Breaking News: Historical On-line SGM Petition Calling out Silent Leaders

You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.  Martin Luther
 

Luther95theses
Martin Luther 95 Theses

Petition link here and at the end of the post.

Update 2/9 10PM at bottom of post

Folks-this is history in the making. I have wracked my brain trying to think of a situation that is similar and I cannot. However, what does come to mind is Martin Luther and his 95 Thesis, which was the opening salvo in confronting the injustices of the church in his day.

Injustice… a word that some church leaders today scorn, calling it a code word for liberal theology. In this instance, those leaders could not be further from the truth. Today's church leaders have not only ignored the cries of the wounded, but have promoted those who have led an organization which, for years, has been rife with accusations of spiritual abuse, and now, accusations of cover-up of child sexual abuse. Not only that but some outside leaders have heaped scorn on the victims.

Here is an example of a quote from Al Mohler link.

“Basically there are people who are very uncomfortable with the strong kind of spiritual direction that comes through the Sovereign Grace Ministries,” Mohler said. “It’s very hard to criticize it on biblical terms, as you’ll see on most of those Web sites. It basically comes down to the criticism, ‘I don’t like that.’”

Not like what, Mr. Mohler? The covering up of child abuse?  This is "biblical" leadership in your book? Do you teach this at SBTS?

Do men like Mohler even have a clue how this deeply hurts and wounds those who have been harmed? Do they even care? In TWW's opinion, such leaders are close to losing their moral and spiritual authority. 

TWW has no dog in this hunt. Neither of us have ever been members of SGM. But, prior to the start of this blog, we were shocked, and I am not exaggerating, by story after story of abuse and pain within this organization. How could anyone not be upset by the vast numbers of allegations? Such large numbers of denunciations recall the numbers of early accusations about the Catholic church scandals. And we all know how that turned out. In light of this, TWW has been stymied by the unresponsiveness of today's Christian leaders. Is it hear no evil, see no evil time?

On one instance, we approached a well-known pastor in this area who claims a friendship with SGM and begged him to do something about the very real concerns that were being voiced. We were shot down and accused of character assassination and excoriated from the pulpit. We are honored because it means that we have shared, in a much smaller way, the pain of the wounded in SGM.

The hurt people from SGM, who have reported their pain, have been subjected to accusations of lies, gossip, ignorance, glory seeking, character assassination, etc. This is despicable and must be stopped! Those who make these accusations should be reminded of the Pharisees who Jesus called snakes and white-washed tombs. They heaped guilt on the oppressed while strutting around, pretending that they held the keys to heaven. 

It is darned near impossible to ignore so very many reports. It is also unbiblical to do so. It is imperative to understand that some of these pedophiles have gone to jail so there is fire within the smoke.  Folks, something is wrong, terribly wrong within Sovereign Grace Ministries and the self-proclaimed and recognized Christian leadership is silent.

Today, one must choose. Do you choose to stand with the victims or do you choose to stand with a few SGM leaders? Today, TWW stands with those brothers and sisters who, risking derision and pain, have decided to pound their righteous indignation on the doors of the Internet. 

This petition is not only for those who have been in the SGM system but for those friends who have been appalled by the silence of the Christian community regarding the many years of reports of accusations of pain and abuse.

Here is a link to the petition. Dee is #16 on that list.This will involve some courage on your part. You must put your name on the list. However, let me encourage you. Few, if any, will be able to link you to your pseudonyms on the blogs. 

I did not know of this petition until it was posted. This petition was developed  independently of any blogs or websites and appears to be a grassroots effort on the part of those who have been associated with SGM.

Update 2/9 10:00 PM Update #1-For those without Facebook:

At the bottom of the original petition, at Causes.com, is a link that you can click on that will take you to the other document where you can fill out their information. However the number of signatures collected on the Causes page won’t reflect those added on the alternative page. The organizers will attach those signatures to the original petition when it is  sent to the leaders.

Reflect, once again, on the quote by Martin Luther

 You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say. 

Comments

Breaking News: Historical On-line SGM Petition Calling out Silent Leaders — 191 Comments

  1. Only 43 signatures… hope to see that number blow up today. God bless Marge for setting this up!

  2. Gail

    Do not worry. Give it time. There will be exponential growth as more people read what’s going on. Remember, we only heard about it last night and we are on top of the news. Also, I think you will see more people reading this after the weekend. 

  3. If these “leader/pastors” still refuse to speak or get involved, then their continued silence just speaks volumes about their character and who they really are, not who people preceive these men to be.

    I’m also wondering if their attitude is that they don’t owe the “little people” an explaination of any kind as to why they haven’t spoken out publicly. of course why would they…they are god’s and don’t have to be accountable to the “nobodys.”

  4. Excellent post, Dee. As soon as I hit “post comment”, I’m going to add your link to my post. I hope this thing goes viral. My Twitter account will be chirping, that’s for sure.

    My case went viral largely due to social media. My church was a 100-member podunk church. SGM an aircraft carrier compared to my church’s rowboat. Let’s get this thing out there in social media. We, who have voices, must speak on the behalf of victims.

  5. Pingback: Appeal to National Leaders Regarding C.J. Mahaney of Sovereign Grace Ministries | Spiritual Sounding Board UNITED STATES

  6. Julie Anne

     I shall tweet it as well. I am impressed by these dear people who are fighting for justice.

  7. Can I sign the petition without a Facebook account? Every time I try to submit my info it opens Facebook and asks me to login. :-/

  8. I’d like to sign — can I do this without joining Facebook? I have a strong anti desire for FB.

  9. “I’m also wondering if their attitude is that they don’t owe the “little people” an explaination of any kind as to why they haven’t spoken out publicly. of course why would they…they are god’s and don’t have to be accountable to the “nobodys.””

    That is exactly what it is. Al Mohler said as much in his quote to the reporter.

    I have a bit of a different take on things like a petition to get them to do the right thing. A leader who would respond to public opinion to do the right thing was never a leader to begin with. I think what people are looking for is for them to hold CJ accountable. That ship sailed long ago when they helped him break his own rules for others. They decided to be willfully ignorant or willfully tyrannical. Think of all the “leaders” complicit in CJ’s evil….AoR, Ken Sande (long ago), the entire YRR movement, SBTS, SEBTS, etc, etc. AoR totally dissed the victims and those who spoke to them. Anyone with any rational thought should see AoR as totally lacking in integrity.

    What concerns me about them “speaking up” is that they have access to some brilliant “spiritual” spinmiesters and they have bully pulpits as celebs in which to expound the spin with rebukes.

    I would rather them not spin this and have the power to redirect the issue which they will most likely do. Their silence and continued support of Mahaney on stages is speaking volumes to us but also speaking to their followers without them saying a word. I doubt if they “speak up” it would hurt Cj at all, in fact, I think it could only help him. They have their own faces to save here, too. Empires built on followers could start to crumble if they are not careful. Too much to lose to do the right thing.

    Their support of Mahaney shows their lack of wisdom and discernment. My guess is that many of them secretly wish he would go away. But CJ is too muchof a narcissist to go away quietly. They banked on the wrong guy for empire building and now they have to “manage” the possible fall out.

    This whole episode should have been a defining moment for their followers. But there will always be a segment out there that follows the gurus or excuses them, no matter what. They have invested a lot in these guys.

  10. Sarah – I was having trouble, too. I think you need to allow the “Causes” app to access your FB acct. I did notice there was at least one privacy option so be sure to watch for that if privacy is a concern.

  11. You don’t have to allow facebook permission to post it publically or even for your friends, you can choose the “only me” option and then it will not be visible on your facebook wall if you are worried about privacy.

  12. Dee,

    I know, I was just posting that in case there are others (like me) who don’t want to have the petition posted on their private facebook pages, but still want to support the petition.

  13. Searching

     i have emailed some of the people who have put up the petition. Do you know if you can do it without FB?

  14. To our readers: here is response from one of the petition backers

    I’ve been trying to find out the same thing. They have no information about that in their FAQs. I sent an email to their support to inquire but I might not hear back until Monday. I’ll let you know as soon as I find out. Maybe I can find an auxiliary petition site that doesn’t require FB and  link the two together. Or some other way to collect names and submit them along with the petition.

    Bottom line
    If you do not have FB, it may be diffcult until the organizers figure out a work around.

     
  15. The mystifying, head shaking, jaw dropping conduct of men who demand they be recognized for moral authority in one breath and then turn a profoundly blind eye to atrocity before their eyes is dizzying to behold. And you are right, these men who sit quiet on the sidlines are responsable for their inaction.

    But the great thing … the broader picture is that people are slowly but surely coming to understand … this entire dynamic is rooted in the common assumptions all these leaders hold.

    I addressed this at length in Reform or Not to Reform on Spiritual Tyranny.

    And if you wonder at the impotence displayed by so many men in the pulpit
    I gave a much more full treatment in my book Blight in the Vineyard: Exposing the Roots, Myths, and Emotional Torment of Spiritual Tyranny

    Here is the conclusion of Chapter 20:

    The fact that national Christian leaders continue to embrace the grand theory of SGM method and practice and refuse to openly challenge the ideas powering their doctrines is not a demonstration of their Christian love. It is really a manifestation of their philosophical impotence, the full-on wreckage of their moral clarity. So, even on their best day, exercising the greatest spiritual authority, raising the dead, casting out demons, and sliding down the Mount of Transfiguration, what are they [contemporary national ministries] gonna do? Quote another scripture like everyone should care and whine about the evils of postmodernism when no one does?

    Who is kidding who? They only thump the pulpit to intimidate those who give a rip about their submission to authority posturing. The rest of the time, all they can do is sit very quietly and hope above hope that no one ever notices that the only subjects to their authority are the very ones whom they claim to cover.

  16. People are asking me about the FB/petition thing, too.
    Some people may not want the signed appeal connected with their “real” FB account for privacy reasons.

    You can create a new FB account, but need to use a different e-mail address with it (quite easy to do at Gmail.com). It’s not ideal, a bit of a hassle, but it is another option. This new FB account can be used solely for these types of actions.

    John Immel – When I read your words, it really gets me fired up about spiritual tyranny. Thank you for the work that you do. Prior to my tyrannical experience, I just assumed that most pastors were good shepherds and had my best interest in mind. My eyes have been opened.

  17. “No, the most astonishing fact, hands down, was and remains the squalid behavior of the community of scholars at Duke itself. For months nearly the entire faculty fell into one of two camps: those who demanded the verdict first and the trial later, and those whose silence enabled their vigilante colleagues to set the tone. ”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_of_88

    They demanded the verdict first and the pontificated against “The Conspiracy of Silence.”

