Mahaney’s Mind-Blowing Machination

"Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering."

Matthew 5:23-24

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=15323&picture=spinning-top

Spinning Top

THE SPIN CONTINUES… 

Please read the ADDENDUM at the bottom of the post.

Since last summer, the Calvinista spinmeisters, or if you prefer, spin doctors, have been busy rehabilitating C.J. Mahaney's image in the aftermath of SGM Wikileaks.  Why?  Because they are "Together for the Gospel" and had to ensure that the loyal flock, which has been faithful to attend previous T4G conferences, would not scatter. 

Booking the KFC Yum! Center was a daring undertaking, and if anything prevented the T$G crowd (OOPS!  Why is the dollar sign atop the "4" and not some other number? 🙂 ) from materializing, there would be $OOO much at $TAKE!  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise – IT$ all about the GO$PEL!!! 

Last August I wrote a post about the 2012 T4G conference explaining how lucrative these mega-gatherings can be.  Sure it costs quite a bit to rent the facility, but there's a lot of dough left over…  Not only that, the bookstore is likely a huge money maker for someone – from the rented booth space to the tomes that will be scarfed up.  The AMWAY kingpins figured this out decades ago, and the Fab Four are simply mimicking their marketing strategy.  Look at it this way – the attendees are being trained to distribute the Calvinista gospel instead of soap.  The mechanics are still the same, and the payday is HUGE!  Does anyone besides the Fab Four know where the profits go?  Would anyone dare ask?

Just in case you're wondering whether money matters to the Fab Four, you might want to take a look at this post:  $$$ The Mahaney Money Machine $$$

Before we proceed with the rest of the SGM saga, it might be beneficial to theorize why T4G even exists.  When the conference took place in 2010, we wrote Together on a Mission or Together for the Gospel

Here is how that post begins:

Are Christian conferences just an American phenomenon? Across the pond in jolly old England, Christian leaders can attend a conference that involves “teaching” and “worship”. This annual event held in Brighton is designed primarily for Christian leaders, but welcomes students and twenty-somethings. Incredibly, 5,000 delegates from 50 nations attend this annual conference.

According to the official website, the four-day event is comprised of two conferences which combine some sessions: Leadership International for those attendees with a leadership role in church and Mobilese for students and those in their twenties.

C.J. Mahaney knows all about this conference because he was the keynote speaker at Mobilese in 2005, which we believe is the year this event first began.

And the name of the conference is — drum roll please…TOGETHER ON A MISSION.

Wait a minute! That sounds an awful lot like TOGETHER FOR THE GOSPEL, which held its first conference in Louisville the following year (2006). Hmmm……

One of our commenters wrote in about how the old slogan "Take and Give (TAG)" may have inspired T4G since with a little imagination the "A" looks like a "4" at quick glance.  Who of the Fab Four was in TAG?  Mahaney

Here is our "theory" :  C.J. Mahaney, who (1) spoke at Together on a Mission in 2005, (2) was one of the principal leaders in TAG and (3) worked the conference circuit, likely came up with the concept Together for the Gospel. He and Mark Dever have been friends for many (possibly 15) years.  Of course, Mark Dever was highly involved with T4G from the iinception, but we believe it was actually Mahaney's idea.  The T4G leaders are extremely indebted to him, and we believe that's why they have spoken out so forcefully on his behalf.  T4G is "housed" at Capitol Hill Baptist Church (at least that's what the website indicates), and when ordering materials from T4G, it is done through SGM.   Together for the Gospel is Mahaney and Dever's BABY, and they cannot divorce Mahaney from it!

Now let's get back to the drama that has been playing out in Sovereign Grace Ministries.  As explained in the previous post, Mahaney stepped down from the presidency of Sovereign Grace Ministries in early July.   Dave Harvey (who is a breakout speaker at the 2012 T4G) became SGM's acting president.  He made quite a few missteps early on and had to change course a number of times due to protestations.   The SGM Board appointed a preliminary panel of three men "independent" of SGM to answer this question: Is Mahaney Fit for Ministry?  Here is an excerpt from that post:

“We invited several men to participate who had basic doctrinal agreement with Sovereign Grace Ministries, biblical/theological expertise, pastoral experience, and perspectives from a variety of evangelical traditions. Kevin DeYoung, Carl Trueman, and Ray Ortlund accepted.”

The identities of these men were not disclosed until after they rendered their finding on whether Mahaney was fit for ministry. And here is the preliminary panel's conclusion (drum roll please)…

“We do not believe C.J. Mahaney’s confessed sins have disqualified him from Christian ministry. Or to put it positively, from all that we have seen, heard, and read, we believe C.J. Mahaney is, at this moment in time and based on those sins which he has acknowledged, still fit to be a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ and a pastor to others.”

GUESS WHAT…   Kevin DeYoung and Carl Trueman are speakers at the 2012 T4G!  And Ray Orlund has close ties to these guys.  Please consult the Fit for Ministry post for our commentary.  We did our best to spell it out for our readers: 

E-N-T-R-E-N-C-H-E-D

Another important development was that the Ambassadors of Reconciliation were hired to interview those who have been spiritually abused as a result of the hyper-authoritarian leadership in Sovereign Grace Ministries.  Dave Harvey, as acting president of SGM, promised that this report would be released before now.  More on that momentarily… 

Obviously, entrenchment continues to be a chronic problem among the Calvinstas.  Little did we know that we would be writing enough on the matter to comprise a book!  Here are those posts we have written since August 2011 that pertain to Sovereign Grace Ministries:

 

SGM Leadership Coming to an SBC Church Near You?

Breaking News:  Mahaney's Sons-in-Law Resign From CLC

The Devolution of SGM:  Repudiation of Hyper-Authoritarian Leadership?

Sovereign Grace Ministries:  A Christian Version of Animal Farm?

Mark Dever – C.J. Mahaney's BFF

The Washington Post Investigates Sovereign Grace Ministries

Sinfully Craving Truth:  Families of SGM Abused Children Respond

Do Calvinista Bloggers Believe God Is Sovereign?

Ambassadors of Reconciliation:  Let's Take A Closer Look

Dave Harvey – Give Me One More Chance

Sovereign Grace Ministries Captures The Media Spotlight

Sovereign Grace Ministries Boasts About Its Pastors College

Salsa Dancing Our Way to Complementarianism (thrown in for good measure)

C.J. Mahaney – Back So Soon?

SGM and Confusion in the Camp

Tomczak Sets the Record Straight

Rewriting History SGM/SBC Style

Mahaney / SGM – Unprecedented Rescue by the SBC?

Dear SGM Interim Board…

Let's see if I can recap what has happened.  Mahaney's sons-in-law resigned from Covenant Life Church and C.J. and Carolyn left CLC (where Mahaney had pastored for 27 years) and began attending Capitol Hill Baptist Church.  The third son-in-law resigned from the pastorate, and he and his wife headed to Louisville so he could begin earning his M.Div. at Southern Seminary.  From what we understand the other sons-in-law are doing internships with Mark Dever.  C.J. was reinstated as president of SGM, and shortly thereafter Dave Harvey resigned from the Board to take care of some pressing "family matters".  C.J. and Carolyn moved their church membership from CLC to Solid Rock Church.  It appears that the Mahaneys will be relocating to Kentucky and that SGM will be moving to Louisville. 

In the meantime, EVERYONE IS AWAITING THE AMBASSADORS OF RECONCILIATION REPORT!!!  WHERE IS IT?


I have done a poor job of keeping up with what is going on at T4G, but I do have a couple of things to report.

(1)  Crossway sent out this tweet which might give us some idea about the subject matter of Mahaney's upcoming book:  "The call of the pastor is not only to proclaim, but to suffer and serve." –Mahaney

You know, the name of the game is SELL, SELL, SELL!  Where would Crossway be without the Calvinistas?

(2) The Pryo guys have been exhibiting the behavior that has gotten these Calvinistas in trouble.  Here are some comments posted on their blog during the T4G conference:

Frank Turk said…
Lay off CJ in these comments. When I get to a real Internet connection, I'll be deleting them.
Not kidding. Don't get banned.
7:41 AM, April 11, 2012

Jeremiah Greenwell said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
7:45 AM, April 11, 2012

jmb said…
Frank, I am so disappointed that you are planning to join Tim Challies and Justin Taylor in deleting negative comments about CJ Mahaney. There is so much evidence demonstrating the harm that his leadership has done to so many that it is a serious issue when he appears at T4G as if nothing happened. Please don't join the Big Shots who are protecting him for one reason or another, or just because he talks a good game.
1:22 PM, April 11, 2012

Frank Turk said…
I'm disappointed that the readers of TeamPyro are conspiracy theorists.
2:15 PM, April 11, 2012

As you can see, the Pyromaniac guys, along with Justin Taylor, Tim Challies, and others are SPINMEISTERS.  They spin things to make their movement look good, and when opposition comes they remove the evidence!

Whether you like us or not, at least we have the integrity to allow criticism on our blog.   If you find any of these Calvinista bloggers deleting your comments, just let us know and we will be more than happy to post them (as we have done in the past – e.g. Tim Challies).

It's time to "RAP" things up, and as I do so I feel kinda bad because I've slighted Ligon Duncan by not giving him more attention in these posts on T4G.  In order to remedy that, here is Duncan demonstrating one of his hidden talents with his brother.

Take a look at C.J. Mahaney's message at a previous Together for the Gospel conference.  He's come a long way since then, but he's come the WRONG WAY!

We will obviously have more to say about all of this in upcoming posts.  We leave you with a song that reminds us of a couple of important principles to always remember:

What goes up must come down.

What goes around comes around.

ADDENDUM – THE SPIN CONTINUES…

I could not believe my eyes when I read the following installment in The Christian Post.

C.J. Mahaney: How Pastors Can Resist Losing Heart

Michelle A. Vu, May 12, 2012, 6:52 p.m.

"Prominent evangelical pastor C.J. Mahaney knows a thing or two about losing heart, having just returned earlier this year after temporarily stepping down from leading Sovereign Grace Ministries over allegations of character flaws by former SGM leaders. Mahaney delivered an emotional message on the opening day of the Together for the Gospel conference during which he immersed the attendees in studying the letter of Apostle Paul to the church in Corinth about not losing heart.

While Mahaney did not speak in detail or directly about his leave of absence and the drama surrounding that decision during his hour-long message on Tuesday, he did repeatedly talk about pastors being discouraged by opposition and at one point made a general statement that pastors can lose heart if the person that helped co-found the church leaves and slanders them, or if a staff member leaves and slanders them.

"Pastors, we can easily get discouraged. I find myself so easily discouraged. It is pathetic how easily I can be discouraged – easily discouraged by resistance, easily discouraged by opposition, easily discouraged by hardness of heart, easily discouraged by blindness," said Mahaney to some 8,000 pastors and church leaders gathered in Louisville, Ky., for the biennial event. "Look, pastoral ministry is a sacrificial call with unique challenges. We are called to take the Gospel to those with hard hearts and blind eyes…"

************

What follows is the portion of Mahaney's message to which Vu refers when she wrote: "he did repeatedly talk about pastors being discouraged by opposition and at one point made a general statement that pastors can lose heart if the person that helped co-found the church leaves and slanders them, or if a staff member leaves and slanders them".

