Some Interesting Videos

There are some interesting Sovereign Grace Ministries videos floating around out there in cyberspace.  The following is from Covenant Life Church’s 2004 “Milestone Weekend,” a celebration of C.J. Mahaney as he bestowed the job of senior pastor upon Joshua Harris:


The same evening, Bob Kauflin performed a very special song for his dear friend:


Many thanks to reader and commenter MagruderHighDays for posting these!  (Although the Youtube account says “SGM Survivors channel,” please note that this site, SGM Survivors, has no connection to that channel.)


  1. ExClcer'sMom says:

    A Kindred Spirit, to respond to your post on the previous thread..while I love to joke as much as anyone else-laughter can be healing to the heart-I was always a bit disturbed back in the 70’s even..I didn’t know the other guys that closely, but I realized now ex-husband would always joke , seemingly in a way to keep relationships impersonal..I remember how, as a young Christian, I would ask him philosophical/spiritual questions, and he would answer in a quick, comical way, almost to make me feel foolish for asking..I began to read books and pray for answers instead..There is a place for joking, and comical relief, and sometimes that can occur even from a pulpit, but I thought CJ’s joking was extreme, and preferred Larry being more pragmatic and factual. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to joke around! I really dont remember any others, except my ex-husband and CJ who seemed inappropriately joking, like to keep people at a distance, keep them from knowing them too well. Of course, I was never that close to CJ-I think I was only in his house once, and barely ever spoke to him..just somehow, I likened his excessive joking in the same way I likened DA’s..maybe DA thought he could be like CJ, I dont know..

  2. Unassimilated says:

    Just wondering as I may have missed it, is CJ back as the president of SGM, or did they simply neglect to update the website through all of this?

    That evening was a lot of work and planning. Kinda feel sick to have been a part of it now. Not kinda, I really do feel sick.


  3. Mary says:

    Seriously, just when I think nothing else they do will leave me gobsmacked. REALLY! My pastor would die if we did this! I am constantly reminded of all the reasons I have to celebrate that God got me out! This is plain crazy! Little did they know what a HUGE favor they did by giving me the boot – kick me again anytime! I love my life without SGM! Now, I know how normal Christians live – yippee!

  4. Yellow is a Happy Color says:

    :clap I’m going to cancel my Netflix, because this video stuff will be much more entertaining! Thanks for posting!

  5. Kris says:


    I’m wondering if you’d be willing to share what you remember of how you felt about this event at the time?

    Do you think all the participants thought it was OK? Did you get any sense that anyone might have felt like it was just too much?

  6. Alex Houston says:

    So let me get this straight. The people in the audience were ok with all of this? Words escape me, welcome to bizarro world!! Did we just get a glimpse into an alternate universe? Wow… :scratch :bang :koolaid

  7. Steve240 says:

    Thinking back over the myriads of times that I’ve heard him speak, I don’t recall him ever just talking about how much God loves him – I mean just plain loves him,just like he is. CJ just talks about how merciful and gracious God is to not send him to hell. It seems like he has been driven and motivated by fear and not by love. That is heartbreaking to me

    It has been discussed before but one theory with CJ is that he group up with an alcoholic father and this has sadly skewed CJ’s concept of the father’s love.

  8. Kris says:

    I was thinking of what the SGM defenders would say about these videos. I imagine they would assert that we are making a big deal out of nothing since A) this happened over 7 years ago; and B) it was only at CLC and doesn’t reflect the way the rest of SGM felt about CJ.

    Does anyone want to respond to these assertions?

    My own thought is that it is precisely because this event occurred some years ago that it is so revealing. It gives us a unique window into the mindset of those closest to CJ…and why at least some of them have tried to defend him during his recent “season of reflection.”

    If this is what was going on back in 2004, is it any wonder that nobody (except Brent Detwiler) made any real attempts to challenge CJ?

    And is it any wonder that CJ is precisely where he is today (reinstated by his enablers after a silly kangaroo court exercise, with no real consequences for the most obvious of his misdeeds, the blackmail of Larry T)?

  9. acme says:

    I was there. I stood with my son in line to get CJ’s autograph afterwards. I’m horrified now, but I have no recollection of finding it offensive then. It’s somewhat like learning what foolish things one did when totally wasted.

