C.J. Mahaney – What Did He Know? and the Janet Mefferd Show

"157.  Rather than report the ongoing abuse to secular authorities or take any steps to stop the abuse, Defendants informed the father that his children had reported the abuse.  This led to further abuse by the father.  In exchange for the conspiracy of silence, the abusive father paid to send Defendants Mahaney, Ricucci, and Layman and their families on vacation to the Kiawah Islands, South Carolina."

Second Amended Class Action Complaint and Jury Demand, p. 35  link

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=32337&picture=the-broken-heartThe Broken Heart

For the attorneys: Everything from this point forward is "alleged".

We have been absolutely astounded by the silence of the Young, Restless, and Reformed camp in response to the class action lawsuit and subsequent amendments filed against C. J. Mahaney and other individuals and entities.  They 'appear' to be actively ignoring appeals to address this serious legal matter.  We have proof!  (More next week.) 

We were amazed that Jared Wilson broke ranks with his colleagues in response to the filing of the second amended class action complaint – see his Tweet

We can only surmise that The Gospel Coalition crowd has been tight-lipped because one of its fellow Council Members – C.J. Mahaney – had not been directly implicated.  That is, until now. 

In the Second Amended Class Action Complaint and Jury Demand filed May 14, 2013, Mahaney's name appears in three places (see below).

109.  Defendants Ecelbarger, Mullery and V. Hinders, conspiring together with Mahaney and Loftness, violated the mandatory reporting obligations and conspired together to cover up [name withheld pending court ruling on defense motion]'s molestation of children. (p. 25)

138.  Discovery will show that Defendants Mullery, David Hinder and Vince Hinders (sic) spoke with Maryland-based Defendants Mahaney and Loftness, and together conspired to prevent any reporting to the secular authorities.  (p. 31)

157.  Rather than report the ongoing abuse to secular authorities or take any steps to stop the abuse, Defendants informed the father that his children had reported the abuse.  This led to further abuse by the father.  In exchange for the conspiracy of silence, the abusive father paid to send Defendants Mahaney, Ricucci and Layman and their families on vacation to the Kiawah Islands, South Carolina. (p. 35)

Meanwhile, C.J. Mahaney and the ministries he oversaw as SGM president, along with other named individuals, are again coming under media scrutiny.  Janet Mefferd, a Christian radio talk show host, focused on the latest legal news about Sovereign Grace Ministries in her broadcast this afternoon.  She interviewed Bill O'Neil, co-counsel with Susan Burke, about the filing of the second complaint on May 14, and I was fortunate enough to tune in. (link) I highly recommend it!

Mefferd began the segment (starting at the 7 minute mark) by describing the SGM debacle as 'American Evangelicalism's Biggest Sex Scandal to Date'.  That's a powerful statement coming from her. 

O'Neil confirmed that there are now eleven plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit (five who have revealed their identities) and that he and Susan Burke have been contacted by more victims; however, those victims are 'unable to go forward' at this time.  He said that the alleged victims' number one goal is to expose what has been occurring for all these years, and he believes that there are many more victims. Early in the discussion Mefferd stated:

"Well, I sat down and I read this entire thing last night because I wanted to bring myself up to speed, and I've never read anything more brutal, I've never read anything sadder, more…I'm speechless.  I am so upset at these allegations, and I'm sure that you have had a similar reaction, but now you've got eleven plaintiffs, and that's a significant number of people to come forward and to share similar types of stories."

Bill O'Neil responded by saying as painful as it was to read the second complaint, it was far more difficult to write it.  He explained that the number one goal of those who have come forward was to expose what's been happening at the church and to let other people know what was going on.  Hopefully, others might have the courage to come forward, he said.

Mefferd then brought up pedophiles by stating: 

"You talk about one pedophile who was convicted and jailed and then came back to the church.  I mean, to what extent did this sort of stuff happen where somebody who was a known abuser of children, as you're alleging in this lawsuit, was allowed to be present among children and was not revealed to be a pedophile to people who didn't know any better?"

O'Neil responded:

"And that's the real breach of trust that I think is at the heart of why these people came forward.  Someone who had already been convicted of molestation related charges would be having sleepovers at his house with children where parents didn't know the details of what had happened, but the church officials definitely knew and participated in defending him in the courts."

I was particularly upset when O'Neil explained that the parents of the molested children were forbidden by the church leaders to warn others because that was considered "gossip". 

Mefferd brought up John Loftness as well as SGM's founder C.J. Mahaney.  Then she asked O'Neil the following question:

"What is the allegation here of his [Mahaney's] role in what happened here at Sovereign Grace?"

O'Neil responded:

"Well, from what we can tell, what everyone has told us is that C.J. Mahaney for many many years was the authority within the church and that there wasn't a church rule or doctrine or habit or custom that he did not approve of and participate in, so as the head of the church, it seems that it's impossible for someone to have that level of involvement and not know what was going on.  Now some of that is going to be subject to our ability to question him in discovery and to gain access to their files, which we have not had the opportunity to do yet."

Next Mefferd addressed the allegations in the second complaint that defendants actively disseminated false information and also withheld vital information from the victims' families. 

To that O'Neal remarked:

"On several different occasions church officials kinda placed themselves between the accusers and the accused and from the victim's point of view it certainly appears that they were advocating very hard on behalf of the accused….they would tell a family that a court date was the 25th when in fact the court date was the 18th, so the family wouldn't be there.  They misled families into missing their opportunity to present victim impact statements.  They represented to Virginia Commonwealth attorney that the pastors were talking on behalf of the family when in fact that was not the case…"

Toward the end of the segment, Mefferd reiterates that this is the biggest sex abuse scandal she can recall in evangelicalism in her lifetime

As she wrapped up the interview, she asked O'Neil:  "What happens from here?"

He explained:

"Well, at a certain point we will lose the opportunity to amend, and people are still contacting us…. We've alleged it as a class action, so we're seeking to go forward on behalf of all of the people who were injured.  That needs to be approved by the court, and that hasn't occurred yet.  The church has responded to the original lawsuit with a motion to dismiss which is a legal challenge to the allegations in the complaint and that hearing will be held soon and maybe ruled on probably towards the end of the summer."

Mefferd concluded the interview (at the 20 minute mark) by promising that she will be keeping tabs on this important story… 

We are extremely grateful to Janet Mefferd for staying on top of this horrific situation. 

Lydia's Corner:  2 Samuel 9:1-11:27   John 15:1-27   Psalm 119:49-64   Proverbs 16:1-3

Comments

C.J. Mahaney – What Did He Know? and the Janet Mefferd Show — 166 Comments

  1. Since the original suit came out, I haven’t been able to help but wonder if CJM might also have participated directly in molestation, etc. He has been leading a charmed life in his role as master manipulator. How is he still managing to evade as much as he has? I’m looking at the above, “…there wasn’t a habit or custom that he did not approve of and participate in, so as head of the church…”. And no file access yet.

  2. Great article, Deb!!! I’m baffled why the biggest evangelical scandal remains virtually silent. People still say, what’s Sovereign Grace Ministries? I read this article and then I just happened to read Matt Redmond’s new article (http://goo.gl/JXEqK) and between the two, I cannot fathom any reason why people would allow CJ Mahaney to speak at another conference until this legal mess is over. Be sure to check out Matt’s blog post. It is excellent. I’m about to tweet a note of thanks to Jared Wilson. Good for him for speaking out.

  3. Also, I am incredulous that former SGMers who can’t seem to stand the thought of darkening another SGM doorway, continue to tout this or that leader as a hope against hope hopeful who might initiate repentance and reconciliation. What a wacky theology to keep defending, especially when they’ve experienced and seen its fruit first hand.

  4. RB – Yes, that is a very bothersome problem that often occurs among those who were spiritually abused. A lot of us who were spiritually abused tend to keep the title of “pastor” on abusers in our minds. I wrote this in a blog post a few weeks ago and it applies to your comment:

    I think in our minds, we still try to keep them in that position or title of “pastor.” We need to change that. When we see blatant lack of compassion in our church leaders, an established pattern in which they are behaving like anti-shepherds, we need to fire them from that position in our minds. We also need to vote with our feet. I don’t think God would call them shepherds of His flock, why should we?

  5. I don’t always agree with the Sola Sisters (Christine Blackaby Pack and Cathy Blackaby Matthews and Marcia Montenegro), but I’m glad to see such hard-core Calvinists quoting long sections from the Janet Mefferd interview with Bill O’Neil yesterday.

    The Sola Sisters updated their article in the past 12 hours: http://solasisters.blogspot.com/2013/05/list-of-interviews-regarding-sgm-child.html

    Again, as you already posted above, here’s the link to the radio interview:
    http://www.janetmefferdpremium.com/2013/05/16/janet-mefferd-radio-show-20130516-hr-3/

  6. Remembering how at virtually every meeting members of GOB with the gift of “prophecy” would speak utterances from God. It amazes me how little it seems God must have been concerned for those children since He apparently never used anyone to “speak out” for them.

    Here’s my prediction, as this begins to move forward I’ll bet we see at least one if not more suicides among these men of God…someone mark this post, I don’t think you even need much of a crystal ball to see that coming.

  7. IANAL, but i think where cj may have a problem is with the concept of “willful blindness”. He can claim he didn’t “know” what was going on; but the plaintiff’s case will be that he should have, because of the power and control he had over all the alleged perpetrators.

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  9. @ RB:

    This has been my point from day one. The abuse can be directly tied to the doctrine they preach. Running from SGM to another like-minded church solves nothing. Does nothing and helps nothing. Destroying the cult of death which is neo Calvinism by abandoning it is ultimately the answer.

    The key to saving the children and others is to gather better assumptions. SGM is wicked because what they teach are lies. Lies make liars. And that is exactly what we are seeing.

  10. Here is a comment from someone who posted at SGM Survivors. I think it is helpful to see how alleged molesters can pull the wool over peoples’ eyes.

    “As for the Oops the Clown BIO, Mark does have a gift. He is an amazingly talented man who loves to see the joy light up in a child’s eye. He was exceptional in children’s ministry and took that talent into the workplace to support his family.”

  11. @ dee:
    Allegedly, he loves to see more than just their “joy”. I find this comment as disgusting as it is insane.

    This is one seriously brainwashed victim here.

  12. nmgirl wrote:

    IANAL, but i think where cj may have a problem is with the concept of “willful blindness”.

    It’s called “Plausible Deniability.”

    CeeJay is the Elect, the Head Apostle, a god, and a god Can Do No Wrong. (Humbly, of course.)

    It was Predestined, in’shal’lah.

  13. Argo wrote:

    Allegedly, he loves to see more than just their “joy”. I find this comment as disgusting as it is insane.

    This is one seriously brainwashed victim here.

    GOOD JOB OF GROOMING, OOPS.

    (Successful pedos don’t just groom their underage ******* (ed); they also groom the surrounding adults to create allies and supporters who will take their side and defend them like Harley Quinns if anything goes south.)

