Sovereign Grace Ministries: Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

"Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

Chinese Proverb

Wikipedia article

Won't Get Fooled Again (Wikipedia)

Several months have passed since we last focused on Sovereign Grace Ministries.  SGM, perhaps more than any other ministry espousing reformed theology, has held to STRICT complementarianism.  Could it be that what has happened in SGM is merely a foreshading of what is to come in other like-minded ministries? 

For those who may be unfamiliar with SGM and what has occurred in this ministry, I highly recommend reading our post Mahaney / SGM – Unprecedented Rescue by the SBC?

It will clue you in on the strong ties between C.J. Mahaney, Al Mohler, and Mark Dever.  There can be no question that Mahaney has Mohler to thank for rescuing him from a desperate situation.  Last April we featured a post entitled AOR Report – Just How Unhealthy Is SGM?

The Ambassadors or Reconciliation (AoR) were hired by the SGM Board to render an 'impartial' assessment of Sovereign Grace Ministries.   AoR delayed issuing its report and released it just prior to the Together for the Gospel conference held in April.  From what we understand,Ted Kober of AoR met with SGM leaders in Louisville.  Does anyone know whether there was an Ambassadors of Reconciliation booth at the T4G bookstore?  Were Kober and Co. there peddling their services to all the pastors in attendance?

The AoR report was woefully lacking, and it's fairly obvious that they did not want to bite the hand that was feeding them.  Here are a few highlights from their report:

"Because we met with such a small percentage of members (less than 1⁄2 of 1%), our observations may not accurately reflect the entire association of churches. Nevertheless, we offer these observations as part of our report." Ambassadors of Reconciliation Report, page 13

After reading the report, I understand why so many did not meet with the Ambassadors of Reconciliation. For those who did come forward, here is what AoR representatives reported:

"Those most upset displayed to us anger or bitterness or hatred toward SGM and their former church leaders for events that took place ten to fifteen years ago. Some were so hurt or angry that they displayed tears, raised voices, clenched fists, and other physical demonstrations of anger. As we talked about bitterness or anger, several responded with raised or strained voices to our team members insisting that they were not angry or bitter." (p. 18, AoR Report) "Of the 250 different individuals that provided input to AoR, about half were estimated to be no longer directly associated with SGM. These included past SGM leaders, pastors, and members of SGM churches. Considering that SGM has approximately 28,000 people in its churches, AoR received direct information from less than one half of one percent of the total current membership. Accordingly, AoR was unable to conclude that the input it received accurately reflects the majority of viewpoints from people currently in SGM churches." (p. 5, AoR Report)

In that post, we analyzed AoR's findings about SGM in light of questions Ronald Enroth poses in his book Recovering from Churches That Abuse, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan, 1994.  Here is a list of those questions that helps one determine whether a church is healthy or unhealthy?

1. Does a member’s personality generally become stronger, happier, more confident as a result of contact with the group?

2. Do members of the group seek to strengthen their family commitments?

3. Does the group encourage independent thinking and the development of discernment skills?

4. Does the group allow for individual differences of belief and behavior, particularly on issues of secondary importance?

5. Does the group encourage high moral standards both among members and between members and non members?

6. Does the group’s leadership invite dialogue, advice and evaluation from outside its immediate circle?

7. Does the group allow for development in theological beliefs?

8. Are group members encouraged to ask hard questions of any kind?

9. Do members appreciate truth wherever it is found even if it is outside their group?

10. Is the group honest in dealing with nonmembers, especially as it tries to win them to the group?

11. Does the group foster relationships and connections with the larger society that are more than self-serving?

In recent weeks, Sovereign Grace Ministries has relocated to Kentucky.  Church planting certainly seems to be their focus, and it will be interesting to see whether there is a merger in the works between SGM and Sojourn Ministries.

Jim over at SGM Refuge has just provided an update about what is happening in SGM, and we thought we would share that information with our readers.  Jim's post includes excerpts from a post over at sgmnation entitled What the SGM Polity Process Tells Us About SGM.

