Washingtonian Piece on CLC/SGM – Satanic Attack or Divine Providence?

"but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."

Matthew 18:6 (ESV)

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=45771&picture=millstonesMillstones

Have you seen the gas station surveillance video of a mom who manhandled a carjacker attempting to steal her vehicle with her two children inside?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this video is an incredible illustration of how us moms (and dads) feel about our kids.  That's why it is shocking that someone in authority at Covenant Life Church would attempt to characterize an exposé that just appeared in the Washingtonian Magazine as a satanic attack. Here is a sceen shot of a comment made by Dave MacKenzie over at SGM Survivors prior to the publication of the article.

http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/2015/08/20/the-police-report/comment-page-23/#comment-90066

I read the Washingtonian Magazine article last week and posted a summary for our readers.  Much of it explains how children in Sovereign Grace churches were sexually abused and how those in authority at those churches failed to report the crimes to the proper authorities.  Honestly, who would characterize an exposé about the sexual abuse of children as a 'satanic attack'?  Not only that, I am confused because I thought CLC and other churches that had been involved in Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) believed in divine providence.  After all, the umbrella organization to which they belonged for so long goes by the name 'Sovereign Grace'.  Is God sovereign only when it is beneficial to you?

Brent Detwiler responded to Dave MacKenzie's comment over at SGM Survivors, and here is an excerpt of what he wrote (see screen shot below):

http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/2015/08/20/the-police-report/comment-page-23/#comment-90071

Brent wrote a post prior to the publication of the Washingtonian Magazine article, and he also sent out an email to 100 national leaders, which he shared in a comment on our blog.  What will it take to get the attention of so many Neo-Cal leaders who continue to turn a blind eye to abuse that took place in the SGM 'family of churches'? 

Todd Wilhelm has written a hard-hitting post that expresses his tremendous frustration.  Below is a just portion of his post, which he has given us permission to re-publish.  We hope you will take time to read it in its entirety.


Covenant Life Reacts to Washingtonian Article (link)

“As that old proverb says, ‘From evil people come evil deeds.’”
-I Samuel 24:13 NLT

“Can unjust leaders claim that God is on their side—leaders whose decrees permit injustice?
They gang up against the righteous and condemn the innocent to death.
God will turn the sins of evil people back on them. He will destroy them for their sins. The Lord our God will destroy them.”

-Psalm 94:20-21, 23 NLT

https://thouarttheman.org/2016/01/22/3367/

It has taken 5 years, but the sexual abuse of children and the conspiracy to cover up the abuse, which occurred at numerous Sovereign Grace churches, has finally drawn enough publicity to warrant a mainstream media publication to run a lengthy story on the subject.  Tiffany Stanley, a writer for The Washingtonian, has penned an informative, well balanced article which highlights many of the sordid details in what some have called “the largest sexual abuse scandal to hit the Evangelical church.  The article is included in the February issue of The Washingtonian, which hit the streets yesterday.

Covenant Life Church, or CLC, formerly pastored by C.J. Mahaney and then Joshua Harris, was, previous to the sexual abuse scandal, the flagship church of the Sovereign Grace denomination. The church building also was home to the denominational headquarters.  Mahaney at one time was the senior pastor of CLC. He groomed Harris to take over that position as he stepped into the job of Chairman of the denomination. Once the sexual abuse scandal broke Mahaney resigned from his position as head of the denomination, CLC withdrew from the denomination and Joshua Harris resigned as senior pastor.

CLC has, due to a serious lack of integrity amongst the leadership, sustained a huge loss of members and therefore, income. They have hired a new pastor, P.J. Smyth.  He has preached at CLC several times in January, but as a citizen of South Africa, he is looking at a rather lengthy delay in obtaining a visa. The visa will allow Smyth to actually transition into the full-time role of senior pastor.

CLC received advance notice that The Washingtonian article would be hitting the streets this week, therefore, on Sunday, January 17th, they held a membership meeting to implement damage control. The SGM Survivors blog contained the following recap from a member of CLC:

http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/2015/08/20/the-police-report/comment-page-23/#comment-90066

I find this information troubling on several fronts.  First, Mark Mitchell reverts to the tried and true technique, utilized repeatedly by Sovereign Grace leaders (in this case a former Sovereign Grace leader) of blaming their self inflicted problems on Satan.


Deb here again…  For so long Sovereign Grace leaders had absolute control over their flocks because they were 'in authority'.  We are grateful that those who had been silenced in Sovereign Grace churches are finally finding their voice on the blogs and in the press.  To characterize their speaking out as a satanic attack is, quite frankly, SATANIC!

Comments

Washingtonian Piece on CLC/SGM – Satanic Attack or Divine Providence? — 230 Comments

  1. It would be wondrous and redemptive if the SGM and CLC leadership would respond to the article as David did to Nathan’s rebuke and exposure of his sin.

  2. IMO, the satanic attack is the abuse and cover-ups. This article being published in a major news source is Divine Providence!

  3. I find this information troubling on several fronts. First, Mark Mitchell reverts to the tried and true technique, utilized repeatedly by Sovereign Grace leaders (in this case a former Sovereign Grace leader) of blaming their self inflicted problems on Satan.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62Qfbrc1jdo
    Cousin of Eutychus wrote:

    It would be wondrous and redemptive if the SGM and CLC leadership would respond to the article as David did to Nathan’s rebuke and exposure of his sin.

    More likely tbey’ll do the Gospelly(TM) thing:
    Double Down and SCREAM LOUDER.

  4. If CLC and its leadership are under “satanic attack”, they need to ask themselves if they have invited spiritual negativity to enter their ranks by not identifying and dealing with the reason for such attack. To borrow from Donald Trump’s recent reference to “Two” Corinthians “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty!” Where the Holy Spirit is present, the demonic spirit must flee. The devil has a tough time attacking where the Holy Spirit has set up shop. Ministries caught in a squeeze are quick to blame the devil’s involvement in the voices of their accusers, when, in fact they have brought the devil into the mix by allowing the unrepentant free reign. In the void created by doing church without God, Satan “attacks”.

  5. IMO, the satanic attack is the abuse and cover-ups. This article being published in a major news source is Divine Providence!

    NANCY 2, I agree completely. Bringing something out into the light is a cleansing thing to do . . . keeping something like child abuse hidden “to be dealt with in-house” seems rather pointless, especially when the abuse occurred ‘in house’, and the people in charge made excuses for the perpetrators ‘in house’, and the parents were told not to make this public ‘in house’ . . . of COURSE, the abuse would be continuing . . . and, of course, perpetrators would be drawn to an organization that kept them ‘hidden’ from legal proscecution.

    Yes, I have to agree wholeheartedly. I am Catholic and I know what horrors can be hidden when people are too proud to bring their wrong-doing out into the light.

    If there is ‘grace’ in the SGM, then let it favor the children who have BEEN (ed.) injured horribly . . . SGM’s leadership, who encouraged not informing the police, should be prosecuted also. They ARE one reason the abuses kept recurring and spreading throughout the SGM network.

  6. Satan can’t be responsible for the article’s publication, he has to be familiar with the political aphorism that you don’t attack a foe that is destroying itself.

  7. If there is ‘grace’ in the SGM, then let it favor the children who have injured horribly . . . SGM’s leadership, who encouraged not informing the police, should be prosecuted also. They ARE one reason the abuses kept recurring and spreading throughout the SGM network.

    CORRECTION: If there is ‘grace’ in the SGM, then let it favor the children who have BEEN injured horribly.

    sorry for error . . . had to fix it! especially when sometimes perpetrators aren’t fully adults yet (very sad, this)

  8. Christiane wrote:

    If there is ‘grace’ in the SGM, then let it favor the children who have injured horribly . . . SGM’s leadership, who encouraged not informing the police, should be prosecuted also. They ARE one reason the abuses kept recurring and spreading throughout the SGM network.

    Exactly.
    They say the CLC is “ready to move forward”. What about the children who were abused??? How easy-breezy is it for them to move forward?

  9. They should continue to pay a price for the culture they created and the child abuse it encouraged until every single victim is healed from the abuse and ongoing pain they suffer. This is evidence that not only does Mitchell not get it, but that he does not care enough to even try.

  10. Dang, the chuckling one must be moving up in the world.
    He’s got a full page pic in a big-time news rag.

  11. I got this up last night. This is the analysis of the Washingtonian article. What it was good at doing, and what it lacked. It was good at illustrating the problems of nepotism, the personality cult, child sex abuse, and how the organization doesn’t know how to repent or say they are sorry. (There’s a long list in the post…that’s but a few…)

    The article lacked in that it let Mahaney off the hook and was gentle, and didn’t talk about his blackmail or giving money to Al Mohler.

    https://wonderingeagle.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/washingtonian-magazine-writes-about-sovereign-grace-ministries-and-child-sex-abuse-problems-analysis-of-the-article/

  12. The secular press normally says things that are contra to what evangelical Christians say and believe. In this case, however, the secular press is saying the same thing that evangelical Christians not connected with SGM or CLC have been saying for some time.

    There is something very significant about that.

  13. For anyone struggling to keep track of things (like I am) I’ve tried to make a list of the people and organisations mentioned in the article …

    Sovereign Grace Churches – originally People of Destiny International, renamed Sovereign Grace Ministries in 2003, then Sovereign Grace Churches in 2014
    Covenant Life Church (CLC) – main/parent SG church
    Sovereign Grace Ministeries (SGM) – older name for Sovereign Grace Churches
    SGM Survivors – a blog of stories of people from SGM
    Washingtonian Magazine – secular monthly magazine with a readership of about 400,000
    New Frontiers – apostolic network of evangelical, charismatic churches founded by Terry Virgo
    Advance – PJ Smyth’s South African parachurch organisation

    Dave MacKenzie – ? active commenter on SGMSurvivors ?
    Brent Detwiler – ? critic of SGM ?
    Mark Mitchell – executive pastor Covenant Life Church
    PJ Smyth – new pastor at Covenant Life Church
    Terry Virgo – founder of New Frontiers
    Todd Wilhelm – disciplined by UCCD (a 9 Marks church in Dubai) for wanting to leave
    Tiffany Stanley – writer of the Washingtonian Magazine article
    C.J. Mahaney – “head apostle” and founder of SGM
    Joshua Harris – ex SGM pastor
    Nate Morales – former CLC youth pastor and convicted sexual abuser of young boys

  14. Is anybody else hearing the Church Lady’s voice saying, “Saaataan?”

    By the way, I thought neo-cons thought that God caused all the evil in the world?

  15. Dave wrote:

    For anyone struggling to keep track of things (like I am) I’ve tried to make a list of the people and organisations mentioned in the article …

    Very useful. Thanks!

  16. “We’re ready to move on.”
    Oh how convenient for you. Except that justice has not been served to the victims yet. There were more abusers than Nate Morales and YOU guys were the ones who enabled all of them. Don’t kvetch and call it a “Satanic attack” when people want to hold you accountable for your actions still. You’re not getting away with it that easily, in this life or the next.

  17. @ Anne:
    CJ Mahaney “moved on” with the help of Mark Dever and Al Mohler. Never mind the victims. Gives us insight into their character.

  18. Lydia wrote:

    @ Anne:
    CJ Mahaney “moved on” with the help of Mark Dever and Al Mohler. Never mind the victims. Gives us insight into their character.

    Ding…Ding….Ding….we have a winner! And it makes you wonder about the rest of the bunch at SBTS? They know about this, and go along?

  19. “We have new leadership that was never involved in these matters.”

    BZZZZZZT. Wrong answer. Go and watch the movie “Spotlight”. From that you will learn that abuse at the top is only sustainable with the complicity (conscious or no) of the entire community involved.

  20. When I read this, I had a flashback to myself as a very insecure young adult in CLC. Early on in my time there, I began to see things that were red flags for me and seemed cult-like. Thank God for that still small voice. However, as I kept watching and finally seeing enough red flags for me to leave, I never envisioned an implosion like this. Sad, all of it.

