Archives

Tim Challies Has No Room For Discernment Bloggers

It’s a funny thing – I don’t consider myself a “discernment blogger” or this site a discernment site.

I did, however, originally come to read Tim Challies back when he was writing pieces on Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven materials…which always made me think of him as a “discernment blogger.”  (Mr. Challies has written many articles about Rick Warren.  Here is a more recent one.)

Indeed, Tim Challies’ first book was entitled The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment.

But today we learn that Tim Challies no longer “has room” for discernment bloggers.  Why?  Well, because some weeks back, the Wartburg Watch ladies did a piece on Mr. Challies’ joint publishing venture with someone who was a longtime employee and member of Sovereign Grace Ministries…and made the (to me, logical) connection between that business relationship and Mr. Challies’ pretty obvious desire to give C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries every benefit of the doubt.

Reading Mr. Challies’ post today was a sort of surreal experience.  He throws a lot of words out there, many of which seem to accuse the people who discussed his business venture with the SGM guy of misrepresenting him.  He says,

Then they wrote about me. They wrote about my financial situation. They wrote “shocking” exposes and went rummaging through the digital trash to dig up the smoking guns. They did not just report (supposed) facts but also interpreted them. And then other blogs picked up the stories and carried them as well. And this clarified the situation for me. I wish my teacher here had been something nobler than personal attack, but sadly, and perhaps ironically, it was when I was in their crosshairs that they themselves came into sharper focus.

Because here’s the reality: So much of what they wrote about me had so little basis in reality. These bloggers misinterpreted even what is obvious, stretched what is true, assumed what is dubious, and fabricated the rest. They shared all of this with their readers as if it was based on verifiable facts, as if they were privy to details, as if it was anything more than conjecture.

But what’s interesting to me is that nowhere does Tim Challies actually explain what was inaccurate about what was written about him and his business venture.  I know he complains that people didn’t just report facts but also interpreted them…but since when are bloggers solely reporters?  Since when is it not OK to state an opinion, or make an inference based on facts and point out what seems obvious?

Unless Tim Challies specifies and explains otherwise, it is still no less certain that he was caught shading the truth.  The disclaimer with which he prefaced the article he wrote telling his audience how to “think biblically” about SGM – the disclaimer in which he asserted his total lack of relationship with C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries - conveniently neglected to mention that while he may not be bosom buddies with C.J., he actually does co-own a publishing house (Cruciform Press) with Kevin Meath.  Kevin Meath’s biography, as listed on the Cruciform Press site and quoted at Wartburg, clearly shows connections with SGM, SGM leaders, and other ministries closely associated with SGM:

Kevin has more than 25 years professional experience as an editor, including eleven years as chief editor for Sovereign Grace Ministries. He has worked on more than 40 book projects for the Christian market, and has edited for C.J. Mahaney, Paul Tripp, John Piper, Jerry Bridges, Joel Beeke, Richard D. Phillips, Scotty Smith, Dave Harvey, and many others. He has worked with Multnomah, Crossway, Reformation Trust, Shepherd Press, New Growth Press, Founders Press, Sovereign Grace Ministries, Revive Our Hearts, Focus on the Family, Desiring God, and others.

Instead of railing against “discernment bloggers,” it would have been much more effective for Mr. Challies to explain how it is that having a business partner with longstanding relationships with SGM would NOT have affected his own impartiality when it comes to what he tells people to think about SGM.  How, precisely, did the scorned “watchbloggers” misrepresent the facts?

I’d really like to know.  Mr. Challies, if you’d care to respond, I’d love to post your explanation.  Were the Wartburg ladies wrong in saying that you co-own Cruciform Press with Kevin Meath?  Is Mr. Meath’s biographical information on the Cruciform Press website inaccurate?

And can you truly not see how it looks to those of us outside the cozy world of conservative Christian publishing?  Can you truly not understand why it would make total sense for someone to connect the dots and say that if you’re trying to make it as a publisher of Christian books, you’re probably going to try much harder not to offend the guys who author many of those books?