(Beginning at the 37.28 mark)

"Persecuted. (Are) you familiar with that? Sure you are to differing degrees. It’s more subtle in this country, but it’s present. Perhaps an article appears in the local paper misrepresenting you, the church… And then perhaps the one we’re most familiar with – Struck down. Huh! That would appear Paul is referring to being stoned in Lystra, but there are many forms in which one can be struck down. There are many different ways you can be struck down. A friend who helps you start the church and has served in the church. A friend from pre-conversion days who was converted at similar times as you, that friend abruptly leaves the church and slanders you as he goes, and you are struck down. Or a staff member that you have served with for a number of years announces he’s leaving and misrepresents you as well as he makes his way for the door, and you are struck down…"

In this part of his message, I believe Mahaney is referring to:

(1) The Washington Post article – "the local paper misrepresenting you, your church"

(2) Brent Detwiler – "A friend who helped you start the church…" 

(3) Larry Tomczak – "Or a staff member that you have served with for a number of years announces he's leaving and misrepresents you…"

************

The Christian Post published this article a few hours after we posted ours.  The pushback against this SPIN began with the very first comment (see below).

ikdgnot

6:47 AM on April 13, 2012

"Have you heard what Mahaney has admitted doing but still continues to “preach?” It looks like at best Mahaney is an example of do as I say vs. how he does. The worst thing is how Mahaney blackmailed the cofounder of their group Larry Tomczak and that Mahaney hid this sin for 13 years. http://larrytomczak.com/responce_sgm_tomczak.pdf A few blogs to look at are: www.sgmsurvivors.com www.sgmrefuge.com www.thewartburgwatch.com brentdetwiler.com Hope this helps."

Perhaps you would like to chime in over at The Christian Post and exercise your freedom of speech…

Once again . . .

WHERE IS THE AMBASSADORS OF RECONCILIATION REPORT???

Lydia's Corner:   Ezekiel 7:1-9:11   Hebrews 5:1-14   Psalm 105:1-15   Proverbs 26:28

   
   

Comments

Mahaney’s Mind-Blowing Machination — 183 Comments

  1. One giant pyramid scheme. LOL!

    Thank you for pointing this out.

    The kingpins raking in the dough are at the top, and all the suckers are on the bottom.

    At least with Amway, they’d get a sales kit and a garage full of soap to show for their “investment.”

  2. Can someone please explain if these are three different commenters:

    Anon
    Anon1
    Anonymous

    I think they are, but Anon might be forgetting the “1” sometimes. I’m confused [?]

  3. Did you catch Frank Turk’s “response” to JMB?

    I’m disappointed that the readers of TeamPyro are conspiracy theorists.

    Wow. Guess those bulging filing cabinets of evidence amount to nothing more than conspiracy theory.

  4. Anon
    I am frustrated with these Reformed Guys.They are going out of their way to stop all negative comments. They have a right to do so. It is their blog. But, I wonder if they realize that people rarely comment on their blogs. It is a little boring to see comments like “Oh thank you for the wonderful post.” They keep it at that level. I guess it is nice to pretend that everyone sees life the way you do.

    But for all their carping on the men being men stuff, they do seem a little on the Wussy side to me. They need to man up and take it on the chin like….oh yeah, like we two women do. Yep, they need to grow some confidence and act like women.

  5. Sergius
    I loooove conspiracy theories. I think Team Pyro are actually John Piper and CJ Mahaney in disguise, don’t you?? Or, better yet Stepford Bloggers!!!

  6. Wow, mighty Frank is now afraid of comments as well. Does CJ have pictures on all these guys? What a total joke. This is nothing more than a good old fashioned multi level marketing scheme. What a complete fraud.

  7. They are upset they are not controlling the venue. When blogging first started Pyro owned the meta in Christian circles. I quit reading on a daily basis over there years ago when Phil Johnson said in a comment that if a man asked his wife a doctrinal question she would never answer it even though she knows the answer. She would direct him to a man to answer it. He said Mrs. McArthur would do the same. (Phil Johnson works for McArthur)

    It has gotten much worse since then because people keep linking to some of their bizarre stuff like the Monsterous Regiment of blogging Diva’s. How dare those women have an opinion!

  8. Anon1 said: Phil Johnson said in a comment that if a man asked his wife a doctrinal question she would never answer it even though she knows the answer. She would direct him to a man to answer it.

    If there’s no other man, what can she do? Use a ventriloquist dummy?

  9. It is a little boring to see comments like “Oh thank you for the wonderful post.” They keep it at that level. I guess it is nice to pretend that everyone sees life the way you do. — Dee

    You can get the same from any North Korean official source — endless praise praise praise of Beloved Leader.

    All these CELEBRITY pastors and Truly Reformed wouldn’t seem out of place as Third World dictators.

  10. Do yaaall think those women who went out sharing the gospel in the first century waited for some man to come on the scene so they could answer a “doctrine” question? Sheesh! They are full of themselves! And they must think that all the men in the first century Church sat around trying to figure out what women could and couldn’t do too. Jesus NEVER talked about women and men doing anything different from each other as believers — ugh 🙁

  11. HowDee YaAll,

    Kirrrrrk!

    … Latest scuttlebutt about C.J. Mahaney: -snark-

    Pastor #1: “…As a Senior SGM Pastor, C.J. has been given a clean bill of health, and is good to go…” 

    Pastor # 2: “Is that so…as a Pastor of a smaller SGM church, it just so happens that our dear friend C.J. is considered only mostly spiritually dead. 

    Pastor(s) #3 through #101: “Hmmm…really now…as fellow former Senior SGM Pastors, we must say, we’ve thoroughly examined him, and he’s not only merely spiritually dead, and only mostly spiritually dead, he’s really most sincerely spiritually dead.” 

    Well, there you have it.

    (grin)

    hahahhahahaha

    Sopy ;~)
    ___
    Smashed Pumkins : “go!”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5GQETbP_pA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  12. Bridget2
    So, let me get this straight. If I know the answer, I can’t answer? There is a brewing problem at TWW. My guess is that there are men who learn something “doctrinal” from us everyday. I bet some of the lurkers even believe that unbelievable stupidity of Johnsons. So, what happens when the lurkers learn something. Must they confess and repent? I know, we shall set up a confessional page so they can confess, blog style. I will make sure my husband reads it and grants them absolution.

  13. Deb,

    This was an excellent post. I hope people unfamiliar with SGM will take advantage of all the links you provided and educate themselves about SGM and learn a little about C.J. Mahaney.

    How many times have we read comments at sgmsurvivors from people saying they are current SGM church members and are reading the blogs, (that have been called sinful, gossip, and slander by SGM) because they are the only places they can go to find out info about their own churches and what is going on with the leaders and news within SGM. Thank goodness for those who are reading and having their eyes opened. Jesus cares for the wounded. He is our Example of what a pastor should think is important.

    “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8

  14. Well, I’m beating the same drum again. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Ligon Duncan is a bit on the fringe of all the hoopla, because there is a reason for it. As a PCA guy, he actually answers to authority that is over himself both within and outside of his own congregation, and there is no way for him to get out of it. Now he might have a bit more pull than the average elder in the session, but ultimately he submits to the Book of Order or he looses his credentials. Mahaney created his own credentials, so of course he owns them, and any Baptist minister enjoys the same privilege. The other T4G guys should really be taking notes from Duncan in these matters.

    The premise behind T4G was that these four guys agreed on TULIP though they disagreed on matters like polity, spiritual gifts, baptism, etc… When I first heard about it I thought it was a great idea, and it truly is in theory: Let’s cooperate across denominational/traditional lines for a common cause/mission as Evangelicals. Unfortunately, that mission turned out to be pushing a particular flavor of Jesus through the publishing industry via media blitz. Mission crepe, anyone?

    Let’s see; a reformed southern baptist, a charismatic, a reformed pietist, and a presbyterian start a conference… Does that sound like the beginning of a joke to anybody else?

  15. And who is charismatic? Mahaney? He used to be, but since rubbing shoulders with the other boys he has ceased interaction with the Holy Spirit in any public way. Not sure where he is with the “charasmatic” since he doesn’t communicate with his FAMILY of churches. He has also stated that he changes his direction and mind quickly . . . so maybe he became “uncharismatic.” Although, I’m thinking you don’t just undo that with a change of mind.

    You would think that a person would communicate important information like that with their FAMILY. Not so much a family sense going on in SGM anymore me thinks. Sounds more like Henry VIII.

  16. I think it’s the beginning of a joke when they walk into a bar!!

    BTW, do the Pyro guys have a different version of the gospels, where Mary Magdalene (the “apostle to the apostles”) used a ventriloquist’s dummy to tell the guys that Jesus had risen from the dead! In my world the resurrection is most definitely a doctrinal issue! This may have even passed John Piper on the silliness stakes (you know the one where if a man asks a woman for directions she has to tell him in a submissive voice or something — I don’t even know what that means!)

    But underneath it all, apart from the corruption of wealth and power, there’s another issue here — the weird Calvinist definition of sin. There’s a long story behind this, but I had reason to overhear part of a Calvinist sermon the other day, and something clicked for me. They never seem to get very far before they have to quote Jeremiah 17:9 (the heart is deceitful above all and desperately wicked) and this seems to be the mantra of their definition of all-pervasive sin.

    Some observations:

    * this is an OT verse, referring to a time before the Holy Spirit indwelt the believer

    * the message you take away as one of the sheep is that you can never trust your own feelings or beliefs — that’s just your wicked heart leading you astray

    * sin seems to be mainly wrong doctrine (i.e. a form of unbelief — never different belief!) or bad attitudes. This explains why these guys can bemoan their own sinfulness one minute (‘pride’, ‘fear of man’ etc) and then go and do things which any normal person, not necessarily a Christian even, would say straight out were wrong, and they don’t even see the disconnect.

    I need to think more about this, but Jesus did say “by their fruits you shall know them.”

  17. Miguel said:

    “Let’s see; a reformed southern baptist, a charismatic, a reformed pietist, and a presbyterian start a conference… Does that sound like the beginning of a joke to anybody else?”

    I believe the reformed pietist is the one who did his doctoral dissertation on Richard Sibbes and talks about him A LOT.

  18. Lynne:

    The saddest/funniest thing is that these ‘super pastors’ forget that they are not above the sheep, they were merely chosen to be elder sheep. If they want to misunderstand the Jeremiah verse, they ought to apply it to themselves and let the congregation know: “This is what I think..but, I have a wicked heart that may deceive me”.

    Never hear that much huh?

    For everyone:
    This was a poem by Milton about the new protestant reformed clergy divide, sound similar?

    Because you have thrown off your Prelate Lord,
    And with stiff vows renounced his liturgy
    To seize the widowed whore Plurality
    From them whose sin ye envied, not abhorred,
    Dare ye for this adjure the civil sword
    To force our consciences that Christ set free,
    And ride us with a classic hierarchy
    Taught ye by mere A. S. and Rutherford?
    Men whose life, learning, faith and pure intent
    Would have been held in high esteem with Paul
    Must now be named and printed heretics
    By shallow Edwards and Scotch what d’ye call:
    But we do hope to find out all your tricks,
    Your plots and packing worse than those of Trent,
    That so the Parliament
    May with their wholesome and preventive shears
    Clip your phylacteries, though balk your ears,
    And succor our just fears
    When they shall read this clearly in your charge:
    New presbyter is but old priest writ large.

  19. Sometimes I wonder what the REAL role, the BIBLICAL role of a pastor is supposed to be…

    Is the pastor a teacher? A preacher? Or a worship leader? Or all three….

    Somehow the megas get away from this and begin to write books, speak at conferences and promote themselves more than they teach/preach/lead worship.

  20. Lynne @ 2:14 you are seeing it, too!

    I believe New Calvinism is the perfect ST for despots. They have “special knowledge” and the leaders sins are clever sins like “fear of man”, etc to reinforce their need to rule, but you are so totally depraved you need them because you cannot understand.

    New Calvinism is a variation of Calvinism which still has the same problems and is a rehashed form of Augustine where he melded Plato and Plutonious into Christianity that the clever lawyer, Calvin devised as a way to bring rule and balance out of Reformation chaos in Europe.

    Hint: It is another reason this ST has to proof text Romans. Instead of seeing it as the culminating explanation it is.

    Now if you say you are not totally depraved after salvation as the NT teaches us, you are accused of thinking you are sinless.

    It is a hopeless doctrine and I am meeting more and more former “on fire” Reformed who are now atheist.

    They will tell you it makes God Sovereign but as someone here said, it really makes God not Sovereign over His own Sovereignty. He could allow free will and still be Sovereign.