  21. Interesting how CLC sees this.

    I have said this before. If you read the OT at times God would allow Israel into the hands of their enemies which is scary enough. What is even scarier is with Solomon due to his egregious sin in his latter years God raised up adversaries.

    It is one thing to fall into the hand of your enemies but much worse if God actually intentionally raises up adversaries.

    Apparently both CLC and SGM don’t think that having adversaries raised up by God could happen to them.

    BTW. CLC/SGM were COFOUNDED by Mahaney & Tomczak

  22. Steve240 wrote:

    CLC/SGM were COFOUNDED by Mahaney & Tomczak

    Mahaney, Tomczak, Harris … all of these “People of Destiny” make me feel slimy every time their names are dropped. They definitely have a destiny.

  23. These authority driven pastors should be ashamed of themselves.Leading on these poor people who do not have an ounce of sense to believe prophesies of evil and proclamations of Satan. It is their poor theology and absolute inability to care for the abused that is causing this. They deserve it.

  24. Steve240 wrote:

    Apparently both CLC and SGM don’t think that having adversaries raised up by God could happen to them.

    God’s Speshul Anointed Elect Can Do No Wrong.

  25. Eeyore wrote:

    “We have new leadership that was never involved in these matters.”
    BZZZZZZT. Wrong answer. Go and watch the movie “Spotlight”. From that you will learn that abuse at the top is only sustainable with the complicity (conscious or no) of the entire community involved.

    Bingo! This was the point I emphasized with my kids about the film. Look at the years and years of trusting the wrong people, the silence and looking the other way. There were indications early on that people ignored or rationalized away. That was the gist of the story. It took an outsider to encourage them to scrutinize. It should not be that way.

  26. dee wrote:

    These authority driven pastors should be ashamed of themselves. Leading on these poor people who do not have an ounce of sense

    Therein lies the success of these ministries. An authoritarian stage would not exist if it wasn’t for an audience who was willingly ignorant enough to submit themselves to it. The greatest need in the Body of Christ is to pray for discernment, but I don’t see much movement by the sheep in that direction … thus, the wolves come in undetected and unchallenged.

    I actually heard a young, reformed pastor at an SBC church plant (talking about the New Calvinist movement) say “We are coming in the back door.” To which I replied with Scripture “Anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber” (John 10:1). He smiled and walked away. Arrogance has no boundaries.

  27. Max wrote:

    An authoritarian stage would not exist if it wasn’t for an audience who was willingly ignorant enough to submit themselves to it.

    Most people are not willingly ignorant. Many people come in the gate but are fed a pack of lies from wolves who seem pleasant enough at first, but soon show their fangs.

  28. Bridget wrote:

    Many people come in the gate but are fed a pack of lies from wolves

    Christians have the ability to be “lie detectors” by the Holy Spirit. We need to learn how to appropriate that ability … beginning with a prayer for a new measure of discernment. I used to get aggravated at preachers who proclaimed that there is a devil behind every bush … until my long Christian journey convinced me that there is a devil behind every bush.

  29. Bob Cleveland wrote:

    The secular press normally says things that are contra to what evangelical Christians say and believe. In this case, however, the secular press is saying the same thing that evangelical Christians not connected with SGM or CLC have been saying for some time.

    There is something very significant about that.

    The problem is that the SBC through Mohler and Dever have been very involved in helping cover it up to save Mahaney.

  30. Deb wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    Tim linked to the article in his post. The question in my mind is WHY?

    Who knows! Isn’t Tim the one who shut off commenting on his blog? Hasn’t he been silent about SGM and Mahaney for years? Hasn’t he criticised people who spoke up about Mahaney? Now he wants to come across as caring and understanding of abuse? But no one can comment on his blog . . . isn’t Tim just dandy?

  31. Max wrote:

    I actually heard a young, reformed pastor at an SBC church plant (talking about the New Calvinist movement) say “We are coming in the back door.” To which I replied with Scripture “Anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber” (John 10:1). He smiled and walked away. Arrogance has no boundaries.

    A ‘Jesus’ answer if ever there was one! Loved it.

  32. @ Bridget:
    He was the one chiding people for not speaking “biblically” about Mahaney’s scandals. Whatever that means when it comes to molested children.

  33. @ Deb:

    Let’s not forget what Tim says here –

    “‘The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment’ was published by Crossway in January of 2008. The book looks to the Bible to seek what God teaches on the subject of spiritual discernment, a term I define as the skill of understanding and applying God’s Word with the purpose of separating truth from error and right from wrong.”

    I wonder if Mahaney and other leaders at SGM read his book. I wonder if Tim believes his own book.

  34. Lydia wrote:

    The problem is that the SBC through Mohler and Dever have been very involved in helping cover it up to save Mahaney.

    Endorsement by Mohler and Dever gives Mahaney credibility within SBC, particularly among the growing population of New Calvinists who are gaining control of the denomination. Surely, Mohler & Dever know something that the rest of us don’t about Mahaney’s innocence in all the scandals associated with him? Perhaps Mahaney really is a poor victim who has been attacked by the accuser of the brethren? Or does it simply play out that the T4G blood pact means they will stick together for the good of the movement, lest they all go down together … which will eventually happen any way. Look at the following group photo, folks … you will be reading a lot about all of them in the days to come: http://t4g.org/about/ Whew! What a crew!

  35. Facts are hard things to get around. Isn’t this all about what is true? Are we now afraid of truth? If these guys had dealt with the problems correctly in the first place this article would never have needed to be written.

  36. @ Max:

    Your comment brought the following to mind:

    When Ken Sande of Peacemakers kept coming to C.J. Mahaney's aid (bet he was paid a pretty penny!), we would refer to him as 'Attorney Ken Sande' because of his credentials. Now that SGC Louisville is affiliated with the SBC, I need to remember to refer to its lead pastor as 'Southern Baptist Pastor C.J. Mahaney'. Who would have imagined?

  37. Bridget wrote:

    I wonder if Tim believes his own book.

    You never know.
    Rush Limbaugh, Anton LaVey, Baba Saddam, and Elron Hubbard all came to believe their own PR and their own book(s).

  38. Bridget wrote [quoting what I guess is a summary by Tim Challies of his book]:

    “‘The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment’ was published by Crossway in January of 2008. The book looks to the Bible to seek what God teaches on the subject of spiritual discernment, a term I define as the skill of understanding and applying God’s Word with the purpose of separating truth from error and right from wrong.”

    I realise this is slightly tangential to the main theme of this thread, but there is much more to spiritual discernment than the selection and interpretation of appropriate fragments of scribsher.

    Many earnest and zealous men (and some women) have been enthusiastically caught up in the false revival that has come to be known as “the resurgence”. I suppose that if you’ve been brought up to believe that the Holy Spirit has been banished from the church and captured within the scribshers like a genie in a lamp, it’s inevitable that you’ll likewise exorcise Him from the process of spiritual discernment.

  39. Deb wrote:

    I need to remember to refer to its lead pastor as ‘Southern Baptist Pastor C.J. Mahaney’. Who would have imagined it?

    If you had asked me this 10 years ago, I would have replied “No way!” But, in today’s SBC, anything is possible! The same can be said about “Southern Baptist Pastor James MacDonald” … yes, for those of you that missed it, the controversial pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel signed his church on as an SBC member last year! Yep, the same minister who disciplined and shunned three elders after they spoke out against a culture of fear and intimidation by church leadership … and oh yes, the same minister who said that congregational church government is from Satan. Although, he did repent of the latter shortly before signing on with SBC (politically correct) … a moot point, though, since the New Calvinists are moving SBC to elder rule polity as they gain more control of the denomination. Yep, anything is possible within SBC these days.

  40. Deb wrote:

    we did predict some sort of liason in this 2011 post:

    You are a prophetess! I just read the post; in reference to the Big Al tweets in that article, I guess Mohler still thinks Mahaney knocks it out of the park! “Exotic dancers”? … perhaps in secret. ;^)

  41. Eagle wrote:

    I got this up last night. This is the analysis of the Washingtonian article. What it was good at doing, and what it lacked. It was good at illustrating the problems of nepotism, the personality cult, child sex abuse, and how the organization doesn’t know how to repent or say they are sorry. (There’s a long list in the post…that’s but a few…)

    The article lacked in that it let Mahaney off the hook and was gentle, and didn’t talk about his blackmail or giving money to Al Mohler.

    https://wonderingeagle.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/washingtonian-magazine-writes-about-sovereign-grace-ministries-and-child-sex-abuse-problems-analysis-of-the-article/

    Eagle:

    Your post was excellent! Thanks for writing it.

  42. @ Bridget:
    He gives the reason as follows

    “Do you feel strongly about something you read on my site? Do you have something to add to it? In lieu of a comments section I now accept and publish Letters to the Editor. Letters to the Editor is where you can express your opinion and give your point of view. Every week I publish a selection of these letters. By sending a Letter to the Editor you are agreeing to its possible publication. Please note that I do not personally reply to most Letters to the Editor.”

  43. @ Lowlandseer:

    Yes. It is a very convenient way to control what people see at your blog. It is his blog. He can do as he chooses. I can also have little to no respect for Tim, and any men or women who want to be listened to (via their blogs) but don’t want to interact with people who have a different perspective.

  44. Bridget wrote:

    Yes. It is a very convenient way to control what people see at your blog. It is his blog. He can do as he chooses.

    i.e. only show the Letters to the Editor(TM) that Agree 1000% with him and Praise Him Praise Him Praise Him Praise Him Praise Him.

  45. Pingback: Linkathon! | PhoenixPreacher UNITED STATES

  46. Steve240 wrote:

    Interesting how CLC sees this.
    I have said this before. If you read the OT at times God would allow Israel into the hands of their enemies which is scary enough. What is even scarier is with Solomon due to his egregious sin in his latter years God raised up adversaries.
    It is one thing to fall into the hand of your enemies but much worse if God actually intentionally raises up adversaries.
    Apparently both CLC and SGM don’t think that having adversaries raised up by God could happen to them.

    My question is, are the CLC and SGM leaders children of God, or are they the Philistines?

  47. Nancy2 wrote:

    are the CLC and SGM leaders children of God, or are they the Philistines?

    I used to wonder why the children of God were such knuckleheads during the Exodus and had to travel through 40 years of wilderness for what should have been only a 10 day journey. Then I found the answer: “… remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart …” (Deut. 8:2). At best CLC/SGM members are unknowingly in the wilderness; at worst, they are willing participants of a rebellious house. What’s really in their hearts?

  48. Regarding Tim Challies' link to Catherine Parks' blog post…

    I had never heard of her before, but she and her mother co-wrote a book entitled A Christ-Centered Wedding, and it's fascinating to see who provided editorial reviews: Tim Challies, Al Mohler, Gloria Furman, Trilia Newbell, Russell Moore, Deepak Reju (Capitol Hill Baptist Church), among others.

    http://www.christianbook.com/christ-centered-wedding-rejoicing-gospel-your/catherine-parks/9781433681141/pd/681141

    Catherine's father is a Southern Baptist pastor in northern Virginia, and his church appears to be closely affiliated with 9Marks. Still wondering why Tim Challies linked to her post…

  49. Anonymous wrote:

    Eagle wrote:
    I got this up last night. This is the analysis of the Washingtonian article. What it was good at doing, and what it lacked. It was good at illustrating the problems of nepotism, the personality cult, child sex abuse, and how the organization doesn’t know how to repent or say they are sorry. (There’s a long list in the post…that’s but a few…)
    The article lacked in that it let Mahaney off the hook and was gentle, and didn’t talk about his blackmail or giving money to Al Mohler.
    https://wonderingeagle.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/washingtonian-magazine-writes-about-sovereign-grace-ministries-and-child-sex-abuse-problems-analysis-of-the-article/
    Eagle:
    Your post was excellent! Thanks for writing it.

