Asking Questions

[Kris says:  A reader – “Nickname” – posted the following observations about the questions the panels explored prior to issuing their reports about C.J. Mahaney’s fitness for ministry.  I thought “Nickname’s” analysis was quite good and didn’t want it to get lost in the shuffle.  Here it is.]

From “Nickname’s” comment –

Question #1: Was CJ Mahaney’s participation in fellowship in 2003-2004, including the giving and receiving of correction, in keeping with the teaching of scripture?

The answer to this one is an easy “YES”, but that wasn’t the right question. The question should’ve been “Was CJ Mahaney’s participation in fellowship in 2003-2004, including the giving and receiving of correction, in keeping with his own teaching and personal/corporate expectations of participation by members of SGM churches?

The answer to THAT question is NO. Because SGM taught extra-biblical requirements for participation in fellowship (i.e., homegroup attendance and an extra-biblical definition of fellowship found in CJ’s own book, “Why Small Groups.”

Question #2: Did CJ Mahaney wrongly influence Brent Detwiler’s dismissal from his church in Mooresville, NC?

The answer to THAT question is also NO, and if you want to get technical, the church in Mooresville did not belong to Brent, so the term “his church” makes it impossible to answer the question in the affirmative.

A better question would have been: Did CJ Mahaney have prior or ongoing knowledge of Brent Detwiler’s dismissal, reinstatement, and subsequent final dismissal from the Mooresville church, and what was his role in instructing, discussing, and/or approving Gene Emerson’s advice to the Mooresville church?

Reality check needed here. Can any one imagine a scenario, ecclesiastical, political, miltary or corporate, where the #3 guy gets booted without the #1 guys knowledge or approval? Sure, Brent was no longer #3 — but he had been for a long time, and his presence and influence in SGM was huge. Does anyone think for one second that CJ did not have veto power over these shenanigans?

The board admits that GE was wrong in conveying faulty information to the Mooresville church. At the time, GE answered to CJ. CJ had the responsibility of supervising GE, and instructing his decisions regarding Brent. So, YES, CJ wrongly influenced the firing of Brent Detwiler, whether or not Brent’s performance justified his dismissal. It was poorly done.

Question #3: Was Larry Tomczak’s departure from Sovereign Grace ministries handled properly?

Hmmm. The panel danced around a straight answer by saying they weren’t lawyers and therefore couldn’t determine whether or not Larry was coerced or blackmailed.

Hmmm. The panel continued to sidestep by saying that since SGM had no policy in place, they had no way to know if it was handled properly — they don’t know what properly means. What — were these guys raised by wolves? Does it take a steel-trap legal mind to know that coercion, blackmail, and the willful and deliberate betrayal of a minor parishioner’s confidence is NOT PROPER under anybody’s definition?

Hmmm. Notice that in Question #1, they wanted to determine if an action was in keeping with the teaching of scripture. But in this question, they only wanted to know if an action was handled properly.

So, the better question would’ve been: Was Larry Tomczak’s departure from Sovereign Grace Ministries handled in keeping with the teaching of scripture? Not hardly.

They recommended that SGM make some kind of monetary gift to Larry, carefully noting that severance packages are not customary when someone resigns rather than gets terminated. HELLO???? So, what definition do they give to the golden parachutes that the resigning Mahaney sons-in-law just received from CLC? Hey — I LIKE it that they recommended some kind of cash restitution to Larry. And I’d like to see them extend that same courtesy to every other pastor who ‘resigned’ under coercive circumstances, and even more importantly, make financial restitution to the families who’ve suffered major financial ramifications due to long-term hardships caused by covered-up molestation cases — EXCLC’ers Mom, Happymom and Wallace, Noel and Grizzly, SGMnot, and any others. But don’t go trying to look all benevolent and generous by pointing out that severance packages aren’t customary — when the precedent was just set by giving severance in the nepotistic situation. I realize that the sons-in-law were given their severance by CLC, not by SGM. But I wonder whose idea was that in the first place?

Closing Remarks on Brent Detwiler: “…(Brent) continues to unfairly criticize…we renew our appeal to have his pastor contact us so that we might take the next steps toward this goal….”

The board negates any claim to objectivity with the use of the word “unfairly” in regard to Brent’s criticisms.

And then, the condescending idea that Brent needs to “have his pastor contact us” is beyond rude. Where do they get the idea that Brent’s pastor needs to talk to them? Brent’s a big boy — he can contact them himself. And where do they get the idea that they are somehow ecclesiastical royalty that can only be approached by a pastor? I don’t see any tearing down of the dividing walls of hostility here, and this statement exhibits their ignorance of the priesthood of all believers. This statement in itself is worth asking Question #1 of the Board. Are you participating in fellowship with Brent in keeping with the teaching of scripture?

