The Gospel Coalition Shows Disregard for the Pain of Alleged Rape Victim

Absolutely unconscionable!

Deb and I are extremely upset. As you know, we stand with those who are alleged victims in the growing SGM scandal. As all of us have learned today, SGM, and CJ Mahaney have admiring support by prominent Neo-Calvinist leaders. Have any of them picked up the phone or their mouse and attempted to communicate with the alleged victims? We would love to hear about it if they did so.

It's really not so hard. Last year, a friend and I visited a neighborhood which had been victimized by a pedophile. We simply got out of our car, looked at the former lair of the pedophile, and were instantly surrounded by neighbors who told us their stories. Later in the week, we took them some home baked goods to show that we cared. Surely these men, who are leaders, have done at least that, haven't they?

Today, we have discovered that TGC not only fully supports one side of this scandal but that they are willing to throw an alleged victim under the bus to advance their agenda. In so doing, they have removed any doubt in my mind that they have hearts of stone.

Here is a quote from their post at TGC today link. Note the words "ominous threat from a woman."

Reports on the lawsuit from Christianity Today and World Magazine (among others) explicitly and repeatedly drew attention to C. J., connecting the suit to recent changes within SGM. He has also been the object of libel and even a Javert-like obsession by some. One of the so-called discernment blogs—often trafficking more in speculation and gossip than edifying discernment—reprinted a comment from a woman who issued this ominous wish, "I hope [this lawsuit] ruins the entire organization [of SGM] and every single perpetrator and co-conspirator financially, mentally and physically."

We are not ashamed to call C. J. a friend. 

Since TWW has been accused, in the past, of being a discernment blog by one of the TGC leaders, we immediately thought that this statement referred to us. It deeply concerned us because we do not wish anyone bodily harm and are opposed to such threats. We embarked in an effort to find such a comment in our stream and could not. Wishing to be diligent, we posted the following comment on our home page, top post link.

Update: We need our readers' help. TGC said the following:

One of the so-called discernment blogs—often trafficking more in speculation and gossip than edifying discernment—reprinted a comment from a woman who issued this ominous wish, "I hope [this lawsuit] ruins the entire organization [of SGM] and every single perpetrator and co-conspirator financially, mentally and physically."

Since we think they may be referring to us, can anyone remember such a comment? We would never condone physical threats to anyone. Is it possible we overlooked a comment which should have been deleted or does anyone recall this comment being written or reprinted on another blog?

One of our alert readers, Caleb W, assisted us in this matter. Thank you so much, Caleb, because you have unearthed a can of worms!

Dee/Deb,
That comment seems to come from an SGM Survivor’s Story: http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/2013/02/04/anons-story/

I am going to reprint this post/comment from SGM Survivors, which now apparently joins us in being called a  "discernment blog." Be prepared to be mad. Kris, through the years, has provided a forum in which the abused have a voice. Without this blog, the "alleged" (for the lawyers) pain and suffering in SGM would have remained concealed. TWW and many, many others applaud the efforts of this blogger. Yet she is now being accused by these leaders of 

often trafficking more in speculation and gossip than edifying discernment

The following comment, which TGC has brought to light, are the words of a woman who was allegedly RAPED during an SGM gathering. I capped the word because we need to understand exactly what sot of pain may have been inherent in this remark.

I’m just going to share a little story and some minor commentary at the end.

One Superbowl Sunday, I was at a prominent SGM (then PDI) member’s house. There were dozens of others in attendance, lots of teens and younger adults. Remote controlling and commercial censoring were in full effect, snacks were in abundance, and everything was so biblical…as biblical as recently invented sports events centered around electronic devices can be. During a commercial break, I was sexually assaulted against an exterior wall of that house.

I was thirteen.

Not a single one of those appointed to ‘watch over’ anything, much less my soul, noticed a thing when I and the perpetrator went back inside the house. I doubt it would have mattered anyway. My family was in the outer circle, despite decades of $$$ and attendance. I started “rebelling” thereafter and refused to attend any church functions, and my parents surprisingly didn’t seem to mind (despite them not knowing the reasons for my rebellion). They severed ties with PDI/SGM 2 years later.

Why bring this up? I think it’s quite telling that despite the micromanagement of ‘biblical living’, horrible things have not only slipped under the radar of those ‘caring for our souls’ (etc., barf) but have been actively hidden, squashed, silenced. The pending lawsuit is long-deserved. I hope it ruins the entire organization financially and every single perpetrator and co-conspirator financially, mentally and physically.

At this juncture, unless there are expressions of regret for this statement by TGC, I have washed my hands of trying to convince these men to care for the "alleged" victims. This comment alone illustrates their hardheartedness. This is the example of godly manhood?!! To call out a young woman who was alleged sexually abused? I am sick and need to stop writing before I say things that I will regret. 

Deb will write more later in the day.

Comments

The Gospel Coalition Shows Disregard for the Pain of Alleged Rape Victim — 174 Comments

  1. Can anyone help me find Christ like characteristics in these guys who make their living teaching about Jesus?

  2. Dee,

    Here is a quote on the current situation from “The Gospel Coalition”

    So the entire legal strategy was dependent on a conspiracy theory that was more hearsay than anything like reasonable demonstration of culpability. As to the specific matter of C. J. participating in some massive cover-up, the legal evidence was so paltry (more like non-existent) that the judge did not think a trial was even warranted.

    Here is a link to the full article posted this morning.

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/05/24/why-we-have-been-silent-about-the-sgm-lawsuit/

  3. Anon 1 wrote:

    Can anyone help me find Christ like characteristics in these guys who make their living teaching about Jesus?

    If you find any such characteristics, let me know.

  4. Pingback: Just like that: T4G Statement of Support for Mahaney is Removed!! | Spiritual Sounding Board UNITED STATES

  5. What is incredibly sad is that apparently someone read that Survivor’s Story and rather than empathy for the victim, they pulled out this expression for their own purposes. Unbelievable!

  6. “As to the specific matter of C. J. participating in some massive cover-up, the legal evidence was so paltry (more like non-existent) that the judge did not think a trial was even warranted.”

    It’s just one lie after another, after another, after another! Sickening!

  7. @ Deb:

    that’s so good i thought God had said it!

    (i’ve been thinking about that quote this morning, & trying to remember where in Proverbs it was…. HA — the bible is great, but simply doesn’t have a corner on all truth.)

  8. Dee,Deb…

    I thought of you when I saw this quote on Twitter this morning:

    We must always take sides.
    Neutrality helps the oppressor,
    Never the victim.
    Silence encourages the tormentor,
    Never the tormented.

  9. I probably should have known better, honestly, than to read all this stuff today but I found these comments a bit on the upsetting/disappointing/discouraging side:

    “given the statute of limitations. (Some of the alleged abuses occurred 25-30 years ago.”

    “This is a revealing comment, as it indicates the legal strategy behind the civil suit.”

    “this lawsuit itself was only seeking monetary damages”

    I wouldn’t expect many people to understand other than people who know from first hand experience: that there is no justice that can be had in these situations. There are searches for justice, a want for justice, maybe a need for justice, but seeing someone pay for a crime against a life through monetary or even through the correction system will not satisfy our need for justice. Neither I nor any victim can be made whole through any means on this earth. And I stress on this earth because I do believe that laying this burden at the feet of Christ has provided great comfort through the years. Not always, again, I should know better than to intentionally refresh memories that I keep fairly successfully buried. I don’t think the writers at TGC understand that while abuse may have occured 25-30 years ago, in my case as well, a part of me never got over it. I learned to deal with it, to live with it, but in many ways refreshing those memories takes me back to being a scared, frightened, confused child in many ways and I call that a crime against a life because in those days and for the years it went on my life was gone because in the back of your mind somewhere you always wonder how things would have been different had the abuse not have occurred. How would I have been different, what path would my life had taken if it wouldn’t have happened? It sounds like it but I’m not complaining. I’ve had a good life, I landed on my feet and I accept the reality of my situation but the TGC to, somewhat, dismiss the victims in the manner they have, well, I just find is disappointing and disheartening. I am a 48 year old male and was abused, for the first time, when I was 8, and then starting again in my early teens by a male friend of the family. My heart truly bleeds for the people involved with this. I know what they’re going through.

  10. @ elastigirl:
    Proverbs 17:28 is close:
    “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.”

  11. Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung, and Justin Taylor will be dragging their tangle of string, honey, & collapsed tent behind them like a ball & chain around their ankles for a very long time.

    (i cant’ be the only one here ……Parent Trap, 1961)

  12. Fendrel wrote:

    Dee,Deb… I thought of you when I saw this quote on Twitter this morning: We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, Never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, Never the tormented.

    That is a great quote!

  13. About as unconscionable as dictating to grieving victims, many of whom lost their children to a devastating tornado, the proper way to mourn their terrible losses. Once again we see the evidence of those who would strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.

    Pathetic.

  14. elastigirl wrote:

    @ BeenThereDoneThat:
    ok. I like Lincoln’s version better.

    🙂 I think Deb chose well. Lincoln’s quote has a certain nuance to it that is appropriate to Mahaney’s fans.