  14. RB wrote:

    Also, I am incredulous that former SGMers who can’t seem to stand the thought of darkening another SGM doorway, continue to tout this or that leader as a hope against hope hopeful who might initiate repentance and reconciliation. What a wacky theology to keep defending, especially when they’ve experienced and seen its fruit first hand.

    It’s called FUEHRERPRINZIP.

    Like Pavlov’s dogs drooling at the ringing of a bell, they have been conditioned to look to a FUEHRER for everything. To bow to their FUEHRER in the Name of God. And if their Beloved FUEHRER falls, they attach themselves to another. Stimulus, Response; Stimulus, Response; Stimulus, Response…

  15. The ship is beginning to list to starboard. At least Nero fiddled as Rome burned. Not a sound from the coalition of autocratic ecclesiastical authorities.

  16. Well, “believing the best” of CJ Mahaney for me means I am still willing to believe that the nature of this “cover up” was a matter of ignorance on his part (as well as for many other defendants). Not ignorance of what was going on but ignorance of the realities of abuse, pedophilia, and how it should be handled. I am willing to believe that he thought they were doing the right thing, because their theology said so.

    I’m under the impression that SGM thinks that because they didn’t willfully intend for abuse to be perpetuated that they shouldn’t be held responsible for their bad decisions. The problem is, you can be well intentioned but still be wrong.

    This, again is “thinking the best” scenario.

  17. Argo wrote:

    This has been my point from day one. The abuse can be directly tied to the doctrine they preach. Running from SGM to another like-minded church solves nothing. Does nothing and helps nothing. Destroying the cult of death which is neo Calvinism by abandoning it is ultimately the answer.

    Calvinism and Islam have a lot of similarities. Primarily the doctrine of Predestination and God’s Sovereign Will (to the point of putting God beyond Good and Evil; God Can Will Evil upon us depraved sinners, and who are we to say otherwise?) And Predestination’s fallout of Fatalism, Passivity, no check on Ambition, and perfect Excuse Machine.

    And the extreme versions of Calvinism (Truly Reformed) resemble the extreme versions of Islam — male supremacy, thirst for political power, hatred of the Infidel, the utopian ideal of the Perfect Godly State and Perfect Godly Society. Both extreme versions find their support among young single males turned Troo BEE-LEEEVERS, whether Boston Marathon Bombers or Young, Restless, and Truly Truly Reformed. (In tribal societies, young single males try to advance themselves to Elder status, with the perqs of power, wealth, and access to females.) And the wall in the mind slams down, after which there is only The Party Line and the endless reciting of thoughtstopper phrases.

  18. While theology may be a bit abstract in this instance, I am forced to ask if any of these “alleged” child molesters were to ask forgiveness of God, would they not be forgiven and allowed into heaven to sit alongside those whom they abused for all eternity, enjoying all the same joys and benefits as everyone else?

    This is justice…in whose mind, and what does that make the God who allows it?

  19. Fendrel,

    As usual, you ask good questions. Molesters, the same as anyone else, must do more than ask forgiveness (though that is a necessary step). They must repent, turn from their sin, and then kill their sin.

  20. Fendrel wrote:

    Here’s my prediction, as this begins to move forward I’ll bet we see at least one if not more suicides among these men of God…someone mark this post, I don’t think you even need much of a crystal ball to see that coming.

    As sick as this whole situation is, I certainly hope it doesn’t come to that!!

  21. Deb wrote:

    Janey,

    Are the Sola Sisters related to Henry Blackaby?

    Deb — I don’t know much about them, except that I’ve seen their posts on Facebook from time to time.

    But they appear to be important voices in the Calvinist community. And I think it’s wonderful that they have taken the bold step (as they have in the past) to stand up for what’s right.

  22. @ Fendrel:
    After my mother’s new husband heard about my father’s abusin’ ways, he said to me: “Your dad will be in heaven some day, you know.” One of those reproving distancing statements which really mean “forgiveness means it never happened” and “you’re as bad/good as him” and which is heard as, “You’ll never ever be free of the a**hole. Get used to it.”

    But from the genuine Christian framework, yes, it is possible. As joey writes, the perp would need to genuinely remorseful, which would include a completely different life going forward plus restitution. Otherwise there is no hope. After all, even civil society (supposedly) eventually calls justice served and a perp leaves prison, debts paid.

    Who knows about SGM perps? My father never faced it. There’s another metaphor people sometimes try on. If God burns away the dross, perhaps people like my father will be the prettiest golden gnat ever seen flying.

    I wouldn’t mind being in the same universe as my father if his garbage was deconstructed from his person and he was back to how he was as a child. Almost everyone starts out rather lovely. It would be sad to have that original fine art piece completely erased, wouldn’t it?

    I think it’s up to the perp.

    But yes, if one is to believe in a god, at least it should be one who is both completely just and loving. Tricky, that.

  23. Neo- Calvinist doctrine IS the root cause of all these problems. I have to wonder if any of the former CJ supporters who now question his leadership have caught on to this yet. Are they just backing away til the smoke clears. If SGM loses where will they stand theologically. Will they see the truth behind this debacle. Or will they continue to embrace the system of lies that support it.

    Argo, you are correct. Until we destroy this cult of death, we are only spinning our wheels.

  24. Hey all

    Fascinating nursery rhyme that, according to a commenter at SGM survivors, kids used to say when she was a student there. (Comment #186)

    Funny how I can still remember a circulating nursery rhyme some of the kids were taught: “Mr Griney, spanks your hiney, makes it shiny, when your whiney”.

    If this is true, it shows how sick, sick, sick things were at that school.

  25. Argo wrote:

    Allegedly, he loves to see more than just their “joy”. I find this comment as disgusting as it is insane.
    This is one seriously brainwashed victim here.

    I totally agree. This is the sort of thinking that the mantra “believe the best” brings. Inability to discern good and evil even when the evil has been pointed out! That sort of comment is the reason I had to stop reading over at survivors.

    His wanting to entertain children and “light up their eyesw” had sinister life ruining and evil motives. There is nothing “good” about it because it is a perfect deceptive recruiting tactic. In fact, it coudl be his motivation to be “gifted” at it was targeted at fulfilling his lust for molesting children. (Where is that verse about calling evil good and good evil?)

    I do understand the depth of the brainwashing at SGM and know the only way to really start to reprogram is to get very far away from it. But sometimes it just gets wearying to read that sort of thinking over and over.

  26. This Sovereign Grace Ministries child sexual abuse lawsuit story will go mainstream very soon.

    Why am I optimistic?
    — Because this child sexual abuse and cover up lawsuit is massive, credible, and horrifying. It includes names, locations and descriptions of despicable acts.

    — The cause is just: To give alleged victims their day in court and to hand down justice to the alleged perpetrators.

    What needs to happen to happen next? What can you do?

    1. Remind the mainstream media that they helped give credibility to the New Calvinists.
    Time magazine’s cover story “10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now” had an entire article on the New Calvinists (Mar 12, 2009), and mentioned Mohler, Piper, and Driscoll. These are the very people who are silent on an explosive child sexual abuse lawsuit that names their good friend and fellow New Calvinist bigwig C. J. Mahaney as the key defendant. This is the kind of thing the mainstream media loves: the idea of hypocritical arrogant Christian leaders colluding to shield child molesters. They’ll have a field day.

    2. Be patient and watchful. This story is still evolving. We just got names and stories of the Plaintiffs and Defendants on May 14. There’s more info coming out, including more Plaintiffs (apparently) waiting in the wings.

    3. Create a set of fact sheets for the media. For the mainstream media to move to the next level, it’s really important to create a summary on the history of this lawsuit and a brief history of C. J. Mahaney and how he fits into the New Calvinist camp. The mainstream media needs to have a basic overview to help them navigate through the facts. They won’t move forward unless they know more. They don’t want to embarrass themselves.
    They need —
    A. A fact sheet with the basics – who, what, when, where.
    B. Short bios on the key people/organizations: Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Ministries, Loftness, and other defendants.
    C. They need experts and former insiders to interview and contact information for those people.

    4. Be prepared for setbacks. We already know that Mahaney and Sovereign Grace have a PR machine behind them, because they appear to have contacted many bloggers with their side of the story. The mainstream media knows these statements are weak and damning, but without any guidance from the those supporting the Plaintiffs, the media has no where to go. Be prepared for the SGM and their friends to fund PR teams to start trying to dig up dirt on the alleged victims. This is standard operating procedure. Don’t be quick to believe what they say.

    5. Take courage and keep talking about it. There will be justice. Just make sure you’re on the right side.

    For you New Calvinists reading this: You’d better get on the correct side of this issue now and go public.

  27. TW wrote:

    The ship is beginning to list to starboard. At least Nero fiddled as Rome burned. Not a sound from the coalition of autocratic ecclesiastical authorities.

    I am not sure what difference it makes at this point. Would anyone with a brain actually believe it was motivated by concern for the victims or the PR move it really is? if they spoke out will we all say, Oh how wonderful they all are! They really care! That would just make us fakes, too.

    If there is one thing I have learned over the years it is “watch actions not words” when it comes to the celebs in Christendom. But many poor souls believe words even when the most incongruous evidence is right in front of them. I know, I was there, too, once upon a time. We should encourage people that actions speak louder than words.

  28. @ Kristin:

    Even IF your definition of ‘believing the best’ about CJ could possibly turn out to be true, which it just can’t after all the documentation of witnesses over the years, then the ‘best’ that I could believe is that his theology is utterly evil and depraved through and through.

  29. Janey wrote:

    1. Remind the mainstream media that they helped give credibility to the New Calvinists.
    Time magazine’s cover story “10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now” had an entire article on the New Calvinists (Mar 12, 2009), and mentioned Mohler, Piper, and Driscoll. These are the very people who are silent on an explosive child sexual abuse lawsuit that names their good friend and fellow New Calvinist bigwig C. J. Mahaney as the key defendant. This is the kind of thing the mainstream media loves: the idea of hypocritical arrogant Christian leaders colluding to shield child molesters. They’ll have a field day.

    Janey, Time should do a follow up piece, “Where are they now” 4 years later…..they could consult Joyful Exiles for Driscoll. Oh and all that bizarre real estate stuff WTH has written about. They could do something on the rise of T4G/TGC and how the who’s who of the Reformed world has propped up Mahaney/SGM.

    Would be a great piece. But probably more fitting for People magazine.

  30. @ Anon 1:
    Precisely. Ever wonder why he was so good with children? What was the objective? Why did his eyes delight in seeing the children so enthralled with his “gifts”?

    For those not dimmed by the false ideology, the meaning is clear. A child’s joy is a symbol of trust. And trust is the vehicle which is manipulated to the evil end.

    It is shocking that someone would post such a comment. “He had a gift for it.” A gift! As if somehow the manipulation was fine, it was just the actual perverted act which was “unwise”.

    That comment is a glimmering example of how dangerous this neo-cal mind-**** is. It creeps in and the next thing you know you are saying things like that.

