by Paul Moomjean
The most influential conservative pastor in America for the past 20 to 30 years has been a man by the name of John MacArthur. His San Fernando Valley church, Grace Community Church, has been around for over 50 years. He started The Master’s College, now known as The Master’s University and Seminary, and has a worldwide radio program called Grace to you. He’s been a frequent commentator on Larry King Live, Larry King Now and Fox News, and he has written hundreds of articles, books and Bible commentaries that preach a conservative evangelicalism that routinely bashes Catholics, Pentecostals, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+ civil rights, transgenderism, social justice and any type of woman’s rights or feminism.
His sermons and writings have influenced numerous churches throughout California, and if you went or your kids go to a Christian school in Southern California, you are familiar with him. He came under fire the last two years for refusing to follow any Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or World Health Organization mask mandates or social distancing guidelines for church services, gathering large fines and creating national headlines. Recently, a report and video footage was released that revealed a 20-year-old cover up of an ex-church employee’s child abuse and pedophilia, the public shaming of a protective mother, and the financial backing of the man, David Gray, who sits in prison due to his horrific crimes covered up by Grace Community Church (GCC) and John MacArthur.
Julie Roys of The Roy’s Report has been writing about John MacArthur’s multiple scandals for years. She’s an investigative journalist who has interviewed and reported on numerous victims of MacArthur, ranging from sexual abuse to financial abuse. On March 8, 2022, The Roy’s Report published an article breaking down a 2002 scandal where a children’s ministry employee of GCC was caught by his wife of abusing their young child. She took the offense to the elders of the church, where they did not report the crime, but instead insisted she stay with her husband, since divorce is only allowed in cases of adultery or if the husband is an unbeliever. MacArthur’s narrow view on this subject eventually led the man into question, David Gray, to sexually abuse his child, get arrested,and be sentenced to 21 years in prison.
The wife, Elieen Gray, wasn’t treated as a victim of a violent predator. Instead, she was publicly shamed by MacArthur in 2002 from the pulpit; called out for being a non-submissive wife and rebellious church member; and kicked out of the church in the hope that she would repent. Instead, she filed a police report against her now ex-husband and, according to Roys, “On February 20, 2004, David Gray, a former teacher at John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church (GCC), was charged with multiple counts of sexual and physical abuse of children.” He is still rotting in a prison cell, but not without the moral and financial support of his fellow church members.
What makes this more sickening is the trail of evidence. The Roy’s Report: “[David Gray] also submitted a handwritten confession of abuse [. . .] during a 2001 counseling session, Eileen tested. And, in a sworn declaration, a pastor who heard tape recordings of Hardy’s 2001 counseling sessions with Eileen and David stated Eileen was being told to submit to David despite ‘his admitted abuse of her and her children.’”
One of the elders, Carey Hardy, “then detailed an effort to raise $20,000 cash for David’s bail, $250,000 in collateral to complete the bail amount, and $20,000 for lawyer’s fees.” MacArthur went on to write glowing words about him in a church newsletter.
I write all of this to put a mirror up to the faces of those who view MacArthur as a cult-like god of theology. When a man’s image is more important than the safety of his congregation, he can no longer lead, and this massive cover up, finally revealed now that the children are adults, should create a real inquiry into the practices of the church and schools he oversees .
Jesus said in Matthew 18:6, “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. ”
Lastly, if you’re more upset that this report was revealed than that children were harmed and the church did nothing, then you are part of the problem and definitely not the solution.