July 30, 2014

What’s Being Said about the SGM Scandal

court

updateUPDATE: 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).

* * *

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.

* * *

From Together for the Gospel

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

* * *

From The Gospel Coalition

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

From G.R.A.C.E. (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment)

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:

  1. 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….
  2. 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….
  3. 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.
  4. 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?

Boz Tchividjian

* * *

From Jesus Creed

There is blatant failure here to recognize the complicity of a leader in what transpired under his watch. God have mercy.

Scot McKnight

* * *

From a Plaintiff

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.

Pam Palmer

* * *

From the Plaintiffs’ Attorney

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.

Susan Burke

* * *

Commentary by Matthew B. Redmond

There is no prophetic voice.
There is no Phinehas with a spear
No Nathan for our Davids
No Jeremiah amid the rubble

The Silence of the Reformed has been replaced with the statements of politicians.

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.

Comments

  1. For me, this is significant enough for me to want distance between me and The Gospel Coalition. I don’t want to touch or recommend a ministry that can’t handle a situation like this with any sense of urgency or prophetic truth.

    • Randy L. says:

      Amen!

    • Christiane says:

      who makes up the ‘Gospel Coalition’? does anyone have a link to that info?

    • Benjamin says:

      I don’t understand the disgust aimed at TGC. This is what I read from their post:

      “Please do not hear us saying that we assume all of the plaintiffs are lying. We do not assume all the defendants are innocent, or that they are all guilty. We are not privy to the sort of information necessary to make that determination. Where the allegations are accurate, we have nothing but the deepest sympathy for the victims, desiring that legal justice might prevail and that they might know the Lord’s healing and vindication. And where allegations may be false or misconstrued, we sympathize with those whose reputations have been unfairly tarnished with no public recourse. This is a tangled mess.”

      Are they lying when they wrote that “”the sole allegation against him [C.J. Mahaney] in the Complaint is that he founded Sovereign Grace Ministries (“SGM”) and is currently its President. . . . He is not specifically identified or alleged to have performed any other act or omission throughout the 143-paragraph Complaint..”?

      Their post clearly condemns the sin, but withholds judgement until evidence is found. Am I missing something? Thanks…

      • James the Mad says:

        The sole allegation is certainly not “that he founded Sovereign Grace Ministries.” Rather, that SGM, with C.J. Mahaney at the helm, engaged in long-term and concerted efforts to cover up what was happening.

        Elsewhere I have read that about 1/3 of the allegations stand proven in criminal courts of law. So the question isn’t really about whether or not child sexual abuse occurred (although the extent of the problem remains to be seen/proven). Rather, the question is whether or not SGM engaged in systematic efforts to cover up the issue in order to protect the reputation of the ministry and/or to shield themselves from fiscal responsibility for events that took place on their watch/in their premises/at SGM sanctioned & organized events.

        I’ve seen enough to be convinced that SGM did engage in the behaviours noted above, and that they are doing everything possible to escape responsibility, including blaming the victims and misdirecting people by misstating the issue. In short, it seems to me that they are re-victimizing the victims by throwing them under the bus to protect themselves.

        • James the Mad says:

          Or there’s Miguel’s theory, as noted below:

          ” I think the development of this story warrants the possibility of concluding that the abuse coverups were not motivated by saving face and protecting the church reputation, but are actually the result of the Puritan sanctification methods of the conservative neo-Cals. Pastors micromanaging the lives of congregants and assuming supreme jurisdiction over all areas of life sounds remarkably similar to Calvin’s Geneva.

          Which, unfortunately, is a distinct possibility as well, that these guys are so blinded by their theology that they cannot see beyond their own authority, thus rendering the pain of the victims meaningless in their eyes.

          • …which, come to think of it, could also shed some light on the obsessive gender role prescription of the complementarianism movement as well. The pain of the victims of misogynistic chauvinism is likewise irrelevant in the eyes of a sovereignly ordained male patriarchy.

          • James the Mad says:

            Now that, my friend, is a truly frightening thought.

        • Benjamin says:

          Thanks James.