  31. @ Janey:Sadly, I think Christianity Today has contributed to the normalizing of this movement. This is an organization I otherwise respect.

  32. Fendrel wrote:

    While theology may be a bit abstract in this instance, I am forced to ask if any of these “alleged” child molesters were to ask forgiveness of God, would they not be forgiven and allowed into heaven to sit alongside those whom they abused for all eternity, enjoying all the same joys and benefits as everyone else?
    This is justice…in whose mind, and what does that make the God who allows it?

    Of course they would- it would only be “just” because Jesus bore the punishment for the sin. There are no sins that are too horrific to be forgiven (Remember that David was forgiven his sin of having a man murdered to cover up his adultery).

    But it’s not enough to want the blessings of Heaven- you have to repent from the idolatry of self and choose to follow Christ instead. A person who “asks forgiveness” but does so on the basis of feeling regret is not someone who truly wants to turn to God. Even remorse is not enough. You are looking for real repentance or contrition.

    This wonderful article by Dr. George Simon Jr. I think does an excellent job of showing just what has to change in an abuser: http://cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/how-to-recognize-true-and-false-contrition-by-dr-george-simon-jr/

    The point is, “I’m sorry and I feel really bad” is not a good definition of “asking forgivness” of God.

  33. The “gift” is that of all sociopaths! The gift for manipulating their victims. They all have this “gift”, it is why they are so good at being so evil!

  34. At the risk of creating confusion with a Patrice and a Patti also on this board, I’m going to delete my last name (Hanlon) from my screen name going forward and use “Patricia in MA”

  35. Kristin, I think I understand where you are coming from but I have to stronly disagree. “Believe the best” said in several different ways is a cult tactic used all over. I saw variations of it used in the mega industrial complex. Basically it goes like this if you take the usage and add in the body langague, etc.

    A person has not hard evidence but there are things wrong. They go to someone in leadership. Believe the best they are told. The implication is your mind is cojuring up things which means YOUR heart is not in the right place. You are the sinner for not believing the best. Even though you know somerthing is not right….and as we all know, these guys operate in deception mode. Nothing is really black and white provable.

    “Believe the best” is the most deceptive sinister tactic out there. It prolongs evil done to people by keeping them in bondage over some fake sin of “wrong thinking” when the thinking is not wrong at all. It created group think and a stepford mentality. People start indirectly competing for who can think the most positive thoughts about the leaders. It is mind control and brainwashing at its best because it sounds so good…..and Christian.

    Watch actions. Not words. But then, you have to be able to actually be around these guys to watch actions. watching on stages tells you nothing because they have personas for stage /audiences. So, a great key is never follw someone as a shepherd figure you do not know well as in and out of their home, knowing thier kids, spouse, etc.

    This is not rocket science. That is how the Body should operate.

    So “believe the best” about what? Someone you really don’t know? That is ignoranc3e.

  36. Patricia Hanlon wrote:

    @ Janey:Sadly, I think Christianity Today has contributed to the normalizing of this movement. This is an organization I otherwise respect.

    Patrice — I’m sure once the editors at Christianity Today and World Magazine and Christian Post realize that protecting CJ and Sovereign Grace is hopeless, their good journalistic instincts will kick in. Nothing like a good media bloodbath for a just cause like protecting children from predators.

    Right now Wartburg Watch and Brian Detwiler and Janet Mefferd are getting all of the scoops, while the rest of the Christian media is twiddling its thumbs.

  37. Another thing about believe the best. I go back to my mom’s advice: Reserve judgement until you know. This is wise because because that sort of thinking keeps you from falling in love with the leader but at the same time not looking for bad stuff unfairly, either.

    We really do need to teach this to our kids. So mucb of what we see today is fake. EVeryone is to smile smile smile all the time. There is a lot of fake flattery/charm out there to get what people want. It has become so bad that if you are a sort of serious person that does not do the smile effect all the time to present some cheerleader image, you are seen as mean. When that person might just be serious and sincere. The cult of positive. I am not arguing for negative. I am arguing for thinking.

    If you want a good example of what I mean think of the giggly Mahaney on T4G promo vids. He was the lowly nice guy who played the humble court jester. People really bought the humble act.

  38. I should include Julie Anne’s SpiritualSoundingBoard.com as another front runner for Christian media.

  39. @ Anon 1:
    I agree. And if “believe the best” is to be applied anywhere, it’s better to apply it to those who claim wrongs-done. (“It is best to believe they are correct until shown otherwise.”)

    It’s merely common sense because statistically, most people who gain power want to keep it at all costs, and most people who present this kind of stuff have to take a long hard road, not the easy one of simple denial.

  40. Anon 1 wrote:

    Kristin, I think I understand where you are coming from but I have to strongly disagree. “Believe the best” said in several different ways is a cult tactic used all over.

    Point taken, I meant the phrase more tongue in cheek; even “the best” I can muster really is still pretty dire!

  41. Patti wrote:

    @ Kristin:
    Even IF your definition of ‘believing the best’ about CJ could possibly turn out to be true, which it just can’t after all the documentation of witnesses over the years, then the ‘best’ that I could believe is that his theology is utterly evil and depraved through and through.

    Very true.

  42. I read my mom the suit on Wed (yes, I read her that entire horrible 46-page document out loud). She’s in the process of handing off our Christian homeschool support group to some other moms. She had a meeting that night and asked these ladies if, in light of the allegations (which they hadn’t heard of), they should add the question “Have you ever been convicted of a crime,” something about the sex offender registry, etc. to the membership form. They couldn’t see why that was necessary since “the kids will always be with their parents,” but insisted on keeping a 3-month probationary period for families wanting to join the group – not so they could check for signs of creepiness, but so they could assess whether the family is lying/deluded about being Christians.

    In other words, it seems atheists are more dangerous than child molesters.

  43. (Whoops! I meant can you include THIS post under the Sovereign Grace Ministries Label. Sorry about that!)

  44. Kristin wrote:

    Point taken, I meant the phrase more tongue in cheek; even “the best” I can muster really is still pretty dire!

    Oh sorry! I totally missed that!

    If I had not seen variations of tht used to shut people up and make them feel guitly for rightly connecting questionable dots for so many years, I probably would not be so revolted by it.

  45. Hester wrote:

    They couldn’t see why that was necessary since “the kids will always be with their parents,” but insisted on keeping a 3-month probationary period for families wanting to join the group – not so they could check for signs of creepiness, but so they could assess whether the family is lying/deluded about being Christians.
    In other words, it seems atheists are more dangerous than child molesters.

    Purity of Ideology trumps Reality.

    P.S. “Christians” in this context should be “RTCs” (“Real True Christians”). And “atheists” should be stretched to include “heretics” and “apostates”.

  46. Argo wrote:

    Excellent. Perfectly stated.

    In the words of JMJ/Christian Monist, the final result in Extreme Predestination and the Sovereignty of God above all else results in “A God who is Omnipotent but NOT Benevolent.”

    It redefines God as Infinite Omnipotence, i.e. Absolute POWER. And to be like this God who is nothing but Absolute POWER, you have to wield Total POWER. As close to Omnipotent and far from Benevolent as you can get. Only then can you become Truly Godly(TM). Until in the words of a certain George Orwell, “The only goal of Power is POWER.”

  47. Fendrel wrote:

    While theology may be a bit abstract in this instance, I am forced to ask if any of these “alleged” child molesters were to ask forgiveness of God, would they not be forgiven and allowed into heaven to sit alongside those whom they abused for all eternity, enjoying all the same joys and benefits as everyone else?
    This is justice…in whose mind, and what does that make the God who allows it?

    This is rich coming from the guy who has admitted that he doesn’t believe in any such thing as just punishment, because he doesn’t believe that people have any control over their actions.

  48. Anon 1 wrote:

    HUG, You nailed it.

    There is something called The Problem of Evil. Goes like this:
    1) God is All-Good.
    2) God is All-Powerful.
    3) Evil Exists.
    Any two of these axioms, no problem. All three, and you have a paradox. A BIG paradox.

    I postulate that both Calvin and Mohammed attempted to resolve this paradox by changing Axiom 1 to put God’s Will beyond Good and Evil. God can will what we dare to call Evil because God is All-Powerful. And we’re seeing the fallout from this in both Hyper-Calvinism and Hyper-Islam.

  49. @ Janey:

    Janey: If anyone gets something like this put together, I will do whatever I can to help.

    We have “templates” already done with Calvary Chapel Visalia lawsuit case and the #WhoWouldJesusSue campaign. Please avail yourself (feel free to copy and paste the template) to anything there. It was designed for such a time as this.

    Brad Sargent put together this: http://calvarychapelabuse.com/wordpress/?page_id=1685

    But it doesn’t have to be that involved at all. Take a look at the Media FAQs and the Press Release in that link in particular. Those might be a helpful guide (again, feel free to c&p).

    I can host the FAQs and Press Release on my blog or we can ask Dee/Deb – doesn’t matter (Kris at SGMSurvivors may be interested, too). It should be posted somewhere so that the links can be sent out via tweets/Facebook. It would be good to get a key contact person – someone familiar with the stories/case for reporters to call. I’ve got lots of reporters/news people in my “followers” list on Twitter, feel free to look through it to find people to tag (@DefendtheSheep). I also have a collection of reporters who contacted me from my lawsuit and I could contact them directly via e-mail once the media fact sheet is put together. A Twitter hashtag dedicated to this effort would be important, too.

    A team is always best. The #WWJS team did this all via e-mail. Let me know how I can help. A contact e-mail address would be a good place to solicit people who would like to get involved.

  50. @ Argo:

    “Charisma” of any kind seems to be transformed into “gifting” in Christendom. Not sure why. With the rampant fear of all things “secular” running rampant in many Christian circles, you would think that the entrance of celebrity” and “charismatic” leaders would be on the radar screen and raise eyebrows. The idea that “charisma” = “gifting” is a misnomer and opens the door for all kinds of problems . . . which Christendom appears to be experiencing. We seem to be leaving out alot of wisdom verses about faithfulness, steadfastness, honesty, and character when deciding who we should follow / or not. For all the trying not to be like the world (i.e., mental health), Christendom doesn’t seem to see the seepage going on. Unless, but I hope not, it is a fear of loosing incomes.

  51. Bridget wrote:

    We seem to be leaving out alot of wisdom verses about faithfulness, steadfastness, honesty, and character when deciding who we should follow / or not. For all the trying not to be like the world (i.e., mental health), Christendom doesn’t seem to see the seepage going on. Unless, but I hope not, it is a fear of loosing incomes.

    Bridget,

    Also, those characteristics are not considered important in the determinist god paradigm. No matter what the leader is, that is what is right because God appointed him. God determined his position. That is why “great men of God” could go along with burning at the stake those who did not agree with the doctrine. Or burning “witches” or wiping out Indians for land. Doctrine was more important. Believing what they say is truth is all that really matters. It really is the perfect scam for power over people.

