May 242013
 

imagesLast night, Together For The Gospel (Mark Dever, Al Mohler,and Ligon Duncan) released a statement on Facebook defending their buddy and business partner in the “Gospel” C.J. Mahaney.

My guess is that they expected a lot of likes and the Reformed world to fall into lockstep with their pronouncement.

They got some of that…and they got (and deserved)  a firestorm of disgust.

They took the statement down.

Bill Kinnon saved it and it can be accessed here.

Coincidentally, (not) The Gospel Coalition released their love note to Mahaney this morning.

This will be the end of the New Calvinism…which is now the old business of religion with the only difference being a belief in predestination.

Those who claim to be the spiritual descendants of Calvin, Baxter, Ryle, and the Reformers have betrayed our heritage for a mess of pottage and a well attended conference.

We were the last to succumb to the cult of celebrity, but succumb we have.

It was a fun ride while it lasted…

  172 Responses to “Circling The Wagons For God, the Gospel, and Good Business”

  1. Good-bye and good riddance. I sure hope so! It was NOT a fun ride. But then again, I deal directly with many who have been hurt: spiritually, sexually, physically. I’ve been in touch with former SGMers for over a year now – all from different churches and when you hear the same story again and again from various places/sources, you gotta wonder, what in the hell is going on? Because it sure isn’t going on in the heavens. NC is bad news. Very bad news.

  2. […] Michael Newnham’s Phoenix Preacher blog:    Circling The Wagons For God, the Gospel, and Good Business  […]

  3. Please release your restraints and collect your faith as you disembark.

  4. Julie Ann,

    I’m a Calvinist.
    I helped set up the SGM Refuge blog many years ago for my friend Jim.
    Some folks have been fighting this for years as it misrepresents everything we believe our tradition holds dear.
    The problem isn’t in the doctrine, it’s in the fallen nature of man as we see this stuff cross all doctrinal and traditional lines.
    If you are interested in real Reformed pastoral care as it should be, read Richard Baxters “The Reformed Pastor”.
    T4G and The Gospel Coalition boys might want to read it again as well…

  5. “I’m a Calvinist.”

    Aren’t you suppose to be a Christian? Did Calvin die on the cross?

  6. Solomon,

    Christians came in a variety of traditions.
    They are all Christians.
    My tradition is Reformed, so at times it helps to understand what tradition I’m from when I write.
    Calvin died in his bed surrounded by friends.
    I hope I do too.

  7. I don’t believe Julie Ann is saying Calvinism is the doctrinal problem but maybe the patriarchal doctrine being manifest in the NC movement is the problem. But I will let here answer for herself. The fallen nature of man in inclined to distort doctrine which I think is evident within the patriarchal movement as well as in the NC movement with their vision casting. Just a thought.

  8. Michael, I have to offer a slight correction.

    At this point, it would be foolish not to consider that bad actions may be connected to the theology. Doesn’t mean everything has to be scrapped, but all must be evaluated or this will continue to happen.

  9. Josh,

    That’s possible, but the similarities I see between SGM and CC are amazing…and their theologies couldn’t be more different.
    The one place I do think needs observation is the “authority” of the pastor in these groups.
    I think I’ve “pulled rank” once in a couple of decades…and that was to insist that someone go to a doctor.

  10. Don’t think that Al Mohler’s name being on this garbage doesn’t fill me with shame. My first comment was not so much aimed at you, but “us”.

    I find pastoral authority to be a part of theology, namely ecclesiology. Thus, years ago, even on this blog, when people would defend Driscoll and say “but his theology is great”, I’d disagree. His ecclesiology has always been garbage. perhaps you agree with his soteriology, but that is just a portion of the whole picture.
    Something in this system is terribly broken, and that does directly reflect on the beliefs we hold.

  11. Josh,
    Yes, this is what I was getting at. Theology is not just about soteriology or escatology. I think Driscolls church and CC have more similarities in theology than people realize. Some good and some bad.

  12. Andrew, I agree.

  13. New/Neo-Calvinism never really was Calvinism. Ditto, good riddance.

  14. Jules LaPierre on May 24, 2013 at 11:20 am
    New/Neo-Calvinism never really was Calvinism. Ditto, good riddance.

    I’m not aware of the points of divergence between the two. Could you elaborate?
    -MIC

  15. Michael, I come out of the mega industrial complex (behind stage) which was not Reformed. I saw so much abuse of power and spiritual abuse of people that I cannot bellieve to this day I actually lasted as long as I did. What was I thinking?

    I did run to Calvinism for a while thinking it answered the question I had about how could “Christians” who made a living off Jesus could be so evil without batting an eye. What about being born again? New creatures in Christ?. What I found was that Calvin was a worse tyrant and I could not separate his doctrine from his behavior. (yeah, read institutes, etc, etc)

    Here are the differences I found with the evil (lies, deception, lording it over) in the free will mega industrial complex and Calvinism. In the free will world, they tried very hard to hide all this stuff because they knew they would be held responsible if it got out. In fact, the terminology of “servant leader” comes from that world. Thanks to Ken Blanchard and other guys the goal was to have control in a soft gentle way…more with relationships, events, fun, etc. There was more behind the scenes stuff.

    In Calvinism, it was all a part of correct Gospel doctrine. From rabid gender roles to obeying your leaders who care for your soul—all were “salvic”. In Calvin’s Geneva, staying within the mandated courses with each meal was part of building the New Jerusalem. So behavior was micromanaged or the magistrates would visit.

    I think history gives us a clue about the ebb and flow of Calvinism. It always always dies out to an extent or goes liberal. From Geneva to South Africa to Netherlands to American Puritans, they follow a trajectory…see Geneva today. See Amsterdam today. . Many of the Puritans ended up as Yankee Unitarians. Reading Luther, Calvin (and about Calvin), the Puritans, these were not nice guys. They seemed to stay stuck at the cross and where is the Holy Spirit in a Born Again believers life?

    I believe this resurgence was more the real thing and that is why it is imploding. Social media is not good for this resurgence. Please understand I have quite a few Calvinist friends who are very moderate who are just as upset at this resurgence and behavior of the YRR.

    But we really cannot blacken the eye of Christ with this because Calvin is not Christ. But we can blacken what “Christianity” stands for in the public square and that really breaks my heart. I just want folks to understand they are not the same thing.

  16. Mike,
    Here is a pretty good explanation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Calvinism

  17. I’m an Arminian, mostly. But I have many friends who are Calvinists. I consider Michael one of them — along with a number of friends in Toronto, Los Angeles and the UK. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. All of us would call ourselves Christians, first if asked by anyone outside big tent Christianity.

    The issues here are those of power and control. Evil that lives in the hearts of all people. The reason CC and SGM (with its acolytes) are so similar is that evil.

    And Mohler, Duncan, DeYoung et al are certainly about power and control. Sad people that they are.

  18. tough to make headway when your wagons are circled up.

  19. But, but, I thought we need to “forgive unilaterally” and “love” and “leave it to the Lord” and “don’t judge!” and that negative critiques of church leadership is “unloving” and “hateful” and “bitterness” etc?

    I’m very confused right now.

  20. I don’t think you’ve read those things here.
    There is a time and a season to do all of the above…and there is a time to point out injustice.
    None of us do it well or perfectly…but we try to get it right as much as we can.

  21. Believe likes to argue against stuff that wasn’t said. He even puts in in “quotation” marks to make it look like someone said it. But no one said it.

  22. Believe,

    We have lots of guests today…no profanity, please.

  23. Believe,
    I’m confused too and I tend to agree with you on this point.

  24. OK, here’s the Christianeze version:

    I’ve been encouraged on here by many to “unilaterally forgive” and to stop seeking justice and to “let it go” and “leave it to the Lord” etc and that I am “bitter” and “hateful” etc and that only God can deal with injustice and “vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord” and we need to just love and extend grace and drop the sword etc.

    I’ve got a zillion posts and a zillion emails, a ton from the PhxP CC pastors.

    But, it seems that going after injustice in other Camps/Competitors is kosher. The CC guys probably won’t pile on, but they certainly won’t get in the way of folks bashing their competition.

    Piles and piles of bull-pucky.

    Josh, folks have made those exact statements on here and in emails and articles etc. I hope you’re ok and not having a health issue.

  25. Michael, why why why do you tolerate an obvious (Can’t say the word) who is here to cause trouble???

  26. I wonder how successful the early settlers really were in fighting off the savages when they circled their wagons? Anyone have any stats on that?

  27. Ahhhhh, once again, the thread becomes all about what’s his name. It’s so predictable.

  28. They had circular reasoning. In a round about way across the prayerie.

  29. Believe,

    We have covered your story from the beginning in detail.
    We’ve allowed you personally to disrupt and dominate this forum.
    If you’ve been encouraged to walk away for a season it’s because many of those reading here believe that it’s taking a huge toll on your personally, emotionally, and spiritually.
    It’s been for your benefit, not for the benefit of those who have been abusive.
    I’m crushed for time today, I simply ask for some moderation and respect on your part as many read here for the first time.

  30. Passing by- how could it not be? It is an issue.

  31. “Josh, folks have made those exact statements on here and in emails and articles etc. I hope you’re ok and not having a health issue.”

    Any time Alex disagrees with me now, he goes after my brain issue. This is very damaging. It was the most traumatic thing I’ve ever been through, in a pretty traumatic life.

    Alex please stop this. Its not funny.

  32. Josh,

    My apologies, I missed that reference.

  33. I’m guessing God is for unilateral forgiveness and leaving it to the Lord…if you are the Offender or the friend of an Offender.

