C.J. Mahaney Says He Will Not Be Participating In 2014 T4G Conference

C.J. Mahaney announced today that he will not be participating in the 2014 T4G conference.  Here is his statement:

After much prayer, reflection and counsel I have decided to withdraw from participation in the 2014 Together for the Gospel conference. My reason for doing so is simple: I love these men and this conference and I desire to do all I possibly can to serve the ongoing fruitfulness of T4G.

Unfortunately, the civil lawsuit filed against Sovereign Grace Ministries, two former SGM churches and pastors (including myself), continues to generate the type of attention that could subject my friends to unfair and unwarranted criticism. Though dismissed in May (and now on appeal), the lawsuit could prove a distraction from the purpose of this important conference. My withdrawal is not intended to communicate anything about the merits of the suit. My decision simply reflects the reality that my participation could create a hindrance to this conference and its distinct purpose of serving so many pastors. My strong desire is to make sure this doesn’t happen. I believe the most effective way I can serve my friends who have supported me, and continue to support me, is by not participating in the 2014 conference.

My enthusiasm for this conference is undiminished and I believe it will continue to be a powerful context for encouraging and equipping pastors in their efforts to serve their churches and proclaim the gospel. I am immensely grateful for the undeserved privilege to have been involved in previous conferences, and, most importantly, my ongoing friendship with these men I love and respect.

You can read the statement on the T4G website here.

1,467 comments

  1. Jenn Grover says:

    Just Done Watching: Well, given their pattern of prioritizing “unity” and “loyalty” at the expense of the complete truth, I have my suspicions. If they release a new statement tomorrow indicating that it wass not right to issue a statement on behalf of the entire organization or that it was premature and that they were wrong and that they are sorry, I might (notice, “might”) feel differently.

    It’s a shame that the brand loyalty demanded by the neoreformed guys has actually been their achilles heel.

    I do have my suspicions that either arrests or more damaging information will hit in the near future. If it’s one thing I have learned is that neither coincidence nor providence seems to be at work with their timing.

  2. Contentious Jones says:

    Like rats jumping off a burning ship…

    Too bad T3G.org is already taken.

  3. It's just the beginning says:

    I also thought it was good that the Pasedena church called out that the last two years was God’s discipline.

    Back around the July-August 2011 time frame, CJ and SGM did not agree that Brent’s documents were God’s discipline …. but I think even them [CJ and the 2011-2012 leaders of SGM] now must admit all that has transpired is clearly God’s discipline. I don’t think they will admit it publicly, since it contradicts their reported stance back in 2011. (Question: was their negative reaction to labeling it “GOD’S DISCIPLINE” ever documented .. or just word of mouth?)

    Anyway, I also wonder what large shoe [think "steel clog"] is going to hit the floor next. Criminal lawsuits–against pastors or perpetrators–if any of that is going to happen, it should be fairly soon .. right?

  4. Oswald says:

    Sorry, a little off topic…I listened to the CovFel message given on Sunday by Marty M. It was somewhat of a pep rally, explaining the past 2 years, chastising folks for speculating, telling what’s ahead in CFC and SGM, etc, but one thing I heard was that Tim Shorey will soon be installed (I think that was the word) as an elder at CovFel. So I guess the one who keeps after him to go home, can give up now. Doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen.

  5. Paul says:

    I’m surprised the t4g statement even mentions the lawsuit. I’d have thought that CJ would say something like “since I’m starting this new church in Louisville, I can’t devote the time I’d like to preparing for the t4g conference so I won’t be participating”. Relative to previous statements, this one is fairly honest.

    It’s interesting that the statement begins “After much prayer, reflection and counsel”. That word “counsel” makes it sound like this issue was discussed at length by t3g and CJ and t3g “counseled” CJ to not participate.