    Agreed!

  50. Deb wrote:

    wondering why Tim Challies linked to her post…

    She was a safe link . . . to say something sensible about abuse . . . “under” proper authority . . . etc. etc. etc.

    Nevermind that the world at large has been expounding on this information for years. Now a submitted, Christian, woman with the backing of holy men, has spoken!

  51. Max wrote:

    dee wrote:
    These authority driven pastors should be ashamed of themselves. Leading on these poor people who do not have an ounce of sense
    Therein lies the success of these ministries. An authoritarian stage would not exist if it wasn’t for an audience who was willingly ignorant enough to submit themselves to it. The greatest need in the Body of Christ is to pray for discernment, but I don’t see much movement by the sheep in that direction … thus, the wolves come in undetected and unchallenged.

    The problem is, when people do challenge the wolves (or violent sheep), their reputations are destroyed, they are cast out and used as an example to the others of what happens to those who dare to speak against God’s anointed leaders. This happened to me, an elder in a New Frontiers church that was led by two former leaders at a Sovereign Grace church, and I was not the only one to whom it happened.

    So people take a look at what happens to those who question or openly oppose, they want to maintain their relationships with friends, and even if they don’t agree with what’s happening, they figure the costs of opposing outweigh the potential benefits of taking a stand, they lay low and try to weather the storm, or they assume there are two sides to every story and give the leaders the benefit of the doubt. They often make very rational choices to stay put and shut up. I am not saying righteous choices, because Jesus didn’t fret too much over the loss of friends and relationships and the safety of crowds, nor are we to do so, but I certainly understand why people would lay low.

  52. Well, you’ve heard the term “stiff necked” used many times in the Bible. Here’s a good illustration of it. Those who are confronted with their sins refuse to repent but rather stiffen their necks further and willfully continue in the way they’ve chosen.

    I’ve been reading Jude and 2Peter 2 lately and here is a real life example of the people these passages speak of.

  53. Bridget wrote:

    Deb wrote:
    @ Bridget:
    Tim linked to the article in his post. The question in my mind is WHY?

    Two possibilities:

    1). He’s staring to get it, maybe thinks when it comes to the abuse of children, they’ve gone too far, he’s starting to understand that he’s been supporting and covering for those whom he never should’ve supported.

    2). He’s cutting and running, preserving his own career because he now considers the old crowd, or part of it, more a liability to him than a benefit.

    Who knows? We can consider that #2 probably veers closer to the truth while simultaneously hoping for #1.

  54. @ Law Prof:
    Agreed LP. In places where “Jezebel” controls, manipulates, and intimidates, the average church member retreats to a neutral position, lest they feel the wrath of her authority. I’m reminded of the blind guy that Jesus healed. When church leaders challenged him on what had happened, he stood his ground and spoke the truth about what he had experienced. After pressing him to compromise, they threw him out of church … and Jesus went looking for him. It’s better to be outside the camp with Jesus than in a house full of spiritual jerks.

  55. Max wrote:

    It’s better to be outside the camp with Jesus than in a house full of spiritual jerks.

    That’s the truth.

  56. @ Law Prof:
    Another possibility:

    Plausible deniability. He needs to appear as if he is concerned (after all, it IS the Washingtonian and it is NOT going away) but is too cowardly to write about it and name names so he lets a woman do it for him. :o)

  57. Max wrote:

    Therein lies the success of these ministries. An authoritarian stage would not exist if it wasn’t for an audience who was willingly ignorant enough to submit themselves to it. The greatest need in the Body of Christ is to pray for discernment, but I don’t see much movement by the sheep in that direction … thus, the wolves come in undetected and unchallenged.

    I actually heard a young, reformed pastor at an SBC church plant (talking about the New Calvinist movement) say “We are coming in the back door.” To which I replied with Scripture “Anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber” (John 10:1). He smiled and walked away. Arrogance has no boundaries.

    Max, I had a similar experience at a GARB church. The pastor alluded to the fact that his professors at seminary had trained them thus, they were going into whatever churches would take them with the explicit purpose of changing these churches. They believe they are serving God and bringing about the “new thing” that God is supposedly doing.

    There has been a degrading of the word of God and the idea that God is giving new prophecies has been planted. People have turned away from the ‘dusty old Bible’ and eagerly await new messages that come from the imaginations of men. Few people want to take the time to read the Bible beyond looking at a proof text. New prophecies are much more exciting to so many.

    When you were confronted with the words of a deceiver, God brought his applicable word to your mind. But without the word of God in their minds and hearts, the people are easy prey to deceivers.

    2 Timothy 4:3
    For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

    Jeremiah 5:31
    The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule on their own authority; And My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it?

  58. Lydia wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    Another possibility:
    Plausible deniability. He needs to appear as if he is concerned (after all, it IS the Washingtonian and it is NOT going away) but is too cowardly to write about it and name names so he lets a woman do it for him. :o)

    True, that’s another alternative that makes sense. Maybe it’s a mixed bag of all three and perhaps more. No telling, not sure that Mr. Challies would quite know himself, as I have found that self-styled leaders (as well as young, starry-eyed man worshipers) in that movement do not tend to be the most introspective of sorts. One can only wonder what motivates him.

  59. siteseer wrote:

    They believe they are serving God and bringing about the “new thing” that God is supposedly doing.

    Siteseer, your overall comment and the Scriptures you quote are right on! There is no doubt that New Calvinists sincerely believe that a new reformation is underway. They certainly have a passion about this revival of reformed theology and feel they have come into the world for such a time as this. It’s sad to see so many young folks being led astray with misplaced passion. The problem with deception is that you don’t know you are deceived because you are deceived. That’s why I now call them YRRDs (young, restless, reformed and deceived). I truly believe if these young folks would call a time out to the teachers and teachings they are under and immerse themselves in the Words in Red, they would be better able to discern the aberrant teachings of New Calvinism.

  60. siteseer wrote:

    I had a similar experience at a GARB church. The pastor alluded to the fact that his professors at seminary had trained them thus, they were going into whatever churches would take them with the explicit purpose of changing these churches.

    I have seen it and known of it happening as well. In one case a clandestinely neocalvinist pastor was hired at an old school congregationalist Baptist church in my state and quickly brought in a few like-minded friends he knew and installed them as elders. During the honeymoon period and before anyone could quite catch their breath or realize what was happening, he’d turned the church constitution on its head and started attempting to discipline or oust people who insisted on their rights under the church bylaws. They eventually got rid of him and his friends, but not before a near implosion of the church. Years later, the clandestinely neocalvinist pastor turned clean round and repented I now count him as a friend and as one who cares about the truth, but it is amazing the destruction a few proud young men with a delusion that they know better can do.

  61. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I suppose that if you’ve been brought up to believe that the Holy Spirit has been banished from the church and captured within the scribshers like a genie in a lamp, it’s inevitable that you’ll likewise exorcise Him from the process of spiritual discernment.

    My experience in at least the last couple decades is that the Holy Spirit has come to be first and foremost in churches, I would even say that the Holy Spirit has taken the place of Christ in the modern church (in spite of the fact Jesus said the Spirit would not speak on his own initiative). The songs are addressed to the spirit, the people plead with the spirit (to do things that he has already done most of the time), they pray to the spirit, people are always listening (in their own imaginations) for messages from the spirit… and they are ready to accept ideas that pop into their minds as coming from the spirit even when those ideas are directly contrary to the scriptures.

    Yes, the Holy Spirit was given to lead us into all truth. But he uses the word of God. If we do not study to show ourselves approved as workmen who can handle accurately the word of truth, what is the Spirit to bring to our mind at a time of need? We truly need both, familiarity with and a working knowledge of the Bible, and dependence on the Spirit to lead our understanding. And especially today, because evil men and imposters are very good at twisting the Bible for their own purposes.

    If we were only like the Bereans, who searched the scriptures for themselves to see whether peoples’ claims were accurate, we would avoid so many of the disasters that are going on in the church today.

  62. @ Law Prof:
    LP, the same thing happened at a “traditional” SBC church near me. Unfortunately, in addition to recruiting an elder team of like-mind, the young pastor also attracted enough new members of the reformed persuasion to swing the vote in a business meeting to change church governance from congregational to plurality of elders polity. The old members, who had financed a nice church facility over the years, left after much weeping and gnashing of teeth to start another church and surrendered all their former church resources to the young whippersnappers. The New Calvinists followed the same game plan as in the church you noted, but with different results unfortunately. The pastor left there recently to do the same thing in another community … satanic attack or divine providence?

  63. There was a time when Tim Challies looked at the SGM debacle as an interpersonal conflict. Perhaps he is starting to realize there is more to it than he first surmised.

    http://www.challies.com/articles/cj-mahaney-and-difficult-days

    Once we read or hear these things, we cannot unread or unhear them. Our love for a brother or sister should cause us to refuse to listen to their interpersonal conflict. There will be occasional exceptions for those who are in positions of leadership over the people involved (If someone leaked documents about me, I would expect my fellow elders to read them). The situation may well be different where there someone has broken the law and remained unrepentant and is putting other people in danger. But at least as it pertains to conflict, I believe we need to avoid involvement.

    If I had to do it all again, if I looked at the documents at all, I hope that I would look at them only long enough to see that they dealt with interpersonal conflict rather than issues of law. When I saw that this was the case, I would back away.

    And who could ever forget this post that followed a couple years later?

    http://www.challies.com/articles/thinking-biblically-about-cj-mahaney-and-sovereign-grace-ministries

    For this reason I have deliberately avoided learning too much. I have had to question my motives, especially since I have repeatedly been on the receiving end of scathing criticism for not using my platform to speak out against Mahaney. I have chosen to read the news stories, to understand the basic facts, but conscience compels me to stop there. To do more may not be spiritually beneficial, it may not reflect good time management, and it may not be loving toward those who are involved.

    That phrase – "I have deliberately avoided learning too much" – could probably be used to describe the entire Neo-Cal crowd who have had their heads buried in sand when it comes to their buddy Mahaney.

  64. Max wrote:

    The old members, who had financed a nice church facility over the years, left after much weeping and gnashing of teeth to start another church and surrendered all their former church resources to the young whippersnappers.

    What's the difference between this and stealing? Truly, it borders on being a criminal act.

  65. Max wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    LP, the same thing happened at a “traditional” SBC church near me. Unfortunately, in addition to recruiting an elder team of like-mind, the young pastor also attracted enough new members of the reformed persuasion to swing the vote in a business meeting to change church governance from congregational to plurality of elders polity. The old members, who had financed a nice church facility over the years, left after much weeping and gnashing of teeth to start another church and surrendered all their former church resources to the young whippersnappers. The New Calvinists followed the same game plan as in the church you noted, but with different results unfortunately. The pastor left there recently to do the same thing in another community … satanic attack or divine providence?

    Usually they run the church into the ground as they run out the core members who give of their time and assets to make things work and pay the light bill and are left with a group of flighty, guru-seeking young people who can come on all friendly at first, but who have no real loyalty to anything or anyone but themselves. As the finances start straining, the neocal wonderboys will typically start hammering giving from the pulpit and so often, the younger set starts heading out the door to chase another guru, and then, the church simply goes away. In the example I gave a few posts ago of the former SGM church leaders seizing a Newfrontiers and silencing opposition, both the Newfrontiers and the SGM no longer exist.

  66. Deb wrote:

    Max wrote: The old members, who had financed a nice church facility over the years, left after much weeping and gnashing of teeth to start another church and surrendered all their former church resources to the young whippersnappers. What’s the difference between this and stealing? Truly, it borders on being a criminal act.

    Nothing at all. The only difference is the average guttural thief knows what he or she is doing, would likely be honest and admit it's wrong (but perhaps not care), and at least does not add to their trashing of the Eighth Commandment a trashing of the Ninth as well.