    I have to admit, the new online petition sounds very similar to the Duke Professor’s petition.

  18. KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor Jr., in their book about the controversy, wrote:

    “In Lubiano’s mind, the players could never be cleared, no matter what the evidence….The members of the team, she noted, could be considered ‘almost perfect offenders,’ since they are ‘the exemplars of the upper end of the class hierarchy, the politically dominant race and ethnicity, the dominant gender, the dominant sexuality, and the dominant social group on campus.’…Lubiano concluded by promising that the crusade to transform Duke would continue ‘regardless of the “truth” established in whatever period of time about the incident at the house on N. Buchanan Blvd.’ and ‘whatever happens with the court case.’”[5]

    John Podhoretz wrote in the New York Post that:

    “The school has perhaps 700 professors who teach undergrads. So, at a moment when Duke students were being shadowed by a rape accusation, one-ninth of their professoriate had effectively declared that those students did not deserve the presumption of innocence – primarily because so many of their fellow students were supposedly being victimized by the atmosphere of ‘racism and sexism.’”

    Furthermore, Podhoretz quoted Stephen Baldwin, a professor of chemistry: “There was a collision between political correctness and due process, and political correctness won.”[6]

  19. “spiritual spinmiesters” so true. Spinning and munipulating is at the very core of their characters. Yet, they speak about everyone else needing to have character. Just keep looking in the mirror guys because you are really talking about yourselves.Projection much…

    “Their support of Mahaney shows their lack of wisdom and discernment” I believe that “birds of a feather flock together.” If someone is lacking discernment and wisdom it would possibly show that they are sincere but just lacking. I don’t believe that these so-called spiritual men are lacking wisdom and discernment but all have huge narcissistic egos and always have. They just have more power now and are looking out for themselves to be able to keep that power. They are god’s in their own minds….

  20. Duke One

    There is a significant difference-major difference. You need to know that Deb went to Duke and my husband trained at Duke and we live in the area and are very, very familiar with the situation. We both were opposed to what the professors were doing.

    1. The Duke thing was based on the accusation of one woman with a history of issues. SGM is based on a number of accusations in dfferent churches. There are many, many acusations by people with a history of being upstanding citizens-never being arrested.

    2. The Duke men on the team had never been arrested for engaging in hiring prostitutions. Some of the pedophiles in this story are.or have been prosecuted. In other words, pedophile incidents did occur and resulted in arrests.

    3. As opposed to Duke, a more appropriate comparison would be the Catholic church scandal in which many people came forward recounting incidents that had similar situations which were responded to be similar methods. Would you say that the outcry over those is a witchhunt? Of course not. When there are many accounts with many witnesses over a period of time, it is evident that there is a systemic problem.

    I highly recommend that you spend some time acquainting yourself with the lawsuit and then looking over the many years history of reprots of problems on SGM Survivors and SGM Refuge. Then read the documents released by Brent Detweiler  which is a compilation of emails from some of the parties in this despicable situtaion. After a two -three hour perusal I bet you will see that the Duke incident in no way resembles this situation.

     

  21. Duke

    Please see my previous comment. These two situations (Duke vs SGM) are as different as night is from day. It actually is amazing to me that anyone would attempt to compare them.

    Please read what is involved. This more resembles the Catholic church scandal.  By comparing it to Duke, you show a basic lack of understanding of this entire situation. At least get educated so you can discuss your concerns in a more informed manner. It will take some time on your part but it might be worth it so you enter into the discussion on a more equal footing.

  22. Duke

    Pardon my manners. Welcome to TWW. Also, if you were one of the Duke accused or one of the accused’s family members, please accept my heartfelt congratulations that you won your case. Had I been blogging in that time frame, you would have had this blog’s full support.

  23. Elastigirl wrote:

    I’d like to sign — can I do this without joining Facebook? I have a strong anti desire for FB.

    Same here Elastigirl & good question. I don’t do facebook either. Maybe the guy behind the curtain or our illustrious blog queens could help us out with this one?

  24. dee wrote:

    This more resembles the Catholic church scandal.

    Sure does. Now that it involves wide swathes of sectarian American Protestantism, it can’t be just blown off as something those ungodly Catholics do.

    Back when it was just Catholic Dioceses getting their asses sued off, Protestants could afford to blow it off, now they can’t, it’s in their own backyards.

  25. Muff

    Problem. Remember we didn’t start this petition. The major problem with petitions is verifying that these are real people. By linking it to FB, it apparently gives it some credibility. So, I have presented this information to the organizers and they are looking into it. It may not be until Monday that we will have a definitive answer or alternative.

  26. The mishandling of abuse, and abuse itself, is happening in the Catholic, Baptist, and non-denom arenas as well. My guess is that it has touched other denoms too. The Church at large has not delt well with the issue of abuse. There appears to be a need for them to catch up with society (what they might consider the secular world) — and fast.

  27. Dee: “Do men like Mohler even have a clue how this deeply hurts and wounds those who have been harmed? Do they even care?”

    A. Probably not. They live and move in sealed bubbles.

    B. Yes, they probably would say they “care” but they probably will not sacrifice their cushy positions to speak out – possibly sacrificing book endorsements, etc. Power and glory is a powerful intoxicant.

  28. Duke One wrote:

    “No, the most astonishing fact, hands down, was and remains the squalid behavior of the community of scholars at Duke itself. For months nearly the entire faculty fell into one of two camps: those who demanded the verdict first and the trial later, and those whose silence enabled their vigilante colleagues to set the tone. ”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_of_88
    They demanded the verdict first and the pontificated against “The Conspiracy of Silence.”
    I have to admit, the new online petition sounds very similar to the Duke Professor’s petition.

    Are you suggesting that all the allegations, all the stories of abuse, are lies?

  29. I tried to sign but it wanted me to sign up for some app on facebook. I will sign the petition when it doesn’t try to force me to sign up for an app on facebook.

  30. When you find out the answer to the facebook question, could you post it in your announcements section at the top? It’d be super helpful to not have to dig through all the comments to find that info! Thanks.

  31. “Do men like Mohler even have a clue how this deeply hurts and wounds those who have been harmed? Do they even care?”

    Perhaps the question is not if he cares because it is obvious he does not. The real question is: How come those around him he is accountable to are not holding him responsible. This has been PUBLIC support for Mahaney by Mohler and Mohler is basically an employee of an SBC entity. Where are the leaders of the SBC?

  32. “Where are the leaders of the SBC?” I’m thinking that they are to busy taking every word that Mohler says as if it were God’s. Therefore, sitting at his feet.

  33. @ Muff Potter:

    Just a side note to clarify. What happened in the Catholic church was unconscionable and took far too long to be addressed. But do please check facts. Sexual abuse happens with coaches, in public schools, and in other Christian denominations. Both of my sons work in the Catholic church — one as a musician, one as a coach for a diocesan school. Both had to undergo training to make sure that they were trained to spot any potential abuse. The Catholic church leadership made many egregious mistakes. But they are righting what was gross injustice. I would beg your understanding that we are not alone. God bless you all.

  34. I have signed the petition. Number forty-something. Unfortunately, I do not think this number will be very big. SGM Refuge sent out an appeal for people to write letters to CJ back a year or so ago. These letters were to be sent directly yo to CJ by Jim at the Refuge. In the letter, you could describe how your were wronged by SGM. Very few letters were sent, which is direct contrast to the number of posts and comments on SGM wrong-doing. It was disappointing. I think when it comes down to it, people are afraid, intimidated, brain-washed, etc., not to confront those that have wronged them within SGM. They may post anonymously, but to put their real name, they won;t go that far.

  35. UPDATE!!! Marge posted a new way to sign this appeal if you do not have Facebook or do not want to add the Facebook app:

    Hey all, I used Google Docs to add a link way at the bottom of the original petition, at Causes.com, under Update #1, where you can sign if you don’t have Facebook. The only thing is that the number of signatures on the Causes page won’t reflect those added on the alternative page.

  36. Duke One,

    Thanks for your comment. I can find no similarity between the Duke Lacrosse fiasco and SGM. Far too many people who don’t even know each other are finally coming forward with their stories of abuse.

    I agree with Dee. What happened in the Catholic Church is a much better comparison.

  37. elizabeth seton wrote:

    The Catholic church leadership made many egregious mistakes. But they are righting what was gross injustice. I would beg your understanding that we are not alone. God bless you all.

    Elizabeth, believe me I meant absolutely no disrespect with my quip about “ungodly Catholics”. If anything, it was a hyperbolic jab at fundamentalist sectarian Protestantism. If it helps at all, I am now one of the nones who has left religion altogether. Know this also, I have oceans of admiration for Jesuit intellectuals, and both social and political activists in the Catholic Church. Please accept my apology if I have offended you in any way.

  38. I still remember the pain, confusion, and violation I felt as a 9 year old boy when I was abused by a Nazarene pastor in the 1960's. Then the guilt… was I to blame? The anger came years later as a 40 year old when I finally had the courage to speak about my abuse. My wounds now surface when I get angry as I see these leaders defend each other.

    An example was the way that Anthony Bradley took Rachel Held Evans to task for her publicly calling the church to talk about Mark Driscoll's record of spiritual abuse and hold him to account. I bring this up because Bradley comments (ironically doing to Evans what he rebuked her for doing to Driscoll) was posted in World Magazine's blog… and Marvin Olasky (Chief Editor of World Mag)is on the list to whom Detwiler's letter was sent.

    Several on the list are related to Act29 leadership.. who, despite shuffling their leadership after Joyful Exiles, published their documents and story of Driscoll's abuse… still protect Driscoll from facing the reality of his abusive leadership.

    Detwiler sent the letter to Mark Driscoll. Perhaps he should have included C.J. Mahaney as well.

    I guess my point in that as I read the list of so-called "National Leaders", many of them who are silent about CJ also remain silent about Mark Driscoll, despite the repeated abuse stories. Men who have failed to speak out include Chandler, Dever, Stetzer directly, and several others who had indirect ability to speak out.

    I see at least 10% of the "leaders" on the list who choose to remain silent even they know of the accusations against Driscoll. If I have issues with at least 10% of these men for this glaring failure on their part related to the abuse I am aware of, I presume that many on this list are equally silent on similar cases within their circles.

