to ethnic minority leaders or traditions to possibly learn a better way to steward power. Ethnic minorities are merely pawns on the chessboard each side uses to advance ambition for keys to the throne room. That from Kyle James Howard, a speaker at Julie Royce's upcoming Restore Conference this year.

That's what critical race theory sounds like. Just to highlight one of the other speakers. I didn't look into all six or eight of them, but here's one more. Her name is Jenai Auman. Here's what she said on Twitter. If, as a white person, you are looking for and retweeting only BIPOC, again, Black, Indigenous, People of Color voices that agree with your already established theological and political positions, you are not looking for BIPOC wisdom.

You are looking for BIPOC tokens to center and fortify your perspective in white experience. This is who Julie Royce's platforms at her conference. So just be aware of the kind of worldview she's promoting at her Restore Conference. We should insert the old adage here, consider the source when considering her accusations against John MacArthur and Grace Community Church. The Truth and Fire website said this about Julie Royce's attack, specifically on this one she made a year ago regarding his counseling case at Grace Community Church, which I will detail more in just a few minutes. Julie Royce made public a settled local church matter, and she leveraged the sensitive nature of the details therein to paint a narrative sure to spark public outcry. Many – and that's absolutely the case, you read the comments on her article she's written against this case at Grace Community Church – many took the bait and have rushed to reach some harsh conclusions. If Royce is simply, quote, digging for dirt or sharing the one-sided details of decades-old settled local church matters to ruin reputations, be a busy body, sow seeds of division and discord in the body, and or to serve as an agent of chaos, confusion, and cancel culture, may the Lord move her to repent, Truth and Fire writes.

If she will not repent, may the Lord judge her soul as He deems right. The key point for this long setup as we head into this case that took place that has really gathered so much attention online and conversation about, if there is a problem in Grace Community Church with, quote-unquote, abuse, then the elders and members of that church need to address it biblically. There's a process for that, to meet with elders, to have elders meet together, to meet with the pastors, including John MacArthur, to see whether changes need to be made, to see whether discipline needs to be meted out. But what shouldn't be happening is someone slandering the church and the pastor who lives half a country away in Chicago who presents evidence to accomplish her goal to actually cancel John MacArthur. Please stay tuned as we have much more coming up on this topic after this. You are listening to The Christian Worldview.

I'm David Wheaton. You pray for revival as if it must come, but you go on working as if it will not come. We must carry on witnessing for Christ, living a holy life, seeking to know Christ better, following His ways, following His path, making unity and peace among God's people wherever we can, supporting the preaching of the Word by our prayers and our encouragement, and being, quite frankly, godly Christians. That was from the film Revival, the Work of God, which surveys some of the great revivals of the past 500 years. This two-hour, two-disc DVD documentary is our new featured resource.

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The flash drive is $25 and you can order by calling 1-888-646-2233, going to thechristianworldview.org, or writing to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Welcome back to The Christian Worldview. I'm David Wheaton. Be sure to visit our website, thechristianworldview.org, where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print letter, order resources for adults and children, and support the ministry. Our topic on the program today is how Julie Roy's attempted takedown of John MacArthur is a battle in a larger war. So here's an example of the kinds of articles that you'll read on Julie Roy's website. And we have some of these linked at our website, thechristianworldview.org. You can read them for yourself. Here's one, opinion, an open letter to John MacArthur by Julie Roy's written on October 3rd, 2022. Here's what she wrote to John MacArthur. You sided with child abuser David Gray.

This is the case we're going to get into. When his wife Eileen brought allegations against him. And even after Gray was convicted of sexually abusing his children, your church supported his in-prison ministry.

An endorsement, reportedly by you, appeared in Gray's newsletter in 2012, which you have never refuted. Meanwhile, you punished Gray's wife, Eileen, excommunicating and publicly shaming her for refusing your unholy pressure to allow David Gray back into the family's home. David Gray, she goes on to write, confessed he abused his kids in counseling with an elder at the church named Carrie Hardy prior to Eileen's 2002 excommunication. Gray even handed Hardy a handwritten quote list of sins during counseling and admitted he used a belt and rod way too harshly, brutally on a child, tied up and locked up the child and was not always adequately dressed in the child's presence. Plus Hardy confirms in a declaration given to a Los Angeles court that the church knew about Eileen Gray's allegations of abuse and the restraining order she'd obtained for her and her children's protection. Yet you and the other Grace Community Church elders urged Eileen in multiple letters to remove the restraining order. And Hardy told Eileen in counseling to quote, submit to David Gray, her husband, even in spite of his admitted abuse of her and their children, according to a court declaration supplied by an outside pastor. And so there's that case with David and Eileen Gray.