    REmember what Piper told Bob M on another thread at their meeting? Why he supported Mahaney and Driscoll? The Doctrines of Grace being in churches was that important.

  52. Nicholas wrote:

    This is rich coming from the guy who has admitted that he doesn’t believe in any such thing as just punishment, because he doesn’t believe that people have any control over their actions.

    He’s not allowed to ask questions about what other people believe?

  53. Julie Anne wrote:

    If anyone gets something like this put together, I will do whatever I can to help.

    We have “templates” already done with Calvary Chapel Visalia lawsuit case and the #WhoWouldJesusSue campaign. Please avail yourself (feel free to copy and paste the template) to anything there. It was designed for such a time as this.

    Brad Sargent put together this: http://calvarychapelabuse.com/wordpress/?page_id=1685

    But it doesn’t have to be that involved at all. Take a look at the Media FAQs and the Press Release in that link in particular. Those might be a helpful guide (again, feel free to c&p).

    I can host the FAQs and Press Release on my blog or we can ask Dee/Deb – doesn’t matter (Kris at SGMSurvivors may be interested, too). It should be posted somewhere so that the links can be sent out via tweets/Facebook. It would be good to get a key contact person – someone familiar with the stories/case for reporters to call. I’ve got lots of reporters/news people in my “followers” list on Twitter, feel free to look through it to find people to tag (@DefendtheSheep). I also have a collection of reporters who contacted me from my lawsuit and I could contact them directly via e-mail once the media fact sheet is put together. A Twitter hashtag dedicated to this effort would be important, too.

    A team is always best. The #WWJS team did this all via e-mail. Let me know how I can help. A contact e-mail address would be a good place to solicit people who would like to get involved.

    Julie Anne — I think this is a fantastic template. And as you say, it doesn’t have to be built out this extensively. It will grow naturally over time. I think Dee/Deb and you know the history and people who would be credible interviewees for the media. There are probably people on this site that might want to contribute — even anonymously.

    Go ahead and start setting it up the three basic pages (introductory fact sheet, time line of key events, bio of key people, links to media interviews with the Plaintiffs, and potential interviewees).

    As it grows you can make decisions as needed. The key is to get some basic information out there for the mainstream media to lock onto.

    Once these basics are compiled, we “sheep” can all start linking to it and contacting big media.

  54. “While theology may be a bit abstract in this instance, I am forced to ask if any of these “alleged” child molesters were to ask forgiveness of God, would they not be forgiven and allowed into heaven to sit alongside those whom they abused for all eternity, enjoying all the same joys and benefits as everyone else?
    This is justice…in whose mind, and what does that make the God who allows it? ”

    FEnderal, While I really don’t want to get into this deep and most here will accuse me of being a heretic or some sort of legalist, I do not think it is that simple they can just ask for forgiveness. I also think “repentence” would look very different from what most would assume is true.

    Assuming they are guilty of molestations (for the lawyers as Dee says), they did their evil in the Name of Jesus. They used Jesus as their cover to DO EVIL to the most vulnerable and innocent of our society. So here goes….if the Holy Spirit had convicted them of their evil (and the Holy Spirit does this with true believers) they would have turned themselves in and paid a high price and going along with their entire lives ruined. That did not happen.

    So now when caught or outed if they have a real “come to Jesus” moment, who would know if it is real or not? Perverts entire lives are lives of deception. They get up every day as a pervert and pretend to be the opposite. In this case masquerading as a follower of Jesus while living the lie.

    If they have that true conviction, I am hoping they have it rotting in prison until He comes back. Because we can never know if it is real or not, they should never be allowed alone with children. Period. It is time for believers to stop being idiots and manipulated by these deceivers because we don’t want to look mean.

  55. Anon 1 wrote:

    and most here will accuse me of being a heretic or some sort of legalist

    I doubt this. You are spot on, imo.

    A real repentant abuser is disgusted by the sin and accepts the consequence of it. And repentance is required for salvation and all that good stuff Fendral mentions.

  56. @ Jeff S: Not only that, Fendrel’s reference to GOB (Gathering of Believers) and listening to C.J. at that time is a dead giveaway that he was a member of what morphed into PDI and then SGM at a *very* early date. (As he’s stated here in the past.)

    Which makes him – imo – very credible and very much worth listening to on issues surrounding SGM, et. al. (But I’ll admit to bias; I’ve always enjoyed reading his comments, even when they make me uncomfortable. :D))

  57. @ Anon 1:

    Yes, yes, and yes… and yes to people buying the Mahaney humble ACT. They watch him instead of listen to him. Every sermon or piece of sermon I have watched or listened to, there is at least one instance where he has to put someone or a group of someone’s down, therefore nullifying anything he acts about being humble.

  58. Anon 1 wrote:

    Assuming they are guilty of molestations (for the lawyers as Dee says), they did their evil in the Name of Jesus. They used Jesus as their cover to DO EVIL…

    I cannot stress enough that according to Jewish tradition, THAT is the original meaning of the Commandment “Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of God In Vain.” Claiming God’s sanction to do evil, NOT cussing.

  59. Anon 1 wrote:

    Also, those characteristics are not considered important in the determinist god paradigm. No matter what the leader is, that is what is right because God appointed him. God determined his position. That is why “great men of God” could go along with burning at the stake those who did not agree with the doctrine. Or burning “witches” or wiping out Indians for land. Doctrine was more important.

    Every time I read this, I keep getting echoes of the old Soviet Communists. They had their “determinist god paradigm”, the Inevitable Dialectic of History. They had their Burning Times of Witches and Heretics, the Purges that bled Russia white in a race to the bottom, peaking under “Head Apostle” Stalin. They also had their “Doctrine was more important” as justification for their abuse; they called it Purity of Ideology.

    When the only difference between Calvinista and Communista becomes which Party Line gets recited, something is definitely WRONG somewhere.

  60. Jeff S wrote:

    A real repentant abuser is disgusted by the sin and accepts the consequence of it. And repentance is required for salvation and all that good stuff Fendral mentions.

    You know, it’s thought that pedophiles are basically non-rehabilitative. While they might learn to control their actions, their attractions and initial impulses toward sexual feelings for children isn’t something that they can change. It’s why they are SO very dangerous.

    The repentance thing is very true. True repentance comes from accepting whatever means and punishments might come along your path, taking responsibility for your actions, and turning from sin. It’s more than just saying “I’m sorry” and thinking that is that.

    It’s funny, because in secular therapy circles for child sex offenders, I’ve seen men say “I served my time, I’ve said I’m sorry, and I can’t believe they won’t let me spend time alone with my 7 year old daughter.” I’ve also seen men actually volunteer for PERMANENT PHYSICAL castration, volunteer to live in group homes with high supervision, and say things like “I should never be able to see my kids again.”

    Tell me who is more repentant. It not only requires a desire to be forgiven, but true action. I think Jesus demonstrated this when he told the adulterous woman to go and sin no more. It’s a call to do something ACTIVELY about sin.

  61. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Yes, yes, yes…absolutely. And this false ideology is rooted in contradictory metaphysics, as well as false and inconsistent definitions of “omnipotence” and “omniscience”…which goes essentially like this: God can do whatever man can’t. which means that somehow God can functionally use and apply rationally and logically impossible and, frankly, merely human theoretical absolutes and somehow, they will manifest as efficacious, benevolent,and profitable.

    This is why I focus so heavily on metaphysics on my blog. The metaphysical assumptions of reformation theology are false, and this is why the philosophy is false. But no one ever questions the assumptions–total depravity, infallibility of scripture, original sin, determinism are taken as given, and so they always survive these kinds of ordeals (like the SGM scandal). People don’t question the assumptions; they recoil at the obvious evil, but instead of reassessing the driving doctrines, they merely find a church which practices the SAME evil in its more surreptitious form. And when it blooms, the cycle of human carnage begins again.

  62. jeffs, My point is also we should not be so concerned with their repentence. I say this because they have put themselves in a place where their goal was to convince folks they speak for God. They are charlatans. You can read about them in Jude.

    I say this because I have a lot of experience with “Christians” who go to court and plead for leniency for perverts from church who are caught and convicted while the poor victims are sitting there bewildered and crushed. These defenders think they are so pious and full of grace like Jesus. But they show no grace for the victim. They confuse grace of our Lord with cheap grace and make His sacrifice worthless.

    These are the same Christians that will be upset prayer is not in school or will crowd the court room over porn business regulations. They live in an upside down kingdom. Paul talks about this in 1 Corin 5 at the end.

    I see this sort of thinking all over survivors blog. People are totally focused on the leaders and them repenting. These “leaders” have already proved they have not been “of Christ” for years and years and not only with the perversion but also the spiritual abuse and seeking power over others. This is not of Christ. The entire system was build on fraud. True “leaders” look like servants and would look like loserville to most evangelicals.

    We should seek justice. Justice IS also a part of grace and love. That does not mean there cannot be forgiveness but that is way above our pay grade. We cannot announce that it happened because they claim it happened…… because their lives have been ones of total deception. All we can do is warn about joining these churches of “Diotrephes” and seek justice for those harmed.

    CJ can go sell used cars somewhere to make ends meet for all I care. I am really sick of grace for the charlatans at the expense of the least of these.

    Jesus did not refuse to speak with the Pharisees or even eat with them but he was not hanging around with them pretending they were not who they were. he told them who they were and they hated him for it. There are a lot of folks who think Nicodemus was saved because he asked to meet with Jesus late at night when no one would see him. Do you realize what he would ahve had to give up to follow Christ? Did he? We do not know. I think systems like SGM, Mohler, etc parallel what we see with the priests in the OT. it is the same sort of thing. It happened again!

    I believe these charlatans have cold hardened hearts. I think they are people to avoid…not to hate as in sinning hate but total avoidance. They have lived lives using Jesus to gain power and satisfy their personal lusts and ambitions. how would we ever know they are really sincere?

    I know there are doctrinal disagreements here but one thing I am totally convinced of is that we simply must start understanding what the “kingdom of God” means for right now. (Or Matthew calls it Kingdom of heaven). It is not ONLY about eternal life. It is supposed to be RIGHT NOW, too. not perfection but a living for Christ here…. right now. Taking care of those around us. Being Jesus’ hands and feet right where we are and beyond if we can.

    The reason so many do not see this is because we have been brainwashed this is “works salvation” when it is not. It is the fruit of sanctification with the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit. yes, as Justified believers, we can CHOOSE to do right. So many are convinced we are worms and God has to force us to do good. Some are convinced continual willful heinous sin is no big deal and covered at the cross. (the evangelical seekers loved that one)

    I am convinced one cannot have the indwelling Holy Spirit while raping a child. And I do not think all sin is the same in the eyes of God as so many teach.

    “Kingdom now”. Understanding the ressurection and what it REALLY means for us here and now. And we will be better equipped to spot the frauds a mile away? I pray so! Too many broken people from “Christendom”? It boggles the mind.