  15. Dee – I wonder if it would be a good idea to post that entire fb post & the comments as a special post on ‘My Comments were deleted’? It really needs to be easily read by all because it it utterly damning. I fear the link could get hacked more easily.

  16. For Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung, and Justin Taylor to be so cold-hearted is reprehensible. They take an justifiably angry quote from a girl who at age 13 was allegedly RAPED by one of their tribe at a Sovereign Grace Ministries member’s home, and try to make themselves into the victims.

    This young woman, “Anon,” has never gotten justice. She is still crying out to be heard. And the Gospel Coalition New Reformed big wigs don’t care.

  17. @ LocomotiveBreath:
    I am soooo sorry that you experienced such horrendous abuse as a child. I’m glad that you are speaking up here, and letting your voice be heard on behalf of other “alleged” victims. I hope that we will one day see a society where these evils are exposed and dealt with promptly.

  18. Anon 1 wrote:

    Can anyone help me find Christ like characteristics in these guys who make their living teaching about Jesus?

    They don’t teach about Jesus – they teach about obeying the rules…..no connection, except maybe in their minds…..

  19. “As to the specific matter of C. J. participating in some massive cover-up, the legal evidence was so paltry (more like non-existent) that the judge did not think a trial was even warranted.”

    The judge said that the statute of limitations ran out. She didn’t say diddly-squat about the truth or falsehood of the accusations. This looks remarkably like them just making stuff up.

  20. Hester wrote:

    As to the specific matter of C. J. participating in some massive cover-up, the legal evidence was so paltry (more like non-existent) that the judge did not think a trial was even warranted.”

    Hester, the sad part is that is a bald faced lie.

  21. Someone on the previous thread made the very astute observation that the neo-Cal defense of CJ was, essentially, that he was being persecuted for merely being an orthodox Christian.

    This is what is so scary. This is EXACTLY what these guys think. They do not and will not ever acknowledge that abuse can actually be the functional outcome of their “sound doctrine”. Any fallout is either due to YOUR sin nature/total depravity, or God’s “sovereign will”. In either case, as long as they give no quarter to those NOT chosen to lead God’s people and continue to act in service to their “sound doctrine”, then all that happens is by definition GOOD. Period.

    There is NO thing which can be manifest in this reality as a function of their teaching which can EVER be considered reproachable. By Perfect Mandate, they alone have the monopoly on divine “truth”. Anything you consider to be abusive, or inconsistent, or irrational or detestable is purely a function of you not being “given to perceive”. The the gift of perception belongs to them alone, as the chosen one’s to “shepherd” (compel by any means necessary). You have no mind beyond your depravity, and therefore, they will never entertain any accusation. They are God’s chosen proxies; you are not. Their power and wisdom is absolute.

    And this is the lesson that somehow Brent Detwiler never learned after so many decades of being a leader UNDER CJ. He HAS no righteous stand! There is NO personal aspect of himself that can ever condemn CJ. I’m still flabbergasted that He continues to demand anything of CJ when according to his very own beliefs it is impossible that CJ can ever be held accountable to him. There can never be a collection if “equally chosen” mystics standing in the stead. The whole point of the theology is that there can be NO democracy; people don’t get an equal say because people, to God, are NOT EQUAL. Period. And what happens is that sooner or later there is a schism in the collective leadership and someONE needs to have the final say. There is no such thing as consensus in a group of men who consider themselves totally depraved and dependent wholly upon God’s good graces to perceive anything of efficacious moral worth whatsoever. If CJ disagrees with Brent, then who gets to be right, ultimately? The only logical choice in a belief system predicated on the total depravity and blindness of human minds is that the final say must rest with the one whose stead is greater. This is clearly CJ. There was never, in all my time at SGM any doubt in anyone’s mind about who was in charge of the whole ship.

    Finally, this:

    I sincerely hope that TGC will NOT view the throwing out of the SGM case as divine proof their God-given authority to tolerate and violate the societal and civil norms in service to promoting the “greater good” of “sound doctrine”. But somehow, I’m not hopeful.

    “Find the assumptions, and you will find the cause.”
    -John Immel

  22. TWW–You quote the TGC as writing, “ominous threat from a woman.” That is not what they wrote. They wrote, “woman who issued this ominous wish,” While I abhor the alleged misconduct of SGM leaders, we must be careful to criticize in a helpful and virtuous way. Misquoting is not the way.

  23. Hi I’ve been following your site and these crimes since I became suspicious of Mark Driscoll’s teaching and discovered what has been well described as the good old boy’s network (but not in the political sense of the term). I’m surprised any of them said anything. It is short sighted of them to to play their cards before it is over. And unless someone has better information, aren’t a couple of these alleged/rapists still paid by the church and have power over children.

  24. SBC Chaplain wrote:

    Check out this blog and the comments

    http://www.sbcfocus.net/2013/05/24/mahaney-supported-by-carson-deyoung-and-taylor/

    Commentors are trying to get the author to read the 2nd Ammendment to the Case, which he admitted not reading. When I first read it, the 2nd Amendment, I was nauseas. I don’t see how you can’t be sick when you read it.

    SMG, Been reading those guys for a long time on various SBC YRR blogs. They are rabid Calvinistas who would follow Mohler off a cliff. They are part of the cabal along with Mohler that started calling many SBC folk who signed the Trad statement: Semi Pelagians– which is another word for heretic in that world. They are scary. EVen the moderate SBC Calvinists are weary of them.

    They WON’T read the complaint. I can assure you. Most likely Mohler, Dever nor Duncan have read it. They know they are better off not knowing any details. They are all going to stick with the spin that CJ is innocent because the judge upheld the statue of limitations.

  25. Maybe someone here has mentioned it above, but what about the real, direct threat/s Kris and Guy were given a year or two back????? Best guesses as to where THAT might have originated. And this alleged victim’s statement, reads as her desire, not as a real threat. Again, they can’t even tell the truth in relaying her post! I am concerned for the hosts and moderators who DON’T delete so very many comments. Evil is “going about as a roaring lion, seeking whom it may destroy, because it knows its time is short”. I think they know they’re on very shaky ground legally here, and are making as big a stink about it as possible, while they still can, to keep those book sales, CD sales, conference sales, and tithing $ coming in, for the short term, if that’s the best they can get out of the situation. @ money and power, not @ God.

  26. “There can never be a collection if “equally chosen” mystics standing in the stead. The whole point of the theology is that there can be NO democracy; people don’t get an equal say because people, to God, are NOT EQUAL. Period. And what happens is that sooner or later there is a schism in the collective leadership and someONE needs to have the final say. ”

    Bingo. This “assumption” is all over the Institutes and in the polity of historical Calvinism played out over decades.

  27. Wow. Taking that comment out of context is totally inappropriate.

    I read the Gospel Coalition statement. I cannot believe Don Carson put his name to it. Here are my thoughts:

    1. They parsed the plaintiff’s lawyer’s statements regarding the judge’s ruling and from that the imply that there was something wrong with the idea of trying to prove conspiracy to toll the statute of limitations. In fact, the plaintiff did nothing wrong here.

    2. They say that the only thing in the lawsuit about Mahaney is that he is the founder and President of SGM. No, there is more. The lawsuit says that pastors and other leaders at SGM failed to report the abuse to police authorities. They say that Mahaney knew about that and approved it.

    Mahaney is the Apostle of SGM. Corporate decisions not to report sexual abuse but to handle it as an internal church matter were clearly SGM policies and those policies ran to the top – the Apostle. That is the essence of the lawsuit. If that is not the type of ‘conspiracry’ necessary to toll the statute of limitations, then fine. That is a legal conclusion. But the moral outrage still exists that church officials did not report this to the authorities. Therefore, the complaints about SGM and Mahaney and the way they handled sexual assaults in SGM are relevant and not show to be untrue or inappropriate because a ‘conspiracy’ was not proven.

    3. Mahaney was targeted because he was well known? I have never met him or heard him speak. But after all of the emails that have been provided showing how he dealt with friends and his stepping down from SGM and all of that, it is clear that many people do not like this man, and it’s not because he is well known. To claim that he was ‘targeted’ because he was well known is really silly. Mahaney was the head of SGM. He was sued (‘targeted’) because he was the head of SGM, its Apostle and chief theologian.

    4. The Gospel Coalition failed to note that many of these stories have been in the public domain for years in the form of SGM Survivor blogs etc.

    5. Also, it is interesting to note that at no time have I seen any response from SGM, Mahaney or anyone else denying the claim that the police were not called or that members were dissuaded from calling the police.

    6. I am gratified to see that the Gospel Coalition says that they do not assume that all of the plaintiffs are lying or that all of the defendants are truthful. With that admission, isn’t the real thing they should say is, “We cannot tell who is lying and who is telling the truth.”? If that is so, then that applies to Mahaney, as well, right?

    The problem that I have with all of this is the constant putting forth of Mahaney as a great Christian leader despite all of the concerns and evidence to the contrary.

    The man founded and ran a ministry that has a litany of complaints lodged against it for many years as being an abusive place.

    The man’s treatment of friends, as evidenced by his own emails, show character issues that are not consistent with someone who should be put on the platform.

    And now (actually, we have had them for years) we have allegations of child abuse that were not repored to police authorities.