We'll get into that more in a minute. But there's another case that she has highlighted that took place at Grace Community Church. According to an eyewitness, Paul Gaye, I think that's how you pronounce it, not Gray, Gaye, confessed to you, John MacArthur, that he had sexually abused his own daughter, Wendy Gaye. I have published documents supporting this allegation, Julie Royce writes, including a handwritten letter by you, John MacArthur, to Wendy, the daughter, in which you state that you and Paul Gaye quote, talked at length about the situation unquote. You urge Wendy to forgive her father and you confirm that Paul Gaye will remain quote, a faithful part of our staff. Now, this is very plausibly explained in both of these cases that the elders at Grace Community Church in the case of David and Eileen Gray, who did this counseling for them, and John MacArthur, who purportedly met with Paul Gaye, who sexually molested, sexually abused his own daughter, they were believing in good faith, expressions of repentance by these men, and they wanted them to pursue reconciliation with their families instead of divorce and separation.

And then, when these men turned back into sin, purportedly, the elders of the church and John MacArthur get blamed for it. Now, to close out this open letter to John MacArthur that Julie Royce wrote, she said, besides how you treated Eileen Gray and Wendy Gaye, you have told Beth Moore to quote, go home, such condescending behavior toward another person is never justified regardless of theological differences. You embellished a story about your involvement with black leaders when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. There are key differences between the story you've repeatedly told and the story told by eyewitnesses. This isn't misremembering, it's misrepresenting.

Do you see how she did that there? She accuses John MacArthur of misrepresenting what happened. In other words, she believes the eyewitnesses over John MacArthur's firsthand account.

Why should these purported eyewitnesses be believed? What are their motivations for disputing John MacArthur's account? And then she closes the article by saying this, I do not presume to know the condition of your soul, as if John MacArthur is not a believer, but I do know that you have grievously wronged people I have grown to care for deeply, and I pray for your sake and for the sake of the many wounded souls I have interviewed that you change course and make things right. One has to wonder whether Julie Royce has ever considered the thousands of people, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people, millions of people around the world and within Grace Community Church that John MacArthur has pastored for 54 years who have been so greatly benefited, both come to saving faith and groan in their faith through his faithful preaching of the word. Apparently not, because this is who Julie Royce is, and this is her mission that she wrote against John MacArthur on Twitter.

Listen to this carefully. This is how Evangelical Celebrity Machine works. Folks like John MacArthur are, quote, too big to fail. He remains on Moody Radio Network and Salem Radio Network, Getty Music platformed John MacArthur at their sing conference last year, despite calls not to do so, as they did with Ravi Zacharias.

People will say they didn't know, but many did. What is she saying? She's saying that her accusations are correct and should be believed and acted upon, and that Moody Radio and Salem Radio Network should not be airing John MacArthur's radio program called Grace to You. In other words, John MacArthur should be canceled because of what Julie Royce has reported about Grace Community Church and John MacArthur.

The clear goal here, don't miss it, is for John MacArthur to be taken down, to pressure and shame radio networks that air grace to you to pull him off. Now, to all of these accusations by Julie Royce, which have been going on for years, but really intensified in March, February of March of 2022, before Grace Community Church's shepherds conference last year, the shepherds conference is going on right about now, this year, it is really intensified. Grace Community Church has had a consistent response, which is basically no response.

Here's what they've written on their own website. They said, the following is a statement from the Grace Church elders regarding recent headlines about past counseling cases. Grace Church's elders do not publicly discuss details arising from counseling and discipline cases, especially on social media, nor do we litigate disputes about such matters in online forums. Grace Church deals with accusations personally and privately in accordance with biblical principles.