  10. Yellow is a Happy Color says:

    Yes, it happened over 7 years ago, but it happened *only* 7 years ago. That is the scary part.

  11. Muckraker says:

    I checked back on the SGMwikileak docs and literally one month prior to this CJ-honor-fest (about how humble, etc. he is and has been, leading us to the cross, etc.–actually how can THAT be since most of us were already Christians when we met him?)

    Anyway, one month before this “Milestone mayhem” there was an infamous August 20th meeting to discuss the serious pattern of LACK of humility, etc. in CJ’s life!

    See pages 10-12 for one of the summaries of CJ’s “sins” which BD was confronting CJ about.
    See pages 29-30 for an email from DH categorizing in even more detail what CJ’s sins were.
    Pg. 16 are the actual notes from that meeting.

    Also, Carolyn was very aware and was involved knowing what CJ was being confronted for and she actually requested to postpone that Aug. 20th meeting until after this “Milestone Honoring”.(this is listed somewhere around these pages)
    I find this particularly disturbing, that a wife would be aware of a serious litany of sins in her husband and instead would want to proceed with a over-the-top love/worship-fest of same man at the same time, that this is all going on behind-the-scenes! :(

  12. Discovery says:

    Brent(if you are reading here) Look on youtube and watch how you gave a speach honoring CJ. Can you help me understand how you said all those nice things and just one month before you confronted him on some serious sin issues? (of which CJ didn’t repent)

  13. Muckraker says:

    @11 I want to make it clear that the August 20th meeting was in 2004 (the above link is referencing another meeting in 2005, about the 8/20/04 meeting and what led up to it) Yep, our tithe moneys used “wisely”. How many meetings/email exchanges/phone calls did these guys have on our dime to quibble over their persistent patterns of sin?

  14. Kris says:

    I just received an email from someone who recalls (but isn’t totally positive) that this CJ-Palooza was in fact a by-invitation-only event available only to “important” members and leaders and NOT to everyone who was part of Covenant Life Church at that time.

    Anyone else have the same recollection?

  15. 5yearsinPDI says:

    Ever since the docs got leaked I’ve been glued to the drama.

    My husband will occasionally ask if I am reading more SGM stuff again online, and why on earth am I wasting my time even thinking about SGM. I have to keep telling him that this is more dramatic than any novel I have ever read in my life.

    You had the docs…and the lovey dovey Big Dog commentaries, and Josh steps down, and then you get Brent posts and “Plant and Build” ( SGM blog) posts and its like watching a finely honed competition betweeen two masters of the sport.

    Then we had a few new extra stories of horrible abuse thrown in for good measure- ordinary people, and the pastor who got dumped by Mickey and Brent, and another sex abuse case. Mickey comes out with his command to shun Brent, and Jared makes his lovely statement about this blog being worse than pornography.

    I’ve been waiting for the great AoR finale. Its been like a Peretti novel, or a dark Dean Koontz novel, or maybe a Mary Higgens Clark with the sociopath and the innocents. But it is all real. Real people, real stories, real lives, and oh so horrible.

    Some of the men I have most admired- Piper, Alcorn, Sande- outwardly silent in the face of it. I have grieved at their silence when so much is at stake, though I try to believe the best. Watching the people I consider my own people, the Gospel Coalition types, mesmerized by a false apostle. Me, a Reformed charismatic complementarian Grudemite type, watching SGM assume the throne of representing that doctrinal combination, in the minds of tens of thousands of people for years. Watching CCEF and the dean of Westminster Seminary sucked into the cesspool of lies to some degree. It has been gut wrenching and mindblowing to feel like all that has been exposed since spring didn’t seem to make a difference.

    These videos are the worst yet. They are astounding. Magruder, I have to hand it to you, this is one amazing act of God to expose this and you were the vessel He used, and I hope the Lord uses it to send the tidal wave Mole saw. Thank you again for the efforts. God bless you, and all of you out there, and Kris and Guy and Jim. I wonder if somebody will write a book someday when it is all over. What drama. You can’t make this stuff up.

    Muckraker- good work!! (#11)

    Kerrin- thinking of you again, often. I wished at the time you didn’t move so far away. Now I understand. Now I understand why BK’s son in law had to get as far away as he could. May God rescue your family.