Or were you just trying, again, to cloud matters for your readers?

If what the Wartburg people posted is not true, how was it inaccurate?

641 comments to Tim Challies Has No Room For Discernment Bloggers

Pages: « 13 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 [13] Show All

  1. Reader
    April 22nd, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    . . . and it’s gone again. The blogger says, “I had to delete an unChristian comment earlier.” Wonder if that was mine. (I AM a Christian, for the record.)

  2. Paul
    April 22nd, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Just posted this on cripplegate: we’ll see how long it lasts.

    With respect Clint, I think you are missing the point. CJ Mahaney graduated from High School and attended college for a few months but dropped out without getting any kind of degree. Maybe you consider that to count as “educated” but I don’t (and I think most people in CJ’s own country of the USA would agree with me and not you).

    The issue is not whether “allegations are sometimes false”. The issue is whether the allegations against CJ Mahaney are substantially false. I am a complete outsider but I think it is very likely that the allegations against CJ Mahaney are substantially true. First, neither CJ Mahaney nor Sovereign Grace have ever denied that the substance of the allegations is true. If you read the Sovereign Grace press releases about the lawsuit, you will see that they do not say anything like “these allegations are a pack of lies and we look forward to proving that in court”. Instead, the Sovereign Grace press releases say words to the effect of “what we did was legally protected by the first amendment”. In my mind, that’s basically admitting that the allegations are substantially true.

    I may be reading the tone of your response to Diane incorrectly, but to me, it seems flippant. Frankly, that’s not an appropriate tone when discussing child sexual abuse (which is what this is about, in case you didn’t know).

    FWIW, I agree that CJ Mahaney is an Evangelical Bigwig but again, the issue is whether he should be, not whether he is one.

  3. Paul K.
    April 22nd, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Stunned,

    Thank you very much. I didn’t want to bring up my youngest son in an obvious way -
    but when someone’s on ur heart – it will come out. Post number 207 – I go into some thoughts about nicknames. Perhaps u’ll enjoy those thoughts. However, I casually mention my son and why my employees called him The Violin – and what his five closest friends said about him. As my wife said, “People often don’t get all u’re saying
    because they don’t read long posts. Then they come away with an incomplete picture
    and can get the wrong impression.”

    I know it comes across non-chalant – but sometimes that’s how we mention the deeper things unless people draw us out…..One of my friends wrote a short note at the memorial service….”When I get to heaven, I’m looking for Evan first because I know that’s where the action will be.” My way of memorializing him was a forty stanza poem with six lines in each which just happened to be completed on father’s day.

    But yeah – if u read 207, toward the bottom – u get a little idea of my buddy.

  4. Oswald
    April 22nd, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    I just read Brent’s newest post. Very interesting and a thorough history lesson.
    At CovFel there is much change taking place to try to return to “a significant charismatic dimension”, and other changes in our thinking on several subjects; parenting, education, dating. Appropriate and seemingly genuine prophetic words are being given. Several groups are praying regularly. I wonder where it is going to go. Is this an attempt to appease those who are talking of leaving? Is it possible that it might be too little, too late?

  5. Stunned
    April 22nd, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Oswald, I don’t think it will be too late if there is full repentance. God can do AMAZING things. (At least that’s what I think.) I am just praying that there is real, full repentance from the top to the bottom. Down to the least of these. Then, I believe, there will be great rejoicing in heaven, among the angels and God. There will be much rejoicing in my heart, too.