      • Your last paragraph is key: “withholds judgment until evidence is found.” Back when the Paterno/Sandusky scandal was at it’s height, the Together for Each Other…….er…..sorry, Together for the Gospel crowd had a post ripping Sandusky to shreads before any evidence had come out.

        Yet now when it’s one of their boys, they’re all of the sudden in favor of withholding judgment.

        What a complete joke.

  2. T4G and TGC have clearly declared they cannot be spiritual leaders to anyone. I pray our young men who revere them will wake up and move on. If CJ Mahaney is a role model for ministry to the young followers of T4G or TGC, many people are not safe in their respective Reformed churches..

    But here is a very interesting aspect of this. T4G and TGC hold on to a government “legal” decision of Statute of Limitations to exonerate their friend and beat on the victims a bit more.

    BUT– The entire lawsuit comes as a result from Mahaney’s teaching at PDI/SGM that civil government is “ungodly” and the church should handle it inhouse.

    The hypocritical irony reeks.

    • “But here is a very interesting aspect of this. T4G and TGC hold on to a government “legal” decision of Statute of Limitations to exonerate their friend and beat on the victims a bit more.

      BUT– The entire lawsuit comes as a result from Mahaney’s teaching at PDI/SGM that civil government is “ungodly” and the church should handle it inhouse.”

      Excellent point.

  3. David C. says:

    The Gospel Coalition refuses to acknowledge that the only reason the suit went away was because of the statute of limitations not the truth of the suit. It is sad that they would take such a view but with people like Dever , Taylor and DeYoung running the show along with Carson this is a sad state of affairs. SGM will always be known as the group that brought down the Calvinist movement. It is no longer Christian. Jesus would look at the abused and weep while the Gospel Coalition plays the Pharisee better than Herod.

    • Amen- David C. “Jesus would look at the abused and weep while the Gospel Coalition plays the Pharisee better than Herod.”

      The victims need our prayers, Thank-You C.M. for covering this scandal.

    • David, while I agree with you about the corruption of SGM, you say that they will “always be known as the group that brought down the Calvinist movement.”

      Hmmm.

      The problem with that is that Calvinism is a whole lot bigger than SGM, T4G, and TGC all put together. I’m puzzled why American evangelicals think that “Calvinism” is a phrase that refers to men like Mark Driscoll and Justin Taylor rather than the magisterial wing of the Reformation and the broader tradition exemplified by Calvin, Bucer, Beza, Bullinger, et. al. Even within modern Calvinism, the movement is a lot more variegated than TGC and Co.

    • They walked by on the other side of the road….none of their business… they might get attacked too if they stop to help.

  4. Interesting that one of the leaders of TGC, Tim Keller, did not put his name to the statement.

    • Negative space counts. But a contribution to positive space is much more meaningful. Tim Keller, how about it? What holds you back?

      • Yeah, this is one where the silence of Mahaney’s supporters/colleagues screamed for a long time. Silence can denote agreement in some situations. Best not to be silent for too long on this one. His GC buddies are speaking for him?

        I was probably more disappointed about DA Carson than anyone else who signed those statements.

      • Perhaps he is not trying not to rush to judgment, on either side.

    • I’ve been trying to reach out to Mr. Keller, asking him to represent the oppressed and the hurting in this situation instead of being complicit in his silence on this matter. I have a tremendous respect for him and his ministry, but his silence… it’s saddening. So far he hasn’t responded to me, personally (which I am not expecting by any means) or publicly that I can tell.

    • After a bit of reflection, I couldn’t agree more. Keller’s absence in that statement is more than a bit conspicuous: it’s glaring. Why? I can’t help but wonder if this whole fiasco has the potential to split the whole neo-reformed movement. Keller might as well have said “I’m waiting for an opportunity to jump ship on this one.” You might say that his silence is complicity, but it could be that many are secretly questioning their trust in CJ. Some will never turn their back on him, it seems, even in a worst case scenario where it is determined he is guilty of all charges. But I think this will drive a wedge between thoughtless company men and those who actually believe the Gospel has implications for church leadership. I really hope to find Keller in that latter group. It may be that the CJ doubters are suffering a lack of courage, or it may be they feel like they don’t have enough information. But time will tell.