  21. Just read the update, on the way over to The Christian Post. He is acting like what sort of personality disorder? He was “persecuted”….. as he persecuted others. Now he is making bank on his “persecution”. (Never mind the trail of blood in his wake from the cult he built)

    Mahaney makes the perfect despot. And what is worse Mohler and Dever can listen to this and go along knowing better! I don’t expect Mahaney to see it, but what about the other leaders up there with him? The real problem is they do not fear God.

  22. Speaking of the believer’s wicked (supposedly) heart as Lynne did above in her comment…Mark Dever said something disturbing in his T4G sermon that I just finished listening to: False Conversions: The Suicide of the Church…at the 51 minute mark:

    “Friends, what wonderful reality can be found in our church; what truth and goodness, when we both frankly and realistically acknowledge both the fallenness and darkness of our own hearts. Not just the world out there, but our own hearts, and of the world that we live in, and oppose the darkness with God’s strength and in confidence.”

    Immediately prior to this he was speaking of suffering in the Christian life; how if you want “fake Christians” in your church simply tell them they will never have to suffer and then goes to the above quote. How is it a wonderful reality and goodness in the church when we-he is talking about believers here-acknowledge our fallen and dark hearts? If my heart is fallen and dark still (even though Jesus has given me a new heart and replaced my heart of stone with a heart of flesh) how is it possible for me to even acknowledge my heart is dark and fallen? Will someone have to tell me this? I guess so…

    After all…my heart is dark, fallen, surely that means deceptive too–how can it frankly and realistically be trusted to make a judgment like –my heart is dark and fallen? Is he actually comparing the believer’s heart with an unbeliever’s heart and saying they are the same?

  23. Diane,

    Dee and I were just talking about Mark Dever’s message “False Conversions: The Suicide of the Church” and we will likely have a response soon in the form of a post. Stay tuned…

  24. Question: How do we know that Dever’s conversion was not false? Seriously. Perhaps he decided that a career lording it over others using the Gospel was best for him? Remember, even the demons believe and shudder. And Satan is an “Angel of Light”. So, how can we be sure of him? After all, he protected a very bad man using the Gospel for personal purposes. Hmmm. We should question Dever.

    (Can you imagine what such a message to young impressionable minds will result in when they go back to their churches? Inquisitions, church discipline, beating sheep, etc)

  25. Bridget2:

    I know that I am not Anon1 or Anon. And since Anon1 says that he/she never forgets the “1”, it is safe to say that we are 3 different people.

  26. Dee, Deb and others:

    This is a serious question.

    My pastor really enjoys T4G, as I have said before. Some other lay people and staff have gone to T4G over the years. Some went this year.

    I have said to my pastor before that I am not confident at all about Mahaney given the unrest in his churches, the story about Noel and other things.

    But I know so little about all of this compared to you guys. I know enough to have suspicions to stay away myself.

    I find that people who know even less than I know are prone to believe Mahaney. They have not read the document dump. I have not waded through that either, and really don’t have the time to do so. I read Noel’s story, and it was hard to read, not because it wasn’t interesting, but it was really rambling etc. It just took a concerted effort.

    I guess the question I have is that Mahaney in pronounced “fit” or whatever by SGM, that Mohler, Dever, and others (including Ortland, whom my pastor knows – who was run out of Christ Presbyterian in Nashville for really no good reason and now pastors a small 200 person church) say that what happened did not affect his being fit for ministry, that seems like enough for most folks on the outside.

    My pastor and the others I mentioned have a full load pastoring, working their jobs etc. Tending one’s own garden is a full time job.

    They rely on the judgments of others to make judgments about others.

    I admire your willingness to discuss these issues, but I wonder if you have any advice for convincing or warning the average hard working pastor or lay person who enjoys the theological emphasis and discussion at T4G about Mahaney.

    It may just be a lost cause. Mahaney will never speak in our church or have any influence in our church.

    Is it just a case of sometimes one has to let go and realize that you can’t bring everyone to the opinion’s that one holds? (I am talking about me bringing this up to others – not you).

    Or is there a particular approach you have seen work or recommend?

    I am not trying to be divisive here, but it does seem that many people who comment here may already be predisposed to not like Mohler or Dever, so it is not a real hard journey to discount their opinions, and be more objective about Mahaney.

    But what about people who are inclined to like Mohler and Dever based on their theological affinity? What would you say to that person that you believe would give them pause?

    And the answer should not be “go look at these survivor websites” because they are very predisposed to be against finding out things from those sorts of blogs. They recognize that there is much good that can come from blogging, but that there is so much out there that it would take another career for these folks to track all of this down.

    I would be truly interested in your thoughts.

  27. Thanks, Anonymous. Dee sorted that out for me as well. I wasn’t thinking that anyone was trying to confuse me. Just wanted clarification for the sake of following the discussions. 🙂

  28. I went to leave a comment on the Pyro website, but comments have been closed. I did leave one on the Christian Post’s CJ article.

    Here’s what I wrote:

    A man who has written a book on Humility is very un-humble (i.e. prideful) if you ask me. Why is there no mention of his sin during the times he felt he was “struck down”. Maybe God is opposing his pride. Why after more than 6 months of “soul searching” during his leave of absence is there no mention of any sin on his behalf? What about the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of church members in SGM churches that have been “struck down” by the authoritarian leadership in SGM? CJ’s leave of absence was all for show, and nothing has changed from it. The big reformed speakers (Dever, Mohler, Piper, etc.) need to take a long, hard look at Mr. Mahaney’s dealings with those in his own churches and see the damage. It’s pathetic how they embrace this guy and don’t publicly rebuke him for his hypocrisy.

  29. Deb –

    When I read the title of Devers message yesterday it made me cringe. I wondered what in the world he was going to tell people now. I still need to finish listening to it, if I can stomach it. Ok (note to self), something is definitely wrong if I say that about listening to a pastor preach (eye roll).

  30. Anon1 –

    Exactly! Leaders can then turn around and say “I know I don’t perceive all my sin at this time” and use it as a “pass” to show how humble they are, and everyone should forgive what has happened out of “love.” The pastor has it rougher than everyone else anyway – right? I thing that is what is being taught now.

  31. Anon1

    You wrote-

    “Question: How do we know that Dever’s conversion was not false? Seriously. Perhaps he decided that a career lording it over others using the Gospel was best for him? Remember, even the demons believe and shudder. And Satan is an “Angel of Light”. So, how can we be sure of him? After all, he protected a very bad man using the Gospel for personal purposes. Hmmm. We should question Dever.

    (Can you imagine what such a message to young impressionable minds will result in when they go back to their churches? Inquisitions, church discipline, beating sheep, etc)”

    We had a pastor tell us that if you get “the gospel” right, all else will eventually fall into place in that person’s life, meaning how you live your life as a Christian. So the impression we were left with was–speak the true gospel correctly and not worry so much about a person’s character…God will deal with it eventually. It’s not for us to judge. We left that church.

    We are instructed (commanded by Jesus to beware) to look at the life and character (and doctrine) of those who teach. Angels of light (I am not saying he is one as I do not know much about what he teaches nor do I listen to him) have seemingly good doctrine–otherwise we could discern them easily enough. But when the light seems to be biblical…what then? Is everyone automatically a brother or sister in Christ just because they claim to be? Does a pastor/teacher love the oppressed and weak and wounded and show it? Are the fruits of the Holy Spirit evident in his life? Does he love justice and mercy? Kindness? Or does he ignore the assaults of the wounded. Does he love the world and praise of men? God did tell us to beware (angels of light are dangerous and not something to ignore) and we can know them by their fruit–fruit of how they live their life and the fruit of the doctrines they teach. What doctrines are they adding to the gospel, and what effect are they having on people. And you are quite right about his covering for his friend C.J., which is disturbing.

  32. Anonymous,

    Yours is a difficult question, and I don’t presume to have the answer. You are probably wondering how to approach your pastor and others who have been drawn in by the T4G crowd.

    Your question brings to mind a pastor who sent us a private e-mail some months ago. In it he explained that if he had seen our blog a year or two ago, he would have been terribly irate! The church where he pastored was considering getting involved with Acts 29, but before the transition took place he saw some red flags.

    During that process he stumbled upon our blog and began reading. In that e-mail he admitted that we were correct in our assessment of what is occurring in Christendom, and he is now a loyal reader. He has his own blog and speaks out on these matters as well. Prior to his enlightenment, his articles were being published on a well-known reformed website that I will not identify.

    I have never forgotten that e-mail because it meant so much to me. Dee and I are burdened by what is going on in the Christian world, especially with the YRR crowd. These young guys could be our children. We are so concerned about their future and the spiritual health of those whom they are serving or will one day serve in a church setting. We spend countless hours doing exhaustive research and reporting our findings to those who care to read about them.

    Perhaps what you could do is share one or two of our posts with whomever it is you want to approach and then pray for a discerning spirit. I believe with all my heart that there is a lot of deception occurring in the T4G ranks, and because I’m not as close to it as the true believers, I easily recognize it. In all honesty, I blog primarily because I’m trying to help the followers, not the leaders.

  33. “A friend who helped you start the church…”

    “Or a staff member that you have served with for a number of years announces he’s leaving and misrepresents you…”

    Of course CJ knows, and we know, that these are strictly hypothetical examples (or else insidious lies). But the pasteeple (pastor-sheeple) at T4G will think he’s talking about how LT and then BD, just out of the blue, left him “just when I needed you most” and then slandered him, to boot. And HOW GRACIOUS he is not to name their names!

  34. “Friends, what wonderful reality can be found in our church; what truth and goodness, when we both frankly and realistically acknowledge both the fallenness and darkness of our own hearts. Not just the world out there, but our own hearts, and of the world that we live in, and oppose the darkness with God’s strength and in confidence.”

    This came come from Diane’s comment.

    How horrid is this comment, especially if a Christian in this church may be thinking that this is directed at them. We are considered redeemed, nor are we in darkness anymore. Such rubbish!

    Galatians 3:13 – Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”[h]), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

  35. We need HUG to provide us some quotes from Joe abbot how Leon (excuse me– I meant hypothetical false comrade) abandoned him in his hour of need — or Orwellian equivalents…..

  36. Dave A A,

    Great comment! Woe be unto the YRR sycophants that cross Mahaney!

    Mark my words, they will be the next hypothetical examples…

  37. “I read Noel’s story, and it was hard to read, not because it wasn’t interesting, but it was really rambling etc. It just took a concerted effort.”

    John Immel has an excellent blog post that speaks to this and why it is so hard to ‘tell your story” of spiritual abuse.

    http://spiritualtyranny.com/the-event-of-an-sgm-life/

    I think for many it is best to tell someone you trust to write it down for you. There is nothing more disheartening for someone to diss your story because it was “rambling” or “hard to read” after suffering such inhumanity for “men of God”.

  38. “But what about people who are inclined to like Mohler and Dever based on their theological affinity? What would you say to that person that you believe would give them pause?”

    Do they know them personally? Hang out with them? Visit their homes and know their family? Or do they just like the words they say from stages and books?

    “And the answer should not be “go look at these survivor websites” because they are very predisposed to be against finding out things from those sorts of blogs. They recognize that there is much good that can come from blogging, but that there is so much out there that it would take another career for these folks to track all of this down.”

    No, it does not take a career. That is a misnomer that tends to insult folks here and I do not think it is nice. Basically what you are asking is impossible if they don’t want to take a few hours of their time to see that there are serious questions that should be asked of those they are following or listening to? That does not seem to speak to the wisdom or discernment for someone teaching others.

    Perhaps you are in a church that is more topdown such as having a few elders who run things and have doctrinal direction over the church. Perhaps you are an elder? If you are, shouldn’t you have enough gravitas for the pastor to listen to you? If you aren’t and the church is topdown, then get out. We are not to follow man but Christ.