  63. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    This makes sense. In a way it doesn’t matter what we think about God; if God is real, He is what He is regardless of what we humans think. But our beliefs about God seem to have some practical consequences. Speaking for myself, believing in a wise and good God makes me want to cultivate my character and live up to the highest possible standard. I guess Calvinistas would say this is works-based salvation and comes straight from the devil (ironically). But it seems to me that they believe in a tyrant God, and everything they do/believe is about sucking up to this capricious all-powerful tyrant. It doesn’t seem to exactly bring out the best in people.

  64. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I cannot stress enough that according to Jewish tradition, THAT is the original meaning of the Commandment “Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of God In Vain.” Claiming God’s sanction to do evil, NOT cussing.

    I’ve never heard it expressed that way before, HUG. That makes a profound difference.

  65. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    cannot stress enough that according to Jewish tradition, THAT is the original meaning of the Commandment “Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of God In Vain.” Claiming God’s sanction to do evil, NOT cussing.

    YES! Thank you. I was stunned to learn this several years back while studying. I am coming to grips with how saturated our biblical understanding is with Western thought.

  66. @ Dis:
    Thank you for sharing your firsthand experience. I have seen this too; a convicted sex offender stood before my church and basically said that exact thing (when they stipulated after his conviction that another adult accompany him at all times on church premises)–“You need to let this go, I’ve moved on, etc.” They didn’t bend and he left. It’s a dealbreaker that you’re not allowed to be around children alone–how is that not a red flag? I firmly believe now that any sex offender who truly repents and isn’t just trying to snow everyone would NEVER ask that everyone simply forget what they did and move on. Surely anyone truly understanding the grave consequences of their terrible crime would accept that their life could never be the same. Child abuse victims CANNOT simply forget and move on like it never happened. The idea that their abusers would have that option is plain injustice.

  67. Patrice wrote:

    I wouldn’t mind being in the same universe as my father if his garbage was deconstructed from his person and he was back to how he was as a child. Almost everyone starts out rather lovely. It would be sad to have that original fine art piece completely erased, wouldn’t it?

    A beautiful and sensitive comment. It makes me angry when Christians emphasize a kind of forgiveness that means throwing justice out the window; if there is no justice, why even try to do good/serve God? Also, I don’t think pretending ever works; forgiveness must mean more than simply pretending bad things never happened. At the same time, I think it is proper to acknowledge that our knowledge of these things is limited and maybe God can make things right in ways we don’t see. I am not sure if there is goodness to be salvaged in some souls, but I’m happy to leave it to God. (Surely this is better/healthier than the Calvinista approach of gleefully relishing the thought of how many souls will burn in hell for all eternity.)

  68. Janey wrote:

    Go ahead and start setting it up the three basic pages (introductory fact sheet, time line of key events, bio of key people, links to media interviews with the Plaintiffs, and potential interviewees).
    As it grows you can make decisions as needed. The key is to get some basic information out there for the mainstream media to lock onto.
    Once these basics are compiled, we “sheep” can all start linking to it and contacting big media.

    Janey: I’ve got previous commitments right now – a kid graduating from HS, etc, but will be happy to host it. If someone puts it together, send it to me and I’ll post it. spiritualsb @ gmail

  69. Anon 1 wrote:

    I see this sort of thinking all over survivors blog. People are totally focused on the leaders and them repenting. These “leaders” have already proved they have not been “of Christ” for years and years and not only with the perversion but also the spiritual abuse and seeking power over others. This is not of Christ. The entire system was build on fraud. True “leaders” look like servants and would look like loserville to most evangelicals.

    YES – – People are trying to get their pastors to admit their sins so they can go on pastoring. No. That is backwards. These guys have proven by their actions time and again for years and years, that they were never qualified to be pastors to begin with. Remove the freakin- title from their name. Dethrone them in your mind. They cannot be pastors. They weren’t pastors. They are devouring wolves.

  70. I was just thinking,

    Jesus promised us that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled.

    Heaven would be a miserable place for those who still love the taste of evil. A good God won’t let you live forever in a place that would be hell to you, even if it is called heaven…

    Satan promises us that those who hunger and thirst for evil will be filled also. Jesus says that hell was prepared for the evil loving devil and his kind. He made another place for the righteous, so only those who love righteousness will be there.

    Since Jesus and His heaven has no evil to satisfy the unrepentant perves, they will not even want to be in heaven where there will be no satisfaction for their lusts. They will want to be in hell with Satan getting all their fill of evil. Only kicker is, so will everyone else that’s there. I’m assuming the alleged Christian pastor perves have been preaching the golden rule, so they should be happy, no?

    If you aren’t constantly hungering for righteousness, I’d be worried as to why not.

    Ummm… am I loving evil right now because I actually found a little amusement in my post? I repent. I don’t wish evil on anyone. Just justice for the victims.

  71. Jeff S wrote:

    A real repentant abuser is disgusted by the sin and accepts the consequence of it. And repentance is required for salvation and all that good stuff Fendral mentions.

    I think a truly repentant pastor who behaved in this manner would remove themselves from the pastorate saying they do not deserve to ever be put in that kind of position again. There are other ways of being the hands/feet of Jesus than being a pastor.

  72. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Calvinism and Islam have a lot of similarities…
    And the extreme versions of Calvinism (Truly Reformed) resemble the extreme versions of Islam — male supremacy, thirst for political power, hatred of the Infidel, the utopian ideal of the Perfect Godly State and Perfect Godly Society.

    I agree. I’ve heard Calvinists on online radio shows disagree with this depiction of their religious views, but it seems accurate to me.

    Some Calvinists are mellow and nice people, but their theology gives the not- so- nice, power hungry, sexist, or abusive types a basis to rationalize their mistreatment of people.

    Calvinists and its accompanying of The Sovereignty of God outweighs all else, including how people are treated. Jesus Christ upheld correct doctrine, but not at the expense of people.

  73. RB wrote:

    I haven’t been able to help but wonder if CJM might also have participated directly in molestation, etc.

    Absent any presented evidence, I think it is highly inappropriate to accuse Mr. Mahaney with such an innuendo.

  74. “Calvinists” in the last paragraph in my post should have read “Calvinism”

    I meant to say some Calvinists care more about defending their systematic theology than in carrying out one of the two great commandments: to love others as you love yourself.

  75. Bob Cleveland wrote:

    Absent any presented evidence, I think it is highly inappropriate to accuse Mr. Mahaney with such an innuendo.

    Considering the staggering amount of abuse that went on for such a long duration, I don’t know if it’s that off the mark to raise that as a possibility.

  76. @ Jeff S:

    The article you linked to may already point this out, but in case not…

    I’d also add that forgiving someone (as far as person- to- person relationships go), does not mean you have to reconcile with the person who wronged you, if you choose not to.

    Forgiving someone who did you wrong does not mean you have to hang out with that person, invite them over, send them birthday cards, accept phone calls from them, and spend holidays with them. You can totally avoid them the rest of your life if you want to.

    Also, (if you choose to let them into your life), they have to consistently demonstrate to your satisfaction that they are trustworthy.

    Forgiving does not mean allowing the person into your life to keep hurting you or taking advantage of you… you don’t have to take garbage off them. If they don’t change and keep hurting you, you can kick them out of your life and keep them out.

  77. @ Daisy:

    Yes- the article I linked really didn’t talk about forgiveness. It’s mostly useful for pointing out that “regret” and “remorse” are not the same things as “contrition” (or repentance).

    But I agree 100%. My working definition of forgiveness is a “removal of debt owed”, which means there WAS a debt owed, and that there is no nothing that needs to be done to satisfy it. However, it does not mean (to make a monetary analogy) that you give out another loan.

    BTW, if you haven’t read anything by George Simon, I HIGHLY recommend him. He’s written some great books and graciously offered to write some posts for our blog. We’ve been very blessed by those. Anyone who has dealt with abuse would do well to pick up his book.

    I don’t know his theological background, but he does identify as a Christian.

  78. Anyone who was directly involved in cover up is suspect to me. I mean, who here didn’t try to imagine who the masked people might be.

  79. And, since there was a comment here and at survivors with reference to the ‘crazy’ SRA conspiracy theories of the 80s and 90s… I just want to interject that the biggest story of the 80s was in my neck of the woods and it was true.

  80. @ Anon 1:

    I wonder if people who quote that are getting it from 1 Cor 13:7? “It [Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

    Like a lot of other verses, Christians will take a verse and twist it or exaggerate beyond what the Author meant. I can see how the “always trusts” part can be taken out of context or to the extreme, to the benefit of unjust people trying to cover up abuse.

  81. Daisy wrote:

    Some Calvinists are mellow and nice people, but their theology gives the not- so- nice, power hungry, sexist, or abusive types a basis to rationalize their mistreatment of people.

    “Men of Sin” will always glom onto any Cosmic-level Authority — Bible, Koran, Darwin, Freud, Marx, Nature, whatever — citing it to get Cosmic-level Justification for what they wanted to do anyway.

  82. Bob Cleveland wrote:

    Absent any presented evidence, I think it is highly inappropriate to accuse Mr. Mahaney with such an innuendo.

    Wondering is not an accusation. This is typical church jargon. When one sees so many witnesses over such a long period of time, while, at the same time, knows that Mahaney viewed himself as the head honcho(apostle), such a thought is not in any way off kilter.

    As you know the IRS i s in big trouble. The boss guy resigned based on accusations. Why? because the buck stops there. And the buck stops at Mahaney if any of this garbage is proven to be true. But, in Christian land, being a NeoCal leader means never having to say you’re wrong or a stupid leader. You just write another book on forgiveness and continue the speaking circuit.

  83. Patti wrote:

    Heaven would be a miserable place for those who still love the taste of evil. A good God won’t let you live forever in a place that would be hell to you, even if it is called heaven…

    I have heard speculation that the Pleasures of Heaven and the Torments of Hell are one and the same thing — the unmitigated Presence of God, Shekinah at full strength. The damned have just made themselves unable to perceive/experience it as anything other than pain and torment.

    This removes the “Big Daddy’s Never-ending Torture Chamber” image from the discussion and makes the Sacrifice of Christ a heroic act — making men able to enter into the Shekinah as a positive thing, curing a degenerative disease called sin instead of taking the rap in Penal Substitutionary Atonement.

  84. Patti wrote:

    @ Julie Anne:
    I think there is someone over at survivors that has already done a lot of timeline stuff.

    Patti – Are you talking about Jenn Grover’s visual timeline? I haven’t checked in a while to see if she is keeping it up. I hope someone will put something together. It would be good to link to her timeline, but for these purposes, we really need brief summaries with links for an Media FAQ page.

  85. Anon 1 wrote:

    No matter what the leader is, that is what is right because God appointed him. God determined his position

    Do Calvinists not recognize that God still permits Satan to cause evil in the world and allows people to sin? God may permit it but He is not the cause of it, or does’t like it or agree with it. I mean, maybe Satan got some leader appointed into the church.