Phil Sasser, pastor of Sovereign Grace Church in Apex, North Carolina – the SGM church Dee and I attended  to hear C.J. preach – serves as SGM Polity Chair.  He sent a letter to SGM pastors last month that states, in part:

"Dear Fellow Pastors,

We have been encouraged by your response to the planned polity presentations in Louisville next month.  Several pastors have indicated a desire to make a presentation, and we are looking forward to hearing from them.  Many more have expressed a desire to listen to the polity presentations.   In light of this, Tommy Hill and the SGM staff have found a suitable venue to accommodate additional seating for these presentations at the Legacy Hotel. As previously announced, the polity presentations will take place on July 10-11 and July 24-25.  These presentations are only open to SGM pastors, the Leadership Team, and staff supporting the Committee. The Polity Committee has set aside two additional days (July 12 and July 26) in order to discuss and process what we’ve heard from you; these meetings will be with the Committee members only. SGM Board members have been invited to sit in on the Committee’s meetings, but only to listen. The presentations will begin at 8AM on July 10, so if you’re planning to attend we’d recommend you arrive in Louisville on the evening of July 9. At this point, we will assume that the July 24-25 meetings will have the same start time. If you wish to make a presentation, please send me your paper and indicate that you would like to present; and I will put you on the schedule. If you have a preference for when you would like to present, let me know and I will try to accommodate your request. Of course, you may elect to send a paper without actually making a presentation if you so desire… The Committee members will seek to make themselves available to talk to any Sovereign Grace pastor at any point in this process. The Committee’s work of formulation and writing will likely not begin until early August. We realize that we have established an aggressive timeline. At the same time, we are committed to doing a good job. If upon further review, we do not think that we can meet our objectives by the fall of this year, we reserve the right to adjust the timeline. Please know that we will do our very best to serve you in this process."

Here are two EXCELLENT observations (among others) over at sgmnation that have been made in response to Sasser's letter:

"Truth be told – there was far too little time given to allow pastors to even consider the topic of polity in a meaningful way, much less, give themselves to study or write a paper. It's either poor management or cleverly designed process to minimize opposing views."

"SGM procrastinated on the polity issue for years and now they want to wrap it up in a matter of days, months… this is absurd – there's too little time for them to be in a hurry over something as important as this. This is about control – asserting it, maintaining it and propagating it for the next phase of SGM."

In case you're wondering what C.J. is up to, you might be interested to know that he will be returning to Kevin DeYoung's church this weekend to deliver the message on Sunday.  He has aready preached there several times in the past.  Of course, you remember Kevin DeYoung… one of the review panel members who judged C.J. fit for ministry (along with Carl Trueman and Ray Ortlund).  For details about Mahaney's appearance at DeYoung's church, please consult Together for the Non-Sense

C.J. Mahaney's reputation is being rebuilt by all of his YRR colleagues, and many inside and outside SGM are sitting idly by and just watching it happen. 

Yes, the spin continues . . . May I recommend this post written exactly three months ago today- Mahaney's Mind-Blowing Machination

It's confession time . . . Dee and I got fooled by Mahaney and gang last summer.  As soon as we realized we had been bamboozled, we admitted it in this post (written exactly one year ago tomorrow) – Hoodwinked by Mohler and Mahaney

We won't get fooled again!  Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...

Lydia's Corner:  Zephaniah 1:1-3:20   Revelation 10:1-11   Psalm 138:1-8   Proverbs 30:11-14


Sovereign Grace Ministries: Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss — 54 Comments

  1. This man is predictable – he always gets and does what he wants. He should not be leading a church, much less a “family of churches.”

  2. AOR holds it against the person if they are no longer associated with SGM yet dismembership is one of the tools used against the question asker and an unspoken threat to those who might ask questions.

    Or should edit all the extra words and say AoR is a tool.

  3. Pingback: Won’t Get Fooled Again – SGMers take on CJ preaching at URC | Pilgrimage to Geneva

  4. funny…I literally finished a brief post on CJ and then clicked over here to see your thoughts on the man.

    I agree AOR was mostly a paid sham…maybe SGM could’ve hired Louis Freeh for a pulls no punches report? Oh well…CJ has cemented his legacy in the last 12 months.

    My favorite Who song, as well…

  5. DB/doubtful

    AoR has permanently hurt their reputation. Guess it was worth it to keep the good graces of the “leaders” of the churches. But from this point forward, this blog along with others will remind the lowly members of all churches that this groups is not interested in them, only in those who control the purse strings. “Tool” says it concisely. AoR should be ashamed of themselves.