[Kris again:  Something else that I wanted to highlight comes from Brent Detwiler’s response to the reports.  Here it is:]

By Brent Detwiler –

Here’s the harsh reality people must accept!  The overwhelming vast majority of my charges have not been presented, heard or judged in a hearing by anyone.  Like the O.J. Simpson trial, C.J. is getting away with murder (a little hyperbole folks).  Here is what Dave promised two months ago.

“How is Sovereign Grace’s board handling the allegations that Brent Detwiler has brought against C.J. Mahaney?  We know that you care about this a lot.  We also care about this a lot, and we are taking Brent’s allegations seriously.  We don’t want to ignore the many accusations that now sit in the public mind.  We want to get this right.  Brent’s documents require impartial examination and C.J. deserves a fair hearing.” (Dave Harvey, “What are we doing about the allegations against C.J.,” November 28, 2011)

Dave is full of it.  The SGM Board has never taken my allegations seriously.  No siree!  They came up with the three panel approach so they could purposely ignore “the many accusations” I’ve documented in over 1,200 pages of evidence.  This wasn’t a “fair hearing” for C.J.  It was a rigged hearing.  Soft ball questions.  Biased jury.  Misdemeanor charges for a felon.  The suppression of evidence in the verdict.  No cross examination.  C.J. was not held accountable for his sins.  Very little was investigated and all the terms and conditions were favorable to C.J.  The three panel approach was an ostentatious show of righteousness – a pretense for justice.  It was all image and no substance.  People should be outraged.

This statement from Dave on Wednesday is also terribly deceptive.

“To further protect the integrity of the process, the interim Board sought the counsel and affirmation of an outside conciliation ministry, Ambassadors of Reconciliation (AOR).  With C.J. on leave and AOR involved, the review process took the following form:  We [the SGM Board and AOR] commissioned three outside ministers to review Brent’s documents in light of C.J.’s confessions and render their judgment on his fitness to serve in ministry.  In light of their evaluation, they found him to be completely fit to serve.  We [the SGM Board and AOR] then commissioned three panels—each consisting of three SGM pastors—to evaluate C.J.’s involvement in the three central events of Brent’s allegations.” (Dave Harvey, “An announcement regarding C.J. Mahaney,” January 25, 2012)

Dave says Ambassadors of Reconciliation “commissioned three panels-each consisting of three SGM pastors.”  This is a lie!  Three days ago, I talked to Ted Kober about this very subject in detail.  I asked him if AOR helped create the three panel approach.  He said no.  I asked if he commended the approach.  He said no.  I asked him if he supported the approach.  He said he never expressed support or a lack of support.  He remained neutral because he did not feel it was his place to take a position since the SGM Board devised the plan entirely on their own.

Ted Kober did not help to create this plan and he did not in any way “commission” the three panel approach.  This fabrication by Dave is just like his lie that Bryce Thomas came up with the questions for the three panels.  SGM acted independent of AOR but the SGM Board wants you to believe otherwise.

159 comments

  1. Brent is not a Victim says:

    Brent raises so many great points here and there, but the reality is that the appropriate introduction for all of his documents would have been to accept responsibility for his direct role in all of the abusive actions, and to repent in an unqualified way. The reality is that though Brent has left SGM, the SGM way of doing things has not left him. He chose to spin and present all of the information in a way that put the bulk of the blame on everyone but himself. The panels are indeed questionable, but all of the evidence that I have seen appears to demonstrate that CJ, Dave, Steve, and Brent are all directly responsible for the course of action taken with Larry. What grieves me is that if Brent had been truly humble and led with his own admission of the direct role that he played in everything that has gone down in SGM over the years, his documents would have had a much greater impact in my opinion. So yes, the panels are tainted, SGM’s integrity is shot, but so is Brent’s. The utter lack of genuine repentance by culpable parties throughout this whole process has been so sad and so contrary to the humility and sacrifice displayed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My only remaining prayer for all of this is that is that somehow, some way, genuine humility and truth would become more important for all of the key players than reputation and appearances. So what do you say Brent? Are you ready to finally lead? What about the rest of you? CJ, Dave, Steve, et al.?

  2. BrokenHearted says:

    :goodpost :word

  3. Kris says:

    “Brent is not a Victim” –

    I totally hear where you’re coming from. I think it’s unfortunate that so much of Brent’s hard work with the fact-finding and reporting has been (for many people) overshadowed by what comes across like a lack of perspective on his own contributions to the SGM mess.

    Nonetheless, I wanted to highlight what Brent had to say about Dave Harvey’s statements regarding the 3-panel investigation process. If it’s true that the Ambassadors of Reconciliation did not set up the 3-panel process, then why did Dave Harvey make it sound like they did?

  4. Luna Moth says:

    Since I read Brent’s documents (which I didn’t finish–sorry, Don), I have thought that Brent was abused by an abusive system in which all the “top guys” abused each other.