    Christ (also Paul) instructed followers to be on the look out for wolves in sheeps clothing and expel them from churches. Why would Christ issue such a warning and advice if some leaders or members are not false converts, or evil?

  86. Julie Anne wrote:

    Go ahead and start setting it up the three basic pages (introductory fact sheet, time line of key events, bio of key people, links to media interviews with the Plaintiffs, and potential interviewees).
    As it grows you can make decisions as needed. The key is to get some basic information out there for the mainstream media to lock onto.
    Once these basics are compiled, we “sheep” can all start linking to it and contacting big media.

    Janey: I’ve got previous commitments right now – a kid graduating from HS, etc, but will be happy to host it. If someone puts it together, send it to me and I’ll post it. spiritualsb @ gmail

    Julie Anne — I completely understand.

    Does anyone out there want to send Julie Anne (she listed her email above) a time line and a rough draft of this information? It may not be complete, but let’s get started. The seasoned investigative journalists from the mainstream media, especially the newspapers, will do a lot of the follow up work themselves. They just need somewhere to start.

  87. pastor.

    Julie Anne wrote:

    I think a truly repentant pastor who behaved in this manner would remove themselves from the pastorate saying they do not deserve to ever be put in that kind of position again. There are other ways of being the hands/feet of Jesus than being a pastor.

    As the daughter of a narcissist, I wanted to weigh in here. The thing is, a truly repentant person without a personality disorder would humble themselves in the way you’re describing (remove themselves from the pastorate, etc.). That would be and IS the right thing to do. It’s just my experience that the types of people who victimize others in the ways that are alleged in this lawsuit seem to be — forgive me — almost incapable of truly seeing themselves for who they are. They often fall somewhere on some kind of personality disorder spectrum. These folks have ridiculous amounts of pride, lack of self-awareness, inability to empathize, feelings of grandiose self-importance, etc. etc. Makes them very dangerous.

    That’s been my experience anyway.

  88. @ lilyrosemary:

    If the guy was serious about repenting and coming clean, it shouldn’t have bothered him to have an adult escort at all times.

    It could also be for his own protection, so that an adult escort could verify that he had not fondled anyone else, should anyone accuse him later and he really was innocent.

  89. Julie Anne wrote:

    YES – – People are trying to get their pastors to admit their sins so they can go on pastoring. No. That is backwards.

    I’m in agreement with you JA. In addition, while I can’t say for certain as only God knows the heart, if these people continue to be unrepentant for attrocities such as this, I would question if they were even Christians at all.

    The one other thing I would say is this, I don’t think I would say they could NEVER be pastors EVER again. Paul, after all, was one of the most treacherous villians of Christianity as Saul before his conversion, and yet is one of the greatest evangelists and leaders in the church ever. It would take TRUE repentence and evidence of TRUE change over time before I would trust one of these people as pastor (as well as a change in their doctrine). What ammount of time that is, I don’t know, but a long time. Then MAYBE, they could pastor. There is a TON of change that would have to come about first though. And obviously, I believe prison time as well.

  90. Oh, let me also add, that I don’t believe pastoring is something that a person just does. It is something God gifts and calls you to do. So far, I don’t see these “pastors” as having that gift. So even if they do show true repentence and change, that doesn’t mean that they can or should pastor.

  91. grieving wrote:

    The thing is, a truly repentant person without a personality disorder would humble themselves in the way you’re describing (remove themselves from the pastorate, etc.). That would be and IS the right thing to do. It’s just my experience that the types of people who victimize others in the ways that are alleged in this lawsuit seem to be — forgive me — almost incapable of truly seeing themselves for who they are. They often fall somewhere on some kind of personality disorder spectrum. These folks have ridiculous amounts of pride, lack of self-awareness, inability to empathize, feelings of grandiose self-importance, etc. etc. Makes them very dangerous.

    Grieving — You said that so well. I’m going to borrow this, if you’ll allow it!

  92. Patrice wrote:

    I wouldn’t mind being in the same universe as my father if his garbage was deconstructed from his person and he was back to how he was as a child. Almost everyone starts out rather lovely. It would be sad to have that original fine art piece completely erased, wouldn’t it?

    As always Patrice, you raise some interesting questions. Mayhap the hereafter is not as cut and dried as we’d like it to be.

  93. lilyrosemary wrote:

    I firmly believe now that any sex offender who truly repents and isn’t just trying to snow everyone would NEVER ask that everyone simply forget what they did and move on.

    Agree!

  94. @ Daisy:
    The Westminster Confession specifically states that God does not cause sin. So Calvinists DO recognize the evil works of Satan and humans are not from God.

  95. @ Hester:
    I belonged to a homeschool co-op in the northwest. Everyone was fingerprinted and checked through some data base of sex offenders. We were Moms (sometimes Dads) there with our children but they still did this. I appreciated that they cared enough to do this. We also all had IDs with our pictures on them.

  96. @ dee:

    In context, I have to agree with Bob on this one. The specific point concerned wondering whether Mahaney is actually an abuser himself. To my knowledge, he has never been named as an abuser at any point in the whole business; that may be an argument from silence, but under the circumstances it’s a highly significant silence. If there were evidence to be found that Mahaney is an abuser, one would reasonably expect it to have surfaced by now. He is guilty of whatever he is actually guilty of, and innocent of everything else.

    Clouding the issue with aspersions is, firstly, not righteous anger, and secondly, does not help the victims (an appropriate word since we know that abuse took place, with or without a systemic cover-up).

    The allegations in question are more than serious enough; indeed, it is important that they are examined exactly as they are. Abuse of any kind flourishes in a setting run by those who are not abusers themselves, but who care more for a quiet life or the stability of the system than they do about inconvenient matters of justice. The well-known phrase wrongly attributed to Edmund Burke about evil triumphing when good men do nothing is not accurate. Those who do nothing when evil is afoot are not good men.

  97. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I cannot stress enough that according to Jewish tradition, THAT is the original meaning of the Commandment “Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of God In Vain.” Claiming God’s sanction to do evil, NOT cussing.

    I’ve never heard it expressed that way before, HUG. That makes a profound difference.

    It’s basically God saying “You do your own dirty work! Don’t drag My Name into it! Don’t make Me a party to your twisted little games!” A sentiment that’s instantly understandable by most anybody, not just Christians.

  98. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    The first time I read through the accusations, it did honestly cross my mind if he had abused anyone himself.

    I don’t even have a bone to pick with the guy, since I don’t know as much about him as some the people blogging here.

    It’s just hard for me to comprehend how someone can sit atop an organization for ten or more years with that much abuse going on and either be totally ignorant of it, or not be involved himself.

  99. Anon 1 wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I cannot stress enough that according to Jewish tradition, THAT is the original meaning of the Commandment “Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of God In Vain.” Claiming God’s sanction to do evil, NOT cussing.

    YES! Thank you. I was stunned to learn this several years back while studying. I am coming to grips with how saturated our biblical understanding is with Western thought.

    “Western thought” or “American Evangelical Christianese thought”?

    And for “Men of Sin” claiming God’s sanction for their evil, funny how convenient it is to redefine that Commandment as applying ONLY to cussing. Redefinition into “Diabolical Meanings”, My Dear Wormwood…

  100. grieving wrote:

    That would be and IS the right thing to do. It’s just my experience that the types of people who victimize others in the ways that are alleged in this lawsuit seem to be — forgive me — almost incapable of truly seeing themselves for who they are. They often fall somewhere on some kind of personality disorder spectrum. These folks have ridiculous amounts of pride, lack of self-awareness, inability to empathize, feelings of grandiose self-importance, etc. etc. Makes them very dangerous.

    Very good point!!! Thank you.

  101. acme wrote:

    The statute of limitations for civil suits ran out 3 years after each plaintiff turned 18.

    Is The Humble One(TM) and all his Yes-Men praising God for delivering them from this Persecution?

  102. ‘Wondering is not an accusation. This is typical church jargon. When one sees so many witnesses over such a long period of time, while, at the same time, knows that Mahaney viewed himself as the head honcho(apostle), such a thought is not in any way off kilter.”

    One of the things that came to mind when i read the rebuke about innuendo on Mahaney were Mahaney’s many words about sex. Anyone remember the one he told about his wife being very sick but “serviced” his needs? He was presenting it like she was holy for doing that but did not realize how it came off to people outside the sgm bubble. He sounded like a monster. Like he was entitled to have his lust fulfilled no matter what she was going through. If you listen to these guys and their ridiculous teaching on sex it is not a far jump to wonder where they fit into this pedophile ring he was the boss of.

  103. acme wrote:

    The statute of limitations for civil suits ran out 3 years after each plaintiff turned 18.
    Criminal charges are still possible.

    Which means Mahaney is off the hook as far as consequences. I am starting to see why the Celeb Calvinistas were silent. Guess the determinist god was on their side.

  104. @ Daisy:

    “It’s just hard for me to comprehend how someone can sit atop an organization for ten or more years with that much abuse going on and either be totally ignorant of it, or not be involved himself.”

    A third possibility is that Mahaney used the knowledge of this to wield power over these men. We have seen that he is not averse to blackmail.

  105. Bob Cleveland, you were putting words in my mouth. I did not accuse CJM of that, directly or indirectly. I have merely voiced concerns and questions which seem logical to me, so if my logic is flawed, please forgive me. I am also sharing the same concerns which have gone unaddressed and denied for decades, involving many alleged victims, including dozens of accounts which are strikingly similar. Those who have sought justice have been vilified, at least according to the myriad of statements.

  106. It’s very clear in scripture that there is often a sexual immorality component with false teachers. It’s not a stretch to wonder if a false teacher may have ventured into the area of sexual immorality.

    “… By appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity — for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.” (2 Peter 2:18b-19)

  107. So sad to hear about the civil trial, but there’s no statute of limitations for God’s concern for those who’ve been abused…and his desire to deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

    From Psalm 82:
    “God takes His stand in His own congregation;
    He judges in the midst of the rulers.

    How long will you judge unjustly
    And show partiality to the wicked?

    “Vindicate the weak and fatherless;
    Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.

    “Rescue the weak and needy;
    Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.”

  108. Regarding Nicodemus, I think it’s certainly possible that he did come to saving faith in Jesus as the Messiah. He and Joseph of Arimathea requested the body of Christ from Pilate in order to prepare it for a proper burial. Both were observant Jews and important leaders in Israel at the time and yet they knowingly exposed themselves to possible disgrace and death in doing so. They also defiled their persons, especially during the high holy day of Passover, by handling a dead body. This action was at the least important enough for them to risk what they did.

  109. I have not read through every comment, so forgive me if I am being redundant…but if these allegations are true, I do not consider the perpetrators to be Christians. Especially since they were “found out” versus coming to grips with it and confessing years ago. There are MANY years of silence that has gone on, lots of time to go to God, the God they say they serve, and deal with it. No, these things go waaaaay beyond that, and are the fruits of darkness, perversion, and straignht-from-hell actions that cannot come from a regenerate person! The New Testament is clear….read it….put such people away from fellowship (hopefully behind bars if the events are true) and do not consider them to be fellow believers! False wolves, fools, evil, etc….NOT FELLOW SHEEP! Throw the book at them, throw the law at them, and be done with them. Nuff said!