    I have great respect for some of the men who promote Mahaney. But at what point does one begin to have qualms?

    The best they can say now is that with regard to a civil lawsuit, it was filed too late to doing anything about it.

    That is not a recommendation for Christian leadership or the validation of Christian Leadership.

  28. Shaney asked me on Twitter if there was an address to send a card to SGM plaintiffs. I got the answer and wanted to pass it along here. Atty Susan Burke be sure to get it to them:

    Burke PLLC
    1000 Potomac St. NW, Suite 150
    Washington, DC 20007

  29. @ Anonymous:

    I do not know for certain, but it reads to me a lot like something that an attorney put together for them..at least the general framework and tone so as to provide some type of plausible deniability down the road regarding policies.

    Wonder who they’ll decide to make the sacrificial lamb.

  30. Argo wrote:

    Someone on the previous thread made the very astute observation that the neo-Cal defense of CJ was, essentially, that he was being persecuted for merely being an orthodox Christian.
    This is what is so scary. This is EXACTLY what these guys think. They do not and will not ever acknowledge that abuse can actually be the functional outcome of their “sound doctrine”. Any fallout is either due to YOUR sin nature/total depravity, or God’s “sovereign will”. In either case, as long as they give no quarter to those NOT chosen to lead God’s people and continue to act in service to their “sound doctrine”, then all that happens is by definition GOOD. Period.
    There is NO thing which can be manifest in this reality as a function of their teaching which can EVER be considered reproachable. By Perfect Mandate, they alone have the monopoly on divine “truth”. Anything you consider to be abusive, or inconsistent, or irrational or detestable is purely a function of you not being “given to perceive”. The the gift of perception belongs to them alone, as the chosen one’s to “shepherd” (compel by any means necessary). You have no mind beyond your depravity, and therefore, they will never entertain any accusation. They are God’s chosen proxies; you are not. Their power and wisdom is absolute.
    And this is the lesson that somehow Brent Detwiler never learned after so many decades of being a leader UNDER CJ. He HAS no righteous stand! There is NO personal aspect of himself that can ever condemn CJ. I’m still flabbergasted that He continues to demand anything of CJ when according to his very own beliefs it is impossible that CJ can ever be held accountable to him. There can never be a collection if “equally chosen” mystics standing in the stead. The whole point of the theology is that there can be NO democracy; people don’t get an equal say because people, to God, are NOT EQUAL. Period. And what happens is that sooner or later there is a schism in the collective leadership and someONE needs to have the final say. There is no such thing as consensus in a group of men who consider themselves totally depraved and dependent wholly upon God’s good graces to perceive anything of efficacious moral worth whatsoever. If CJ disagrees with Brent, then who gets to be right, ultimately? The only logical choice in a belief system predicated on the total depravity and blindness of human minds is that the final say must rest with the one whose stead is greater. This is clearly CJ. There was never, in all my time at SGM any doubt in anyone’s mind about who was in charge of the whole ship.
    Finally, this:
    I sincerely hope that TGC will NOT view the throwing out of the SGM case as divine proof their God-given authority to tolerate and violate the societal and civil norms in service to promoting the “greater good” of “sound doctrine”. But somehow, I’m not hopeful.
    “Find the assumptions, and you will find the cause.”
    -John Immel

    Argo, you said way more articulately what I tried to say (less articulately) in a previous post. Excellent analysis, in my opinion.

    As a rape survivor, I’ve been so angry, confused, upset, and triggered by this whole case. I so strongly desire to see those who’ve used their power inappropriately brought to their knees in repentance before God and court authorities. And I so deeply grieve for the victims who’ve been abused under the guise of spiritual care. Dear. God.

  31. Anonymous wrote:

    Wow. Taking that comment out of context is totally inappropriate.

    I read the Gospel Coalition statement. I cannot believe Don Carson put his name to it. Here are my thoughts:

    1. They parsed the plaintiff’s lawyer’s statements regarding the judge’s ruling and from that the imply that there was something wrong with the idea of trying to prove conspiracy to toll the statute of limitations. In fact, the plaintiff did nothing wrong here.

    2. They say that the only thing in the lawsuit about Mahaney is that he is the founder and President of SGM. No, there is more. The lawsuit says that pastors and other leaders at SGM failed to report the abuse to police authorities. They say that Mahaney knew about that and approved it.

    Mahaney is the Apostle of SGM. Corporate decisions not to report sexual abuse but to handle it as an internal church matter were clearly SGM policies and those policies ran to the top – the Apostle. That is the essence of the lawsuit. If that is not the type of ‘conspiracry’ necessary to toll the statute of limitations, then fine. That is a legal conclusion. But the moral outrage still exists that church officials did not report this to the authorities. Therefore, the complaints about SGM and Mahaney and the way they handled sexual assaults in SGM are relevant and not show to be untrue or inappropriate because a ‘conspiracy’ was not proven.

    3. Mahaney was targeted because he was well known? I have never met him or heard him speak. But after all of the emails that have been provided showing how he dealt with friends and his stepping down from SGM and all of that, it is clear that many people do not like this man, and it’s not because he is well known. To claim that he was ‘targeted’ because he was well known is really silly. Mahaney was the head of SGM. He was sued (‘targeted’) because he was the head of SGM, its Apostle and chief theologian.

    4. The Gospel Coalition failed to note that many of these stories have been in the public domain for years in the form of SGM Survivor blogs etc.

    5. Also, it is interesting to note that at no time have I seen any response from SGM, Mahaney or anyone else denying the claim that the police were not called or that members were dissuaded from calling the police.

    6. I am gratified to see that the Gospel Coalition says that they do not assume that all of the plaintiffs are lying or that all of the defendants are truthful. With that admission, isn’t the real thing they should say is, “We cannot tell who is lying and who is telling the truth.”? If that is so, then that applies to Mahaney, as well, right?

    The problem that I have with all of this is the constant putting forth of Mahaney as a great Christian leader despite all of the concerns and evidence to the contrary.

    The man founded and ran a ministry that has a litany of complaints lodged against it for many years as being an abusive place.

    The man’s treatment of friends, as evidenced by his own emails, show character issues that are not consistent with someone who should be put on the platform.

    And now (actually, we have had them for years) we have allegations of child abuse that were not repored to police authorities.

    I have great respect for some of the men who promote Mahaney. But at what point does one begin to have qualms?

    The best they can say now is that with regard to a civil lawsuit, it was filed too late to doing anything about it.

    That is not a recommendation for Christian leadership or the validation of Christian Leadership.

    Well said. Bottom line is he is not fit to be speaking, leading, even if the case was dismissed. The allegations and all you point out in your post are proof of that. As a pastor and counselor I have advised and men have taken my advice to step away for much less than these allegations and behavior. The whole concept of above reproach comes to mind. While no one is without sin, I get that, but to constantly bear the stigma of something so big, have the wisdom to step aside.

  32. Anonymous wrote:

    5. Also, it is interesting to note that at no time have I seen any response from SGM, Mahaney or anyone else denying the claim that the police were not called or that members were dissuaded from calling the police.

    Not only have they not denied it, didn’t the Fairfax pastors named in the suit publicly admit to doing this, and that it was wrong–but that they were only guilty of neglectful care?

    Good analysis, Anonymous, and just what I was thinking re: the parsing of the conspiracy charge. What the GC leaders claim here doesn’t accurately reflect what Ms. Burke said. I’d mark this answer as incorrect on one of my reading comprehension exams…

  33. I don’t know about anyone else, but to my mind, this has the ring of the desperate scrambling by the Nixon administration before, during and after the Watergate investigation and hearings…

    Nixon said “I am not a crook,” after all.

  34. “I have great respect for some of the men who promote Mahaney. But at what point does one begin to have qualms?”

    Why do you think Justin Taylor, Don Carson and Kevin DeYoung felt the need to put out such a statement the same day as T4G statement?

  35. numo wrote:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but to my mind, this has the ring of the desperate scrambling by the Nixon administration before, during and after the Watergate investigation and hearings…

    Nixon said “I am not a crook,” after all.

    I was thinking more of the current scandals in the Obama admin where the leaders of the various agencies have no clue what is going with their top people as they have testified. And Obama is even more clueless and knows nothing from IRS, Benghazi to the DOJ spying on reporters.

  36. I do not think that the Reformed big dogs are very good at accurate threat assessment, or, you know, caring about the needs of people in pain.

    That’s the kindest thing I can say about them at the moment, so I think I’ll leave it at that.

  37. @ Anon 1:

    I guess that makes T4G and TGC the REAL conspirators and not the victims and alleged victims of SGM!!

    I’m with Dee, blazing mad.

  38. I should have quoted the Bible exactly there in my previous. It says, “the devil”, not evil. I’m not calling these hearts of stone, satan, but their hearts are evil, nonetheless, imo. And btw, I totally disagree that they can slide off the hook by crying total depravity.

  39. @ grieving:

    Grieving,

    Thank you so much. And I’m so sorry to hear about what happened to you. It is wholly inexcusable, and my sympathies for you are too deep for words.