      • One more thought: It may be that some Calvinistas are defending Mahaney because they actually agree with the way he handled those situations: they may think that what he is being accused of doing was the right thing to do in those circumstances. Those who are currently defending him would be the ones who actually agree with that approach to church discipline and handling conflict in the congregation. Those who are silent may be the dissenters with a bit more common sense. This could be the start of a major rift within the neo-reformed on the issue of church discipline and how to handle conflict. I’d say that Mahaney, Piper, Dever, etc… are towing the Reformed line in a manner that would make Calvin proud, and the others who are silent would rather take a less Puritanical and micro-managing approach to discipleship.

        • Thanks for that original thought, Miguel. It never occurred to me that anyone would agree with the way abuse was handled at SGM.

          It’s hard to believe that anyone would, but I guess that is an idea that needs to be considered.

        • David L says:

          You may be right. There are a lot of folks in the evangelical community who want government to stay out of the church totally. Fire marshals and such. So this is just an extension of that. Mix it with anointed pastors in charge of the flock and you are ripe for “we deal with everything about our members until forced to take it to the secular world”.

        • Dana and David, at this point, I think the development of this story warrants the possibility of concluding that the abuse coverups were not motivated by saving face and protecting the church reputation, but are actually the result of the Puritan sanctification methods of the conservative neo-Cals. Pastors micromanaging the lives of congregants and assuming supreme jurisdiction over all areas of life sounds remarkably similar to Calvin’s Geneva. The whole deal with forcing a molested 3 year old to meet with and forgive her offender sounds like par for the course for their dogmatically shallow biblical literalism: God says it, we gonna do it, that settles it. It turns all of scripture into a law to be obeyed. This is where many Reformed, especially those both culturally and theologically conservative, tend to go with the third use of the law. I think there is significant historic precedent for this, and it is quite possibly the reason why every seeming revival of this brand of Christianity seems to phase out before it really takes off.

          I mean, it is true, that Christ calls his disciples to forgive all wrongs committed against them. But the idea of pastors meeting with laity to ensure that this happens sets them up as the discipleship Gestapo. While I do believe that Pastors ought to have the spiritual authority to draw lines, it seems some neo-Reformed want pastors to have all authority to draw every line. This is not conducive to effective spiritual leadership, imo. A Pastor’s authority is better used to forgive sins, rather than prevent them. IMO, you’re better of with just one Pope to answer to.

          • ….i.e. what has allegedly happend to the plaintiffs was an intentionally working out of a particular theology. I’ll recant this theory when I hear the accused defend themselves saying this never happened. Right now they’re only saying, “Government, keep your hands off!” THAT is one of the most deeply disturbing facets of this whole shebang.

  5. Can anybody help me make some coherent sense out of the T4G statement?

    No such accusation of direct wrongdoing was ever made against C. J. Mahaney.

    Seriously? Nobody is accusing him of sanctioning these cover up policies? All the plaintiffs are asserting that other people in his organization did these things and he was completely oblivious to them? …right.

    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.

    What does this mean? Is CJ being accused of founding SGM? Is the Pope being accused of being Catholic? Or are they insinuating that he’s only in the crosshairs because he’s Reformed? I don’t get it. Please clarify!

    For this reason…

    Exactly my problem. I don’t understand their reason for refusing to step away, remaining silent this long, and speaking in such cryptic mysteries about the whole shebang. It sounds like they’re defending CJ from the accusation that he had sexually abused the children himself. I don’t believe anybody is saying that.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Can anybody help me make some coherent sense out of the T4G statement?

      Think “Mistakes were made” and “It all depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

      Looks like it’s not only lawyers who can talk for hours and say absolutely nothing.

    • “What does this mean? Is CJ being accused of founding SGM? Is the Pope being accused of being Catholic? Or are they insinuating that he’s only in the crosshairs because he’s Reformed? I don’t get it. Please clarify!”

      When the first scandel hit and CJ ran to Mark Dever’s church, Al Mohler told a reporter that the bloggers just did not like Mahaney’s “strong leadership”.

      They are positioning this to be about SGM/Mahaney being targeted for anti- Calvinism. That is what the quote meant. They are setting up a deflection tactic. It is working with the YRR faithful.