    I’m guessing God is for justice and accountability if you are the Offended or the friend of the Offended.

  34. “We were the last to succumb to the cult of celebrity, but succumb we have.”

    That’s just the nature of man. Whether it’s religious, political or any other walk of life, we all seem to succumb to the cult of celebrity in some way or fashion eventually.

  35. Alex??

  36. believe,
    your condescending attitude knows no bounds. Perhaps hanging here with us idiots has damaged you—you know, stupidity by association. Save yourself. Leave while you’re still a half-wit.

  37. I can understand why Believe is frustrated. It must seem like deju vu all over again. The SGM people are going to have to eventually forgive and get on with their lives, too, even if they never get justice.

    Also, as I understand it, the reason the statue of limitations ran out on some of those cases is that SGM told them not to call the police. For reasons I cannot fathom, the parents went along with this terrible advice.

    This, once again, demonstrates the power for evil that can come from a good ol’ boys club. We all need to take stock of our own lives. Are we ourselves part of some good ol’ boys club? Do we deride the complaints and hurts of people outside our own little group of friends so we can stay in good graces with our crowd? That gives me something to think about.

  38. Michael was indeed the tipping point that led to the creation of sgm refuge. I had been out of sgm for two years, and sgm survivors was 6 months old. At that time, they had a very active forum that they were about to shut down. I was considering keeping the forum alive, and called Michael for advice. He saved me the misery of running a forum, but encouraged me to start a blog, given my former insider’s perspective. In the early days, I considered Michael my “blog mentor”, as he patiently gave me a ton of excellent advice.

    Refuge only lasted 4 1/2 years, as I got to the point where I felt that I had let sgm take more than enough of my life. Additional blogs, and the attention that Brent’s docs and finally the lawsuit brought to the table allowed me to feel that it was ok to bow out of the conversation.

  39. I got to the point where I felt that I had let sgm take more than enough of my life.<<<

    ^^^^^

  40. With all love and compassion, I am not sure it makes sense to come on here and confess a weakness, and then not expect it to be fair game.

    Look at the beating I have taken for confessing to having a major mancrush on Todd Bentley. 🙂

  41. There has been one person that has made fun of my aneurysm. PP Vet, everyone else has had no problem avoiding that “weakness”.

  42. Regarding sgm’s soteriology, they seem to be incapable of keeping their hands out of the pie. they tweak everything they touch, at times making the original concepts unrecognizable.

    Please don’t judge Reformed soteriology based on sgm’s version. The doctrine of sin in the life of a believer became an over-emphasized, perverted tool used to control the sheep in the hands of these domineering little men.

  43. ppvet,
    a major mancrush on Todd Bentley would be considered a weakness…but not a besetting sin. 😉

  44. Jim – appreciate your perspective on this.

  45. JH, Jesus was pretty clear that inappropriate words demean the source, not the target. As JPG&R said so eloquently, Let it be.

    Once the mean bully Hardesty boys took me down to the beach to see if I could take on their little brother Jimmy. But they said, You cannot punch him here and here, because he just had surgery.

    If you want to ask for prayer, fine.

    But if you want to get in the ring, of Internet conflicting opinions, no mercy.

    Lots of love, hopefully!

    But, in a way, for the sake of honest and effective debate, no special exceptions, no mercy.

    Be anonymous, have fun, fight fair and when others do not, ignore it (or at most maybe make fun of it).

    May the best ideas win.

  46. Sorry, PP Vet – I won’t go after traumatic events from the lives of others, and I won’t allow it to be done to me either.

  47. For the sake of Andrew – While many have said that forgiving and moving on is the ultimate solution, most all of them have also said that would not be the first bit of counsel given when sitting down with a victim. Hope that helps your confusion.

  48. Hi Jim,
    I have never been part of sgm but I can definitely see how the doctrine of sin in the life of a believer can be over-emphasized. I have experienced this many times. Matter of fact, just yesterday, I posted a remark on a blog. The moderator immediately discerned my motive and called it sin. But I am thankful to Believer who said it wasn’t sin. But then he took it up on appeal so not sure. Hope people can appreciate the humor yet at same time get your point which rings loud and clear to me whether it is sgm or anyone else.

  49. One thing hitting me hard these days, especially going through Proverbs, is to see how much the Lord detests a false witness. Not simply lying – but a false witness.

    To claim someone said or did something that they did not say or do is a huge sin in the eyes of the Lord. There is a process of omission…half-truths, that can also result in a false witness. Again, not a direct lie.

    And it is so easy to do online. How important it is to not deliberately falsely represent another’s words or actions, and if done by accident to repent when called out.

  50. Steve Wright, good point. Thank you for that perspective.

  51. Jim, I really appreciate what you had to say.

  52. Hope you don’t mind me dropping a good portion of Boz Tchividjian’s worthy facebook comment re: Dever, Duncan, Mohler’s Statement (saved by Kinnon).

    “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.

    “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 when they discouraged these precious souls from stepping forward.

    . . . .

    “What these men don’t realize is that their silence is pushing a large group of precious souls farther and farther from the Church…and our glorious and gracious God. [sigh]”

    Boz Tchividjian, J.D.
    Executive Director, GRACE

  53. Wow PPV. You really think its ok for people to make fun of someone about a physical issue they have absolutely no control over??!
    Most people think of it as a form of bullying. But, now I understand better why you think TB deserves accolades.

  54. Typical twisting of my words, L, hardly worthy of a response.

  55. monax,
    Boz Tchividjian, J.D., did a good conference at CCphilly on child abuse recently. Its worthwhile to listen to. Its available online but unfortunately not many attended the conference. Its also been suggested that they should include domestic abuse into the conference since this usually is part of a bigger systemic problem but I doubt that would ever be accepted into a patriarchal institution. However, I hope they can do that in the future if they put the conference on again.

  56. Not really twisting at all.
    You told josh that he shouldn’t complain if someone makes fun of having had a brain anyuresum.
    That he should be prepared for that.

    He can’t help that he had an anyuresum, so why should it be ok for anyone to make fun of a potentially life threatening event.

    It’s not funny or kind. And it’s not ok to encourage it by saying he should somehow tolerate or expect it. Most people do not make fun of things like that.

    He’s right to ask for it to be off limits.

  57. I try very hard to ignore the “baiting by misrepresentation” technique that L has resorted to here.

    I will make an exception and respond in this case, but only to make a larger point.

    One of the most underhanded and jejune abuses here at PP is to misrepresent or exaggerate the position of someone in order to bait them into having to respond.

    In this case, of course I never said bullying was OK or good.

    But L said, right there for all one billion Internet readers to see, that I said bullying was OK.

    What I said was, One should not expect special treatment, one should play fair (that includes no bullying by the way), and one should usually just ignore it when others do not play fair.

    L’s more recent comment #56, which I now see, is actually quite reasonable. I disagree, but she has a point and has stated it well.

  58. Actually PP. you are misrepresenting me, not the other way around.
    I said what I said as a gut reaction to your words to josh.
    Not as a way to bait anybody.

  59. someone wrote – “believe,
    your condescending attitude knows no bounds. Perhaps hanging here with us idiots has damaged you—you know, stupidity by association. Save yourself. Leave while you’re still a half-wit.”

    This doesn’t seem necessary, does it? I typically only see 20 or so people on line here so I’m not sure who’s supposedly being protected from Believe…

  60. thanks for the heads-up on Tchividjian, Andrew. .

  61. Ok we’ll call it a draw. And sincere support vibes to JH for his situation.

    I have learned there are many paths others have followed that go beyond my ability to empathize.

  62. Michael – God bless you for helping Jim with his Refuge site. Jim – Bravo to you, brother. What a gift and ministry you were to me. I probably would not ever have blogged without reading Refuge/Survivor blogs. I was sad to see it go, but understand it was time. I read both sites since close to their inception, but didn’t participate much because I was not a SGM member.

    :::::rant warning::: I”m a redhead and I’m using that excuse for the following:

    I read lots and lots of abuse stories now because of my blog (lots that never get posted). Through that I can see patterns. There is an unmistakable pattern that I see with NC churches (let’s not confuse that with regular Reformed). Some will argue that it’s not the doctrine, but all I know is the behavioral patterns I see. Why is it that so many share the same patterns? I don’t know and I don’t care, but the stinking fruit left from men who have those similar patterns is rotten to the core. So many are abandoning the faith – – don’t get on me on “well, they weren’t elected to begin with” Whatever. There is something going on in these churches where people are left feeling that they can never measure up – that God’s grace is just not good enough for them. They may “say” grace, but they do not show it in their actions. The way they lead is similar – – no talk, no question, just obey.

    Look at the pattern just this week with Piper and now with these T4G guys. The pattern of putting something out there, then yanking it down, not allowing people to talk. Some of it is theology related, other image/damage control to cover up for their friend.

    Piper put up an obnoxious Tweet and said it was a loving gesture if you really look at the message of Job. Who was his intended audience? The OK victims? Really? I think not. They were probably helping people find places to eat/sleep like good citizens. So in that case, his intended audience was everyone else – people not in OK. So why would he say that to us? Think about it.

    Then we had T4G posting on FB, allowing over 100 comments to be posted and then they yanked it down and eventually put it back up at their own website and do NOT allow any discussion whatsoever, throwing away all of the comments from FB.

    Why? What are they afraid of? They do this behavior on their blogs, too. They dish out their stuff, but when it cuts too close for comfort, they delete comments or shut down comments. They do this behavior at their churches? That’s why people were unable to get counseling, get help from civil authorities, etc. Don’t talk, don’t question. Just shut up and do what we say.