We do not respond to attacks, lies, misrepresentations, and anonymous accusations. Our church's history and congregation are the testimony. Myriads of Grace Church members who have sought counsel at our church will testify that the counsel they receive is biblical, charitable, supportive, and liberating."

And I will say, this is the correct response. It would be totally wrong for the church to make public details of internal church counseling situations. I mean, how would you like it if you had been to counseling in a church and those details were made public?

Now, if laws were broken, there's a criminal justice system for that. But the fact is, the elders in the David and Eileen Gray counseling case in the early 2000s, 20 years ago, were questioned by justice authorities and not charged for any wrongdoing. That's significant. Now, I counted over 50 articles on Julia Royce's website that were about and mostly against John MacArthur. In fact, she says on her own website, title exposés on John MacArthur dominate our top 10 stories of 2022. This year, the Royce Report exposed one of evangelicalism's top figures, John MacArthur, a man hailed by his own institutions as, quote, the world's premier expository preacher and the dominant voice of the 21st century. Yet, as we reported in exclusive exposés, MacArthur repeatedly shamed or ignored victims of abuse while protecting their abusers. Five out of their top 10 stories in 2022, most read stories were about slandering John MacArthur.

One more paragraph from this piece, again, it shows her goal. Though many of MacArthur's defenders have sought to discredit our articles, the facts, backed by firsthand accounts and primary documents, have withstood scrutiny. Even so, MacArthur continues to enjoy widespread acceptance within evangelicalism, speaking at conferences and broadcasting on major Christian radio networks. But some are confronting the Christian community for refusing to hold one of their prized pastors to account. And as this issue of sexual abuse and cover up in the church continues to dominate headlines, perhaps this will change in 2023, unquote.

Just make no mistake, she's very clear about her intention. She's expecting the broader Christian community, by virtue of her articles, to turn against John MacArthur and to get him canceled. This is who Julie Royce is and this is what she's out to do. Now, this case, particular counseling case that has been prominent on our website and online, the one I've been talking about is titled exclusive on our website, John MacArthur shamed excommunicated mother for refusing to take back child abuser, who was her ex-husband, by Julie Royce. This is again from March 8th, 2022.

This is when the intensity just went white hot on her website and spreading this out across the internet. A discernment blogger named David Murill, he wrote a timeline. He looked into this case.

It's a completely different perspective on it than Julie Royce does. And he wrote a timeline. I just want to read a timeline so you can understand some of the details of this case. David and Eileen Gray were married in 1982. They adopted three children in the mid 1990s.

David Gray taught in children's ministry at Grace Community Church and was part of the music department. In the summer of 2001, Eileen, the wife, sought and got a restraining order against her husband for allegations that he had been over punishing, extremely punishing of their children. And then they entered counseling at Grace Community Church with one of their elders named Carrie Hardy and also a second elder. This occurred in the summer and early fall of 2001.

Again, over 20 years ago. In the next year, April 2002, after counseling, the elders took the position that Eileen should reconcile with her husband. David Gray had admitted over punishing his kids. The elders believe that David Gray had repented of this, and they wanted this husband and wife, this family to be reconciled.

By August of 2002, Eileen refused to reconcile. And the church concluded that Eileen, because of the process of church discipline they had gone through with her, per Matthew 18, they perceived her as not wanting to reconcile. So this is when they disfellowshipped her from the church body. MacArthur did this on the night of a communion night.

This is something they do at Grace Community Church. They actually exercised church discipline there for professing believers who are persisting in sin. From August 2002 now to September 2002, the family court—this has now gone into a civil court now—granted Eileen sole custody of her three children and a legal separation from David Gray. And she moved north from the church with the kids to be closer to family. Her husband was still granted monitored visitation as Eileen still wanted the kids to see their father. Fast forward a few months now, September 2002 to February through May 2003, the children begin to demonstrate negative reactions to David their father during visitation. This is, again, according to the timeline that a blogger named David Murill has written. And the children reportedly begin describing to Eileen the mother instances of David sexually abusing them.

Now, I'm not sure how that would take place if these were monitored visits, but this is what it says. Eileen reports thinking the children were mistaken at first, but upon believing them, she ceases David's visitations. Later in the year, in 2003, same year, Eileen reports the children's accusations to the police. Again, not right away, but later in 2003.

