C.J. Mahaney – Back So Soon?

"And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh."

Jude 22-23 (ESV)

Sunset in Beaufort, NC

(Taken by Deb)

Prior to taking a leave of absence three months ago, C.J. Mahaney was busy making the rounds with his latest canned sermon – When Someone Doubts – based on Jude 22-23.  I have listened to several of these messages and found it interesting that on more than one occasion C.J. stated that he invited himself to speak at these churches. 

Here are just some of his speaking engagements where he delivered that same spiel earlier this year:

March 6                    Grace Community Church (Ashburn, VA)

March 13                  Covenant Life Church (Gaithersburg, MD)

March 20                  Covenant Fellowship Church (Glen Mills, PA)

April 3                      KingsWay Community Church (Midlothian, VA)

May 8                       Grace Community Church (Kingsville, MD)

June 26                     Resolved Conference 2011 (Palm Springs, CA)

I have probably missed other churches where he delivered this same talk.  Incredibly, there was little variance in his message from church to church.  Here is the video of When Someone Doubts delivered at Covenant Fellowship Church on March 20th. (link)

Of course, Mahaney’s speaking engagements, except for a summer excursion to Por Su Causa in the Dominican Republic, came to a screeching halt when he announced his leave of absence.

Five weeks after taking his leave of absence, C.J. Mahaney explained that he and his wife would be attending Capitol Hill Baptist Church. Here is an excerpt from that blog post: (link)

“Some of you have asked where I will be attending church during my leave. That’s a good question, as it’s not uncommon for pastors to take a leave in a church that is away from their home congregations, and this seems wise. During my leave of absence I will be attending Capitol Hill Baptist Church where Mark Dever is the senior pastor. After seeking counsel about this decision, I’ve concluded that this is the best place for Carolyn and me to receive care and counsel, to examine my life and leadership, and to consider my future during this season of reflection.”

Based on Mahaney's speaking engagements, it appears he missed quite a few Sundays in Gaithersburg.  In addition, Covenant Life Church attendees allege that Mahaney has rarely been seen in his local church.  

Well, it appears that C.J. Mahaney’s season of reflection must be winding down because he is starting to make the rounds again. And what was his sermon topic? Well, it was When Someone Doubts…

To the dismay of many, Mahaney delivered this spiel at Capitol Hill Baptist Church on September 25, the Sunday after Mark Dever conducted his 9Marks Conference at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. (link)

This past Sunday, October 2, Mahaney traveled to Cornerstone Church of Knoxville to deliver the very same message.  (link)

In 2009 Mahaney's canned talk was Cravings and Conflicts, which he delivered at quite a few churches in the SGM network.  Dee and I have only heard Mahaney once in person, and that was the message he delivered.  He spent so much time talking about the Duke/Maryland game that he, his son, and son-in-law attended the previous day in Durham that the church substituted another version of the Cravings and Conflicts spiel on their website.  Perhaps that's the benefit of repeating a sermon over and over and over again.

Here are my sincere questions. 

Why does the president of Sovereign Grace Ministries have such a limited repertoire of sermons?  It certainly comes across as a weakness to me.

Why does Mahaney focus so much on the false teachers mentioned in this passage?

Why did C.J. sound so angry in the Jude message he delivered last Sunday?

What kind of honorarium does he receive from each speaking engagement (in addition to his salary from Sovereign Grace Ministries)?

Where will he be delivering this message in the weeks and months to come?  We will be keeping track of C.J. sightings and will provide updates in the comment section of this post.

Lydia's Corner:   1 Chronicles 19:1-21:30    Romans 2:25-3:8    Psalm 11:1-7    Proverbs 19:10-12




C.J. Mahaney – Back So Soon? — 38 Comments

  1. We were at the church meeting in 2009 where CJ gave the Cravings and Conflicts message and talked about the Duke/Maryland game. He did talk about that for a while, but the reason the church was not able to post the actual message was that the sound system was not working that day. Do you remember that CJ was just standing up on the stage shouting his sermon out because the mics weren’t working? But I do agree he talked about sports for what seemed like a long time (I’m not into sports at all, so I don’t connect with that kind of sermon intro, if you could call it that).