  6. Diego
    April 22nd, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    I believe that it’s important not to get mixed up what God is calling His church to and what SGM is. SGM is trying to fix old mistakes without repentance of it’s spiritual leaders sins. God is calling a people to Himself. You will see people encouraged and experiencing God afresh. Drawing close to Jesus and His Word. But without the spiritual leaders and pastors who feel they are the head of the church repenting there will be ongoing discipline of SGM and related churches. God is doing a work in the people, all SG pastors want to do is poll which way wind is blowing and try to mimic. Those experiencing God’s refreshing are called not to look to SGM as the reason, but to God Himself and give Him glory. SGM doesn’t do that. Jesus is the head of the church, no matter what your pastors tell you… they are not. He has given you His Church authority. They do not possess the authority or headship that they believe they have.

  7. just saying...
    April 22nd, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Paul K.
    If this is too personal, please disregard.

    Do you think there is anything the church could have done differently to prevent your son’s death?

    Do you have recommendations for our churches in how they could tackle these issues better?

  8. Deuteronomy 32:35
    April 22nd, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Os #604:

    Pay attention to Diego 606…remember what they taught us…it’s not as important to look at what they are doing…why they are doing it is far more important…you must also remember…not one man left in leadership at CFC was trained or raised up by anyone but Dave…they all to a man sacrificed their manhood and courage to follow Dave…they chose comfort and salary over the approval of God…when a man lays hands on another for the purpose of ordination he transfers all that resides in his spirit…the fruit of that is unmistakable…the movement is compromised…the movement has split right down the middle…you are choosing to ignore grave spiritual darkness…there is freedom in Christ Jesus…are you free?…there is no fear in love, perfect love casts out all fear…aren’t you tired of being afraid?

  9. Jenn Grover
    April 22nd, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Oswald – has any of the pastors at Covfel confessed how he contributed t the SGM/CovFel problems (if there is a need to change, there must have been something not right?)Have they acknowledged how they, specifically, abused authority?

    Change without repentance is just rearranging chairs on the deck of the Titanic.

  10. Waiting
    April 23rd, 2013 at 12:15 am

    I agree with Diego and Deut.32:35. As I mentioned earlier, I was ready to stop attending any church after the SGM experience, but some of the problem, I now realize, was in me and in my husband, for different reasons, from the beginning. I (now see it partly as spiritual arrogance) wanted orthodox doctrine and appreciated the continuationist position, my husband wanted to feel needed and part of a group of other believers. When they love-bombed us, having just come from a painful church situation, we believed the best. Turned out that the doctrine wasn’t so orthodox after all, imo, and the charismatic aspect wasn’t even there, although their beliefs on it were Biblical. We had both served extensively in churches prior, and after we became members and had been there over a year, I started realizing that we weren’t being asked to help with anything one would expect to use long term believers who knew their Bibles, had excellent track records of service, etc., for. I fought my pride on that, which I’m sure God wanted me to do and was content being a learner instead of a server. By the time we left, I wondered if the real reason we weren’t asked to take on more responsibility might have been that we just weren’t SGM enough.

    I have some advice for exSGMers and current SGMers who are wondering what to do or think with all of this, regarding staying, finding a new church, or ever going back to church at all.

    1-If you are Christian, remember that the Holy Spirit Himself lives in you and has promised not only to guide you into all truth according to His Word, but also to finish what He has started in you and transform you into His own image. He has given you His own righteousness. That sounds like a precious, loved, new creation, to me.

    2-Something in yourself drew and kept you in what may have become a toxic situation. You need time to heal and process. That means you need to be patient with yourself and rest in God as you learn to think objectively and critically and for yourself. Trust in and wait on God. Depending on how hurt you were/for how long, it might take months to years to view Christianity as it truly is, a living, joyful, free relationship with the God of Love. The importance of that perspective will change what you look for or expect in a church if you do try to stay, go back, or find another church, and you will have more humility and respect at the same time for yourself and others.

    3- If you look for another church setting, take your time, don’t be afraid to research or question the leadership up front. Trust your God-given discernment (it is there), and if something seems “off” to you, pay attention to it, but don’t look for perfection of doctrine or the most this or that. Remember we’re all in the same boat and our focus should be on Christ. Do you see Him exalted at the church you visit, or do you see people or doctrine or programs or specific persons somehow exalted? And just be yourself, rather than try to prove anything or change anything. Appreciate church as a place to worship and serve God, a place to know Him more and get to know and love more of His people, but don’t let it or anyone there become an idol or a drug. We do need to be with other believers, but we all need Christ a whole lot more.