  6. dee,

    This coming on the heels of the Penn State debacle does not bode well for SGM or AoR. It is absolutely disgusting to see leaders who are so entrenched that they will not acknowledge the pain of those who have been hurt.

    Have they forgotten that Almighty God is watching?

  7. And then there’s Danielle’s case and also mine with the sex offender cover-up (which I mentioned in the Google review and is part of the defamation lawsuit).. I was just did an interview last night and the reporter took off on that part of the story which hasn’t been brought into the media so much. ( – in videos section)

    Why these pastors think they know what’s best regarding sex abuse is beyond me. In my case, the sex offender’s mom was the nursery coordinator, so her son of course would want to visit her in the area around the children. The pastor knew of the sex abuse for at least 8 months. Hello, pastor, did you ever think of having mom step down from her job until the situation was resolved? hmm I guess the court system decided that more needed to be done, as he was convicted and now incarcerated.

    Why so much protection of the offender and so little regard for the victims? A lot of it has to do with image control which is a key topic I discuss in spiritual abuse. Clearly image control was part of of the Penn state case and was most definitely in Danielle’s case. Makes my head spin!

  8. So CheKa changes its name to OGPU, which changes its name to NKVD, which changes its name to KGB…

    Have they forgotten that Almighty God is watching? — Deb

    They’re God’s Speshul Anointed Pets, remember.
    With Perfectly Parsed, Utterly Biblical Theology.

  9. Deb-

    You said

    “It is absolutely disgusting to see leaders who are so entrenched that they will not acknowledge the pain of those who have been hurt.”

    I will say, the difference between Penn State and SGM, is that when everything hit the fan and saw the light of day. The board finally did the right thing by getting a truly independent report in which the actual lead investigator gave the press conference. No questions left off the table, no person too powerful to be left alone.

    The difference was striking to me as I listened to news reports and thought back to how SGM handled their moment of truth.

  10. doutbful, And Penn State is a 'secular' institution which doesn't profess Jesus Christ like SGM… or is that "the Savior"?

  11. Deb

    AoR, along with SGM will have to deal with the way they handled some sexual abuse situations and, if the reports of it are true, all of those involved should start repenting.

  12. Sure is, Dee, 4 hours until the court hearing. My attorney anticipates it to be fairly quick. Each attorney will have a statement to make and then the judge will decide. Meaghan’s hearing is immediately following mine. I’ve got my 13-yr old son ready to post the decision on the blog and I will also send out a Tweet.

  13. When a secular institution comes forward and publicly accepts the responsibility for their poor actions in protecting children and Christian organizations in the same situation continue to hide and cover up . . . who are the wheat and who are the tares?

  14. Deb –

    What “moment of truth” would you be referring to? Have you heard a “public” moment of truth that you could point me to . . . maybe I missed something!!

  15. Bridget,

    SGM has never had a “moment of truth”.  In my response to doubtful, I was merely pointing out that Penn State was finally backed into a corner and HAD to take action.  SGM is still playing dodge ball.

    In that regard, a secular institution acted with more integrity than a so-called “Christian” organization.

    Perhaps I didn’t communicate clearly in my previous comment. Sorry.

  16. @ Deb-

    “Of course, you remember Kevin DeYoung… one of the review panel members who judged C.J. fit for ministry (along with Carl Trueman and Ray Ortlund).”

    Why yes, one of the “impartial” panel members. I would like to review this. That impartial Kevin, who said in his personal remarks regarding his decision…

    “Joshua Harris is a very good friend. So is C.J.” (Not a friend, a very good friend.)

    “Honestly, I have experienced nothing but warm, gospel-centered relationships with everyone I have met from Sovereign Grace.” (Everyone? Rare group of people is it includes every single person he has met.)

    “Even those I have talked to at conferences have seemed like exemplary Christians—the kind of brothers and sisters I would love to have in my church.” (By mere talking to them he defines them as seeming to be exemplary? That does not seem very discerning to me. People can appear warm and friendly, biblical and godly, even winsome and robust–all while being non exemplary Christians in their lives. I wonder what a non-exemplary Christian looks like…would one be disciplined for being non-exemplary at Kevin’s church? And why would a pastor want exemplary Christians at his church so much?)