  67. Max wrote:

    There is no doubt that New Calvinists sincerely believe that a new reformation is underway. They certainly have a passion about this revival of reformed theology and feel they have come into the world for such a time as this.

    Yes, they even give the impression that poor God has been mired in failure all these year but he has finally got some people with the expertise who are going to turn things around for him…

    (This expertise turns out to be using worldly methods, like marketing.)

    The thing is, when people believe that they are called to this lofty goal and it takes control of their minds, then anything which *appears* to detract from that goal is seen as Satanic. Children being molested certainly isn’t going to help achieve the vision, so it needs to be swept under the rug, silenced along with all sorts of other abuses. The ends justify the means.

    When people sell themselves to a cause, it takes control and directs their motivations and actions. Dishonesty is necessary. Abuse is excusable. The cause is all important.

    I believe that contrary to the whole world system, Christ is all about the means. He has the end firmly taken care of. How we handle the means is what our lives are all about. Our responsibility is to walk in truth and love. So many of these leaders have missed the whole point. In seeking to accomplish something ‘for God’ that he has never asked for or directed them to, they have blackened their own souls with unrepentant sin.

    Many who are first will be last!

  68. Deb wrote:

    For this reason I have deliberately avoided learning too much…To do more may not be spiritually beneficial, it may not reflect good time management, and it may not be loving toward those who are involved.

    What an odd and turned-upside-down world it is when a supposed leader in Christendom defines “loving toward those who are involved” as not learning too much so as to not be able to take a stand against the leaders who might well be abusing and/or covering up the abuse of children, rather than learning as much as possible so as to be able to step up and protect a child from being molested.

    That seems to me to be so sick and vicious as to defy description. Words fail.

  69. Deb wrote:

    To do more may not be spiritually beneficial, it may not reflect good time management, and it may not be loving toward those who are involved.

    The “it might not reflect good time management” comment is abominable to me. The subject of the concern is child abuse and child abuse cover up. Mr Challies appears to be more concerned about his time management than making sure children are safe. Sick.

  70. Bridget wrote:

    The “it might not reflect good time management” comment is abominable to me.

    That is the comment that sealed the deal for me with Tim Challies. It appears that he is far more interested in keeping women quiet than protecting child sex abuse victims.

  71. @ dee:

    How about the "it might not be loving toward those who are involved" comment? Maybe he will one day regret writing those posts.

  72. dee wrote:

    It appears that he is far more interested in keeping women quiet

    Yes. He has used plenty of his time writing about the place of women in the church.

  73. A side note/thought: all the religious language here (attacks of Satan, Jezebel, etc.) is, imo, very distracting, and functions a a wsy of deflecting the realities of both the artivle itself and the overall situation.

    Sexual abuse of children, authoritarian cult leaders who covered up sexual abuse and lied and abused/took advantage of many, many people… *those* are just *some* of the issues. I don’t think Jesus himself was anything other than plain-speaking when it came to injustice and evil, and we don’t fo ourselves or the victims any favors by using hyper-spiritual language when discussing very real problems. It comes across as jargon at best.

  74. Deb wrote:

    Max wrote:
    The old members, who had financed a nice church facility over the years, left after much weeping and gnashing of teeth to start another church and surrendered all their former church resources to the young whippersnappers.
    What’s the difference between this and stealing? Truly, it borders on being a criminal act.

    None!

  75. Max, I want to caution the use of “Jezebel” in your comments — this is a widely held notion in Charismatic/Pentecostal circles, but has no biblical backing and has been used often and for years to put down women who speak their minds. I’ve seen it used in a church youth group, and it did much damage to young women.
    Otherwise, great comments and discussion! I would love to see more on the equally destructive NAR related movements, but the neo-Cal stuff seems to be imploding all around us.
    BTW, I really miss the commenter, Gram3. Does anyone know how/where she is?

  76. @ siteseer:

    “The songs are addressed to the spirit”
    ++++++++++++

    what’s wrong with that?
    ——–

    “Yes, the Holy Spirit was given to lead us into all truth. But he uses the word of God.”
    ++++++++++++

    exclusively? is that all the HS does? nothing else?

    I’d say the HS was given to us to do a whole lotta things.

    aside from leading us into truth, there’s friendship, companionship, comfort, empowerment, wisdom, counsel (for the myriad things which the bible doesn’t address), being our advocate, our intercessor, strengthening us,….

    the HS is the tactile presence of God/Jesus. & totally awesome.

  77. @ Deb:
    Yes and Challies spun it as “wise” not to listen to those who were molested.

    Another example of the banality of evil.

  78. Max wrote:

    The same can be said about “Southern Baptist Pastor James MacDonald” … yes, for those of you that missed it, the controversial pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel signed his church on as an SBC member last year! Yep, the same minister who disciplined and shunned three elders after they spoke out against a culture of fear and intimidation by church leadership … and oh yes, the same minister who said that congregational church government is from Satan.

    Is there a summary of what’s happened with James MacDonald since the Elephant’s Debt closed down? I can’t seem to find any information. Did he end up making amends with those he injured as was implied? Did they come clean about the financials? I keep wondering why the whole thing went radio silent. I hope it’s because he started down the hard path of true repentance, but I’m skeptical.

  79. elastigirl wrote:

    exclusively? is that all the HS does? nothing else?

    No, elastigirl, I was speaking of discernment. We need to rely on the Holy Spirit but we also need to have knowledge of what is written. Both are needed for discernment.

    As far as singing to the Spirit, I was just illustrating that I do not believe the Holy Spirit has been shut out of the church, at least not the churches that I’ve attended.

  80. elastigirl wrote:

    aside from leading us into truth, there’s friendship, companionship, comfort, empowerment, wisdom, counsel (for the myriad things which the bible doesn’t address), being our advocate, our intercessor, strengthening us,….

    Absolutely. He ‘comes alongside us’ our helper and comforter!

  81. Bob Cleveland wrote:

    The secular press normally says things that are contra to what evangelical Christians say and believe. In this case, however, the secular press is saying the same thing that evangelical Christians not connected with SGM or CLC have been saying for some time.

    There is something very significant about that.

    Bob, you are right. Reminds me of the Corinthian situation. They were accommodating a situation that even the Gentiles saw as wrong.

  82. Carole Ryan wrote:

    Max, I want to caution the use of “Jezebel” in your comments — this is a widely held notion in Charismatic/Pentecostal circles, but has no biblical backing and has been used often and for years to put down women who speak their minds. I’ve seen it used in a church youth group, and it did much damage to young women.

    The church I spoke of above, before the pastor began to reveal his full plans for the church, he distributed booklets to all the church leaders. The booklet, by Rick Joyner, was a treatise on how anyone who asks questions or disagrees with the movement’s goals has “the spirit of Jezebel” and is to be silenced and shunned. Thus he carefully prepared all the leadership to turn away from any voices of reason. Those of us who pointed out scripture that contradicted what was happening were labeled as “Jezebel”. It was extremely abusive spiritually.

  83. Kemi wrote:

    Is there a summary of what’s happened with James MacDonald since the Elephant’s Debt closed down?

    MacDonald has been flying under the radar since joining SBC last year, perhaps with a more repentant heart (?). Last media report I saw on him was an article in Christianity Today about 18-months ago pertaining to his repentance over treating his elders in an ungodly way. I also forgot to mention that he was on the advisory board for Mars Hill Church, but jumped ship there just before Driscoll got the boot. Not sure I would say that was spiritual discernment, however … that particular potato just got too hot to handle. Spiritual discernment would have kept him from ensnaring himself with Driscoll in the first place. Oh, and I also forgot to note that before MacDonald was officially SBC, he was on the advisory team for LifeWay’s controversial “The Gospel Project” … Sunday School literature that was written by a sampling of prominent New Calvinists. Oh what a web we weave.

  84. @ siteseer:
    Oh well – Rick Joyner!!!! He is not, imo, in any sense xtian, but certainly is a cult leader. And not the 1st to throw those words around, either.

    Ugh. I am so very glad to be far, far away from anything like this, these days.

  85. @ Carole Ryan:
    Sorry if I offended you Carole. My use of “Jezebel” has no gender attached to it, nor denominational affiliation. I use that well known Bible character to describe the authoritarian leadership often cited on TWW: characteristics of control, manipulation, an intimidation … and these are exclusively men!

  86. Deb wrote:

    What’s the difference between this and stealing? Truly, it borders on being a criminal act.

    In the secular world, it would be! But in SBC where local church autonomy rules, you can get away with this sort of thing. And, technically, no one “owns” local churches – when they close, assets are not distributed to the resident members … they are simply barred up. There is no accountability that floats any higher, unless the SBC church in question violates belief and practice outlined in the Baptist Faith and Message … a statement that was revised in 2000 to accommodate the tenets of Calvinism. With increasing reports of churches turned upside down by New Calvinists, perhaps some brave soul will propose a resolution “On Darn Takeovers” at the next annual convention.

  87. elastigirl wrote:

    understood.

    re: HS in church (singing & such), it seemed like you were putting it in a negative light.

    Sorry, I didn’t word that very well.

  88. siteseer wrote:

    It was extremely abusive spiritually.

    Someone once said that heresy could manifest itself as an overemphasis of a long-neglected truth. I believe we are seeing this in some New Calvinist corners in regard to an unbalanced “grace” message. And as you note, in some Pentecostal ranks which expand the demonic into un-Biblical territories.

  89. Max wrote:

    Oh, and I also forgot to note that before MacDonald was officially SBC, he was on the advisory team for LifeWay’s controversial “The Gospel Project” … Sunday School literature that was written by a sampling of prominent New Calvinists. Oh what a web we weave.

    Once more, “There is no Christ, there is only CALVIN.”

    In many ways, Calvin is the Mohammed of these guys — the Final Prophet who supersedes Jesus and whose Holy Book is the REAL Scripture. Another way Calvin Islamized the Reformation and his followers ISISed it.

  90. Dave M. Attends CLC in Maryland. Brent detwiler is a former member of CJ’s leadership team. He was there from the beginning. Brent has written extensively on the issues in Soveriegn Grace churches over at http://www.brentdetwiler.com. I spent almost 25 years in SGM churches. The first 10 were great. The last 15 I spent fighting for the gospel and for truth in leadership. SGM pastors that remain sold their SOULS to CJ Mahaney and the “product” and left Jesus on the curb years ago. Just one long sad story. b>@ Dave:

  91. I just bought the Washingtonian magazine at the local Barnes & Noble store (it took a little while to find because of the hundreds of magazines, but it was found in the “regional” section after help from an employee). I read the entire article and thought it was well-written and a balanced presentation of the facts. Yes, as Eagle points out, the writer could have delved deeper into the allegations of blackmail and to the verified contributions of $100,000 by CJ and SGM to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, whose leader is Al Mohler (thanks to the Deebs for their research in uncovering this fact by looking at Donor citations).

    As a former member of Fairfax Covenant Church (the previous name of Sovereign Grace Church of Fairfax), I didn’t learn about the child sex abuse issues until I read it on the SGM Survivors blog, which I started reading in 2009. The issues occurred during the end of my time at that church. I left because I had moved to a different state to go on a church planting. It was during that church planting experience that my eyes were really opened to the authoritarian & legalistic ways of the movement. The church plant to me was not about spreading the gospel as I thought it was, but about one man’s controlling of other people to be in power as a senior pastor.

    One thing that was not mentioned in the article, but is a corollary to SGM’s distrust of secular authorities is the movement’s disrespect and despising of psychological counseling. Kris at SGM Survivors wrote a number of blog posts about that. If the pastors in SGM had availed themselves of trained & experienced Christian counselors, they might have understood how damaging child sexual abuse is & may have taken a different road. But they thought they knew better. As a pastor in a non-SGM church said, “All truth is God’s truth.” Meaning: Even if a non-Christian says it, if it’s true, it should be embraced by Christians because we follow Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life.