  11. Paul
    April 23rd, 2013 at 3:47 am

    Shockingly, my post at cripplegate was deleted and I got an email telling me my post was “sinful”, “slanderous” and “bearing false witness”!!!!

  12. soarin'
    April 23rd, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Waiting @ 610

    Thank you for your post – so true and helpful!
    I have found it very healthy to look honestly at myself and ask what made me stay? What made me not feel like I could not ask my husband if we could leave? BTW – once I did finally ask him to pray -he truly heard from God that we should leave.
    Because the spiritual oppression is heavy ,leaving is like walking/crawling thru a thick fog -even after you make the decision to go. SGC folks beware that once you decide to go all kinds of self made “hoops” show up for you to jump thru – like you have to finish all of the commitments you are involved in or if you go they will struggle even more financially and the big one ” I’ll lose all my relationships” etc… all lies from the enemy. Just go and don’t look back!

    You really will be better off. God does so want to heal you – it is a painful but somehow sweet process. I am falling in love with Jesus all over again – that is the best part. Take the jump off the cliff and soar!

  13. Stunned
    April 23rd, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Paul, did you ask them, in keeping with Matt 18, if they’d be kind and loving enough to specify what false thing you said so you could repent? It would be so nice for people who throw around this “slander” bs to actually have to think and process truth and be specific about WHAT they are saying. Such a shame there are more kool aid drinkers out there.

  14. Reader
    April 23rd, 2013 at 7:34 am

    @Paul: I see that every single reference in that comment thread to the actual sexual abuse coverup scandal has been scrubbed (some called “off-topic” or “unChristian,” others simply deleted without a trace). It’s downright Orwellian.

  15. LetMyPeopleGo
    April 23rd, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Waiting #610 said…..

    “Something in yourself drew and kept you in what may have become a toxic situation. You need time to heal and process.”

    This is such a good point.

    After I left, I really wanted to know what about me kept me in such a controlling church for several years. For me, I let people at my SG church intimidate and control me because I grew up in a completely intimidating/controlling family. I was the youngest and I got the worst of the intimidation/abuse from my parents and siblings. So, my process of healing from a church that I spent 3 years believing wanted to see me grow in wholeness in Christ has taken me 4 years to detox from. And I am still detoxing and growing in my separation from the control of people who, really, just have an excessive bent toward controlling others. When it comes down to all the problems in SG, that’s the simple truth that I have come to see as the source of all the dysfunction – there are people trapped in the bondage of an excessive need to control others and there are people trapped in the bondage of allowing themselves to be controlled by others.

    It reminds me of when God delivered the Israelites from their bondage to the Egyptians. God delivered them, instructed them to build the Tabernacle, and led them to worship Him there. I think so many of us have experienced this very thing since leaving SG…..deliverance and then worship (and likely a whole different kind of life of worship since leaving SG)

    Thanks Soarin’ for your comments too in #612. Loved them. Blessed me alot.

  16. Waiting
    April 23rd, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Soarin’612 and LetMyPeopleGo 615, thanks, and thanks for adding what you did! So true!

    Paul and Reader, don’t feel bad, their action of deleting comments by Christians who just want the honest truth, want to see evil exposed and stopped, while they try to hide behind freedom of speech, is too funny, and we could also say, very un-Christian.

  17. Steve240
    April 23rd, 2013 at 10:40 am

    I’ll lose all my relationships” etc… all lies from the enemy. Just go and don’t look back!

    One advice I would offer up to people leaving SGM is to immediately start developing friendships and activities outside of your local SGM Church. That way when you leave it won’t be as dramatic. You will already start to “have a life” outside of SGM.