    Are we sending this petition to the pharisees, money-changers and false prophets? Don't they all make their living via expensive and frequent conferences? Rather than appeal to them, perhaps the appeal ought to go to those who pay $300 to hear these men wow audiences with their brilliance and theological prowess. Perhaps Anthony Bradley should chime in rebuking Detwiler as he did Rachel Held Evans. http://www.worldmag.com/2011/07/libel_is_not_love

  39. Update 2/9 10:00 PM Update #1-How to sign the petition for those without Facebook:

    At the bottom of the original petition, at Causes.com, is a link that you can click on that will take you to the other document where you can fill out their information. However the number of signatures collected on the Causes page won’t reflect those added on the alternative page. The organizers will attach those signatures to the original petition when it is sent to the leaders.

  40. Patrick

    You may be correct. However, 9 months ago I would have thought the same thing about a lawsuit.

  41. Ben

    That article is despicable, written by a cowardly man who does not believe that outright bullying by supposed Christian pastors should be confronted. He is not on the same side as Jesus who called abusive Pharisees "snakes." Bradley would have been the Pharisees buddy. But, maybe that is why World magazine is no longer relevant or well read.

  42. @ dee:

    I imagine that Anthony Bradley contacted Rachel Evans privately before he gave his public rant against her. He certainly would have followed the advice he seems to be giving to Rachel?

    The problem with all these men who have public platforms is that they all want to stick up for each other, instead of caring for the downtrodden and lowly. They are all just worried about their public images. Bradley thinks it is a bigger concern for Rachel to be publicly respectful to Driscoll than it is for Driscoll to have a character that is above reproach because he is a Pastor (supposedly anyway). Where are Bradley’s priorities?

  43. Bridget

    His priorities appear to be kissing the feet of the Pharisees and ignoring the pain of the “effeminate worship leader” that Driscoll is bullying. He is the kid who stands behind the bully, just glad that he isn’t the one being bullied .Such men are as bad, or worse, than the bullies.

    My son got in trouble in 2nd grade when another boy pushed a kid in the line and caused him to fall down. This bully started to do it to another kid and my son ran up and body slammed him before he could do it. The teacher called me son on it and he was punished. However, when he told me the story, I took him out for ice cream and bought him a present. I told him that there needed to be more guys like him in the world, body slamming the bullies. I told the teacher I rewarded him and suggested she focus on the developing bully instaed of my son.

    Maybe Bradley’s mom forgot to do the same.

  44. Was thinking about a few items this a.m.

    I am no expert on due process within the International Cycling Union or the World/American Anti-Doping Agency, but based solely on the release of last October’s evidence file by the ADA, Nike and other major corporations dropped Lance Armstrong.

    Again – there has been no formal trial, just the release of the evidence file. And these corporations decided that the contents of that file, pre-trial, was just too damning and damaging to their brand and image.

    It’s something to consider for those folks who are strictly maintaining solidarity with Ceej on the basis of “innocent until proven guilty.” Sometimes in the pre-trial phase, the evidence IS overwhelming, and warrants immediate action.

  45. @ elizabeth seton:

    You know, in a weird way, I think Big Al is – perhaps – admitting that the unholy alliance of evangelicalism and politics has been an utter disaster, similar to Colson’s observation of the same in the year prior to his death.

    In the last paragraph he seems to suggest that evangelicalism get back to the basics of preaching the Good News.

    However, I don’t think that the reactionaries are going to “retreat” without an ugly and protracted fight that is going to continue to hurt and destroy many, many sheep.

    Big Al points out the swiftness of the “moral revolution” of the last decade. Funny that in the last decade we’ve seen the rise of the YRR, and ugly reactionary voices of the 2 Wilsons, the Baylys, et.al. at the very same time. It has been well stated on other threads here, most notably the birth control thread, but in the U.S., the “acceptable center” of evangelicalism has moved far, far to the right already.

    It’s a bit of a chicken/egg proposition, but I’d posit that what Big Al refers to as the “moral revolution” has come in response to that rightward movement of evangelicalism, not the other way around.

  46. dee wrote:

    I told him that there needed to be more guys like him in the world, body slamming the bullies. I told the teacher I rewarded him and suggested she focus on the developing bully instaed of my son.

    Dee- you’ve been doing this TWW thang for a long time :). Great story.

  47. I signed the petition with my real FB account, I am ready for any backlash that happens. I want to know who my real friends are.

    Dee, my daughter was in one of those kindergarten half- day programs, and a boy pushed her out of line. She hit him, and he fell down. The teacher punished her, because he was a cry-baby. We congratulated her for standing up to a bully. She still stands up against bullies!

  48. Hi, I’m Marge, formerly known as “Moniker”. Today is my “coming out” day. I figured that since my full name is on the CJM petition anyway, I may as well let it all hang out. I’d been thinking about starting to use my real name on the blogs, so this is as good a time as any. :)

    I thought I’d just give a little explanation of why I started the petition. Some people (myself included) on Facebook were discussing Brent’s letter (An Appeal to National Leaders Regarding CJ Mahaney) and someone said “I wish there was a way for current and former SGM members to co-sign the letter.” The best way to do that seemed to be to use an online petition to collect signatures. So the petition was born. It’s open to anyone concerned, not just those with SGM experience.

    There are a lot of valid reasons why someone would not want to sign it, and I certainly respect and understand that. But there are also people who would want to sign as a way of saying, “I think this is important and I want my voice to be heard.” Maybe it’ll make it difference. Maybe it won’t. But at least we can say we tried.

    Many thanks to Dee and Deb and Julie Anne for their support and help in getting the word out!

  49. @ Rafiki:

    “I am no expert on due process within the International Cycling Union or the World/American Anti-Doping Agency, but based solely on the release of last October’s evidence file by the ADA, Nike and other major corporations dropped Lance Armstrong. Again – there has been no formal trial, just the release of the evidence file.”

    What’s more interesting about that particular case is that Armstrong had already been through several formal trials in actual courts…and been declared innocent. I haven’t read the evidence file but given that they got new testimony from several of his teammates who had not previously testified, I assume there was some pretty damning stuff in there. Whatever it said it convinced the UCI, which seemed to not be completely on board with it at the beginning. (As you can tell I follow cycling kinda closely…)

    That whole situation makes me so sad. My dad is a cancer survivor and Armstrong has done so much good for cancer survivors.

  50. Julie Ann,

    Thanks, for your kind words. I’m thrilled that you found Blight in the Vineyard helpful. It is good that you are fired up. If more people were fired up and armed with effective counter arguments . . . this kind of thing could never persist.

  51. “Basically there are people who are very uncomfortable with the strong kind of spiritual direction that comes through the Sovereign Grace Ministries,” Mohler said. “It’s very hard to criticize it on biblical terms, as you’ll see on most of those Web sites. It basically comes down to the criticism, ‘I don’t like that.’”

    Translation from Christianese Newspeak:

    THE PARTY CAN DO NO WRONG!
    EES PARTY LINE, COMRADES!
    LONG! LIVE! BIG! BROTHER!
    (Humbly, of course…)

  52. elizabeth seton wrote:

    Does the following give us some insight into Mohler’s thought and why he might align with a Mahaney?

    Enemy of my Enemy (Teh Fags) is my Friend?

  53. Rafiki wrote:

    It’s something to consider for those folks who are strictly maintaining solidarity with Ceej on the basis of “innocent until proven guilty.” Sometimes in the pre-trial phase, the evidence IS overwhelming, and warrants immediate action.

    Or, there’s always the double-down Total Denial, type examples the Pakistani Government and Tobacco Industry.

    “Just like Big Tobacco, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”

  54. @ dee:

    Dee: My son was in a very similar circumstance. The Vice Principal actually apologized that he had to suspend my son, because district rules say that all involved with a confrontation are to be suspended no matter what happens. It’s really silly.

    I told my son that he maybe in trouble at school, but he was a hero at home. I reminded him which was more important.

  55. Marge aka Moniker, Bravo!! We cannot fear man especially when there are victims left behind in the wake. The more real exposure and pressure on these guys, the better.

    I can’t speak for Dee and Deb, but when reading the painful emails of people paralyzed in fear because of tyrannical church leaders, it keeps me fired up. Full disclosure: I am a redhead.

  56. Ben Tudley wrote:

    Are we sending this petition to the pharisees, money-changers and false prophets? Don’t they all make their living via expensive and frequent conferences? Rather than appeal to them, perhaps the appeal ought to go to those who pay $300 to hear these men wow audiences with their brilliance and theological prowess. Perhaps Anthony Bradley should chime in rebuking Detwiler as he did Rachel Held Evans. http://www.worldmag.com/2011/07/libel_is_not_love

    I honestly think they just love to hear themselves talk.

    http://womansubmit.blogspot.com/2010/07/freedom-for-christian-women-coalition.html

    This letter of rebuke was sent to a bunch of leaders to ‘respond’ to – as they ask you to do. The response was silence.

    I think Molher tweeted that he was confused by the content, but of course didn’t directly ask for clarification either.

    So they can huff and puff all they wish about going to the party directly, because most of the time these (ahem) leaders don’t respond in kind.

    Funny how they leave that portion out. They can’t tell you its uncommon, because it happens habitually.

    I think they just like to whine about their consequences to be honest.

  57. The World site doesn’t seem to allow comments. Too bad. Because Anthony Bradley needs push back from his abusive and Pharisee serving comments.

    Anthony Bradley, you are wrong in this. I don’t want to accuse you of being a snake but your bold-faced defense of a bully and puts you on the wrong side of justice and the heart of God.

  58. This thing would get a lot more signatures if they took Brent Detwiler’s name off of it. Leaving SGM is sheer doctrinal hypocrisy unless you at least CONSIDER that the doctrine of SGM is culpable. Which he has not. Brent is why I won’t sign it.

  59. Argo

    I certainly understand. I think any plan has its shortcomings. We have to decided which one, in the logn run, has the most chance to succeed. Again, TWW did not put this together and only learned of it after it was up. We stand with anyone who has been victimized.

  60. @ Argo:
    Believe me, I understand, Argo. I sure don’t agree with everything Brent has said and done, and I think he’s still blind in a lot of ways to how he has contributed to this whole mess. And I have done practically a 180 in my doctrinal beliefs since leaving SGM. But the way I see this petition is that it’s about CJ and the silence of the national “leaders” (I always hate to call them that but I want to be polite), not about Brent. I’m not going to try to talk anybody into signing, because it’s not my place to do so. I’m just presenting an opportunity for those who want to do it.