    Allow me to help put it in perspective for you. What happened to you was evil; what happened to you was NOT God’s will, nor part of some divine “sovereign” cosmic plan. God opposes evil, and the reason there is evil is because there are evil men doing of their own volition what evil men do. You have every right to be confused, angry, and bitter.

    Also, God does not see you as a victim, broken, half-human, used, abused or blemished. You are a full fledged person with the same merit and inherent moral worth and goodness of anyone else. Do not fall prey to the idea that you are not fully able to participate in your own life, thoughts, beliefs, and to reject ideas, doctrines, or premises that do not comply with what I think you already understand: that people are NEVER to be violated in service to an idea.

    Blessings to you, complete person.

  40. Bridget wrote:

    @ Anon 1:

    I guess that makes T4G and TGC the REAL conspirators and not the victims and alleged victims of SGM!!

    I’m with Dee, blazing mad.

    Bridget, speaking purely from a pragmatic PR pov, I think they made a huge tactical mistake not only with what they said in both statements but all the deleting, etc. This did not play as they thought it would. But they will act like it did.

    I can understand Justin Taylor and Kevin DeYoung being immature enough to believe what they wrote but I was surprised to see Don Carson put his name on that ridiculous statement. I had higher hopes for him. But then look at all the names , the whose who in REformed circles in exonerating Mahaney along the way. What kills me is Trueman recently wrote an article about celebrity pastors. They cannot even see themselves. Let us not forget AoR’s role in this scandalabra, either.

  41. Argo, you may never know how much your words mean to me. I will cling to the hope I find within them: that God can be trusted with my pain, and is not the author of it. I do not believe this now, but I hope someday I can. And since hope seems in short supply these days, and I will hold as tightly as I can to it. Again, thank you so much. And may Jesus guide those of us in the depths of darkness, somehow, into the light.

  42. T4G and TGC want the power CJ had. I don’t think they will give up that easily. CJ founded a church based on control and manipulation and it seemed to work for a time but now not so much.

    This blog has helped me more than I can say, how can we now make a difference .. ?

  43. grieving, thank you for sharing what you have. One of my parents abused and wrecked havoc in our family for years, the other parent basically maintained silence, thereby enabling the behavior. I know that dark, hopeless, helpless feeling, but it is one worth fighting against tooth and nail. God speaks the truth about you as a believer, and the truth is just the opposite. I think sometimes that the abuse I experienced as a young person was somehow related to what drew me to a hyper authoritarian church like SGM in the past. It is a process, isn’t it?

  44. From my experience with the systemic issues in Calvary Chapel I see the same issue that SGM has in no actual accountability for the leaders, rather help to cover up (allegedly,) along with no real help or support for the victims.

    I have to admit that watching so much evil prevail leaves me aghast! The lack of love for the victims tears my heart apart!

    The words the men have said recently (supporters of CJ Mahaney) push me to believe it’s about the money (or fame, or position, or power) for them. I can no longer believe in any way that these men had “good hearts,” “meant well,” “are just confused;” no, instead it reveals that intermingled with the truth they speak are many lies, but most of all a serious lack of love in their hearts. (I’m an expert of my own opinion.)

  45. I just read the SBF blog suggested by SBC chaplain. The blog writer’s ( Chris Roberts) editorial is so full of holes and inconsistencies that I was surprised it was even posted. He tries to defend Mohler, Dever etc. and their support of Mahaney. In brief: 1) Roberts opens with the opinion that Mananey is only accused of founding and being President of SGM. Nothing else. Nada. “He is accused of no wrongdoing.”
    2) Roberts states that Mahaney not only is not guilty, but he was not aware of the abuse taking place. Notice he said the abuse, as if he knows or assumes that part is factual. Wait a minute, I thought that SGM has never owned up to the abuse. In his haste to defend Mahaney, he throws the rest of the defendants under the bus.
    3) Then he quotes Mohler’s letter about “keeping silent”, because they still don’t know the details from SGM’s side. I ask, why has SGM not responded or defended themselves? Even the Proverb quoted (18:17) says the other side is to respond, not sweep it under the rug. Not a good defense.
    4) Rogers continues by quoting one of SGM’s defenders as saying ” Don’t condemn anyone without a hearing or just cause.” SGM is doing everything in it’s power not to reveal the truth. No one is talking, except the victims. I wonder why? Mahaney’s supporters don’t seem to ask that question. In fact, one supporter said some people just want to attack a big ministry (referring to the victims). But they are not interested in Mahaney’s public silence.
    5) One of Rogers’s commenters called him out on his statement that Mahaney had not been charged with anything unlawful. He asked Rogers if he had read the first and second amended complaints. Rogers admitted he had not-that he wasn’t interested in the details, just the big picture.
    Talk about putting your head in the sand. These people need to shut their mouths, because even semi-educated people can see through their ignorant excuses.
    Sorry about the rant. I rarely post, but this did me in. Thanks for your indulgence.

  46. Hester wrote:

    “As to the specific matter of C. J. participating in some massive cover-up, the legal evidence was so paltry (more like non-existent) that the judge did not think a trial was even warranted.”
    The judge said that the statute of limitations ran out. She didn’t say diddly-squat about the truth or falsehood of the accusations. This looks remarkably like them just making stuff up.

    Just to be clear, what they are saying is that the legal evidence for conspiracy was lacking, not legal evidence for the abuse.

    How they have the insight to label it “paltry”, I have no idea. Clearly Burke seems to thing the ruling was bad.

  47. This whole post on TGC is just so deflating to me. My heart is so heavy, I really feel like I’ve lost the will to fight. What hope is there when these “leaders” can quote a victim in that way?

    I know there is hope in Christ- but the fog is so thick, it’s hard to see the light right at this moment. I hope tomorrow is a brighter day.

    And I’m about to go do a concert 🙁

  48. @ Argo:

    You’ve just gone after Wade Burleson here at TWW, and now you’re attacking Brent Detwiler? This is NOT the time or the place for your religious polemics!

  49. Hmm…..I have encountered, over he years, the attitude that when a child is sexually abused, they are resilient and will get over it. Its not that big of a deal…..I got that attitude from my own mother who had much more sympathy for my abuser than for me.

    I see that dynamic at work here, perhaps. So, for any who might labor under this illusion, I would like to share a little of what being molested – raped – as a child does.

    First, it robs you of more that your ‘virginity.’ It robs you of your innocence. My ability to trust and feel safe was taken away when I wad 2. I’m 50 now, and I still haven’t gotten that back….don’t think I will.

    Next, it robs you of any positive self image or confidence you might have otherwise had…I know for me, this was exacerbated by my mother’s narcissistic manipulaition and controlling….but to be used that way….children know, instinctually, that what is happening is wrong but have no tool in heir life experience yet to prevent it or stop it.

    Children are resilient. Incredibaly so. That’s why we survive. But that doesn’t mean its not a big deal. It completely alters your life. It becomes a part of who you are. You can’t ‘get rid of it.’ It colors your whole life. No matter how much you heal, the scars remain. And sometimes, even scars can ache and inhibit normal function.

    So don’t let these abusers – those who enable abuse are, themselves contributing to the abuse – confuse the issue. Don’t let them convince you that it isn’t that big a deal. It is a form of soul murder. It is a huge deal.

    God help all the victims (and no, being sued for something illegal and immoral you ‘alleged’ did is not being a victim).

  50. @ Jeannette Altes:

    🙁 I don’t think that many people get this, Jeannette. It often seems that even parents think that the child will be able to move on with no problem. Parents often find out as their abused child advances to teen years, sometimes before this, that abuse has done more damage than they realized. Some parents never know why their child went off in some bizarre or harmful direction. And, of course, some parents were the reason. I think that most of the men who are writing and endorsing these blog posts understand very little about abuse. They could learn alot if they chose to, so they have NO excuse for how they are behaving.

  51. Jeff S wrote:

    Just to be clear, what they are saying is that the legal evidence for conspiracy was lacking, not legal evidence for the abuse.

    I find it interesting they hang on “legal” evidence for not reporting child molestations considering their penchant for church discipline for minor things such as disagreeing with the pastor or missing care group.

    Read that statement again then go read some of the church covenants we discussed a few threads ago.

    Does this remind you all of any group in the NT? They are literally paralleling the Pharisees!

  52. @ Jeannette Altes: Thank you for sharing Jannette. I was also a childhood sexual molestation victim. My mother also scoffed at my pain. I think that she still doesn’t believe the assault happened. Even though I have never been involved with SGM (visited one of their churches two times), thank God, I have paid close attention to this case. I think that abuse survivors are very in tune to the pain of others. Many of us have not been believed and/or had our pain minimized, and that is why we can so easily recognize that happening to others. It is important to me that these perpetrators, as well as the people who protected them, are brought to justice.

  53. Jeff S wrote:

    This whole post on TGC is just so deflating to me. My heart is so heavy, I really feel like I’ve lost the will to fight. What hope is there when these “leaders” can quote a victim in that way?

    I know there is hope in Christ- but the fog is so thick, it’s hard to see the light right at this moment. I hope tomorrow is a brighter day.