      In my area, some Calvinist leaders are referring to Calvinism as “conservative” and anything else as “liberal” and not teaching the scriptures correctly. Have already seen this done to a local Baptist college. Turned out the “conservative” prof was a Piperesque Calvinist and the liberal ones were not.

      Problem is, most people do not know that they are positioning the Calvin doctrine as “Conservative” instead of calling it Calvinism. It is really brilliant if you think about it. The word Calvin is becoming a problem for the YRR. Rebranding, I think.

      Just something for folks to watch for.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        The YRR have consistently shown themselves to be more Calvinist than Calvin. Sort of the Khmer Rouge of Calvinism.

        My writing partner (the burned-out Anabaptist preacher) has told me about run-ins with the YRRs in his area. He calls them the “Hyper-Calvinists”, usually young, overwhelmingly arrogant, utterly certain of their own correctness, and steamrollering over others. Guess being one of the Predestined Elect (with that Get Out Of Hell Free card signed by God before the foundation of the world) means never having to say you’re sorry.

        • Spot on HUG. This too has been my experience in dealing with these types.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            From my writing partner’s description, I am reminded of a photo caption from an old history of WW2:

            “The SS in the Balkans — Young, Tough, and Cocky.”

        • Ichabod says:

          “Steamrollering” gave me some flashbacks and makes me think, welcome to Fundamentalism 2.0 I’ve seen this circle the wagons routine before. Their guy is a victim of a smear campaign. Expect to see 100% Hyles (that is C.J.) lapel buttons emerge from this.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            The same Hyles whose pastor’s office had the secret entrance from his mistress’s office so she could service him any time?

            The same Hyles whose sons and protégés ended up running their own megachurches — and usually under investigation for various forms of child abuse?

            The same Hyles whose son-in-law inheritied the megachurch from him, got best known first for his “Polishing a Shaft” sermon, then for getting caught with a jail-bait mistress?

        • “Let your words be seasoned with salt that they may give grace to those that hear” Thats the admonition from the Scriptures.

  6. I wish someone could explain to me what exactly is the Gospel that “The Gospel Coalition” proclaims. Sovereign Grace Ministries would do well just to rename themselves “Sovereign Ministries” since there isn’t any grace in the way they have handled these matters.

    • Well, I agree, except for one thing. Since they aren’t actually ministering to anyone, they should just rename themselves “Sovereign”.

      • +1

      • But they can’t call themselves “Sovereign” either, since they appear to be denying, Iran-Contra style, that the “leadership” knew anything about what was going on. So you have a group called “Sovereign Grace Ministries” that doesn’t show grace, isn’t ministering, and isn’t particularly sovereign.

        Anyone else reminded of the old saw about the “Holy Roman Empire”?

  7. “There is no prophetic voice. Just the quiet of dust hanging then falling on the rubble of what was once a movement.”

    Boy, Mat Redmond absolutely hits the nail on the head… and may I just add: “Ichabod”…

  8. “There is blatant failure here to recognize the complicity of a leader in what transpired under his watch. God have mercy.”

    This is pretty much it for me. They seem to forget he was senior pastor at CLC when all of this occured. So being both the lone head of SGM (after he kicked Larry and Brent to the curb) and senior pastor of CLC, he is somehow not liable for what happened on his watch. Despite the fact that he and his crew degifted countless pastors for far less (and most of which were terminated based on lies about them).

    But the comparison by TGC about this being a “Javert-like obsession” plays right into CJ’s Pastor Conference appearance a few years ago in the middle of his leave of absence. CJ stepped down humbly (or so it seemed) and vowed to take his sins seriously. Then 6 months later he speaks at the PC saying some “friends” told him he didn’t do anything wrong and shouldn’t have stepped down (I think we can guess who these friends were). Then he switches to full victim mode. The transcript, which was confirmed by friends who attended the conference, was frightening.

  9. Dee Parsons says:

    Thank you for this post. I am saddened by the response of TGC and T4G and heartened by Boz Tchividjian whose comment on the T4G Facebook page was deleted along with the rest of the commenters.

