Celebrity Pastors, Church

On those recent accusations against John MacArthur and GCC…

Photo courtesy of Grace Community Church

If your initial reaction to the title of this post is “What recent accusations against John MacArthur and GCC?” do yourself a favor and just ignore what follows. Click off and go do or read something more edifying. Trust me.

In fact, I really didn’t even want to address this internet dumpster fire. I wanted to give it the full-throttled ignoring it so richly deserves.

But because several of you have asked me to weigh in, and because a lot of people are falling for the narrative being spun by the accuser, I’m reluctantly (and as briefly as possible) broaching the subject and providing you with some information to dispel the innuendo, gossip, and misrepresentations being disseminated as fact under the guise of “journalism”.

On March 8, blogger Julie Roys published an article1 essentially accusing John MacArthur and the elders of Grace Community Church of sinfully and cruelly mishandling a case of child abuse twenty years ago, and of mistreating the mother of the children who brought the situation to the elders’ attention by way of requesting marital counseling.

Roys has a storied history of making sensationalistic allegations against John MacArthur and GCC which later prove to be false. (I believe I read somewhere that this is her 39th article that has something to do with him or the church, though I can’t recall the source, so I can’t verify that.)

Here’s just one example of that from recent years:

Regarding the current allegations, Jon Harris did the heavy lifting for us on a recent episode of his podcast, Conversations that Matter. He provides objective, biblical analysis of the accusations, the facts of the case, Roys’ craftiness in the way she words things, information that was left out of her article, and so on.

John MacArthur and the David Gray Situation | Conversations that Matter | March 25, 2022

GCC has not publicly responded to the allegations, but this is the email (included in Jon’s video above) they’ve apparently been sending out in response to individual inquiries:

Jon posted a follow-up episode, Recap of David Gray Situation and Russell Moore Weighs in on Abuse and Divorce on March 26. The two main points he made recapping his previous episode were: 1) to apologize for accidentally calling the woman at the center of the issue “Elaine,” throughout the original video, when her actual name is “Eileen,” and 2) to clarify that the “Grace Community Church Response” (above) is not an official, public statement from GCC, but rather what amounts to a “form letter” email sent as a reply to individuals inquiring about the situation.

Jon released yet another follow-up today, March 29: My Position on David Gray & Revisiting the Chicago Statement, responding to pushback and requests for clarification from his initial video. One interesting point you may want to make note of for future reference: In the initial video, Jon said that even if GCC could not release a public statement on the matter due to the confidentiality required in counseling situations, church members who were well acquainted with the Grays and the situation might come forward and speak publicly about what happened. Jon apparently received such an email from a GCC member who is prayerfully considering speaking out. She did not find Eileen’s testimony at trial to be credible.

My personal take on this situation is the same as it was before Roys’ most recent allegations. Julie Roys has an ax to grind against John MacArthur and is not a trustworthy source. (She is not a trustworthy source like the Grand Canyon is not a little hole in the ground.) I would recommend you stay as far away from her writing as possible and get your information from a fair, reliable, biblical source not tainted by ulterior motives.

When I have said things like this on social media, Roys’ supporters have, not surprisingly, accused me of thinking John MacArthur can do no wrong. Not so. First of all, there have been several times over the years when I’ve thought things John MacArthur has said or done were wrong, and I also don’t align 100% with his theology. Second, if Roys went after anybody else, I’d say the same kinds of things, because the main issue here is not the object of her accusations, but her tactics. And, finally, if Roys’ accusations were reported by a reliable source, and/or admitted to by John MacArthur or Grace Community Church, I’d believe them.

And that’s all I’ve got to say about this issue.

(If you haven’t already, please read and follow the instructions above the comment box before commenting. I will not be debating this further in the comments section, via email, or on social media, and I will not be publishing any comments, responding to any emails, or entertaining any social media comments which are argumentative or accusatory in nature. You’re free to state your arguments and accusations on the issue on your own platforms.)

1I am intentionally not providing a link to Roys’ article for three reasons: first, because her slander doesn’t deserve the clicks (and the subsequent boost to her analytics); second, because the content of her article is emotionally manipulative, and the purpose of my article is to provide some objectivity; and third, because you can get the salient points of her story (without being emotionally manipulated) from the information I’ve provided here. If you feel you absolutely have to read her article, you’re free to find it by Googling.

17 thoughts on “On those recent accusations against John MacArthur and GCC…”

  1. Thank you, most church members have no idea what goes on behind the scene in church discipline matters. Elders of biblically ordered congregations do not make snap decisions to remove members and do try to restore and point them to repentance. As the wife of a long time leader I have seen this thankfully only a few times but those times have been enough.


    1. That’s correct. My husband has been on staff at several churches, and I can definitely attest to the fact that church members rarely – due to confidentiality – get the whole story, yet act/react on partial information anyway.