    I’m a woman – supposed to be weak, right? I allow comments and people to disagree on my blog. If I see someone hurting a victim, those comments are removed because my blog is to be a safe place for victims, but when it comes to arguing with me and challenging me – bring it on, baby. I don’t care. If I I’m right. Fine. If I’m wrong, then that’s even better that I learned something. I’m a work in progress. Why are these men unable to allow themselves to be challenged? I’m so freakin’ tired of these men so hot on the biblical manhood stuff. “We’ll show you men how to be godly men and follow the Biblical role of husbands because there are so many weak Christians out there.” Let me tell you, the weakest Christian men are these so-called Christian leaders who have a celebrity-like audience and blogs and speak and ignore the cries of defenseless children. I am fed up with it. Why is it always about these men and protecting their stupid image? Who is going to defend the children who have been abused?

    I wish I was as smart as some of you to identify what key issues make NC go over the top. I don’t know enough doctrinally to do that. All I know is the bad fruit I see when someone tells me their abuse stories from an NC church and we’re talking NC churches across the board, not just SGM. Why are their so many bad stories from so many of these doctrinally similar churches?

    I need to pack for a trip and driving for 4 hrs and it’s probably a good thing because I just got worked up in this post. 🙂 Thanks for letting me rant.

    .

  63. I’m really starting to like Julie Anne. 🙂

    Julie Anne – I think that is a real good word. I found myself agreeing with you throughout.

    I’m a big believer that you think long and hard before you post something, and when you do, then you leave it up there. Don’t just delete it. If needed, then apologize for a prior mistake, but leave both the mistake and the apology up there for all to see.

    That should be a minimum for online integrity in the Body of Christ. All the more so for our ‘celebrities’ with large audiences. You can’t unread something – just like you can’t unring a bell.

  64. I stand with Boz! Boz Tchividjian at Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed.

  65. A draw it is then

  66. My proofreader was not on duty evidently. Ok, off to the green/wet side of WA state. TTYL 🙂

  67. mrtundraman,
    it was me who wrote your quote in #59. It was a plea for Believe to protect himself from us. I was moved to write it based on his #24 and the relentless criticism of this site, its host, and guests. It may seem a bit harsh, but his hide is thick and he can certainly dish it. Besides, the insults all fell on others and myself, not on him. Yet, thanks for the call for civility, I’ll try to comply.

  68. Julie Ann,

    Jim is a great friend and a great man…I’m proud to have been associated with him.

  69. Lord willing, I’m off on a trip as well.
    Be back Sunday night.

  70. Julie Anne,
    This is not just a problem in our churches but in the society as a whole. All you need to do is look at the scandals in military happening now.

  71. Have a safe trip, Michael.

  72. Cheers, Julie Anne! I think your drive will do you well. Another V-ball tournament?

    . .

    You know, in any healthy relationship there needs to be open, honest, loving communication. In other words—accountability, transparency and understanding.

    This is how trust and authority (i.e., the power to persuade) develops—through gracious dialogue, so that church cultures, for instance, are truly Spirit-led as they corporately deliberate and discern the will and ways of God for their lives. [[ Yes, as said above, we have an ecclesiastical problem, particularly in regards to a false idea of what it means to wield elder/pastoral authority ]]

    Every minister of Christ worthy of his/her salt should pray as with the heart of David: “Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it.”

    When I’ve been out-of-line I’ve been tremendously blessed to have righteous, loving friends in my life to tell me so. Every time I want to kiss them all over with gratitude for reminding me of the standard I’ve been called to live up to.

    As teachers, every challenge is an opportunity to learn, to teach and ultimately to share discernments. As truly wise fathers possess the faith to consider that their beloved children just might possess a keener gift of discernment than they (( for what godly father wouldn’t want his children to be wiser than he? )) so too may wise ministers have enough understanding to know that others just may possibly possess a wiser perspective on particular matters than they. So we listen, so we know how to respond and be corporately edified.

    Seems, however, these men in closing down the comments, neither want to listen, nor respond—for if you don’t listen, you don’t have anything to respond to.

    Also, and I’ll end my own rant with this: Sometimes just being given a voice to express one’s anger and frustration, tends to defuse the frustration and helps make sense of the anger. Allowing hte facebook comments to roll would have been tremendously healthy and healing, imo

  73. Michael, hopefully you won’t be checking the comments here every 5 minutes 😉

  74. From my perspective, London was the hands down winner of that exchange!

  75. “Every minister of Christ worthy of his/her salt should pray as with the heart of David: “Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it.”

    I guarantee you David wasn’t singing that tune when he was messing with Bathsheba when he shouldn’t have been.

  76. Ahh, but when a righteous man, the prophet Nathan, did rebuke him—David did not refuse it.

    David response was consistent to his psalm.

  77. also, how does one rebuke a king? for “a kings wrath is a messenger of death” (Prov 16:4a).

    likewise, how does one rebuke some of the kingpins and pastors in churches like Calvary Chapel Visalia, for instance?

  78. David, like all of us from time to time in our lives was not always consistent.

    Thank God he eventually repented of what he had done. He set a good example for all of us to follow for sure.

  79. I don’t know why anyone would be surprised, it had to happen this way. More sure then gravity. It cant change even if it wanted to, it just cant, the sun would stop shining if it did. That is my non pessimistic slant on this situation.

  80. Passing by, you say: “I guarantee you David wasn’t singing that tune when he was messing with Bathsheba when he shouldn’t have been.”

    And you know this how?

    Perhaps in the deep depths of David’s soul there was a voice crying out for a righteous man to rebuke him (like his friend Joab would do) as he moved with pride toward the object of his lust.

    I know personally when I act out in sin and grieve the Holy Spirit I often cry out from the inner depths of my soul what Paul cried, “O Why, O Why am I doing in the flesh what my spirit detests? Who will Save Me! Save me from my wretched and selfish sins!”

  81. Once again, the lawsuit was thrown out. Stop assuming guilt Michael. You aren’t giving them due process. These accusations are very serious. If you don’t have proof then stop accusing!!

  82. A dismissal of a suit because of a statute of limitations doesn’t seem like it’s the same thing as complete exoneration or even a lack of evidence … does it?

  83. Here is an article from Boz Tchividjian who was quoted a little bit earlier in this thread. Boz has a legal background and is an expert on child abuse issues, particularly within church settings. He does not proclaim guilt or innocence on the case, but expresses grave concerns as to how many of these Christian leaders are handling the case.

    http://netgrace.org/where-are-the-voices-the-continued-culture-of-silence-and-protection-in-american-evangelicalism/

  84. Statute of limitations is there for a reason. It’s not there to let the guilty go free but to protect the innocent. The lawsuit was thrown out. The SGM leadership had the stronger case. Enough said. Innocent until proven guilty. Proverbs 18:17 Now, resume all your gossip, slander, and ignorance….good night.

  85. A statute of limitation can apply even to defendant who is found guilty, actually. It depends on the field of law in question.

  86. Hi Scott! Wow! You put everyone in their place for sure! Nobody has ever used that one before!

    I despise trolls who blatantly idolize their tribes.

    Goodnight

  87. Hey Scott: You have been misinformed about the case. There were at least 2 news stories sending out wrong info. I contacted two reporters and forwarded the e-mail I received from Attorney Susan Burke after inquiring about their stories which I found to be off.

    Here is a direct quote from Susan which she gave me permission to post publicly regarding the recent ruling:

    The case remains pending for two plaintiffs against Maryland defendants. The court dismissed all Virginia defendants. ~Attorney Susan Burke, May 19, 2013

    Ms. Burke has 10 days to appeal this ruling. Additionally, there are ongoing criminal investigations. If there are criminal charges filed, the Statute of Limitations are not the same – in fact, they benefit the plaintiffs. Here’s a post I wrote recently on the Statute of Limitations issue and how it affected this case. Also included is a chart showing Maryland’s statutes in both civil and criminal cases. See for yourself. http://goo.gl/YTHJv

    Monax, you’re right – a volleyball weekend. Bump, set, spike!

  88. I will ask this with a few provisions, first I am most likely wrong (something I have been told most, nope all of my “christian” experience”)

    Second I do not wish to offend and I may ask it in a way that is not perfect, something I struggle with as God only accepts absolute perfection, always and in every single aspect of our lives in every deed, thought, action, and the many nuances that fill in the blanks.

    Third I may misstate it, it may not be worded with absolute perfection and apologetic focus. But this community has seemed willing to allow such questions for which I am thankful. Even my qualifications may be wrongly worded so I caveat that with I might be wrong, misunderstand, blinded by my sin, deceived by Satan, fill in the blank. I hope that covers it, the last time I wrote a letter to a Christian organization with some basic concerns, four of the five pages were caveats, apologies, admitting I am human trash and other such qualifiers needed to bring up a concern. It failed miserably.

    So here it is, as I understand it, (and I could be wrong, last caveat) We are guilty of our sin, even before we could sin we were guilty of it as children of Adam. We are totally culpable to a Holy God whom we have offended with an eternal offense by the very fact that we are alive. Because we are not perfect and corruption rules in our members, from our ability to consciously sin, to the unconscious thoughts we may have when we asleep that might be lustful, angry, etc. Because the cell division that goes on second by second in our physical bodies is also not perfect that to is an offense to God and a direct result of the fall, of which every one of us is directly linked and totally responsible to God, pre born, born and aged all the same. How God deals with us is His prerogative and by His sovereign every single second of our lives, every thought, every single growing of a hair, flake of skin that we shed, the life and death of every single animal, Amoeba, microbe, virus etc operates only through and by Divine Fiat and by His decree. But we are totally responsible for our offense of not being perfect, every single thought, hint, subtle momentary flash of thought that does not measure up to total perfection is damnable by definition. This can go on for literally, well I stopped at 20 pages but basically this is what we are, each of us and ever single human soul that has lived from the very foundations, no before the foundations of the universe is guilty of. What to hear something I have no problem with this, when defined to me, I know what I am, wont restate it here. But I have a hard time attributing this to others. A moral, spiritual, and human failure on my part.

