Todd Wilhelm Chronicles the Painful Decline of CJ Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace Churches and Tom Chantry’s ARBCA

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130624.html
NASA

It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.”Paulo Coelho


 

Most everyone who has read my blog for any amount of time, knows about Todd Wilhelm’s ridiculous treatment at the hands of none other than 9 Marks’ UCCD in Dubai. It is run by Mark Dever’s BFF, John Folmar. (Read 9 Marks on steroids.) Todd got disciplined for walking out of the church over their insistence on foisting CJ Mahaney’s books on the unsuspecting populace of Dubai. He refused to immediately join another church, wanting to take his time. That landed him on their *membership care list” which is 9 Marks’ doublespeak for *You are a naughty boy for not immediately joining a 9 Marks certified real church.”

I still remember what he said to me the first time we talked. He told me that first a member of a Sovereign Grace church in Arizona (his home state.) Then, he decided to join a 9 Marks church while in Dubai. He quipped that his track record for selecting churches was a bit weak so he wanted to carefully research his next church. The boys at 9 Marks consider this a serious offense. Their authority feelings get in a dither rather easily.

When Todd returned to Arizona, he picked up following the Tom Chantry case which was being tried in Arizona. He did a bang up job for which many people are grateful. As everyone knows, Chantry will be a guest of the state of Arizona for a couple of decades, having been convicted of abusing kids. This sort of thing is a felony. (Thank you, Arizona!)

His excellent coverage of the Tom Chantry trial also exposed Chantry’s denomination’s role in an alleged coverup. Chantry was well protected by some leaders of this poorly known, Reformed Baptist denomination, Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA.)

Tom has been covering both ARBCA and SGC and has posted an article and some tweets on developing news.

It looks like Sovereign Grace and ARBCA may be in decline.

I have been covering the scandals dogging Sovereign Grace Churches, aka Sovereign Grace Ministries, from almost the moment I began blogging. I got to know a number of the victims of that ministry and covered the lawsuit surrounding the coverup of child sex abuse. It is safe to say I am no fan of CJ Mahaney. Back in their good old days, when The Gospel Coalition, Mark Dever and Al Mohler were fawning over Mahaney, Joe Carter accused me of libel publicly which was picked up by the Christian Post.

Now that Mohler has thrown Mahaney under the bus, I’ve been waiting for a phone call from Carter to apologize for his poor choice of words. That is, of course, unless he still loves Mahaney. So, would that mean he would think that Al Mohler is also guilty of libel? These guys sure know how to make things tough for themselves.

Needless to say, Todd and I have a lot of common interests. He is kind to allow me to reprint some of his posts.

Sovereign Grace Churches sees some churches pulling out from this *happy family* of churches.

Todd wrote:7 More Churches Resign From Sovereign Grace Churches; Denominational Leader Rich Richardson Decries Those Who Keep Records of Wrongs

This is a fascinating post which clearly points out the crazy theology that infects this *happiest place on earth.” At least that is what Mahaney used to claim. He sure was happy. I’m not so sure others were.

The SGM Survivors blog had a comment posted today that highlights the continuing demise of the Sovereign Grace Churches denomination.  (SGC, formerly known as SGM, formerly known as PDI, formerly known as GOB,)  Sovereign Grace Churches has been plagued with the continual bleeding of members and churches in the face of their stubborn refusal to allow an independent investigation into what Christian talk show host, Janet Mefferd called, “American evangelicalism’s biggest sex scandal to date.”

Tiffany Stanley wrote an article for “The Washingtonian” about the sexual abuse scandal, titling her article, “The Sex-Abuse Scandal That Devastated a Suburban Megachurch: Inside the rise and fall of Sovereign Grace Ministries.”

Benjamin Sledge also wrote about the Sovereign Grace sexual abuse scandal in an article for “Medium” titled, “Together for the Go$pel.”

 

Todd points out how Rachel Denhollander threw a monkey wrench into the Sovereign Grace gravy train.

In February 2018 Rachael Denhollander wrote about the corruption in the Sovereign Grace denomination.  Based on the official response of Sovereign Grace Churches, it became apparent to me that they intended to go on the offensive against the charges of sexual abuse and coverup in their denomination.

SGC published an official response to Rachael Denhollander’s article. Their response appears to have been purged from the SGC website, along with many other historical documents, but may be found on The Wayback Machine. In my opinion, SGC is attempting to rewrite their history as their response contains numerous inaccurate statements. (Read Rachael Denhollander’s response to the Sovereign Grace statement here.)