    “I know and love Sovereign Grace.”

    “In serving on this panel I have tried to be as objective as possible, knowing that some of my friends may see things differently.” (Objective as possible re: CJ, whom he loves, deems exemplary and is a very good friend.)

    “My conclusions are mine, and, as far as I know my heart, are not owing to any previous connection with anyone in Sovereign Grace.” (Even though his previous connection is a very good friendship–even love.)

    And from CJ–

    “I first met Kevin DeYoung in the pages of his book Why We’re Not Emergent (Moody, 2008). Somewhere around page 50 I became his fan. Since that time I’ve also had the privilege and joy of becoming his friend.”

    “Kevin, thanks for the interview (although it grieves me to see ultimate frisbee in the same sentence as basketball!).
    Seriously though, thank you in particular for the time you have devoted to writing. You have served us well with your gift. I want as many people as possible to read your stuff. That is why I promote your books wherever I go.
    In fact, your books will be the topic of my next blog post.
    Thank you, my friend!”

    “Kevin DeYoung is unusually gifted with language. To listen to Kevin is to hear wit and wisdom packaged in a tight economy of words.”

    “Kevin is a close friend, a fine pastor, and one of my favorite authors. He is also one of the brightest and most discerning guys I know.”

  17. This whole thing is so sad and disturbing. To think they call themselves Reformed! This Papal scepter wielding of the Elite, we go round and round in this cycle.

    It’s not hard to see how the conspiring Elite of the 4th century Church accepted the “gifts” (bribes) of the Roman Emperors. At least they had wounds and afflictions to drive some of them into compromise. Imagine a Mohler at the Court of Constantine, not terribly hard to imagine is it?

    As our dear brother James teaches us:
    Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

  18. Deb –

    Nothing to be sorry for . . . I was being sarcastic 🙂 I am still waiting for the “moment” of truth!

  19. Deb @ 10:09

    This doesn’t have much to do with Mahaney, but I wanted to make y’all aware of something relating to the Penn State incident.

    Ed Stetzer was mentioned before in a blog post here dealing with child abuse, and from what I remember, he didn’t do all that he could have done in that particular situation..(Can’t remember exactly what he failed to do or that post)

    Today, I stumbled across his blog following a link from twitter, and he deals with child abuse in the church in light of the Penn State incident… The link is below if everyone here wants to look at it ( if you have not already)..

    Here’s hoping churches will begin to take all of this seriously, especially in light of the Penn State incident and what that reveals for us.

  20. CJ actually called me yesterday asking for some pointers on how to deflect blogger/commenter condemnations. I’m preparing some talking points he can use.

  21. Jimmy,

    Your comment explains a lot. Careful, remember our dialogue when the Sandusky story broke. I wouldn’t want to say anything I would regret later.

  22. Deb says:

    “In that regard, a secular institution (Penn State) acted with more integrity than a so-called “Christian” organization.” I agree completely.

    There are churches which have abused children and do not have the courage to face the truth of their sins and deal with their victims in a righteous way. I lament this fact as I see some acted worse than secular institutions. I do appreciate Louis Freeh’s report. The abusive churches need someone like him to investigate them so that the truth will come out as it is.

    I know of a mega church in the Pacific NW which does not meet many of the questions of the “test of healthy churches” as shown on Deb’s post.

  23. Re: CJ’s assessment of his good friend, Kevin DeYoung, “Kevin DeYoung is unusually gifted with language. To listen to Kevin is to hear wit and wisdom packaged in a tight economy of words.”
    “Kevin is a close friend, a fine pastor, and one of my favorite authors. He is also one of the brightest and most discerning guys I know.”
    I’ll choose to accept CJ’s assessment, and NOT think Kevin was misspeakimg when he said this at the 2011 Next conference, right before Da DooDoo of Da Documents hit Da Fan:
    “Have you ever noticed that after Eve sins by taking a bite of the fruit, who does God first address? Adam. He was to be responsible. And yet he abdicated the very authority that he was supposed to lovingly exercise. And Eve, contrary to design, usurped her husband’s authority.”
    This remained near the top at the Cheap Seats during CJ’s semi-sabbatical.