    JeffS — I think there was one very bright spot today. Early this morning, Dever, Duncan, and Mohler posted their support letter for C.J. Mahaney on Facebook, and they got absolutely overwhelmed by more than 100 negative comments. They were so utterly humiliated that they started deleting the comments right and left; then they finally gave up and deleted the entire post.

    Thankfully Bill Kinnon took a screen shot before it disappeared. Just read these wonderful comments. They will cheer you up.
    https://www.evernote.com/shard/s2/sh/e3623beb-3591-4ba2-a332-30f2e94bb79c/48ade443a4715458c112553f82acf8c9

  54. @ Nicholas:

    Calling an expressed opinion of observable actions and doctrines that mights drive that behavior ‘an attack’ and call it using ‘religious polemics’ seems to prove the point that doctrine may be more important than discussion…that is how it came across to me….

  55. I am looking for the criminal investigation to bust this open. If it is pursued aggressively, the prosecutor will got one or more of the alleged perpetrators to roll-over on the others. The distastefull option of ratting out one of the annointed in a plea bargain will look a whole lot better than the prospect of going to prison with a rap for molesting children. Seems like no shortage of weasels amongst the alleged perpetrators.

  56. @ Jeannette Altes:

    I responded because I found the following to be wholly inappropriate, especially on this thread:

    Argo wrote:

    And this is the lesson that somehow Brent Detwiler never learned after so many decades of being a leader UNDER CJ. He HAS no righteous stand! There is NO personal aspect of himself that can ever condemn CJ. I’m still flabbergasted that He continues to demand anything of CJ when according to his very own beliefs it is impossible that CJ can ever be held accountable to him.

    But “time or place” comment was my opinion. Argo has every right to say what he said.

  57. @ Loren Haas: Oh, someone will get thrown under the bus but the die is cast. CJ has been declared innocent of all wrongdoing and will continue to be pushed at conferences and in “how to be a good pastor” tutorials. Why? I may never know. It is beyond the purview of those who care about the little guy.

  58. Nicholas wrote:

    @ Argo:

    You’ve just gone after Wade Burleson here at TWW, and now you’re attacking Brent Detwiler? This is NOT the time or the place for your religious polemics!

    Nicholas, someone asked a question about something on Wades blog and Argo gave his opinion. He also has an opinion about Brent. You are being like those who want to censor thought/opinion, etc. I you disagree with the points, then fine, make your case. But to say he is not allowed or is wrong to mention them or respond because of timing or something, that is not your place, is it?

    That is what I think Jeanette was alluding to with Argo who writes about this sort of control lot.

  59. @ Nicholas:

    Nicholas, This all did not turn out the way they planned, I am sure. I was simply amazed at how many comments were on the facebook post in so little time. How did folks know? Word got out fast. And the response was not what they expected even by Reformed people who liked them! And it was down early in the day.

    ThenTGC puts up a statement. I think it was all choreographed to show solidarity as if that matters anymore. To them it does but it has gone too far. They now look ridiculous and completely tin earred. Like a bunch of little emperors with no clothes on.

    Now the blogosphere is erupting and there are blog posts and twitter discussions all over. Since people cannot talk to them, they are finding other ways to express their shock and shame.

  60. Nicholas wrote:

    T4G have reposted their statement on their own website with no comments allowed:

    Okay, I found some words.

    T4G will not be able to hide behind their fortress of self-deception forever. The flood of Truth will overtake them eventually.
    I don’t want to be in their shoes, now or whenever they are forced to face the music.

  61. @ Anon 1:

    I think Dr. Carson has gotten involved with the wrong tribe. They are glad to have him as a part of it, and perhaps give him adulation feeding a sense of pride, but it probably has not been good for him. He is a brilliant, almost savant-like, man. They are taking advantage of him, if you ask me.

  62. @ grieving:

    Well…let me just say this: Don’t get me wrong, it IS hard to both explain and understand just why God is NOT the author of sin and pain, and how a LOT of what happens in the world is decidedly not His Will. It is a matter of combining metaphysics and physics and using Pure Reason (our only gauge of truth) to arrive at consistent existential premises. The greatest of these is: God will not create something to do something He can do better Himself; which by definition is everything (because He’s God); and so if Creation exists it CANNOT be controlled by God…it must exist purely as a function of ITS OWN ability. For if God “controlled” it, then God would have no use for it, since God’s direct control can only lead to one inevitable place: God Himself. So, you see, there would be no need of Creation if God was, in fact, the author of all that occurred within it.

    Another way of saying this is: God is THE definition of infinite absolute perfection (He is the sum of His own TRUTH, which is why He calls Himself I AM), thus, besides HIMSELF, there can be NO alternative objective or outcome stemming God’s direct control of ANYTHING…why? Because His perfect control demands a perfect goal and consequence, which can obviously only ever be Himself. Any other assumption implies that either Creation does not really exist, but is merely God; or that God is imperfect and uses Creation as a “crutch” for His inability to reach His perfect objectives alone.

    If you accept that God is NOT the author of your tragedy, and that is was never part of any kind of direct cosmic control of Creation, and that it certainly was not His will or His plan (God forgive men for teaching this evil thing to you), your belief is RATIONAL; and rationality is the only way we can know truth. Any other definition of truth is a contradiction, and thus, not true by definition.

    We have been inundated with hundreds of years of essentially a hybrid between pagan gnosticism and Catholicism. Calvin organized this into the most systematic and cohesive form of protestant thought. His product was of a more evil kind than the sum of both gnosticism and Catholicism put together. What this theology teaches is the false idea that the definition of omnipotence and sovereignty is God essentially micromanaging Creation’s doings and comings and goings. As I said above, this is nonsense. Totally metaphysically and physically inconsistent. It is a lie.

    The more rational truth is: God loves you and He hates what happened to you.

  63. Argo wrote:

    You have no mind beyond your depravity, and therefore, they will never entertain any accusation.

    How do they ascertain that they’re of the elect? When I was questing Calvinists about this years ago, when determining if I wanted to be one, most of them said they have no idea how one determines if one is of the elect, and I also got vague or subjective responses, such as, “An non elect wouldn’t be interested in their eternal fate, so the fact you are e mailing me at all about this is proof you must be the elect.”

    But basically, the main answer I kept getting is that nobody knows who the elect is.

  64. (off topic)
    My posts over at “Internet Monk” have not been showing up today, or last night. I was posting there just fine before. I left a couple of posts there today in the “Job and Jacob” thread but they’re not showing up now. I didn’t say anything bad, they were innocuous posts.

  65. Loren Haas wrote:

    I am looking for the criminal investigation to bust this open.

    Check to be sure none of the investigators or prosecutors are SGM or TGC.

    Remember that incident where an abusive pastor used a cop who was a member of his church as his Enforcer. And how that pastor/dictator at Calvary Chapel Visalia used his position as a police chaplain to cause a little conflict of interest.

  66. “We are profoundly thankful for C. J. as friend, and we are equally thankful for the vast influence for good he has been among so many Gospel-minded people.”

    In other words, “The mission is more important then the people!”

    Unfortunately they seemed to forget that the mission of Christ is the people. Disgusting.

  67. Concerning the report of a murder by a child of a CLC member – let me provide some perspective. CLC is a church of broken people, those that remain. They are going through a time of grieving, praying, and self-examination. No, you may not agree with everyone’s opinions there, but can we please be kind and redemptive to people who are brothers and sisters in Christ and who need God’s love and healing instead of ridicule and rejection?

  68. How fascinating that this nauseating post defending C.J. Mahaney was published on the eve of SGM’s Transfer Conference.

    It’s Mahaney’s third time at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort / Orlando since last November. (1) SGM Pastors Conference, (2) TGC National Conference, (3) SGM Transfer Conference.

  69. @ Daisy:

    Well, my understanding of Piper’s “theology” is that you CAN’T know if you are elect until you are before the Judgement.

    One thing I can say about him and Mahaney: at least they are consistent in their implementation and understanding of the mysticism they teach. Election makes the Cross wholly moot, obviously, since you are “elect” before you DO anything. If you die before you accept Christ, you are still elect, because the cross is “imputed to you” in SPITE of YOU even before YOU are YOU. So, again, in this sense, Piper’s explanation is more consistent with their false understanding of the doctrine of election.

    Insofar as how do they know they are “elect” to lord over the barbarian masses? What is the nature of their gnostic “calling”? Hmmm…well, it goes pretty much like: “Because I said so, I’m divinely called; and I’m therefore divinely called, because I said so”.

    Yeah. That’s…er, pretty much the sum of their reasoning.

  70. Daisy wrote:

    (off topic)
    My posts over at “Internet Monk” have not been showing up today, or last night. I was posting there just fine before. I left a couple of posts there today in the “Job and Jacob” thread but they’re not showing up now. I didn’t say anything bad, they were innocuous posts.

    I’ve found Jeff and Mike to be very fair in letting posts through. But as I understand it they have a very big SPAM problem compared to a blog like TWW and you may be getting caught up in their SPAM traps and then missed. Drop them an email and just politely ask them what’s up.

  71. Daisy wrote:

    How do they ascertain that they’re of the elect? When I was questing Calvinists about this years ago, when determining if I wanted to be one, most of them said they have no idea how one determines if one is of the elect, and I also got vague or subjective responses, such as, “An non elect wouldn’t be interested in their eternal fate, so the fact you are e mailing me at all about this is proof you must be the elect.”