    And, hey, if anybody want to start another petition with a different emphasis, go for it!

  61. @ dee:
    Thank you so much, Dee. And guess what? I haven’t lost any Facebook friends since Friday night? I even gained a couple! :)

  62. Pingback: When good people do nothing in the face of evil, evil wins by default, please sign this petition. « Opineaway UNITED STATES

  63. There’s something banding the “leaders” together listed on Detwilers letter. I think they are all in agreement, more or less, with the heretical position on Christ’s Eternal Sonship, also known as the Subordinationism Heresy. While I think its a good idea expose these people, appealing to them in hopes that they will act is rather pointless considering theyre all bed buddies. The power is shifting away from these “leaders” to us – to the people that gave money to support their lives and “ministries” and what have they given us in return? I recently watched Carolyn Mahaneys speech she gave at the 2012 TGC Conference, in which she ironically read the portion of scripture where Jesus tells Peter to feed His sheep. Besides the fact the woman is woefully uninspiring, she ends up bringing to attention the obvious: these people are not feeding us, they are feeding themselves off of us! They are hirelings who care nothing for the sheep, they care only about the money we give them. And God knows! We are His people and the sheep of His pasture! He is the Great Shepherd and He is stepping in and dealing with these false shepherds and exposing them through our efforts! Their mouths must be stopped! They are ruining peoples lives and God knows!

    So its time we realize that these people act like they deserve to be emulated, standing up there on their stages, acting like they are better than the rest of us, and that we should submit our lives to them. Now we know its not true. They never deserved it because it isnt right to begin with for these people to have set up hierarchical structures in which they lord over Gods people. And those structures are based in a heretical belief that Jesus Christ is lower and subordinated for eternity. There’s no equality in the godhead, they maintain, so that means males can be dominant and lord over women and other believers. And this is the glue that keeps them stuck together – they are apostates. We need to resist them all firm in the faith. And until Brent Detwiler realizes he constructed a faulty tower based on his personal belief in the ESS and Complementarianism, then hes not that different. The only reason I can see that the recipients of his letter should respond is because he was abused and mistreated and they should come to his aid and support because of how scripture was violated in his case. But they dont care! They only care about making money off their parishioners, off their books and their dumb conferences!

    http://www.fether.net/2010/05/08/macarthur-and-the-trinity/

  64. You go, Evie. I could not agree more. And BTW, “dumb” is a perfect descriptor of their conferences (along with “creepy group-think cultish marketing spectacles”).

  65. As much as I start getting myself worked up over the patriarchy, nothing gets me more worked up than to disrespect Jesus to support their lameass teaching.

    The eternal subordination of the Son to the Father is heresy and makes it obvious that these people have no clue about the HOly Trinity.

  66. “I recently watched Carolyn Mahaneys speech she gave at the 2012 TGC Conference, in which she ironically read the portion of scripture where Jesus tells Peter to feed His sheep.”

    Wait! Stop the presses! Carolyn Mahaney was speaking to a room full of men? She read scripture to MEN?

    Does Piper know?

  67. Anon 1 –

    My guess is that Carolyn Mahaney was speaking to women in a break-out session or Evie may have gotten name of the conference wrong.

  68. Anon1 haha right. Im sure her workshop (or more like a shop where your faith is systematically dismantled) was open only to women in keeping with TGC mandates. Far be it that the Mrs. Mahaney would do anything outside of the groupthink bubble shes helped create. She sticks to the program as closely as she sticks to her notes when speaking. She can get up there and look like shes saying something worth listening to in front of an audience and everything. But like her husband, she has nothing substantial to say. Maybe she should attempt massive amounts of arm wailing to draw attention away from how vapid she is. Oh, but she might break a sweat and that wouldnt be very feminine. Arm wailing must be one of those biblical manhood gestures. Guess she’ll have to appear submissive and be still

  69. Accidentally hit post comment. I meant to end by saying….Guess she’ll have to appear submissive and keep still. Now if only she would keep quiet.

  70. Debra Baker wrote:

    As much as I start getting myself worked up over the patriarchy, nothing gets me more worked up than to disrespect Jesus to support their lameass teaching.
    The eternal subordination of the Son to the Father is heresy and makes it obvious that these people have no clue about the HOly Trinity.

    Im with you Debra. We’re the new brooms standing up and sweeping out that dirt! These people who fancy themselves leaders who perpetuate this filth and are causing damage to Gods people and to the church are experiencing the consequences of their sedition, which they appear too blind and dumb to recognize! (I said “dumb” again Argo just for you lol)

  71. Fendrel, The arguments used by the pastor arguing against evolution are rather standard and have been thoroughly answered in many other forums. A search on the “Is Evolution True?” page failed to show the words genome or genomics. Genomics is quickly and systematically nailing shut the coffin of the anti evolutionist arguments. Perhaps the best summary of the biblical interpretative implications of this revolution in biology is the article by Venema:

    Theme issue: Reading Genesis: The Historicity of Adam and Eve, Genomics, and Evolutionary Science. PERSPECTIVES on Science and Christian Faith, Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA), Volume 62, Number 3, September 2010. Available online at http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2010/PSCF9-10dyn.html . The issue articles are available as PDF files. Editorial: “A Hard Lesson: Interpretation, Genomic Data and the Scriptures”, Arie Leegwater. “Genesis and the Genome: Genomics Evidence for Human-Ape Common Ancestry and Ancestral Hominind Population Sizes”, Dennis R. Venema.

    The editorial (also recommended reading) and the Venema article are available as PDFs on the linked ASA page. Don’t assume that a hard core anti evolutionist will be persuaded by data and logical arguments.

  72. anon1,

    The 2012 TGC Conference was the first ever women’s conference, remember?  No doubt, there probably were some men among them like Piper, Keller, etc. who also spoke at the event in Orlando.

  73. Two of my three boys have had run ins with school bullies. The first was suspended from school in the fourth grade for defending himself against the bully. The bully’s friend admitted that his friend, said bully, started the fight and Jon was defending himself (somrthing the school should have done if they don’t want the kids doing it for themselves but, no, I was actually told my son was expected to passively take a punch if necessary. I will leave my response to the reader’s imagination.) The second son took his brother’s experience to heart and, when confronted by the ubiquitous bully, used his ninja skills and stepped out of the way at the last milisecond and the bully plowed his fist into the unyeilding brick wall Joseph had been standing in front of and was reduced to a blubbering mess in the nurses office without recourse or consequence for Joseph. A very satisfying outcome.

  74. I noticed that Sovereign Grace Louisville’s Twitter account has not posted a photo of their congregation for the past 2 weeks. Prior to this they have posted a photo every week. One wonders how much longer Ceej will waste his talents preaching to 20-30 people!

  75. old John Jay

    It’s great to heard from you again-our most successful comment receiver in history!

    I love your comment. Don’t assume that a hard core anti evolutionist will be persuaded by data and logical arguments.

    I want to encourage you. Thoughtful dialogue in this area is making a difference. I received an email from a man who use to outright reject Biologos and those associated with it.  He wanted to let me know that, due to his reading here, he examined the Biologos site and found much to recommend it and now thinks it is a worthy reference! So, keep on with the good fight!

  76. Marge

    Stay the course. There is a lot of bad blood with Brent which makes this whole thing a bit messy. However, Brent is NOT the point here.The point is the silence of Christian leaders in the midst of terrible pain. It is important that everyone keep the main thing, the main thing. The question for everyone to ask is “What is the nine ball shot?” For me, the answer is easy-getting the SGM victims recognized by Christian leaders. That is why we blog.Victims are first. The leaders do a great job kissing eanch others feet. We want to wash the feet of the hurting. 

  77. Tweet the link to RHE. If she gets in on the petition you’ll get the 1000 sigs pretty quick, methinks.

  78. I signed the petition two days ago, but what was a little concerning to me was some of the names on the list. What exactly is this petition supposed to be accomplishing?

  79. Caleigh wrote:

    I signed the petition two days ago, but what was a little concerning to me was some of the names on the list. What exactly is this petition supposed to be accomplishing?

    I think the purpose is to show the Reformed Big Dogs that theyre in the Dog House and we’re the ones doing the necessary work of keeping Watch over the Yard. That we know what predators smell like and we’re willing to sound the alarm. And those people seem more in league wish the Predators and not in league with the Sheep. I think the petition is a good idea.

  80. Evie,

    I definitely agree with it being a good idea. I’m just curious to see what will happen. I really hope that we can all raise our voices loud enough to be heard and to make a difference. This is all kind of reminding me of Dr. Suess’ Horton Hears a Who. we all have to speak to make those big dogs hear us. =P

  81. Caleigh wrote:

    I signed the petition two days ago, but what was a little concerning to me was some of the names on the list. What exactly is this petition supposed to be accomplishing?

    To the reformed big dogs: we the little people are watching you and if you choose CJ over victims, you are committing a version of the very same sin against the victime; namely, you are reinforcing the supportt of the alpha male and the paradigm in which women and children are objectified and in that paradigm, exist to serve the alpha male (how’s that for a run on sentence.) Such a stance is pure evil and the little people and the world are watching you in disgust.

  82. Can I suggest two more names to send the petition to? One is on the GC Council and the other is a speaker at a GC event coming up.

  83. Cindy Kunsman has an excellent article up on SGM, Mahaney, and the Shepherding movement.

    http://undermuchgrace.blogspot.com/2013/02/revisiting-shepherdings-history-and.html

    It is very likely that CJ sees himself as a martyr to a great extent, or this might be what he tells himself. In the process, he lays the wounded little ones up on the altar to sacrifice to the virtue of unity, that idol of their distorted fantasy about love and togetherness. CJ very likely believes that he’s thrown himself under the bus to save the collective. I believe that’s why he’s able to do what he’s done so many times when he’s effectively exonerated sexual predators within his church. It’s why he can openly condemn others without seeing the irony of his statements and actions. Perspective is everything.

  84. Patricia

    If you put the names here or send it in an email, I will make sure that the folks get them.

  85. Evie

    “I think the purpose is to show the Reformed Big Dogs that theyre in the Dog House and we’re the ones doing the necessary work of keeping Watch over the Yard.” Well said.

  86. The Duke Lacrosse Team:
    ACCUSED of fostering a culture of abuse
    ACCUSED of a “Conspiracy of Silence.”

    FOUND GUILTY by people with an agenda who neither knew the team nor what they stood for.

    There was always a judicial procedure in place; but the accusers didn’t want to wait for it.
    They wanted the virtual hanging NOW, with the trial to take place later.