Todd reports that one of the current grand poobahs of Sovereign Grace, Rich Richardson, besides pushing some incorrect info on the abuse scandal, also believes that we must never keep a record of wrongs…Good night!

Of course, so-called facts that Rich was relaying, such as convicted pedophile Nate Morales never worked for CLC/SGM; unlike the Catholic Church, no SGM pastors were ever relocated; and there was no hush fund were easily refuted.

But when presented with primary documents, guys such as the Sovereign Grace Gilbert Worship leader, Zach Boomsma said he would rather believe pastor Rich, a man he knew and trusted for years, over redacted emails.  Hard to argue with logic like that!

It appears these guys want to get a pass on their past!


Todd stated:

I could be wrong, but Rich seems to be conducting a thinly-veiled attack on Brent Detwiler.

When Rich states “why do we record” what is he talking about? I do not believe it is meant for members in his church, but rather Brent Detwiler, who, over the years, has maintained a thorough record of all the evil deeds which have transpired in Sovereign Grace Churches. After all, I do not know anyone who actually “records” the sins of others. I would add that if someone has sinned against you and then asks your forgiveness, you are to forgive that person and it would be wrong to hold that against the person. Rich leaves that important bit out of the equation.

But I don’t believe this is what Rich is referring to. In my opinion, Rich is upset that Brent has kept detailed records of institutional abuse and cover-up by Sovereign Grace Churches. These abuses have never been admitted or repented of. Brent has every right to keep these records and I for one, am thankful that he has kept them. Without individuals keeping records of things, there would be very few pedophiles convicted of their crimes.

I wonder how many of the deep thinkers in the congregation of Sovereign Grace, Gilbert connected what Rich stated with Brent Detwiler

You’ve got to love Todd’s ending on this post.

Below is a quote from Eusebius of Caesarea.  Eusebius was a “historian of Christianity, exegete, and Christian polemicist. He became the bishop of Caesarea Maritima about 314 AD.” Based on number 2 of the quote below, it would seem the bishop disagrees with Rich’s sermon.

1. It is my purpose to write an account of the successions of the holy apostles, as well as of the times which have elapsed from the days of our Saviour to our own; and to relate the many important events which are said to have occurred in the history of the Church; and to mention those who have governed and presided over the Church in the most prominent parishes, and those who in each generation have proclaimed the divine word either orally or in writing.
2. It is my purpose also to give the names and number and times of those who through love of innovation have run into the greatest errors, and, proclaiming themselves discoverers of knowledge falsely so-called [1 Timothy 6:20] have like fierce wolves unmercifully devastated the flock of Christ.
-Eusebius of Caesarea. Eusebius of Caesarea: Ecclesiastical History . Kindle Edition.

My prediction:

Over time, this once *fastest growing church planting organization* will continue to dwindle. As I said to one church leader this week, “Todd was a prophet. You guys disciplined him for his righteous stand. He has been proven correct.” So who’s the real problem here?

ARBCA continues to lose churches

Here is a tweet from Todd.


Baptist Board states they think ARBCA should dissolve.

This was posted 7/2019. Here is the link. 

It is my opinion that ARBCA should dissolve completely. It should cease to be. ARBCA as an organization has few assets. It is not a denomination. It is an association only. It does not own any seminaries or real estate. For that reason, if victims of Chantry’s crimes sue ARBCA for damages there are no assets to liquidate in order to pay a judgment. ARBCA leaders who participated in the cover-up may face lawsuits. It would be a responsible decision for former ARBCA-affiliated churches* and currently affiliated churches to establish a victims fund. Each church could give to the fund and the fund can be used solely for Chantry’s victims. This alone will not be enough to heal the hurt Chantry and the ARBCA leaders inflicted on the victims, but it will be a step in the right direction.

The Chantry-ARBCA scandal is a warning to all Baptists. The Chantry name is a foundational one within the American Reformed Baptist movement. The good-old-boy network within the ARBCA association (and affiliated churches) created a sort of oligarchy. There is no such thing as a royal class in the church. The only royalty in the Christian faith is found in the King of Kings. Do not think this cannot happen in your church or any association your church may be affiliated with. This is not a theological issue it is a sin issue and sin can rear its ugly head anywhere.

Now, their lone seminary is in financial trouble.

Todd and Douglas were referring to this announcement.