  16. acme says:

    I know of a number of leadership-type banquets/soirees/pageants, but there was definitely a farewell CJ event that the great unwashed laity (including yours truly) attended.

  17. Oswald says:

    There was a similar to-do when Dave Harvey turned over the sr pastorate to Jared M. at Cov Fel. It was stated to be a formal-dress occasion, even though we don’t even dress-up when we worship God on Sundays. I wonder if there is any video of that.

  18. Kris says:


    I agree with you, this SGM saga has proven to me that truth definitely is stranger than fiction.

    You just can’t make this stuff up.

  19. Kris says:

    I wrote the following this morning, in the comments of the previous post. It was probably tedious the first time around, but hey, I like it and I want to put it out there again. So here goes:


    The video segment narrated by Josh Harris is the piece that impressed me so much back when we were new to our SGM church. (I didn’t see the rest of the 2+ hour show then – I saw that part for the first time yesterday.) At that point, I hadn’t watched CJ preach or read any of his books. I don’t think I’d even read any of his online writings. But I had very positive views of him because of how he was written about by other Reformed bloggers, and because of the company he kept at various conferences. When I saw the video, it affirmed everything I thought I knew…and I can remember feeling so in awe of the idea that there was actually a church leader out there who was so perfect, who had led such an exemplary life and had done so much to influence others.

    I’m not saying any of that with any irony. I really thought those things. And I guess my point is that I can understand why so many people have had such high opinions of CJ, even to the point where they could be part of an evening like that without feeling completely uncomfortable.

    I’d like to think that if I’d been part of CLC and had been there, the over-the-top and rather obvious CJ worship would have triggered some internal alarm. I’d like to think I would have had the discernment to sense that it was totally inappropriate.

    But I can understand why I might not have…and why those who were participants apparently didn’t. It’s because the idea that CJ is essentially perfect was reinforced by everyone and everything around him, from those most closely connected to him (his family) to his (supposed) co-workers (“supposed” because, truth be told, they weren’t actually on his same level…he was still their boss and they still ultimately deferred to him).

    CJ’s image was one of perfection because literally dozens of people were trained to publicly affirm it in that way. Any hint of talk of his foibles and flaws simply did not happen.

    I happen to have a copy of the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine sitting within view right now. And it struck me that in a way, CJ’s image was a product, a carefully crafted and carefully presented product just like that of a celebrity. Martha Stewart Living presents itself as though Martha Stewart herself actually follows her supposed monthly calendar (which lists chores like, for March 1, “Clean and paint birdcages for canaries,” and for March 13, “Feed the chickens vegetable scraps”), comes up with all sorts of creative recipes, constantly works on the upkeep of her own homes in a hands-on way (as in rewiring broken lamps, a task from another issue), and just generally is this total homemaking/lifestyle guru. But the thing is, as a reader, I can look at the first couple of pages and see a listing of perhaps a hundred staffers who actually do all the stuff for the magazine – and I can also imagine the huge household staffs that Martha Stewart has employed for her various properties. In other words, although an image is carefully crafted and presented, it’s done openly enough for the general public to know that it’s an image being sold to them.

    When this same sort of thing – an image – is created and spun for a Christian leader, however, what is being marketed and sold is not something as prosaic as homemaking. Rather, it’s the power of God at work in a man’s life and character. That’s the image that was carefully produced and presented for CLC’s audience back in 2004 – the idea that CJ is just this practically perfect example of God’s power that produces perfect character, perfect enough that CJ deserves a tribute song glorifying him for “leading them to the cross.”

    CJ’s present woes are a big deal for many reasons, the most obvious being that no matter how his defenders try to parse their terms, he did blackmail his co-founder with information obtained because the co-founder’s teen son confided in him in a quest for spiritual help. That’s huge.

    But there are other dynamics at play, too, that are problematic not because CJ committed obviously heinous sins or had traditional “moral failings,” but because he and the people surrounding him colluded for decades to present a specific image of him to people, an image that was, at worst, false, and at best, totally one-sided.

    In effect, the image of CJ as a paragon of humble perfection with an extremely well-rounded life and pretty much no area of weakness was a lie. The CJ being lauded and worshipped in the video was a lie. It was a false image.