    SGM ministers:
    ACCUSED of fostering a culture of abuse
    ACCUSED of a “conspiracy of silence.”
    FOUND guilty by people who don’t know them but are sure they know what’s in their hearts.

    THERE IS a judicial procedure in place; SGM enemies don’t want to wait for it.

  87. dee wrote:

    The leaders do a great job kissing eanch others feet. We want to wash the feet of the hurting.

    I’d put it two to three feet above the feet…

    Oh, and with “Duke One”, looks like we’ve got another CeeJay sock puppet!

  88. oldJohnJ wrote:

    A search on the “Is Evolution True?” page failed to show the words genome or genomics.

    Does this have anything to do with “epigenetics”, or does “genomics” mean tracing the common genome from species to species to establish relationships and probable descent?

    But still, any explanation would be another long eyes-glaze-over rebuttal while the one-liner Bible Bullets keep hosing out of a Minigun.

    Genomics is quickly and systematically nailing shut the coffin of the anti evolutionist arguments.

    Unfortunately, “anti-evolutionist” is not arguments but a completely closed system of Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory. The Dwarfs are for The Dwarfs, and Won’t Be Taken In.

  89. Epigenetics is heritible changes in gene expression that is something that does not alter the sequence of DNA in the genome.

    Cool stuff like DNA methylation and Histone modification. If you google those two things, you will find a lot to keep your mind occupied.

    BTW: There is overwhelming evidence to support evolution, it isn’t even up for serious debate. Of course, it never really has been because literalists are working on faith and faith-based science is an oxymoron.

  90. H.U.G. from the wikipedia: “Genomics is a discipline in genetics that applies recombinant DNA, DNA sequencing methods, and bioinformatics to sequence, assemble, and analyze the function and structure of genomes (the complete set of DNA within a single cell of an organism)”. Tracing the development of individual organism genomes and finding commonalities between genomes is an important effort in genomics. The wikipedia has a discussion of the related term epigenetics.

    As I said, the anti-evolutionists are increasingly boxing themselves in, close system or not.

  91. Argo, I know, I struggled with signing the petition too. I have such doctrinal and theological issues with the leaders addressed as well as with the one who addressed them. Some of their scriptural interpretations damage the souls of those who merely just hear them spoken or read them on paper.
    However, I decided to sign it, even if it was a whole other religion than mine I would, because of the awareness that I am hoping it will bring that just might save some kids from having sexual and physical abuse added to their religious and spiritual abuse.

  92. @ Duke One:

    You completely ignored the very real and major differences between the Duke case and SGM which Dee outlined above. First and foremost, multiple witnesses and actual convicted pedophiles. The “two or three witnesses” standard, from what I’ve read, has been more than met.

  93. Duke one,

    You are purposely ignoring the patterns of abuse over a 20-30 year period that were systemic from PDI to SGM in different churces by people who did not even know eachI other. But thank you for giving us a heads up on what they are going to be using as a possible defense!

  94. I’m pretty sure the difference between epigenetics and genomics is the chenge in DNA sequence that happens during recombination and mutation events but not during histone modification, DNA methylation, etc.

    Evolution is at the population level but natural selection happens across generations and drives evolution. Anything that is heritible can contribute to natural selection if the genotype allows for one trait to be selected for over another changing the degree to which that gene is represented in the next generation.

  95. Caleigh wrote:

    Evie,
    I definitely agree with it being a good idea. I’m just curious to see what will happen. I really hope that we can all raise our voices loud enough to be heard and to make a difference. This is all kind of reminding me of Dr. Suess’ Horton Hears a Who. we all have to speak to make those big dogs hear us. =P

    Caleigh, Im with you. And I dont put stock in them hearing us. Theyve made it clear they have NO interest in listening to us “wounded” people i.e. people who have adversely affected by lords like themselves. People like us that are blowing their covers. People like us that are revealing their true motivations for ministry. They want people like us to be submissive, tame, domesticated, and QUIET so they can EASILY and without EFFORT pocket our money. How difficult is it to lead a bunch of people who have been brainwashed into thinking if you question or challenge them youre automatically suspected of insubordination. Or if you discuss the merits or demerits of their ministry (that youre paying for) youre guilty of gossip and slander. No wonder these guys all took CJ into their company. They wanted it all free and easy like HE USED TO HAVE IT.

    He’ll be paying for it now. And so will those other guys on the same conference circuit. And it serves CJ & Carolyn Mahaney right that theyre saddled with having to provide for their daughters and their families. With all the money they were raking in, they could have afforded to give those girls a world class education. Instead what they have is an oldest child who keeps harping about how her mother chained her dreams to a house for her entire life, as if somehow that translates into her achieving her ambition of doing something great things.

    No, what will cause these people to sit up, tune in, and take notice is when their bank accounts start running dry. By the time they start singing new tunes in an effort to get back the revenue they once had, no one will be listening. Nor will we believe their new songs are from the Lord. CJ thought he could just pack up and leave, set up shop with bumblehead Bob, and keep raking in the dough. Goes to show how little respect those Mahaneys have for others. Same goes for the Mohlers, Kaughlins, Stinsons, Devers, Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s of the world. Hey, when you know youre crooked Id have no respect for the people who believe Im straight too! But its high time they start showing some respect. Time for YOU to submit CJ. Make the church a “happier place” and shut your mouth, Pal.

  96. Duke

    Hmmmm, methinks you are trying out a position on us. It will not work. It is silly. The Duke thing involved one woman’s claims on one evening.  Period. And her history was problematic. The SGM situation involves many, many people over time.

    This sort of defense will be laughed off by anyone with a passing acquaintance with the Duke case. Once again, this is like the Catholic church scandal. But, I am sure the lititgants attorneys are having a good laugh over their Monday morning coffee.

    SGM enemies? Oh good night! Time to dial it back a bit. You are sounding a bit hysterical. Why would we be an enemy of SGM? We never went there (thank heavens for small mercies).

    Never, ever  forget that these victims were part of SGM. We are supporting former members of SGM. They are your people and it is time for you to give a darn about people whom SGM appears to have treated as human detritus to be boot kicked and ignored. Who cares about abused kids anyway? There are more important things to worry about like conferences, books and speeches. Onward Christian soldiers and all that.

    WARNING: You have violated our prime directive. You have not shown one ounce of concern for the well-being of the victims. We now understand who and what you are. Shame on you.

  97. “THERE IS a judicial procedure in place; SGM enemies don’t want to wait for it.”

    Great propaganda lines, Duke one. I suppose if you aren’t sitting, quietly, waiting for an outcome, then you are the enemy? If you aren’t patient for another 20-25 years (as some have already done) then you are enemies. There have been organizations in the past that called their detractors “the enemy.”

    Are you ignorant of the amount of people who have come forward to share their experiences in SGM? Many of these people have prayed and communicated with SGM for years (is this what enemies do ??) to get resolve. Seems to me that SGM has been loved by the so called “enemy.” You also forget that this is Jesus’ church where issues should be resolved between brothers and sisters in Christ. Unfortunately, this has not happened after years of appeals by the ones offended (the enemy?).

    This is nothing like the Duke incident, and you are simply creating propaganda. You should take your message elsewhere if you’re trying to gain disciples.

  98. Debra BakerAmen Debra! Have these people not read their bibles? Do they assume their power is in numbers? Have they not heard it took one man and one well placed rock to bring down the Taunter? Who are these uncircumcized Philistines?

    This is war. The giant must be slain. And God doesnt fight his battles with big, fancy conferences all arrayed with fancy lights and sound systems. Takes just one guy to pull the plug.

  99. Hi. I was the person who made the suggestion that led to Marge posting “the petition” with Brent’s letter to national evangelical leaders. Since it has engendered many interpretations and responses I thought I should tell why I suggested it in the first place. I read Brent’s letter on his facebook page last week before I headed out to work. I posted the following on his facebook:

    Tom Coda It would be nice if there was a way to post this somewhere so current and former members could co-sign it.
    February 7 at 8:17am via mobile • Like • 3

    Marge Ague Sweigart That’s a great idea, Tom. There are free online petition sites out there.
    February 7 at 8:19am • Like

    Marge Ague Sweigart Brent, I would be happy to set up a petition and promote it, if you’re interested.
    February 7 at 8:31am • Like

    Brent Detwiler That would be fine Marge. Thanks.

    Since I have never posted anything on any of “the SGM blogs” I should first introduce myself so you can understand my relationship to SGM. I know this will lead to the regular speculation about my motives and to what extent I am part of the problem or solution to what I will call for a lack of a better description – the SGM mess.

    I started attending TAG around 1976-77. After TAG shut down I heard through a friend that CJ & Larry had started a church, so I began to attend Gathering of Believers when it was about 100 people. I went through the membership series, but did not become a member. I didn’t feel I could make the commitment that was required at the time. I married and moved an hour away from the DC area. We still followed much of the teachings and growth of PDI through their magazine and decided to go to a Celebration conference. I was convinced after that that God wanted us to start going to a PDI church. We started to go to Fairfax Covenant around 1985 and eventually moved to be closer. In 1992 we moved to the Raleigh, NC area to be part of the PDI church plant which in now the Apex, NC SGM church. During the 20 years at SGC Apex I was on the leadership team (never a paid staff member), a home group leader, youth group leader, corporate officer, on the financial advisory board, my wife and daughter were church secretaries, etc. I say this not to impress anyone, but to let you know I was not a casual member and I know personally many of the individuals that are discussed on these blogs (Brent D, Larry T, Bob K, Phil S, several pastors who are no longer pastors because of SGM leadership, and many of those cited in the civil suit). I have not had the same relationship with CJ. I have spoken to the man a few times and drove him to the airport once. In August 2012, my wife and I resigned our membership in SGC Apex. We had lost confidence in the SGM leadership and desired to be part of a church that was more missional. The mishandling of child molestation sickens me. I still am friends with the leaders in SGC Apex, but I am a follower of Christ.