    I thank God that He is shining the light on evil and darkness, and if He has to use a secular flashlight like the Washingtonian to do so, He will. We need to pray for God’s churches in the U.S. & around the world. God’s judgment begins with the house of God. May repentance and humility bring us closer to Jesus. Daniel’s prayer for Israel in Daniel 9 is a good example for us.

  92. Max,
    You in no way offended me by using “Jezebel” the way you did. 🙂 I always express concern when I hear/read the term because it really does have way too much baggage and has been used anti-biblically to oppress mainly women for so long. Google “Jezebel spirit” to see what I mean. I do think the best way is not to use it at all. Also, here is a good blog post on it:
    http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-jezebel-spirit-teaching-priming.html

  93. And yet I bet these folks at CLC would have no problem saying it was Divine Providence that exposed the sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. But when it comes their way, it’s Satan’s attacks. Now why would that be? Hmmmm…..

  94. On the Healing Journey wrote:

    One thing that was not mentioned in the article, but is a corollary to SGM’s distrust of secular authorities is the movement’s disrespect and despising of psychological counseling.

    You will find the occasional poster at this blog who also distrusts psychology or psychiatry, even if done by Christians (and I mean honest to goodness professionals, none of that Nouthetic quackery).

  95. Max wrote:

    Someone once said that heresy could manifest itself as an overemphasis of a long-neglected truth.

    This may be why I feel like a heretic for my emphatic opposition to authoritarian churches.

  96. On the Healing Journey wrote:

    If the pastors in SGM had availed themselves of trained & experienced Christian counselors, they might have understood how damaging child sexual abuse is & may have taken a different road. But they thought they knew bette

    I honestly do not think they cared. And it is obvious CJ does not care about the victims to this day. The goal is always to protect the brand and hide the problems. It is like this in all cult of personality organizations that depend on donations. It is a strange process how they get there. They start believing their own PR and convince themselves they are doing great things for God. To maintain the power and image, it is chilling what goes on behind the stage. SGM wiki leaks showed they were even playing the cheesy fake Christanity with each other. There was no concept of “real”. They lived and breathed in the shepherding cult bubble CJ built.

    CJ is speaking at T$G and is now SBC. The lie lives on gratis Mohler and Dever.

  97. Darlene wrote:

    And yet I bet these folks at CLC would have no problem saying it was Divine Providence that exposed the sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. But when it comes their way, it’s Satan’s attacks. Now why would that be? Hmmmm…..

    “I THANK THEE, LOOORD, THAT *I* AM NOTHING LIKE THAT FILTHY ROMISH PAPIST OVER THERE…”

  98. On the Healing Journey wrote:

    As a pastor in a non-SGM church said, “All truth is God’s truth.” Meaning: Even if a non-Christian says it, if it’s true, it should be embraced by Christians because we follow Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life.

    “If you don’t want to call it God, call it Truth.”
    — “Bill” who founded Alcoholics Anonymous

  99. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    And yet I bet these folks at CLC would have no problem saying it was Divine Providence that exposed the sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. But when it comes their way, it’s Satan’s attacks. Now why would that be? Hmmmm…..
    “I THANK THEE, LOOORD, THAT *I* AM NOTHING LIKE THAT FILTHY ROMISH PAPIST OVER THERE…”

    BINGO! You are the winner, HUG!

  100. Carole Ryan wrote:

    Max,
    You in no way offended me by using “Jezebel” the way you did. I always express concern when I hear/read the term because it really does have way too much baggage and has been used anti-biblically to oppress mainly women for so long. Google “Jezebel spirit” to see what I mean. I do think the best way is not to use it at all. Also, here is a good blog post on it:
    http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-jezebel-spirit-teaching-priming.html

    Ha…the Christian cult I once belonged to used the term “Eve spirit.” It was pretty much used in the same manner as those who label certain women with the “Jezebel spirit.” It’s a manipulation to keep women silent and in their place. I’d say it’s been successful in its goal especially in the Neo-Cal churches.

  101. a pre conference? ridiculous. what’s next, a paraconference and a postconference? who knew you could finagle so many opportunities to siphen people’s hard earned money into your own pockets while promoting your agenda.

    i’d love to make big signs, “how much are you being paid to speak?” and “how many times have you already preached this message?”, for each speaker with their name on it.

  102. and, “you will be donating your speaking fee, right?”

    “are you doing this on church time?”

  103. Darlene wrote:

    Look at the first subject under pre-conferences: “The Beauty of Complementarity.” And not one woman speaker!

    Translation – “the Beauty of Servitude from the Masters’ Perspective”.
    Nope. No way will I pay $75 bucks to listen to that, plus travel expenses and food – and I live a 3 hour drive from Louisville!

  104. Law Prof wrote:

    The problem is, when people do challenge the wolves (or violent sheep), their reputations are destroyed, they are cast out and used as an example to the others of what happens to those who dare to speak against God’s anointed leaders. This happened to me, an elder in a New Frontiers church that was led by two former leaders at a Sovereign Grace church, and I was not the only one to whom it happened.
    So people take a look at what happens to those who question or openly oppose, they want to maintain their relationships with friends, and even if they don’t agree with what’s happening, they figure the costs of opposing outweigh the potential benefits of taking a stand, they lay low and try to weather the storm, or they assume there are two sides to every story and give the leaders the benefit of the doubt.

    Very good points. Sad that this happens

  105. siteseer wrote:

    Carole Ryan wrote:
    Max, I want to caution the use of “Jezebel” in your comments — this is a widely held notion in Charismatic/Pentecostal circles, but has no biblical backing and has been used often and for years to put down women who speak their minds. I’ve seen it used in a church youth group, and it did much damage to young women.
    The church I spoke of above, before the pastor began to reveal his full plans for the church, he distributed booklets to all the church leaders. The booklet, by Rick Joyner, was a treatise on how anyone who asks questions or disagrees with the movement’s goals has “the spirit of Jezebel” and is to be silenced and shunned. Thus he carefully prepared all the leadership to turn away from any voices of reason. Those of us who pointed out scripture that contradicted what was happening were labeled as “Jezebel”. It was extremely abusive spiritually.

    Similarly in the shepherding movement is was pretty common for leaders to quote the passage where Saul was rebuked by Samuel where Samuel said that rebellion is as the sin of “witchcraft” and insubordination like idolatry.

    They would then state that disagreement, questioning of a leader was like witchcraft when the passage clearly talked about disobeying a command of God etc.

  106. On the Healing Journey wrote:

    One thing that was not mentioned in the article, but is a corollary to SGM’s distrust of secular authorities is the movement’s disrespect and despising of psychological counseling. Kris at SGM Survivors wrote a number of blog posts about that. If the pastors in SGM had availed themselves of trained & experienced Christian counselors, they might have understood how damaging child sexual abuse is & may have taken a different road. But they thought they knew better. As a pastor in a non-SGM church said, “All truth is God’s truth.” Meaning: Even if a non-Christian says it, if it’s true, it should be embraced by Christians because we follow Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life.

    You forgot to include that this “despising of psychological counseling” was due to pope C.J. Mahaney deciding it wasn’t “biblical.” And when pope Mahaney speaks (at least within SGM & CLC at that time) people listened and didn’t question.

  107. Steve240 wrote:

    siteseer wrote:
    Carole Ryan wrote:
    Max, I want to caution the use of “Jezebel” in your comments — this is a widely held notion in Charismatic/Pentecostal circles, but has no biblical backing and has been used often and for years to put down women who speak their minds. I’ve seen it used in a church youth group, and it did much damage to young women.
    The church I spoke of above, before the pastor began to reveal his full plans for the church, he distributed booklets to all the church leaders. The booklet, by Rick Joyner, was a treatise on how anyone who asks questions or disagrees with the movement’s goals has “the spirit of Jezebel” and is to be silenced and shunned. Thus he carefully prepared all the leadership to turn away from any voices of reason. Those of us who pointed out scripture that contradicted what was happening were labeled as “Jezebel”. It was extremely abusive spiritually.
    Similarly in the shepherding movement is was pretty common for leaders to quote the passage where Saul was rebuked by Samuel where Samuel said that rebellion is as the sin of “witchcraft” and insubordination like idolatry.
    They would then state that disagreement, questioning of a leader was like witchcraft when the passage clearly talked about disobeying a command of God etc.

    It’s an interesting juxtaposition of their theory with this biblical account, because Saul was the leader of the people (and not really a valid one) who was rebelling against God. This situation had nothing to do with the people rebelling against a leader.

    It would seem to me that a prima facie reading of this scripture should be more likely to be circumspect in their actions or even strike fear into their hearts, wondering if they weren’t a lot like Saul. That scripture doesn’t leap out at me as supporting their position at all, but cutting against it.

    This reminds me of the frequent reference by self-proclaimed leaders to “touch not the Lord’s anointed”. Abusive leaders often reference that, but seem not to notice that the “anointed” in that case was not a valid leader, but that same Saul, the one who was tormented by demonic forces because of his rebellion against God, and of course eventually brought himself and his family to ruin, almost taking Israel down with him.

    Do these people have brains?

  108. Darlene wrote:

    I wonder how many women will attend. Or are they even welcome at such an event?

    I suspect there will be some women there, but walking a few steps behind their complementarian hubbies or confined to coffee shops in the lobby. The only events that New Calvinist women in my area appear to be allowed to attend are Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer conferences and simulcasts. I suppose these teachers pose no threat to “their girls” (as Matt Chandler likes to refer to female members at TVC).

  109. Lydia wrote:

    SGM wiki leaks showed they were even playing the cheesy fake Christanity with each other. There was no concept of “real”. They lived and breathed in the shepherding cult bubble CJ built.

    That’s exactly what they do. Being in close contact with former SGM leaders and members, that is one thing that jumps out: complete self deception.

    They learn to speak a language they think indicates righteousness, but it’s phony, sappy, maudlin, pathetic. Many of them have no idea they’re actually wolves or destructive sheep. The language masks what’s really going on in their hearts, they deny the feelings they really have, the sinful ones. Their “depravity” is for show, for care group meeting confessionals, usually something innocuous or something sexual, to which all of them can relate, but they never really speak about the ways in which they’re truly depraved: the passive aggressive cruelties, the slander, the idolatry of men, the coldness towards God and others, the phoniness, the hatefulness. To admit this would be they end of them.

    They wouldn’t steal even a dollar from you or tell a straight up lie (unless they think it’s in service of a greater good so it can be justified), because that would make them feel guilty and tear down their illusions. But they’d have no problem stealing a 100 year old church away from some kindly people and casting them out, lying all the way through to do it.

  110. elastigirl wrote:

    a pre conference? ridiculous.

    The most popular meetings at the SBC annual conventions are sidebar meetings, such as the pre-convention pastor’s conference which in recent years has been stacked with New Calvinist speakers (non-SBC James MacDonald was an invited speaker at last year’s pastors conference and announced there that he was joining SBC). Also, the Baptist 21 luncheon/conference attracts a reformed crowd of the young and restless. The organizers of these events figure that since the attendees have already paid to get to the convention venue, they will grab them while they are in town. These meetings serve to indoctrinate and encourage the YRR army in SBC ranks. While the pastor’s conference attempts to cover the theological spectrum within SBC by its selection of speakers, B21 is all about exposing the YRRs to their idols (Al Mohler, David Platt, etc.).

  111. Law Prof wrote:

    It’s an interesting juxtaposition of their theory with this biblical account, because Saul was the leader of the people (and not really a valid one) who was rebelling against God. This situation had nothing to do with the people rebelling against a leader.
    It would seem to me that a prima facie reading of this scripture should be more likely to be circumspect in their actions or even strike fear into their hearts, wondering if they weren’t a lot like Saul. That scripture doesn’t leap out at me as supporting their position at all, but cutting against it.
    This reminds me of the frequent reference by self-proclaimed leaders to “touch not the Lord’s anointed”. Abusive leaders often reference that, but seem not to notice that the “anointed” in that case was not a valid leader, but that same Saul, the one who was tormented by demonic forces because of his rebellion against God, and of course eventually brought himself and his family to ruin, almost taking Israel down with him.

