In the previous post about Redeemer Church of Charlotteville’s departure from the Sovereign Grace Ministries family of churches, a reader – “Empty” – said the following:
I have a concern that I have never seen addressed… I don’t know what the answer is, but honestly, the idea of churches leaving doesn’t thrill me. I am very anti-sgm… they sicken me. I spent far too many years of my life there and will never, ever go back. Not even to a church that used to be a part and has left. I want to be forgiving and I know that people can change and grow, but I also know how ingrained the sgm way becomes and have little to no faith at all that leaving will change a lot. I guess what I’m trying to say is, there is a certain sense of “safety” in being associated with sgm because I know to stay away, and many others do, too. But when a church leaves and is independent or joins another group, it is still going to have the same mindset and the same issues, just under a different name, and there won’t be that sgm warning label. I’m terrified of ever getting involved with something like sgm again. Nothing is new — yes, there is lots out in the open now that was concealed for so long, but come on, it’s been there all along, and many of us saw all the junk years ago. The main thing different now is that more people are talking about it after being hushed for so long under the “gossip and slander” cr*p. If they had left before it was looking “cool” to leave, they would have had my utmost respect. But leaving now, when they know they have a fan base of anti-sgm’ers? Um, no, I just see a bunch of churches going off on their own (or starting a new group) that is no longer associated with sgm but is still full of the same stuff. Yes, God can and does change hearts — but behavior is deeply rooted and it’s not going to change just because a church is no longer part of sgm. Pastors have been trained a certain way, and have patterns that have become a part of them — so much so that I have no doubt they don’t even realize how far off they are. I know my feelings are strong, but honestly, the only hope for true change and reform to me is that it all comes crashing down and any new churches start from scratch with brand new leadership.
What do you think? Is leaving the SGM organization an adequate solution for a Sovereign Grace Ministries church that wishes to address SGM’s issues?