    The other part is I have an extremely hard time attributing to sentient beings traits of inadament objects. That has always bothered me I tend to give humans a higher place in the scheme of things the say tables, chairs, pots, etc. Sentient beings are far more viable channels of God’s grace then they are broken hell bound vessels of wrath. And the last, to the fathers / mothers / etc. I raised one child, cost me big time and I mean that but it was worth it, he was not my biological child. I took care of many others, some extremely violent, I mean bite the eyeballs out of your face violent and never, not one time ever did I see them as enemies. Not once ever. How can one look at their own children with such thoughts? I cant imagine that, I struggle with it and often spend hours on my face begging God to enlighten me to how He can be that way. The bible is very clear that He is that way, well sometimes. Again, I may be wrong, often am, and I affirm all of the negative of scripture applies to me, personally, the positive, not so much, if at all I get that part of the faith in spades. I have said this before and again on offense, it really is not very good news to the vast majority of humanity Catholics, EO, Anglicans, Many Lutherans, Atheist, feminists, Buddhists, Muslims, just plain confused folks like myself, etc. It really is not.

  89. Testing

  90. Josh, my advice is for you to unilaterally forgive me, leave it to the Lord, don’t be bitter, vindictive and hateful. You’re in the “greater sin of unforgiveness” (says Chuck Smith).

    ^^^ That’s how the SGM and CC and others turn the tables on the Offended. Suddenly, you’re the bad guy and in sin for “unforgiveness”…when the reality is you’ve been hurt and offended and have a right to be ticked off and want justice and accountability and some resolution to the offense.

  91. Scott Miller said, “Once again, the lawsuit was thrown out. Stop assuming guilt Michael. You aren’t giving them due process. These accusations are very serious. If you don’t have proof then stop accusing!!”

    More from Scott Miller, “Statute of limitations is there for a reason. It’s not there to let the guilty go free but to protect the innocent. The lawsuit was thrown out. The SGM leadership had the stronger case. Enough said. Innocent until proven guilty. Proverbs 18:17 Now, resume all your gossip, slander, and ignorance….good night.”

    1. You don’t have proof, yet you are “accusing”. Michael could be right, where is your Absolute proof that he is wrong?

    Just because a lawsuit is dismissed does not a true rendering of guilt or innocence before God make, it only means the issue was rendered a judgment in a civil legal setting which is hugely imperfect.

    Do you really believe that every civil lawsuit verdict determines Absolute guilt or innocence in the (assumed) all-seeing eyes of God? I can list a zillion examples where a man-court got it wrong in either direction and justice was not served in either direction.

    Jesus was judged by a Roman Court as guilty. Game over.

    2. Statute of Limitations is there, largely, to keep the Court System from being tied up with too many cases. California made a recent decision to keep the Statute for fear of being flooded with more Catholic Abuse lawsuits from victims who were not able (for a variety of reasons) to come forward before the Statute had expired in the civil context.

    Is there a spiritual Statute of Limitations? No. Scott, you seem to be asserting that the church is to appeal to the civil court authority to judge spiritual guilt or innocence in a matter and that defies the teaching and example of Paul the Apostle in 1 Corinthians. I thought you neo-reformed guys were big on the jot and tittle of “scripture” being God?

    Obviously, the “church”…in this case SGM (a distant bastard child of the once unified Body, thanks Martin Luther)…”ruled” against the abuse victims. The victims appealed to a civil authority since they got no justice within the “church”. So far, some of the victims are getting the cold reality of injustice from both the church and civil authority. It happens often. Hopefully the criminal investigations will net some justice for the victims. If not, they are going to have to deal with the pain and frustration of injustice. Life isn’t fair. Bad stuff happens, the “church” is often very evil and the devil (if the devil is a real entity) does his best work in the “church” sometimes (“get behind me satan!”–Jesus to Peter).

    I don’t know whether the victims who don’t get justice are to unilaterally forgive their abusers and the church who, IMO, are co-conspirators and have re-abused the victims. I do know that the bible seems to say on one hand to “unilaterally forgive”…yet God doesn’t unilaterally forgive (it is assumed by neo-calvinists and many others) and sends folks to hell for eternity.

    Are we humans held to a higher standard than God Himself? Seems so in the neo-calvinist Scott Miller construct.

  92. Either that or Determinism is true and god is a very mean son of gun who f’s with people and then sends a few to heaven and the rest to hell, just because.

    I sure hope the Hyper-Determinist-Calvinist god isn’t really god. If so, god sure seems like a caricature of a petty mean-spirited third-world dictator who rewards blind loyalty and pretty much nukes and tortures everyone else.

    I much prefer the Gahndi Jesus God of the Gospels and New Testament (minus the White Horse blood-thirsty Conquering Warrior Jesus of Revelation).

    Dunno. I do know human beings are immensely flawed creatures, dualistic (good and evil), yet beautiful “sentient” (love that word brian 🙂 ) beings who are quite remarkable despite the blemishes.

    Even Scott Miller is lovely in his exampling in the irony and paradox which is humanity.

  93. Julie Anne, you’re doing awesome work in trying to make a dent. I don’t know how you do it without it making you more jaded and cynical. I can’t read the emails after emails and terrible stories within CC any longer without wanting to skin Steve Wright and the other CC pastors alive with a dull butter knife and then dip them in rubbing alcohol, lather them in bacon and then release a pack of ravenous mongrel dogs on them (all hyperbole and metaphor of course, in reality I “love” Steve Wright and the CC pastors and unilaterally forgive them for “they know not what they do” etc and Gahndi Jesus forgives everyone except the devil and the anti-christ and Judas, so why shouldn’t I?)

  94. C.J. Mahaney looks like the love-child of Chuck Smith and Ted Haggard…just sayin’.

  95. I’m taking over the blog! LOL 😆 I love getting up early and being off moderation. Woohoo! The patient has taken over the Asylum!!!!

    What else. Hmmm. I already explained my back-handed point in the Josh thing, deconstructed Scott Miller’s drive-by, tied in CC to the SGM story, gave props to Jezzy B, took shots at calvinism while affirming universalism and made fun of C.J. Mahaney. I’m leaving something out….

    Oh yah, filbertz and London.

    I’m going to be intentional and “choose” unilaterally forgive you and to “love” you. Blessings on both of you and may the God of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control come upon you, overtake you and fill with you so much love and joy that there is no room for hatred and bitterness and contention.

  96. brian,
    It looks to me and my pea brain that you have been beaten down for a long time. You are a genius trapped in the chains of your past. It’s true that we are born in the sin of Adam and we have a continual sin nature. But there’s another side of the equation. Do you believe the bible at all? I hope you do cuz that’s the only source of hope there is for anybody. When God looks at brian what does He see? If you come to Him and if you have confessed your sin and asked Him for help he offers it freely and completely. When you put your trust in what Jesus did on the cross for you God looks at you and sees Jesus. God clothes you in all the attributes of Jesus. Your sin is completely covered, washed away, put as far from you as far as the east is from the west. Most of us don’t get healed in this life but we will be completely free in eternity. I wish it was easier. I wish it was simple but then we wouldn’t need to rely on God all the time.
    Jesus said He didn’t come for well people but for sick people. Do you qualify? I think you do. What is holding you back from resting in God’s love?
    Think of all the help you’ve given to those who really need you. Multiply that times a million. That’s how much God cares about brian. This is the dichotomy of living the Christian life. There are two of me. I acknowledge both. There is my sinful nature which is tied to the flesh and there is my new nature- my spirit which communes with God. Until we die we have to live in this dichotomy.
    I can’t offer you to come sit with you but I will pray for you. Also, I offer you what I’ve offered before. My church is Redwood Chapel in Castro Valley, CA. You will be loved and accepted.
    You and I have something in common. We are both attracted to people who abuse us. This blog is a good example. why do I visit here? I need my head examined cuz what I see here is mostly arguing.
    Jesus went to the cross for the joy that was set before Him. Do you know what that joy is? It’s the joy of redeeming people like you and me. It’s the joy of welcoming us into His heaven. He places value on us. Why? Cuz He made us and cuz He is love.

  97. Gary, piece of advice, rather than preach at brian and rather than trying to fix brian…listen to him and allow him to fix you. He’s one of the wisest voices on here, he’s helped me a ton.

  98. Gary, all that twisting and turning you did above looks so painful. Relax. brian has it right, IMO. “It’s not your fault”. If God truly is real, He’s not the petty vindictive dictator tyrant of the Christian Fundamentalist.

  99. Believe, DUDE, when DO you sleep?

  100. I’m so sorry, Believe.

  101. Ya, some folks think I’m “crazy” or bi-polar or whatever. Some have called me autistic. The truth is, I’ve been evaluated for that stuff and no go. I’m weird, but it’s because of high iq. My brain works differently than the vast majority of folks and it has social challenges that I’m able to manage better in person than in expressing myself online. Drinking alcohol helps give me a break once in awhile and helps turn things off.