That's interesting. There is no evidence that this was reported to anyone when the actual allegations of sexual molestation happened. By February 2004, early next year—by this time, again, Eileen Gray has gone from the church, the church discipline's over—detectives arrest David Gray on suspicion of 10 felonies, including sexual abuse charges. By the next year of June 2005, one year later, now several years after counseling at Gray's church, David Gray, the husband, is convicted on six out of 10 counts and sentenced to multiple prison terms, resulting in his incarceration for 21 years to life in prison. Gray, the husband, had pleaded non-guilty, insisting that Eileen had been more interested in building a case against him rather than reconciling. And now fast forward 17 years after 2005, David Gray is still in prison. In March 2022, he was denied parole for another 10 years, with the parole board reportedly describing Gray as a, quote, sadistic predator who weaponized religion.

He finishes his column by saying Julie Royce celebrates the decision. If true, if David Gray sexually molested his children and over-punished them, this is truly a horrible situation for the children and Eileen Gray. But of course, we don't know if it's true. David Gray has denied it. His children have accused him of it.

He's now serving time in jail. It may very well be true. We just don't know. Now, I have no inside knowledge of this case.

I've just read things online that anyone could read. But here's what I think is plausible in this situation, at least with regard to what transpired with the counseling situation at Gray's Community Church. The two elders that were counseling them, they were qualified for eldership through the very strict process that Gray's Community Church holds per New Testament qualifications to be an elder. Their goal in the counseling is to reconcile a marriage and a family. That's their goal, not to see it head towards a breach of separation and divorce. David Gray admitted his sin of over-punishing his children.

There was no admission and no known evidence of any sexual abuse or sexual molestation at this time. The elders who counseled them believe that David has repented and wants to change. But of course, the elders could be easily misled by David Gray. They want Eileen to remove the restraining order and reconcile because they believe that David has made changes and they want to get them back together.

That's always their goal. Of course, she refuses. The process of church discipline happens. For her refusing to reconcile with him, it finally percolates up to John MacArthur.

And as pastor, he is the one who disfellowships her or excommunicates her from the church under the last step of church discipline. Then more than a year after this, David Gray is accused of sexual molestation of children during visits, supposedly monitored visits. Apparently, we're told there's no physical evidence or witnesses of this, but he is criminally charged and prosecuted for this. Both elders in the case from Grace Community Church were questioned by police, and this is important, were exonerated.

It was found that they had done nothing wrong. And now David Gray, as I read earlier, is in prison. So the leap here that Julia Royce wants everyone to believe is to say that these elders and then John MacArthur knowingly sheltered or protected a child abuser and intentionally shamed his wife just out of patriarchal spite or something is not supported by at least anything that I've read with this case. We don't know all the details of this case.

I just gave you a lot of them right there. And Julia Royce doesn't know all the details of this case. No one knows what really happened except God in heaven. The elders, it seems, appears to me, dealt with this the best way they could. They're not omniscient, omnipresent. They're not clairvoyant about everything that is going on within the privacy of someone's home and certainly about what someone might do sinfully in the future. Even for sake of discussion, let's just say these two elders misjudged this case as one of the hundreds of counseling cases the churches addresses, probably on a yearly basis. Is a secular counselor ever deceived by a couple? Does a doctor ever misdiagnose a patient?

Does a jury ever wrongly convict a person? Have you, listening today, have you ever believed a lie that someone has told you? And the answer to all those questions is of course it takes place and it could have taken place in this counseling situation at Grace Community Church. David Gray may have deceived these elders about his repentance and been wrong all along.

I don't know that, but that's certainly plausible. So you can believe whatever side you want. You can believe Julia Royce and the predetermined conclusions she wants you to arrive at. You can believe Grace Community Church and John MacArthur.

What are some principles to use in discerning who to believe with these kind of accusations? Stay tuned. That's coming up next, right here on the Christian worldview. I'm David Wheaton. What is the Christian worldview radio program really about? Fundamentally, it's about impacting people, families, churches with the life and eternity changing truth of God's word. We know the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only message that saves us from God's wrath, by God's grace, for God's glory.