    Because we should be able to go to our fellow believers we know well, tell them our concerns about those they are listening to and they trust you enough to check it out and discuss it no matter who it is about. Without that sort of relationship, can you really say it is the Body of Christ you are in?

  39. “Is everyone automatically a brother or sister in Christ just because they claim to be? Does a pastor/teacher love the oppressed and weak and wounded and show it? Are the fruits of the Holy Spirit evident in his life? Does he love justice and mercy? Kindness? Or does he ignore the assaults of the wounded. Does he love the world and praise of men? God did tell us to beware (angels of light are dangerous and not something to ignore) and we can know them by their fruit–fruit of how they live their life and the fruit of the doctrines they teach. What doctrines are they adding to the gospel, and what effect are they having on people. And you are quite right about his covering for his friend C.J., which is disturbing.”

    Diane, you ask a ton of good questions that we cannot know about the talking heads from stages, books, etc., that has become the cult of personality that is called Christendom. In fact, they go a long way NOT to be transparent but to operate in the dark, behind closed doors, controlling information and calling those who question them gossips or conspiracy theorists. Ed Stetzer of SBC LifeWay makes fun of us for having “boogeymen”. (That article link is not working)

    They really do think their position and gravitas is enough to control us. Is it?

  40. BTW Diane, How anyone can know the very public FACTS about Mahaney, SGM polity, the chronology of the events that happened and believe that sermon he preached is beyond me. A lot of willful blindness out there.

  41. Deb:

    Thanks for your response and taking the question in the way I intended.

    Our church is staunchly independent and not really personality driven. If the pastor quotes someone when preaching, it’s usually someone who has been dead for many years that no one ever heard of.

    We are not given to worshipping these guys. My pastor would quickly acknowledge what one can pick up in terms of personality and relational weaknesses in people. And we don’t go for a lot of the cultural stuff that one or more of these folks would peddle. Plus we don’t want to be known as a ______ type of church (you can fill in the blank).

    It is clear to me that theological affinity and the fact that these guys are more relate (in the broad sense) culturally has a lot to do with the draw.

    So much of what goes on the conference world is either really shallow, can be biblically unfaithful when it comes to Christian essentials, or such a throw-back culturally, that it is not like there are tons of offerings out there.

    I believe that sinse our church’s connection to Mahaney is so tenuous that it will eventually work itself out.

    You know, when you think about it, it really does say something when a man is a founder of a church in the D.C. area, pastors it for 27 years, and then up and leaves not only the church but the D.C. area when issues and short comings are exposed publicly.

    I am not so sure but that the clean bill of health that SGM gave Mahaney was not so much for Mahaney as a mutual deal.

  42. It’s true, Noel’s story is very rambling. I think she wrote defensively. What I mean by that is, once you’ve found out that the people you trusted the most actually were not on your side, and could not be trusted, you are scared that no one else will be. The vulnerability entailed by sharing a story of abuse (in whatever form) when you can no longer trust people to believe you, listen to you or even care, is immense. So the person telling the story feels that they have to include every last detail and make every point clear, to make sure the audience is totally and always on their side. They are not used to being heard and believed and taken seriously.

  43. Anonymous –

    What is really sad is not just what they are doing to Mahaney by supporting his “lack of” repentance and real change; the sickening part is that these leaders are contributing to the pain of the wounded people and churches that Mahaney has yet to address. He does not acknowledge that he is a main part that caused the wreckage that has taken place in the SGM churches.

  44. I would LOVE to re-write Noel’s story in a more succinct form.

    If she would contact me and give me permission, I would do it and post it here.

  45. WHERE IS THE AMBASSADORS OF RECONCILIATION REPORT?

    WHERE IS THE AMBASSADORS OF RECONCILIATION REPORT?

    WHERE IS THE AMBASSADORS OF RECONCILIATION REPORT?

  46. Speaking of conspiracies. Isn’t it odd that Justin Taylor has posted a transcript of all the big guys’ speeches, but he leaves off CJ’s talk? Why?

  47. I am the “jmb” who asked Frank Turk not to delete negative comments about Mahaney. After he wrote the “conspiracy theorists” comment, I assumed he was referring to my mentioning that Challies and Taylor delete negative comments about C.J., so I gave him info that led to evidence of this (btw, go to Taylor’s post on Apr. 10 at 1:12 CT for his latest example). I don’t know how long that comment remained before he deleted it; he also deleted two other comments from others.

    I emailed him to say that it was unfair to let his “conspiracy theory” comment remain while deleting my evidence showing the contrary. He replied with one of his patented elliptical, cutesy remarks. We each exchanged a few more emails; he continued to respond in the same way. When he told me that I could have the last word, I wrote that I would give him the benefit of the doubt, and consider him to be a fool rather than a knave. Of course, I could be wrong about that.

    The following is only in the interest of fairness. It does not absolve anyone for any words they have spoken:

    Late last year, some negative comments about Mahaney appeared after one of Phil Johnson’s posts (which had nothing to do with Mahaney, as I recall). I decided to chime in. Johnson interacted with me and the others, and at no time threatened to delete or ban. He finally said that he would read all the Detwiler documents (he had already read some) when he had time, which, as I recall, would be the spring or summer of this year. I wrote a final comment, telling him that he would find more pertinent information on the blogs, which I named.

    Concerning Dan Phillips, I don’t remember him commenting one way or the other about Mahaney.

  48. JeffB,

    Thanks for posting your comment on the Pyro blog.

    Sorry it was deleted by men who appear to be COWARDS.

    I’m glad we preserved it here for our readers.

  49. Turk and Phillips have become increasingly antagonistic, rude, and crass over the last year. Some of their tweets are offensive at best.

    It’s ironic that they have no time for conspiracy theories – seeing as how half their posts are about Dan’s book being willfully ignored by “elitists” bloggers and the house insiders.

  50. I should have mentioned that the Justin Taylor post I referred to was his only T4G one about Mahaney, and that, unlike the others, the comments were closed after only two pingbacks(?). I just checked – two more pingbacks have been added, but the comments remain closed.

  51. JeffB
    Pingbacks are the internet version of “We loooooooved your blog so much, we linked to it.” However, my guess is if it pinged back to a critical site, such as SGM Survivors, that ping back would be deleted.

  52. My apologies! I completely missed that.

    True story: I was banned from commenting on Taylor’s blog. He posted a story about the dangers/problem of ghostwriting. I mentioned that this was ironic considering that one of the Calvinista sweethearts (a prodigious author & scholar) had R.A.s write most of his material! Of course, Crossway published these works -so, bye bye Scott!

  53. Scott,

    There have been so many posts about T4G on Justin Taylor’s blog that it was easy to overlook.

    The reason I knew about it is because I came across it when I was writing Wednesday’s post. I was going to mention it but decided not to promote Mahaney’s fanboy.

  54. Anonymous wrote:

    “You know, when you think about it, it really does say something when a man is a founder of a church in the D.C. area, pastors it for 27 years, and then up and leaves not only the church but the D.C. area when issues and short comings are exposed publicly.”

    That would be some “fruit” God commands us to examine- so we are not deceived.

    It’s also very interesting, for those who are not very familiar with CJ’s history or what SGM teaches, to study the shepherding movement of the 70s and 80s, since he was allied with that. Although the movement was condemned and went “underground” for a time, it has not disappeared but is alive and well –now called transparent discipleship, as one example.

    Anon1

    I hope people ask those questions about their own pastors. I agree it is hard to know about the celebrity types, although I do know now about Mahaney – enough for me, anyway, to make a reasonable judgment. And I know bits about some of the rest-what Duncan said about the wounded in a statement for the world to see… how Dever overlooked the very thing he is known for and sells-church membership/discipline-in order to provide an escape- (“counseling” I think is how CJ worded it if I remember correctly) for CJ because CJ decided not to be held accountable to his own elders (since it was so uncomfortable for him to do so)….how Dever and others think we as believers have dark and fallen even depraved and wicked hearts…

    “A lot of willful blindness out there.” I do agree. The “leaders” are blind because of their idolatry; they seem to think they are protecting the gospel…or something like that.

  55. Priorities for the year ahead: an update from the new board

    Posted March 23, 2012

    “The new Sovereign Grace Ministries Board of Directors met this Wednesday. We devoted most of our time to getting an update and overview of the state of SGM and established two immediate priorities for the coming year.

    First, we decided to create a polity committee to consist of two members of the Board, two members of the Leadership Team (including C.J. Mahaney, who will chair the committee), and at least three Sovereign Grace pastors not on the Board. This committee will pick up the work that has already been done on polity and develop it to give better definition to the ministry, to how SGM as a ministry relates to pastors and their churches, and to policies and procedures for making decisions and selecting leaders. We are tasking this committee to solicit a broad range of views within SGM regarding how we are governed and how we define our connections between churches and the ministry. Once the committee’s work is done, they will submit it to the Board for review, amendment, and approval. The resulting governance and our partnership agreements will then be presented to Sovereign Grace pastors for their review. We decided, at least for the present, not to set a deadline for the committee’s work to be completed but do want this to be a top priority for our development as a ministry.

    Second, we expect to receive the Ambassadors of Reconciliation report in the coming two weeks. We plan to begin discussing the report on a retreat in Louisville April 9 & 10 and then to make plans for responding.”

    TICK TICK TICK . . . THE CLOCK IS TICKING…

    WHERE IS THE AMBASSADORS OF RECONCILIATION REPORT???

    I hope the Christian Post will be sure to report on this development…

  56. Deb,

    After reading through most all of this..I have a few questions.

    Is the Ambassadors of Reconciliation report going to address just the Brent accusations?

    Or the negligence in the child abuse cases as well?

    PLUS,

    Is this AoR something that can be trusted and objective?

    Didn’t one “outside party” mentioned in one of the child abuse cases pretty much declare someone “craving sinful answers”….I would hope AoR could be objective, although I don’t know much about them.

    It would be nice to hear from an objective source..

  57. “Pastors, we can easily get discouraged.”

    If pastors can lose heart so easily from third party, worthless chatter from bitter conspiracy theorists with a chip on their shoulder and a blog, imagine how easy it is for the least among us to lose heart when bible-wielding elders (who constantly remind us of the amount of authority they have) drop into our living room and make it their task to personally set us straight.

  58. Seeker,

    Your guess is as good as mine regarding what will be included in the AoR report. I can tell you that a lot of people were interviewed by the AoR staff from Larry and Doris Tomczak to those whose children were abused. Numerous people interviewed chimed in about their experiences over at SGM Survivors, although details were scant. Some testified that the AoR staffers were brought to tears upon hearing what had happened.

    Shame on C.J. Mahaney for his heart of stone!

  59. Steve

    Well said! Rant of the day award! This is one woman who not sit back and take “being set straight” by some elders who have so many problems of their own that they can’t see straight. Half the time, I think they go after the faithful to deflect the attention off themselves.

  60. Deb,

    It is good to hear that they were broad in their interviews. It sounds like they were objective.

    Will definitely be curious to see the report or results thereof.

  61. dee –

    Thanks for the info on pingbacks.

    Turk won’t let it go. He linked to an article about a “monolith” seen on Mars by amateur astronomers, and tweeted: “But why aren’t they blaming CJ Mahaney for THIS? I’ll bet Challies and Justin Taylor are behind it.” Ha-ha. What a wit. What a putz.

    There’s already one reply castigating him for the comment; Turk didn’t respond. I just replied that he’s a coward who deletes evidence that refutes him. My first tweet. Don’t know how long it will take to show up. I assume he can delete it. I know about as much about tweeting as I do about pingbacks.

  62. Hey Jeff, you are seeing how they operate. Like I said earlier, Ed Stetzer of SBC LifeWay, did a thing on “Baptist boogymen” to make fun of the people pointing stuff out. Of course, he listed every disagreement known to Baptists but the point was made: people who have disagreements with leaders are creating boogeymen.