  10. Anonymous says:

    A partial transcript of Bill O’Neil’s comments on the nationally syndicated Christian radio program, the Janet Mefferd Show, can be found here. He’s confident church leaders knew what was going on:

    http://solasisters.blogspot.com/2013/05/list-of-interviews-regarding-sgm-child.html

    Bill O’Neil is co-counsel for the (alleged) victims. Elsewhere in the interview he mentions that about 1/3 of the defendants have already been convicted or have gone through the juvenile system for child sex crimes.

    The interview is here and starts at minute 26:00
    http://www.janetmefferdpremium.com/2013/05/20/janet-mefferd-radio-show-20130520-hr-1/

  11. I recall another case in which an accused child-molester got off scot free. Some time later, masked men broke into his house and castrated him. It was never proved who they were.

    • According to Wikipedia, Wayne Dumond was castrated while still awaiting trial. (It is apparently an open question whether he was attacked and castrated by others, or did it himself.) He was later convicted, but paroled after 14 years in prison. But there are similarities between the Dumond case and the SGM case, in that the accused molester was backed largely by evangelical “leaders” seeking to score points against their opponents.

  12. Matthew 18:1-7 (italics mine):

    At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. If anyone causes one of these little ones — those who believe in me — to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!

    Every time I read about this, these are the verses that come to mind.

    • MelissatheRagamuffin says:

      +1 – That verse also makes me doubt that redemption is possible for a child molester. Otherwise, why would Jesus have basically said it would be better to kill someone than let them hurt a child?

      • Well, it’s an example of hyperbole in the same way that Jesus told us to pluck out our right eye if it causes us to sin.

        Redemption is possible for every sinner. Jesus was just making it clear that a sin against the innocent is very grave matter indeed.

        • Actually, it is more than “grave”, if the sinner doesn’t stop, it would be better if he were dead. If he only temporarily stops, yet goes back again, he is better off dead.

          Think of it this way – it would be better for him to be castrated than continue sexually abusing little children? Do you think I mean that figuratively? Do you think the Bible does? No. If one cannot stop sinning (abusing kids), one is better to castrate themselves physically then fall into that sin again. Better for them, better for the little children, better of society at large. The law and courts can’t keep a pedophile locked up forever (usually), so the pedophile is better off physically rendered incapable of harming a child then getting free and doing it again.

          That is not figurative. That is the hard, cold truth. If a man loves Jesus, yet cannot control himself around young children, and society cannot lock him up forever, then he really and truly would get castrated (and want to). That is actually sound teaching. Better he save his soul and a child’s life. There is life beyond sex, it wouldn’t kill him, wouldn’t prevent him from working, and he would be a much better citizen at large. So, not really a bad idea.

          • Certainly, every step should be taken to treat pedophilia, including castration, which can be part of a treatment plan. However, we should be careful to separate medical/psychological treatment and criminal punishment from the language Jesus uses in the passage above. Taken at face value, it basically advocates suicide for that particular sinner, which is not what Jesus literally meant. There has to be the possibility for repentance.

            Do we believe that God’s mercy is all-encompassing, to include even a pedophile? I hope so. Yes, sin against innocent children is especially egregious and results in the most dire consequences. But Jesus can still forgive. We might think it’s not fair, but isn’t that what His mercy is all about anyway?

          • “There has to be the possibility for repentance.”

            Yes, that is how I see it. I am not talking about truly repentant people here. Like I said, a truly repentant pedophile would want to do whatever it takes to stop – they would acknowledge and be moved to prevent the harm done to children. What I was mainly responding to were the (some alleged, some convicted) pedophiles at SGM who were never really repentant. And, there are many other not really repentant pedophiles out there in other congregations.

            Not suicide, castration. Better he castrates himself then repeats the offence. I have heard of some programs where they do chemical (drug induced) castrations. Better safe then sorry and make it permanent in my view.

            Some of the Bible’s greatest characters were celibate or eunuchs (Jesus, Paul, Daniel, the Ethiopian, etc.). I don’t see physical castration as something too horrible to contemplate – it certainly didn’t stop Daniel from living a full life in service to both Babylonian and Persian emperors.