    Just reading about how the A-team would sit in a circle and question the one who was on the “hot seat”–“CJ, we haven’t heard you confess sin about your marriage yet”–listen to the thinking behind that question!–just reading about it made me want to run screaming. If CJ had sat anyone else down and subjected them to this sort of browbeating in the name of “care” and “discipling,” we would have called it abuse. Well, he did, I guess–they all did, to each other. And it was abusive.

    They were all abusers, and they began with each other.

    I am grateful for Brent’s keeping records and for his bulldog integrity that made him keep trying to hold CJ accountable, and made him in desperation contact the pastors.

    But what I see in the Documents is not only that CJ’s lack of integrity (and Dave’s and the others’, in not holding him accountable) is brought to light. What is revealed in the Documents is the wretched abusiveness of the system, of the way these guys treated each other and spoke to each other, supposedly for the purpose of discipleship and sanctification and “care.”

    They treated each other that way. Is it surprising that they treated us that way?

    (What surprises me is that CJ stuck it out that long, with a smile.)

    I do pray that the whole miserable thing will crumble. Soon.

  5. Canary says:

    Very good questions, Nickname.

    Brent Is Not A Victim,
    I stand with you. I’ve asked the same questions. I was there. I know others who were there. The docs shouldn’t be just about CJ. Others involved need to repent. How much more respect we would have for them. If Brent (and others) would say, “I was a part of making the very system I am criticizing and I hurt churches I oversaw,” what would that be like?

  6. intheNickoftime says:

    Kris #3 –

    I dont understand why AoR keeps allowing Harvey to manipulate what they said and what their recommendations were.

    In the beginning we all had many reservations about AoR. It was thought they were just rubber stamping SGM. It appears that was incorrect. We now assume they are men of integrity and they are dedicated to a system and a product that has integrity.

    We also know that despite what AoR finds in their report, the key to this entire fiasco is what SGM does with the info in the report.

    But…

    Harvey keeps manipulating the comments and recommendations and perhaps even people of Aor and that can’t be good for their reputation as reputable people. So why hasn’t AoR come out and spanked Dave and SGM? Why does AoR continue to allow their name to be used for partisan interests by SGM and Dave Harvey? I don’t think AoR has said anything to Harvey because he keeps mutating what they said with impunity. I wouldn’t expect a public drubbing but one would assume AoR would make a personal call to Dave to deliver a “cease and desist” on morphing what AoR supposedly recommended.

  7. Kris says:

    intheNickoftime –

    I don’t understand it either.

    But then, there’s a lot about this process that is confusing and full of mixed messages.

    Like, the insinuation has been that an objective group of outsiders would be examining the charges against CJ, as well as the larger problems within the SGM organization. Yet the panels that issued the reports vindicating CJ were all comprised of SGM pastors, some of whom have had a long history of being open and outspoken CJ fanboys. Not a lot of objectivity there.

    Also, I think the timing of the release of SGM’s own in-house report will in effect soften (if not outright nullify) anything negative that might be in AoR’s report. Throughout the online world, bloggers (including Challies) and publications like Christianity Today have dutifully (even what feels like gleefully) reported the findings of SGM’s in-house panel…without actually noting for their readers that the findings came from guys who up until recently were giving CJ glowing introductions and would have considered him their ultimate boss.

    SGM’s release of its own report way ahead of the release of the AoR report muddies the waters. No matter what the AoR report might contain when it is released in March, what will stick in most people’s minds is that CJ was declared fit for ministry in January.

  8. Kris says:

    Luna,

    I agree that SGM’s head guys’ interactions with one another come across in Brent’s documents and the fact-finding portions of the panels’ reports as harsh and graceless and just…sad. Depressing.

    I know I’m repeating myself, but I see Brent’s situation in light of the axiom, “The abused so easily becomes the abuser.”

    I think CJ stuck with it for as long as he did because he was well aware that it was his system, these were his guys, he sat at the top of the pyramid, and he didn’t actually have to follow his own rules as long as enough people believed that it looked as if he followed his own rules.

  9. Kris says:

    Another question I have is, does anyone know if the topic of CJ’s 2011 Pastors Conference speech has come up within the context of the panel reports’ statements about how CJ has taken full responsibility and engaged in full repentance and so forth?

    I mean, if you read the transcript of that speech (http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/?p=3123), it’s very clear that CJ recanted his initial admission of wrongdoing.

    And I am not aware of any additional statements CJ has made since the Pastors Conference in November, wherein he has taken any new responsibility for his actions or made any further admissions (or readmissions) of guilt.

    How can someone who very publicly recanted his admissions of wrongdoing be said to have taken responsibility for his wrongdoing and owned his sins?

    :scratch

  10. Oswald says:

    Kris #9 — said, “it’s very clear that CJ recanted his initial admission of wrongdoing”. I’m sure the board, if asked about this, would say that we misunderstood what he actually said. No doubt that’s why all the evidence was taken down from internet access; less incidence of proof to point to in places that pro-SGMers might go to.