    Daisy, Did you ever wonder how Calvin reconciled this with his Limited Atonement since everyone was required by law to attend church or get a visit from the magistrate?

  72. I did not grow up in an SGM church–we were influenced by the shepherding movement but never officially in the network–so I’ve just been reading and watching this unfold without jumping in to comment very much. As a survivor, I am outraged and grieved by the horrific story that has unfolded. But I just wanted to say that I have seen more truth and grace and kindness on this blog, especially today, than I ever saw in the church. As a reluctant agnostic, that warms my heart and gives me hope. My thoughts and hopes are with the plaintiffs and the other victims of SGM and abusive churches everywhere, and I am grateful for the love and concern for justice I see here. Thank you.

  73. FormerCLC’er wrote:

    Concerning the report of a murder by a child of a CLC member – let me provide some perspective. CLC is a church of broken people, those that remain. They are going through a time of grieving, praying, and self-examination. No, you may not agree with everyone’s opinions there, but can we please be kind and redemptive to people who are brothers and sisters in Christ and who need God’s love and healing instead of ridicule and rejection?

    Could you tell us who you are referring to? If I have said something unkind I would like to know personally.

  74. FormerCLC’er wrote:

    Concerning the report of a murder by a child of a CLC member – let me provide some perspective. CLC is a church of broken people, those that remain. They are going through a time of grieving, praying, and self-examination. No, you may not agree with everyone’s opinions there, but can we please be kind and redemptive to people who are brothers and sisters in Christ and who need God’s love and healing instead of ridicule and rejection?

    Please know that I’m praying about this tragic situation. 🙁

  75. Forbes ran an interesting article about psychopaths who are CEOs of corporations. They report that 1% of the population fall into this category, but in executives it is 4%.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2011/06/14/why-some-psychopaths-make-great-ceos/

    “…these people [ie. psychopaths] are different than human beings. They lack the things that make you human: empathy, remorse, loving kindness.”

    Anyone who has worked for an extreme narcissist or sociopath realizes they will never have a moment of introspection. They will never feel shame. They will never admit they are wrong.

    They attempt to destroy dissenters and manipulate new sycophants to tell them how wonderful they are.

    Let’s focus on the reasonable rational people. There are many in the Reformed camp who are now extremely uncomfortable with Dever, Mahaney, Mohler, DeYoung, etc. The allegations in this story are so graphic, detailed, and heinous — and the cry for justice so loud — that they will turn the tide.
    http://spiritualsoundingboard.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/2nd-amended-lawsuit-filing-may-14-2013.pdf

  76. Participant Observer wrote:

    @ Anon 1:

    I think Dr. Carson has gotten involved with the wrong tribe. They are glad to have him as a part of it, and perhaps give him adulation feeding a sense of pride, but it probably has not been good for him. He is a brilliant, almost savant-like, man. They are taking advantage of him, if you ask me.

    You are right. D. A. Carson is an excellent NT scholar. One of my seminary texts was authored by him and I had long referenced him before there was ever a Gospel Coalition. Sad to see him sign on to this.

  77. @Anon1 – I wasn’t referring to you, but thanks for being so sensitive to my comments. A few people referenced and posted a link to a news report from the Washington Post. I didn’t mean to pick on someone either – I just know many friends who are reeling from everything going on already, and to have something tragic like this happen is just adding to it. I guess I don’t see the humor in someone posing as Carolyn Mahaney and commenting on the situation. Don’t know if that’s just me, but I see real people’s lives and faith affected in all of this craziness.

  78. Bill Kinnon wrote:

    Boz Tchividjian at Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed.

    I stand with Boz!

    I wonder if they will start calling Scot McKnight’s blog a “discernment blog”? I double dog dare them! 🙂

  79. Anon 1 wrote:

    I find it interesting they hang on “legal” evidence for not reporting child molestations considering their penchant for church discipline for minor things such as disagreeing with the pastor or missing care group.

    Yes- exactly.

  80. Argo wrote:

    God loves you and He hates what happened to you.

    Argo, whatever differences of philosophy you and I may have, we agree on this statement right here. And in fact, I think this is a core statement- how it all works is less important to me than knowing this must be true.

  81. @ Jeff S:
    screw tape says something like “our cause is in never more danger than when a Christian, no longer feeling, but still believing, looks out on a world where all trace of God appears to be missing, asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys”. keep the faith.

  82. Daisy wrote:

    How do they ascertain that they’re of the elect? When I was questing Calvinists about this years ago, when determining if I wanted to be one, most of them said they have no idea how one determines if one is of the elect, and I also got vague or subjective responses, such as, “An non elect wouldn’t be interested in their eternal fate, so the fact you are e mailing me at all about this is proof you must be the elect.”
    But basically, the main answer I kept getting is that nobody knows who the elect is.

    This is so awful it boggles my mind. It’s so nuts that so many have been beat over the head with this concept and I’ve never heard anybody but a PC(USA) pastor saying anything remotely close to this (and he was pretty liberal, so his statement was more along the lines of, “We can’t know, so don’t worry about it- be happy!”).

    I heard RC Sproul answer the question this way (paraphrased because I don’t remember exactly):

    “You want to know if you are saved? I have three questions for you:
    Do you love Jesus perfectly? No, I guess not of us can say that we do.
    Do you love Jesus as much as you should? Again, who of us could even come close to that?
    Do you love Jesus at all? This is the key of the regenerate heart- we may not love Jesus perfect or as much as he deserves, but we do love him. The unregenerate heart does not love Jesus”.

    I actually heard him say this in one of my really dark times and it encouraged me so much. Because even in my darkest times my heart was in love with Jesus. When I couldn’t quite see him clearly or make sense of the truth, the Spirit within me testified that I still DID love Jesus and belonged to him. And that, I believe, is how you know you are one of the elect.

    I realize a of people may deceive themselves by thinking they are on the side of Jesus, but there is a big difference that feeling you are “on the team” and having a heart that loves Jesus. I think it was Rich Mullins I once heard say something to the effect of: “A lot of people say they want to be used by God. Well, in scripture there were a lot of people used by God who were pretty miserable folks. No, it’s far more important to be loved by God than used by God”. I do wonder if part of what is going on in the world of pop-Christianity today is a bunch of people more focused on who is being used by God than loved by him.

    At any rate- if someone were to ask me how they knew if they were saved I would ask them who they thought Jesus was and then if they loved him. If you revere him as Lord and Savior and love him for it in some measure, I think that is what makes you one of the elect.

    (I was surprised when RC Sproul gave that answer that he didn’t include any intellectual understanding of soteriology. Perhaps it was an oversight on his part, since it’s pretty typical of Calvinists to include soteriology in that answer, but I thought it was a really good one, nonetheless).

  83. @ Janey:
    It’s interesting to me that Boz and Tullian Tchividjian(who blogs for TGC) are brothers (and I like a lot of what Tullian writes).

    Boz gets it for sure.

  84. The Sola Sisters, Reformed bloggers, are also speaking out. They don’t mince words.

    http://solasisters.blogspot.com/2013/05/maryland-judges-dismisses-most-of-abuse.html
    http://solasisters.blogspot.com/2013/05/list-of-interviews-regarding-sgm-child.html

    “Also, because of the way this has been played out, it appears to me that the SGM leadership thought it vital to protect their own reputations, and the reputation of the SGM franchise, over protecting the helpless. This strikes me as the ultimate in prideful, wicked pragmatism. Not to mention that the Bible is chuck full o’verses that specifically speak to the importance of protecting children, as well as the weak and oppressed (Isa 1:17, Psa 82:3, Prov 31:9, Matt 18:6 just for starters).”

  85. Jeff S wrote:

    Boz gets it for sure.

    Yep, I agree. I think a lot of the people with a conscience get it. But more need to speak up. Who will be next? Can you put up with this charade?

  86. @ FormerCLC’er:
    Have you seen me show an ounce of concern for “real people’s lives and faith” that are “affected by all this craziness” as you say?

    As someone who purports to have a ministry centered upon homelife including raising children, and who was a public figure within SGM having spoken at countless seminars and conferences, does it make sense to you that I have remained speechless concerning the child abuse that took place within the very church I was intimately involved with? Does it make sense to you that I knew about all these occurrences, just as I was aware of all the degiftings that took place? I am my husband’s closest confidant and have watched his life carefully (see my message, ‘Watch Your Man’). There’s nothing that I wasn’t aware of.

    I enjoyed all the benefits that were derived from my position SGM as SGM’s Senior Women’s Leader. Besides caring for a family, I routinely enjoyed the limelight of being on stage addressing groups of women, writing books, making money, traveling, and having a career in my own right. But to hide my ambition and make it appear I was in conformity to my own message, I would always have others say I was being forced into all that activity outside the home like I was having to do it against my will, which simply wasn’t true. I loved it. I was involved in all aspects of the ministry. As I shared, CJ called me “SGM’s Secret Weapon.” I kept an eagle’s eye on everything.

