"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."
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.
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):
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
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:
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!