    I have no regular conversation with Brent and as many have expressed on these blogs, I would not endorse many of his methods or actions as a leader in SGM or since he left. So why did I make the suggestion about his letter being co-signed by others? Since the documents first came out it was apparent to me that CJ was not above reproach. His actions since then have only reinforced this. Leadership in SGM appears to not want to, or are unable to, govern his actions and statements. SGM churches are made of people who God loves and who love and want to serve God. I believe his position and actions are a hindrance and unnecessary distraction to those in SGM churches, and obviously, an affront to those whose lives have been hurtfully affected by SGM’s methods and practices. Brent’s letter is by no means perfect, but it is a good summary of why CJ is not above reproach
    CJ many times expressed to our church that all he is able to accomplish extra locally was made possible because those in the local churches provided a platform through their example. What he was saying is the local churches and the people in them validated what he would say to other evangelical leaders. CJ used this validation that all was well and working in the “movement of churches” (and much of it was), but now that it is not I don’t see him taking the responsibility. So I thought it would be good to be able to express to those leaders that the platform CJ was standing on as he speaks at these prestigious venues is rotting beneath his feet. I thought by having other sign Brent’s letter they would realize this is not just a “Brent thing” but that CJ does not have support from all those who validated his appearance at these conferences – the current and former members of SGM. So I signed “the petition” — with my real name.

    If Brent’s letter is problematic for some, I’d encourage you to start another petition. If you or a family member have suffered indignity while associated with SGM I understand the use of pseudonyms to protect your identity, but if not I encourage others use your real name on the blogs or in signing petitions.

    I hope this provides a better understanding of the origins of “the petition.” Each person should follow their own conscience before God as to whether they sign it.

  100. dee wrote:

    Who cares about abused kids anyway? There are more important things to worry about like conferences, books and speeches.

    “More important things” like Predestination, Election, whether Calvinism has Five or Seven points, Complementarianism, Dominionism, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, Theology, Theology, Theology…

    While the kids get abused and pastors’ widows eat out of dumpsters.

  101. Tom Coda

    Thank you for your informative comment. Welcome to TWW. You  must have been there when Deb and I paid a visit 4 years ago!

  102. @ Tom Coda:
    Hi, Tom. Thank you so much for weighing in here. And thanks for your idea that started this ball rolling. I think a lot of people feel the same way you do.

  103. @ oldJohnJ:

    Thanks for the link and reference. I have no fantasy of him changing his mind, but I think it still has value if for no other reason than to clearly lay out the positions of both sides for others. Thanks again!

  104. dee wrote:

    And “serving” CJ and the leaders.

    Make that “servicing” in the case of Carolyn and the plaintiffs…

  105. Yup youre right about that Tom. All the people that submitted themselves to the strict, unquestioning structure that CJ & his croonies painstakingly built (being ever so vigilant to guard the the structure and not the people) provided the platform upon which CJ & Carolyn took it upon themselves to go out and promote themselves (but never on TV or radio thats too obvious) as authors & conference speakers (not that SGM members ever had a say-so in how much money was spent on travel and whether the conferences benefitted the local churches, helped spread the gospel or aided in feeding the poor.) The “Platform,” we were told, was Furtherance of The Gospel, the Importance of being Married to (dont date!) your Local Church, and the Evidence of Your Commitment to God. It was all BS. What was CJ & Carolyns commitment to “The Platform”?? Ha!! The Platform was for THEM, not for God. It was to further their self interests, not those of the people who were paying for the Mahaneys to fly themselves to their vacations and speaking engagements in Europe and the Bahamas. It was for their fame & fortune and what angers people is the way theyve used THE LORD’S name (who they conveniently refer to as the lesser god, the”savior”) in vain and took advantage ofGods people. Heavy warnings in scripture about such people, thats for sure.

  106. Evie, I saw the travel budget figures for SGM and was astonished. seriously, over 400,000 in one year? The SGM “family” of churches were pillaged.

  107. @ Duke One:
    There was no coverup in the Duke Lacrosse case. People here have been pushing for the big dogs of evangelical Christianity to AT LEAST RECOGNIZE that there may be victims, rather than assuming that there are none. No one has said that the big dogs are guilty of anything but taking sides and acting against the victims, re-victimizing them, while praising and paying the alleged lead perpetrator. I believe that the people here would be happy if the big dogs said, “Oh, there may be victims, and we should not take sides until this thing is resolved in the court.”

  108. Tom Coda,

    Welcome to TWW! We appreciate your candid comment about SGM. If you would ever like to write a guest post, let us know. Our contact info is at the top of the website. Blessings to you and your family.

  109. Hello across the internet turtle! ;-)

    Slow and steady we will overcome and win this race. Yes we will! :-D

  110. anon 1 wrote:

    Evie, I saw the travel budget figures for SGM and was astonished. seriously, over 400,000 in one year? The SGM “family” of churches were pillaged.

    Absolutely Anon1. And CJ & Carolyn (at his side the whole way) pitched a hissy fit about SGM paying for Chads airfare so they could spent time together (and to make sure he didnt smoke too much pot while they were gone.) Remember reading about that in The Docs? We can only imagine the other ways in which they fanangled the finances to get everything paid for – tax free!

  111. Oh, I felt so wicked thinking servicing when I read serving but apparently I’m in good company.

    Caolyn M’s smug accomodating smile evokes a similar response in me as Monica Lewenski’s. This is what these women have claim to fame.

  112. I really don’t think it matters if someone signs this particular document (written by Brent), but it is important that voices are heard. If you do not like what you are seeing among these national leaders, are you letting them know? How will these leaders know unless they are told? We can rant and rave on the blogs, but personal e-mails/letters/phone calls do make a difference. Of course the biggest and most clear response is voting with feet. Leave SGM churches. Do not write tithe checks. Do not go to conferences and let the conference organizers know why you are not attending.

    Tom – Thanks for sharing your story and for the great suggestion to get some sort of petition going. It’s a great effort.

  113. Todd wrote:

    I noticed that Sovereign Grace Louisville’s Twitter account has not posted a photo of their congregation for the past 2 weeks. Prior to this they have posted a photo every week. One wonders how much longer Ceej will waste his talents preaching to 20-30 people!

    Same with their Instagram page – pics of the bulletin for the last two weeks but no pics of the congregation, the sermon video only focuses on the ‘pulpit’ with no wide angles or panning. For the betterment of the Gospel, one can only hope that CJ and SGM are fading into oblivion.

  114. “There are more important things to worry about like conferences, books, speeches.
    Onward Christian soldiers and all that.”

    Yep, its’ always back to “business” for these so-called “Christian” leaders/pastors.Their agenda is not God’s agenda. They are so delusional.

  115. Duke One – “FOUND guilty by people who don’t know them but are sure they know what’s in their hearts.”

    SGM leaders provided biblical and spiritual direction to those who requested this guidance. This care was sought confidentially, as is a right under the First Amendment. We are saddened that lawyers are now, in essence, seeking to violate those rights by asking judges and juries, years after such pastoral assistance was sought, to dictate what sort of biblical counsel they think should have been provided. SGM believes that allowing courts to second guess pastoral guidance would represent a blow to the First Amendment, that would hinder, not help, families seeking spiritual direction among other resources in dealing with the trauma related to any sin including child sexual abuse.http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/blogs/sgm/post/Updated-Statement-on-Reported-Lawsuit.aspx

    You are right, I don’t know Tommy Hill personally, but the very least of the charges being cover up of crime (not merely sin as he states) is an admition of at least that charge just even on SGM’s own website. I don’t need to question if the media even has it right. And this is just one of SGM’s faux pas in their defense attempts. I think that’s why they and their buddies are not speaking out, because they know every time they open their mouths they are going to admit a little more than they intended to. Who needs to guess what’s in their hearts, their mouths speak their hearts all over the place.

  116. @ dee:
    Dee, I hate to be skeptical, and will probably get a ton of hateful replies, but if there wasn’t any money to be make in the lawsuit, it wouldn’t have been brought. I completely agree that the perps needed to be brought to justice at the time of the crime. Not contacting the proper authorities at the time is unconscionable. However, the lawsuit is about money now. SGM’s pockets are not that deep. It may bankrupt them, but that doesn’t serve justice. Does money fix abuse? It may make the organization think twice about covering it up again, but it doesn’t heal. I appeal to all SGM pastors to run away from SGM, and get their church’s out before the lawsuit tarnishes their witness in their communities (if it hasn’t already.) In the meantime, CJ needs to step down, and do the right thing.

  117. Patrick Henderson wrote:

    Dee, I hate to be skeptical, and will probably get a ton of hateful replies, but if there wasn’t any money to be make in the lawsuit, it wouldn’t have been brought.

    Problem is, class action suits are prone to corruption and the appearance of same. The suit wins, the lawyers get 40% of the take off the top, the remaining 60% is distributed among all the plaintiffs. With a lot of plaintiffs in the mix, you end up with each plaintiff getting around $5 while the lawyers pocket million$. This does NOT look good, no matter how righteous the cause. The lawyers could defuse or minimize this appearance of corruption by doing it partially pro bono, taking a smaller cut.

  118. JeffT wrote:

    Same with their Instagram page – pics of the bulletin for the last two weeks but no pics of the congregation, the sermon video only focuses on the ‘pulpit’ with no wide angles or panning.

    Sounds like something from the early days of C-SPAN, where a Congressman was making some sort of Important Speech and the bored cameraman panned across to an empty House Chamber, revealing the Important Speech was a publicity stunt to an empty house.

    Or official Scientology videos of whatever the clams call their big all-Scientology events, where they stay zoomed in on the same chunk of audience every time.

  119. Debra Baker wrote:

    Oh, I felt so wicked thinking servicing when I read serving but apparently I’m in good company.

    That happens when it’s a sex scandal (and/or coverup of same). All the dirty jokes and salacious puns come out of the woodwork.

  120. Patrick

    Do you have any idea how many of these victims have needed hospitalizations, medication and therapy? How about lost time at work? How about inability to be employed? They deserve to have all of that covered, along with expenses such as transportation to appointments, lodging, food, etc. 

    CJ will never step down. It is not in his DNA. Their witness is tarnished. Things do not appear to be going so well in Louisville. 

     

  121. Dee, did you notice who was speaking there on February 17? Maybe you already mentioned it somewhere, but It’s John Piper and my BP soared when I saw it thinking about how he is one of these letters the petition is targeting. I had to just post the link and end it for a few minutes. Do you think he is oblivious or what? I just don’t know what think anymore, I just know I want to cry.

  122. Patti wrote:

    Ugh! It did it it again, my iPad keeps copying my email in the Name field.

    It will copy your LAST posting details. You have to post with the corrected information to get it to be the default.

  123. “I hate to be skeptical, and will probably get a ton of hateful replies, but if there wasn’t any money to be make in the lawsuit, it wouldn’t have been brought.”