  11. Luna Moth says:

    It seems to me that they say that it’s so, and the people believe it. But saying that it’s so doesn’t mean that it is.

    Over and over I’ve heard people gush about how “the leaders are sooo huumble. Which made me kind of suspicious.

    A local Baptist pastor I know is humble. I mean, I guess he is. People don’t go around gushing that “Pastor Joe is humble.” (Not his real name, btw.) But when they have a need, they call on him.

    Is he still humble if nobody says he is? :lol: :spin

  12. Oswald says:

    I was just reading at the link from Kris #9. One thing CJ addressed there was his attendance at CHBC and I was wondering if he has now returned to CLC since he’s been reinstated to his position as Pres of SGM and his LOA is over. Did anyone see him at CLC on Sunday?

  13. sick with worry says:

    If I was Brent, I would have my pastor contact CJ’s pastor.

  14. Canary says:

    Not to let CJ off the hook but he wasn’t always at the top. The system was slowly developed by more than one man. I am a witness, as is my husband and many others. The set up for abuse began long before CJ took the helm. In the early 80’s when our church was adopted by PDI, the change in our fellowship began with the ousting of two fine elders whom we all loved and trusted. It was done graciously, we thought, but resulted in a church split. The change in focus from simple doctrines of following Jesus happened over time. Discipleship, accountability, parenting, church comittment and home group attendance all began to be stressed as part of being Christian. I began to be afraid of missing a home group meeting even for a worthy reason because the pressure was so heavy to be there. The leaven was there in the beginning of PDI. There was also good teaching so you could never quite put your finger on what was off. The leaven began to grow more openly a few years after CJ became President. Things which were once only suggested were now mandated (women staying at home, courtship, etc.). Alot of this was openly stated in teachings. Some came through the pressure of being on the outside if you didn’t follow along.

    The men responsible for creating the system should all step forward. They hurt the churches by teaching a controlling, manipulating, top down kind of authority that eventually began to strangle our freedom in Christ. Maybe I am a lone voice here. It doesn’t matter. I lived it. I watched it happen. I submitted to it out of fear of man, much to my own regret. I didn’t ask why people would disappear, their names or absence never mentioned, as though they never existed. Something within me was afraid to ask questions.

    Respectfully, CJ isn’t the only guilty party, here. Other minds were at work in creating the doctrines/actions which enslaved saints, participated in cover-ups, and thought more about preserving the organization’s rep than helping
    victims of abuse we’ve read about on both blogs (abuse that has been documented).

    I learned from a PDI’s pastor’s wife how to love the will of God above my own. For that I will always be thankful. However, the truth is that I did not learn grace, I did not learn love, and I certainly did not walk in freedom as a Christian in the churches I attended. By the time CJ entered the picture as head apostle, I was way on my way to Pharisee-ville. If not for the mercy of God, I’d still be there. The leaders were responsible for what I learned from their teachings. I was responsible for looking to them instead of my God.

    I just had to say this because I don’t want anyone to forget. Their are pastors who need to look to the churches they led and gain true revelation of just how much they were involved in passing on sin teaching instead of grace, judging one another instead of loving, shunning those who would leave, gossiping and taking notes about members behind their backs, hiding sexual abuse from the parents who were sending their children into what they thought was a safe place every Sunday, crushing the joy out of women by subjugating them, practicing favoratism…and the list goes on.

    I don’t want these pastors’ responsibility to be forgotten just because CJ was President. Sorry, but there it is…

  15. Oswald says:

    sww #13 — Brent could do that if he only knew who CJ’s pastor is.

  16. Oswald says:

    Canary #15 – Wasn’t CJ always the leader of the organization, TAG/GOB/PDI/SGM, regardless of what his title was and regardless of what the organization was called?

  17. Luna Moth says:

    Canary, :goodpost

    Thank you for giving a glimpse of the progression from the hopeful beginning. (Though I believe, as you say, that the leaven of pride was there from the start. I wasn’t there at the very beginning but I have been at “my” SGM church from way back, and I’ve seen a lot happen. And I’ve lived through the confusion and pain, knowing something is wrong but never able to articulate what…)

    Oswald… :lol:

  18. Golden says:

    Sick With Worry – Is anyone even clear on who CJ’s pastor is??? I would say Josh Harris because CJ has not been relinquished from CLC membership. However, I do not think CJ would consider Josh Harris to be his pastor. Mark Dever? Although can the president of SGM not go to a SGM church? Where did CJ go to church on Sunday? That may be a helpful indicator.
    In my humble opinion, so very much of this whole situation simply does not have to exist. 99% of it actually.

