UPDATE: Today, Rachel Held Evans posted on this subject as well, saying something extremely important that we affirm as well: we support and love the survivors of abuse, and pray with you for justice and peace.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God to put things right, for they will be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6, my translation).
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Here are some of the most pertinent quotes regarding the judge’s decision to dismiss most of the civil alleging child sexual abuse and its cover up by churches affiliated with Sovereign Grace Ministries. Back in March, we asked our friend Dee Parsons from The Wartburg Watch (a main site shedding light on this case) to give an update at that time for our Internet Monk readers, and you can review that HERE.
One of the new aspects of this situation is that last week, two of the primary “New Reformed” web communities broke their long silence about the affair.
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A Christian leader, charged with any credible, serious, and direct wrongdoing, would usually be well advised to step down from public ministry. No such accusation of direct wrongdoing was ever made against C. J. Mahaney. Instead, he was charged with founding a ministry and for teaching doctrines and principles that are held to be true by vast millions of American evangelicals. For this reason, we, along with many others, refused to step away from C. J. in any way. We do not regret that decision. We are profoundly thankful for C. J. as friend, and we are equally thankful for the vast influence for good he has been among so many Gospel-minded people.
Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, Albert Mohler
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So the entire legal strategy was dependent on a theory of conspiracy that was more hearsay than anything like reasonable demonstration of culpability. As to the specific matter of C. J. participating in some massive cover-up, the legal evidence was so paltry (more like non-existent) that the judge did not think a trial was even warranted.
Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung, Justin Taylor
Why is no mention made that the heart of this lawsuit is about a systematic church effort to discourage and eventually prevent the families of children who were allegedly (and repeatedly) sexually victimized by church officials from speaking out and reporting to law enforcement. This lawsuit is less about the abuse and more about an institution that took steps to protect itself and it’s reputation over the victimized souls (and bodies) of little ones. Omitting such a fundamental fact from this statement is a fundamental error.
Why no mention that CJ Mahaney was actually the Senior Pastor at one of these churches where all of this horrific abuse allegedly occurred AND that discouraged these families from bringing this matter to the God ordained civil authorities? Omitting such a fundamentally important fact from this statement is a fundamental error.
…Without addressing both statements in detail, let me make four quick observations:
- Neither statement makes mention that the heart of this lawsuit is about a systematic church effort to discourage and eventually prevent the families of children who were allegedly (and repeatedly) sexually victimized by church officials from speaking out and reporting to law enforcement….
- Neither statement mentions that CJ Mahaney was actually the Senior Pastor at one of these churches where all of this horrific abuse allegedly occurred AND where these families were discouraged from bringing this matter to the God ordained civil authorities….
- The statement by T4G fails to mention that this lawsuit was dismissed for one reason and one reason only…expiration of the statute of limitation. Isn’t it tragic that the reason why this suit was dismissed – taking too long to file – was the very objective of these church leaders allegedly had when they discouraged these individuals and families from stepping forward.
- The statement by the members of the Gospel Coalition says the following as it relates to the statute of limitations and the dismissal of the case: “So the entire legal strategy was dependent on a conspiracy theory that was more hearsay than anything like reasonable demonstration of culpability. As to the specific matter of C. J. participating in some massive cover-up, the legal evidence was so paltry (more like non-existent) that the judge did not think a trial was even warranted.” Does this sound like a statement that even appears to make an effort to be objective?
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There is blatant failure here to recognize the complicity of a leader in what transpired under his watch. God have mercy.
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Yesterday, the defendants evaded their day in court on technicalities. This ruling was not judged on the merits of our claim. It does not indicate anything about the truth of the horrific facts of our Second Amended Complaint, nor the guilt of those responsible. Justice is a slow process and this is not the end of that process – we are in this fight for the long haul.
The legal difficulties for SGM, et al is NOT going away anytime soon. We will be appealing this decision. And as reported recently on the news and internet, a criminal investigation is forthcoming. God is faithful and this is ultimately His fight. He hates evil done to the least of His — that definitely includes little, innocent children.
I am so proud of the young women and men, who have stood up, told their stories and joined this legal battle, knowing that criticism or difficulties would come — and they did it anyway, as a step of empowering for themselves and for protection of other little children. That is love. That is being Christ-like. That is true courage.
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We (the victims and the lawyers) all knew about the statute issue at the outset. But fighting for justice means doing so even against known obstacles. We had a conspiracy theory to overcome the statute but the Court rejected it. The victims are all brave and courageous people whose willingness to fight against evil has already made a difference in the world. Also, please realize going forward with a civil lawsuit does not in any way prevent criminal actions – perhaps may even make it more likely. And please keep praying, as we think the Court erred, and will be appealing her ruling.
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There is no prophetic voice.
There is no Phinehas with a spear
No Nathan for our Davids
No Jeremiah amid the rubble
What we needed was a word that does justice to the holiness of God and the grace of the gospel they espouse. What we got were statements about what was prudent. And that statement was taken down because of the flurry of dissent.
TGC has now weighed in with no comments allowed. And they have either not told the truth or not read the accusations against Mahaney.
There is no prophetic voice. Just the quiet of dust hanging then falling on the rubble of what was once a movement.