“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” Benjamin Franklin
(Note: I continue to call Sovereign Grace Churches, Sovereign Grace Ministries for an important reason. As many know, Mahaney kept changing the name of his group of churches throughout the years as he floated from controversy to controversy. I continue to use Sovereign Grace Ministries so that Googling will be a lot easier for folks. The accusations of abuse, which I believe with all my heart, transpired during Sovereign Grace Ministry days and I intend to make sure people remember that.)
The necessity of Al Mohler’s recent apology from an institutional point of view.
Al Mohler holds a position in the SBC that is unparalleled. He is the President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is credited with retuning that school to its fundamentalist roots as well as turning the tide in favor of Calvinism in the SBC.
I believe his best old ex friend CJ Mahaney called him the smartest man on the planet. Mohler protected and promoted Mahaney, even to the extent of educating Mahaney’s family members along with some of the Pastor’s College graduates (only a high school diploma necessary)at SBTS even when SGM was not a part of the SBC. When eyebrow were raised, Mohler was instrumental in helping Mahaney and family’ escape to Louisville into the protective arms of the SBC, proving that the SBC will take anybody so long as they give money and suck up to the right people.
So, in Mohler’s position as the reigning *big dog* of the Reformed Baptist movement, his apology was necessary. That apology was, in effect, his Mea Culpa admission of his disturbing lack of concern for victims in SGM as the head of one of the largest institutions in the SBC. It also was appropriate given his influence in the SBC overall. The enthusiastic acceptance of Sovereign Grace Ministries in the Southern Baptist Convention was a slap in the face to those who had been harmed by that entity.
So, Mohler’s apology was necessary on that level but, unfortunately, it was a total bust from a far more intimate understanding of Scripture. First, an example….
Al Mohler should have ditched the excuse since he is the reigning evangelical intellectual.
In the last post about the apology, Mohler claimed this.
“I believe in retrospect I erred in being part of a statement supportive of (Mahaney) and rather dismissive of the charges,” And I regret that action, which I think was taken without due regard to the claims made by the victims and survivors at the time, and frankly without an adequate knowledge on my part, for which I’m responsible.”
This is an excuse/ Mohler is an intellectual. Not only did he have the knowledge handed to him on a silver platter, anyone who spent as much time as he did pumping up a loser like Mahaney demonstrated that he didn’t care enough to learn. No, he knew or should have known. He just didn’t care about the victims. He is either really smart or he is just plain stupid. I think he is smart and that is why I don’t buy this. Stop making excuses.
Al Mohler allegedly, (and I believe it), attempted to interfere with Janet Mefferd’s position as a talk show host because of her dogged concern for the victims of Sovereign Grace Ministries.
(Note: This is not to be a discussion on political points of view, etc. Janet is a friend and she stood firm on two issues near and dear to my heart: Mark Driscoll (she exposed his plagiarism) and Sovereign Grace. She is one of the few people out there who had the courage to do that back in those lonely days.
When I first blogging and critiquing Sovereign Grace and CJ “Chuckles” Mahaney, there were few people who had any voice who supported those victims. She was one. I knew that there was pressure for her to lower the volume regarding SGM but I didn’t know the full story until this past week when she posted AL MOHLER’S INCOMPLETE APOLOGY: MY STORY
I began covering the Sovereign Grace Ministries scandal in 2012, on my previous nationally syndicated Christian radio show. As I dug more deeply into sexual-abuse victims’ accusations in a class-action lawsuit, spoke with some of those affected and began to conduct interviews to glean more information, I stated that the SGM scandal was American evangelicalism’s biggest sex scandal to date.
…In 2013, several months after I had been covering the SGM scandal, I was blindsided by two executives from my former radio network’s corporate headquarters on an extended conference call.
They told me that they had received a call from “Al Mohler’s office” that expressed “concerns” over my radio interviews with Detwiler, who had weighed in on the class-action lawsuit filed against Mahaney and others. They communicated to me that Mohler’s office did not believe Detwiler was a good guest choice.
Knowing that Mohler served on our company’s editorial board, I said, “‘Mohler’s office’ didn’t call you. You mean Al Mohler called you.”
Neither executive denied it.
I was chastised for a lengthy period of time on the phone, but I did remind these executives that my network contract provisions gave me creative control of my own show and the right to choose my own guests.
I also asked why, if Mohler had a problem with my coverage, he didn’t just call and speak with me directly about his concerns, instead of trying to influence me through back-door maneuvers involving my employer. The question was bypassed.
….One of the executives appeared to side with me after I explained the entire story. The other asked if I would be “open to suggestions” from Mohler’s office about guests to interview regarding the SGM scandal in the future, with the clear subtext that we weren’t really talking about “suggestions.” I said I was open to hearing suggestions for Mohler-approved guests.
A few days later, this same executive offered me the name of what he said was a Mohler-recommended guest: a Sovereign Grace pastor who called the accusations against Mahaney a “witch hunt” and advised his church members to “refuse to read or listen to the divisive speech” Detwiler and others “continue to spread.” He added, “To do otherwise is to poison your soul … and displease God.”
I told the executive a few other details about the “recommended” guest’s background — to which he reacted with appropriate surprise and concern — and told him that I would not be inviting such a pastor on my show.
No one in my company made any more Mohler-approved “guest recommendations” to me after that.
Janet has called for personal apologies from Mohler to be directed to all of the SGM abuse victims and their families and even to bloggers who stood by their side.
a personal apology to the sexual-abuse bloggers who stood all along with the SGM victims and were proven right — bloggers like The Wartburg Watch’s Dee Parsons and Deb Martin; Thou Art the Man’s Todd Wilhelm; and Spiritual Sounding Board’s Julie Anne Smith, among others.
What does the Bible say about apologies and forgiveness?
- Matthew 5:23-24 So, what if you are offering your gift at the altar and remember that someone has something against you? Leave your gift there and go make peace with that person. Then come and offer your gift.
- James 5:16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
- Romans 14:19 Therefore, let’s keep on pursuing those things that bring peace and that lead to building up one another.
- Proverbs 14:9 Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation.
- Psalm 51:3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Conclusion: We are to go to our brothers and sisters and seek forgiveness directly from those who we have offended or sinned against.
Al Mohler’s apology does not cover those he individually hurt.
If Mohler believes what the Bible has to say about apologies, he must go to those he hurt specifically. This would include the families who brought the lawsuits against SGM and Janet Mefferd. He knows there are others who he hurt with his words. If he needs help in contacting those harmed in the SGM fiasco, I would be more than willing to help him out.
As for right now, I must stop writing. You are not going to believe what’s going on out there. JD Greear is looking into ways to kick Sovereign Grace and 2nd Baptist Houston out of the SBC and I’m not joking. I will write more about this tomorrow.
Hell is so frozen, they are installing an ice skating rink!