  19. Luna Moth says:

    Yeah, I thought it was Larry and CJ together who taught TAG and then decided they should start a church rather than just a Bible study…

  20. B.R. Clifton says:

    Didn’t CJ say that Mark Dever was his pastor when he moved over to the big Borg on Capitol Hill? At least that’s what I think I remember reading. :scratch

  21. Fried Fish says:

    I’m a sinner.
    Bounce.
    You’re a sinner.
    Bounce, Bounce.
    I own my sin.
    Bounce.
    You own your sin.
    Bounce, Bounce.
    I own you.
    Bounce.
    I’m rubber, you’re glue.
    Splat!

    All who make idols are nothing,
    and the things they treasure are worthless.
    Those who would speak up for them are blind;
    they are ignorant, to their own shame.
    Who shapes a god and casts an idol,
    which can profit nothing?
    People who do that will be put to shame;
    such craftsmen are only human beings.
    Let them all come together and take their stand;
    they will be brought down to terror and shame.
    Isaiah 44:9-11

  22. Steve240 says:

    Kris said:

    Another question I have is, does anyone know if the topic of CJ’s 2011 Pastors Conference speech has come up within the context of the panel reports’ statements about how CJ has taken full responsibility and engaged in full repentance and so forth?

    I didn’t see any mention of CJ’s above speech in the panel reports’. I found it odd that they found it so easy to excuse CJ Mahaney blackmailing Larry Tomczak by indicating that Mahaney did confess this to CLC in July while at the same time not mentioning CJ’s backpedaling. I am not sure how they could ignore Mahaney’s backpedaling and CJ basically declaring to be his own judge about his sins.

    CLC did make a statement about CJ’s statement at the pastors conference questioning it and asking SGM to indicate if they agreed with what CJ said. This is what was said in CLC’s letter that was posted as a blog entry here on survivors:

    One of the most significant moments of the Pastors Conference was when C.J. shared with all the pastors and wives about what he’s learned during his Leave of Absence (LoA). Our pastoral team was disappointed by the tone and posture of C.J.’s remarks, and we feel strongly that it’s appropriate for you to read them, because they reflect apparent changes in his thinking about his LoA and his confession to our congregation at the July 10 Members Meeting.

    It sure looks like the panel ignored Mahaney’s backpedaling though I believe all on the panel were there at the SGM Pastors’ Conference.

  23. exclcer'smom says:

    Yes, in the beginning of the organization, it was CJ and Larry..Robin Boisvert, Gary Ricucci, Roger Dillon, Che Ahn, Jim Golden, and some others formed the “core group” of TAG..Together, they started Gathering of Believers..Chip Ward, Bill Patton, Chuck Thompson all were there in the early days, but it was still pretty much Larry and Cj leading all..Steve Shank I believe was on the 1st church plant to Ohio, Che Ahn eventually to California..I don’t remember how Benny and Sheree Phillips became involved in Fairfax..Charles Schmidt moved down to “join forces” around 78/79, until the big split in the early 80’s. I think in the early years, Larry did a lot more travelling than CJ, which could have solidified CJ to many..I never quite got the draw actually.

  24. Steve240 says:

    CJ Mahaney has always been the top dog or shared top dog status with a few ever since the TAG days. He has never been under anyone’s “authority” or leadership. That Mahaney has never been under anyone’s leadership probably explains a lot of his problems; almost all of his Christian life he has been in leadership.

    Mahaney was a rebellious teen as he use to share. Thus even before his conversion he was never really “submitted” to anyone including his parents and teachers. Again I am sure this explains a lot of his problems.

    As has been suggested, had CJ gone to seminary then that experience might have build some character and been good for him when he wasn’t the top dog.

  25. ExClcer'sMom says:

    I am not sure if it was in the book, “Clap Your Hands”, or somewhere else that I always had the impression that Larry Tomczak was “the meat” behind the beginnings of TAG (I did not join until it was 1,000’s strong)..maybe it was because back then, Larry was the one speaking at the Jesus’ Festivals, and other places, while CJ kept track of “the home base”. Steve, you made a good point about CJ never being under any authority..CJ resorts to blackmail to get the one person who could come close to “authority” in his life out of the picture, and then even wanted to erase the mention of any part Larry played in the beginning! Truly a personality out of control!

  26. Steve240 says:

    ExCLCer’s Mom said:

    “I am not sure if it was in the book, “Clap Your Hands”, or somewhere else that I always had the impression that Larry Tomczak was “the meat” behind the beginnings of TAG.’

    For a while Larry actually “discipled”/mentored C.J. is my understanding while they were both co leaders of TAG. This makes what C.J. did to Larry even more reprehensible. Of course even back in 70’s there was tension from what I heard including they weren’t sharing books each other would find with the other.

    TAG was started by a woman named Lydia (can’t remember her last name) but as C.J. shared on one message I heard he explained to her that it wasn’t appropriate for her to lead.