    Not sure I see the problem. This concept is all over the place in civil society with fines for wrong doing. HUG is right, the plantiffs will see very little. But the lawsuit helps folks be warned, hopefully puts SGM out of business.

    “However, the lawsuit is about money now. SGM’s pockets are not that deep. It may bankrupt them, but that doesn’t serve justice.”

    Of course it serves justice if they go bankrupt. If they had any character or integrity, they would get out of ministry across the board. You seem to be concerned about money but not 3 year old living with that for the rest of her life. Can you put a price on that? Of course not but putting them out of business sends a huge message not only to them but to all the other pervert coddlers out there in Christendom.

    ” Does money fix abuse? It may make the organization think twice about covering it up again, but it doesn’t heal.”

    How do you know? It can be very healing for some to tell their story of abuse and force those who protected molesters to have to explain why they cared more about molesters than victims.

    I am curious why you think you can speak for the victims in this lawsuit?

    ” I appeal to all SGM pastors to run away from SGM, and get their church’s out before the lawsuit tarnishes their witness in their communities (if it hasn’t already.) In the meantime, CJ needs to step down, and do the right thing”

    This is blind thinking. SGM pastors have CJ DNA all over them. They looked up to him, were trained by his system, etc. Some of you guys are not thinking this through. These guys did not shed the DNA overnight.

  124. Thanks GuyBehindtheCurtain,
    I forgot that I had switched to my computer and back to my iPad, I’m having a particularly bad ADHD day, I’m blaming it on chocolate NY daughter brought home.

  125. “SGM pastors have CJ DNA all over them” Yep, even though they are not part of SGM anymore their cultic theology is still the same.

  126. oldJohnJ wrote:

    The editorial (also recommended reading) and the Venema article are available as PDFs on the linked ASA page. Don’t assume that a hard core anti evolutionist will be persuaded by data and logical arguments.

    oldJohnJ, Just wondering out loud here. I remain a skeptic of the evolutionary paradigm. Is a skeptic of the common-ancestry evolutionary model the same thing as a rabid anti? Bear in mind now that I’ve also become a skeptic (if not an outright rejecter) with regard to/of large swathes of Augustinian/Western theology.

    One thing that Venema and other evolutionists (both theist & non-theist) could do is make their arguments accessible to the non-specialist by simplification. By way of analogy in the world of Mathematics, simplification is just that, we cancel common factors in rational expressions and get rid of radicals in denominators.

    I realize also that given the highly technical & abstruse nature of Venema’s work and others at say biologos, this may not be feasible.

  127. I know/knew Tom Coda, though not super well. I knew he was a “big name” in the church. I knew some of his children better. Wonderful family. He is a man of integrity, and if he sees problems in SGM, be certain it is due to no rash or partisan assumptions. This is a man massively respected by the leadership.

    Unfortunately, his focus is still incorrectly on “methods and practices”. This is not the root problem. CJs methods and practices according to SGM doctrine are, in fact, above reproach. Tom should know this and so should Brent. With respect, their failure to see this is discouraging, and speaks to just how insideous and deceptive this cohesive false gnostic doctrine is. Doctrinally speaking (SGM), it is Tom’s methods and practices that are the problem, not CJs.

    The only hedge against abuse is TRUTH. I’m sorry to have to rain on the righteous indignation parade.

  128. Remember, the only difference between good Calvinist and bad Calvinist is how far one is willing to take the doctrinal assumptions.

  129. Muff Potter wrote:

    Just wondering out loud here. I remain a skeptic of the evolutionary paradigm. Is a skeptic of the common-ancestry evolutionary model the same thing as a rabid anti? Bear in mind now that I’ve also become a skeptic (if not an outright rejecter) with regard to/of large swathes of Augustinian/Western theology. One thing that Venema and other evolutionists (both theist & non-theist) could do is make their arguments accessible to the non-specialist by simplification.

    The problem with a lot of this is that simplification removes a lot of the foundations that make the arguments hold up. Sort of like if someone refuses to admit that radiometric dating says the earth is young but also doesn't follow the science. They are basically holding their hands over their ears when the subject comes up.

     

    In what areas of evolution are your skeptical. In terms of the backing science. And the problem is there is a lot of science in seemingly unrelated fields that backs it up. From geology to DNA analysis.

  130. @ Eagle:

    Eagle –

    Many of the people who were part of SGM adhere to Reformed Theology. They believe that the messengers were corrupt in SGM and simply didn’t have the knowledge and/or ability to understand and teach Reformed Theology. I have watched as these same people have become disillusioned as the other RBDs, whom they respect, have either spoken out of turn or kept silent on the issues with SGM/CJ. They are all a bit befuddled. They don’t understand that some of the doctrines they adhere to give men license to act the way they are.

    The RBDs are each destroying their own characters by their silence on certain issues. They are clearly sticking together and treating other “leaders” as they would want to be treated. It would only take a simple comment such as, “It would be best if CJ refrained from public speaking until the lawsuit is resolved.” Of course, there is also the issue of the AoR report. SGM/CJ were able to pay for a kindly report that painted them as “mistaken in some areas, but humble,” and the offended as “bitter and unforgiving.” SGM/CJ essentially got the “good to go stamp” for the RBDs to see. Theses leaders have all forgotten, never understood, or are not actually equipped for what their calling really is — to care for the Church which is people –not systems and ideals and other leaders.

  131. @ Deb:
    Deb, thanks for your welcome too. If I ever have something worthy of print I may take you up on your guest blog invite.

  132. Argo, thanks for your generous assessment of me, and my family. It’s very overblown about me, but right on about my wife and daughters! They are great [and all college educated ;)]. I’m not sure who your are, but hope you doing well and walking by the spirit and in the love of God.

  133. Dee said:

    “We stuck out like a sore thumb – two unaccompanied women without their husbands.”

    Not to mention that we came without any children…

  134. @ Muff Potter:
    Muff – Venema focused his discussion on a single gene, one coding insulin. (A topic close to me as I inject the stuff four times a day.) He showed how there could be millions of identifiably different versions of the insulin gene with exactly the same biological activity yet there is essentially only one. If God created each organism from scratch he could have made this evident by using many more equivalent codes. Either He didn’t choose to or what we see now is is the result of evolution over a long time.

    I am not a biologist and I agree the Venema article is a difficult read. There is room for a more accessible version of what he presented.

    Lynn – thanks for the additional clarification.

  135. oldJohnJ wrote:

    I am not a biologist and I agree the Venema article is a difficult read. There is room for a more accessible version of what he presented.

    Especially because such a long and difficult read is up against a full-auto hose of Bible Bullets.

  136. Thanks, Tom. Yes, you are at a disadvantage regarding names. I’m sorry about that.

    I hope you are well. And thanks for what you are trying to do.

  137. @ oldJohnJ:
    Thanks for the clarification! Venema’s thesis is now better framed for this layman. It sounds like you’re intimately associated with the biological sciences by training, alas I am not. But still, I will continue my own investigation over time before I make an informed decision to accept or reject TE, prudence (for me anyway) demands it.

  138. @ Lynn:

    oldJohnJ’s reply is what I was driving at with the “simplification” issue. It’s a reasonable thing to ask for when one is ill acquainted with the subject matter.

  139. @ Deb:
    CJ was a big draw back then. They had probably over 100 visitors that day. We had many single or divorced woman in the church, so you wouldn’t have stood out that much. There were lots of kids for sure and that’s a blessing! The rarity was a married couple without kids. If you stopped at the guest information table we probably talked.

  140. Tom Coda,

    The main thing I remember was C.J. talking about the Duke/Maryland game he attended the day before with his son and son-in-law, who were with him in church.  Maryland got clobbered! 

    The message he delivered that day – Cravings and Conflicts – never got posted to the church website, probably because he spent so much time talking about the game.  Instead, another canned sermon on the same topic was substituted. 

    I seem to recall that there were two prophecy mics – one on the left and one on the right. I believe two women came forward to share a prophecy. It sounded like they were reading something.

    I was in Apex about a month ago and drove past the church.  I didn’t realize until that day that a large Church of Latter Day Saints is just down the road. 

    I also remember getting a gift pack with a pen and a few other things.  Dee and I also got the book Humility that day.  It was a nice touch.  Did we get these items from you?

  141. I am a Biologist

    I am also a Christian

    I also firmly believe that life evolved from common ancestry.

    I need to refresh myself with respect to Venema’s writings but based upon what Lyn wrote, it looks like he has focused on molecular genetics particularly the sameness of the genome of different species.

    The same-ness of the DNA between species is called homology.
    Things that are shared by almost everything is called deep homology.
    Another term you will see is “conserved.”
    Everything uses DNA or RNA to encode its information in order for it to be passed down to the next generation. Almost everything uses DNA to pass the directions onto the next generation Almost everything transcribes RNA from a template of DNA when it is time to make something the organism needs (protein) The only exception is retroviruses (Like HIV) that uses an enzyme called reverse transcriptase to use RNA to make DNA to insert into the host DNA (likely losing people here so I’ll stop.)
    So almost everything uses DNA to pass traits to the next generation
    The DNA is the same no exceptions. (How amazing is that!)
    The way DNA works is base-pairing (that is why the code is accurately passed on and on and on with very few mutations.)
    There are four bases in DNA no more, no less. They have a complimentary base they always base pair with one another. A, T, G, C.
    A is always with T
    G is always with C

    Always.

    There are a lot of molecules that are similar to these (Look at adenine and caffeine and chocolate which is theobromine and they are almost the same but only these four bases are used.) Why? Why is this? It points to everything coming from a common ancestor that gave rise to what we have today via natural selection.

    If I am helping, I’ll do another post (explaining the insulin and transcription and translation and codons but lets see, if I’m blabbering at bedtime and doing no good, I’ll just fade into the woodwork.

  142. dee wrote:

    Tom

    We stuck out like a sore thumb – two unaccompanied women without their husbands.

    I’m pretty sure you ladies weren’t remembered because you weren’t recognized to begin with! ;-)

    Did you know there’s THREE STAGES to the SGM VISION FOR WOMEN?

    Stage 1 involves wearing a pair of these:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2186748/Orthodox-Jewish-men-given-blurred-glasses-stop-sexual-temptation.html#axzz2Kjsi7qEr

    Stage 2 is the contact lens version. They are awarded after THE LEADERSHIP knows your brain has been trained, but you still need the corrective lenses to keep you from seeing things in ways you ought not!