    But now, while my husband is on the front lines and receiving all the assaults, what do I do? Do I issue some kind of a statement in support of him? Do I speak out now and say anything about the cases of sex abuse? No. I’ll just retreat to the shadows, to the background, and play the part of the quiet, submissive wife. I’ll pretend like none of what happened was ever my responsibility because CJ was the leader. It’s not my fault. All I did was follow, right?

    But some people think that since I was such an integral part of the whole SGM system that I’m fair game. That it’s fair to put me in the light. But I specialize in disseminating the light so it never shines unfavorably on just on any of us. So, my position is, “Hey, I’m a woman. I pretended not to be part of what happened in the male aspects of SGMs sphere. My focus was strictly on the role of the women, so whatever happened in the men’s department is not my problem. My job is to support my husband and be his submissive wife.” So, it’s not fair to pick on me, right? And the funny thing is, most people believe that and I continue to be treated with deference. That’s the secret to my Secret Weapon. I’m not who I appear to be! *wink*

    As for the shooting that occurred: Yes, there are people who care and express normal and natural feelings. And yes, there are people who are passionate, and care deeply about what happened in the lives of those SGM members who allege they were victimized. I’m just not one of those people. I’m above that.

    And is it to be regarded as humor? No, it’s complete and total sarcasm, and if I say so myself, it’s well earned!

  87. Pingback: Saturday Ramblings 5.25.13 | internetmonk.com

  88. @Jeff S< I wonder how long Tullian will be with the Gospel Coalition? He and Deyoung have gone round and round. He is not a calvinista.

  89. Robin wrote:

    @Jeff S< I wonder how long Tullian will be with the Gospel Coalition? He and Deyoung have gone round and round. He is not a calvinista.

    I did not know that. He’s DEFINITELY a Calvinist, but I didn’t realized he was stirring things up. Good for him.

    In full disclosure, I like a lot of stuff on TGC (and I REALLY like Keller), and some stuff I don’t. But that’s why this post today really made me sad 🙁

  90. @ Jeff S:
    I hope the concert went ok, Jeff S.

    Sometimes a person just slogs along, one foot in front of the other. Sheer determination and no fun.

  91. I’ll tell you what came to my mind when I read TGC’s statement: white washed sepulchers.

  92. @ Jeff S:

    And I guess sometimes simply accepting it to be true can be enough. For me, there is a difference between believing and knowing. I find it easier to do the former if I have and argument for the latter.

  93. I lurk here, and appreciate all the posts and comments.

    It still resounds for me that of all of the reformed bloggers speaking out, most are women.

    I don’t know where I stand on the complementarian/egalitarian debate yet, but my biggest concern re: the compl side is – are the men who are so interested in women submitting to men really going to care to defend the victims? really?

    a lot of the men I see weighing in on the side of the plaintiffs are less concerned with the complementarian issue.

    just says something i think. thank you, to all the men who have stepped up (both christian and not, complementarian and not). you make tears come to my eyes when I read your words. just thank you.

  94. @ Patrice:
    Thanks- it did go well. I guess that is why I love music so much- it can always bring me back to remembering that that God is good and worth spending eternity loving and serving.

  95. @ @ FormerCLC’er: I know the person who does this. She was a long time member of SGM and experienced serious abuse. In fact, you may know her but I must keep her identity a secret.

  96. “don’t know where I stand on the complementarian/egalitarian debate yet, but my biggest concern re: the compl side is – are the men who are so interested in women submitting to men really going to care to defend the victims? really?”

    You are connecting very important dots.

  97. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    In other words, “The mission is more important then the people!”
    Citizen Robespierre would agree.

    Exactly. They cannot see what they have become. It was like this in the mega industrial complex. If it came to it, the people were expendable to the mission.
    And we all know that is not how God’s kingdom here works. That is a hint they are not the real thing and to get out.

  98. Representatives from both TGC and T4G have recently publicly pledged their full and complete support for Sovereign Grace Ministries Reverend Charles Joseph (C.J.) Mahaney.

    Brief: TGC and T4G * representatives (according to the documents referenced below) believe that Sovereign Grace Ministries Reverend Charles Joseph Mahaney, as a national Christian leader, has been unfairly attacked and diminished by the dismissed Maryland class action lawsuit allegations.  That he has unfairly been condemned without a proper hearing, and without a just cause. Furthermore they believe that he has done nothing that would bring legal charges against himself personally, and is therefore innocent of any and all wrongdoing. That he has been subjected to slander, gossip, and deformation of character.That he has had his reputation unfairly tarnished with absolutely no public recourse or relief.  Lastly, they believe that he has done nothing that would change their high opinion of him, or his fitness for Christian ministry. That he has their full and complete support is undeniable.
    __
    * Together for the Gospel representatives: Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, Albert Mohler. ‘The Gospel Coalition’ representatives: Don Carson, president; Kevin DeYoung , council member.

    ___
    References: 

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/05/24/why-we-have-been-silent-about-the-sgm-lawsuit/

    http://t4g.org/statement/

  99. @Dee – I can understand wanting to express yourself like that when you have suffered serious abuse. Fortunately I haven’t had that experience, but I can understand. It just struck me wrong when I see friends who are struggling so, and I myself am struggling seeing all this craziness, even after having been out for a very long time. It just grieves me for the whole church and its future. And I grieve for my faith.

    Another person also made a joke about a gun. I guess I just don’t see any humor in it. It’s all just so very sad. I guess more cause for prayer.

  100. FormerCLC’er wrote:

    Another person also made a joke about a gun. I guess I just don’t see any humor in it. It’s all just so very sad. I guess more cause for prayer.

    Years ago a whole family in our church was gunned down in their home. 2 sweet little girls had previously been raped by the perp. I know that very few child predators go on to murder their victims, but this incident colors my feelings.

  101. Jeffrey wrote:

    woman who issued this ominous wish,”

    Please look at the entire post. I did quote them exactly. One was my interpretation and the other was their exact words, quoted underneath. You disagree with my interpretation but that is what those exact words sounded like to me. We try very hard to link to exact quotes and you will find that we did so here.

  102. I have just posted, “Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung and Justin Taylor Defend C.J. Mahaney Against Charges in SGM Sex Abuse Scandal” on BrentDetwiler.com.

  103. justatheory wrote:

    I lurk here, and appreciate all the posts and comments.
    It still resounds for me that of all of the reformed bloggers speaking out, most are women.
    I don’t know where I stand on the complementarian/egalitarian debate yet, but my biggest concern re: the compl side is – are the men who are so interested in women submitting to men really going to care to defend the victims? really?
    a lot of the men I see weighing in on the side of the plaintiffs are less concerned with the complementarian issue.
    just says something i think. thank you, to all the men who have stepped up (both christian and not, complementarian and not). you make tears come to my eyes when I read your words. just thank you.

    Elyse Fitzpatrick is one of the leading women who spoke out in a tweet:
    “@BozT Good for you Boz! Where are the men who are supposed to stand up for the weak?”
    Similar sentiments were stated by a man, Matt Redmond http://mattbredmond.com/2013/03/07/the-silence-of-the-reformed/
    “There has been no leader in the Reformed community who has spoke up for the victims of sexual abuse in SGM. Not one. No Reformed leader has nailed their horror or concern to the door. The heirs of Luther who railed against the abuse of indulgences are silent on the abuse of women and children. Those who would die on the hill of complimentarianism have ceded the moral ground to the ladies of The Wartburg Watch and Julie Ann Smith.”
    Yesterday he said:
    “There is no prophetic voice.
    There is no Phinehas with a spear
    No Nathan for our Davids
    No Jeremiah amid the rubble”
    Complementarian Men are supposed to Lead, Provide, and Protect. A cynical person like me might say that the leading men seem most interested in Providing for each other (endorsements, stage appearances, pats on the back) and Protecting each other (covering one another’s assets). 
         But maybe Matt and I misunderstand who the real leaders are. 
    Heb 13:7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
    In the whole SGM scandal, who’s speaking the word of God with a way of life and faith we should imitate? Those are the real leaders.
    Maybe Matt himself is a real leader in the Reformed community. Maybe HE is the Phinehas/Nathan/Jeremiah. Maybe Jeff S and Jeff C are amongst the real Reformed leaders. Maybe the Big Dogs are just pussycats.
         Which reminds me of tears in my eyes this week as I read some comments on SGM Survivors by Paul K. Seems he mows the grass at CLC. Seems he also has spoken the word of God to Pastor Harris, encouraging him to speak out last Sunday. Could it be that the junior pastor (leader) is the man in the pulpit, while the senior pastor (real leader)  mows the grass? It’s the sort of thing which happens in the Bible! 
    PS Brent– does my theory hold water? Should Carson, DeYoung, Taylor et al be denied the description of “leaders”?

  104. Participant @ Jeffrey:

    Dee did link the actual quote. But seriously, you did not see they were trying to couch it as a “threat” to these manly men from a girl who was raped at a church function? Are they afraid of her now? Is that it?

    How low do you think they will stoop to protect their friend Mahaney, is a better question.