  27. ExClcer'sMom says:

    Yes, that is what I remember, too! I was thinking Lydia was the basement they first had GOB in, but perhaps the basement where GOB met was at the Patton’s house? Plus, Larry came from Ohio, but the other pastors all inter-relate by marriage or blood to CJ, so CJ’s little empire started building right from the start! I remember people being so enthused with CJ, but I found when i spoke with people I knew elsewhere, they thought I was “so blessed” to go to the same church as Larry Tomczak. Larry was the methodical, get it done kind of guy-the “a place for everything, and everything in it’s place” guy, while CJ just told a lot of jokes..that was always the way I thought of the two of them.

  28. Lee says:

    I don’t think Brent is being fair with his quote of Dave Harvey’s post on the Plant & Build blog.

    He took a sentence out of a previous paragraph to make it look like it went with the second paragraph. It did not. It speaks of AOR being generally involved. When I read it the original way, and I take out Brent’s brackets, I get the feeling that the “WE” who created the panels is SGM, not SGM and AOR.

    This is how Brent quotes Dave:

    To further protect the integrity of the process, the interim Board sought the counsel and affirmation of an outside conciliation ministry, Ambassadors of Reconciliation (AOR). With C.J. on leave and AOR involved, the review process took the following form: We [the SGM Board and AOR] commissioned three outside ministers to review Brent’s documents in light of C.J.’s confessions and render their judgment on his fitness to serve in ministry. In light of their evaluation, they found him to be completely fit to serve. We [the SGM Board and AOR] then commissioned three panels—each consisting of three SGM pastors—to evaluate C.J.’s involvement in the three central events of Brent’s allegations.” (Dave Harvey, “An announcement regarding C.J. Mahaney,” January 25, 2012

    But that first sentence actually goes in a different paragraph giving it a whole different meaning!

    Here’s what Dave actually said:

    “To put our decision in context, shortly before the interim Board began its work, C.J. took a voluntary leave of absence to avoid even the appearance of influencing his evaluation. To further protect the integrity of the process, the interim Board sought the counsel and affirmation of an outside conciliation ministry, Ambassadors of Reconciliation (AOR).

    With C.J. on leave and AOR involved, the review process took the following form: We commissioned three outside ministers to review Brent’s documents in light of C.J.’s confessions and render their judgment on his fitness to serve in ministry. In light of their evaluation, they found him to be completely fit to serve. We then commissioned three panels—each consisting of three SGM pastors—to evaluate C.J.’s involvement in the three central events of Brent’s allegations”

  29. Remnant says:

    Lydia Little. A dear, sweet woman.

  30. 5yearsinPDI says:

    “With C.J. on leave and AOR involved, the review process took the following form”

    Lee- I don’t see how this can be taken any other way but that AoR was involved with something Ted Kober told Brent they had no involvement with :scratch

    Why use the words “AoR involved”? Makes no sense unless you wanted to give the impression that AoR was actually involved with plans creating both the Trueman/Ortland/whoever report, as well as the panels.

    Nope- deliberate spin.

  31. Light says:

    I am not surprised at Dave Harvey…it was C.J. who gave him all that power. My husband and I were members at CFC from 1993 through about 2003. We were the typical ones who got sucked in with all that mutual accountability, mortify the flesh, humble Pastors stuff. We were friends with Allen and Linda Redrup, and were confused when he was convinced to step down but we ‘trusted’ our leaders.

    Then, there goes Bill Patton…his sin; pride and not giving his family the focus they deserved. Funny, that was the same basic sin they claimed was troubling Allen.

    We were; home group leaders, youth group leaders, ministry team leaders and basic schlubs who gave more than we should have to build that multi-million dollar building. Which was not available for use to the congregation for simple meetings.

    Our son was seriously hurt at Youth Camp and they didn’t even call me or my husband to notify us of his injuries. I drove up to see my son with his face horribly scratched, his ankle sprained and when we got him to the doctor a concussion. He was allowed to sleep the night of the accident with out waking him because there was a ‘nurse’ on duty who hadn’t worked in many years and didn’t even recommend taking him to the hospital. He hit the tree so hard a large chip came out of his thick plastic glasses. To this day he suffers complications as a result of his negligent care.

    We decided to have a meeting with the Pastor in training Kenny Lynch and Dave Harvey to discuss what we considered foolish decisions that led to our son’s accident. Playing a running, stealth game in the dark in the mountains, no flash lights allowed.

    Basically we were told we needed to trust this kid (Kenny) with ours son’s safety because he had good intentions. Also, leadership is God’s head over us and we shouldn’t question their authority over us.

    Slowly our status in the church was changed. All of a sudden we were no longer leaders of anything. We were given some bogus role in Children’s ministry where were were told to make sure all Children’s Church workers were in their classes and on time. Once when I reminded a worker that it was important to the children to have their teachers there on time to check them in I was reprimanded by the head of Children’s Ministry and told I had no authority to speak to anyone I was just to be taking role and let them so know, (can you say informer) so they could talk to the late or no show people.