  18. Waiting
    April 23rd, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I would add to Steve240′s, start cultivating more friendships and activities outside SGM now, whether you believe God is calling you out or not. Especially if they are happy, kind Christians, it will give you more points of reference for what is balanced and realistic behavior and relationship in a Christian setting. I’d recommend getting involved in a non-denom local para ministry. There are plenty out there, (food banks, homeless shelters, pregnancy centers, etc.)

  19. Waiting
    April 23rd, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Sorry, Steve240, I misread your post! Thought you said that when one leaves, they should immediately look for new relationships and activities.

  20. LetMyPeopleGo
    April 23rd, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Steve240……Excellent advice.

    The difficult part of that process of making friendships outside of a local SGM church is that we all probably had some reason why we needed to have such an extremely tight-knit group of people around us. I found it helpful to explore why I needed that so much. I realized that since the family that I had grown up in was so dysfunctional, and that because of that, I didn’t spend any significant amount of time with them anymore, I was looking for a substitute family. I was hoping that my SG church (or any church for that matter) would be that. All the love bombing from day one was deceptive. It was not real love. It was love-perverted, for lack of a better word.

    When I left SG, what I learned was that I really needed God…..no family (biological or church) could fill the void in me that only a consuming relationship with God through Jesus could fill. I have learned not to worship the Church. Love the Church, but worship only God.

    I have, 4 years later, just found a small group of believers that worship God alone, but love one another, and are devoted to the Word, prayer, serving the oppressed, and fellowship. I still am not a member of a local church although I attend a few trying to understand where I belong. But for now, I belong in my small group. I am blessed….they feel like the first “family” I have ever known.

    I saw this recently on a sign….”You will never know that God is all you need until God is all you have.” I am finally learning that my church family is a blessing…not my Sustainer.

  21. LetMyPeopleGo
    April 23rd, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Waiting….#618….good advice about the nondenom paraministries. I did that. Huge help for me because many churches are usually represented in those ministries and that starts to help you break away from the feeling that one church “does it all” and “does it all” the “only right way”. Boy, that’s detox in itself if you bought into the notion that SG is the only “right” church out there. I actually didn’t believe that but I had a lot of people in my SG questioning my leaving SG and wondering where I would find a church that is nearly as perfect as SG. That was really said to me by church friends. You are also right that I found many loving, kind Christians running those ministries. What a blessing they were. Look for people who display the fruit of the Spirit and hang with them….what a relief they are.

  22. Whirlwind
    April 23rd, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    @Oswald – With the shifts taking place at CFC, are you hearing any indication they will be evaluating their ongoing relationship with SGM or have they publicly stated their intent to remain with SGM?

  23. Oswald
    April 23rd, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Whirlwind @622 — In a brief members meeting it was mentioned that the polity had been ratified. The Sr Pastor was on the polity committee, so he is glad to know it was ratified. Other than that, no mention of SGM is made one way or the other. I know people have expressed their opinions to the pastors in private, but no open dialog is forthcoming.

  24. Paul
    April 23rd, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Stunned @613 – I was told I had implied that CJ was accused of child sexual abuse and that no one accused him of that: hence I was sinful, slanderous etc.. Of course, my remarks didn’t say anything about CJ participating in child sexual abuse: merely that the accusations against CJ involved child sexual abuse (eg. not reporting it to the police), which is a factually correct and unambiguously truthful statement as far as I’m concerned.

    The interesting part for me was that I had assumed, wrongly, that Clint, the writer of the original post, was well-meaning but ignorant of the facts. However, I was told by another moderator that Clint had discussed the accusations at length with CJ and was convinced the accusations against CJ were basically false. The “flippant” tone I detected was based on a “conviction” (his word) that CJ was not guilty.

    I can understand someone who has spent time with CJ and really likes him having trouble believing the accusations. It’s hard to see other people being right when it goes against your own experience. But the thing to do in that situation is to reserve judgement and wait for the court case to be resolved, not to assume that one’s own discernment of someone’s moral character is superior to that of dozens of other people who known the man equally well (or better, in some cases).