    Saul and David were both anointed. David, a man after God’s heart, defied Sauld authority and basically led a revolt!

  112. Max wrote:

    The most popular meetings at the SBC annual conventions are sidebar meetings, such as the pre-convention pastor’s conference which in recent years has been stacked with New Calvinist speakers (non-SBC James MacDonald was an invited speaker at last year’s pastors conference and announced there that he was joining SBC). Also, the Baptist 21 luncheon/conference attracts a reformed crowd of the young and restless.

    And both of these pre-conferences are men-only-conferences ….. no gurlz allowed!

  113. Law Prof wrote:

    But they’d have no problem stealing a 100 year old church away from some kindly people and casting them out, lying all the way through to do it.

    This recently happened at an SBC church near me. A young reformed pastor gained control of the pulpit through stealth and deception (lying) to the pulpit search committee about his theological persuasion. The whippersnapper then went about a systematic approach to taking over (stealing) the church. I noted this sad account in an upstream comment. On a positive note, the (kindly people) that were cast out built a nice new church in the community, which has attracted a large gathering of traditional Southern Baptists (some of those also moved out of other area churches taken over by YRRs). The youngsters at the old church are struggling financially; they forgot to think about all those tithes that would exit with the older established members. So, while the rebels are doing church without God, they are also doing it without much money.

  114. Nancy2 wrote:

    David, a man after God’s heart, defied Sauld authority and basically led a revolt!

    He did what God told him to do. He didn’t just revolt.

  115. Nancy2 wrote:

    And both of these pre-conferences are men-only-conferences ….. no gurlz allowed!

    I don’t think so. I believe women are allowed at all the meetings. Women only “give testimony” at the general meetings. At the Women’s meetings they get to speak in 20 minute increments.

  116. Law Prof wrote:

    They wouldn’t steal even a dollar from you or tell a straight up lie (unless they think it’s in service of a greater good so it can be justified), because that would make them feel guilty and tear down their illusions. But they’d have no problem stealing a 100 year old church away from some kindly people and casting them out, lying all the way through to do it.

    Or protect child molesters. They saw nothing wrong with having a three year old in the same room with her molester, told she is a sinner, too like the molester (sin leveling), and must forgive. The stories in the lawsuit are pure evil.

    They are despicable. Thanks Mohler and Dever for propping this evil up and insisting it is “strong leadership”.

  117. Max wrote:

    Someone once said that heresy could manifest itself as an overemphasis of a long-neglected truth.

    That’s certainly true.

    The power of the deception in those cases, ISTM, lies at least partly in our human vulnerability to certain lazy ways of thinking. For instance, false Either/Or, and guilt-by-association. The practical upshot is that when people see a long-neglected truth for the first time, but in that important first encounter, they see it over-emphasised or distorted, it tars that truth for them and they reject or run away from it. You are Either taken in by all that unbalanced nonsense; Or you wisely keep yourself safe by having nothing to do with it. Likewise, everyone who is interested in that new stuff is necessarily a part of the Lunatic_Fringe and you cannot trust them.

    This is especially true given the splitting of protestantism (especially) into denominations that often form around particular cherished doctrines. Many truths are lost to whole groups of believers because they cannot see past the caricature.

  118. First of all, a 3 year old is not a sinner. The molester is. The 3 yr old has no comprehension of real sin. They are just beginning to know right from wrong. To put said child in the room with the molester will haunt this child all its life.

    Now for an update on me. This past weekend I had a setback with my foot. Eight yrs ago I had a break in my foot that caused me to have pins put in it temporarily. Evidently this problems has come back. It was the real reason behind the pain I was in prior to surgery. Not what we thought the problem was. But the plate in my foot did need to come out. Last Friday I took one small half step and screamed. I was in terrible pain all weekend. Taking pain pills every 5 hrs or so and letting my foot dr know what was going on. Saw him on Monday morning and I had him put a cast on it. Almost instant pain relief. I was able to sleep solidly all Monday night after having gone thru 3 pain filled sleepless night. I am now only taking 2 pain pills a day, as long as I totally stay off it, as in not going out running errands with hubby or fixing meals. I am going to be in the cast again for a minimum of 4 weeks this time. I don’t ever want to have to have surgery to put those pins back in my foot again. It was a pretty painful time. I am so thankful that I have a good Christian doctor that listens to me. Even when the xrays don’t show anything. You have to know your own body and what it is telling you.

  119. Max wrote:

    The youngsters at the old church are struggling financially; they forgot to think about all those tithes that would exit with the older established members. So, while the rebels are doing church without God, they are also doing it without much money.

    Of course they’re struggling financially, as you say, they ran off all the stability and most of the revenues. It also happens to be that a very high percentage of YRR types are unusual even compared with other young people in that are almost to a person underachievers. Very few of them have much financial wherewithal to do much of anything. Their arrogance that plays well in their bubble tends to kill any chance at a viable career in the private sector, so they just flat don’t have many resources to maintain a church, and even if by chance they came across those resources, they’d find a way to mismanage them through their own hubris.

  120. What CJ did was lie, loudly, and convincingly, for decades. By 1993-4, it was fully ingrained into the hearts and minds of parents and other long time members of CLC, that what authorities there said was law. Sex abuse hurt many, but this lying manipulation of the congregation hurt all. Now CJs up and at it again. How very depressing this is to me.

    Another thing I finally realized was, if you can’t enforce something, you have no real authority.

  121. numo wrote:

    @ Steve240:
    New Apostolic Reformation.

    Self-proclaimed New Apostles (guess who?) and all.

  122. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    This is especially true given the splitting of protestantism (especially) into denominations that often form around particular cherished doctrines. Many truths are lost to whole groups of believers because they cannot see past the caricature.

    Christ’s last recorded prayer was that the Body of Christ would be one. Two thousand years and 40,000 different Christian denominations/organizations later, we have done a great job dodging the answer to His prayer. Christ also advised us not to forsake the commandments of God for the teachings and traditions of men; but yet, we have done just that. Of course, all denominations profess that they have a corner on the truth … not knowing that they only have a degree of it and suffer from excluding the other pieces residing in the greater body of believers. As Christians, we need each other … and fall short of the privileges available to the whole Church because of putting our trust in the doctrines of men. In two thousand years, we’ve come a long way … but would do well to return to the ancient paths.

  123. joy wrote:

    Sex abuse hurt many, but this lying manipulation of the congregation hurt all. Now CJs up and at it again.

    HUMBLY, of course (chuckle chuckle…)

    “Once did a preacher who outshone the Son
    Look out on his Kingdom and sigh —
    ‘Surely in there world there can be no Pastor
    As holy and godly and HUMBLE as I’
    So great was his reign, so HUMBLE his Glory
    That long was the shadow he cast;
    A shadow that fell ‘pon the sheep of his flock
    And grew ever darker as day and night passed;

    “Yet such is the lure of the limelight, how sweetly
    It takes hold of the mind of its host;
    And that foolish preacher did NOTHING to stop
    The destruction of those who had needed him most…”
    — Filk of Ponyphonic’s “Lullaby for a Princess”

  124. Harley wrote:

    First of all, a 3 year old is not a sinner.

    Unless you’re that radio preacher I remember from the Seventies:

    “Man sees a cute little baby — GOD SEES AN UTTERLY DEPRAVED SINNER!”

    And that preacher has a LOT of clones out there.

  125. Law Prof wrote:

    They wouldn’t steal even a dollar from you or tell a straight up lie (unless they think it’s in service of a greater good so it can be justified), because that would make them feel guilty and tear down their illusions. But they’d have no problem stealing a 100 year old church away from some kindly people and casting them out, lying all the way through to do it.

    And call it “Doing the LOOORD’s Work.”

    Didn’t this Rabbi from Nazareth say something about “You devour widows and orphans, and for justification make long prayers — therefore you shall receive the greater Damnation!”

  126. Steve240 wrote:

    You forgot to include that this “despising of psychological counseling” was due to pope C.J. Mahaney deciding it wasn’t “biblical.” And when pope Mahaney speaks (at least within SGM & CLC at that time) people listened and didn’t question.

    Dogma ex Cathedra.

    God speaking directly through the lips of The HUMBLE One.

  127. Law Prof wrote:

    The problem is, when people do challenge the wolves (or violent sheep), their reputations are destroyed, they are cast out and used as an example to the others of what happens to those who dare to speak against God’s anointed leaders. This happened to me, an elder in a New Frontiers church that was led by two former leaders at a Sovereign Grace church, and I was not the only one to whom it happened.

    So people take a look at what happens to those who question or openly oppose, they want to maintain their relationships with friends, and even if they don’t agree with what’s happening, they figure the costs of opposing outweigh the potential benefits of taking a stand, they lay low and try to weather the storm, or they assume there are two sides to every story and give the leaders the benefit of the doubt.

    Make an Example of one and a hundred will fall right into line.

    (Why does that sound like something from the mouth of Reinhardt Heydrich?)

  128. Harley wrote:

    First of all, a 3 year old is not a sinner. The molester is. The 3 yr old has no comprehension of real sin. They are just beginning to know right from wrong. To put said child in the room with the molester will haunt this child all its life.

    Amen to that! And, I hope the cast helps your foot heal properly!

  129. Steve 240, as Numo cited above, NAR stands for “New Apostolic Reformation.” I’m familiar with the C. Peter Wagner version, as well as Rick Joyner and Terry Virgo — am less familiar with how the Neo-Cals have adapted it — or have they been in it from the beginning?

    Interestingly, the old “shepherding” dudes from the 1960’s-70’s Charismatic movement ended up repenting of their authoritarianism — Bob Mumford and Derek Prince are the teachers I know of who later repudiated shepherding.

    Law Prof — I am interested at the tie-in you mention in your experience at a New Frontiers church and a SGM takeover? Do they all come from the same contaminated well?

    Love the comments above about experiences with “The Jezebel” Spirit stupidity. The “Eve Spirit” I’ve also heard of, as well as the “Ahab Spirit.” (Don’t want to have the “brothers” feel left out.) It’s all part of the Charismatic/Pentecostal tendency of seeing “spirits” behind everything, and of going to unbelievable, anti-biblical lengths to silence “the sheep,” especially the women “sheep.”

  130. Nancy2 wrote:

    Max wrote:
    The most popular meetings at the SBC annual conventions are sidebar meetings, such as the pre-convention pastor’s conference which in recent years has been stacked with New Calvinist speakers (non-SBC James MacDonald was an invited speaker at last year’s pastors conference and announced there that he was joining SBC). Also, the Baptist 21 luncheon/conference attracts a reformed crowd of the young and restless.
    And both of these pre-conferences are men-only-conferences ….. no gurlz allowed!

    1) If we’re lucky, the neo-con crazies will end up congregating in one denomination (SBC) and leave everyone else alone. Hopefully the good people in the SBC will have somewhere else to go.

    2) The Bible clearly says that girls have cooties.

  131. numo wrote:

    @ Steve240:
    New Apostolic Reformation.

    Thank you. I was puzzled about that too. I Googled NAR and found something about realtors.

  132. In looking at the breakout sessions for T4G, I noticed one, “Don’t be a 9Marxist!” about how church discipline is supposed to help, not hurt churches.

    Jonathan Leeman is the speaker.

    Why not Matt Chandler? He would have some real, current experience with this, and I believe could be helpful to pastors.

  133. Harley wrote:

    First of all, a 3 year old is not a sinner. The molester is. The 3 yr old has no comprehension of real sin. They are just beginning to know right from wrong. To put said child in the room with the molester will haunt this child all its life.