Sorry for the lack of clarity of the screen shot but it appears they need $400,000 to keep the doors open.

It’s my opinion that the last guy standing should turn off the lights and not let the door slap him on his backside as he runs out of the building, hopefully with his head bowed in shame.

Please pray for the boys, now men, who were abused by Tom Chantry. There is still much pain.

 


Comments

Todd Wilhelm Chronicles the Painful Decline of CJ Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace Churches and Tom Chantry’s ARBCA — 64 Comments

  1. Lois,

    I suspect your concerns are legitimate. But do no lose heart. Even if ‘the church’ proves to have always been a haven of abuse and false teaching, it is only a man-made institution. The Body of Christ exists, and always will, even should the entire institution we call ‘church’ collapse under the weight of its own evil.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  2. Looks to me more like a hummingbird than a porpoise, but gorgeous whatever terrestrial image it evokes.

    elastigirl: perhaps churches are chrysallises

    I like to think that the visible institutional structures and forms of polity in the churches should be thought of as “clothing” that is worn by “the true church” (whatever one understands that to be). Sometimes the clothing fits well and is suitable for its purposes; sometimes not. This also aligns nicely with Paul’s “put off/put on” metaphor.

    The institutional church suppressed “the prophets” as a formal ministry in the early centuries, but the “prophetic spirit” doesn’t stay suppressed. This tension has always been there and IMO if the leaders of the institutions were wise, they would welcome it as a corrective to the tendency of institutions and institutional officers to run off the rails. “Rebuke a wise man and he will love you.”

    Dee and Todd (and others) are not advocating “other gods” and what they are saying is turning out to be true — sounds like prophetic ministry to me. Perhaps the institutions will get used to it.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  3. Todd is a hero of mine! When Mohler, Dever, Ducan, Piper, TGC, etc., etc. were telling us how great C.J. Mahaney was. Todd was saying, “not so fast”. Brent Detwiler, Dee and Deb and Todd were shouting that “The emperor has not clothes”. And against the neoCals who relegate the women to “keep quiet in church” it was the “Deborah”, Rachal Denholander who fought and ended the travesty of SGM. C.J. Mahaney called himself an “Apostle”. What else did we need to know about the self-aggrandizing man? Mohler, Dever, Ducan look like they totally lack any discerment. Yet tell everyone how smart they are. I am so thankful for Dee and Deb!

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  4. Samuel Conner: I like to think that the visible institutional structures and forms of polity in the churches should be thought of as “clothing” that is worn by “the true church” … This tension has always been there …

    There is a tension indeed in the 21st century church across various expressions of faith. True believers – the Church within the church – are stuck between two Scriptures: “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together” vs. “Come out of her My People and be not a partaker of her sins.” There are many voices exhorting you to either dig in or go. Since Christ came to redeem and work through individuals not institutions, this remains an individual decision before God as the Spirit leads.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  5. Samuel Conner,

    I think the reason that many things that I have said have proven to be true is the result of reading and researching what people say or write. I told my husband that I want this on my headstone “She had really good links.”

    Todd is a lot like me. This guy reads. The great quote he came up with is not from a quotes site. He actually read a book in which the quote is used.

    Add to that a bunch of common sense, a willingness to confront bad things, and an ability to take the inevitable stabs and just about anyone could do this although I know a few readers will disagree.

    I am currently recuperating from walking the entire nation of Greece (at least it felt like it) and trying to manage the crazy house repairs. I will get to the people who said they wanted to start blogs soon.

    The pugs are one edge. One day, the workers popped out a window and a guy came through the window to find something. Buttercup practically had a seizure. People coming through windows is not something she ever thought would happen.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  6. dee: The pugs are one edge. One day, the workers popped out a window and a guy came through the window to find something. Buttercup practically had a seizure.

    Poor Buttercup! Hope things calm down for her (and you) soon!

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  7. dee: … reading and researching what people say or write … common sense, a willingness to confront bad things, and an ability to take the inevitable stabs …

    Much of what is called “discernment” is simply observation … keeping your eyes and ears open to what is going on. Dee, you have come into the world for such a time as this (sure wish it were better times).

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  8. A friend of mine belongs to a Sovereign Grace-affiliated church in Charlotte. It’s called Cross-something — Crossway, maybe? I never say anything about the SGM mess to her, because she’s really gung-ho about the place, and I just can’t face a kerfuffle.