  110. Daisy wrote:

    Do Calvinists not recognize that God still permits Satan to cause evil in the world and allows people to sin? God may permit it but He is not the cause of it, or doesn’t like it or agree with it. I mean, maybe Satan got some leader appointed into the church.

    It depends on which one you ask, and whether or not he/she is being honest or contradicting him/herself at that moment. Some have told me that they believe God is not the cause of sin, but since God is a micromanaging control freak, the evil is nonetheless “of God.” This is a watered-down way of saying that on some level, he WANTS it to happen. God is not merely allowing freedom, he is actively involved in every sin.

    Let us do evil that “good” may result? An idea Paul was opposed to, but hey, it’s good enough for God! He must be too weak to bring about good in the world apart from evil. Even though the good was already in existence before it was destroyed.

    Therefore, every single second of every instance of child abuse is part of his careful “design” and “plan.” God “orchestrates” every detail of the rape of children like a glorious symphony of destruction! Children raped for “the glory of God!” Or else “for their own good!”

    Now that I’m burning with rage and the tears are blurring my vision, I’ll get out (and stay out) of here.

    @ Janey:

    Thank you so much for this comment.

  111. @ justabeliever:

    This is true, but unbelievers will often refuse to recognize any such distinction between true and false Christians.

    Even so, Christ’s true sheep need to be among the first to seek justice for the sexually abused, including those abused in a Christian/religious context. And we need to be among the first to denounce and disfellowship those who commit such acts or collude with those who do.

    I am truly beginning to question the commitment to Christ of those men involved with TGC/T4G. They are certainly committed to their religion, but what about Christ?

  112. @ JoeJoe:

    Paul did not gratify evil cravings. He persecuted the Christians because he thought He was defending God. He willingly suffered the same persecution alter knowing God. So when a legalist repents, let him preach the error of his old ways as Paul consistently did. Who wouldn’t welcome a Doug Philips per se if he were to repent of legalism and pride.

    King David did gratify his evil pervy cravings and for no one but himself and hurt a lot of people. So God would not allow a man of his reputation to build Him a temple even though David was truly repentent.

  113. Nick Bulbeck, you brought up good points. I certainly didn’t intend to cause a potential problem for victims, either. I would like to see the truth brought to light and justice served.

  114. Did anyone notice how James MacDonald was ostracized from TGC because of Elephant Room 2, where he tried to “mainstream” the TBN prosperity preacher TD Jakes? MacDonald had to resign from TGC.

    While I’m no fan of MacDonald, ER2 was absolutely nothing whatsoever compared to the coverup of child rape engaged in by Mahaney and the SGM leadership. But TGC has been silent on Mahaney. The scandal has been mentioned, but Mahaney, SGM, and their actions have never been denounced. Some have even defended Mahaney. This shows how twisted their priorities are, when MacDonald’s actions are something to be publicly denounced, but Mahaney is to be defended.

    Phil Johnson said that he doesn’t believe that the SGM “turmoil” is “even in the same ballpark” as Elephant Room: http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2011/10/evangelical-freakshow.html?showComment=1317731065780#c2097417836310647879

    Johnson has his priorities reversed from what they should be.

    Did you notice also how Thabiti Anyabwile responded to Doug Wilson’s writings on race and slavery, but Anyabwile has never denounced, or even mentioned, Wilson’s handling of the Steven Sitler pedophile scandal, or of Wilson’s marrying off of a young woman to the pedophile Sitler. Again, priorities.

  115. Nicholas wrote:

    Johnson has his priorities reversed from what they should be.

    After having experienced first hand top pastors from Grace Community, their first priority is defending pastors. I talked to one of the top pastors when calling GCC about my lawsuit and told story after story of spiritual abuse and he had excuse for my pastor for everything that I said. I was floored. It was turned back around onto me. I was the problem. This is the same posture TGC guys take as well.

  116. Nicholas wrote:

    Did you notice also how Thabiti Anyabwile responded to Doug Wilson’s writings on race and slavery, but Anyabwile has never denounced, or even mentioned, Wilson’s handling of the Steven Sitler pedophile scandal, or of Wilson’s marrying off of a young woman to the pedophile Sitler. Again, priorities.

    This bothers me a lot. The Sitler situation is completely sickening but none of these “church leaders” ever talks about it. Then John Piper chuckles and says oh Doug is all right, you just have to know him. Never mind that he arranged a marriage between a convicted pedophile and a young woman in his church. He’s G-O-S-P-E-L!

    Their idea of “gospel” is to be to be completely sure you’re always right no matter who you hurt.

  117. Julie Anne wrote:

    their first priority is defending pastors

    Yep, as long as those pastors have the “correct” doctrine and stay within the approved cliques. It doesn’t matter what else they do.

  118. Julie Anne wrote:

    I talked to one of the top pastors when calling GCC about my lawsuit and told story after story of spiritual abuse and he had excuse for my pastor for everything that I said. I was floored. It was turned back around onto me. I was the problem. This is the same posture TGC guys take as well.

    It’s very easy for them to turn things around on anyone who questions authority. It shows that their priority is protecting their own standing rather than being compassionate or fair. They show their hand every time they turn a blind eye to abuse of power. The way they look at it, consciously or not, is — Well, what’s a little abuse if the alternative is giving up power?

  119. RB wrote:

    Bob Cleveland, you were putting words in my mouth.

    Bob was just being a bully. You said nothing wrong. Let’s look at me for a moment. I wonder if OJ Simpson killed Nicole and if case Anthony killed her daughter. This is America-we are allowed to wonder. However, in certain churches in this country, they want to engage in thought control.

  120. RB wrote:

    I certainly didn’t intend to cause a potential problem for victims, either

    YOu most certainly did not.

  121. @ Anon 1:
    If they accuse you of being a heretic/legalist – just point them to what Jesus said about people who prevent children from seeing the true Christ about 2,000 years ago:

    Matthew 18:6
    ‘If anyone causes one of these little ones – those who believe in me – to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung round their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

    Mark 9:42
    ‘If anyone causes one of these little ones – those who believe in me – to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung round their neck and they were thrown into the sea.

    Luke 17:2
    It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied round their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.

    I think a weakness of Calvinist theology is that it is so Cross centred (and justification centred) that it misses the fact that Jesus called many people damned (Pharisees, pedophiles, Judas etc.). The Cross opened the gate for us followers to enter, but one must be a follower to find the Gate – there are wide roads to Hell and narrow roads to Heaven, so following Jesus is the only way to find the narrow road. Belief is different from faith (even demons believe), faith is daily picking up the cross and looking different from the world. Not all Calvinists miss this, of course, many do realize following takes some effort (not a key to salvation, that key already opened that gate, but as a calling that cannot be denied, for the gate is at the end of a narrow path that most will miss unless they can see Jesus going that way).

    The problem is, I think, this view that all things are predestined (again, not all Calvinist believe all things are predestined, some only view salvation that way, and everything else up to us). But for the NeoCals, the view is that they are leaders by God’s will. Well, Satan is the leader of all authority and powers of earth, so one needs to think about that. God’s angel took three weeks to get to Daniel in Persia, Rome, the bible says, was under Satanic power and even Peter’s desire to prevent Jesus’s death (due to his desire to be at Jesus’ side as a worldly messiah) was attributed to Satan.

    My counter to ever thinking a leader gets carte blanche respect from his parishioners is this: The OT prophets constantly called out God’s leaders of Israel, the Gospel prophecies continually call out the priests. The Pauline letters call out many church leaders (Apollos). Being a true prophet of God will mean standing up to any part of the church that is beginning to conform to worldly authority. Pastors better look different from the world, act different from the world and be willing to lose their church if it means doing what is right.

    Consider Jesus comment about authority: 42 Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

    Why would Jesus bother to teach us all this if whoever was in charge of the church was their because God trusted them?

  122. @ lilyrosemary:

    According to Al Mohler, “doctrinal errors” are the *only* reason that you should leave a church. Not abuse of power, not child abuse, not bad behavior of ministers, etc.

    http://fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/2012/09/al-mohler-declares-church-members-dont.html

    I bet that Mohler would tell members of SGM churches *not* to leave their churches in the wake of these atrocities, similar to how Creflo Dollar told people to go back to Eddie Long’s church.

  123. I agree with Dee: This entire effort is just at beginning stages. This lawsuit is the start of a spiritual revival.

    Christians are waking up. We see that many of these celebrity pastors are bankrupt, addicted to power and money, and have no moral compass. We need to hit our knees and speak out.

    “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit,” says the Lord.

  124. “Tim Etherington” responded to Jared Wilson on twitter by saying “And nothing is proven by accusations and lawsuits. (1 Co 6)” and “I don’t want to smear CJ. If he is guilty, hold him to account but this is the 2nd lawsuit & the 1st found nothing.”

    Something tells me that Etherington wouldn’t respond the same way to similar accusations against Roman Catholic bishops or the Pope.

  125. “Tim Etherington” responded to Jared Wilson on twitter by saying “And nothing is proven by accusations and lawsuits. (1 Co 6)” and “I don’t want to smear CJ. If he is guilty, hold him to account but this is the 2nd lawsuit & the 1st found nothing.”

    What “first lawsuit”?

    A lot of big names have careers riding on this. Think of AoR which exonerated CJ and those who said he was fit for ministry. I do fear for these guys who thump the bible about accusations. I mean, do they realize the consequences for dismissing children being raped and molested? Are they that confident of the determinist god that they are elect and can so cold hearted at the same time?

  126. Janey wrote:

    grieving wrote:

    Grieving — You said that so well. I’m going to borrow this, if you’ll allow it!

    Sure thing!

  127. Nicholas wrote:

    Something tells me that Etherington wouldn’t respond the same way to similar accusations against Roman Catholic bishops or the Pope.

    “I THANK THEE, LOORD, THAT I AM NOTHING LIKE THOSE FILTHY ROMISH PAPISTS OVER THERE…”

  128. Janey wrote:

    Deb wrote:
    Janey,
    Are the Sola Sisters related to Henry Blackaby?
    Deb — I don’t know much about them, except that I’ve seen their posts on Facebook from time to time.
    But they appear to be important voices in the Calvinist community. And I think it’s wonderful that they have taken the bold step (as they have in the past) to stand up for what’s right.

    They may be nieces, or perhaps granddaughters, at the least. Henry only has one daughter named Carrie, according to “Experiencing God”.

  129. Val wrote:

    But for the NeoCals, the view is that they are leaders by God’s will.

    The Ayatollahs of Iran make the same claim — “IN’SHAL’LAH!”