  102. believe,
    you’re rockin’ this morning.
    -mic

  103. Believe,
    I just want to throw this out there not to cause confusion but for clarity. In the reformed world, I believe God is thought to unilaterally forgive the elect. This comes from the 5 points and the TULIP doctrine of Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement. Irresistible Grace and Perseverance of the saints. Whether you agree with them or not is not my point other than I do believe for the elect, with this somewhat over systematized formula states that God alone unconditionally and unilaterally forgives since people are dead in our trespasses and are made alive with rebirth which causes one to repent. In this doctrine rebirth happens immediately when one repents but it is the rebirth caused solely by God (monergism) that causes the repentance not the repentance causing the rebirth. . At least this is my understanding of reformed soteriology and logically I agree with it but not sure completely onboard with all points.

  104. I haven’t read this whole thread, but, I must say I’m proud of our brothers and sisters in Christ who have fought the corruption in SGM and who were not afraid to call TGC on the carpet for a disingenuous and dangerous statement.

    That’s how you deal with bullies– you call them on it. And you keep calling them on it and you ask for prayer so you can stand.

    My prayers go out to the victims and to the defenders of the victims.

  105. Believe, nice to see you alive and kicking, my friend!

    all my love and blessings to you and yours. .

    David

  106. Thanks Monax, good seeing you as well friend! Still alive, sometimes kicking (and screaming) 🙂

  107. Since I didn’t wrong you in anyway Believe, there’s really nothing to forgive, but thanks for the gesture.

  108. Last night I read SMG Survivers for the 1st time and the last time.lt made my stomach go sour.Mahaney never abandoned the sheperding doctrine that came in to being during the 70s.

  109. Dude,
    You are absolutely right. I deal with quite a few ex-SGMers. Like most spiritual abuse, there is a detox process. It messes with your head and your faith. Some abandon God or church entirely.

  110. “In this doctrine rebirth happens immediately when one repents but it is the rebirth caused solely by God (monergism) that causes the repentance not the repentance causing the rebirth.”

    In that world do the carts pull along the horses?

  111. believe,
    Thank you so much for affirming my attempt to connect with brian, and I really appreciate how others affirm you. I’m not worthy of this blog. maybe I should look elsewhere for fellowship. I’m having a hard time relating to y’all. I admit it. I don’t get it.

  112. personally, Gary, i felt good about your reaching out with encouragement to brian—our brother needs it. We all do. I sincerely appreciate what you wrote and I affirm all that you said. At the same time I affirm all that Alex feels. And I am thankful for the two of you as my brothers in (( the broken f’ed-up body of )) Christ.

    thank You Jesus

  113. Who is Alex? I was referring to Believe.

  114. oops! my mistake. . i should have wrote Believe. . that’s who i meant. .

  115. Are you sure you didn’t really mean Alex? That might splain why everyone here is so affirming of him. Otherwise it’s beyond me cuz all I see from believe is mockery and insults. Am I the only one in the dark?

  116. Gary, this is my first thread i remember reading Believe’s comments in. . i’m not a regular here. . and Yes, i’m speaking of Alex but should have referred to him as Believe. . my bad. .

    i was actually entertained by what Believe was throwing into the circle here this morning. . he was preaching some truth, imo

  117. Gary,
    You’re worthy.

    You’re stepping into a party where many of us enjoy the sport of wearing name badges and face masks. Sometimes someone steps out and returns with a different “persona”, hence the agreement to respect the persona.

    Believe has been a regular here, we love Believe.

    I agree with Believe, brian is our ironic late night sage and we love him for his style and many years and shared tears.

  118. Gary thanks for the invitation it means a lot, maybe I might come and visit. You wrote some very nice sentiments and I appreciate it and I do not use the word sentiment derogatorily it was the only phrase I could think of.

    “What is holding you back from resting in God’s love?”

    I did that when I first became a “Christian”, big mistake on my part. To fall into His arms rest in His love, it was exciting, I actually let go, another big mistake on my part. It started with Jesus, then it was soteriology, eschatology, epistemology, ecclesiology, Cessationism, Complementarianism, federal headship, actually this list goes on for well over three pages on small font. It is hard to find rest in that to be honest. If one joins the online and offline discussions regarding these subjects one will find some of the most vicious rhetoric between camps that are very close. I have seen friends of decades walk away from each other over simple differences in some obscure subject. Ones employment, health care, even family ties can be severed over any of these issues. I find no rest in that, non what so ever. Where I do find rest is that you took the time to write out a message of hope to me a fellow human. I see that as the Gospel. I hope you see my meaning.

  119. So here’s another drive-by from me: The burden of proof is on those who are accusing SGM of a massive coverup (aka “conspiracy”). The judge said “no”. There isn’t a sufficient argument to continue the civil lawsuit based upon those grounds. It seems like the bloggers here and on the other anti-SGM websites have a different burden of proof….”CJ and the SGM leadership are GUILTY until THEY can prove themselves innocent.” Is that really how it works? Is that fair to them? I thought that the Gospel Coalition’s statement was wise. NOBODY is endorsing child abuse. NOBODY is even denying that there were abuses 25-30 years ago. The issue here is did anyone in SGM commit crimes once those charges were brought up? Did CJ and others in SGM commit crimes? Was there a massive conspiracy? The answer to that is a big NO. Proverbs 18:17.

    Imagine if someone set up a website and accused Michael Newnham (or you) of a massive sexual abuse coverup? Imagine if they allowed every bitter Tom, Dick, and Harry to post accusations on that site. If I were Michael (and innocent), then my first words would be, “Is this really a godly way to deal with these very serious accusations? Do I have to PROVE myself innocent? Am I not presumed innocent until proven guilty?” Imagine the emotional hurt that that would cause Michael and his family? Would YOU want to be the subject of countless late night bloggers attacks…..no filters, no fact checking, no way to prove your case? It’s insanity.

    Fellas, CJ and the others in SGM leadership are REAL human beings. They have families and all the stresses of life just like you and me. Put yourself in their shoes for a second. How would you feel? How would you feel around your own children knowing that they know what you are being accused of? These people are real people.

    So here we are. The civil lawsuit (not even a criminal case) is quickly thrown out by an experienced judge. No grounds for a trial. Now we can do two things with this–remain bitter and imagine the very worst, or respect the courts decision, assume innocence until PROVEN guilty, and pray for SGM and their future. Pray for the victims of these alleged crimes. Pray for love, humility, repentance, and reconciliation. Pray that I’d get the idea of innocent until proven guilty through my thick bitter skull…..

    And there’s my drive-by for the day…..you may resume your bitter speculations about CJ and the other boogeymen in SGM.

  120. I would assume, from Julie Anne’s post that there are still 2 plaintiffs and the case is still active then. Any comments or firebombs on that one Scott?

  121. Gary, re: your 115. There are many, many folks here (myself included) who have supported and have prayed for a young man named Alex, and his brothers over the story they have shared with us of horrible abuse from their father and how they have been cut off from their parents. Sadly, the person that calls himself “Believe,” has become bitter (against God?) because a certain court case has not gone the way he expected it to go and because he has been sorely disappointed in how some in Christian leadership did not take up his cause in the way he expected. Sadly, instead of taking his bitter and mocking comments to Alex’s blog (as Michael has requested, again and again…. several times) he continues to post here and has driven many people away

    Nonnie (Anita)

  122. brian,
    Yes, I see your meaning.
    Just like it’s hard for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom, so must it be for the very intelligent. All those ologies didn’t bring you closer to the grace of God. Rather they took the place of God’s presence in your spirit. IMHO they crowded God out. I think it’s the same with all the smarty-pants’ on this blog. “My extensive knowledge can take your extensive knowledge day.” It’s so empty. If learning could bring us closer to the Lord where would that leave regular folks like me? Where would that leave the mentally challenged like those you care for? I bet the spirit of God is in some of them locked away somewhere.
    I’m sure you’ve heard the statement that God didn’t promise us this or that but He promises to be there with us in our worst times and to feel our pain and never leave us. That means a lot to me. When I got kicked out of the Christian commune I went to God. He didn’t fill me with any ologies. He told me He wanted to be my best friend. I take that over all the ologies in the world. Don’t get me wrong. I read a book once.
    My best friend of the last 40 years is a man who has changed his theology. He started out a Baptist. When I met him he was transitioning to charismatic. Somewhere along the way he became bipolar. Many years later he bought into the name it and claim it theology. (I call it prodigal theology. Gimmie my inheritance now-another version of cheap grace.) The preachers he likes I can’t stand. Up until now he hasn’t tried to engage me about our differences. He knows what I believe and we skate around the subject. We’re still close friends. We don’t argue. What’s the point?

  123. Nonnie,
    I really feel for Alex right now. It must be gut wrenching to have seemingly lost the case. I can’t imagine how painful to be disavowed once again. I’ve only been on these blog for a short time but I’ve tried to support Alex especially when dolts rag on him. But he knows who I am and he’s blasted me anyway under the guise of a fake name. I’m learning that this is just another clique. I don’t like cliques. Perhaps the relatively little abuse I encountered doesn’t qualify me to be here. I feel like one of the hobbits running through the forest trying not to get stepped on by the Ents.

  124. Nonnie, thank you for your wise and gracious words. It pains me when I see Believe mocking God and all of us who have supported him in prayer. Each time he mocks it feels like he is spitting in my face, that the countless hours I’ve spent in prayer for him and his brothers amount to nothing as far as he is concerned. I know that God views it differently.

    Over at CCA it is discussed how noble it is that Alex doesn’t bring his question of faith to his own blog, after all they wouldn’t want to stumble others who are questioning. While there is some truth to that, I don’t think that either open forum is the place for all the vitriol. How do they know that someone reading at the PxP isn’t in the same place?