  2. I didn’t listen to Mahaney’s Knoxville message yet with the exception of the 8 minute justification speech that Knoxville’s Sr. Pastor gave to say Mahaney was still qualified. I wonder how one could make that conclusion if they really read the documents. Mahaney blackmailed, didn’t practice what he taught, etc.

    I listened to Mahaney’s sermon he gave at Capitol Hill Baptist the previous Sunday. As others have said, it was Mahaney’s “canned” sermon or as some call what Mahaney gave in his “Jude tour” at various SGM Churches.

    Mahaney referred to “false teachers” in his teaching. I was shocked to hear him using that term and what came to mind what the old phrase of the pot calling the kettle black. I guess this shows how deceived Mahaney still is. He apparently has no idea that he himself is a false teacher likes those he refers to. Mahaney also doesn’t appear to see how much of a hypocrite he has been.

    One thing I noticed Mahaney didn’t include in his canned message on Jude given at Capitol Hill Baptist was his joke about being an unemployed former Sr. Pastor. That was part of Mahaney’s canned speech I heard him use at I believe 2 locations including Richmond.

    I guess Mahaney can’t joke about this with all that has happened with him. With his temporarily stepping down I guess it just isn’t as funny as it was before. 😉

    At least Mahaney made one change to his canned message. 😉

  3. I didn’t recall that detail about CJ’s mike, but I seem to remember the prophecy mikes working.

  4. Dr. R.G. Lee, pastor of Bellevue Baptist for 33 years. He retired but went on the road preaching for the next 18 years.

    He preached, over and over, his most famous sermon, “PAYDAY SOMEDAY.” He was famous for that ONE sermon (rumors have it R.G. preached that sermon 1,000 times or more)

    To criticize C.J. because he has a favorite sermon he likes to preach to different groups seems pretty paltry.

    I suspect C.J. is worthy of some serious criticism but throwing stones at him because he has a favorite message he preaches to different groups really cheapens the other criticisms.

  5. Hi my fave girls!

    It’s your lurker from UK 🙂

    Just a thought on the roll-out canned sermon point.

    Yes Seneca Griggs may have a point that there are more important criticisms that could be discussed.

    But my observation “from the cheap seats” (;-)) would be – with a glorious Word of God that we have and the amount of sermons that COULD be preached on pretty much each verse – doesn’t it seem a shame to limit one’s repeitoire so much?

    C J Mahaney’s historical hero – C H Spurgeon – preached through the magisterial Park St Pulpit and Metropolitan Tabernacle volumes (63 volumes that I’ve almost collected … not quite as big a bank balance as our C J!) – shouldn’t he/couldn’t he take tips?

    Just a thought ….

  6. It’s just kind of like an pebble in one’s shoe that you can’t remove — a sort of lingering mild irritation. Equilibrium interference.

    If the bible is truly what some claim it is — God’s very words impressed on human beings who then wrote it down, followed by God’s leading and guiding as to what happened next to such documents over millenia (certainly what CJ believes) — then to take a snippet of it and reproduce it over and over again as a means of income and an enjoyable activity…. hmm just doesn’t sit quite right.

    If the honest-to-goodness-true motivation was to be used by God for the sake of “this group of people”, seems to me the most honest approach would be to seek God on what He would like to say to “this group”. I highly doubt that God wants to say the same thing all the time to all the groups of people.

  7. Dan,

    Jolly good to hear from you! You’re one of our favorite chaps from across the pond!

    Excellent points by the way. The Bible is so rich, and it amazes me that Mahaney is only willing to tackle a few verses a year. At least that’s how it appears to me.


  8. Elastigirl,

    Great analogy!

    “I highly doubt that God wants to say the same thing all the time to all the groups of people.”

    This is so important! What C.J. is doing is NOT expository preaching. I’m surprised Mark Dever lets him get by with it now that he appears to be his mentor. Mahaney is definitely MISSING THAT MARK!

  9. Have you two seen SGM’s offers at reconciliation?

    Now, they’re clarifying and we’re misunderstanding.

    Rest assured, there are some things I will never do and numbered among them is promise anyone that I will keep my mouth shut and I will never knowingly put myself under the authority of one of their, um how should I say fakie plastic repressed, passive-aggressive pastor’s wife.

    And if CJ mahaney doesn’t preach to an empty room, there are far too many people that are still drinking the SGM flavor Koolaid.