  6. Stunned says:

    I’m going to lie to you but you may NOT speculate whether what I am saying is a truth or a lie, you must jus accept it. I am going to give you half truths, but you may NOT speculate which of what I am saying is true and which is not, just accept it all. I’m going to hide things from you which are pretty darn important for you to know but you may NOT speculate, no matter how much the truth could impact you and your family. I’m going to lead you to think awful things about innocent people but you may NOT speculate on such matters which they are over your head and knowing the truth may lead you to think something poorly about me…errr…. I mean, I am ordained by God to be His mouthpiece and you may not know the truth.

    Basically, shut up and don’t think.

  7. old timer says:

    Jenn wrote((( If it’s one thing I have learned is that neither coincidence nor providence seems to be at work with their timing.)))

    Astute statement Jenn.

    Exactly. Exactly. Exactly.

    Also, speculation…Oswald and Shunned. Don’t you dare do it you ungrateful, rebellious, unfaithful sheep. There is nothing to see here…step away.

    I pray that ceejay feels some of what the other men he has helped ruin throughout the past 20 years have felt. And that the men who have blindly followed him, never questioning, or if they did question(and secretly disagreed with him-but still went along) feel some of the sting too.

    Vengeance is mine says the Lord, I will repay.

    Let those with open, honest, vulnerable, and transparent hearts shine before the Lord.

  8. Jenn Gtover says:

    Stunned, spot on!

    Also notice no McAurthor or Sproul speaking at T4G. I think it is safe to say support has eroded. I wonder if any of these guys are making private or even semi-private appeals for CJ to step down as a pastor?

  9. Todd Wilhelm says:

    Since C.J. Mahaney, beleaguered defendant in a sexual abuse lawsuit, has stepped down from speaking at the T4G conference in April of 2014, I am attempting to find out if he will still be speaking at this conference in Louisville, KY in December 2013. Mahaney’s presence has not, to date, been a hindrance to 11 individuals from UCCD and Redeemer Church in Dubai also listed as participants. One would hope a discerning Christian leader may wish to rethink an invitation which includes Mahaney on the venue, but if past actions are any predictor of future actions it will be full steam ahead.

    The skeptic in me wonders if round trip airfare is provided to conference participants, and if so would that enter into the equation when deciding whether to accept a speaking engagement with a known blackmailer and alleged sexual abuse cover-up man? Probably not, it’s all for furthering God’s kingdom.

    http://crosscon.com/speakers/

  10. Phoenix says:

    Dr. Pepper,

    Really, why should any commenter here care whether CovFel loyalists hate this site? Speaking only for myself, I don’t give a rodent’s behind what people who continue to support liars, corrupt moneychanger, and abusers think.

    I think they dislike the “speculation” because they don’t want to think. They want to be soothed back to sleep.

    And no one would NEED to “speculate” if SGM and its fellow traveler churches had any history of telling the whole truth.

  11. Dr. Pepper says:

    Stunned,

    The reason many people at covfel hate this blog is because a lot of it is speculating. Nobody knows the real reason CJ decided to not speak at T4G. Maybe CJ really cared for his friends and wanted to step away or maybe T4G asked him to not speak for 2014. Just because someone tells you to not speculate onto why something happend is not telling you not to think. We don’t know why he did what he did. At this point I don’t want to speculate anymore because we will never know the truth.

    Jenn Grover,

    You don’t know why MacArthur or Sproul were not speaking. Maybe they had another commitment. Unless, they were listed as speakers before fine, but maybe they were never even listed.

  12. Dr. Pepper says:

    Phoenix,

    You’re right nobody here probably cares what covfel people think about this website. However, it really doesn’t help them see any truth if its all speculation and not the truth. I do think you’re right that if sgm were be more transparent then there would be no need to speculate.

    However, I do think that the people at covfel no matter what the pastor did they will still support them no matter what. After what happened with JV.

  13. Thomas says:

    Any survivors ever get the drift that counsel in SGM was considered more important than prayer?

  14. Steve240 says:

    Question: was their negative reaction to labeling it “GOD’S DISCIPLINE” ever documented .. or just word of mouth?

