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.