  10. Spurgeon is awesome and if you’re pastoring a church you better have a new sermon everytime you get up to preach.

    But I’m thinking, even Spurgeon when he was preaching to a group other than the Metropolitan Tabernacle, probably re-used some of his messages. Why wouldn’t he?

    Don’t know enough about C.J. to see if his messages compare favorably to Ligon, J.Piper, Mohler, MacArthur or Alstair Begg.

  11. CJ Mahaney isn’t serving churches, he is going about stigmatizing them in his usual manner. He’s focusing on false teachers? I feel like I ought to feel sorry for the man, but I don’t.

    “Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” Matthew 15:14

  12. To answer one of your questions, I was present when CJ was in Knoxville, and I did not think that he was angry in his message at all. There were two different sets of guests with me, and neither of them thought he was angry either. (BTW, the guests were not there for CJ, he just happened to be there this past week.) That may be something coming across in the recording that wasn’t there when you could actually see him.

  13. To answer one of your questions, I was present when CJ was in Knoxville, and I did not think that he was angry in his message at all. There were two different sets of guests with me, and neither of them thought he was angry either. (BTW, the guests were not there for CJ, he just happened to be there this past week.) That may be something coming across in the recording that wasn’t there when you could actually see him.

    Also, CJ focuses on false teachers in this message because almost all of Jude (v. 5 – 19) is specifically about false teachers. If he didn’t talk about them, he would be stripping the passage out of context. I don’t believe that the references to that have anything to do with the documents, reconciliation process, etc. I also don’t think he was accusing anyone of being a false teacher. Maybe I missed something, but I’m not sure why you guys think that is such a big deal.

  14. Paul,

    The reason for the post is we believe until some resolutions have been reached in this family of churches, C.J. needs to be on hiatus.

    AoR hasn’t completed its work yet. Perhaps I have misunderstood C.J.’s definition of “leave of absence”.

  15. lance

    Ignoring people spreading a false Gospel is as tragic as anyone ignoring the Gospel. Secondly, scroll to the bottom of our posts. There you will see Bible verses to read. If one cares to do so, he/she will read through the Bible in about 1 1/2 years. And that, sir, is spreading the Gospel in it’s most pure form.

  16. DB

    You are very wise. Do not agree to a gag order unless there is a great good that can occur. I don’t think that hiding issues of certain “leaders” serves the greater good.

  17. Jude is an epistle that is rarely ever preached on. Mahaney isn’t wrong about that, to my knowledge. Mahaney doesn’t touch on this but I suspect the main reason Jude is so rarely preached from is because it so obviously alludes to the books of Enoch and the Testament of Moses, both well-known apocryphal documents from the time Jude was written. The prophecy cited could create a lot of problems that a lot of pastors don’t have the theological or textual training to handle the issues often raised in connection to it, and so it is often preferable for them to skip it.

  18. Lance, what is tragic is SGM (spawn of CJ Mahaney) that promotes false extrabiblical self serving teaching such as the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father to justify a dubious hypersubmission stance.

    Their treatment of children is reportable abuse.

    Their neglect of serious threats such as the presence of child molesters (multiple cases that have been acknowledged by SGM as true,) wherein the leaders (if one can call a horse’s ass leading anything but a fly-covered tail) actually take the side of the molester.

    Why, Lance, do you and those like you bother to nitpick us for having the ‘nads to bring this fetid puerile vile collection of teachings and events to your attention instead of being offended by the actual foul pile of rot? Just one case wherein they protect and give comfort and legal assistance to the man that had sex with his 13 year old stepdaughter is enough for me to come to my own conclusions.

    What about you, Lance? What are *your* standards for tolerating people that *still* to this day harbor that man and allow him to be around children.

    I can’t go on with this post because the notion is so profoundly disturbing.

  19. DB – sorry but I have to point this out- the man did not have sex with his 13 year old stepdaughter. It would be better stated and understood for what it was- the man raped his 13 year old stepdaughter. Child rapists and porno perverts would like their depraved actions described as having sex because somehow in their mind they can then justify it. And I added porno perverts because all child rapists start out as porn addicts.

    Sorry to get off topic.

  20. Hmm..

    CJ preaching on false teachers, or legalism for that matter is the ecclesiastical equivalent of a magician telling you there is nothing up his sleeve and then “showing” you. There is something up there, but now you stand a better chance of dismissing the possibility.