    This view on whether the release of the documents was the “discipline of the Lord” was given as a major reason for Josh Harris stepping down from the SGM Board. SGM released a statement indicating that the didn’t feel that the documents were the discipline of the Lord while Josh Harris did think it was. I believe the board called the documents “slander.”

    It was as if Josh didn’t get the “memo” before he gave his sermon right after the documents came out where he said SGM was being “publicly spanked” and SGM was being “brought low.” Josh said at that time something along the lines that this was requiring SGM to address issues withing SGM that it didn’t have the guts to address.

    A shame that when these documents came out the SGM Board didn’t see this for what it was as the discipline of the Lord. It is good that at least now SGM Pasadena is admitting that it was God’s discipline.

  15. Steve240 says:

    Stunned said:

    I’m going to lie to you but you may NOT speculate whether what I am saying is a truth or a lie, you must jus accept it. I am going to give you half truths, but you may NOT speculate which of what I am saying is true and which is not, just accept it all. I’m going to hide things from you which are pretty darn important for you to know but you may NOT speculate, no matter how much the truth could impact you and your family. I’m going to lead you to think awful things about innocent people but you may NOT speculate on such matters which they are over your head and knowing the truth may lead you to think something poorly about me…errr…. I mean, I am ordained by God to be His mouthpiece and you may not know the truth.

    Basically, shut up and don’t think.

    Very good statement. It sad that people in SGM that are critical of speculation don’t seem to realize that a lot of it is due to so much being hidden and not shared or there not being truth about various actions. Sad they don’t realize the true cause of all of this.

  16. Todd Wilhelm says:

    I am not going to tailor my comments here to avoid offending people attending Covenant Fellowship. According to their pastor they are committing a greater sin visiting websites like this than they would be if they visited pornographic websites. The hate these members feel is probably transferred from their guilt of viewing this sinful website. I certainly hope they are confessing their sin of coming here to the overseer of their soul, a.k.a. their care group leader, on a bi-weekly basis. He may yet be able to save their souls from hell.

    This from Jared Mellinger, pastor of Covenant Fellowship Church in Philadelphia:

    “I was thinking this week and praying this week as I often do during sermon prep about what this point means for you, the people of Covenant Fellowship, and what does it mean for me with the responsibility that I have along with the other pastors to protect the holiness of the church and there were two areas in particular that came to mind as I was thinking about the application of this text to you that came to mind that I want to share with you here today.

    One area to turn people from sin is to help them avoid ungodly speech. There are so many Scriptures that speak to the defiling effect of sinful speech. There is a kind of speech that will ruin all who hear it according to 2 Tim 2:14-17. Speech that will, the text says, “lead people into more and more ungodliness and their talk will spread like gangrene”…

    Words can do incredible damage. [A] question for the discerning. Which would be more dangerous for a Christian to be exposed to? A website devoted to sexually immoral images or a website devoted to sowing suspicion against leaders and tearing people down. Friends there is more than one way to ruin your soul. Avoid ungodly speech. Avoid speaking of it. Avoid listening to it. For the sake of the holiness of the church.”

    http://www.brentdetwiler.com/brentdetwilercom/2012/2/18/what-does-my-website-have-in-common-with-pornography-ask-jar.html

    This message was given on Sund

  17. Paul K. says:

    IMPRISONED

    Many have sentenced themselves to self-imposed prisons to protect themselves from the pollution of facts that would force them to change their view of reality- they cherish their view of reality more than Reality itself. This is a tendency for many and so we have a special word when a revelation sneaks into our prison and affects our take on what is true : we call it “a paradigm shift” – like a shift of underground rock that might cause a volcano to erupt (we like our Atlantis).

    It was heresy to think that the earth travelled around the sun! For many the notion that everything doesn’t travel around CJ Mahaney makes them uncomfortable.