  24. I was listening to the Diane Rehm show yesterday morning. The topic of discussion was “Ending Violence Against Women Worldwide,” and they were talking about the young Afghan woman who was accused of adultery and shot at close range in front of a crowd of approx 150 cheering men.

    One of the panelists said something that jumped out at me. She remarked the root problem is what men think about (what the meaning of) masculinity is.

    My mind went to your recent posts about John Piper and his belief that Christianity should be ‘masculine.’

    In an effort to wrap my mind around what happened to the women who was shot, I came across this bit of information:

    If a woman brings shame to the family, the male is expected to respond appropriately. If he does not, he adds to the shame because he is not behaving in a masculine manner. Baker et al. (1999) notes that this view is consistent with Kandiyoti’s (1987) observation that femininity in an Islamic society is an ascribed status whereas masculinity is an achieved status; “one that is never permanently achieved, because the danger of being unmanned is ever present,” particularly through female misbehavior (p.327).

    In Islamic society, femininity is an ascribed status, whereas masculinity is an achieved status.

    Achieved status vs ascribed status: Ascribed status is a position assigned to individuals or groups based on traits beyond their control, such as sex, race, or parental social status. This is usually associated with “closed” societies. Achieved status is distinguished from ascribed status by virtue of being earned.

    Furthermore, in the article (referenced above) “Crimes of Honor and Shame” Sharon Araji writes

    The conception of honor used to rationalize abuse and killing of women is founded on the idea that one person’s honor depends on the behavior of others; behavior that must be controlled. Thus, an essential component of one’s self-esteem and community status becomes dependent on the behavior of others. This conception is distinct from the notion that honor depends only on an individual’s own behavior. Schneider (1971) suggests that honor, in the context of social relations, can be understood as “the ideology of the power holding group which struggles to define, enlarge and protect its patrimony in a competitive arena” (p.2). This type of honor has been found in many traditional societies which herein are referred to as neo-patriarchal societies.

    Status and acceptance in the context of traditional societies rest on the tribe, clan or family honor, an honor that largely depends on the behavior of female members. Women in traditional societies do not have a claim to honor as individuals, separate from their roles within a family, clan or tribal unit. Their actions as individuals, particularly through actual or perceived sexual misconduct, can only bring dishonor to others. However, it is not only sexual misconduct, but any misbehavior on the part of female members that can bring shame and dishonor to the male members or a whole community, lineage or family (Kandiyoti, 1987,

    p. 322). To prevent dishonoring from occurring, the honor ideology is enforced by systematic control of women’s social and especially sexual behavior. As should be evident, this places females in a very dangerous position in traditional societies.

    A couple of points stand out to me:

    a. Women in traditional societies do not have a claim to honor as individuals, separate from their roles within a family, clan or tribal unit.

    b. Femininity (in an Islamic society) is an ascribed status

    Frankly, these things DO NOT hold true for Christian women (or men), and should never characterize our relationships between one another within the Christian community. Yet this is precisely what Complementarians are guilty of, and what they teach undermines the headship of Christ and has a crippling effect on Christian fellowship. All believers regardless of race, gender, nationality, social/economic standing are to be fully employed members of the priesthood. It defies Jesus’ words when he taught that communities of believers were not to be patterned after the hierarchical structures of the gentiles, where there are some that ‘exercise dominion’ and ‘lordship’ over others. Yet this is exactly what the teaching of complementarianism (hierarchicalism) abets and encourages.

    As a strict complementarian who believes women bear the burden of dressing modestly (so as not to tempt the men) and behaving modestly (submitting to men and adhering to their “role” in the church & family), CJ Mahaney isn’t able to establish a New Testament church, nor is he fit to do so. His failure has been demonstrated, together with that of his wife’s.

    Poor Carolyn Mahaney. All she can do now is shop.

  25. Jimmy –

    Why does CJ have to “deflect” anything? If he would communicate in a straightforward, clear, and honest manner with people who have supported and trusted him, he wouldn’t need to DEFLECT anything. He has created his on critics (condemnation is a pretty harsh word).