  25. Waiting
    April 23rd, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Oswald, given the enormity of all that has come to light in the last 2 years, them sweeping it under the rug by simply saying that changes are coming in X,Y and Z areas, instead of dealing with the issues openly and making restitution, speaks volumes to me. In fact, the current set of Encyclopedia Britannica. Can these changes reflect inward repentance from leadership? Of course. But if that were the case, I believe with all my heart, that there would be honest discussion with a whole congregation. I don’t believe other Christians’ comments would be deleted or that they would be vilified.

  26. SomewhereinTime
    April 23rd, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    What sucks is I still have family in the church so we see all of the old SGMers at various functions. I get sick thinking of attending these events even though it’s with family.

    I’ve made the break. It’s just that life continuously draws us back in to functions where SGM from “the collective” gather.

  27. Paul
    April 23rd, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Reader @614 – It’s their blog and they can delete my comments if they want to. What I still find hard to believe is the way so many bloggers aren’t willing to publicly acknowledge even the existence of very serious accusations against CJ/SGM which are currently the subject of a lawsuit.

    One would have thought that someone out there in reformed blogging land would be able to say “you know what: I really like CJ as a person but maybe I’ve misunderstood him and he really was involved in some of the cases highlighted in the lawsuit” but apparently, one would be wrong to think that a reformed blogger like that exists.

  28. Steve240
    April 23rd, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Paul said:

    The issue is whether the allegations against CJ Mahaney are substantially false. I am a complete outsider but I think it is very likely that the allegations against CJ Mahaney are substantially true. First, neither CJ Mahaney nor Sovereign Grace have ever denied that the substance of the allegations is true. If you read the Sovereign Grace press releases about the lawsuit, you will see that they do not say anything like “these allegations are a pack of lies and we look forward to proving that in court”. Instead, the Sovereign Grace press releases say words to the effect of “what we did was legally protected by the first amendment”. In my mind, that’s basically admitting that the allegations are substantially true.

    Very good point. You don’t hear a denial. As Paul says that is basically admitting the allegations are true.

  29. Formersgmer
    April 23rd, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Steve:

    Lack of a denial is not the same as admission of guilt. I suspect the defendants are operating under advice of counsel to keep their mouths shut in public.

  30. Reader
    April 23rd, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Paul@627: “What I still find hard to believe is the way so many bloggers aren’t willing to publicly acknowledge even the existence of very serious accusations against CJ/SGM which are currently the subject of a lawsuit.”

    Exactly. Well said.

  31. Diane
    April 23rd, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Paul said~

    “I can understand someone who has spent time with CJ and really likes him having trouble believing the accusations. It’s hard to see other people being right when it goes against your own experience. But the thing to do in that situation is to reserve judgement and wait for the court case to be resolved, not to assume that one’s own discernment of someone’s moral character is superior to that of dozens of other people who known the man equally well (or better, in some cases).”

    Right! The thing not to do is depend on the discernment of Dever, Piper and Mohler, as the author of the post appears willing to do, because of the financial ties that obviously bind them together…for the gospel, of course. The author of the post also mentioned in his reply to me how he was convinced that those who “really” knew Mahaney said he was the “real deal”, and since “they” said it, he essentially believes them. Mahaney was nice to him for 10 hours. That impressed him also.

    I find it fascinating that an adult, one who is supposed to be an undershepherd of God’s people, one who, I assume, had training, education (beyond reading/writing like he likened to Mahaney) and who reads, and studies, can come up with such an anemic rationale to believe something. Frightening! They are willing to call out “false teachers” as the new post of today indicates; yet, they leave their own alone-deflect, cover, delete and make it all go away. A mutual admiration society to which we are not invited to belong–don’t forget to send in your tithes and offerings.