    There was a time in the 80’s that CJ decided to be called “Charles Joseph Mahaney.” I wrote him, ” CJ – Charles is too formal for a guy S loose as you. We have King Charles, Charles Simpson, and Charles Schmidt – all pretty tightly wound guys (though Simpson has a good sense of humor.)

    I guess I could get used to calling you “Charles” but it may take ten years.” Within a week – back to CJ. I think names should mean something and observing that CJ is no longer “loose” but more tightly wound than anyone I know, I will now AMEN his previous request (timing is everything) and shall heretofore call him “Charles Joseph Mahaney.”

    To call him CJ now is as awkward for me as calling him Charles would have been 30 years ago. I have had a paradigm shift : it took a lot to get there.

  18. Jenn Grover says:

    It’s just the beginning – I don’t know if it has ever been officially documented that they didn’t believe it was God’s discipline, but I know when Mark Prater was an interim board member and I said that I believed God was discipling SGM he said he didn’t agree and it has been recounted to me by other people that other SGM leaders do not see it that way (from 1st hand accounts.)

    Dr. Pepper, as much I also detest speculation, it is the route SGM has forced upon us by not telling the whole truth (telling half-truths) and failing to be transparent. Remember when they moved to Louisville they told us it was all due to finance. We could have just accepted that garbage, but most of us speculated it was more likely due to the conflict between CJ & SGM and CLC. Well, turns out they weren’t telling us the whole truth. Time and time again they have failed the honesty test and therefore, you have to wonder and speculate whether they are telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The people you describe from CovFel won’t change their view unless it comes officially from SGM themselves, and even then, many won’t listen to anything negative. The problem is not speculation, the problem is honesty and transparency.

    Also, when CJ was forced out as president, there were multiple people who reported that board members, Paul Buckley among them, informed them that the board forced CJ & Loftness out. Then Buckley changed his story in an email – to some degree. He said he stood behind the SGM statement. So he never had to completely lie, he just had to change perception. This mincing of words that they do is not the behavior of the righteous. Avoiding a technical lie does not make a man honest.

    Also, I never said that Sproul and MAcArthur were not speaking at T4G due to CJ, but I will say, McArthur has spoken as a panel member or main speaker have spoken every other year and McArthur and Sproul are hosting an anti-charismatic conference this year. Also, McArthur has been more focused on rooting out charismatics, again.

    A couple of things I noticed on the T4G website – there is no list of members and the only reference to CJ is the statement from him, which is a tiny link buried in the middle of the speaker page. All of the images with him in it are gone. If you had been on the website before, CJ was a central figure of T4G. I believe they are trying to salvage it because CJ has hurt the brand.

  19. Jenn Grover says:

    In addition to last comment, CJ’s messages and panel discussions are still there, too.

  20. Dr. Pepper says:

    Jenn,

    Sorry when you said, “Also notice no McAurthor or Sproul speaking at T4G. I think it is safe to say support has eroded”. I took that as you were saying they were not speaking because of CJ.

    I don’t really look at the T4G website ever. I would then never know if CJ was ever on there.

  21. Paul K. says:

    Children’s literature or just simple sayings have a way of reducing pages and pages of analysis to plain and simple reality :

    HUMPTY DUMPTY SAT ON A WALL (high position looking down on others)
    HUMPTY DUMPTY HAD A GREAT FALL (pride comes before the fall)
    ALL THE KING’S HORSES (power) AND ALL THE KING’S MEN (carnal spin)
    COULDN’T PUT HUMPTY TOGETHER AGAIN (only God can after confession, restitution, and repentance)

    May we pray and rejoice if God sovereignly redeems the man chosen disgrace of SGM in despising the Discipline of God.

  22. Somewhereintime says:

    My comments to CJ’s Announcement …

    After much prayer, reflection and counsel (*** and because everyone bugged the crap out of me to get the heck off of the team ***)

    I have decided to withdraw from participation in the 2014 Together for the Gospel conference. My reason for doing so is simple: I love these men and this conference and I desire to do all I possibly can to serve the ongoing fruitfulness of T4G.(*** Simple in that they weren’t going to put up with all of my crap any longer and didn’t want the gospel to be hindered, unlike how SGM allows me to hinder the gospel in Louisville and with my old SGM-related churches ***).