    BTW – He is a pro at deflection without help from anyone 🙂

  26. “Poor Carolyn Mahaney. All she can do now is shop.”
    It’s possible that, a year ago, she could have done much more. Just total speculation. What if she’d told CJ something like, “Honey, SGM doesn’t need your leadership and God doesn’t need your leadership. Just turn everything over to Joshua, and you’ll get to spend more time with the grandchildren.” Maybe he’d have listened to her instead of his friends…. Maybe not.
    But if she followed her own advice in her best selling book… Well…after suggesting that wives use “clever confrontation” on their husbands, she writes,
    “But as submissive wives, we must also bear in mind that our husbands have the authority to lead and make final decisions. We are to give our advice, for sure. However, when a conflict of opinion arises that cannot be resolved, they are responsible to decide, and we are responsible to ‘honor and affirm their leadership.'” (her quote is from JP)
    So it’s possible that, a year ago, she said something to CJ like, “Why on earth are you stepping down?” You’re abdicating your authority! Get back out there and lead the family of churches! They need your leadership!” Again, this is just baseless speculation.

  27. Hey Dave A A,

    As an egalitarian, I feel Carolyn Mahaney is fair game. In fact, I think she deserves closer scrutiny when it all boils down to it. CJ has referred to her as ‘SGM’s Secret Weapon,’ and we know she was in the know about all the major changes and decisions over the years the affected SGM, its staff and members.

    But as a complementarian, Carolyn Mahaney enjoys abolute immunity. She bears no real responsiblity. All she did was submit herself to her husband’s final decision making authority. Who is she to blame? Even the clothes she decides to wear, apparently, receive his stamp of approval.

    About what you said about her advising CJ to hand over control & authority to Joshua, I couldnt see that happening, mainly because after CJ did that, it was Carolyn that wouldn’t release her control over the ministry of the church to Joshua, not CJ. Or more to the point, she wouldn’t release her stronghold over the women.

    When CJ was Senior Pastor of CLC, Carolyn headed up the women’s ministry. When Joshua became Senior Pastor of CLC, Carolyn stayed in control of the women’s ministry along with her daughters. Shannon Harris remained sidelined. But then again, the original plan was for Joshua Harris to marry one of the Mahaney girls (Nicole), thereby placing one of CJ’s daughter’s in their mother’s position as Seniorita Pastor of the CLC Women. No, Carolyn wasn’t about to let that go. And she didn’t.

    Carolyn and CJ have taught their brand of Christianity from very comfortable positions, assuming they’ve been in control of the whole show, personifying what it means to be a biblical man and a biblical woman.

    How have they behaved during a time of turmoil, when clearly they needed to do some soul-searching and some house-cleaning? Like martyrs. Now they’re the suffering servants. Well! If people aren’t going to support them, they’ll just go elsewhere! Isn’t it easy to tell others what to do while you profit from their allegiance? But when those same people turn the table and start telling you what you need to do, you run away and hide.

    They bragged about their Christian character the whole time they were in leadership, like they were the bee’s knees. But when the heat was turned on, it became clear they were full of it – and I’m not referring to Christian character!

  28. Evie,
    “But when the heat was turned on, it became clear they were full of it – and I’m not referring to Christian character!”
    But, doncha know, they were ONLY full of it because mean ol’ Brent and other slanderers threw it at their fan, so they can be martyrs about that too!
    Señorita Pastor 🙂 🙂 (Hmm.. Not even sure those are “biblical”, nor Señor ones neither.)
    “Who she to blame?” Even the original Eve is really not to blame for disobeying God, only for usurping Adam’s authority. And Adam’s not to blame for disobeying God, but for letting Eve usurp it. So he gets immunity too, so long as he maintains leadership…..

  29. The SBC leadership needs to come clean. NAMB/SBTS with Mohler and his friend Ezell need to be up front if they are entering into any official or unofficial church planting relationship with CJ or SGM. The SBC pew sitter needs to know if they are funding shepherding cults. As they have already funded sex cults with Acts 29

  30. HUG:

    VERY GOOD on the historical reference to the secret police in the former USSR. Have you read the biography of Stalin by Montifieore (sp?). Came out about 4 years ago. Very good.

  31. Anon1:

    It bothers me greatly that SBC churches affiliate with Acts 29. I understand why they do. Acts 29 does some things really well, and have some emphases that churches like.

    I would not affiliate with any organization that had MD on its board.