    While I’m not in a place where I doubt the existence of God, I do look to the PxP as a place of refuge, a place I can come to after dealing with my own troubles, to relax, be encouraged, be edified, and supported, to connect, or just plain be. Believe has taken that from me.

    I continue to pray daily for Alex, not because I want to, but because God calls me to.

  125. Jlo, I agree 100% with you!!!

    I hope “Believe” can’ see that for folks to continue to care and pray for Alex is a work of God’s Spirit. If he cannot, then I pity him even more.

  126. Scott, in a nutshell, your disconnect seems to be confusing a statute of limitations ruling as being equal to there being no grounds for the allegations. As other have pointed out, that is a huge difference. Especially considering the gravity of the allegations. And especially as the way the allegations were handled by SGM leadership contributed to the SOL running out.
    I also trust that most here, when it comes to sexual abuse of a child, would report anyone- their closest friend, pastor, or relative – where even one incident was reported, let alone the numerous ones coming out of SGM. It would shatter our hearts that someone we knew and trusted might do such things, but justice for the child and safety of other children must come first.

  127. prosperity gospel aka “prodigal theology,”—i like that

    and, yeah, from my short experiences here i sometimes come away with a cliquish impression of PxP. . but i understand why—especially if y’all been doing this together for so many years. . it’s a tight-knit family i suppose

    there is grace here though

    and lots of opportunity for it too

  128. “But he knows who I am and he’s blasted me anyway ”

    I don’t know who you are (or I should say, we must know each other but I didn’t make the connection) Gary W? Gary P? Gary S? Message me if we know each other. I probably wouldn’t have blasted you depending on which Gary you are 🙂

    JLo, I’m sorry I made you feel that way. I could say “I’m sorry you feel that way” which is what a Steve Wright would say, but that wouldn’t be taking responsibility for my actions and words, it would be shifting the blame to you for your perception rather than owning any of it.

  129. Monax said, “there is grace here though

    and lots of opportunity for it too”

    Very poignant statement and very true, IMO. It’s beautiful here in a very real and chaotic messy way. Like a lava formation after a volcano.

  130. For whatever reason, it’s good to see Bill Kinnon has come out of hibernation, blogging again.

  131. monax- a tight-knit family who loves to argue. I grew up in an argument. I don’t need any more of that thank you.

  132. i won’t argue with that, Gary. .

    in fact, in the past, that’s why i left certain PxP threads behind—not so much for the debating, but for the arrogant and mean-spiritedness i read from certain commentors. .

  133. @129 Believe

    or maybe it’s Like Leviathan keeps vomiting us metaphorical Jonahs into the PxP comment section where an Assembly of Prophets form (( with irons [verbal .45 automatics and such] under sometimes violent stormy weather )) . . with the rest of the beautiful (( and sometimes bloody )) mess instantly becoming archived history

  134. “In that world do the carts pull along the horses?”

    Not exactly. I think its more like people don’t choose to be born the first time. At least I didn’t ask my parents to pro-create me. So why would it be different in spiritual birth?

  135. Scott Miller, you sound very hateful and bitter and angry about what you call “bitter speculations” LOL.

    H-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e

  136. Scott there seems to be ample evidence presented in testimonies that SGM and CJ Mahaney are guilty IMO and that the high-paid lawyers of SGM and Mahaney simply got him off on a technicality, that’s my take and you wont’ change my mind.

  137. I haven’t really been following the case but from the little bit I heard it was the “statue of limitations” that was the technicality. It seems to me if it were in a different state with different “statue of limitations” the outcome might be different. So I would have to agree that this doesn’t look good for SGM and CJ.

  138. Believe,

    The last time that I checked, the anti-SGM group also had lawyers. And I assume they were paid. And I assume that they are fairly well off being that they are lawyers. Both sides had a chance to present their case fairly. The anti-SGM side lost. The case was thrown out. Let me repeat that just so you hear it again….”THE CASE WAS THROWN OUT.” And it wasn’t JUST because of the statute of limitations factor. They claimed that CJ/SGM Leadership were part of a “conspiracy” to hide crimes. The judge said “not even close”. They didn’t have a good case for that.

    Your mind won’t be changed because you have convinced yourself that it’s okay to assume guilt before guilt is proven. You live by a different legal standard than most–“Guilty until proven innocent.” The same measure of judgement that you use for others will also be required of yourself. Obviously, we ALL want justice if crimes were committed, but there is NO evidence that CJ and the SGM Leadership committed crimes. They are just as sickened by this kind of abuse as you and I are. Anyone who says otherwise is in this fight for the wrong motives. They hate child abuse and they hate what it does to people. But they HAVE to deal with this through the legal system and not through blogs. If I had my way then every child molester who ever hurt a child would be put to death on site. I hate child molesters. They are right up there with Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, etc. in my book. But when these crimes do happen then they have to be dealt with through the legal system….not through blogs. The SGM leadership did well throughout this mess. They patiently endured much throughout. They even hired 3rd party organizations to come in and audit their processes and formally report what their findings were. It was a humbling experience for them. An organization that was corrupt and not willing to change wouldn’t have put themselves through that process. There are a lot of good people in leadership in SGM. We need to continue to pray for them and their families. We need to continue to pray for these alleged victims of sexual abuse and justice for those who may have committed crimes against them. We need to pray for repentance and reconciliation for all those within SGM (and for the churches who left).

  139. Scott M, you seem to be confusing Criminal Court with Civil Court. “Innocent until proven guilty” is a Criminal Court principle.

    Civil Court is Prima Facia, not “innocent until proven guilty”

    Mahaney’s lawyers got him off on a technicality and if it wasn’t for this technicality, the case could have proceeded to trial.

    You have no understanding of the differences between Civil and Criminal and show your ignorance in these areas the more you post.

  140. A jury trial verdict would convince me much more than SGM and Mahaney getting off on a technicality and getting off on lawyering. Unfortunately, the way our System is geared, it’s more a function of who has more money behind them and who has the favor of the particular Court or in this case who can hide behind a technicality.

    But, even jury verdicts are not 100% as evidenced by OJ Simpson, Casey Anthony and many others.

    If God is real, He knows. If God is keeping accounts for some sort of Judgment, He knows, but that is unlikely.

    I think Justice is as illusory as happiness or truth, etc. It’s very subjective. Sometimes it’s served, many times it isn’t. I think folks can make their own justice at times as the System really isn’t very good at it, and the “church” is even worse.

  141. Scott, you strike me as the typical abusive church apologist. You attempt to reframe public disgust as “bitter, hateful, judgmental” etc while exampling the exact same thing by publicly expressing disgust over the expression of disgust and making your own judgment against those expressing their disgust as sinful and evil etc. It’s ironic and the height of hypocrisy, but very typical.

    You also are typical in your comments by having a very shallow knowledge of the legal system and the dynamics in play and you appel to a Courts ruling as somehow a validation of innocence from God on high…whereas you would say a Roe v. Wade decision of the Supreme Court was probably authored by the devil himself. This fact exposes your deep disconnect intellectually and shows that a Court’s ruling is “of God!” when it favors your particular Group or Agenda and “of the devil!” when it does not.

    The other very typical thing you’ve expressed is “you don’t have any evidence!” etc. Well, we have more evidence in this case to make a right judgment than you have evidence to prove that Jesus Christ walked this planet and did miracles etc.

    Feel free to stick around and comment. I’ll make it a point to ride this one out with you and correct your bullspit for as long as you’re here.

  142. Now, conversely, the Strong-arm Pastor/Dictator church constructs excel at “justice”…for the pastor and his friends and loyalists. Then “justice” is served cold and very effectively and very consistently.

  143. Believe,

    I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware that you had inside knowledge of alleged crimes and coverups that spanned 25-30 years. So sorry. Are you a really old fly on the wall who sees things that no one else sees?… always at the right wall at the right time? Or are you the Almighty himself?

    And thanks for the correction on Civil Lawsuits! I never knew that those being accused were assumed liable (at fault) until proven “not at fault”. I was always under the impression that in a civil lawsuit those trying to prove that someone is “at fault” had to actually prove that someone is “at fault”. But I guess they are “at fault” until proven “not at fault”? SGM should have just handed over the money to begin with. They are obviously guilty since they are an abusive, heavy-handed, and dictatorial church organization (I think that’s how those on the anti-SGM sites worded it…). Guilty!! Guilty until proven innocent!! I mean….so sorry (I forgot that I was speaking to a legal expert)….”at fault” until proven “not at fault”. The judge was obviously paid off by those wealthy SGM guys! Gosh, if only the accusers would have had more money…

    Thanks for putting me in my place Believe. I’m truly humbled and will never utter a word again. I’m going to go die now….. May the peace of the Lord be upon you.

  144. Scott,
    I’m not going to ask you if you are part of SGM. What I’d like to know is; how many churches have you been involved in in your lifetime? What is your point of reference in this? How objective can you be?

  145. Evidently, co-counsel Bill O’Neil for the SGM victims says that approximately one-third of the defendants have already been convicted of child sex crimes (2 adult, 1 juvenile). He was recently interviewed on the Janet Mefferd show. http://tunein.com/topic/TopicId=46988214
    He’s on at about 26:00 minute. This is far from over.