    I wonder whether her church will disassociate from Sovereign Grace? I hope so!

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  9. From what I observe, churches are too quick to:
    -Claim they are the next new, big thing.
    -Claim their way is the only way to grow a church or ministry.
    -Put their leaders on pedestals, with no supervision, and are aghast when they topple.
    -Criticize everyone else for being “wrong.”

    I just won’t join a “mega” or a place where everyone is “wrong” except us. I am passionate about my devotion to Christ and His Word. I have my own theological biases, but I don’t hold them over the heads of other believers if they are believers in the saving power of Christ. My current church of several hundred waxes and wanes on numbers (much of which has to do with the local economy), but we grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord. We have a positive impact on the community through a variety of “social” ministries that also preach the gospel, and most of our church-supported missionaries come from our congregation.

    If God gives a church mega-growth through their faithfulness to Him, that’s a blessing. Artificial “let’s build a mega/movement” leads to eventual disaster.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  10. LInn: mega-growth through their faithfulness to Him … (vs.) … Artificial “let’s build a mega/movement”

    Yes, there is nothing wrong with “mega” if God has His hand in it. Any mega which is based on “Let US” will eventually fall. The first mega in Scripture didn’t turn out well when they approached their movement with “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves” (Genesis 11:4).

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  11. LInn: “mega”

    At the end of His ministry – as the going got tough and He approached the Cross – the multitudes ceased to follow Him (John 6). At the end, He had only a “mini” flock of dedicated, faithful followers … I suspect that will be the way it is at the end of the age.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  12. LInn: From what I observe, churches are too quick to:
    -Claim they are the next new, big thing.
    -Claim their way is the only way to grow a church or ministry.

    Next Big Things and One True Ways are a dime a dozen.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  13. Max: Much of what is called “discernment” is simply observation … keeping your eyes and ears open to what is going on.

    “Discernment” in the Christian sense originally meant the ability to see the reality beneath the surface appearance. Now it means pointing the finger Seeing DEMONS! DEMONS! DEMONS! under every bed and in anyone and everyone who dares to not agree 110% with yourself.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  14. Brian: The reformed churches, who hold a very very strict view of scripture, like John McArthur, Voddie Baucom, and the ARBCA they don’t seem like the mega-growth type.

    No, you have to be more seeker-friendly than these legalists. You need an espresso coffee lounge, superb audio-visual displays, cool band/worship team, and a shallow sermonette to pull off mega. The God of Entertainment will draw them in like a magnet! MacArthur’s God is a mean man.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  15. Samuel Conner,

    In my almost daily reading of the Bible, the KJV, when I come to the word leading, I try to check it against the original Greek. When the word “lead” references Jesus it means just that.

    I haven’t been able to go beyond the four Gospels doing this referencing the original Greek. In the passages that complementarians use, does the original Greek mean something else than strong leadership?

    It seems the gospel according to Peter Drucker gets mixed in with the true Gospels.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  16. Brian: It seems the gospel according to Peter Drucker gets mixed in with the true Gospels.

    Peter Drucker, Bob Buford, and their “Leadership Network” didn’t do the American church a favor. The LN essentially created seeker-friendly, the emergent church and branches of it, including New Calvinism. Hybels, Driscoll, Warren and a host of others point to LN as a major influence of their ministries.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  17. Slight tangent

    As a point of interest for those with an interest in either fitba’ or wimmin’s stuff: English referee Sian Massey-Ellis is set to be the first lassie to officiate in a laddies’ European fixture next week, when she’ll be assistant ref for the fixture between PSV and LASK. I’ve absolutely no idea who LASK are, but PSV are famous.

    So, there you go. I’m sure you’d all join with me in wishing her well. Not that she really needs it, because she’s a referee on merit.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  18. Max,

    Max, thank you for filling the gaps in my memory.

    It seems both the very very strict reformed and some of the mega churches like to hinge their theology on who leads. The megachurches hinge it on the “supposed” four movements of God. You’re not leading if you don’t engage in those four movements. The Voddie Baucoms of this world seems to literally silence women. That’s considered leading. What does the Bible say about leading when it comes to us disciples?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  19. LInn,

    I think that’s such a scary thing when you find it. The wisest Christians I know would all hold to central things in the Creeds, & give most other things a secondary status. That means unity based on old centralities, not on weird new peripheries, is the name of the game, & that then includes a big wide Christendom rather than just 1 congregation. A wonderful old veterinarian friend said as he got older the things he held to be essential got fewer & fewer.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  20. Max: There is a tension indeed in the 21st century church across various expressions of faith.True believers – the Church within the church – are stuck between two Scriptures: “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together” vs. “Come out of her My People and be not a partaker of her sins.”There are many voices exhorting you to either dig in or go.Since Christ came to redeem and work through individuals not institutions, this remains an individual decision before God as the Spirit leads.