  32. Stunned
    April 23rd, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Paul said, “But the thing to do in that situation is to reserve judgement and wait for the court case to be resolved, not to assume that one’s own discernment of someone’s moral character is superior to that of dozens of other people who known the man equally well (or better, in some cases).”

    Amen.

  33. 5yearsinPDI
    April 23rd, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Is it possible that up until the lawsuit CJ did not know about the cover ups? I know Wallace and Happymom had spoken with him, but the cops had been called on their perp, unlike some of the other cases. Is it possible Loftness never told him anything? Brent claims to have not known about these situations.

    Since the lawsuit came out, I find the SGM response to be seriously unChristian, like talking about the first amendment instead of wanting to see restitution for victims. So I am in no way trying to exonerate CJ. But is it possible that most of the churches kept these situations from the A team, for fear of losing their own jobs? I mean, the fact that a pastor ended up with a molester in the church under his authority and he had been blind to it could have created a fear of being degifted, right?

  34. Jenn Grover
    April 23rd, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    From Oct. 26, 2012 SGM statement on the lawsuit:

    “Upon initial review it appears the complaint contains a number of untrue or misleading allegations, as well as considerable mischaracterizations of intent.”

    http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/blogs/sgm/post/Updated-Statement-on-Reported-Lawsuit.aspx

    I would also add that the manor in which they are using the 1st amendment to fight the lawsuit indicates the accusations are likely (key word, likely) at least in party, true, or else they would just deny them (keep me straight here, Res Ipsa.)

  35. Paul
    April 23rd, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Jenn @634 (Going off memory here so someone please correct me if I’m wrong) The thing that struck me was that in the first statement SGM issued about the lawsuit, which is I think the one you are citing, they said some of the allegations were “untrue” but the word “untrue” was dropped from later statements even though SGM kept some of the other language about mischaracterizations of intent etc. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to believe that the later SGM statements dropped the word “untrue” because SGM realized that the allegations were substantially true.

    I suppose it might just be a typo that they removed the word “untrue” from the later statements but, to me, that looks awfully like SGM know that the allegations are substantially true. Of course, I could be wrong but to me, SGM act like an organization that knows that the facts don’t support them.

    Formersgmer @629 – I’m sure you’re right that SGM have been told by the lawyers to shut up and you’re right that silence doesn’t indicate guilt. But SGM weren’t actually silent. In their press releases, SGM started out claiming the allegations were untrue and then dropped that claim. I can’t help but think that there’s a reason they did that.

  36. Diego
    April 23rd, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

    In contrast to what SGM offers. Idol worship and manipulation. Twisted words that harm people.

    Seek Jesus!

  37. Jenn Grover
    April 23rd, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    White smoke coming from the south. Habeum Popem!

  38. Jenn Grover
    April 23rd, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Mike Bradshaw
    Date: Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 2:22 PM
    Subject: Sovereign Grace Executive Director [For Confirmation]
    To: Mike Bradshaw

    Please receive the following communication from the Sovereign Grace
    Executive Committee.

    Dear Brothers,

    We are looking forward with faith-filled anticipation to our time together
    in Orlando next month. Thanks again to all who participated in the
    Ratification Vote. The new polity structure will, we believe, be of great
    help to Sovereign Grace (SG) churches in fulfilling our gospel mission
    together.

    In accordance with the new SG Book of Church Order (BCO), this letter serves
    as formal notice to all SG elders of our previously announced Special
    Meeting of the SG Council of Elders (CE). The Council will convene at the
    Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, FL, on May 23-25, 2013.

    Each SG church eldership has already identified its representative to the
    Council prior to the Polity Ratification Vote of April 12. Every SG church
    eldership that gives notice of inclusion to the Director of Church Care by
    signing the Letter of Intent is welcome to participate in this CE meeting.
    Others SG elders are welcome as observers. Also welcome are the elders of
    those historical SG churches who have not yet signed the Letter of Intent
    but who are considering doing so.