    Well, as we were realizing that a bunch of people had simply disappeared in the past few years we decided to talk to Dave Harvey again. We tried to bring up some concerns… lack of accountability among the leadership to the congregation. The fact that they didn’t take any input nor was there any avenue in which to bring concerns to the pastors with out negative ramifications. And they were unwilling to listen. When my husband asked how many families had left in the last three years, Dave said he didn’t know. We asked him if he knew why people were leaving he said, no. When we asked if he wanted to know why people were leaving his response was, again, no. Dave had hurt, wounded, and missing members and he and his legion of Pastors didn’t want or care to know why.

    We are very blessed to have found a wonderful church home and family. And we have a truly humble Pastor now. After VBS in a body with over 800 adults and countless children I saw true humility when my pastor came out of the man’s bathroom with a mop and bucket and headed to the woman’s to clean it. He has never claimed to be a servant, he lives it. And at our church we have had two building projects, but no building fund. In fact we don’t pass the plate, there is a box in the lobby where the congregation gives by the Leading on the Holy Spirit. There is also no teaching on giving. God’s people want to do their best because the Holy Spirit inspires them not because leadership pressures them or guilts them into it.

    :new

  32. ExClcer'sMom says:

    “To put our decision in context, shortly before the interim Board began its work, C.J. took a voluntary leave of absence to avoid even the appearance of influencing his evaluation.

    Actually, that statement leads me to another question..I thought CJ was taking his voluntary leave of absence to reflect on where he needed to grow, not to avoid even the appearance of influencing his evaluation..and wasn’t there some stuff about him giving Josh a hard time, while he is supposed to be “on leave of absence”?
    IMO, Brent may have mixed up the quotes a bit, but it still reads the same meaning to me. :spin

  33. glad i am out says:

    Lee, 5 years…

    i am on the fence on this one, but i must say, after just re-reading Dave’s comments on the SGM blog, that Brent did overstate… He placed in his comments “we (sgm and aor)” when dave actually never said it that way – i am disappointed in Brent just now..

  34. glad i am out says:

    Mom,

    “C.J. took a voluntary leave of absence to avoid even the appearance of influencing his evaluation.”

    I too have been thinking this is Dave Harvey spin… This is not why he took a leave of absence… He was caught in a web of years of abuse, knew it, and had to pull out for a season of reflection, possibly just regrouping… I very much doubt his initial concern was “to avoid the appearance…’

    That makes him sound so Godly and humble… I very much doubt it was quite like that… He took his leave, at first, because he knew he had too… I do not think the mention of “panels of evaluation” were even mentioned at that time, correct me if i am wrong…

  35. Fried Fish says:

    5years #30 –

    With the semantic gymnastics these SGM leaders employ in their verbal wizardry, you know they’ll just claim they were “mizzunderstood” – Just because AOR was “involved” with SGM at that point in time doesn’t mean they were an active participant in the process, or even that they were invited to be. Nor does it mean that they approved in any way of how things were handled. Dave Harvey, of course, is quite aware that a normal reader would think they were, I’m sure. And that a normal reader would not go to the trouble of doing any independent verification…

  36. Canary says:

    Larry was considered the head “apostle” at PDI. CJ took a back seat to him for a while. I was at the Fairfax church when PDI entered the picture. Went to a few TAG meetings. After Larry was forced out, CJ took the top spot. Before that, Larry was in the front seat, although that might be because he was the charismatic one, the book writer and speaker. I always looked forward to hearing CJ speak because back then he seemed like a humble guy who had a rich walk with the Lord. He had a great sense of humor. He seemed to be Larry’s shadow. Brent was the “apostle” who came to oversee the Fairfax adoption (the pastor there was Benny Phillips). He was was high up in the PDI chain of command.

  37. ExClcer'sMom says:

    glad i am out, that is what i was remembering also about CJ’s leave of absence, that the “panels of evaluation” had not been mentioned yet..
    I see what you are saying now about the way Brent quoted it also..one made it look like Harvey was including AOR on the commissioning of the panels, the other way, it is not stated, though one could think it was implied…I agree-that is a big difference..

  38. Fried Fish says:

    There where two snakes talking. The 1st one said ‘Sidney, are we the type of snakes who wrap ourselves around our prey and squeeze and crush until they’re dead? Or are we the type of snake who ambush our prey and bite them and they are poisioned?’. Then the second Snake says “Why do you ask?” The 1st one replies: “I just bit my lip!”

  39. Bridget says:

    Mom –

    I believe at the beginning of that paragraph Harvey referred to SGM and AoR. Then further into the paragraph he refers to “we.” Leaving “we” undefined allows the reader to insert his best guess. The guess can then be deemed incorrect later on, if necessary. In the meantime, everyone can be thinking it was AoR and SGM together making the plan. Convenient? A slip? Seems we are always left guessing with SGM :scratch

    FF @37 –

    Funny!! They are definitely on the “bite themselves” path.