    Well, Satan is the leader of all authority and powers of earth, so one needs to think about that. God’s angel took three weeks to get to Daniel in Persia, Rome, the bible says, was under Satanic power and even Peter’s desire to prevent Jesus’s death (due to his desire to be at Jesus’ side as a worldly messiah) was attributed to Satan.

    Beware of attributing too much power to the Devil. Some Spiritual Warfare types act as if Satan is more Omnipotent than God.

    “The Debbil made me do it!” — Flip Wilson’s Geraldine

  130. Nicholas wrote:

    According to Al Mohler, “doctrinal errors” are the *only* reason that you should leave a church. Not abuse of power, not child abuse, not bad behavior of ministers, etc.

    Purity of Ideology(TM).
    Just like the Communists.

  131. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    It’s a fine line then, because the NeoCals basically assign evil to God. Evil is very real in this world, but God is not evil.

    God has victory over the grave, so ultimately, God wins (or has won). The thing is, each of us must chose who to follow: God, ourselves or evil. Just because someone claims to be following God, doesn’t mean one actually is.

    Matt 7

    15 ‘Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them.

    True and false disciples

    21 ‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?” 23 Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”

    So, many who think they are in will be out… all it takes for evil to reign is for good people to do nothing. It is not a stretch to think evil reigns in the halls of power. Not that Satan is stronger than God, rather, God let’s us follow who we choose. If we follow our evil desires, then Satan’s power grows. If people turn and follow God, then righteousness grows. It isn’t about being good or bad (as some go on and on about) it is who we chose to/ allow to be led by. Since wicked people choose evil, Evil then become a strong force, and more difficult to take down. Sure, all things are possible with God, but the price goes up the longer and more established evil becomes.

    This isn’t a hidden spiritual thing. Just look at justice and corruption in a country. The longer corrupt, greedy, or twisted rulers have reigned, the harder it is to restore justice and righteous rule. Some countries had terrible evil visited upon them, but it was not the norm (Rawanda comes to mind, as does Germany in WWII). Those countries, once the evil was ousted, managed to return to a better state – most of the citizens either remembered better times, or had parents who did. Order and justice were replaced after a decade or two. Now, take a country with systemic long-term corruption, so long that citizens cannot recall their country ever being justice or fair (Haiti, Afghan/Pakistani boarder region, the Congo, etc.). These places receive billions in foreign aid, yet have little to show. Why? People don’t know how to live justly or righteously. If they try, the lose (starve – Haiti, get killed – Af-Pak boarder, or tortured – Congo). Evil is strong. Everyone has learned to keep their heads down and avoid standing up for themselves – kind of like long-term kidnap victims. Almost like a national Stockholm syndrome. There are good people there, but they cannot stand up to the evil. Why? Because people ruling over others, except as a servant – like a parent rearing a young child – is wrong. We are free agents on earth. God bought us that freedom. Christ Ransomed us. The Calvinist view is God took our wrath for us, but the early church view was that Christ paid a ransom for us to be free. That view is what was believed for a millennia before other ideas came about. Does it make Satan too powerful? No, but it shows the force of evil is strong in this world and we are called to be on guard for it.

    Here is a clear example. I have a cousin deeply committed to social justice. She worked on freeing salves in S. Asia. One of the biggest problems for their team was, once freed, many slaves ended being sold back into slavery. They were easily victimized again and again, no one had taught them how to be free. The government, police and organizations would work to free them from the corrupt (and usually politically powerful) slave owners (they were bonded factory labourers working off debts). They would be returned to their home towns – miles and miles away. But, soon after their return, they would fall prey to money lenders who would sell them into slavery for unpaid debts shortly after their release. Some slaves had been born into slavery, as had their parents. The unpaid debt had happened generations ago. This group were the hardest to repatriate as they were not only illiterate, but had never left the factory compound. Runaways were beaten to death in front of everyone else. They didn’t know how to shop for food, what money was, how to live independently, they were scared of everyone else. The slaves who had been free before were sold were the easiest to repatriate. They understood money and independence.

    In this view, the longer a person (and their family) has been under a spiritually repressive leader or church group, the harder it is for them to walk free, and not be taken advantage of again. They either completely rebel or fall back in line.

    Christ freed us, the church is supposed to teach us how to be free (discipleship), but more often than not, it is the manipulative Canis lupus who end up in positions of power in the church, and like the money lenders, they take advantage of newly freed believers for their own pathetic ends.

  132. @ Val:
    Righteous rant W00t

    Yes. People become disabled under long-term corruption. They need to (re)learn what it means to have personal agency, and when their spirits/wills have been broken and reformed for slavery (of any kind), it is a daunting task. It can’t be done alone: it takes a village to grow them up in the same way it takes a village to raise a child. And the more criminogenic the environment, the more difficult it is to find enough willing people to take on the overwhelming task of soo many people in this position of need.

    In a milder form than the S Asian slaves, that is the situation here in Detroit. That is also the situation for children raised in abusive homes and adults living in long abusive marriages.

    I feel sorry for the members of SGM. So much needs to be dismantled in their minds/hearts! It is the job at hand for them, and it must be done, and if they don’t do it, they remain culpable, but oh my what a hard and painful road to take.

  133. Val wrote:

    Here is a clear example. I have a cousin deeply committed to social justice. She worked on freeing slaves in S. Asia. One of the biggest problems for their team was, once freed, many slaves ended being sold back into slavery. They were easily victimized again and again, no one had taught them how to be free.

    Val — This is a very good point, and anyone who has worked with spiritual abuse victims knows it is true too.

    For those of us with friends who are getting out of churches such as Sovereign Grace Ministries and the 9Marks churches, please check out the resources at the International Cultic Studies Association. They have some articles for people who need to understand their experience and find a pathway to healing and wholeness.

    http://icsahome.com/infostudy.asp

    They also have an article on dysfunctional churches here:
    http://icsahome.com/view_document.asp?ID=30919

    And an article on how to gently extract your friends from these churches and how to support them during the first year:
    http://icsahome.com/view_document.asp?ID=36412

    This article helps people handle the anxiety associated with leaving a cult or heavy-handed church:
    http://icsahome.com/view_document.asp?ID=49716

    For those of you who wonder “What is a 9Marks church and why do you mention them?” Read this:
    List of 9 Marks churches:

    http://www.9marks.org/churchsearch/searchmap.php

    3 Examples of”9 Marks” pastors encouraging each other to monitor you and your family members wherever you go:

    Deepak Reju’s admission that he looks forward to stalking you – http://www.9marks.org/blog/gospel-minded-churches-cooperating-pastoring

    Jonathan Leeman’s very unsettling post on making life miserable for former church members – http://www.9marks.org/blog/churches-cooperating-discipline

    Deepak Reju again talking about maintaining information on your family members –
    http://www.9marks.org/blog/why-use-house-church-membership-directory

  134. Patrice wrote:

    People become disabled under long-term corruption. They need to (re)learn what it means to have personal agency, and when their spirits/wills have been broken and reformed for slavery (of any kind), it is a daunting task.

    Thank you, Patrice and Val. You just helped me deal with a discouraging, spiritually blind discussion about what I said on one of my blogs. This talk comes from people who learned to long to be slaves. They cannot understand it if I call freedom better. I know it is off topic, but thank you for the help.

  135. Dave AA — Actually Bobby Jamieson is just a college student who works for 9Marks on the side. When I was young I used to shoot off my mouth too, so I feel sorry for him. I hope he deletes this article and sends a new site map to Google soon — definitely before Internet Archives caches the 9Marks site, which should happen next week if they stay on schedule.

  136. Val wrote:

    Matt 7
    15 ‘Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles?

    I had referred to that verse the other day. Someone on here was saying that the SGM leaders (or Neo Calvinists in general) had the attitude that God puts leaders into their places of leadership, which I found a strange perspective, considering some leaders are ungodly and Christ said to be on the lookout for ungodly teachers/ leaders. I don’t think Christ was saying God puts such people i positions of power.

    Other New Testament passages by Paul indicate that false teachers lie or charm their way into leadership roles, not that God appoints them into those roles.

  137. Janey wrote:

    Dave AA — Actually Bobby Jamieson is just a college student who works for 9Marks on the side. When I was young I used to shoot off my mouth too, so I feel sorry for him. I hope he deletes this article and sends a new site map to Google soon — definitely before Internet Archives caches the 9Marks site, which should happen next week if they stay on schedule.

    CORRECTION – Bobby Jamieson knows exactly what he’s doing when he recommends churches excommunicate people who leave without the elders’ permission.

    Look at the very wise recommendations that follow his post, begging him to be careful, to check with legal counsel, and kindly giving him an opportunity to backtrack, but to no avail. http://www.9marks.org/blog/pastors-don%E2%80%99t-let-your-people-resign-thin-air

    No passes for him.

    (But, Bobby, when your masters throw you under the bus, we’ll be here for you.)

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  139. @ Janey:
    OK. That is seriously the scariest article and comment thread I have ever read.

    One guy mentioned Hotel California lyrics. Yep. I had the same thing running through my mind: You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

    Totally unbelievable the power trip these guys are on.

  140. @ Nicholas:
    Rich’s lyrics:

    “Hotel Calvinista”:

    “Last thing I remember, I was
    Running for the door
    I had to find the church house
    at the place I was before
    ‘relax,’ said Albert Mohler,
    We are programmed to receive.
    You can checkout any time you like,
    But you can never leave!”

    Yep. Hotel Calvinista!

  141. Retha wrote:

    This talk comes from people who learned to long to be slaves. They cannot understand it if I call freedom better.

    Or they understand “freedom” only as “Now *I* Get to be The Slavemaster! With the Whip in MY Hand!”

  142. @ Argo:

    Which one is your blog? I have a problem with a friend who used to go to my old church. He keeps calling me a Calvinist, and wants me to reconcile with my former pastor and come back to that church. I keep trying to explain my issues with reformed doctrine, but he is too brainwashed by the TGC crowd and doesn’t listen to my objections. Have any suggestions on how I can fix this? He is older and not too able to take instruction from me, since he hears “evil feminist lies” every time I open my mouth.

  143. @ VelvetVoice:
    At times the only practical choice is to walk away. My brothers and I came to that conclusion with my mother over the last few years since my dad died. You either have to lie to her and pretend to agree with her view or get yelled at. On everything.

  144. VelvetVoice wrote:

    I keep trying to explain my issues with reformed doctrine, but he is too brainwashed by the TGC crowd and doesn’t listen to my objections. Have any suggestions on how I can fix this

    VV — Yes, you just stop talking with him. We as Christians (and we women especially) think we can change other people if we are just sweet and patient enough. Speaking for myself, the past 6 years have shown me that there are a lot of people who are unsafe. They can be told the truth repeatedly, but refuse to listen. They choose to stay in their own world. Even highly intelligent people will doggedly stick to their worldview because change is unthinkable. The group-think brainwashing is too much a part of their identity. Think of them as being just like the Jehovah’s Witness at your door. The instant you start sharing with them, they stop listening. They’ve been trained to do this to protect themselves from outside ideas.