    As you know, the leaders are only wrong because they ‘fear man’ and are not being strong enough. (sarcasm alert)

  63. Scott and Jeff, thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Encouraging to read (I guess that sounds weird, but it’s true). I used to read JT’s blog, but I got tired of him simply being a cheerleader. If you believe something fine. But for me, when anyone refuses to even hear dissenting opinions, that’s a HUGE red flag and I tune out. But for people of his ilk, I guess that’s the MO. Just keep banging the drum and drown out all other sounds. Kind of like how a two year old acts.

    Finally, FT reminds me of the bully that we all knew in the 6th grade. Talks a very tough game, but that’s all there is – cheap talk.

  64. “If pastors can lose heart so easily from third party, worthless chatter from bitter conspiracy theorists with a chip on their shoulder and a blog, imagine how easy it is for the least among us to lose heart when bible-wielding elders (who constantly remind us of the amount of authority they have) drop into our living room and make it their task to personally set us straight.”

    Brilliant!

    But there is a problem. You are using sinful logic and rational thought. You are totally depraved and cannot think right. Don’t you know such things are a mystery and you cannot understand them? When they do it, it is good and right. And only they can suffer persecution from the pew sitters. They hold the keys to the kingdom, dontcha know.

  65. Sophie:

    Thanks for the affirmation as to the presentation of Noel’s story.

    I hope that you recognize that I am not criticizing anyone for not writing well.

    What I was trying to say was that it was hard document to read because of the rambling nature. That is not meant to be put down of the author or a judgment.

    I was saying that it’s nature makes it more difficult for outsiders to read and fully comprehend it.

    A summary by Dee or Deb would be a great thing.

    I think that Dee and/or Deb have a book in them about Mahaney, should they have the time and interest. It is a tale of modern, nondenominational Christianity in a modern city that went wrong. It went wrong for lots of reasons – human failure, lack of education and appreciation of history and historical theology that might have kept SGM churches from having such bad polity and would have kept the SGM people from being so mislead.

    Possible titles would include:

    “Abused. How an earnest effort to plant modern, nondenominational churches harmed followers.”

    or

    “C.J. Mahaney. An unauthorized biography.”

    You know, I used to see biographies of famous Christians, and have been encouraged to read them.

    Seem like today there are some biographies that could be written about some infamous preachers.

  66. JeffB
    Deb and I are technopeasants. This week, Deb took a screen shot and posted it on the blog. The two of us rejoiced for several days over our new ability! Turk is just a Stepford blogger and he is beholden to this crowd. Note how few comments some of these guys get. They like to pontificate, not dialogue.They have little interest in what the great ‘unwashed” think. It takes courage to let people disagree and dialogue with you.

    Turk should be ashamed of himself. He is causing more pain on those harmed by his statements. One day, he will regret the stance he is taking.

  67. “I believe that sinse our church’s connection to Mahaney is so tenuous that it will eventually work itself out.”

    But how tenuous is your church’s connection to Mohler? Are you affiliated with the SBC in any way?

    This is not just a case of guilt by association. Mohler, an employee of the SBC, has protected and affirmed Mahaney through this whole thing and blamed bloggers citing that they do not like CJ’s “strong leadership”. Now Mahaney is moving to Louisville. Mohler and Dever are more than associated with Mahaney. They have protected and coddled his evil and said it was good. It is serious business.

    Now is the time for pastors to actually speak out. Where are they? Following Mohler and Dever, unfortunately. or being silent so as not to be “divisive”.

  68. Anonymous
    If we wrote such a book, we would need a good attorney because all manner of pressure would be brought to bear.

  69. Anonymous,

    I would DEFINITELY like to write a book! Maybe several… Perhaps that’s what we’re doing here. 🙂

  70. Robin,

    My bad, make that TWO reformed southern baptists. For a second I somehow thought Piper was a part of the gang. How on earth could I possibly get that confused? 😛

  71. Dee said:

    “This week, Deb took a screen shot and posted it on the blog. The two of us rejoiced for several days over our new ability!”

    So true!!! It was my accomplishment of the week! 🙂

    Watch out all you pastors who scrub your blogs…

  72. “I think that Dee and/or Deb have a book in them about Mahaney, should they have the time and interest. It is a tale of modern, nondenominational Christianity in a modern city that went wrong. It went wrong for lots of reasons – human failure, lack of education and appreciation of history and historical theology that might have kept SGM churches from having such bad polity and would have kept the SGM people from being so mislead”

    There is one about what went wrong with SGM. It is called “Blight in the Vineyard” by John Immel who knows the situation up close and personal. The theme is more overarching than just Mahaney but it gives the progression and type of thinking involved. And the problem is, there are a ton of leaders and churches like SGM and people don’t know it. And they are teaching authoritarianism/topdown structures using words like “godly authority”, “covering” or misusing Hebrews 13:17, authority of local church, Elder rule and calling disagreement gossip, conspiracy theories, slander, sinning by questioning, etc., etc.

    In fact, Mohler and Dever obviously admire what CJ did and sought to protect him even from his own “godly authority” at CLC. So, I have to assume they approve his style.

    It is quite simple. It is the rise of the Nicolaitans spoken of in Revelation. We were warned in Acts 20 and throughout scripture and we get a glimpse of what God thinks about the “conquerors of the people” in Revelation. It is serious business.

  73. Yeah, it took me quite a while to learn how to do a screen shot.

    It’s interesting that Turk feels the need to continue the ridicule. Most people won’t get the specific reference – it’ll just bring it to their attention. Playing amateur psychologist, I think it’s possible that Turk needs to keep doing it to quell any doubts he might have that he’s wrong. The “methinks he doth protest too much” syndrome.

    Or he’s just a jerk. Jurk?

    Anon 1 – I somehow missed that about Stetzer. I’ll have to take a look at it. As to fearing man, yes, they can pretend to be noble and not “fear man but fear God.” Whereas, certain men they will fear is if they WERE collectively God.

    Alan – The irony is that JT used to be unusually non-censoring of comments. He was even criticized for that by those who kept a closer watch on comments. But when it comes to criticizing a fellow business-…uh, Reformed person, he draws the line.

    Yeah, FT is a bully. And, like all bullies, a coward.

  74. With all this brou-ha-ha about T4G and so forth, I still think the church (not the mystical unity St. Paul writes of, but the institutional one) is struggling to evolve its genome beyond the constructs that have held sway since Constantine.

    I salute our blog queens here in their efforts to ensure that desirable church traits are passed on, and that the ones which have caused so much misery over the centuries are discarded.

  75. So, Dever has a message about how the church is committing suicide by false conversions. I thought the bible talked about the wheat and the tares and how we aren’t supposed to be burning them because we may burn some wheat in the process of scorching the tares?

    Campus Outreach M.O. was precisely that, convince everyone their freshman year that they weren’t saved or have them really really question it. Calvinistas seem to be notorious for this. Why can’t the law be pronounced? i.e. we are all dead in our sin and then give us the gospel.. i.e. while we were yet sinner Christ died for us.

    Their favorite thing on earth is telling you that you may not be saved, tell you about Jesus but only in the sense of he technically could save you but your heart is too hardened and if you don’t repent you perish. Then when you freak out and seek their help they spend the rest of the time evaluating you to see if you are really in the spirit. AAGGHHHHHHHH!!!!! I can’t deal with it. I literally thought about killing myself a few years ago because I came to the conclusion that no matter how I pleaded for God to save me, he wouldn’t. I literally thought about killing myself and hurrying up my desent to hell. I am not joking or using hyperbole here. I imagined my calvinista friends rejoicing in God’s sovereignty that I had died because I couldn’t deal with his sovereignty. I literally felt like I had finally seen a glimpse of hell two years ago. I was in an abyss and felt totally seperated from God and he seemed to be no where although I begged and pleaded. I stopped listening to the calvinistas because after weeks of hoping to hear something that would finally bring me peace I became more dispondent. My husband was frightened and I probably should have been in therapy. When I finally heard the gospel it was via a Lutheran (Rod Rosenbladt) and a Reformed man (Michael Horton) not a calvinista. I went to a conference a few months after my breakdown in Pensacola where Paul Zahl was speaking. It was the first time I walked in a church and felt peace. I can’t bring myself to listen to the calvinistas even for critique because I can’t go back to the emotional state where I almost took my life. Looking back on it, clearly Jesus was there with me in my suffering because if not, I would have killed myself. I am depressed just writing this. Dee and Deb how do you listen to this and still confidently say “Christ died for me?”

  76. Oh Robin, that breaks my heart 🙁

    I can see that though – I really can. That’s the whole conundrum of Calvinism. I’ve never been able to understand it.

  77. Robin,

    Your testimony is heart wrenching! I am grateful that you overcame your suicidal thoughts. You are dearly loved by Jesus Christ. NEVER FORGET THAT!! I can hardly wait for you to hear Wade’s Easter message. You will be very encouraged.

    XOXOXO

  78. Robin –

    I listened to Dever’s message. There was so much in it that turned my stomach, I wouldn’t know where to begin trying to explain it to someone. As I said earlier, just the title made me cringe.

    The big picture that I come away with is that pastor’s play a very “special role” in the life of any believer who might attend their church, whether they know that believer, personally, or not. It seemed like he was writing a resume for the “pastor” position to justify that position to all the other pastors and any believer that might think that a pastor was not the most important man in the local body.

    I came away from listening with no encouragement to my soul. In fact, if I had not been a believer for over 30 years but just a new babe, I would totally be questioning my salvation. That is awful! He proposed that the pastor should make sure that everyone in their congregation is a believer — Ughh! He is setting up the pastor as some kind of high priest! Or worse, some young, hot-headed new elder with little experience as high priest!! And they wonder why people are abused and hurt. Oh, yes, if they are hurt and don’t get our doctrinal views, then by all means they are not saved and you don’t want them in your church anyway.

    The whole thing was morbid 🙁

    He did refere to “Biblical Christians” and the “Biblical Gospel” which came across as “Christians that WE call Christians” and “Gospel as WE define it.”

    They’re basically calling anyone who does not see it their way “wrong” and doomed. It was one of the most “splitting of the Church” messages I have ever heard. It’s as if they want splits and they don’t want to be joined with Christians who see some things differently than they. They come accross like they are the official “standard bearers.”

    I am curious as to what someone like Wade B. would think about that message.

  79. Bridget,

    So, if you aren’t a calvinist then you aren’t saved?
    How can a preacher know the heart of everyone in the congregation?
    Will some in your congregation not actually be among the elect?
    Is it appropriate to constantly try to divide the sheep and the goats?
    Is the pastor called to actually do that?
    I can’t deal with it. If you ever had a speck of doubt what would they do to you or say to you?

  80. Bridget
    I was irritated by that message. Remember, it was the 9 Marks site (Dever’s) that said the church holds the keys of authority to declare who is saved, etc. He, along with others, are recreating the Catholic church-Calvinista style. Dever was the one who also posted Andy davis’ diatribe which included two friends whom he called “unregenerate.” Well, if they are unregenerate, then none of us have a chance. I think i am going to write about this next week. Sign me “Increasingly Miffed Off.”

  81. Robin –

    So, if you aren’t a calvinist then you aren’t saved?

    They would deny that this is what they are saying – but it is how they want people to live their lives within their churches.

    How can a preacher know the heart of everyone in the congregation?

    He can’t. That is God’s business IMO, not the preachers, unless their is *glaring* sin that needs to continually be addressed. Even then, he may be dealing with a new believer or even a sick believer. So, if someone doesn’t dance to their tune, say they have a mental illness, Devers would be saying that anyone with mental illness can’t be saved — not the Jesus I know.

    Will some in your congregation not actually be among the elect?

    It’s possible, but that is God’s call not mine. I would be interacting with them no matter what, so I could be continually sharing the Good News with them.

    Is it appropriate to constantly try to divide the sheep and the goats?

    I dont think so. I kept wondering of Devers was actually “listening” to what he was saying and applying it to his own life.

    Is the pastor called to actually do that?

    Look in the gospels to see what Jesus says to the shepherds (pastors) and elders he was leaving behind.

