Here is the letter sent to insiders.
Given the recent, renewed controversy surrounding Sovereign Grace Churches and me individually, I have decided to withdraw from the 2018 T4G conference.
This conference exists to serve pastors with the gospel and exalt the Lord Jesus. I want to do all I can to promote that purpose. Mark, Lig, Al and the other speakers should also be able to devote themselves to that purpose without the distraction of having to defend me or answer questions about Sovereign Grace Churches. They should be preparing their sermons, caring for their families, and serving their unique and strategic ministries.
I am responsible, where necessary and appropriate, to defend myself and Sovereign Grace, and this I continue to do as I have for the last several years. Sovereign Grace churches are led by godly men and filled with good and godly people who love Christ and his gospel. So that there is no lack of clarity on this: I am innocent of the allegations that have been made against me personally, and the recent, public characterizations of Sovereign Grace as a whole are absolutely false. I categorically reject the suggestion that I have ever conspired to cover up sexual abuse or other wrong-doing. No one should interpret my withdrawal as an acknowledgment of guilt. I withdraw out of care for my friends and for the sake of this conference and the cause of Christ.
I do not want this wonderful conference to become a context where questions about me or Sovereign Grace distract from the exaltation of Christ and him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2). I desire the run up to this conference to be filled with nothing but joyful anticipation. I want the experience of the conference to be the deep edification of pastors through preaching, singing, praying, conversation, laughter, food, and buying as many books as one’s credit card allows, all for the glory of God.
T4G is sold out. In 2006, when we held our first conference, we met in a cramped hotel ballroom. Mark, Lig, Al and I did not imagine the conference ever reaching the Yum! Center – much less filling it. It is amazing and humbling. When the four of us are together, we fumble for the right words to describe all that has unexpectedly taken place in and through T4G. I think the psalmist best captures it when he writes, “This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes” (Ps. 118:23). I’m praying this T4G will be the best gathering in the history of this blessed conference.