And we know the Bible is the inspired word of God, providing the only way to think and live to the glory of God. We are a nonprofit listener supported ministry. If you'd like to help us impact listeners with the biblical worldview in the gospel, consider becoming a Christian worldview partner who regularly give a specified amount to the ministry. As a thank you, Christian worldview partners automatically receive many of the resources featured on the program throughout the year. To become a Christian worldview partner, call us toll free 1-888-646-2233 or visit thechristianworldview.org. You pray for revival as if it must come, but you go on working as if it will not come. We must carry on witnessing for Christ, living a holy life, seeking to know Christ better, following his ways, following his path, making unity and peace among God's people wherever we can, supporting the preaching of the word by our prayers and our encouragement and being quite frankly, godly Christians. Welcome back to the Christian worldview.

I'm David Wheaton. Be sure to visit our website, thechristianworldview.org, where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print letter, order resources for adults and children, and support the ministry. Our topic today is how Julie Roy's attempted takedown of John MacArthur is a battle in a larger war.

Before the break, we were discussing how to evaluate who to believe in these kinds of situations when accusations are being made. The first thing to consider is, whose reputation and whose biblical fidelity is worthy of your trust? Is it John MacArthur, who has been a pastor of Grace Community Church for 54 years? The church has over 5,000 or more members. These people in church see him and his family every single week through the ups and downs of life. They interact with him and the elders of the church. Grace Community Church sends missionaries out all around the world. The Master's Seminary trains scores of pastors who are sent all over the world.

The Master's University, all associated with the church in some way, educates students to go out into ministry in the marketplace. John MacArthur, there's no way he is able to hide some disqualifying sin that's going on in his life and manage cover-ups in the fishbowl that he lives in within his church for the last 54 years. Surely more than one elder would have stood up, or many members would rise up within the church to protest what has been taking place. There would have been a church split if this were so bad, and this such a commonality that took place at Grace Community Church.

Or even the legal system would have stepped in to determine that there have been criminal actions and cover-ups that hasn't taken place. And for all these years, there's never been any disqualifying scandal with John MacArthur. And yet now we're to believe that Julie Royce, in Chicago, not a member of the church, not there, not involved in the inside, knows enough that John MacArthur should be canceled. With a church and a ministry this large, there are going to be sinners who infiltrate. There are going to be misjudgments made by the elders and, yes, John MacArthur. And there are going to be disgruntled people who have an ax to grind when they leave the church.

Every large ministry, every corporation, every organization has this occurring. The definition of slander is to make false and damaging statements about someone. Julie Royce considers herself an investigative journalist. She's out there to investigate what she perceives as abuse. But in reality, what she has done is slander a church and a pastor that she's not even a member of. Matter of fact, I looked online, I couldn't find what church she is a member of. Is she a member in good standing of a sound biblical local church? Or is she just another parachurch discernment blogger under no local church accountability?

That would be interesting to find out. So if you ask me who I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt to between John MacArthur and the fruit of his life and ministry versus Julie Royce, there's no question in my mind. I'll give the benefit of the doubt that Grace Community Church followed the biblical process and that David Gray, if in fact he did do what he's been alleged to do, turned out to be a bad apple, a deceiver.

But I don't even know that for sure. So we're covering this, not because I can get to the bottom of the truth on this because I can, only God knows. We're covering this topic because we think it's important to defend the authority and the autonomy of the local church against outside subversive slanderers like Julie Royce. Julie Royce is slandering, demeaning the good name and reputation of John MacArthur, who's an imperfect man.

He would be the first to admit that, like all of us. But he's one who has been faithful as any pastor could be. He has strived to preach the Bible accurately and shepherd the church he has led for 54 years as well as possible in a fallen world. The larger war here is not about Julie Royce picking out a counseling case where potentially Gray's Community Church got it wrong. The larger war here is the subversion of those pastors and churches that hold to the biblical doctrine of complementarianism.

What's that? That is that God has prescribed in His Word complementary roles for men and women. They're of equal value, but that God calls men only to be pastors and elders of a church and leaders in the home. Women have a much different role. It's not a lesser role.