  105. Opening Paragraph:

    “Theologian Don Carson, pastor Kevin DeYoung and blogger Justin Taylor must have passed the bar examination. Yesterday they became defense lawyers for C.J. Mahaney on behalf of The Gospel Coalition. In their first case, they used their inscrutable legal genius to absolve him of all crimes in the SGM sex scandal and all transgressions in the SGM leadership scandal. It turns out C.J. is the victim according to these spiritual leaders turned legal jurists. But wait, let’s examine their arguments before we accept their rulings!”

  106. Fendrel,

    Could have been an attorney, but it was not a careful one.

    I am not sure that there will be a sacrificial lamb.

    What I fear most of all is that we will get revisionist history. They may start claiming that it was their policy to involve the police all along. There won’t be any court process to test what they say or to make them provide documents to back up what they say.

  107. Anonymous wrote:

    They may start claiming that it was their policy to involve the police all along. There won’t be any court process to test what they say or to make them provide documents to back up what they say.

    Not sure that would work since they used the 1st Amendment defense in a public statement early on.

  108. @ Dave A A:
    Thank you Dave!!

    These people would have me as a woman follow them, but why would I want to without the assurance that they would protect and look out for me? Same thing if I went hiking with a guide – I’d be expected to generally follow what he or she said, but in return the expectation is they will watch out for me and my best interests.

    There are men I would follow. Men who care. Sadly, some of the en I would most trust aren’t even Christian! Preusmably anyone I would marry, I would be willing to trust to lead. But these men? No.

    Given their abdication, how could they ever expect women to want to be in their church? How are we to trust these men, or men who emulate them, to look out for the weak in their congregation? We can’t. I would never want to sit in a church under these men; thank God I don’t. And if God hadn’t made Himself known to me personally in many ways over the years, there is no way I would want to remain in the church at all, by the witness of these men. Thank God he gave me a deep rooted faith.

    Do they even, honestly, understand the damage sexual abuse can cause? I doubt it. Or they don’t care, which is worse.

    Sorry. I just had to get that one out. This is appalling. A huge misstep, and I pray God makes that clear.

  109. @ Dave A A:
    Humbled to be on your list- thanks Dave 🙂

    I think there is something seriously wrong with the whole model right now. I was just thinking that two years ago I didn’t know who any of these “leaders” were. I knew Alistair Begg and RC Sproul, but mostly my attention was focused at a local level. I’m thinking the growing awareness I have has not really improved me in any way. But I’m glad it has afforded me a chance to bring some measure of comfort to the oppressed.

  110. Anon 1 wrote:

    Janey, it appears the sola sisters don’t take comments. Or at least I cannot find where they do

    Anon 1 – They take comments on Facebook.

  111. @ Jeff S:
    Seriously wrong with the whole model— yes– we could replace all the “leaders” with a whole other set of leaders– even ones with different “beliefs” and they’d do the same things.

  112. Dave A A wrote:

    Seriously wrong with the whole model— yes– we could replace all the “leaders” with a whole other set of leaders– even ones with different “beliefs” and they’d do the same things.

    Remember how the Isrealites begged for a king and God was angry because He was their king? But He gave them what they asked for even thought they did not “need” one if they had simply turned to God.

    We have Jesus as King. Much is made of some functions in the NT for church polity. But I would say they are sorely misunderstood.

  113. @ Carolyn Mahommy:

    Your sarcasm is chilling and right on. It reminds me of stepford wives. We must know each other. You wrap up the culture of CLC women very well. In my opinion your satire is spot on.

  114. @ Anon 1:
    Eph 4:11 (English Slandered Version) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the kings and teachers

  115. Dave A A wrote:

    @ Anon 1:
    Eph 4:11 (English Slandered Version) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the kings and teachers

    Hi Dave, hee hee…”kings”…love it!

    the ESV is the official version of the Calvinista movement.
    good job! As you know, it is the most “literal” version. (rolling eyes)

  116. Jeff S wrote:

    Thanks- it did go well. I guess that is why I love music so much- it can always bring me back to remembering that that God is good and worth spending eternity loving and serving.

    I’m glad it went well for you. There were times (I used to play flute) when I couldn’t “meet it” and performance was an endurance test.

    Yup, artmaking can allow one to shed all the accrued junk, single-mindedly focusing on physical senses devoted to a living concept. It was where I found God most clearly. How wonderful are taste, sound, story, movement, form, color, structure! This earth is lovely and we are part of it! It has helped me keep my eye on the prize.

  117. Anon 1 wrote:

    As you know, it is the most “literal” version. (rolling eyes)

    During a Sunday morning Scripture reading I was shocked to hear the ESV add the words “seem to” to Ps 18:26. (not one other Engligh version adds this) Being a rebellious Evangelical I wet home and did word studies all afternoon. I moved on to “some of the functions in the NT for church polity” where many versions add things like “used the office of a deacon” in place of the single word “served”. I topped it off by writing an “English Slandered Version” of some other verse using the same principles. Finally, I made myself a “joy to pastor” by emailing him everything!

  118. To all survivors, may these lyrics from a favorite song -Credo by Jane Marshall) be encouraging. If painful, please forgive me. Adding to another’s pain is the last thing that I would want to do. The verse was actually found on a wall in the Warsaw ghetto.

    I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.
    I believe in love, even when not feeling it.
    I believe in God, even when He is silent.

    Chorus:

    Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief.

  119. Public awareness of the proper notification of the authorities  in situations where sexual abuse is encountered must hold priority in any church setting. That para-church organizations are taking this stand and heightening public awareness Iis most commendable.

  120. @ Dave A A:

    Dave, Another rebel with a cause concerning the much hyped ESV! :o)

    Next time you might want to check this out concerning the ESV. Good paper and shows why the declarations of a “literal translations” is a problem. As we all know, word meanings change over time.

    http://zondervan.typepad.com/files/improvingesv2.pdf

    Here are some funny examples of a “literal” translation in the ESV from the paper:

    Nice legs!
    Ps. 147:10 ESV “His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,”
    Comment: Taking pleasure in a man’s legs will surely leave readers chuckling. TNIV reads “in the power
    of human legs”; NET has “by the warrior’s strong legs.”

    Such clean teeth!
    Amos 4:6
    ESV “I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities”
    Comment: It sounds like God is distributing toothbrushes to the Israelites. The Hebrew idiom means they
    had nothing to eat. The TNIV reads “I gave you empty stomachs,”; HCSB: “I gave you absolutely nothing
    to eat.” NET: “I gave you no food to eat.”
    Trembling loins?

    There are many examples that will give you a chuckle. Some of them might have been changed in reprints, not sure. And this is just another reason I use an interlinear to study and quite a few different translations just for reading. My ESV has dust on it, though. The ESV promoters sure tried to put the TNIV out of business.

  121. @ Dave A A:
    ESV = Elect Standard Version 😉

    As I’ve said before, ESV gets a lot of credit with me because it corrects the Malachie mistranslation that “God hates divorce”.

    Usually I just tend to use whatever version my church is. My previous church used NIV and before that it was NASB. But for personal study I Lise a variety of versions. Including The Message which isn’t really a translation, but I think it’s really useful, especially for those who’ve had Paul’s writing abused at them so much that they automatically see Pail as an impressive rule-giver. His spirit comes through really well in The Message.

  122. Yikes, autocorrect killed me on that last post. I meant “oppressive” rule giver. Hopefully the rest you can figure out from context!

  123. Pingback: Al Mohler and C. J. Mahaney | Everyone's Entitled to Joe's Opinion UNITED STATES

  124. “We won’t hide behind lawyers. … Jesus said the truth will set us free.” Pastor Peter James, March 27, 2013 *

    “Let me speak for a moment to our survivors,” he said. “We, as church leaders, were part of the harm in failing to extend the compassion and mercy that you needed. Some of you felt uncared for, neglected and even blamed in this church. I am truly sorry … I regret the harm this neglect has caused you.”

     Pastor Peter James, Vienna Presbyterian Church.

    ___
    * VIENNA, Va. — Officials at Vienna Presbyterian Church decided to acknowledge the church’s failures in handling reports of sexual abuse by a youth ministries director, they thought it might upset some in the congregation.
    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/religion/2011-05-09-vienna-virginia-church-abuse-case-lawyers-insurers_n.htm

  125. “Unreported Church Related Sexual Abuse: So Long, How Long?”

    What?

    In the SBC, aparrently there are no institutional consequences for Southern Baptist leaders who don’t contact law enforcement with any information about child sex abuse they have encountered.

    hmmm… (Really?)

    That can mean only one thing, that the abuse will continue, and that, unreported.

    Scary.

    Run don’t walk to the nearest exit.

    The lives you save, may be your children….”Honey, it’s not safe here anymore…”

    (sadface)

    Sopy

  126. Pingback: The Sovereign Grace Ministries Scandal

  127. Isn’t there some way to reign in these guys by virtue of their professional affiliations? I know that Mohler is at SBTS, of course. Isn’t Don Carson at Wheaton?

    I would imagine that big, well-known, respected universities/seminaries would not appreciate some of their celebrity staff members making such ridiculously sinful statements in public.

    If I were a student at, or alumnus of, SBTS or Wheaton, I would be embarrassed that such well-known representatives of the school whose name is on my degree and resume would be pulling an ill-advised, shameful, public stunt like this…

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