  146. Gary,

    I am not a part of SGM. I’m not sure why that would matter? Of course, if I say, YES, then I certainly couldn’t be impartial?! And if I say NO, then what do I know, unless I have some inside scoop?! Either way, I’m judged unfairly. My only connection with SGM is that I like some of their music and books and that I know a few members and leaders in their fellowship of churches. I’ve been a consistent member of other churches since 1997. And I’ve screened for over 15 years now, workers in camp ministries, homeless shelters, and churches. I’m a big believer in paying good money for thorough background checks on whoever works with children and youth. And I believe that every ministry should do all that they can do to protect kids. I hate any form of child abuse (as do ALL the SGM Pastors and members that I know). I would probably have to go to jail if one of my kids were abused, because I would probably kill them before the police ever arrived (I guess that’s a confession of sorts). And like most Christians, I would never support covering up cases of child abuse….unless, that included bumping off the abuser and dumping his body in a river…. One of my worst nightmares would be for an abuser to slip through our processes and hurt a child. But it does happen sometimes even in Christian churches and ministries. And those put in charge of protecting kids (as I have been in two different ministries) have to live with the guilt of some of that. But, heaven forbid, if it ever did happen, I’d like to be shown the same measure of judgement as one would want for themselves. And that is one reason (among many others), that I’m appalled by some of the slander and utter nonsense that I’m reading on blogs like this.

    But the question isn’t (in the lawsuit) whether or not there was child abuse in some of the SG churches. The question is did SGM leadership coverup in a “conspiracy” ongoing child abuse? The answer to that is….NO. An impartial judge found no basis that SGM was part of a massive coverup. It’s not just a technicality on statute of limitations. But the WHOLE lawsuit hinged on whether or not SGM leaders were part of a “conspiracy”. They (the accusers) knew about the statute of limitations thing before even pressing their suit. That’s why they argued for a conspiracy….and lost. And they lost badly. Not even close.

    This is an anti-SGM website…I get it. But sometimes it’s good to be brought back to reality a bit by another point of view. There are speculations upon speculations posted here. And endless misstatements about the facts of the civil lawsuit. But in all of this, where is any consideration for Proverbs 18:17? What has been SGM’s argument this whole time? Has ANYONE even taken the time to listen? They patiently endured slander, waited for their case to be formally heard, won in hands down fashion, and then made public statements insisting upon their innocence. They were the adults here–you were the childish speculators. And they continue to show more class, godliness, and wisdom then you’ll ever care to know. I do know one leader in SGM (and some in his immediate family) and he’s a godly man. He has a good reputation and serves the Body of Christ well. He’s never given me any inside scoop on the case. He’s never put the SGM’s accusers in a bad light. He’s only asked us to pray for potential abuse victims and that any abuser who hasn’t been dealt with brought to justice and that the current SGM leadership would have the humility, wisdom, and patience to lead through this. He can’t say much more because he knows that the fight can’t be won in the sphere of public opinion–but by patiently putting forward their case in the proper venues.

    I’ve see NONE of that kind of spirit here or on the other anti-SGM websites. It’s been a constant stream of bitterness, hatred, slander, and wild eyed speculations on various conspiracy theories. Let’s let it run it’s course and see who has the better case. And when the facts don’t support your theory…have the humility and wisdom to admit that you really don’t know as much as you think you know. Really think through Proverbs 18:17 and actually listen to the facts rather than believe everything you read online.

  147. Scott, First, I don’t think this is an anti-SGM site. I rarely give SGM a second thought, and most days we don’t mention SGM at all.

    2nd, could you post a link for a source that says anything about the suit being dropped, other than statute of limitations? I haven’t been able to find that anywhere. Thanks!

  148. Josh, this blog has consistently posted one-sided anti-CJ/anti-SGM posts since the SGM started going through their troubles. Even the title of this post suggests that those who stand behind them are only in it for the money. What “good business” comes out of standing behind those who are being accused of leading and covering up sex crimes against innocent children? Does that sound like “good business” to you? There is no proof that SGM or any of their backers (Piper, Keller, Carson, etc.) are trying to make money off of supporting them. That’s a serious accusation to make. It’s slanderous. It’s gossip. So don’t act dumbfounded if people may assume that you are “anti-SGM”! I’ll give your intelligence more respect than that.

    Please take the time to read SGM side of things. Here’s a post that they released:

    http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/blogs/sgm/post/SGM-Board-Update-on-the-Amended-Civil-Lawsuit.aspx

    Please notice how Christians deal with very serious accusations of this kind. Read, learn, reconsider, have patience with the process, and in due time, repent. These are real people with real families Josh. Let the legalities run their course and see what becomes of charges of “conspiracy” and “coverups”. In the end, if any of the charges stick, then rejoice that justice was done. If not, then rejoice that good people were protected from false accusations. Follow the SGM posts and try a little balance. Proverbs 18:17

    As far as I know, there hasn’t been any official release of the judges ruling except for summary statements on various blogs and the SGM website (read link above). The only hope of a successful suit was based upon the conspiracy accusation. They knew that going into it. There still could be future civil suits but it’s highly unlikely that they’ll prove a conspiracy coverup. Two of the defendants can still move forward with the suit…but its highly unlikely they’ll be successful. It’s simply not a strong case and will probably be dismissed. So when the dust settles and the Phoenix Preacher has even more egg on it’s face, we’ll see if they have the guts and credibility to say “we were wrong”. Having read what they’ve posted so far on the subject…I doubt it.

    I’ve got to go. Time to make a little money from all this. There is so much money to be made as a backer of SGM. Wish me luck!!!

    Proverbs 18:17

  149. I’ve read hundreds of stories of pastoral abuse out of SGM for years…and I’ve personally interviewed very godly men who left the “movement” because the leadership was a snake pit.
    I’ve read Brent Detwilers site that helped bring much of that into focus and watched as churches have split from the group for the same reason.
    There are big issues…and the ones responsible aren’t taking responsibility.

  150. Michael,

    Hundreds of stories? Really? Where did you read these stories before SGM Survivors (and the other anti-SGM sites)? And have you personally interviewed the godly men (leaders, members and even new churches/pastors coming into the network) who stayed in the SG movement? Have you personally interviewed John Piper, Tim Keller, DA Carson, etc., to find out why they are still backers? Have you interviewed the thousands of converts who came to faith in SGM? Their church plants overseas? Have you listened to the other side? I suppose folks who are just into power and money shouldn’t be listened to. That’s what a bit of success always breeds, right? And it’s all just about power and money for all these folks so why listen to their side? Let’s hang them after our kangaroo courts (blogs) have dealt with them and be done with it. Even when the REAL courts let them off–they are still guilty. They have to be right!? Our blog has already exposed and convicted them. You’ve invested too much time to turn back now…..

    You’ve become a great discernment ministry on par with Lighthouse Trails and the Berean Call Michael. You’ve just traded Rick Warren for ole CJ.

  151. Scott,

    You have managed to insult both Lighthouse Trails and myself with that comparison
    Unlike you, I believe that blogs can provide an important place for those who have been denied a voice to speak.
    As earlier noted, I helped set up the SGM Refuge blog, which was run by a very godly man with a heart both for SGM and the hurting.
    Corporate apologists such as yourself attack such places by discounting everything written on them and spitting epithets about the slanderers that dwell within.
    I notice that you ignored Detwilers site…which is page after page of documentation of his allegations, from his former position as the #2 man in the organization.
    Your presence here is interesting…to my knowledge you have never posted here before this discussion about SGM
    Could you be a plant…or simply a tool?

  152. Scott, the problem I have with your argument is that you are using dishonesty to support your claims. You started off by saying that the judge had ruled there was no conspiracy, yet the page you linked from SGM says nothing like that. You then change your tune to “let the process play out”. So which is it?

    So, between the insults and dishonest claims, how am I supposed to take you seriously?

  153. It is interesting to me that “men of God” hide behind lawyers and use phrases like “Let it play out in court”, “The statute of limitations has expired”, “the judge declared me ‘not guilty'” and they bank their continued profession (and idolization of one’s self) on these statements.

    God is not mocked. The greater will serve the lesser. The guilty will wash the feet of their victims for eternity. IF…God keeps your name in the book of life.

  154. Michael,

    Yes, I am a money hungry T4G/Gospel Coalition “plant” trying to profit from supporting SGM. Since T4G backed SGM we have made SO much money. As your title suggests, business has really picked up since supporting those child abusers…..

    I think I’ll start defending the Catholic Church too….always looking for more business….

    I haven’t “ignored” BD’s site. You’re talking about the same BD who was fired/kicked out of SGM? (Hmmmm….can’t think of any motive for him to be a little upset with SGM–weren’t you also kicked out of CC? Hmmmmm….) Yes, I’ve been on his site to read through some of his materials. Pretty similar to the SGS site. Nothing that I’ve seen there proves a conspiracy coverup by CJ/SG Leadership. And so far nothing has stuck legally in the courts……so what shall we do?

    So I supposedly ignore BD’s site and you ignore the SGM site. Maybe we should both agree to read their sites to make sure that we are being balanced and mindful of the other sides story/argument? I’ll keep my side of the agreement if you keep yours…?

    And my other challenge to you Michael is this: If none of the charges/accusations against the SGM Leadership stick (either in civil or criminal courts), will you apologize here on your blog for assuming guilt/liability before hearing the other side….before their case could be heard in their defense? My part of the bargain is that I’ll apologize if either CJ or any of the leadership in SGM (on their board) are found “at fault” or “guilty” of any ongoing conspiracy? Deal?

    And taking a page from Lighthouse Trails you can later come up with additional conspiracy theories linking CJ with UFO’s and the one world government. CJ does resemble an alien at some angles. Who knows, maybe he’ll team up with Rick Warren and the Catholic Church and start up sex rings globally and intergalactically? Maybe Roger Oakland would be available to write the book?