    Stage 3 is no glasses or contacts. Your vision has been completely altered. You say things like, “Women are not unequal they just have to submit to men.” In truth you see them as inferiors who are more prone to sinning, grasping for power, and tempting men!

    “There is a condition worse than blindness, and that is, seeing something that isn’t there.” Thomas Hardy

  143. Debra

    You have been hanging around this blog for awhile. As you know, faith and science is one of my pet issues. I am so grateful that you are taking th time to exlain this to us. Perhaps you might like to write a post? Please continue your comments. I am enjoying them and learning a lot from you.

  144. Here you go

    Transcription and translation simplified.
    DNA is a long chain of bases that base-pair to form the famous double helix. It opens up and each half is used as a template during replication.
    That is how instructions (everything an organism will need) is passed onto the next generation.
    That is DNA’s first job.
    DNA has a second job and that is to provide a template to be used to transcribe a stretch of DNA needed to make a protein. That stretch of DNA is called a gene. When the organism is ready to make protein, it needs instructions because all proteins are a long chain of building blocks called amino acids. There are twenty essential amino acids.
    This is a bit complicated.
    DNA is a very old molecule that, in organisms more complicated than bacteria, (eukaryotes) live in the nucleus and is protected there so it will survive.
    RNA, on the other hand, isn’t expected to live longer than it needs to finish the job of making a protein.
    DNA provides the template to translate the gene that is found on DNA into RNA and the RNA gets taken out of the nucleus to the cell to help make protein.
    A special molecular machine called a ribosome actually does the hard work of putting the amino acids together in the correct order (which is critically important because one mistake can kill a new baby.) The RNA tells the ribosome what the correct order is. RNA does this by the order in which the bases are found on that gene. Because there are twenty amino acids and you need a start code and a stop code, you need three bases for each amino acid or stop or start. If there were only fourteen amino acids instead of twenty, we could have squeeked by with two bases for each amino acid.)
    Because we have a triplicate code, there are 64 possible combinations which means there are several codes for some of the amino acids. http://barleyworld.org/sites/default/files/figure-09-08_1.jpg
    Almost forgot, one difference between DNA and RNA is in RNA, the T is substituted with U. (there are reasons beyond scope.)
    So, you could build an insulin protein using many combinations of triplicate codes but only the same ones are found across a diverse cohort of organisms.
    This also supports common ancestory.

  145. I just threw this together in a few minutes so there are embarassing spellos (it is past my bedtime, sorry. I will try to translate these concepts into proper non scientific English if anyone is interested.

  146. @ Debra Baker: Thanks for this post – as Spock would say, fascinating!

    I honestly did not know about reverse transcriptase before, and you are helping me understand the “retro” part of retroviruses.

  147. @ Debra Baker:
    Debra – go for a post! We all need to know more about modern biology. Input from a biologist would be appreciated by many of us.

    My feeling is that biology and the technologies derived from it will be as defining of the 21st century as physics and electronics were of the 20th. If the Christian community does not show comprehension of biology then it won’t be able to supply the ethical guidance about the use biological techniques that have the potential to drastically affect our beings rather than the gadgets we use.

    As a retired computer science the knowledge that our physical description is contained in a string of 3 billion characters stirs something primeval in me.

    Do you read SCIENCE?

  148. @ Deb:
    Deb,

    I used to be in charge of the visitor table where you picked up your humility book and pen, so I might have been there that day and talked with you. I was the very good looking gentleman with the attractive wife (I guess I should go back and re-read that humility book :)) I’m glad you thought the book and pen that was a nice touch. You commented earlier that the book store looked like a money making operation because it had a cash register. Actually the book store usually lost money or broke even because books were given away for free or sold for near cost. The cash register was mainly for inventory control. It’s interesting to hear your impressions. I think you also commented on a young pastor with many kids. He is in his 40’s. He has fair skin and hair and is a runner so he is thin and looks young. Appearances can be deceiving or exaggerated for both those who love an organization and those who are critical of it.

  149. @ Debra Baker:

    Thanks so much for your consideration and layperson’s simplification of what is certainly a very complicated discipline. My training is in Mathematics, and in that world “the simpler the better” is virtually creedal. Theologically I may no longer be a Christian, definitions and labels of course will vary depending upon who you talk to. Let’s just say that I’m a present day deist of sorts who believes in the supernatural miracles and divinity of Jesus.

    I am in agreement with Dee that you should write a post, but I warn you, I’m already starting to feel like a replicant in Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner.
    ===>(smiley face goes here)

  150. If the book store lost money or broke even it wasn’t because of the cash register. The cash register was there to sell products that were continuously promoted from the pulpits of SGM and sold in the book stores. Books that were advanced as necessary to an upcoming seminar, workshop, conference, care group meeting, guest speaker etc etc etc.

  151. At CLC the bookstore’s importance was promoted so prominently that I remember Greg Somerville’s nephew declaring he wanted to be buried underneath it when he died. Week after week books were promoted from the stage which were sold in the bookstore. CJ took pains to emphasize that members should build a library – LIBRARY – of books that were sold in the bookstore and pushed on everyone.

    CLC was the flagship church. Everything that happened at CLC was supposed to happen everywhere else, within every SGM church. So while it sounds like Tom Coda is saying the bookstore in his church was lame and was there to offer charity, it certainly wasn’t intended to be that way. People had to routinely purchase books and materials for the constant classes and seminars and workshops that were being done at church. And I mean constant. At CLC if you weren’t in a meeting you were going home from one or getting ready to go to the next one that was promoted at the one you just left.

  152. Here is a really cool and short video that explains the relatedness of animals and the significance of evolution in the process. This very good.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFG-aLidT8s

    A few years ago, a Christian demographic research company was hired to determine what factors have been contributing to young people leaving the church and one of the major reasons is the hostility of some legalistic Christians toward science particularly the life sciences.

    If I write a post, it will involve the readers sending me questions that I will attempt to answer.

  153. @ Evie:
    Evie wrote:

    So while it sounds like Tom Coda is saying the bookstore in his church was lame and was there to offer charity, it certainly wasn’t intended to be that way. People had to routinely purchase books and materials for the constant classes and seminars and workshops that were being done at church.

    Evie,

    I’m sorry for your experience with the book store at CLC. That was not the experience at Apex.

  154. Not need to feel sorry Tom. It’s ok. I’m just putting into perspective the nature of the operation. Needless to say the nature of things was often lost on people.

  155. @ Debra & oldjohnj:

    So I’m trying to learn about the basics of evolution/geologic column since they were left out of my Apologia biology curriculum (not because my parents are crazy, just because it’s really hard to find a good science curriculum in Christian homeschool circles). Any good pointers on where to start (books, websites, etc.)? Because the state of the internet on this topic is Just. Plain. Sad. I’m serious, you type “introduction to geologic column” into Google and you get nothing but YEC sites. Thankfully I do have an understanding of basic taxonomy because it was my hobby in middle school (yeah, I know – homeschooled and wearing my nerd badge proudly).

  156. RE: The bookstore thing. They set up a bookstore at Celebration, and CJ made those ‘build your own library’ remarks, and then had the gall to say that everyone’s household budgetary restrictions are to be lifted when it comes to shopping at the Celebration bookstore.

    And I couldn’t figure it out — every single church I’d ever been in had a library from which you could borrow stuff to read. It wasn’t a matter of wanting people to be educated and helping them to have books to read. It was a matter of making money.

  157. Oh, and this was on top of paying a huge registration fee, giving up a 4-day holiday week-end, staying in uncomfortable bare-bones dorm rooms, eating college cafeteria food, and enduring long preaching sessions in backless seats in bleachers — unless you were one of the crushing horde that rushed the doors of the gym as soon as it opened. Those people stampeded in and grabbed the metal folding chairs, saving seats for entire homegroups with Bibles and sheets of paper. It was appalling. After the first time I went to Celebration, I no longer considered SGM’ers the finest Christians on earth. They had no manners at all.

  158. @ Nickname:

    Sometimes I wonder if the book store wasn’t more about getting certain teachings and doctrinal thoughts into the hands of the sheeple than it was about money. Remember, PDI/SGM changed much of their doctrinal stance and greatly accomplished this by way of the books they pushed.

  159. Dee- I have e-mailed and face-booked about forty friends to sign this petition, and two have responded. Ouch. This is so disappointing to me. The two who responded are agnostic and the ones who ignored or didn’t want to sign are believers. I just don’t get it… Love that you speak up and fight for the victims! Now, I have to repent of feeling angry at those who would not sign… Wake up people!!

  160. Gail wrote:

    Dee- I have e-mailed and face-booked about forty friends to sign this petition, and two have responded. Ouch. This is so disappointing to me. The two who responded are agnostic and the ones who ignored or didn’t want to sign are believers. I just don’t get it…

    Closing Ranks Against The Heathen?

  161. Here’s an update on the petition: As of today, two weeks after launching the petition, we have a total of 195 signatures: 150 at the Causes.com petition site and 45 additional signatures at the non-Facebook site (which can be accessed via the link provided under Update #1 on the petition). There have been well over 3,000 page views (2,912 in the week ending Feb. 18th alone), so people are being made aware, even if they are choosing not to sign.

    I included this in an update I posted on the petition site on Feb. 18th: “Again, signing the petition is an indication that you agree with the concerns described in Brent Detwiler’s letter to the evangelical leaders. It’s a way of saying, ‘Hey, I am concerned about this, too. Please pay attention!’ Signing is not in any way to be construed as a blanket endorsement of everything that Brent has ever said and done. This is about our concerns regarding C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries, not Brent Detwiler.”

    Thanks to everyone here who has supported us in this endeavor. We’re hoping to collect more signatures in upcoming week. The petition is closing one week from today – March 1st. If you’re interested in participating, go to the link provided in this blog post. Please share it with your friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, or email. And be sure to mention that there is an alternate link provided under Update #1 available for those who don’t have Facebook. You might also want to include a link to this blog post to provide a little more background. Thank you very much!

  162. Just want to remind everyone that this is the last week for the petition drive. We are now up to a combined total of 200 signatures. Please see the update I posted in the comment directly above this one. I posted it on Friday but I don’t think anyone really saw it. I appreciate everyone’s help in getting the word out and hope we can reach some more folks this week.

    Also, this Thursday Janet Mefford will be interviewing Brent Detwiler about the SGM lawsuit. Brent posted on FB: “I’ll be interviewed this Thursday from 4:15-4:30 pm EST on the Janet Mefferd Show regarding the response of national leaders to the class action lawsuit against Sovereign Grace Ministries.”