    I can’t deal with it. If you ever had a speck of doubt what would they do to you or say to you?

    I don’t know what they would say. Don’t be alarmed by what they say because Jesus said that HE would not lose one that was given to him. HE is your shepherd. Read John 14-17 🙂

  82. Dee –

    Yes, I remember that. He’s preaching it to the choir at T4G now. I can imagine them all sitting there thinking “yes, yes, this is what we need to be DOING.” Again, I wish they would all just read, pray and do what is in the four Gospels for a year and forget about building their churches.

  83. Robin
    I am so sorry. You are not alone. One of our commenters, Arce, has a daughter who became very depressed over Piper hammering home the elect/nonelect business. They needed to get her counseling to help her during that time. Needless to say, that family is no fan of Piper.

    Robin, I know that the Bible states categorically that our Father wishes that none would perish. I believe He pursues us with His love.This is why I am not a Calvinist. They have nothing to offer but the “hope” that I might be one of the elect. The Bible that I read says that Christ died for us and that we are now free from condemnation. The Calvinistas like nothing more to heap condemnation on our heads.

    We have the joy of the Resurrection as a promise that our sins are forgiven, once and for all. The Calvinistas plunk us at the bottom of the Cross which still has a dying Jesus stuck on there.

    It is the ones stuck in the Old Covenant who condemn you. They have not found the grace of Jesus. They prefer to wallow in their wretched estate and they love to make you seem even more wretched than they are. (Making us twice as fit for hell as they are themselves).

    Robin, you are deeply and dearly loved by your Creator who knows you inside and out and proclaims you His precious friend. He delights in you and remembers your sin no more.

    Satan loves to convict you of your wretched estate and the Calvinistas join in on the chorus. Turn your back on them and turn your eyes on Jesus. He is so pleased to call you “daughter.” About 20 years ago, I found a group called the Fellowship of Merry Christians.They has a picture called the Laughing Jesus. His head is tipped back and He is laughing heartily. I am looking at it as i write this. So many people have told me they have never seen Jesus portrayed this way. I think He understand joy, love and laughter more than we could ever know because He created it. May you think of Jesus in this way-smiling, with His arm around you, and wanting to share His love and laughter with you. And DITCH the Calvinistas-that is an order!

  84. Robin
    Listen Ken Ham says that if you don’t believe that the earth is 6000 years old you are denying the doctrine of the atonement (code for not saved).Every little group and movement has their bucket list for what makes a Christian. Some say you must be leave in a pretrib rapture. Others say you must be baptized by immersion.
    These are lies. The Bible says to believe on Jesus and He is the One that save, once and for all. Unfortunately, I have not made friends with some of these folks. I usually snort out loud when they give me their requirements for salvation. And, of course, they are one of the saved and I obviously am not. So, the next time someone pulls that, start laughing and walk away. It really makes them insecure.

  85. Oh, I have ditched them but the scars sometimes open back up and bleed and this week it seems to be one of those weeks:(

  86. Robin,
    I understand, the Calvinists almost drove me to suicide too (nearly 15 years ago in my case). They gave me a God who wanted me to be abused for His sovereign purposes. It wasn’t until I studied theology more deeply and ditched Calvinism completely that I encountered a God who doesn’t bring me back to the foot of the cross to condemn me but to show me that there is no condemnation and that I am loved utterly and absolutely. God so loved the world — He doesn’t hate it so much that He only grudgingly spares a few. I was in trouble back then for saying that I didn’t feel loved by God — but the God they were presenting was incapable of real love.

    Life without Calvinism is life lived in the glorious liberty of the children of God.

  87. Robin and Lynne
    I am so sorry for the pain these groups have caused. Here
    is a link to the laughing jesus pictures. See if this is an image that brings you peace.

  88. Robin,

    I honestly do not know how people cannot read the OT and not see the parallel replay of the priests God railed against through His appointed prophets. Prophets who were almost always nobodies who did not look like the successful types to the people of the time. It is all over the OT! And most of these guys today have set themselves up as the Levite priests of our day. The parallels are uncanny!

    They oppress people and lord it over. They put heavy burdens on people and ignore need around while they live comfortably and hang out with other celebs. They go on the speaking circuit to promote themselves, sell their books, etc. They talk about “godly authority” of humans when Jesus Christ is the only authority of the body. They call themselves elders when they are not wise or discernming nor have they been refined by real fire. They do not have calloused knees and they rarely allow themselves to be questioned in public. (Everything single question is vetted first) They love their position as “leaders” but ignore the “servant” part of redefine it for us.

    You will only find this thinking in the institutions. Not all of them are bad but most are or end up evolving this way. The Body of Christ is not an institution or building. It is a living breathing organism. It is ALIVE with Christ within the members of the Body and that can be 3 people or more. All of them. Not just a select few who know better for others. The Levite priests today have taken the “functions” within the Body and made them into “offices” which is no where in the Greek. It was added by translators.

  89. Robin, Lynne, Deb, and all –

    Isn’t it remarkable how little of this kind of teaching it takes to bring us to despair? No wonder Jesus warned us about the yeast of the Pharisees.

    I’ve had to read this over and over:

    1So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

    2Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. 4For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.

    5But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. 6For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.

    7You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? 8It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom. 9This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough! 10I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you.

    Galatians 5:1-10 NLT (emphasis mine)

    love to you,
    René

  90. I loved that, Rene!! Amen—no longer a slave to burdens man wishes to place on us. I have been listening to Gal, Eph and Phil for the past 2 weeks while driving in my car. This from Eph 5 struck me this afternoon while thinking about some of these pastors and their fruit…especially how Dever said our hearts as believers were still dark and fallen:

    1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;

    2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

    3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;

    4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

    5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

    6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

    7 Therefore do not be partakers with them;

    8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light

    9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),

    10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

    11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;

    12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.

    13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.

  91. It just occurred to me that I don’t think I have ever really understood the gospel properly…go with me here…

    I was thinking about a friend’s comment about original goodness vs. original sin and how she chooses to believe in original goodness.

    Then I thought about a reader saying in her story about either Christ died for all or none (and how that includes Adam and Eve). Adam and Eve were created (and God said it was good) and then they sinned, and Jesus proclaimed “it is finished”…and it was for all.

    And I have walked around this earth for 30+ years in guilt and believing the “sucks to be you” gospel and it kind of pisses me off. I mean, if I just accepted myself, warts (sin) and all as the person God created me to be…with my attitude problem and sarcasm and all and accepted that this is whom I am…instead of this crappy sinner who knows she sucks and will sin any minute…what would I feel empowered to accomplish? Would I stop living in fear of the next mistake?

    This was all brought on thinking about a comment on my story from “anonymous pastor” and trying to analyze what background that “pastor” comes from and what horse he has in the race.

  92. René,

    Thanks for sharing that passage from Galatians 5. I have always appreciated those verses.

    Blessings!

  93. Eagle,

    By George, I think you’ve got it!

    We will continue this discussion next week, and I will probably quote you.

  94. It’s really a fair question to ask, let’s not shy away from it. Saved from what? The medieval doctrine of hell? Or the salvation which enables me to save myself from myself so that I can help contribute to a better world in the here and now?

  95. Eagle,

    I haven’t seen Judge Judy in quite a while. Maybe I need to tune in and use some of her quotes here. 🙂

    Are you attending a church this weekend? Just have to ask…

    Blessings!

  96. Campus Outreach M.O. was precisely that, convince everyone their freshman year that they weren’t saved or have them really really question it. — Robin

    And after you convince them, you sell them another Fire Insurance policy and cut another notch on your Bible for brownie points with God.

    And after the mark becomes a notch on a dozen bibles this way, he starts wondering if it was all BS from day one.

  97. I understand that college students involved in Campus Outreach have to get permission from their leaders to date someone. 🙁

    Is that correct?

  98. I have a story concerning that Deb. I know a girl who went on summer beach project and she was literally within weeks of being engaged. She and her soon to be fiancé had to write in journals throughout beach project. They let each other read their journals and her group leader found out and OH MY THE POO HIT THE FAN. She was told they were defrauding one another and basically were told that this type of intimacy is only for married couples….

  99. You know, these people are just plain weird. I don’t know any other way to describe them. They take it as “well of course we are weird, we are set apart from the world.” These people aren’t set apart from the world, they are in another galaxy. So, I guess they are really really really set apart from the world:)

  100. “Is justice on the cutting room floor?”

    HowDee YaAll,

    A pastor who runs a hecto church organization is praised and receives congratulation at a recent Christian conference, while all the supporting evidence for his discreditdation lies on the proverbial cutting room floor?

    Big deal. (paint um wit iodine, and make um fit for duty…)

    What?

    Nothing a little white wash’d approbation and a bit O’ denizen’d deniability won’t fix, I suppose.

    A receptive accolade where the scabbard’s full, perhaps?

    Who would have thought in their wildest imagination this man would be put in a proverbial spiritual bed, shaken & stirred?  Is this a vivid modern day example of a Jezebel smirch?

    hmmm…

    A motion sickness bag has been placed in the back of the seat in front of you for your connivence. 

    Sopy 
    ___
    Comic relief:  Wile  Koyote -“whoz fer suppa? ”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj3uMTwqtTU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  101. Dee,

    My comment above on losing heart is what is known in Reformed [preaching] circles as “an argument from the lesser to the greater.” I just KNEW all that bible lurnin’ would come in handy someday. 😉

  102. For those interested in the further adventures of Frank Turk(ey):

    To recap – He had earlier, on his blog, threatened to delete negative comments about Mahaney. I asked him not to follow in the footsteps of Justin Taylor and Tim Challies, and he called me a conspiracy theorist. I then provided evidence backing up my claim. He deleted that but left his accusation of CT. I emailed him about it, but got nowhere with him.

    So, instead of dropping it, he made a lame joke on Twitter using the names “Mahaney,” “Challies,” and “Taylor,” obviously referring to our differences. I twittered that he was a coward who deleted evidence that he was wrong. He responded that I had made unsubstantiated claims. I reminded him that I HAD substantiated them. His meaningful final response: “Suit yourself.” Also, he has “unfollowed” me, or whatever it’s called.

    It seems that he can write anything except “I’m wrong.” I had earlier suggested that he simply ask Challies and Taylor if they deleted or didn’t allow negative comments about Mahaney. I think his fear of them saying “Yes” would prevent him from asking. Certain bloggers can’t handle even being semi-known. They feel that they’re above admitting error.

  103. The double standard is sickening — you wonder what these guys would consider evidence. I guess the closer your theology is to theirs the harder it is for any proof of wrongdoing to stick. Whereas, if your theology is very different to theirs, then your a wicked charlatan before you do anything — no proof required!

  104. JeffB,

    I was telling my husband about what happened on the Pyro blog with your comment. We had a good laugh. These guys need to MAN-UP!!!

  105. Sophia

    It often flabbergasts me how some Calvinistas twist the Scriptures to make us appear like worms in the dust when we are beloved by our Creator. Yes we are sinners. But Christ came to redeem the sinners that he so loves. I love what one of my pastors says. We are positionally holy and functionally still sinning. But Christ accomplished that holiness and that is what God sees. He is not a God sitting on a throne chronically miffed off at us.

  106. Muff
    We are saved so that we can be free to love and serve others. We are saved and given the gift of the Holy Spirit to do the work of the King.There are promises for after our bodily death but our salvation should result in our unselfishness as we seek to bring joy and comfort into this world. Good question, btw.

  107. HUG
    You know, it is interesting how stats are used to discuss number of converts. If Robin became a Christian in high school, she would be counted with that group. And then, if she bought the CO nonsense and “became a real Christian, then she would be counted there. Then, she goes onto Mark Dever’s church and he convinces her that she isn’t saved because she isn’t into total depravity so she gets saved again. Another report of a convert is generated. Hmmm, something to ponder over coffee.