It's a different role. This is the issue that is under assault with an evangelicalism today. In fact, it's been the number one question on gotquestions.org about whether women can be pastors and in church leadership, because if this doctrine is compromised, as it is being compromised right now—we see the example of Rick Warren's church. He just appointed a husband-wife, co-pastor situation, two female elders at one of the most prominent churches in the country. It's a Southern Baptist church. If this becomes more and more popular and common, the evangelical church will end up in the social justice-pursuing, gospel-neglecting graveyard of the mainline Protestant denominations. You compromise on this issue, then you'll start compromising on the homosexual and transgender issue. And then it turns into universalism, that Christ isn't the only way, and the church turns into a liberal, political, social justice organization.

So let's go back to the questions from the very beginning of the program. Number one, what are the beliefs and the goals of the accuser, Julia Royce? Now, she calls herself a, quote, conservative evangelical, but I do not believe that's true. She appears to reject God's clear command in Scripture for there to be only male pastors and elders in the church. And then another clear indication of where she stands is who she platforms at her own conference—those who show sinful partiality, in other words, racism, who view white people with contempt. She skillfully spins this web so the reader gets trapped in her intended biased conclusions. She would have you believe that the qualified elders of Grace Community Church and John MacArthur lack integrity. They intentionally shelter sinfully abusive men and shame women. And I just can't buy that, especially coming from someone with her beliefs and her stated goals to take down John MacArthur, to get him canceled. Number two, what are the beliefs and reputation of the accused, the Grace Community Church elders and John MacArthur?

I think their statement that they're not going to respond to this says a lot. Our church's history and congregation are the testimony. Myriads of Grace Church members who have sought counsel at our church will testify that the counsel they receive is biblical, charitable, supportive, and liberating. I have visited Grace Community Church several times, especially during Shepherds Conference, which is taking place right now. All I've sensed in my interactions are people within this church who love this church, who love each other, and they love their pastor, John MacArthur. Now, of course, there are going to be sinful situations that arise within any church. If there was no sin in the church, there would be no one at the church.

Please don't consider me a blind loyalist. If actually confirmed evidence of wrongdoing comes up from a plurality of elders, it means more than just a couple, we will correct what we've said. Number three, are conclusions being made that shouldn't be made? And I think the answer to that is yes, because there are many other plausible explanations beyond what Julie Royce would have us believe that John MacArthur and the elders are intentionally protecting abusive men and shaming women. The men who have been in counseling, who were found out to be sinners later, could have deceived or lied to their counselors, or they were sincere, but then just fell back into sin, which made their counselors look bad for trusting them in the first place. And so these conclusions that are being made by Julie Royce are demeaning a faithful preacher of the Word of God. She's really an accuser of the brethren. And First Timothy 5 19 says, do not receive an accusation against an elder, except on the basis of two or three witnesses. And that's written to Timothy as pastor of the church, not for some outsider to craft a tale that fits her narrative. And finally, number four, should church outsiders hold sway over inside church matters. Again, going back to First Timothy five, the elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.

Verse 20, those who continue in sin rebuke in the presence of all so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning. Again, this is written to a pastor to treat your elders well, they're qualified to lead, they're qualified to deal with issues within the church. God designed the church to be led by qualified pastors and elders to deal with all the issues within the church, not some outside blogger, watchdog or parachurch organizations. And so next week, Pastor Travis Allen of Grace Church in Greeley, Colorado will join us to go beyond the details that we presented today into the biblical framework for a local church and what the church should be and how the church should be led from within and not from without. Thank you for joining us today on the Christian Real View. In just a moment, there will be all kinds of information on this nonprofit radio ministry. Let's remember that Jesus Christ and His word are the same yesterday and today and forever.

So until next time, think biblically, live accordingly, discern accusations and stand firm. The mission of the Christian Real View is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. We hope today's broadcast encouraged you toward that end. To hear a replay of today's program, order a transcript or find out what must I do to be saved, go to thechristianrealview.org or call toll free 1-888-646-2233. The Christian Real View is a listener supported nonprofit radio ministry furnished by the Overcomer Foundation. To make a donation, become a Christian Real View partner, order resources, subscribe to our free newsletter or contact us, visit thechristianrealview.org, call 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401 Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. That's Box 401 Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. Thanks for listening to the Christian Real View.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-11 17:19:05 / 2023-03-11 17:37:30 / 18

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