    In these kinds of ultra-reformed circles, original sin has had its way even with a 3 year old, to the point where there is no remedy other than their definition of ‘election’. I believe it was Jonathan Edwards who purportedly had this to say:

    “Reprobate infants are vipers of vengeance, which Jehovah will hold over hell, in the tongs of his wrath, till they turn and spit venom in his face!”

    In their religion there is no difference between say Josef Mengele and the 3 year old whom they force to sit down across from her molester and ‘forgive’.

  134. Carole Ryan wrote:

    Law Prof — I am interested at the tie-in you mention in your experience at a New Frontiers church and a SGM takeover? Do they all come from the same contaminated well?

    My experience is it’s all linked: SGM, Newfrontiers, A29, 9Marks, the erstwhile Mars Hill conglomerate, and various and sundry neocalvinist organizations and nondenom churches. Newfrontiers is basically the Brit version of SGM, slightly watered down, with a thin sheen of a gentler approach, but I think just as damaging to the life and faith of the members. I don’t really think Terry Virgo or Adrian Warnock are much better, all-in-all, than C.J. Mahaney or Mark Driscoll, it’s just that they don’t have sexual abuse, plagiarism or financial scandals popping up wherever they go and they do what they do with winning Brit accents. Newfrontiers has been making some small inroads into the U.S. The formerly SGM church leaders I mentioned on another post tried to make ours an SGM church but were not approved, and subsequently were approved on a probationary basis by Newfrontiers.

    I believe all of these groups maintain close ties, if not on the rank-and-file level, on the leadership level. I think they love to hobnob and strut about at leadership conferences such as T4G and the like.

  135. Carole Ryan wrote:

    Love the comments above about experiences with “The Jezebel” Spirit stupidity. The “Eve Spirit” I’ve also heard of, as well as the “Ahab Spirit.” (Don’t want to have the “brothers” feel left out.) It’s all part of the Charismatic/Pentecostal tendency of seeing “spirits” behind everything, and of going to unbelievable, anti-biblical lengths to silence “the sheep,” especially the women “sheep.”

    Is there a “Judas Spirit”? If there isn’t, there should be!

  136. @ Nancy2:

    “And both of these pre-conferences are men-only-conferences ….. no gurlz allowed!”
    +++++++++++++++

    can they really prevent us from coming? Can’t any of us simply buy tickets (would be more painful than my health insurance payment), walk through the door, & take our seats? maybe buying a ticket for a journalist to accompany us as well to cover the event (including from a XX perspective)?

  137. Law Prof wrote:

    My experience is it’s all linked: SGM, Newfrontiers, A29, 9Marks, the erstwhile Mars Hill conglomerate, and various and sundry neocalvinist organizations and nondenom churches.

    PJ Smyth the new Senior Pastor (or whatever they call the top dog) of CLC headed a church in South Africa that was part of New Frontiers. During that time he brought Driscoll to South Africa and was instrumental in at least one South African youth pastor spending about two years being trained by Driscoll in Seattle. Driscoll’s disciple introduced Acts 29 to the country. Smyth did not join Acts 29 but rather established his own more urbane group known as Advance. He is nevertheless ardently New Calvinist and I expect his oratory to find a place at T4G events.

  138. @ Eagle:
    Yikes!!!!

    Some people “in authority” at the church that booted me were using all of that stuff, but they would never identify where it came from when they were speaking to the congregation and/or had a lapel mic on. They also got some of it from English sources that have not been mentioned above. Long story; I won’t get into it here.

  139. Deb wrote:

    Here’s the latest from the Baptist News Global:

    Tale of evangelical sex scandal hits Washington newsstands

    Is it just me, or do others see it the same way:
    “Sex scandal” is not even remotely the right word for what happened. For me, it would be an “evangelical sex scandal” if a pastor is caught with one or multiple mistresses, if there are swingers in the church, or what Paul wrote about in 1 Cor 5. Not right, but not a crime according to the law.

    The alleged, and in N. Morales case, convicted, abuse of multiple children is not a “sex scandal”, it’s child rape. And the rest of the allegations, if true, concern criminal cover-up of criminal actions.

    “Sex scandal” in today’s culture reeks of titillating sensationalism, not criminal child rape.

  140. Anonymous wrote:

    In looking at the breakout sessions for T4G, I noticed one, “Don’t be a 9Marxist!” about how church discipline is supposed to help, not hurt churches.
    Jonathan Leeman is the speaker.
    Why not Matt Chandler? He would have some real, current experience with this, and I believe could be helpful to pastors.

    The only way it would “help” is that they make sure they apply this discipline to leaders when necessary. If that isn’t include as part of the policy and truly done then IMO church discipline is more about control of dissent vs. its proper usage.

  141. Law Prof wrote:

    Max wrote:
    The youngsters at the old church are struggling financially; they forgot to think about all those tithes that would exit with the older established members. So, while the rebels are doing church without God, they are also doing it without much money.
    Of course they’re struggling financially, as you say, they ran off all the stability and most of the revenues. It also happens to be that a very high percentage of YRR types are unusual even compared with other young people in that are almost to a person underachievers. Very few of them have much financial wherewithal to do much of anything. Their arrogance that plays well in their bubble tends to kill any chance at a viable career in the private sector, so they just flat don’t have many resources to maintain a church, and even if by chance they came across those resources, they’d find a way to mismanage them through their own hubris.

    Is this not the truth. Underachievers. An ex-student of mine who is now a pastor at a small church attended SBTS. ( unusual for Texas)He attempted to teach school and did not put the effort into the position, but because his dad has some ” swing” in the community, they kept him on, moving him from position to position in an attempt to keep him employed. He was an awful, awful teacher. He’s a big time YRR …..I feel sorry for the folks at the church. I seriously doubt they know what they’ve gotten into….

  142. @ numo:

    I find it hard to fathom that you got booted from some church. I cannot see you leading a revolt or preaching heresy or stealing from the collection plate. Sorry that happened to you.

  143. Why is it that certain bloggers who read this blog say they’re against spiritual abuse, unjust church discipline, yet I see them comment,”like” and rub elbows with certain TGC bloggers who are part of the problem? I am talking specifically about Tim Fall here.

  144. Christina Dowers wrote:

    Why is it that certain bloggers who read this blog say they’re against spiritual abuse, unjust church discipline, yet I see them comment,”like” and rub elbows with certain TGC bloggers who are part of the problem? I am talking specifically about Tim Fall here.

    Jesus probably got grief from some folks for having dinner at a Pharisee’s house once in a while, just as the Pharisees criticized him for eating with tax collectors. Oh well.

  145. JohnD wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    My experience is it’s all linked: SGM, Newfrontiers, A29, 9Marks, the erstwhile Mars Hill conglomerate, and various and sundry neocalvinist organizations and nondenom churches.
    PJ Smyth the new Senior Pastor (or whatever they call the top dog) of CLC headed a church in South Africa that was part of New Frontiers. During that time he brought Driscoll to South Africa and was instrumental in at least one South African youth pastor spending about two years being trained by Driscoll in Seattle. Driscoll’s disciple introduced Acts 29 to the country. Smyth did not join Acts 29 but rather established his own more urbane group known as Advance. He is nevertheless ardently New Calvinist and I expect his oratory to find a place at T4G events.

    NFI have long had authoritarian tendencies of their own, here is one pastors experience. In retrospect it reads very similar to the stories of elders who were pushed out at SGM, Mars Hill et al:

    http://eutychus.free.fr/nfiabuse

  146. Eagle wrote:

    @ numo:
    LOL…My church is Wisconsin used to sue Rick Joyner’s material. The Elijah List as well. LOL

    I think they should “sue” Rick Joyner’s material for the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress (just funning, I know you meant to type “use”)

  147. @ okrapod:
    Well, in my defense, it’s more cult than church, and if i told you the exact circumstances, you would be well and truly appalled.

    In fact, i began getting into trouble when i dtarted asking questions like “why isn’t the Nicene Creed mentioned in our ‘Statement of Faith’?” I wish i was msking this up, and i never would have forseen that someone ordained in the C of E would be SO thoroughly rattled by that particular question, but…

  148. JohnD wrote:

    Smyth did not join Acts 29 but rather established his own more urbane group known as Advance. He is nevertheless ardently New Calvinist and I expect his oratory to find a place at T4G events.

    South African Dutch Calvinism was one of the biggest pushes behind Apartheid, justifying it by Divine Right and God’s Will.

  149. Gus wrote:

    “Sex scandal” in today’s culture reeks of titillating sensationalism, not criminal child rape.

    “JUICY! JUICY! JUICY!”

  150. K.D. wrote:

    Is this not the truth. Underachievers. An ex-student of mine who is now a pastor at a small church attended SBTS. ( unusual for Texas)He attempted to teach school and did not put the effort into the position, but because his dad has some ” swing” in the community, they kept him on, moving him from position to position in an attempt to keep him employed. He was an awful, awful teacher. He’s a big time YRR …..I feel sorry for the folks at the church. I seriously doubt they know what they’ve gotten into….

    I am trying to figure out whether the cult of neocalvinism poisons young people who might otherwise do something with their lives or whether underachievers are drawn to neocalvinism because it offers a reasonably well-defined path by which even the extraordinarily incompetent nebbish and high school nerd can, given years of subervience, flattery and doing the dirty work for those in leadership, work their up through the system and one day unleash their pent up rage on a poor church fellowship.

    Cannot determine which is chicken, which is egg, maybe it works both ways.

  151. Carole Ryan wrote:

    Love the comments above about experiences with “The Jezebel” Spirit stupidity. The “Eve Spirit” I’ve also heard of, as well as the “Ahab Spirit.” (Don’t want to have the “brothers” feel left out.) It’s all part of the Charismatic/Pentecostal tendency of seeing “spirits” behind everything, and of going to unbelievable, anti-biblical lengths to silence “the sheep,” especially the women “sheep.”

    Isn’t this called “Animism”?
    “SPIRITS! SPIRITS! SPIRITS! SHEEKA-BOOM-BAH! BAM!”

    Next step is summoning and binding and controlling the Spirits through Ritual Magick…

  152. @ Law Prof:
    What type of young person attracted to an authoritarian cult of personality movement? That is the question I have asked. History is a good resource.

  153. Patriciamc wrote:

    Naghmeh Abedini

    If four years in an Iranian prison didn’t cause Pastor Abedini to reflect and repent regarding abuse of his wife and porn addiction … nothing will.

  154. And Nate Morales moved on to Vegas, married a mother with children, and abused some of them too. This is the enormity these mere men do not get. This is why The Gospel Corp and Co need to stop worrying about the tone of victims and their supporters, and instead start grieving the mess they enabled. Stop the conferences unless the speakers are replaced with open prayer for victims. There is nothing to be learned from men who refuse to learn. The church is not a place for business as usual when souls are being crushed.
    Lydia wrote:

    @ Anne:
    CJ Mahaney “moved on” with the help of Mark Dever and Al Mohler. Never mind the victims. Gives us insight into their character.

  155. To clarify, the timeline in press appears to say that Nate Morales went other places before Vegas, getting married before ending up there. I believe that is where he ended up though, as the story was covered locally while my family and I were still living out there. Truly glad he is behind bars. Sickening he wasn't stopped before these moves. It put so many children at risk. @ Melody:

  156. Tim wrote:

    Christina Dowers wrote: Why is it that certain bloggers who read this blog say they’re against spiritual abuse, unjust church discipline, yet I see them comment,”like” and rub elbows with certain TGC bloggers who are part of the problem? I am talking specifically about Tim Fall here. Jesus probably got grief from some folks for having dinner at a Pharisee’s house once in a while, just as the Pharisees criticized him for eating with tax collectors. Oh well.

    Maybe you should speak up for the people they spiritually abused and still haven't apologized to, instead of enabling their quotes and posts that mean nothing. You don't seem to have an issue calling other people out, mainly just men. Oh well.