  40. Kris says:

    Light –

    Thanks for sharing about your experiences. Welcome.

  41. ExClcer'sMom says:

    Bridget, my thoughts exactly!

    Light, :welcome I love the sound of your current church! Your story about your son shows that it is obviously not just sexual abuse they want to cover up, but negligence with our children as well! I was close friends with the Redrups back in the late 70’s, early 80’s…I am sorry to hear they are still in that church. They are good people, they just drink heavily of the kool-aid. I am praying God open their eyes.

  42. Oswald says:

    Light #31 — Thanks for your story. I’m curious…do you attend the Blue Church? I went there as a teen/young adult and I remember they did not take an offering but had boxes in the lobby instead. One was marked ‘Pastor’ and that was his salary back in the day. Other boxes included ‘Missions’, ‘Building fund’, ‘General’

  43. Fried Fish says:

    BTW, that joke was a cut and paste work of fiction, and the name Sidney was already there – so no reference to Sidney who used to post here a lot. ‘Sides, I think I still owe her a cheese steak recommendation or somethin’ – just haven’t found a really good one around here yet. So no offense, Sidney wherever you are.

  44. Persona says:

    Wiki states: “He (Larry T) came to faith in Christ during the charismatic renewal of the 1970s, as described in his popular book, Clap Your Hands. His leadership of the popular non-denominational TAG (Take and Give) meeting in Washington DC, founded by local resident Lydia Little led to further prominence.[2]”

    I guess I had forgotten that Lydia Little founded TAG. But I she was ousted in a bloodless coup by Larry and CJ because they said women could not lead any meetings. Margaret Tomczak’s meetings she held before TAG meetings, were for women-only. Not sure if Lydia wanted to teach men or not.

  45. Yellow is a Happy Color says:

    Regarding the overuse of the word ‘humble’————If pastors call themselves and their pastor-friends ‘humble’, they really………..aren’t.

    A humble person will not draw attention to himself and announce his humilty. Nor will he pat his fellow pastors on the back and publically congratulate them for their humlity.

    In contrast, he will clean a toilet that needs it (like the pastor in Light’s new church in post #31)!

  46. klingo says:

    Light, I think I know what church you go to… Next to the Target? I left cfc too, the more the merrier!

    I left covfel because men sin including pastors but they have no accountability outside of themselves, neat system!

  47. Kim f/k/a Res Ipsa says:

    Brent is not a Victim – thank you. You succinctly and accurately said what I (and many others) know to be true.

    Canary # 15 – you are not a lone voice. I’ve got your back because I know that you speak from experience and that you and I have witnessed the truth of who some of these people are. You’re not alone in your beliefs.

  48. Steve240 says:

    ExCLCers Mom Said:

    Yes, that is what I remember, too! I was thinking Lydia was the basement they first had GOB in, but perhaps the basement where GOB met was at the Patton’s house? Plus, Larry came from Ohio, but the other pastors all inter-relate by marriage or blood to CJ, so CJ’s little empire started building right from the start!

    I think Lydia had the first TAG Meetings at her house. GOB which eventually became CLC met in Bill Patton’s father’s basement initially.

    A lot of the original CLC Pastors were more entrenched with CJ Mahaney than Larry. Some of them were related by marriage to Mahaney while others were friends that CJ grew up with. Thus when push came to shove there were a lot more pastors aligned with CJ than with Larry. Hence was easy for CJ to push Larry out.

    On another subject does anyone else find it deceptive where the report says “C.J. took a voluntary leave of absence to avoid even the appearance of influencing his evaluation?” During this absence Mahaney spoke at 3 SGM Churches and spoke at the Pastors’ Conference. I sure see this “appearance” especially with Mahaney speaking at the Pastors’ Conference.

    With the speech Mahaney gave at the Pastors’ Conference how could it not influence his evaluation? At this conference Mahaney retracted his confession and declared his sins commonplance etc. Another example of Harvey twisting things.

  49. Persona says:

    Yellow 45

    I often found that CJ would say one thing but, actually do the opposite. It was uncanny, how many times I caught him in this practice.

    One example: CJ was fond of saying he ‘never flattered’ anyone. He would say this all the while flattering someone to the hilt. Truth is, he was a master flatterer.

    I think he should also be careful with his use of superlatives. There were sermons when he’d declare something was the ‘most important’ point…then, minutes later, tell us of something else was also ‘most important”. And the following week, he would tell us more ‘most important’ points.

    Hmm.. maybe we should give CJ some helpful suggestions for things he should do or what he should avoid when he plants his new church…since he seems determined to stay in business.

    Btw, he really has to create his own church in order to remain out from under anyone else’s authority.

  50. Yellow is a Happy Color says:

    I’m not a big verse dropper, but I couldn’t resist b/c it fits in so nicely with what Persona said in #49 about CJ Mahaney:

    James 3:1

    Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.