    Dare I say it? – it was a graven image.

    And really, CJ is not the only one who sinned in this mess. Every guy who got up there and contributed to this graven image with their extravagant praises is just as guilty. They all functioned like the staffers who put together Martha Stewart Living – only, because what they were showing their audience was supposedly connected to God, with God’s endorsement, they lied about God. They presented a false image of CJ – and by extension, God – to the world.

  20. Happymom says:

    Back in the last post, SueAnn posted the video below. If that video was done recently, in light of all the scandals surrounding SGM, what a mockery this is to ALL those who have suffered under President Mahaney’s reign…. that THIS would be his very public response. He is mocking those who have suffered. Nice.

    “Something else you have to see to believe –”

    From TG4: Celebrity Pastors: Indecent Exposure

  21. MaryMelissa says:

    I was a new member of CLC then, was horrified with that event. It made my stomach sick, it was like a circus but no one could see what I saw, worshipping a person. It was odd to me, but afterwards CJ became less visible and now most new members don’t even know who he is. We purposely took a vacation those days to avoid seeing that nonsense. CJ would visit CLC from time to time but was always unapproachable. People that work at SGM hardly know him. He is strange person, I am glad that finally the truth about him came to surface. Big changes had happened in CLC since then

  22. Bookhead says:

    On the last post Kris #154- Some thoughts about your statement, “Implicit in the Christian world is the assumption that truth is always honored and that leaders are not going to lie outright, either by telling lies of commission or lies of omission…”

    I’ve been attempting to post a comment on SGM’s site, responding to their/Dave Harvey’s announcement about the panel findings and CJ’s return. Haven’t made much progress, possibly because of a problem of “definitions.” Apparently, I define some words differently than they do. (I’ve been told I can be too blunt- maybe that’s the problem?) I stated that CJ LIED when he spoke to the CLC congregation about Larry in 1997. Nope, I was told he didn’t lie, and that’s what the panel determined. Well, my response was- if CJ didn’t tell the whole truth, wasn’t that the same as a lie? (Kris- your “lie of omission) Okay, so I was willing to compromise somewhat, just so I could have my comment published. I said I was willing to soften my wording to, -“he *deceived* us.”

    I then communicated a personal example, in which I’d told my two younger sons, (who had found some hidden ice cream) “I did not eat any of the ice cream,” which was true. However, I had eaten some of the sherbert. When I revealed the full truth, my 12 yr. old son exclaimed, “But that was deceptive!” And I agreed with him, because he was right. See, even a 12 yr. old understands what deception is, and as a parent/leader, I would be wrong to betray his trust in me.

    I also provided a Biblical reference from Acts 5, the story of Ananias and Sapphira. It shows that Sapphira lied in direct response to questioning; Ananias simply omitted information. Yet, God chose to judge them equally. (Immediate death!)

    I haven’t heard back yet. I could just be beating my head against a wall. I’m really good at that. But I’ve found that being pig-headed, stubborn, out-spoken, and persistent can sometimes be effective. Attitudes about bullying are different at CLS (CLC’s school) because I wouldn’t give up. (Of course, I do tend to go into a serious “mama bear” mode when one of my “cubs” is threatened or hurt…)

  23. KAZ says:

    Some of these videos being posted seem so far from reality I dont know how to respond :scratch

  24. Persona says:

    Kris, sorry I didn’t see your question earlier.

    The anniversary event extended over a weekend. The first night was an invitation-only dinner that included video and in-person honoring of CJ. Not all the invited reformed big-dogs or sgm pastors could make the dinner in-person. They did fly-in the guy who shared the Gospel with CJ back in the 70’s but, I don’t think Lydia Little was there or Larry :P But, I never saw the list of invitees. They re-ran some of the drama skits for the rest of the church on Sunday, so everyone else saw those. Afterward, they invited the congregation to come up front and get in-line to say “farewell” to CJ and Carolyn or get in another line to “greet Josh and Shannon.” The lines were long.

