Disciple Up # 294
Is John MacArthur Enabling Abusers?
By Louie Marsh, 2-15-2023
Grace Community Church Rejected Elder’s Calls to ‘Do Justice’ in Abuse Case
While a former leader hopes for change, women who sought refuge in biblical counseling at John MacArthur’s church say they feared discipline for seeking safety from their abusive marriages.
KATE SHELLNUTT| – FEBRUARY 9, 2023 03:00 PM
Last year, Hohn Cho concluded Grace Community Church had made a mistake. The elders had publicly disciplined a woman for refusing to take back her husband. As it turned out, the woman’s fears proved true, and her husband went to prison for child molestation and abuse. The church never retracted its discipline or apologized in the 20 years since.
As a lawyer and one of four officers on the elder board at Grace Community Church (GCC), Cho was asked to study the case. He tried to convince the church’s leaders to reconsider and at least privately make it right. He said pastor John MacArthur told him to “forget it.” When Cho continued to call the elders to “do justice” on the woman’s behalf, he said he was asked to walk back his conclusions or resign.
No one from GCC responded to requests by CT to discuss the church’s counseling philosophy or response to abuse, or to questions about specific cases. Six pastors and elders were contacted for comment by phone and email repeatedly over a three-week period prior to this article’s publication, as well as one former pastor and elder. (Update: Following publication, Grace Community Church released a statement: https://www.gracechurch.org/news/posts/3672 “Our church’s history and congregation are the testimony.”)
“Now that the facts are indeed known, it is not too late to ‘do justice’ even at this late stage, almost 20 years later,” he wrote to the elder board. “One’s own integrity, and upholding justice and righteousness, and being faithful even in the small things, even for something 20 years ago, all matter immensely.”
“They sided with a child abuser, who turned out to be a child molester, over a mother desperately trying to protect her three innocent young children. “Numerous elders have admitted in various private conversations that ‘mistakes were made’ and that they would make a different decision today knowing what they know now.”
After that, Cho said, he was told by elder board chair Chris Hamilton that he would need to “walk back” his findings about the church’s mistakes if he wanted to remain an elder. (Hamilton did not respond to requests for comment.) Cho and his wife resigned their membership the next day.
“the man who taught me that was John MacArthur.”
Those are just a few excerpts from this article, which I urge you to read in full!
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