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Church Board Spurns Accountability, Protects Abusers

It’s ironic that Grace Community Church, pastored by John MacArthur, is located in Sun Valley, California, because its leadership seems committed to keeping certain details hidden from light.

Christianity Today published a story in February about the struggles Hohn Cho had with getting people in his church to admit fault and correct an injustice. Cho is an attorney, and had been an elder at GCC. A year ago, he and several other elders were tasked with investigating claims of spousal abuse from a woman in the church’s care. What he discovered was that she’d been rebuked by elders for failing to reconcile with her husband, but later the husband was imprisoned for child molestation and abuse, vindicating her claims.

Cho says he repeatedly asked church officials to privately apologize and make things right, but they refused. He says Pastor John MacArthur himself told him to “forget it,” and Cho was eventually pressured into resigning from the board. Even after his resignation, Cho was contacted by numerous other women from GCC who’d been given similar counsel to endure abuse from their husbands. Ultimately, he concluded that he just could not forget it.

Cho wrote in a report to the elder board, “I genuinely believe it would be wrong to do nothing. At the end of the day, I know what I know. I cannot ‘un-know’ it, and I am in fact accountable before God for this knowledge.”

Cho told reporters at CT:

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. And that was and is flatly wrong, and needs to be made right. 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. But those admissions mean you need to make it right with the person you wronged; that is utterly basic Christianity.

Possible Preaching Angle:

Abuse; Church Discipline; Failure, Spiritual - We can't claim to stand for the truth if we won't tell the truth when it's inconvenient to do so.

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