    This meeting constitutes a “special meeting” since it is not coinciding with
    our annual Pastors Conference (BCO III.B.2.c). We realize that, as a
    movement, we are just getting used to functioning with a Book of Church
    Order and that the language of formality may be a bit foreign to us all.
    Please do not let formal language detract from what we believe will be a
    time of significant blessing and spiritual communion among our elders.

    The formal business action required by the CE will be the confirmation of
    the Executive Director.

    “After the Executive Committee has chosen the Executive Director candidate,
    he must be confirmed by a simple majority of the Council of Elders.” (BCO
    III.B.3.g)

    After careful consideration, including the review of input from our pastors,
    a detailed interview process, and much discussion and prayer, the Executive
    Committee has chosen Mark Prater to be the first Executive Director of the
    SG Leadership Team to be put forth for confirmation. The Committee believes
    that Mark is most suitably qualified to direct the Leadership Team in the
    near future. Mark has ably proven himself as the Regional Leader of a strong
    Region and as the Acting Director of Church Care and Church Planting. The
    Committee believes Mark is the best choice among several qualified
    candidates to bring the necessary leadership at this most critical moment in
    our history and to meet our most pressing needs: the implementation of our
    new polity, the restoration of trust and unity among the elders of SG, the
    facilitation of the care of our participating churches, and the coordination
    of our Regional Assemblies and our movement in the planting of new churches
    domestically and internationally. The Executive Director’s responsibilities
    are outlined in the Leadership Team section of the BCO (III.E.4.a).

    We will be supplying each Council of Elders delegate with more extensive
    biographical information and justification of our decision to select Mark
    Prater. We do this so that each delegate can carefully and prayerfully
    consider his vote of confirmation. Furthermore, the Council of Elders
    meeting will include a formal nomination and discussion of Mark’s candidacy
    before a final vote is taken. A more detailed agenda of the meeting will be
    forthcoming in the next week or two.

    Again, it is with much anticipation that we approach the convening of our
    first SG Council of Elders meeting. This meeting will mark a new chapter in
    the life of our family of churches. We ask that you all approach this time
    together prayerfully and in faith for what God will do in our midst.

    Grace and peace in the name of the Lord Jesus,

    Your brothers on the Executive Committee

    Mike Bradshaw
    Sovereign Grace Ministries
    Interim Communications Manager | sovgracemin.org

  39. Diego
    April 23rd, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    So then, from this we must gather that to profit much in the holy Scripture we must always resort to our Lord Jesus Christ and cast our eyes upon him, without turning away from him at any time. You will see a number of people who labor very hard indeed at reading the holy Scriptures — they do nothing else but turn over the leaves of it, and yet after ten years they have as much knowledge of it as if they had never read a single line. And why? Because they do not have any particular aim in view, they only wander about. And even in worldly learning you will see a great number who take pains enough, and yet all to no purpose, because they kept neither order nor proportion, nor do anything else but gather material from this quarter and from that, by means of which they are always confused and can never bring anything worthwhile. And although they have gathered together a number of sentences of all sorts, yet nothing of value results from them. Even so it is with them that labor in reading the holy Scriptures and do not know which is the point they ought to rest on, namely, the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    —John Calvin, Sermon on Ephesians 2:19-22 (1559).

  40. Jenn Grover
    April 23rd, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Sadly, the post earlier on the SGM blog was a total PR stunt to make Mark appear more credible. The planting of the Pittsburgh church was a disaster and Mark more or less did whatever Dave Harvey told him to do. Acting in a manner to conceal the truth, he abandoned ship and left it floundering and the Pittsburgh church continues to be an unhealthy church today.

    I was disappointed to see the truth embellished in the earlier post. Mark, resign and repent.

    Mark will be CJ’s puppet. Nothing in SGM will change except a more pleasant man at the helm.

  41. Jenn Grover
    April 23rd, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Correction: Habemus Papem!

Pages: « 13 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 [13] Show All