  108. Robin
    Now that is too weird. I have heard stories like this before. Deb and I have to do a story on this group.

  109. Sopwith

    Even worse, now the Turk is making jokes about Mahaney being to blame for everything. This is arguing from the absurd. He will one day learn the truth and I hope he is ashamed and seeks out those who have been crushed by the SGM machine.

  110. Eagle

    When i led a small group a few years ago, I had them read The God Delusion. We then discussed the arguments, trying to figure out, on our own, what arguments were valid, which were not. It was fascinating. Although i do have to say, unlike Christopher Hitchens whose intellect impressed me and whose writings amused me, i think Dawkins is a bit of a jerk.

  111. JeffB
    He is an angry, Stepford Calvinista who one day, and I believe it will happen, will wake up to the pain and sorrow that he allowed to continue under his watch. May God have mercy on him for forgetting the people he is called to serve. (And he is not called to serve Mahaney like he thinks he is).

    Many of these guys are sucked into the Matrix and are not intelligent enough to see through the games.Instead, they think they are important if Mahaney or Dever smiles at them and tosses them a bone or autographs their Bible.Then they run around and drop their names, calling them by their first name to pretend that they are actually friends. This strokes their fragile egos. They must defend these guys at all costs because of cognitive dissonance. They cannot allow themselves to admit that their idols are wearing no clothes because it means they have chosen wrongly and they cannot abide by this. So they must prop them up.

    then there is the rest of us.We got sucked into the machine and one day woke up and started asking real questions. We realized we made a mistake and moved on.We dealt with the dissonance by saying “Well, dumb me, I thought things were different. Time to move on.” (far smarter).I spoke with one man yesterday who said that I can be sure that he will not make the same mistake twice. he now sits in church and carefully evaluates what is said and does not get into “idol” mode.

    The Neo-Cal movement is self limiting. There are just so many people who will put up with this stuff for any length of time. Either they start to question or they misstep and then get the Calvinista hammer.

  112. Lynne
    They cannot admit that their idol is wrong. Their fragile egos couldn’t take the blow. You see, they have to admit that they misjudged a situation. And, as you know, many of these Calvinista types are cock sure they are 100% correct.

  113. dee and Deb (and others)-

    Thanks for your comments. It was “interesting” interacting with Turk on his blog, by email, and then on Twitter. I got a close-up view of his irrationality.

    Consider: I merely asked him not to join Challies and Taylor in deleting negative remarks about Mahaney. He then labeled me a conspiracy theorist. Why would it be so amazing that Challies and Taylor are doing the exact same thing that HE’s doing? I don’t assume that Turk had to check with C&T before deleting comments. In an email, I told him that C&T are just doing what comes naturally to them – they don’t have to conspire. But logic is lost on Turk.

    I’ve seen it on and off the Internet – some people get a little power and they become bullies – or they become more of a bully. Power is a real test of character. You gals pass the test.

    Sorry to sound like a broken record, but Turk is in a class of his own at Pyro. It’s true that the other two haven’t spoken out, but Phil is a grown-up and Dan is a slightly less mature grown-up, imo. Turk is a kid who sticks his fingers in his ears and yells when he hears something he doesn’t like.

    BTW, he once wrote about how nervous he was when he was at a conference and MAHANEY HIMSELF was walking behind him! And this was after the controversy had erupted. Actually, I was tempted to write that I, too, would be nervous if Mahaney was walking behind me, but for different reasons.

  114. JeffB,

    This is IDOLATRY at its worst! When grown men act like fanboys, it’s absolutely disgusting! In the long-run, it will backfire on all of then. Just wait and see…

    I am proud of you for pursuing these guys.

    Speaking of Phil Johnson, didn’t he mock female bloggers as “Discernment Divas?

  115. JeffB
    Turk has no power. That is precisely why he must do what he does. He is not his own. The only ones who pay attention to his blog are those that agree with the Calvinista set. That is not a large group. In fact, he is more like an admiral in rowboat and wants to be thought of as so much more. One day, he will be let down by this group.

  116. “I got a close-up view of his irrationality.”

    Uhhh. You want to see irrationality in the YRR movement? Check out this thread and see if you can guess which ones are YRR Angry young pastors:

    http://sbctoday.com/2012/04/12/things-that-bear-watching/

    Now that you have guessed which ones are the angry Calvinists….just think about unknowingly going into one of their churches, being love bombed only to find out later what they are really like! That is what happens to people. That is why the internet is so great. They tell us who they are in some cases!

    Now, just close your eyes and imagine the angry young guys on there, you know the ones who obviously lack wisdom, with power over people. Then imagine it is 1517 and they are in charge. Scary, huh?

  117. “Power is a real test of character”

    YES!!! It is not adversity but power that really tests character. Abraham Lincoln said something very similar to this.

    But the problem with power/ character dictonomy, is that the more power one gets, the more isolated they are and the less the mass of people can really see who they are. They become protected from the masses. That is why the whole “talking head” syndrome in Christendom is so dangerous. People don’t really know these guys. They know their performance persona.

    That is why the whole CJ thing was such a shock for the pewsitters who weren’t reading blogs. They never really knew him and he had been this bad for 20 years!

  118. Eagle wrote:

    “Didn’t Jesus teach about the meek inheriting the earth and how the last will be first, and the first will be last? Maybe CJ should read his Bible more…

    Someone that I respect recently gave a talk about discernment. He said that he has a working hypothesis that he uses to test teachings and prophecies. It’s very simple: does what I’m hearing line up with the sermon on the mount? If it does, then it’s probably true. If it denies those teachings, it’s false.

    He says it’s worked for him every time so far.

  119. Anon1,

    I read that SBC Today post. It was SPOT ON! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Everybody needs to WAKE UP!!!

  120. Anon1 and Deb,

    That SBC Today post (including the comment thread) was enlightening.

    I grew up in the Nazarene denomination, and even though its heritage is completely, 100% Wesleyan-Arminian, it is also facing internal pressure to become more Reformed (I think from new seminary grads with a YRR bent). Here is a recent Holiness Today post that reminds me a little of the SBC Today piece:

    http://www.holinesstoday.org/nphweb/html/ht/article.jsp?id=10011292

  121. Anon1 wrote:

    “…Now, just close your eyes and imagine the angry young guys on there, you know the ones who obviously lack wisdom, with power over people. Then imagine it is 1517 and they are in charge. Scary, huh?…”

    It wouldn’t have to be 1517 at all, these guys would be more than happy to institute a theocratic despotism in 2017 if they could.

    Muff would probably wind up with a fate as grisly as Servatus’. Dee and Deb would undoubtedly stand trial for witchcraft; Scripturally justified of course — Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live —. Yes it is scary Anon1, I’ll agree with you there.

  122. Muff,

    I’m glad I live in the 21st century!

    Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  123. Dee,

    Now I know why the Holy Spirit led us to start blogging. If we hadn’t we might have gotten swallowed by BIG FISH CALVINISTA! Praise God we have a way to confront it!

  124. Deb –

    Can you fill an entire article with little blue barf faces with an SGM banner at the top? 🙁

  125. Here is something I’ve found disappointing in various measures; that after of this the original people who gave Mahaney a ‘clean bill of health’ continue to stay silent.

    Take the case of Kevin DeYoung and Carl Trueman. DeYoung especially is fond of expressing his appreciation for Presbyterian polity, and yet he was quite happy to go into a situation and act in a manner that wouldn’t have been allowed according to the Book of Church Order. Similarly Trueman acted in a capacity that wouldn’t be possible within the OPC.

    Subsequently, of course, they have continued to stay silent as ever more damaging revelations come out, which have made it clear that they didn’t have all the facts before writing their report.

  126. Chris,

    Good points. Which is why they should have no credibility with thinking people. And what is worse, they protected evil, lies and deception. Are they that ignorant? Or, did they agree with all the things Mahaney did from extortion of Larry to teaching pastors not to have the sexually molested in their churches call the authorities. Oh and lots more inbetween. That is the question.

  127. Oh! …the web they (SGM) weave?!?

    Hmmm…

    Some how, I don’t think we’re talking about Charlotte’s:

    …”The children ran out to the road and climbed into the bus. Fern took no notice of the others in the bus. She just sat and stared out of the window, thinking what a blissful world it was and how lucky she was to have entire charge of a pig. By the time the bus reached school, Fern had named her pet, selecting the most beautiful name she could think of.” “No! It’s name is not gonna be CJ,” she whispered to herself. -snark-

    All kidding aside: “If the members of SGM fail to take into consideration the tragic fruit of what SGM has produced in countless lives, then it is evidence that SGM members continue to be deceived and will likely support whatever their ‘heroes’ say. ” -Uriah, SGMrefuge.

    Time for a new Hero? (educational moment, perhaps?…)

    Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey in Under 60 Seconds”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IeBqqQNKvQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    The Matrix – Joseph Campbell “Monomyth”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AG4rlGkCRU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    The Hero’s Journey
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGV1BvnyvGo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    The Hero’s Journey Steps 1 and 2- The Call and Refusal
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFPUUjFTS1I&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    The Hero’s Journey Through Many Movies
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ALYnp6VATA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Epic Hero
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-N9Vja2QMA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Time for a  new Hero?…Could b

    (Lessons learned?)

    Hope is a wonderful thing…

    Sopy ㋡ 
    ___
    Third Day – “I Will Always Be True”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLoofkMXtoQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  128. “Subsequently, of course, they have continued to stay silent as ever more damaging revelations come out, which have made it clear that they didn’t have all the facts before writing their report.”

    Shhh…. they’re hoping you won’t notice that.

    Trueman –not so silent. The hightlight of T4G for him?

    “The highlights for me were C J Mahaney’s sermon on discouragement (though everything I heard was good) and the countless encounters with people in the coffee bars and corridors.”

    http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2012/04/t4g-made-me-look-like-a-girlym.php

  129. I noticed something odd while watching the T4G main session videos. I watched all but Platt’s and Thabiti’s. The odd thing was that the rest of the main session guys all mentioned CJ in their talk. They either something about him personally, or mentioned a part of his talk. He was mentioned specifically. Is that a coincidence? I was hearing his name a lot in the other talks.

  130. Diane –

    Did they mention every other speaker in their teachings as well? If so, no biggie, if not — well I guess they’re all making sure he feels the love and support they have for him. He has been so persecuted by all those stubborn, hard-hearted sheep. He has been buffeted for he knows not what. He is so humble and lowly that the others must come to his defense . . . blah, blah, blah.

    BTW – it is customary within SGM for leaders to fall all over each other. It sounds like the T4G guys are following suit.

  131. Piper was the last speaker and he mentioned all of them in his talk. The others (except Thabiti and Platt–I did not listen to their talks) all made a reference to CJ only — his person or his talk. I did not hear references to the others–except by Piper, as mentioned above.

  132. “I noticed something odd while watching the T4G main session videos. I watched all but Platt’s and Thabiti’s. The odd thing was that the rest of the main session guys all mentioned CJ in their talk. They either something about him personally, or mentioned a part of his talk. He was mentioned specifically. Is that a coincidence? I was hearing his name a lot in the other talks.”

    It’s called celebrity “rehab”. They are rehabing his image for the young minds who follow the celebs. You know how it works, ‘well Piper, Mohler, Dever, et al think a lot of him so he must be ok’.

  133. Yes, know how it works. It was obvious. Obviously obvious. Like–seriously…they all (most of them) just mentioned HIM only?

    Instead of ignoring the assaults of the wounded, I think I will belittle the laudation of the codependents.

  134. Deb – Thanks for the kind words. I’ll have to take another look at the “Discernment Divas” thing.

    Steve Scott – Thanks for the Fonz link. Very apt.

    Anon 1 – I read the article but didn’t have the patience to read all the comments. I’ll just say that, from what I’ve read about the YRR, I have little sympathy for them. John MacArthur, a Calvinist, wrote a series of articles criticizing them.