    Kris, I don’t remember anyone thinking the skits and songs were representative of extreme flattery. It was pretty common fare at CLC. But, there were piles of left-over Memorial books which made me think not many people wanted one. Perhaps there was less interest in the life and times of CJ Mahaney than I knew, especially when you had to pay for it. The first part of the book was a sentimental history of CJ’s life, composed by Janelle or Nicole Mahaney. So, maybe Carolyn didn’t want to spoil the evening. But, it’s amazing to think that Brent and CJ were ‘having at it’ behind the scenes and yet, on screen, Brent managed to find ways to flatter his boss.

    We didn’t ask CJ to sign a copy of the book but by then, I knew (from him) that he wasn’t interested in talking to old timers in the church. That made it awkward to approach him.

    CJ did speak at length with people who put on the show, and he lavished praise on the director, Scott R. and others.

    Steve and Vicki Cook must feel they jumped out of two frying pans (FL and MN) into the fire, by returning the CLC this year. They continue to be counted among the faithful of sgm. I pray God protects them. They are a gifted pair.

  25. JC not CJ says:

    Now this is just flat out weird. The first video of those folks with hats & canes singing about CJ is just beyond belief and BIZARRE. Jesus Christ died for the world so why not keep our songs of praise in your directed at him. Easy to see that CJ’s narcissistic personality had plenty of help from the congregation. I have never seen anything this off balanced in church with one exception: a friend’s church had several men get up dressed in evening gowns, wigs, heels etc and sing a Point of Grace song. I put that right up there with these strange SG videos. God save the CHURCH !

  26. exCLCer says:

    :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf:
    ugh. period.

  27. Paul says:

    Kris #8

    I’ll take a stab at responding.

    As to 1) “not a big deal since this happened over 7 years ago”. Well, if it’s not a big deal why were the original videos pulled from the internet? Also seven years isn’t a long time ago. Sins don’t become less sinful just because they happened seven years ago. In any case, the problems are that this happened at all, that at the time no one seemed to think there was anything wrong with it and that no one in SGM/CLC has apologized for it (that I have read of).

    As to 2) “not a big deal since it was only at CLC and doesn’t reflect the way the rest of SGM felt about CJ”. Well first, how many non-CLC SGM pastors have ever spoken up in public to say this kind of thing is wrong? Would that be zero? In any case, as muckraker correctly points out, part of the problem here is precisely that this didn’t at all reflect the way other SGM leaders thought of CJ in private. Either other SGM leaders did feel this way about CJ or they didn’t in private but pretended they did in public. It’s hero worship or hypocrisy but it’s wrong either way.

  28. SGMsingle says:


    You said that you heard this event might have been only for CLC leaders and select members. I do seem to remember, but am not positive, something about this show being “invitation only”. I do know the “Milestone” Sunday morning meeting was open to everyone. Maybe that Sunday is when Acme’s son got the autograph?

    On the videos it was clear that this presentation took place in the old CLC Auditorium (now CLS gym). Everyone was seated at dinner tables. There is no way the 2000 or so members at the time could have all fit into that space with those tables. My estimate is that only around 200 people could have been there, so it makes sense that invitations might have been limited to …um…CJ’s 200 closest friends. At the time, I was certainly not in that category, but I was a CLC member.

  29. SGMsingle says:

    I wrote out the words from BK’s song in the video above. There are quite a few SGM catch phrases. Here they are:

    How do we express
    all our gratefulness?
    We must confess
    that the words are hard to find.

    How do we convey
    what these years have meant?
    Our best attempts
    will fall short of our desire.

    Though you might deny it,
    we’re certain that it’s true:
    Our lives are more like Jesus
    because we followed you.

    You led us to the Cross
    again and again,
    We have found the Savior
    Who died that we might live.
    You’ve led us to the Cross,
    where mercy knows our name,
    and we’re forever changed,
    for you’ve led us to the Cross.

    Faithfully you’ve taught us
    that our God reigns,
    and we’re sustained
    by the power of His Word.

    Joyfully you’ve helped us
    to love His ways,
    and we’re amazed
    we’ll never get what we deserved.

    Your humility and passion
    have been a precious gift.
    By watching you look upward
    we’re learning how to live.

    (repeat Chorus)

    You’ve constantly labored
    to show us the Savior
    is worthy of all praise!

    You’ve laid a firm foundation
    for future generations
    to magnify His name!

    (repeat Chorus)

  30. Mary says:

    sgmsingle – thank you for taking the time to write out those words because I couldn’t make it through watching the entire video. It was like a worship song – but to CJ. When you hear the music and listen to these words it is no wonder that when they gave me the boot I could’t seperate pastors from God. Even this song shows how they intertwine the two. It took me years to untangle. Now, I am shocked to see this stuff. So, much so that I couldn’t make it through the video.

    Acme – autographs after ? How sad. “It’s somewhat like learning what foolish things one did when totally wasted.” I understand that and have often looked at some of the foolish things I did in the name of leadership worship. Sad. Isn’t it grand when the hangover ends and you affirm, “won’t do that again”…. :barf: LOL!

  31. Mary says:

    I am wondering if the church paid for the CJ broadway outfits….great use of tithe money ?

  32. Mary says:

    “You led us to the cross”……..the Holy Spirit led me…where I saw the mercy of Jesus….not CJ.
    “Our lives are more like Jesus because we followed you.”….actually….my life is more like Jesus…because I followed….JESUS!
    “By watching you look upward we’re learning how to live…weird…what was CJ looking up at…birds?….I have learned how to live by listening to God’s TRUTH….through His word. Even what anyone preaches only has power to change my life if it is …God’s word…oh and seeing how JESUS lived on earth makes me want to live different… I never watched CJ look upward – it’s a bird – it’s a plane…

  33. Dan says:

    Thanks for posting these ….

    You just brought much hysterical laughter to Birmingham UK …

    Good grief.

    :barf: :clap

  34. Sick with Worry says:

    I need to echo what some others, like Lee, have said, “It’s painful to see people acting, well, just plain stupid”.

    I am sure that even supporters are thinking that these are an embarrassment. And to think that I got drawn to SGM because my old church was “man centered”. :scratch

    Nonetheless, here is my “cautiously-optimistic-moderatly-pro-SGM” thought for the day. I am not defending, just thinking out loud:

    It seems to me that the further away your church is from SGM/CLC, and the more time that passes, these aspects of SGM church life are diminishing or moderating somewhat. So, perhaps even the higher-ups have seen the silliness of this kind of stuff. For example, in some ways, my SGM church is more like a couple of the area Baptist churches than it is the CLC/SGM of 15 years ago. And a couple of the present day Baptist churches in my area are more like my present-day SGM church than they are the fundamentalist Baptist churches of 15 years ago.

    What I mean is, does anyone see anything today that their SGM church is doing “more normal” than they were years ago? And, has anyone seen healthy changes from other churches that they can attribute to the Young Restless Reformed influence?

    I know that this is a stretch, and I am not trying to “believe the best” about SGM. Rather, I really want to see what the Lord could be doing through all of this. I see some fruit from SGM, but I am indeed seeing the good that came from more traditional circles.

    Also – I agree with Kris, and this has bugged me in my church for the entire time I have been there. If you are changing and learning, why not embrace your past and share what you have learned and why you changed? This is a big part of teaching people to think for themselves, and it shows real humility.

  35. Steve240 says:

    If people want to take the mentality that this is no big deal since it was 7 years ago maybe that explains the mentality that SGM seems to be taking about C.J. Mahaney blackmailing and lying about Larry Tomczak. The lying and blackmailing happened 13 years ago so is that why they think it was no big deal?

    I am sure there were individuals that questioned doing this whole production and how it came off but with the CLC/SGM culture of how wrong it was to question I am sure kept them quiet. Also when people aren’t speaking up about their questioning of this then it makes those that question think they are the only ones who question doing this. Thus this “show” could happen if anything was a reflection of CLC/SGM’s culture of not questioning etc.

    The “group think” mentality was also at play.

    Bob Kauflin is so use to writing songs about and worship of God. When you take someone that is so use to writing those type of songs it is hard to shift gears when you are writing a song about a person. Still sadly the tone especially came across like a typical worship song. More thought should have been done about doing this.

  36. acme says:

    One of the benefits of having come through this experience is real humility. When an old friend shares how drugs or alcohol messed up his life, I share how being in a cult messed up mine (and my family’s).

  37. Mommy2Boo says:

    Um…did anyone catch #9? CJ signed AUTOGRAPHS afterward?? I love the line that says “You gave our sinful natures a kick.” No wonder people don’t seem to need the Holy Spirit in SGM. They have….Ceee Jaaay! Imagine Paul allowing people to say those things of him. And then signing autographs afterward. It’s mind blowing.

  38. Mary says:

    I like this video better. The gospel is GREAT news! It is not about CJ or any other pastor giving our “sinful” natures a kick!

  39. Blues0080 says:

    i’m so glad i was gone before this happened and missed all of this….but i am familiar with the mindset that allowed this to happen. i saw a friend’s facebook status this morning that made me think of sgm…’satan is an example of someone who has correct doctrine, but has no love for god.’

  40. Stunned says:


    And who paid for this special, invite-only shin-dig?

  41. griefofwisdom says:

    “B) it was only at CLC and doesn’t reflect the way the rest of SGM felt about CJ.”

    Understanding you are presenting a hypothetical line of reasoning, but this one shouldn’t hold too much weight. The broadway production (or maybe a portion of it), and the video of CJ’s life were shown at the small group leaders conference held at CLC around the same time. Don’t remember what else was shown then. That alone is a pretty wide distribution.

  42. Nickname says:

    Hey, I LOVED the one with the guys singing “I Wanna Be Like You”, from Jungle Book. Now, there’s a parody, and it was certainly tongue in cheek — it pointed out CJ’s humanity, not his ‘humility’. Isn’t that what we all need? Friends who love us in spite of our humanity, our failures, our idiosyncrasies, our lack of humilty. That’s friendship.

    The first line, “…he’s the king of the pastors…” is a reworking of the original lyrics from Jungle Book where it says, “He’s the King of the swingers, a jungle VIP…” Here’s a link to the original on youtube:

    The “Mame” tribute — I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen Mame parodies — once wrote one myself. To defend the lyricist, sometimes it’s easy to say things just because they rhyme, so I can give some benefit of the doubt with poetic license. I’m sure it wasn’t meant as a theological treatise to be examined ad nauseum by somebody like me 7 years later — by itself, it was clever, though a little over the top.

    But once again, as in BK’s song, in a couple of places, the work of the Holy Spirit was attributed to a mere man –“you gave our sinful natures a kick”, “the sin that you were after would bring a deep conviction to our eyes” — oops. Sin doesn’t bring conviction — the Holy Spirit brings conviction — and what??? you’ve never heard about sanctification, justification, etc.??

    Because of the written exchanges and behaviors that took place in this time frame (as exposed in The Detwiler Documents), what was intended to be a heartwarming event is now seen as a heartbreaking exercise in hypocrisy and insincerity.

    Who, that night did not know there was a huge disconnect between their tribute and the truth? Possibly some of the singers — probably much of the audience.

    I wonder if the leaders tacitly thought this was one final exercise in stroking an ego in order before putting it on the back burner, at least where CLC was concerned.

    I don’t really care whether or not the costumes were paid for with church funds. The dancers deserve a little bang for the bucks they shelled out for all those books, tapes, conferences, etc.

    Kudos to the dancing women for their adherence to the modesty checklist. Personally, I’d have preferred some fishnet tights. But who knows? Maybe the Rockettes will be high-kicking in baggy grey flannel slacks next season. If the Taliban takes over Radio City.

  43. Former CLC'er says:

    So glad I wasn’t around any more when this occurred. Originally I liked C.J.’s humor, but quickly I realized how mean-spirited it was, and then I didn’t like it any more.

    As for the video – I was horrified when they danced out with a photo of C.J. Yikes! Who are they worshiping? I am SO grateful I attend a church where the pastor is kind of a “nobody” and is not worshiped.

    As far as C.J.’s knowledge of God’s grace and love, I remember a sermon he preached around 1981 or 82 in which he talked about the Fatherhood of God that affected me a lot. But he’s slipped far from that now.

  44. Yellow is a Happy Color says:

    I believe it was Persona who said in the previous thread that all the folks at that dinner ate a normal main dish (chicken or something) but that CJ had LOBSTER.

    I don’t know why this simple detail bugs me so much.

    If CJ was as humble as everyone said he was, he would have not dared to eat finer/more expensive food than all the other guests. What a pharisee!

    Someone mentioned that Lydia, Larry and the pastor weren’t there…..It appears CJ didn’t have any use for them anymore….

  45. Remnant says:

    Brent wanted CJ to be humble, complained because he wasn’t, yet Brent participated in a CJ worship fest, personally puffing up CJ with vain mutterings.

    It’s enough to almost make me feel sorry for CJ’s vanity.


  46. A Kindred Spirit says:

    Unfortunately I’m not good at conveying my thoughts so you may not follow me on this, but here goes…

    I’ve come to realize what a key player Bob Kauflin has been in the “making” of SGM. When it comes to “selling worship,” Bob is one of the best. How fortunate for CJ that Bob “signed on”.

    I don’t know how CJ did it. He should write a book, “The Making of SGM.” I don’t think he’s some “mastermind”; it appears as though he was just merely at the right place at the right time with the right people – entering the ministry during the “Jesus Movement” and capitalizing on all the changes that were taking place within christian culture during that time. When you read the history of “contemporary christian music,” you realize that SGM was “there” growing right along with it.

    If I remember correctly, poor Bob suffered from some sort of “break down” in the early years. I’m sure he found a “spiritual father/mentor-type” in CJ. He was at CrossWay for a while before going to CLC.

    It seems as though so many of the key players in SGM were “men dealing with issues” (I can’t think of a better definition) that “found” one another. I’ve often said that SGM seems to attract “narcissists;” but it’s not just narcissists, it’s guys with ALL KINDS of “issues.” I’m not trying to paint with a broadbrush, or to be offensive or judgmental, there really is something that attracts a lot of unhealthy individuals to SGM.

    (Forgive me, I know my thoughts are all over the place.)

  47. BrokenHearted says:

    This isn’t a snark, but does anyone remember the celebration where almost an entire session was one of CLC’s broadway shows- I loved it, but I barely remember it now. I still sing certain portions though

    *sung to in the jungle*
    in my caregroup
    my quiet caregroup
    no one speaks tonight
    We don’t talka
    We don’t talka
    We don’t talka
    We don’t talka
    We don’t talka
    We don’t talka
    You can’t make me share!

    Our Josh *sung to the Gaston song from Beauty and the Beast*
    I don’t actually remember the lyrics just that they were silly and Josh wakes up at the end by Shannon telling him it’s just a dream…

    I don’t remember others from that night, but I always LOVED these songs ’cause they made me laugh and I “got” them all. (like the ones they’d do at ladies meetings or parenting seminars) :-p :-) I took it all as very tongue in cheek, so maybe I wouldn’t be as upset by THOSE videos. :)

  48. A Kindred Spirit says:

    Kudos to the dancing women for their adherence to the modesty checklist. Personally, I’d have preferred some fishnet tights.

    Haha…you’re a hoot, girl! :D

    I would have preferred some fishnets, too.

    (God knew better than to let our paths cross at Myrtle Beach in our younger years.)

  49. Lover of CLC says:

    I appreciate all the hard work and talent my fellow CovLifers put into this show. Some talented folks on the video. I wonder how many of them look back on this now with sadness on how C.J. had all of fooled. I am not a song writer but someone ought to write a song to the tune they used. Who will go against everything he preaches, C.J., Who will blackmail a fellow leader and think it’s okay, C.J., Who will bring shame on the church of Jesus Christ, C.J. Well I am sure you get the idea. Maybe Music Man will read this and come up with something really good.

    I can’t believe that the panel found him suitable for ministry. Now we have the president OF SGM who does not attend a SGM church. What a mockery. Resign C.J.

  50. Patti says:

    Before I heard of SGM I had stumbled across a Wayne Grudem ‘honor’ performance by I think a group of college kids. I thought that they were making fun of him and mocking him until I learned that they actually regarded him as holding so much if not all doctrinal truth. If I hadn’t already known that honoring CJ was the intent of the broadway show I would have also thought they were just mocking some dude named CJ. I think he should feel embarrassed that his leading inspires people to perform for him like that. I also think the performers do have an element of mockery squeaking through, a release of passive aggression disguised in ‘worship.’ it would be interesting to interview everyone in the videos and see if they ever had not so grand thoughts about CJ that they had never expressed to anyone before.