    It is a tension which is hard to reconcile. Here’s how I’ve done it.

    1. When I visit a church, I will NOT give out my home address. If pushed, I give my email (which I can then block), cell phone (same) and PO Box.
    2. I do not contribute unless it is for a specific cause (e.g. Dorian victims) or it is items I have no need to keep (that cleans out my house). I do not believe that the tithe is for today (if someone wants to do so, that is their right, but it is NOT an obligation).
    3. I am not a formal member of any congregation. (The last one where I was, I notified them to remove me from their membership rolls.) I have churches I regularly visit, one is very large, the other I’ve notified the pastor directly that due to past events, I will likely never join a church again (he understands and has never pushed the issue). And I have no problem giving a bad rating on Yelp or Google.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  21. Beakerj: The wisest Christians I know would all hold to central things in the Creeds

    Some Christians look scandalized if you tell them you recite a Creed. When I draw these folks out, they usually say they believe most things in the Creeds, but their traditions might object to one or more phrases, or to reciting uniform language.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  22. I love your astronomy pictures, Dee. I have to resist going down rabbit trails to find out more because then it’s just one after another after another and then it’s midnight.

    I’m thinking that churches which fail to deal with the child abuse in their ranks are going to, over time, lose lots of members. It’s not going to be sudden, like it was in Ireland, after the extent of the sex abuse scandal was exposed there. But it is going to happen. In fact, I’m wondering, given the overall percentage of church attendees have gone down over the last few decades, I’m now going to look and see if the recent Pew and PRRI surveys even deal with the exposure of child sexual abuse as a reason for the downtick in attendance.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  23. Brian:
    It seems both the very very strict reformed and some of the mega churches like to hinge their theology on who leads. The megachurches hinge it on the “supposed” four movements of God. You’re not leading if you don’t engage in those four movements. The Voddie Baucoms of this world seems to literally silence women. That’s considered leading. What does the Bible say about leading when it comes to us disciples?

    I’ve found Marg Mowczko’s articles to be really informative. Here’s one she did on Jesus teaching the disciples about leadership.

    https://margmowczko.com/jesus-teaching-on-leadership-and-community-in-matthews-gospel/

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  24. Max: “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves” (Genesis 11:4).

    Great Scott, I never thought of it before, but that is exactly what the Megas look like! Should we be surprised when God brings their towers down?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  25. Continued scheming of Patterson henchman Z. Scott Colter prompts rebuke from SWBTS:

    http://bpnews.net/53808/swbts-faculty-affirm-women-colleagues-mccoy-stovall

    This was “in response to an email provided to SWBTS trustees at the fall trustee meeting Oct. 21-22. Scott Colter, who served as chief of staff under former SWBTS President Paige Patterson, allegedly sent the email in May 2019 to the now-defunct email address of Dorothy Patterson, Paige’s wife. The email was obtained by Baptist Press and authenticated by seminary officials.”

    Colter strategized how to get back “funds donated to the seminary to endow the Dorothy Kelley Patterson Chair of Women’s Studies, established in 2015. The endowed chair was held by Candi Finch prior to her termination by trustees in October 2018.”

    “The section of the email most directly related to the resolution” was Colter’s criticism of two female faculty members who remained at the seminary when the Pattersons departed:

    Colter: “Dr. Katie McCoy has posted several things to social media that are concerning”…”Dr. Terri Stovall is not academically qualified”

    In response, “Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary faculty issued a resolution of support for their colleagues Katie McCoy and Terri Stovall Wednesday (Oct. 23)”

    New SWBTS President Adam W. Greenway tweeted: ‘I want to publicly affirm [Dr. Terri Stovall] and [Dr. Katie McCoy] and denounce in the strongest terms any attacks on their qualifications for service here’.”