    Genuine Calvinism has a high view of God’s sovereignty but does not neglect human free will, does not approve of leaders lording it over non-leaders, and doesn’t promote secondary issues to primary ones. It isn’t obsessed with sex and doesn’t make the doctrine of sin the most important one. Because of its high view of God’s sovereignty, the last thing it should promote is hero worship, although this is a common human failing. I think most people who read this blog know there is a difference between the genuine thing and the phony thing. Once again, I recommend Michael Horton’s “For Calvinism” (and anything Horton has written, esp. “Christless Christianity”) if you want to see the real thing.

    It’s sad that most of the people who grab attention have been corrupted by power and elements of contemporary culture.

    Also, when people slip here and there, it doesn’t mean they’re all bad. Phil Johnson and Dan Phillips, for instance, have been very tough on Driscoll, and excoriate the Gospel Coalition (all Calvinists) for supporting him. (Yes, I’m very disappointed that they don’t do the same with Mahaney.) Johnson has written articles on genuine biblical manliness that I’m sure would get the approval of readers of this blog. My only point is that things are rarely black and white – there are usually shades of gray. And I’m not saying that the “good” things people say and do excuse the “bad” things. They don’t.

  135. As the SPIN continues, it is worth pointing out that if you left comments over at the Sovereign Grace Ministries website, they are GONE!

    Check out Dave Harvey’s post Listening

    Yeah, right!!!

    Sovereign Grace Ministries has a squeaky clean website because it was SCRUBBED, probably as a precautionary measure before the Together for the Gospel Conference.

    Remember, in SGM what goes up (on its website in the form of criticism) must come down!

    Once again, WHERE IS THE AMBASSADORS OF RECONCILIATION REPORT?

    I guess Mahaney & Co are scrubbing it, too! Gotta take out all the incriminating stuff.

    Is anyone out there paying attention, particularly the T4G sycophants, or are you just living in CALVINISTA LA LA LAND?

  136. There Is No Shadow Or Turning In Thee…Oh! Lord!”

    HowDee YaAll,

    “… ‘well Piper, Mohler, Dever, et al think a lot of him (C.J. Mahaney) so he must be ok’…” -Anon1, TWW

    …a proverbial mutual zôb admiration society perhaps?

    Me thinks these proverbial spiritual hemorrhoids doth  cause the Lord’s church to mercurially strain at the stool.

    (Sadface)

    However…

    Comic relief:The Muppet Show. Fozzie Bear -” Good Day Sunshine” / Dancing in the Dark
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAxNcWLx6hw&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    The Lord has forged, He His Saints, out of beaten gold, alloyed with His Christ, their faces hardened like folded steel. The Word of God (Jesus) is regarded to them as more desirable than gold and His law is better to them than thousands of pieces of gold and silver.

    In Him (Christ, Jesus) there is no proverbial zôb alloy.

    My brethren, please stop being numbered among the deceived, beloved ones, seeing that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly luminaries, with whom is no variableness, neither is there the shadowiness of turning. 

    Of His own perfect will, He gave to us second birth through His Precious Son -the Word of truth, that we should be the  firstfruits in His spacious house!

    Let not these ‘spots’; these malicious zôbs, certain proverbial dark clouds without refreshing rain, -crowd out your impenetrable faith!

    Stand fast in that ‘Liberty’ with which Christ has made you free!

    “There is no shadow or turning in Thee…Oh! Lord!”

    Amen!

     Blessings ta Y’All…

    Ipr♥ay4U

    S㋡py
    ___
    David R. Gillingham – “No Shadow of Turning”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-HwlCwRxng&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  137. Now the word is out on SBC Reformed blogs to not discuss Driscoll. If Acts 29 is mentioned some of the YRR meanies immediately come on and say you cannot paint Acts 29 with Driscoll and they demand you prove that Acts 29 churches are like Driscoll. They are working very hard to seperate Driscoll DNA from Acts 29 as if it never rubbed off. Convention coming up, ya know, and NAMB has been funding Acts 29 church planters. And boy if you read some of their comments, you know they are mean in your face Driscoll clones!

    Their favorite and only response to everything is: Prove it. But how can they prove ACts 29 church planters won’t run their churches like Driscoll runs his?

  138. First they tout MD as some hero to the evangelical world. Now they claim they have no cooties from being under his care. What a joke. Many of these leaders seem to plainly fear loss of membership. If that is how they function, they have no business leading anyone.

  139. http://sbcvoices.com/disagreeing-with-brother-bill-harrell/

    http://sbctoday.com/2012/04/12/things-that-bear-watching/

    From this one…check out some comments from the YRR pastors:

    Ryan Abernathy says:

    April 12, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    While some Southern Baptists like Bill are bashing Acts 29, Mark Driscoll, and Calvinists, let’s take a look at what those horrible people in the Pacific NW are doing shall we?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhcseattle/sets/72157629794678095/

    Last time I checked SBC baptisms were dropping like a stone.

    Jesus said “By your fruit you shall know them.” Maybe it’s time for Bill and Bob and SelahV and Peter and the rest of the tribe to go back to their communities and “tend to their own knitting ” (as my Granny used to say) Seems like you would be more worried about the cobwebs in your collective baptistries than the influence of a pastor and an organization that want to see the Gospel proclaimed.

    Jealousy is an ugly thing.

  140. Also from http://sbctoday.com/2012/04/12/things-that-bear-watching/

    Another young whiny YRR guy (not sure if pastor….hope not)
    Mark says:

    April 13, 2012 at 10:28 am

    David,

    People were slamming Calvinists and taking potshots at them before Acts 29 or T4G became influential to whatever extent it is today.

    T4G always meets in Louisville, it’s not an SBTS thing. T4G nor Acts 29 are SBC organizations.

    I don’t understand how you logically conclude that since T4G, Founders, and Acts 29 don’t have non-Calvinists speak at their gatherings; therefore, Bill Harrell’s article above is justified.

    Also, you said, “I would not be for kicking out Calvinists, who were like Charles Spurgeon…” If this is the case, since Charles Spurgeon said that Calvinism is the gospel, why do you have trouble with Founders, Acts 29 et al?

    Reply

  141. And you will LOVE this little YRR guy so full of love and respect:

    John says:

    April 13, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    “There is a growing emphasis on church planting and missions. Let me offer a suggestion as to why. ”

    Because your generation has bred churches full of nominal Christians who will not listen to the truth (2 Timothy 4:3-4). The typical SBC church is DEAD, thanks to the leadership of the outgoing generation of pastors.

    (But they will listen to John, by jove! Or be disciplined?)

    Here is more of our dear brother John:

    John says:

    April 14, 2012 at 10:24 am

    “No, ignorant blog posts like this one start the fires! The younger generation isn’t the aggressor in this conflict. We are calling the previous generation to account and, of course, you don’t like it.”

    (And John again giving us the pow, zing, bam because HE knows best):

    John says:

    April 14, 2012 at 10:28 am

    “How dare you assume to know where or how I was raised? I was raised in and among dead churches. I’ve served in and striven to revive dead churches, churches that are a horrific mess left behind by pastor after pastor whose pathetic revivalistic gospel left us with countless unconverted, spiritually deceived “members,” endless conflict, doctrinal confusion and ignorance–but plenty of self-righteous moralism and pot-luck dinners. The days of moralistic, therapeutic deism are coming to an end as the SBC norm, deal with it!”

    (Just makes you want run out and join an Acts 29, SBC funded YRR church, doesn’t it! Coming out of an SBC seminary to a church near you! Beware!)

  142. I came across this website by accident and I confess feeling so saddened to read all of these comments (and for that matter, the blog post itself). I don’t understand the point or purpose of the comments (though by all means, people should be allowed to have opinions on these matters). There is such a lack of grace and so much hostility toward these men. If you were trying to truly honor the Lord in seeking to unveil these men, shouldn’t it be done humbly and out of love? I do not see how this is any better than the men that you speak out against. It feels like angry, malicious gossip.

    I am not asserting my opinion one way or another on the matter. Just encouraging that people keep a kinder reign on there tongue.

  143. Sarah
    I highly recommend that you read the Book The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse. Unfortunately, it appears you have been sucked into the machine and it is evident by your comment. You use the buzz words of abuse such as “gossip”and “hostility.”

    Secondly you have violated our prime directive. if someone comes on this blog to criticize, which is allowed,(something that groups like SGM TGC and others will not allow) and does not mention those who have been deeply wounded, you have inadvertently announced your agenda. And that is to defend the status quo with whatever of your heroes that we have discussed. Never, ever forget the wounded.That is the true test of the depth of your faith.

    As for not asserting your opinion, you most certainly did and I am surprised that you do not see it.I hope you will read a little more. I think you might learn something that you are not learning in your church.

  144. “You use the buzz words of abuse such as ‘gossip’ and ‘hostility.’”

    Dee, you overlooked the biggest buzzword” “humbly.”

    As in, “If you were trying to truly honor the Lord in seeking to unveil these men, shouldn’t it be done humbly…?”

    Yes. And then those men would have surely “humbly” repented, asked for forgiveness, and sought to restore those they wounded, right?

  145. Sarah,

    Do you know anything about C.J. Mahaney or Sovereign Grace Ministries? If not, then you are not qualified to voice an opinion in this forum.

    I hope you will come back and clarify.

  146. Sarah,

    Brood of vipers, whitewashed tombs and “I wish they would emasculate themselves” was considered “kind” for the types they were referring to. Be nice to wolves while they devour sheep? Unfortuantely, truth often sounds negative and unkind.

  147. Sarah,

    “…keep a kinder reign on there tongue”,  You said.

    hmmm…

    …accident, ‘divine’, encounter ordained?

    The word ‘devine’, can be an adjective, a noun , a verb –But it is a frequent misspelling of the word ‘divine’.

    So what?

    Well, If you intended the word ‘devine’, all well and good. 

    But if one was intending ‘divine’, as a word choice, then they’ll need to change a little ‘e’ for a little ‘i’. 

    If one is talking heavenly things, it makes all the difference in the ‘world’. The difference may be subtle, but the result or destination, however, is not.

    The usage of the word, in this particular case here makes a connection  relating with that of the worship, or the service of God Almighty, and His precious Son Jesus, called the risen Christ. Associated synonyms for this word ‘divine’, include both the words: ‘heavenly’, and ‘godly’.

    What I am saying Sarah, is this: if your intended purpose here at TWW, is ‘devine’, all well and good. 

    But Sarah, if you are intending ‘divine’, as your intent, you’ll need to do a little more than changing a letter.

    The reason being is this: we have very wounded folk here.  You probably did not know that. 

    They were wounded in a house of worship, with those “ordained” to “lead” and to ‘minister heavenly substance’, with godliness and integrity, lending orchestration to their injury, many without relief.

    I have a chill’d glass of southern sweet tea, with a little lemon, and this here chair in the shade wait’in here for ya, when you return!

    Sarah, Ya take care.

    ‘Ipr♥ay4U’

    S㋡py
    ___
    Matthew West – “My Own Little World” 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoWY1Rlx_Aw&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  148. “Walk On The Water”

    HowDee YaAll,

    Sarah,

            Hey,

    I found this here song, 

     …♪♫♪ You look around and it’s staring back at you,
    Another wave of doubt -will it pull you under?

    You wonder….

    (tear)

    What if I’m overtaken?
    What if I never make it?
    What if no one is there?
    Will you hear my prayer, Jesus?

     …♪♫ When you take that first step into the unknown
    You know that Jesus, He simply won’t let you go…

    No!, No!

     …♪♫ So what are you wait’in for?
    What ya have to lose?
    Your insecurities try to alter you…

    Hmmm…

     …♪♫ You know you’re made for more!
    So don’t be afraid to move-
    Your faith is all it takes… (grin)

    …and you can walk on the water too!

    Bless’in’s

    Ipr♥ay4U

    S㋡py
    ___
    K-LOVE – Britt Nicole – “Walk On The Water” 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wddc8UzNiG8&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    山崎まさよし – “All My Loving” (Beatles) 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuEFwOq9hM0&feature=youtube_gdata_player