I’ve been increasingly concerned regarding alleged spiritual abuse coming out of John MacArthur’s church, their “Biblical counseling” program and related ministries. Kate Shellnutt’s superbly sourced exposé for Christianity Today is disturbing, but corroborates what I’ve feared for a number of years.
MacArthur’s church, Grace Community Church, elders’s reply to Shellnut’s article will sound familiar to anyone who has been through #SpiritualAbuse. As someone who has both experienced spiritual abuse subsequently spent years ministering to those who have, I’m unsurprised the church mischaracterizes the reporting as anonymous lies. Sadly, churches caught in such things almost inevitably attack those who bring it to light.
CT appears to have done all journalistic due diligence and offers names in most cases. Grace CC’s statement tries to hide behind keeping matters Biblically private, but if the church is unresponsive to private confrontation, a public callout is both Biblically good and necessary. Covering up abusive counseling and the like has no place in the Church. Period.