  21. “I also don’t think he was accusing anyone of being a false teacher. Maybe I missed something, but I’m not sure why you guys think that is such a big deal.”

    As I said before, Mahaney teaching about false teachers is like the pot calling the kettle black. Mahaney could easily be called a false teacher.

    In Brent’s documents it is repeatedly shown that Mahaney doesn’t practice what he teaches and isn’t subject to rules that he imposes on other people. If not a false teacher, at least a hypocrite and possibly one whose conscience is seared. How else could someone like Mahaney live a lie like he has for so long?

    Mahaney also appears to have a skewed belief on the heart and nature of God. He certainly misses the father heart of God. Also, Mahaney emphasizes Christ being crucified and on the cross but not Christ’s resurrection.

  22. From what I understand, the rapist (initials are, I believe, DA,) is alive and well and still a member of SGM. His legal fees were paid for by SGM (from what I understand) and, I believe, SGM (one of their churches,) supported his fight to get custody of their children.

    Sort of treated the mother like the woman in the Bible caught in adultery.

    The Alpha Male really cannot do wrong in their eyes.

  23. DB,

    This is just one of the verses that came to mind regarding SGM’s shameful behavior.

    “Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the LORD, And whose deeds are done in a dark place, And they say, ‘Who sees us?’ or ‘Who knows us?'” Isaiah 29:15 (ESV)

    After all these years, the sins of SGM leaders are being exposed to a watching world.

  24. Eagle- i never said that all men involved with pornography end up raping children. But statistics show that, with very few exceptions, all child rapists were heavily involved with pornography. It’s like an alcoholic has to have a history of regularly ingesting large quantities of alcohol in order to actually become an alcoholic.

  25. Amazed at the discussion on this website! Surprised in fact about the lack of charity & grace coupled with gossip and hearsay. It seems this site is doing the things that you accuse c.j. of. So much for by our love they will know that we follow Jesus

  26. RB,

    Where is your compassion for the many victims of the SGM machine? So glad there is a worldwide public forum to speak up on the victims’ behalf.

  27. C.J. Mahaney behaves like a “Judas Goat”. A Judas goat is a trained goat used at a slaughterhouse. A Judas goat will lead sheep to slaughter while its own life is spared. He is so deceived at this point that he no longer receives revelation from God’s word to preach a sermon. All of his sermons are manufactured from famous preachers now dead or regurgitated sermons from other teachers. His heart has become so hardened that when he teaches on Jude, he feels no conviction that he is implicating himself as a false teacher. He is glorifying the truth of God’s word even in his deception. It can only make you “take heed, you who think you stand,otherwise you too will fall from your own steadfastness”.

  28. What is even worse is that Mahaney spoke at the SGM Solid Rock Church in Riverdale MD on Sunday 10/9.

    Mahaney spoke on James 4:13

    I listened to Mahaney’s message and thought it was quite hypocritical for Mahaney to give a message with the title “lie” in it when he has been shown to be quite the liar. Mahaney also talked about not being arrogant, prideful and self sufficienct and the need be dependent on God and to humble one self. It has been shown that Mahaney didn’t practice what he taught at Solid Rock for a number of years. What makes Mahaney think he can teach any of this when he has been shown to not practice what he teaches?

    Mahaney taught on the need submit your plans to God. Maybe Mahaney should ask God if he should even be preaching right now in light of his hypocrisy or should be reading the passage in James that talks about teachers having a stricter judgement (James 3:1) or about about “hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22).

    It is a shame that there are a number of enablers such as those SGM Churches and other churches that are allowing him speak and various other leaders like Ortlund who are trivializing what Mahaney has done. If it had been another leader in SGM had sin exposed like Mahaney’s Mahaney wouldn’t have allowed that person to speak for quite a while.

  29. Steve

    If CJ falls, the other leaders have to admit they were wrong. And, because they are patriarchs, they are never wrong.

  30. C.J. Mahaney spoke at Covenant Fellowship Church last Sunday (October 30) and delivered another one of his canned talks on Jude 1b.

    Called, Loved, Kept

    Here are some of the venues where he has previously delivered this message:

    Sovereign Grace Church, Woodstock, GA (1/23/11)

    Capitol Hill Baptist Church (2/27/11)

    Resolved 2011 (6/27/11)