    —–

    Looks like Patterson loyalists Colter and his wife Sharayah recently landed at independent seminary Mid-America Baptist in Memphis:

    https://twitter.com/SharayahColter/status/1163276317552459777

    18 Aug 2019 “Truly delighted to be joining the Mid-America family”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  26. Jerome: Looks like Patterson loyalists Colter and his wife Sharayah recently landed at independent seminary Mid-America Baptist in Memphis:

    You always find the most interesting information. I wish I could convince you to do a blog!
    This is interesting. I. thought the Mid America was leaning Calvinist. Am I wrong?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  27. Mark R,

    Everyone should read your comment. I seem to remember that 9Marks churches or maybe just Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist believe that you are *under their authority* if you’ve been attending for 6 months. I have been hoping to hear from someone who was disciplined while not being a member.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  28. Brian,

    I’m not confident that one can rely on Greek language study aids to form definitive conclusions about the meaning of every important term in the text. Rather, see how they are used. In the case of “lead”, “leader”, etc, clearly the example Jesus set (and that Paul references in texts like Phil 2 and 2 Cor 8) carries a lot of weight.

    In my prior comment, by “leaders” of the institutions, I was referring to the people who are “de fact” in control. I have my doubts whether these correspond clearly to the NT “church offices”, just as I have doubts about how closely the present institutions correspond to the assemblies of believers described the NT.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  29. dee: You always find the most interesting information. I wish I could convince you to do a blog!
    This is interesting. I. thought the Mid America was leaning Calvinist. Am I wrong?

    Mid-America has a large archive of Spurgeon material and the Spurgeon.org website that Phil Johnson once ran is now theirs.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  30. Jerome:
    No, it’s the SBC’s Midwestern seminary in Kansas City with the Spurgeon Center.

    The Colters are at Mid-America seminary, an independent outfit in Memphis.

    Sorry, I get them mixed up. I think Mid-America is affiliated with Adrian Rogers’ old church Bellevue Baptist.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  31. dee:
    Mark R,

    Everyone should read your comment. I seem to remember that 9Marks churches or maybe just Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist believe that you are *under their authority* if you’ve been attending for 6 months. I have been hoping to hear from someone who was disciplined while not being a member.

    I’ve made sure the churches I’ve visited aren’t affiliated with 9Marks, ARBCA, or SGM. (Except for visiting Village before I knew what was going on — just wanted to see why all the hoopla)

    I would love to see 9Marks or one of these churches actually try to discipline a “non-member” under their rules. Outside of barring them from the property (that they can do, but if things got that bad, why would anyone want to) do they really have legal grounds?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  32. Mark R: 1. When I visit a church, I will NOT give out my home address.

    I’ve been puzzling about this. How quickly do they ask for your address? I’ve never been pressured or required to sign anything at a new church. We have been spotted as newcomers and invited to a reception or a class, but that’s about it. We could keep attending worship forever without joining, and I think this is true of the mainline, Quakers, Roman Catholics, and many other traditions.

    Who is using strong-arm tactics on you?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  33. Friend: I’ve been puzzling about this. How quickly do they ask for your address? I’ve never been pressured or required to sign anything at a new church. We have been spotted as newcomers and invited to a reception or a class, but that’s about it. We could keep attending worship forever without joining, and I think this is true of the mainline, Quakers, Roman Catholics, and many other traditions.

    Who is using strong-arm tactics on you?

    Sometimes in smaller churches, they’ll push you to fill out a visitor’s card. One time I filled out one incomplete, and was accosted by an usher.

    Now the larger ones don’t, but if you want any info from them you have to provide contact details, so that’s why I use the PO Box.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  34. ION: Sport

    The semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup are, AWWBA, this weekend. Tomorrow it’s England v the All Blacks, and on Sunday it’s Wales v South Africa.

    It’s hard to see past New Zealand, TBH; that one could go either way, but it’s much more likely to be a win for Middle Earth. The other semi is much more finely poised; it’s certainly an opportunity for the Welsh, and I think if they don’t beat the Springboks they’ll feel like it was a missed opportunity. If Wales play well, they’ve every chance of winning; whereas England could play at or near their best and still lose. Onyway, I’m expecting a New Zealand / Wales final, which the All Blacks will win.

    But the beauty of sport is that I could be wrong!

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  35. dee: I thought the Mid America was leaning Calvinist. Am I wrong?