  2. Thank you for your excellent synopsis of this brouhaha. You nailed the motivation of Ms Roys and her tribe–to discredit the ministry of a pastor who has faithfully taught the Word of God for over 52 years at the same church. Very few pastors can claim that distinction!
    I would only add one observation–I believe she carefully chose to post her libelous article the day before almost 4,000 arrived at Grace Community Church for our annual Shepherds’ Conference.
    Thank you for posting this! May I repost on my own blog (URL below)?


  3. The conversation that matters vid definitely helped me get a better perspective and I agree with a comment I saw on his vid. John shows what true journalism looks like. Looking at evidence, looking at what is being said and not being said. Just as you shared, the original source is meant to emotionally manipulate, which is sad and upsetting. I feel so bad for women who have been abused and manipulated by this document that it’s hard for them not to see anything else aside from an emotional response. Thank you for sharing!!!


  4. Thank you Michelle. I appreciate you taking the time to write your post. I think we as godly women should pray about this situation and pray for Julie Roys. She sounds like she really needs the Lord. Can I also say that I really appreciate your website and I’m so very glad I found it!


  5. Thank you Michelle and well done! This was great and the Jon Harris conversations that matter podcast helped add context to these derisive accusations by Julie Roys. Grateful for all of your contributions and efforts. God bless you!


  6. I am undecided on this issue as I do not have firsthand knowledge of the issue but I know 2 things. The criminal justice system found enough evidence to convict him of 21 yr- life and the wife was the only one who received church discipline. For the record, I am a complementarian and a Baptist pastors wife and have seen many men of God destroyed by baseless accusations and lies but I have also seen women and childrens lives destroyed because no one believed them and they were treated as the sinner instead of the victim. Also it is my understanding that pastors are mandatory reporters and it is not their job to decide whos guilty, that’s the criminal justice systems job as delegated by scripture.


    1. Hi there. Thanks for your comment. Fortunately, it is not up to you or me to make any sort of decision on this matter since we are not personally involved in the situation nor members of GCC.

      The specific people who are or aren’t mandatory reporters varies from state to state and has changed in the 20 years since this incident took place, I’m sure.


      1. I have to agree with the pastors wife that this can go either way and is equally as heinous. I didn’t think she was making a decision any more than you did with your conclusions that it did not happen as the wife has said. You cannot make that decision either, but we do need to have discussion as this is an important issue with protecting the vulnerable and our duty in the church. Would you please comment on the Paul Guay situation who was also an Elder at GCC and admitted to molesting his daughter Wendy in 1979. But the same thing happened. He was kept on at GCC, nothing was reported, and neither the daughter or the father seems to have been given proper counselling. He went on to molest other children and was finally fired for inappropriate touching with a church secretary. I am a new Christian and have been very blessed by John Macarthur’s teachings and have so much respect and confidence in his scholarly conclusions, although I do not agree with each and every thing he says either, I have a deep gratitude and love for him for all he has meant to me as a new Christian. However, I am deeply concerned with another very similar situation being reported, that this might be a recurring pattern in the church that we need address, even if it involves a pastor we very much admire and care for. We are all sinners and prone to human error and poor judgment at times. I have to agree with the pastors wife above. At the time this occurred with David Gray, there was a law in California that made reporting by pastors and church counselors mandatory. I also do not agree with everything Julie Roys reports, but we do need to pause and prayerfully look at all the facts, and more so now that there is another similar story come out. Julie Roys is also a Christian and a conservative, so your castigating of her as being not like us gives me pause as well….this situation does need a deep, careful dive and a very prayerful discussion and resolution if needed.


      2. Hi Lisa- Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m afraid I can’t comment on the situation on which you asked for my input because I’m not familiar with it.

        There’s nothing wrong with discussing all of this with doctrinally sound people of character – your own pastor, for example, or an older, spiritually mature woman in your church – who can disciple you through this and help you think biblically about it. There’s also nothing wrong with doing some research on your own if you feel you need to. All I would say is be careful and find trustworthy, objective sources. Julie Roys and her cronies are not that source – for either discussion or research – because they are neither trustworthy nor objective for all the reasons I’ve given in the article.

        You’re a new Christian. I’m saying these things to you as an older, more spiritually mature, and more experienced with Julie Roys, sister in Christ. I have nothing to gain, personally, by telling you all of this, I just don’t want to see you led astray. Julie does. I hope this helps and that you’ll heed the warning.


  7. Unfortunately. I have read many of Julie Roy’s articles. John McArthur is just one of many she attacks using mostly anecdotal information from biased sources (usually singular in nature). Yes, she crafts her words in the same deceptive and manipulative manner as did Satan to Eve in the garden of Eden. The bible has much to say about the situation and here are just a few biblical passages as follow:
    Proverbs 26:17
    Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
    James 4:1
    What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?
    Proverbs 16:28 
    Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip; liars pay close attention to slander.


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