  157. elastigirl wrote:

    i’d love to make big signs, “how much are you being paid to speak?” and “how many times have you already preached this message?”, for each speaker with their name on it.

    Ha ha! I love it! I guess you wouldn’t last long in there.

  158. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Unless you’re that radio preacher I remember from the Seventies:

    “Man sees a cute little baby — GOD SEES AN UTTERLY DEPRAVED SINNER!”

    And that preacher has a LOT of clones out there.

    That is sick.

  159. Law Prof wrote:

    But they’d have no problem stealing a 100 year old church away from some kindly people and casting them out, lying all the way through to do it.

    Don’t forget, they take the graveyards too, posthumously renaming the allegiances of the dead. This happened in a few Episcopal parishes near me several years ago, with the handy justification that “I didn’t leave the Episcopal Church; the Episcopal Church left me.” Say what you will about women’s ordination and LGBT matters: the newly minted Anglicans literally left their Episcopal brethren out in the cold, with nowhere to worship. Fortunately the civil courts exist, so that there was an authority outside the church to give the disputes a second look.

  160. siteseer wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Unless you’re that radio preacher I remember from the Seventies:
    “Man sees a cute little baby — GOD SEES AN UTTERLY DEPRAVED SINNER!”
    And that preacher has a LOT of clones out there.
    That is sick.

    It’s sick but it happened.

  161. Law Prof wrote:

    I am trying to figure out whether the cult of neocalvinism poisons young people who might otherwise do something with their lives or whether underachievers are drawn to neocalvinism because it offers a reasonably well-defined path by which even the extraordinarily incompetent nebbish and high school nerd can, given years of subervience, flattery and doing the dirty work for those in leadership, work their up through the system and one day unleash their pent up rage on a poor church fellowship.

    My first impression of Womb Tomb Swanson was “This guy looks and sounds like a High School Dork!”
    A High School Dork/incompetent nebbish who became the Supreme Alpha Male by Divine Right.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29Mg6Gfh9Co

  162. Nancy2 wrote:

    And both of these pre-conferences are men-only-conferences ….. no gurlz allowed!

    They missed 1 Cor 13: “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”

  163. @ Chrstina:
    Can you imagine the message it would send if the T$G attendees refused to come because of their support for Mahaney? Are the attendees complicit in some ways to the victims?

    My kids have a saying for this: “I got your back”. The victims need those who have their back and not those who turn a blind eye.

  164. Interesting blog above. They (CLCr’s) blame so much on the devil and don’t take personal responsibility for their actions, such as responsibility for the child abuse cases, and when those outside their silo criticize them, they have a persecution complex. They haven’t learned anything. What a racket.

  165. Since these men believe a 3 yr old is a sinner then they must believe in the Affluenza teen here in Texas. He is too rich to know right from wrong. So I am going to coin another term – Affluenza Ministers. They are so rich that they don’t know right from wrong, therefore they can hide child abusers and molesters, because they don’t know it’s wrong. They are not complicit in this. After all, wealth and rank has its privileges. (gag, gag)

  166. @ Chrstina:
    I want you to know that Tim Fall has been a tireless advocate against abuse. Due to his job as a judge, he cannot comment on any legal issue. But, he is one of the good guys.

  167. Christina Dowers wrote:

    Why is it that certain bloggers who read this blog say they’re against spiritual abuse, unjust church discipline, yet I see them comment,”like” and rub elbows with certain TGC bloggers who are part of the problem? I am talking specifically about Tim Fall here.

    You’d probably be annoyed that I do this, too. I always like to keep the doors of communication open with all – even those with whom I strongly disagree: 9Marks folks, JD Hall and his peeps, Doug Wilson and his peeps. I actually had coffee with Heather Wilson (Doug Wilson’s daughter in law) for 3 hours to address specific issues. Our meeting was cordial and yet we hit the heavy topics and didn’t mince words there. It’s always good to gain understanding and points of view. It does not mean I have any less angst for the destructive systems I believe they promote.

  168. @ Friend:

    Can you give me some more information on this? We were given to understand that in The Episcopal Church all church property belongs to the denomination and not to the local congregations, such than when a group leaves TEC, like some anglican congregations did, they have to leave the property behind. All the property including candles and vestments and such. In fact, I was led to believe that in some cases TEC even refused to sell the property to the leaving congregations but instead left it empty.

    If I remember correctly the civil courts did not award the properties to the leaving congregations, and in fact the financial burden of ownership of empty church property is one of the major current problems in the denomination. That does not sound like what you are saying. At all.

    Can you give me some more information? I am a part of an anglo-catholic episcopal congregation. We are not talking about leaving as far as I know, but they made sure in confirmation classes to talk about the what ifs when others have done it. I gather you have some further and very different information. Thanks.

  169. dee wrote:

    Tim Fall has been a tireless advocate against abuse. Due to his job as a judge, he cannot comment on any legal issue. But, he is one of the good guys.

    And due to my job as a judge I actually do something about abuse through domestic violence hearings, civil harassment cases, and family law disputes.

  170. okrapod wrote:

    Can you give me some more information? I am a part of an anglo-catholic episcopal congregation. We are not talking about leaving as far as I know

    I’m no expert, but the situation depends on the (state) law where the property is. In the case of one parish founded in colonial times, the court actually consulted colonial law. Some of the parishes and dioceses that left the Episcopal Church have ended up returning, either by court decision or because the new arrangement did not work out.

    As a child I lived through an attempted schism in a mainline Protestant church, and it scarred me deeply. Strong parallels exist between the “stealth takeovers” discussed here at TWW, and the splits in Episcopal parishes a few years ago.

    Your own situation sounds painful, and I do feel for you. My hope, though, is that your parish finds wholeness, reconciliation, and peace without a schism.

    If you want more specifics, please let me know. This has been unfolding for years, I don’t understand all of it, and I really don’t want to give you incorrect facts.

  171. @ Friend:
    Yes, i well remember the batyles over this in the D.C. area, and the refrain you cited (i did not leave…) i am SO glad that i didn’t join any of those churches, because it was a bitter, nasty, extremely ugly fight. (Property disputes plus attitudes toward LGBT people as well.)

  172. @ Friend:

    How on earth could the court force some congregation to be affiliated with some denomination they did not want to be affiliated with? That is truly scary. I can see where there might be issues about the property, but about denominational affiliation? Mercy goodness. I don’t much care about the mechanics of what our congregation does, and frankly we are large enough to divide into two congregations if that proves the best choice. I think that going one’s own way can be better than staying locked in mortal combat forever, but whatever.

  173. okrapod wrote:

    I think that going one’s own way can be better than staying locked in mortal combat forever, but whatever.

    And yes I think that about marriage/divorce also. And no, I can’t get back to sleep just now for who knows what reason. I hate it when this happens.

  174. okrapod wrote:

    I can see where there might be issues about the property, but about denominational affiliation?

    Sorry to have been unclear. No, the courts don’t tell people what denomination they must belong to.

    In one case, a majority of the congregation voted to leave the Episcopal Church and join an Anglican group. The new Anglicans kept the property and expelled the minority who wanted to remain Episcopalian. The minority was forced to seek alternate space, and ended up worshiping in a non-Episcopal church. After a multi-year court case, the property was returned to the Episcopal Church, and the minority returned to their old church building. The Anglicans now worship elsewhere.

    Dioceses have been geographical entities in the Anglican Communion. As I understand it, one original purpose of geographical dioceses has been to prevent bishops from “raiding” one another’s territory. Now, of course, some of the departures originate with the congregations, not with the bishops.

    I hope you got some sleep.

  175. numo wrote:

    it was a bitter, nasty, extremely ugly fight.

    It was difficult in parishes that did not split from the Episcopal Church as well as those that left. Some members of my parish agitated to split, and several families ended up leaving. I miss them. I do not miss being told that my baby’s cold was a Satanic attack, that I should submit to my husband, etc. The big underlying message was that anyone who remained Episcopalian was personally and theologically immoral. I do see strong parallels between the Episcopal/Anglican struggle and the YRR movement, etc. The word “discipline” is a big red flag to me…

  176. Friend wrote:

    The big underlying message was that anyone who remained Episcopalian was personally and theologically immoral.

    I think that is the core issue. How far does one go without crossing some line, and how does one treat those who disagree as to where that line is?

    For example, if one is divorced and needs a pew to sit on where they do not run you off because of the divorce, but at the same time one does not see gay marriage as biblically allowable as far as total acceptance by the church goes, what then? Or this: We have some people who are almost more catholic than the RCC and who came to our church from the RCC and have the option to become ‘reverts’ and we have others who have always been low church cradle episcopalians and who meet for the early morning worship service (rite 1 with elizabethan english almost) and who cannot stand that Father S for example has taught people to pray the rosary and such. We have people who are affluent and people who struggle financially. We have public school and private school and home school people. And on and on. So far they have held the church together by offering freedom and options, and a pure-T school almost of classical and traditional church music (stuff I can’t even sing-not talking about Wesley’s hymns). And we are committed to the rule of everybody keep your mouth shut and stare straight ahead and the person on the other end of the pew is nobody’s business. And we are committed to community outreach (homeless mostly) and inter-faith dialogue.

    So the question everybody has to say individually is how much of what I disagree with can I tolerate in order to get what I personally need/want in church. As long as TEC is saying ‘you may this or that’ I think well and good, but when they say ‘you must this or that’ it will probably be too much for some people. I am there for the individual freedom, the orthodox/traditional emphasis, the catholicity and the music and I believe that interfaith dialogue and outreach are necessary parts of being christian in our society. I like to see us make room for everybody and coerce no one. I hope we make it. I hope TEC makes it. I would not place bets on anything.

  177. okrapod wrote:

    I like to see us make room for everybody and coerce no one.

    Such wise words… they apply well outside the Episcopal Church. And your parish sounds like a brave place.

    Bishop vonRosenberg, of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, wrote a message about the recent Primates’ meeting that I found compelling. In part:

    “One way to understand our differences is to consider St. Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians – which include some current Sunday readings in this season of Epiphany. That is, different parts of the body – like the Body of Christ, the Church – have different functions. Further, each part is called to work together with other parts, for the good of the whole Body. No one part has the right to say to another one, ‘I have no need of you,’ for that attitude would diminish the whole Body.

    “In our day, then, the call to The Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion is to practice humility and perseverance, for the sake of the Body. That is, we keep showing up.”

    Link to full statement: http://www.episcopalchurchsc.org/2016-01-15-bishops-message-on-anglican-primates-meeting.html

  178. @ Friend:

    Those are good words. Our rector spoke on the current situation to the effect that this is not the first time and it will not be the last time that TEC has been put in time out. It was a kind of ‘this too will pass’ message.

    Thanks for the conversation, Friend, I have benefited from what you have to say.

  179. Harley wrote:

    Even when the xrays don’t show anything. You have to know your own body and what it is telling you.

    This is so true. I once broke my right foot. I knew it was broken. The ER doctor knew it was broken.
    The Xray guy said it wasn’t broken…….(A plague on med techs who think that was an MD they found in their last box of Crackerjacks).
    The doctor asked me, “Who strapped the foot up so neatly for you?” I said, “My chiropracter”.
    The doc told the whippersnapper to “Go take new pictures & look for a SET break this time”. Because, as he told the kid when this revealed a broken bone, “If you fall, fall near a chiro. They realign bones all day long. He probably didn’t even realize he was doing it”.
    But given the wrong doctor, I would have been in a world of hurt.

  180. Christiane wrote:

    If there is ‘grace’ in the SGM…

    Like “Democratic” in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (AKA North Korea)?

  181. Max wrote:

    The problem with deception is that you don’t know you are deceived because you are deceived. That’s why I now call them YRRDs (young, restless, reformed and deceived).

    “They were men, once… Then they accepted Nine Rings of Power from Sauron the Deceiver…”
    — Strider