    I’d be very surprised if they were. Adrian Rogers founded that seminary – he was anti-Calvinist, preaching sermons to that effect. Dr. Rogers’ booklet “Predestined for Hell? Absolutely Not!” is still widely distributed.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  36. Mark R: Mid-America has a large archive of Spurgeon material

    Spurgeon is respected by both non-Calvinists and Calvinists within the Southern Baptist Convention. The New Calvinists promote him because he once preached a sermon “Calvinism is the Gospel.” Traditional (non-Calvinist) Southern Baptists view him as a great evangelist because he preached whosoever-will-may-come.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  37. Max: No, you have to be more seeker-friendly than these legalists. You need an espresso coffee lounge, superb audio-visual displays, cool band/worship team, and a shallow sermonette to pull off mega. The God of Entertainment will draw them in like a magnet! MacArthur’s God is a mean man.

    Both misguided, 2 sides of the same coin. They remind me of the laughing and the crying masks that symbolize the stage. Take your pick of the one that suits your personality, both sides are fraught with serious issues behind a facade created to market.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  38. Mark R: Sometimes in smaller churches, they’ll push you to fill out a visitor’s card. One time I filled out one incomplete, and was accosted by an usher.

    One time when my Mr. and I visited a smallish S. Baptist church, after the service a stern church secretary woman in her 50’s shoved a visitor card in my face and pretty much demanded I fill it out. So as not to make a fuss, I smiled, nodded, took the card and slid it on top of my Bible, planning to drop it in the next trash can I passed. As we made our way out, nodding and smiling and shaking hands with people, I realized she was following us, I turned and looked at her, and she accused, “You’re not going to fill that out, are you?” Being the honest type, I smiled and shook my head, no. She snatched it angrily off my Bible and stormed off! Ha ha! That church was one of our most wacko church visiting experiences in many ways.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  39. SiteSeer: That church was one of our most wacko church visiting experiences in many ways.

    We visited a church once where the pastor handed us a visitor card and jokingly said “You can fill it out, but I won’t read it!” As the wacko laughed and walked away, we knew that wasn’t the place we had been looking for. We’ve wasted so much of our lives exploring churches, looking for a gathering of serious Christlike believers. Along the way, we’ve discovered that some of the meanest people on the planet are church members. Not everyone that goes to church is the Church.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  40. SiteSeer: That church was one of our most wacko church visiting experiences in many ways.

    Our most wacko church visit was a place where everyone just looked at us – didn’t say anything, just looked and looked throughout the service. I suppose we must have been the first visitors in a long time, they just didn’t know what to do. But, it was such an eerie experience that we weren’t up for a second visit.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  41. Sovereign Grace (SGC) is a music rich personality cult group of counterfeit Christian orgins. Some unsuspecting members have attended for decades before realizing this. This proverbially nefarious group of abusive churches are well documented by well known individuals and media groups. Criminal rich victim stories abound. Beware! One would do well to avoid this group of “churches” at all cost.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  42. “In a recent article with Christianity Today I referenced deep concerns with the intentional failure to report sexual assault perpetrated in multiple churches, by multiple elders, at Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM), now “Sovereign Grace Churches” (SGC). Three days ago, SGC responded to this article and stated I was “mistaken” in my statements and that these concerns “are not true and have never been true”. They further stated that they would not respond to my “false accusations” with evidence as to why they are false, because they would appear “unsympathetic” to victims of abuse. They linked, as proof, to the dismissal of the civil suit against them. The lawsuit was dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired. This is a dismissal on technical grounds only, it had nothing to do with the substantive claims made against SGM. It simply means that the time for which legal proceedings can be initiated has expired and therefore the court no longer has the authority to examine the merits of the plaintiff’s claims. Ultimately, this dismissal means that the evidence against SGM was never examined by the courts. This is not evidence, in any way, shape, or form, that SGM has not done what is alleged.
    I am glad to know that SGC is concerned about victims of sexual assault, but I assure them the most unsympathetic thing they can continue to do is refuse to respond to the concerns of sexual assault victims, myself included. I have no need to be protected from any evidence or response they have. On the contrary, I have sought out this evidence and a response, for more than seven years.” -Rachael Denhollander

    https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDenhollander/posts/1694537600626553

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  43. Reference Romans 1:29-31 KJV:

    The sin leveling used by the ARBCA, SGM, etc., especially when it comes to molesters and their child victims, are they equating “fornication”, v29a, and ” disobedient to parents “, v30. Are they saying the guy that was molesting them was doing no more wrong than when the victim said “no” to his/her parents? I may have asked this question before. I don’t remember the answer if I did.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

Leave a comment - Click here for our commenting rules

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *