Team Pyro Opens It Up…

Frank from the Pyromaniacs blog has put up a post that permits commentary about Sovereign Grace Ministries.

I haven’t yet decided if I have the courage to join that discussion.  Frankly, I’ve found the interactions over there pretty intimidating, even just as a lurker.  I’d strongly encourage anyone who chooses to participate to abide by the established rules, work hard to contribute concise and focused points, and do your best to keep your cool.

389 comments to Team Pyro Opens It Up…

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  1. Stunned
    May 25th, 2012 at 10:26 am

    PS. It goes along with the conference for pastors that CJ is speaking at in Palm Springs, CA. If my church were spending money that way, instead of taking care of others, I would be pissed.

  2. NameGoesHere
    May 25th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Louisville is a bigger and more affluent city than most people realize. The rest of Kentucky does not consider it to be part of the state. :) Some of the ZIP Codes of Louisville Metro have very high per capita incomes.

  3. rorschach
    May 25th, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Izze – looks like SGM has L. Ron Hubbard material in their library!

    And as far as the Mansions as SGM move out west – BIG FAIL. They need to realize – as much as they are under shepherds, they are using (selfishly) the LORD’s money for themselves. He calls for us as Christians to care for the poor, the weak, the needy, the oppressed. Here these guys preach the gospel to Christians, squeezing large amounts of money out of them for each conference, they live in a festering decadence from the tithes intended for the LORD. A leader that cares for leaders (only) is a cheap one. When I look at Jesus and all he did for the people, children, and his disciples to the point of washing their feet – who are his undershepherds to reserve for themselves mansions, exclusive big ticket dinners, luxuries, and basically have every good thing? Who can defend these guys who live like kings and call themselves apostles? AND I MEAN KING IN A LITERAL SENSE.

    Some people defend them by saying “but they’re so generous.” That falls on deaf ears when one lives in luxury.

  4. rorschach
    May 25th, 2012 at 1:25 pm


    What burns me also is that I’ve seen people, families languish in want under SGM “care” at CLC. Cupboards empty. Kids going to school without lunches. With no REAL help from SGM, besides “counsel.” Praying is cheap in that situation. How about getting some food for the family? Nothing made me more sick to the stomach when I found out they were in such a state and I was like “why didn’t you say something?” And I knew they were receiving “care” from SGM… it perplexes me that the situation was like that…

    meanwhile CJ, Brian, Mike, and Steve – order their specialty coffee drinks at Starbucks, typing on their oh so expensive Macs that are tethered to their oh so expensive iphones. They’ll wax poetic about something theological and drive to their very nice home(s) in their nice cars. Where they’ll decide to order pizza for everyone on a whim.

    Thanks for suffering for the gospel! Oh wait – the suffering they’re going through is for evil done… NOT the gospel.

  5. rorschach
    May 25th, 2012 at 1:30 pm


    Wow – that kinda sounds like how I was married. We were so “gonna be pure for Christ!” – how is kissing impure? How is parading the first kiss at a wedding “the gospel?” It just kind of wierded a lot of people out. Seriously – they thought we were wierd. And cultish. *shudder*

    I didn’t think about this until I started evaluating everything after the levvies broke, so to speak.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  6. Whirlwind
    May 25th, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    It does seem the “first kiss” thing (though I’d personally encourage the practice) can become yet another mark of “true sanctification” when it’s put on such display (I wouldn’t encourage that practice).

    Whether they realize it or not, it puts the pastor in the position of giving a special blessing to the couple that doesn’t kiss because at the next wedding when it’s not mentioned, everyone’s left to assume, “Oh, that’s too bad – I guess they must have already kissed.” :(

    They’re setting up tiers among couples in the church where they might as well be announcing at the wedding, “This couple has already kissed, but, hey, at least they’re not sleeping together.” And, of course, when marital problems are shared in care group, we may be able to trace them back to how they conducted themselves before the wedding.

    None of this is expressed by the pastors, but it runs through the minds of those of us in the congregation because of what’s been emphasized as “the best choice”.

    As for the homeschooling emphasis – I remember listening to the “options” discussion a few years ago and was glad to hear CLC consider them all acceptable. But, as others have mentioned, the peer pressure can be overwhelming if you’re about to be one of the first to put your child in a public school. And posting resources like:

    doesn’t make it look like all options are equally acceptable because there is no “Why Public School Makes Sense Now More Than Ever” discussion – even if you start and end every presentation like this with a caveat stating other options are equally valid. (Now, I assume this is intended to encourage those who have decided to pursue homeschooling. That’s great, but in the SGM culture it will carry more weight than that.)

  7. Stunned
    May 25th, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Whirlwind, exactly!

    I was at a wedding a few years ago. (Non SGM wedding.) At the reception, the groom’s brother made a BIG deal out of how the groom was the 41 year old virgin. Big deal. Speech and all.

    Now, I never knew whether the bride was a virgin or not. Not really anyone’s business in my book. Yet, that was ALL anyone was trying NOT to think about. The groom is standing as his brother is toasting him for remaining a virgin. (Why is the bride sitting down and not getting toasted, as well?!?!) The groom is laughing as people are applauding him. (Why is the bride not being applauded?!?!) The groom is smiling modestly as speeches are made about his ability to remain a virgin til 41. (Why is noone giving speeches about the bride?!?!!?) Oh dear heavens, how do these people NOT see that by posting one person’s virginity report, by their silense, they are posting EVERYONE’S virginity report?!?!

    I am often aghast at how we Christians can be the most vulgar people on earth, all the while trumpeting our modesty. What goes on underneath the gown or the tux is no one’s business but the bride’s and the groom’s. For heaven’s sake, where is Ms Manners when you need her?

  8. Stunned
    May 25th, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Whirlwind said, “And, of course, when marital problems are shared in care group, we may be able to trace them back to how they conducted themselves before the wedding.”

    Isn’t that ridiculous judgment the truth? As if, because you didn’t kiss before you got married, that somehow indicates that your marriage is going to be good. What the heck? I can only see that POSSIBLY (certainly not necessarily), but possibly that the yearning just isn’t there to begin with. I mean, give me a man who is chomping at the bit! (Please, God, hear my prayer.)

    I know just too many SGM men who waited til the altar to kiss their brides and as it turns out, didn’t have much drive to kiss them (or anything else) all that often after the wedding, either. That is supposed to be ignored or even praised, but if they did kiss before the wedding, THAT is supposed to be an indicator of looming problems? Twisted. Mighty twisted.

  9. Whirlwind
    May 25th, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Incidentally, that homeschooling resource I posted in #356 was published last November – just over 6 months ago. My only hope would be that CLC, while trying to support those who do homeschool, isn’t regularly promoting their homeschooling resources such that the freedom they claim is overshadowed by “the best choice of homeschooling.”

    It would be interesting to see if some public schoolers were able to form a similar support group within CLC and have help sessions published on the church website. (I’m not at CLC, so maybe they do, or maybe there just aren’t enough public schoolers who want such a thing.)

  10. Persona
    May 25th, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Schooling is a very complex issue and our memories may bring a unique nuanced view into the CLC schooling experience.

    I knew several CLC families who sent their children to public schools or other private schools, in MD, DC and, surrounding counties. They did so for various reasons, having to do with behavior, expulsion, learning disabilities, athletics, affordability or convenience and location. But, the only ones I ever heard claim to be ‘persecuted’ for their decisions, were the ones sending their children to public schools.

    According to police reports, public middle and HS schools in all DC suburbs are ‘incubators for gangs’. And, Gaithersburg has dozens of gangs. Drugs are more easily accessed there too. So, there is some reason for caution in choosing a public school. But, there is also greater need for encouragement, from the church. And, I don’t think that traditionally happened at CLC.

    In our experience, CLC primarily encouraged children and families int their day schools. They hold a special golf tournament and auction each year and, one Sunday a year is devoted to sharing about the school and taking up a special collection. One CLS principal explained to us that they would always give preference to the day school because ‘parents were paying tuition’. End of discussion!

    Therefore, even though home school families eventually got a support group (FSP), and in the last four years, the pastors allowed them to create a home school co-op, which meets on church property, two days a week, home school children still don’t have equal access to the building or fields.

    Home school kids were also given the least beneficial afternoon slot for standardized testing. And, the actual tests appeared to be recycled from the morning session as, some were already marked-up. It was hard to turn a blind eye to those slights.

    But, if home schoolers sometimes felt second-class, I can only imagine what public school kids felt. Maybe that’s why many of them left the church?

  11. newbie
    May 25th, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    KWIW #305: pretty sure that moving truck was in prep for setting up in Orlando for the NEXT conference this weekend.

  12. ExClever'sMom
    May 25th, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Stunned #357, Funny how they put so much ‘stock’ in someone being a virgin. When I met my now ex husband, he was a virgin, I was not..Many people, myself included, automatically assumed he was ‘healthier sexually’ than I. Boy, was that ever a mistake! My point is, if we are saved by Grace, and forgiven of our past, then boasting of being a virgin is insignificant! Yet, Romans 6:1 still applies..Love does not ‘push the limits’ to see how much one can ‘get away with’..And that is what it truly all IS about, correct? Love. God’s love for us, and our love for Him.

  13. Yellow is a Happy Color
    May 25th, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Regarding the ‘first kiss’ flaunting at weddings……… It is quite possible to “technically” have your first kiss at your wedding but still do plenty of other fooling around….. Just saying, because I know of a case where things weren’t as pure as they appeared.

    Regarding public schools………there was a CLC pastor in the past year who set up a meeting for parents of public school students to fellowship/pray etc. BUT the meeting was held on a Tuesday morning, during the time that most working parents would be unable to attend. Really? I mentioned it to the pastor/staff and never heard back. Perhaps that meeting was only intended for public school families with stay at home moms…? Nice try, CLC.

  14. Rick Malament
    May 25th, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Okay, this has probably been asked already, but I’m just curious. According to the April 19th SGM BLOG entry (Sovereign Grace Ministries Relocation Announcement), the move to Louisville was not a “done deal even before the events of July 2011″, and that “conversation long preceded these events and, for the reasons given above, it has been an increasingly strong likelihood for several years.” SO, with all that in mind, why would someone inject $125,000 of upgrades into a home with strong likelihood of moving? Now, I understand painting, replacing older items, and other improvements to aid in resale, but $125K? Just wondering. :Thinking: :Thinking:

  15. Stunned
    May 26th, 2012 at 7:27 am

    I just thought of something. Kaufflin was in a band. And frankly, I have no idea where his money comes from. Could be savings or could be family money. He may not make all that much money from the tithers. Bob, please forgive my presumption. God bless you in your new home.

    (Though I still wouldn’t be part of a church where the pastor lives like that, unless it was some major family money he comes from. It would def make me feel more like Tammy Fay came to stay or the c word.)

  16. MAK
    May 26th, 2012 at 7:49 am

    I put on my Celebration 2004 t-shirt today. Great memories…sad outcome.

  17. Izze
    May 26th, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Stunned- the amount of money spent on BK’s home isn’t really the issue. 400k isn’t much in my opinion ( I’m from dc). It’s more the appearance that Erks me. 6500 sq ft is ridiculous when you’re on the cusp of being an empty nester. Just my opinion though…

  18. Steve240
    May 26th, 2012 at 9:55 am


    Doesn’t Bob still have his daughter and her kids living with them? This was discussed a while back. Bob’s son in law wanted to leave SGM but Bob’s daughter wouldn’t.

    A reason for needing some room but still that is a lot of space.

  19. Stunned
    May 26th, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Bob’s daugther and the grandchildren are not moving with him.

  20. Wanda (Deb) Martin
    May 26th, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!

    For those of you who peruse The Wartburg Watch, just wanted to let you know that our website went down yesterday for some unknown reason. Our tech guy says the problem is extremely serious.

    For those of you who have been enjoying our EChurch services, we apologize. We will post it when the blog is up and running again.

    Rest assured that we are more determined than ever to get the truth out. We will not be hindered.

    Blessings to all!

  21. Persona
    May 26th, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Rick 364

    The upgrades were likely made to accommodate the Bradshaws in the lower level of their home. Still, they were likely planning to stay a long while in G-burg. The move was abrupt and can be directly tied to offenses between CJ and Joshua.

    Joshua took the high road and CJ took the low one.

  22. Steve240
    May 26th, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    In case people didn’t see this, someone posted this link in Refuge:

    This was written by one of SGM’s new board members Ken Mellinger who is also Jared Mellinger’s dad.

    The most shocking statement in this was:

    The history of Sovereign Grace is, in my view, largely the story of the grace of God in the life of C.J. and
    Carolyn Mahaney. Their influence has been large (even opponents see this value).

    This statement confirms what other people have said before that the image of SGM and C.J. Mahaney are so intertwined that if SGM was admit there was a problem with C.J. Mahaney then they would be admitting there are problems with SGM. Thus leadership seemed to want to hide and cover C.J. Mahaney’s sin and hypocrisy rather than admit and deal with it.

    It is also sad that this statement seems to forget Larry Tomczak and the input he had on the group in the early days including the teaching and support Larry gave to C.J. Mahaney before Larry was apparently marginalized and then blackmailed by C.J. Mahaney.

    Ken Mellinger is also seeming to ignore I Cor 3:7 that says “ So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. ” God could easily have used anyone for the growth.

  23. Luna Moth
    May 27th, 2012 at 1:43 am

    So sorry to hear about the problems over at Wartburg. I hope it can be resolved without too much difficulty. Praying for peace and clarity for your team.

  24. Sea change
    May 27th, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Steve 240, I read the link you posted, and am shocked that there were yet more warnings against gossip and slander and evil bloggers (sarcasm!!)
    I feel offended every time I read what is being fed to SGMers. I keep hearing “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, people!”

  25. 5yearsinPDI
    May 27th, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    God’s purpose is in even the SGM warnings against people like Jim at Refuge, and Kris here. Thousands of people who might never have even known that anti SGM blogs existed now are aware that such blogs exist. Right now they would not want to look at them and get all defiled, or whatever it is that supposedly happens when you read these blogs, but if the powers that be turn on them, they will remember, and then they will come reading.

    Many members will probably contently go on in SGM not making any waves and never realizing what sorts of problems exist. Some however, will come up against the same abuse that drove out scores of good pastors and hundreds of good people. And when they do become victims of heavy handed abuse or lies by men on power trips, in their shock and pain they’ll be googling for the blogs. You can count on it.

    It isn’t over. The new regime in Louisville may start out with glowing fanfare, but crushed sheep are on the future menu. No doubt some SBC members or seminary people will get smacked down by Al along the way and they’ll be reading here too. There has been no repentance by CJ and the ones going with him, and all that means is more future victims, but this time the victims won’t feel alone and isolated. They’ll be looking for the blogs. Should be some interesting posts down the road.

  26. Lee
    May 27th, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Here’s an interesting tweet today from John Piper in light of the conversation about an SGM leader buying a mansion in Louisville:

    “Pastor,why are you buying a house in a depressed hood? “We’re not here to make money. We’re here to make a name for Jesus.””

  27. lee
    May 27th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Correction: That quote above by John Piper was on Facebook, not a Tweet.

  28. Former CLC'er
    May 27th, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I was so appreciative this a.m. at church, realizing how there are no super personalities put forth – not in the pastor, in the worship leader, or any other person. In fact, things are so low key in honoring people that it almost feels like a step down. But wasn’t that what Jesus did? He humbled himself to be born a man and identify with us.

    As far as buying a house in the hood – I work in the hood (SE DC), and though it can get wearying and there are cultural differences and systemic issues to deal with, yet I find it a privilege to serve children in that environment, and consider it a ministry ( esp. since my commute leaves me little time for other ministry).

  29. Sopwith
    May 27th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    The New SGM ‘Fandango Court’?”


    Ozymandias #325,

    Figurative meaning or Fugitive meaning? 

    “…You sit around getting older, there’s a joke here somewhere and it’s on who?, shakin this church world off your proverbial shoulders, but -come on baby, the laughs on who?” You SGM gun’s are for hire, even if it is just proverbially fandango dancing with the ‘dark’?

    As a result of the extravagant features of the new SGM dance, the proverbial term “Fandango Court ” now used as a synonym for “a unresolved SGM quarrel?,” “a big SGM fuss?,” or “a proverbially brilliant SBC exploit?”

    You decide.

    Parsed, it could be called a proverbial  air condition doghouse convention ? (ACDC?), 

    Praise.  The.  Lord?



  30. Persona
    May 27th, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Steve240 #372

    One thing we need to keep in mind is Ken Mellinger fully represents SGM. He also represents their apparent intransigence. They indeed seem to be ‘regrouping’ but, unfortunately they are merely digging themselves in deeper.

    With a return to teachings about watching your speech, they are just beating a dead horse by exorting members (and, now even x-members!) to speak no discouraging words about SGM and trust your leaders without question.

    However, the subject, “How to Avoid Grieving the Holy Spirit of God” would have been better preached to themselves, the perpetrators of so much grief to the members of their unhealthy churches.

  31. MAK
    May 27th, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Persona, your last sentence hits the nail on the head.

    Also Mr Mellinger appears to let members meetings be dictated by member interest. But how could there be any interest when you give a sermon on grieving the Holy Spirit by your speech? And he also quotes the AOR admonishment on members meetings.

    BTW. CLC’s next members meeting is scheduled for June 28th and everyone was encouraged to attend from the pulpit this morning. Topics to be discussed: AOR report, new clc constitution, annual budget.

  32. Rick Malament
    May 27th, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    5years @ 375,
    More like sheered sheep!

  33. Stunned
    May 28th, 2012 at 6:32 am

    5 years, good post

  34. Guy
    May 28th, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Off of this topic, but on topic with today….

    A big thanks to all of you that have served our country. The sacrifices that you, and your family members, have made are truly appreciated. Thank You!! You are all heroes in my book! :THANK-YOU:

  35. Fruit Filled
    May 29th, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Today BK posted five tweets from NEXT on Facebook. Two of the tweets were from CJ. It seems he is still on the offensive.

    “The less you hold fast the gospel, the more you’ll complain about everything else. @CJMahaney #thisisnext”

    “It doesn’t require discernment to point out obvious deficiencies in your church. @CJMahaney #thisisnext”

    The first statement is a perfect example of the twisted, abusive judgement of some in SGM leadership. Apparently any complaint I bring forth should remind me of my condition as the worst sinner.

    The second statement is also twisted. If I point out an obvious deficiency, I must be judgmental and therefore sinning. If I point out an area of strength, then I am discerning and therefore a better Christian.

  36. Steve240
    May 29th, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    One thing that I missed but now find so sad it the title of Ken Mellinger’s document: ”How to Avoid Grieving the Holy Spirit of God.”

    Does Ken Mellinger not think that the “whitewashing” they did of C.J. Mahaney’s sing grievies the Holy Sprit not to mention the sin they have allowed to stay in their group?

    Does SGM’s differing measures on if and how the discipline leaders not grieve the Holy Spirit?

    What about abused sheep over the years? Does that not grieve the Holy Spirit?

    What about the child molesting cases where there have been coverups and more siding with the perpetrator vs. the child moleted and the child’s family?

    Ken Mellinger seems to be so concerned about speech and not wanting there to be “gossip” or “slander” but shows no concern about the sad practices that SGM Leaders have shown over the years.

  37. OutofStepford
    May 29th, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    “It doesn’t require discernment to point out obvious deficiencies in your church. @CJMahaney #thisisnext”

    Oh, Mr. Mahaney, if only the deficiencies in SGM were more obvious! They are subtle–a proverbial “Pandora’s Box” of corruption. There would be no need for these blogs if everything were obvious. If/when your followers do get the gift of discernment, you will have to go a lot farther away than Kentucky to continue your little game of “King of the Mountain.”

  38. Persona
    May 29th, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    OutofSteford387 That quote reminds me of CJ’s infamous “Captain Obvious’ sermon where he warned members not to be so quick to judge others.

    Another ‘sin’ sermon described how you could walk around with a shmear of cream cheese on your face and not be aware of it unless someone else tells you.

    In other words, sin can be obvious to all one day and I guess invisible, the next.

    One thing is certain: CJ is adept at preaching sermons that serve him and his every whim. How did we not have chronic stiff necks with him yanking us around every Sunday?

  39. David Conner
    May 29th, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    When one takes the time to read through the events described and present circumstances of a Christian organization called “Sovereign Grace Ministries” one can conclude that SGM is an oxymoran.
    Is the main emphasis and focus “sin” in the life of believer in Christ and that of sin management or the “Grace of God?”

    If you want to look at and focus on your “sins” SGM will help you do that.
    If you want to look at the alternative of a focus upon God’s “grace” that is present in your life, I would suggest two books that were very helpful to me personally: “God Without Religion” and
    “The Naked Gospel” by Andrew Farley.

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