    I will feel the same way if SBC churches start affiliating with SGM.

    However, given the autonomy of Baptist Churches and the language of the BFM, churches are free to affiliate with like minded groups, and I would not want to change that practice.

    I would like to see some literature produced, however, along the lines of “Why Your Church Should Avoid Association with ACTS 29 and SGM” written by knowledgeable and non-reactionary people. That would be the way to address this.

    As it stands now, most of the furor over MD is that he drinks beer and curses – typical Baptist red meat. And that actually dooms the effort to try and put things in the proper perspective.

  32. Dave A A – your comment made me laugh! I can tell you see through the whole complementarian “gospel” lol

  33. Deb,

    Pete Townshend also does an unplugged solo version of “Won’t Get Fooled Again” on his Gibson acoustic guitar. Well worth a listen!

  34. Regarding
    CJ and Carolyn…I have learned that “no one knows what goes on behind closed doors.” Remember that song?

    Any woman with more than a grammar-school education has learned to think for herself and is not likely to buy into the role of a Stepford wife easily. If Carolyn is competent enough to exercise her leadership skills outside of the home, I would question her complete acquiescence to subservience inside.

    Don’t be fooled!

  35. With your citation of that song, I can see David Caruso from “CSI: Miami” showing up at an SGM conference, whipping out the Sunglasses of Justice, and uttering some bon mot like, “OK, let’s see where all these would-be presbyterians…congregate”.

  36. I wonder what Carolyn Mahaney really thinks of C.J. Mahaney and all his revealed actions. Has Carolyn somehow conveniently convinced herself that C.J. is basically innocent and that his sins were commonplace? Maybe she truly sees the hypocrisy of his actions but is unwilling to speak up being the “good” submissive wife she supposedly is or knows that doing so would force her to loose her position and status also?

    If nothing else Carolyn failed in her role as a spouse to tell C.J. just how bad his sin and that he should just step down and accept the consequences of his sin for a season. Instead like others, Carolyn is just another enabler. Enabling C.J. Mahaney to think he really did nothing wrong.

    She might have been the one person that was in a position to get through to him and sadly failed at it.

  37. Steve240

    Mahaney picked Carolyn for ability to take the garbage that has been spewed throug the years.

  38. Mike

    I am a fan of Caruso. I have perfected the sunglass removal, sunglass in hand side stance, and the donning of the sunglass.  You comment was great! Thanks for the smile. 

    PS, I have a pug dog who, whenever the theme from Miami  plays,  runs and circles to the music. She only does it with that show.

  39. Dee

    That wouldn’t surprise me if Mahaney picked Carolyn based on her being submissive to him and not questioning. That has been the typical requirement of an SGM Leader to not question what those “above” him say.

  40. Hasn’t Carolyn’s brother Grant Layman stuck by Josh Harris throughout the whole fallout between SGM & CLC? Wonder what kind of a family dynamic that has created. Anyone know?

    I really don’t think Carolyn has much of a meaningful impact on things despite what she imagines her own importance to be. She’s just as much a part of the problem in my opinion. I don’t see her a victim at all.

  41. Anonymous,

    A bit off-topic, but were you refering to Montefiore’s “Court of the Red Tsar”? Brilliant and at the same time rather frightening book of how a man can descend into evil.

  42. Evie

    I believe that either Carolyn Mahaney has been subdued to the point of obedience or she is part of the problem. There is no in between in this situation.

  43. Steve240 –

    Based on what we have seen at SGM and the way CJ has responded, he nor his men have heeded the advice that he suggested in the article to pastor’s wives. Not only that, I’m sick of hearing about “protecting and providing” from CJ and Co. I often wonder if “the wives” get the full, unbiased criticism under the guise of “protecting and providing?” Seriously, those were the words CJ used to explain why he “had to” go to CHB instead of stay at CLC. The man has little faith that God is working in his life when he flees and claims he had to protect his wife. God is capable of seeing both of them through a challenging time. He should try it (faith that is)!

  44. Bridget

    Agreed. C.J. sadly says one thing or give the appearance of being one way while in reality being something else.

    Sad C.J. could flee and “protect” his wife while in the past C.J. has forced other pastors and their wives to stay in the home church after disciplining or forcing the pastor to step down.