  155. Scott,

    This is so very typical of what we’ve seen here over the years.
    The stories on the blogs…nothing but slander.
    The Detwiler papers (which include an admission of blackmail by CJ)… nothing but a bitter ex employee.
    Everything that is negative about SGM…completely dismissed.
    Everything remanded to the courts…where the vast majority of these complaints have no place.
    Such are the tactics of every power broker I’ve been unfortunate enough to encounter over the last ten years.
    Your utter failure to show anything but contempt for those ground up in this machine has done nothing but reinforce the need to pay even closer attention to the spiritual train wreck that is SGM.

  156. Scott Miller said, “Thanks for putting me in my place Believe.”

    You’re welcome.

  157. While we are busy apologizing to everyone not found criminally guilty by a court, we could apologize to OJ Simpson and many others. “Not found guilty” is not the same as “innocent”.

    Abuse of power, when it is irrefutably exposed, brings people down. But in so many cases, I would say most cases, people who abuse their power get away with it in their lifetimes, other than the damage it does to their own psyches.

  158. Michael,

    “Everything that is negative about SGM…completely dismissed.”? Who said that? SGM has made plenty of mistakes. CJ made mistakes. What we are contending is that they didn’t (in a conspiracy) try and coverup sex crimes against children. THAT is what this is all about. You’re trying to smear good godly men by throwing everyone overboard without due process. Blackmail? That’s a serious crime Michael! Don’t you think that Brent would press charges if there was true blackmail? You’re making accusations of crimes that haven’t been proven. And you continue your one-sided smear attack by not even bringing in their side of the story. It’s all one-sided.

    And you continue calling anyone who disagrees with you names and accusing them with sinful motives. You seem to think that every ministry that has experienced even the slightest bit of success is corrupt. And when there are crimes or controversy in big church organizations/ministries you just throw every Tom, Dick, and Harry under the bus without due process. So SGM is going through troubled waters?! Welcome to ministry Michael…so sorry you’ve just arrived on the scene. There are problems in the SBC, PCA, Calvary Chapel, the Billy Graham Ministry, etc., as well. That doesn’t mean that I throw everyone under the bus in those fellowships and ministries.

    If you want to put your stock in blogs and random people whispering things into your ear Michael then go right ahead. I’ll place my chips on provable evidence in a court of law. I’ll place my chips on God’s faithfulness in dealing with his people. I’ll also take time to LISTEN to the other side after serious accusations have been made. Proverbs 18:17.

    You aren’t much better than Lighthouse Trails Michael. In your heart you know that.

  159. Lighthouse Trails? Them’s fightin’ words!

  160. Scott,

    While you are laser focused on one issue, I look at Mahaney and SGM through about seven years of interactions with people and pastors coming out of the movement.
    You have not been moderated here, you have been allowed to speak freely and often, so your accusation of one sided reporting doesn’t hold water.
    In addition, Mahaney has huge organizations with great media outlets pitching his case.
    In all my dealing with CC scandals few have made it to court…there is no law against callous abuse of power…at least on earth.
    People can read Detwilers site and decide for themselves what kind of character all the players have.

  161. You seem to think that every ministry that has experienced even the slightest bit of success is corrupt. And when there are crimes or controversy in big church organizations/ministries you just throw every Tom, Dick, and Harry under the bus without due process.
    ————————————————————-
    That is not at all accurate…or fair.

    And given this is now a moderated blog, Scott’s recent posts going up without moderation does speak positively to the host.

  162. oh Scott!!!!!!!!!!!

    “Everything remanded to the courts…where the vast majority of these complaints have no place.”

    Let me parse this for you. The church should be held to a higher standard than what is held by the worldly courts. That standard exceeds thethose wet by the world; of which the world does not and cannot comprehend. Part of the shame that Paul spoke of in 1Corinthians 6 had to do with the church attempting to get a judgment from civil authorities who had no conscience of spiritual/ecclesiastical matters. Is is akin to asking a child to rule in matters of adults.

  163. Steve,

    Thank you.
    Let me be clear…when I say that Scott has not been moderated I’m saying that I’ve approved every comment he’s made.
    There has been nothing held back.

  164. MIchael,

    Thanks for the freedom to speak my mind. At least you haven’t kicked out the opposition to silence those who disagree with you. You keep referring folks to BD’s site, but why not SGM’s? Why not have them also read their posts? If you would take the time to read some of their posts then I think you’ll find sincerity. And yes it isn’t over. There is still some openings for some of the accusers to seek justice. That’s one benefit of the legal system. But let’s say that nothing sticks in the end? No conspiracy to cover up sex crimes. No blackmail. Whatever else is or will be thrown at them. Will you at least acknowledge that on your blog and not assume SGM just had more money, or bought off the judge, etc.? Will you actually encourage those in your camp to not assume the absolute worst against fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? A conspiracy to coverup sex crimes against innocent children is a VERY serious charge Michael. And it’s damaged the reputations of some very good, godly men. But these charges are probably not true and won’t be proven in a court of law. What will you say then?

    Even if we assume that CJ is an arrogant jerk who only cares about his own self-interests…that’s still nowhere close to a “conspiracy to coverup sex crimes against children”! Even if other leaders in SG have made bad decisions and have acted out in fear and insecurity that’s still not on the level of conspiracy/coverups. Let’s do everything that we can to foster peace and reconciliation in the SG organization.

    And I still haven’t seen you respond to their 3rd party audits (please correct me if I’m wrong…I can’t find them here). Have you read their findings? I believe that they are posted on the SGM site if you haven’t. They have even addressed each recommendation point by point. I believe you can also find that on the audio page too. They HAVE acknowledged mistakes. But these mistakes don’t include covering up sex crimes, etc. And also, did you take time to read their new constitution? Did you know that Mark Prater took over as Executive Director? Changes have been made and the churches had a lot of input on that. The folks I know in SGM really want reform and they want to get on with the business of doing Gospel ministry. There are even new churches joining, church planters planting, and missionaries being sent out of SGM. So let’s not pronounce ICHABOD quite yet. Let’s continue to pray for them and see what God can do.

  165. Hi Scott,
    I didn’t realize my question to you would result in all the ongoing banter. I didn’t know who you were and I was wondering if you were directly involved or looking from afar. The reason I asked if you consider yourself objective is cuz I used to defend the religion I grew up in without having anything to compare it to. I was what I lived and I didn’t know anything else. I found out as I grew up that I was dead wrong.
    You may have a point about the conspiracy aspect of the case but you haven’t directly addressed all the first hand testimony (I don’t mean legal testimony) of those who claim abuse. You owe it to yourself to evaluate each and every testimony just as you evaluate the leaders you are speaking up for. I would like to hear what you conclude from that.
    The first time I read a CC detractor I scoffed at them. I excused CC. I had never before heard anything bad about the church I attended after I became a believer. It grated on me. I perused a lot of CC websites and I discovered a chink in the armor. I didn’t want to believe it but I had to know. So I started looking at the other side. Then I searched my memory and I realized that what I had assumed were 2 isolated incidents that happened to me was just the smallest tip of a huge iceberg.
    Here I am now very disheartened with my alma mater. I had to admit what I didn’t want to even consider. I want to believe every pastor is holy but it just isn’t so.

  166. Gary,

    Thanks Gary. I have read the accusers testimonies. I’ve been to the anti-SGM sites. I take allegations of sexual abuse very seriously…and I take allegations of coverups seriously as well. But there IS NO EVIDENCE thus far that proves that those in SGM leadership committed a conspiracy to coverup sex crimes against children. There just isn’t!!! That doesn’t excuse other issues within SGM. There are real issues that needed to be dealt with. And some of the comments about poor leadership in SGM are justified. But I’m not willing to throw every leader under the bus, because of the weaknesses/issues of some. Nor will I discount evidences of God’s grace in their organization. God will continue to use them and He will be faithful. Just as he’s been in CC, the SBC, the PCA, etc.

    As I stated before, I’m not a part of SGM. I’ve been in other fellowships of churches over the years. I do know some in SGM and they are godly pastors. They have endured much throughout this process. They sincerely want to get on with gospel ministry. Once again, I would encourage all here (including Michael who doesn’t seem willing to read or follow SGM’s side of things) to read SGM’s site and follow along. They have had 3rd party audits done. They have implemented most of the recommendations. Mark Prater is the new Executive Director. They have a new constitution, etc. They have even successfully reconciled with some of the previously leaders that they had fallings out with, etc. There have been real changes, but if you’re not following their side of things, then you’d never know that. This is typically how Michael works on this site and what I’ve seen on other anti-SGM websites. One-sided! Proverbs 18:17 isn’t even taken seriously.

    And now we have good ole Michael boycotting DA Carson’s materials because of his association with SGM. That gave me a good laugh this morning. Next up are boycotts against Southern Seminary and maybe even Mickey Mouse. If we’re not careful we become what we once mocked. Let that be a lesson to us all.

    Maybe Michael would be so kind to send me any of Carson’s materials for free? I will gladly take them off his hands. And while he’s at it, I’ll take anything from Tim Keller, John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Mark Dever, etc., that he has. I’ll even pay for the postage! If he’s going to be consistent then let’s just get rid of everything possibly tied to CJ/SGM. Silliness is a slippery slope my friend…

  167. Scott,
    Ok, got it, but what do you have to say specifically about the individual testimonies of the detractors? By the way, I’m not connected in any way to SGM either. Never been there, don’t know anyone.

  168. Scott,

    You may have a point in regard to imprecision.
    Since all the scandals and a number of churches leaving, there seems to have been a reorganization of SGM.
    My comments are more aimed at the old guard and I should be much more clear about that.

  169. Hey Scott, you probably missed it in the commotion, but I addressed you @ 154. Could you take a look and respond?

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