          • I believe that even if a pedophile wanted to be castrated or emasculated for that reason, no doctor would be permitted to do it. Maybe not though… it is odd that I think a man would have more trouble finding a doctor to do (legally) that elective surgery than a purely sex change operation.

            Also, castration is no solution. A neutered male can still abuse children just as badly. Their drive doesn’t entirely disappear. Emasculation would be closer to a solution, but even so, he can still abuse children with objects. It is the heart which needs spiritual circumcision, and unless you render the person a quadroplegic, he is likely to find some way to keep abusing.

  13. Thank you for speaking out about this. I have been writing about it to and will continue to do so. What happened with these two statement is beyond appalling. The legal and political maneuvering is unbelievable. These men have shown they are not even attempting to make a show of being impartial. I don’t know how they sleep at night.

    We’re all watching the beginning of the end of their influence. The curtain has gone up on the final act. It’s just a matter of letting it play out.

    What is ironic to me as someone who is a member of a Christian Reformed church (think Calvin College, etc.) is that most of the Reformed people I know have no idea what is going on. I mentioned the SGM lawsuit to my pastor last week and it was the first he had heard of it. So while these men think they represent all of Calvinism and the Reformed view, they in fact do not. In fact, most people in my own congregation would be appalled at much of what they teach and promote. I’m sure the vast majority have never even heard of SGM or Mahaney.

    The entire thing is just sickening.

    • dumb ox says:

      Others here have said it before, but it bears repeating. The young, restless, and reformed are Fundagelicalism 2.0. I doubt even John Calvin would find much in common with them.

  14. Richard Hershberger says:

    I have no special knowledge of this case, but I note that this: “So the entire legal strategy was dependent on a theory of conspiracy that was more hearsay than anything like reasonable demonstration of culpability” requires a lot of context. (In fairness, this context is present in the post from which it is excerpted.) This was the “entire legal strategy” to overcome the barrier of the statute of limitations. This is a very high barrier indeed. Generally the reasons for it are solid, though in the specific case of child molestation the grounds are weaker. But regardless of the reasons for statutes of limitations, the “theory of conspiracy” had nothing to do with the claims about molestation. The dismissal says nothing one way or the other about those underlying assertions.

  15. Matthew James says:

    I have benefited from T4G and TGC on many occasions, but I find their handling of this situation to be unacceptable. I don’t know what people are doing behind the scenes, but I’m am extremely saddened that those in positions of power and influence within these organizations would use that power to protect their other powerful friends instead of pursuing righteousness without partiality.

    I’m praying for the victims and their families… And I’m glad that it wasn’t one of my kids this happened to (I have two young girls and two young boys) because I don’t think I could have shown the restraint that many of them have shown. One way or another C.J. and I would be having a heart-to-heart that might convince him that confessing his sins, stepping down from the ministry, and retiring to practice humility in some obscure corner of the world might not be that bad of an idea…

  16. It’s also very disappointing that T4G posted that statement on Facebook, and then took it down when they saw that the comments were not in their favour.

    ‘Together for Each Other’ is perhaps a better name for this organisation.

    • Sadly, I have to agree with you Derek. Unless you have that new name for them trademarked, I’m going to start referring to them by that moniker that you coined. It’s spot on.

    • I agree with Alan, brilliant moniker.

  17. Kenneth B says:

    I wonder why reading about SGM make me think about the Steve Taylor song “I Manipulate”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKlZ7U67Uio

  18. I keep hearing these guys asking “where are the Martin Luthers of our day? We need more men like him!” and everyone heartily approves. But when they do stand up (or women do) they are immediately shot down. The good old boys networking/saliva exchange is a total house of cards. Hirelings, useless shepherds, beating the sheep and placating wolves as they feast on the flock. Totally unreal. Lord, please purge your house of these cowards and hypocrites!

  19. Groups like T4G circle the wagons, start counter-accusing, and becomes an obsolete monolith, devoted to nothing much other than the maintaining the reputations of its elite inner circle. That’s my prediction anyway, given their reactions so far and their tendency towards leader-centric tribalism. That’s too bad. I really hope Christendom learns what it needs to from this.