    Unfortunately, the civil lawsuit filed against Sovereign Grace Ministries, two former SGM churches and pastors (including myself), continues to generate the type of attention that could subject my friends to unfair and unwarranted criticism (*** WHAT AN ASS*!!! He doesn’t give a Rat’s ass* about the gospel. It’s all about him.)

    Though dismissed in May (and now on appeal), the lawsuit could prove a distraction from the purpose of this important conference. (*** I wonder how many people had to bend his arm to write “and now on appeal”??? … Also, conviently left out that it was dismissed because of time, not because of the actual charges! ***)

    My withdrawal is not intended to communicate anything about the merits of the suit. My decision simply reflects the reality that my participation could create a hindrance to this conference and its distinct purpose of serving so many pastors. My strong desire is to make sure this doesn’t happen. I believe the most effective way I can serve my friends who have supported me, and continue to support me, is by not participating in the 2014 conference. (*** Hey CJ, how about effectively supporting the ministry you helped build and step down as a pastor! … now how in the world could you do so for T4G, but not think that the same would apply to you and SGM??? ***)

    My enthusiasm for this conference is undiminished and I believe it will continue to be a powerful context for encouraging and equipping pastors in their efforts to serve their churches and proclaim the gospel. (*** I doubt it. T4G has little to NO impact on society. I don’t want to slam them here too much, but the church in the United States has completely lost touch with what is going on around them. Do they realize that 48% of all children are born out of wedlock? Do they realize that the hispanic community is growing tremendously across the United States? Nope! They are together for the gospel for white, anglo saxon protestants who wear khaki pants, buttoned down collars and have decent paying jobs.***)

    I am immensely grateful for the undeserved privilege to have been involved in previous conferences, and, most importantly, my ongoing friendship with these men I love and respect. (*** I’m just guessing that you only care about those that YOU love and respect. You obviously don’t care for or respect those in Sovereign Grace Ministries do you? If you did, you would have written the EXACT SAME LETTER letting everyone know that you are stepping down from ministry to not distract the gospel going forward. At least a godly man would have done that. ***)

  23. Steve240 says:

    Jenn Grover said:

    It’s just the beginning — I don’t know if it has ever been officially documented that they didn’t believe it was God’s discipline, but I know when Mark Prater was an interim board member and I said that I believed God was discipling SGM he said he didn’t agree and it has been recounted to me by other people that other SGM leaders do not see it that way (from 1st hand accounts.)

    If you go to this link:

    http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/2011/07/14/joshua-harris-steps-down-from-sovereign-grace-ministries-board/

    This is the statement the board gave about Josh stepping down and Josh’s remarks about the discipline of the Lord (I added the bold):

    But we disagree on some important matters too. For example, we disagree in our interpretation of this current season of ministry. Is God disciplining all of Sovereign Grace Ministries right now? Josh says yes, and we’re open to that conclusion. But before arriving at that conclusion we would want to walk through a process of evaluating all of SGM, which we have not done yet. It also became apparent that Josh and the board think differently on how best to help C.J. engage with an evaluation, and how the board should exercise leadership as that process unfolds. These differences in our thinking are important and it recently became clear that the other 10 board members and Josh are in a different place on these issues.

    The statement by the board doesn’t flat out deny that it was the the “discipline of the Lord” as Josh had claimed but just leaves open the possibility and that the board wasn’t ready to admit that this was the case. It sound like what a politician would say to walk the fence etc.

  24. Rick Thomas says:

    Friends, I think you’ve already linked this sexual abuse conference, so as a reminder, if you know folks in the Upstate of SC, please pass this along to them: http://www.rickthomas.net/2013/07/02/sexual-abuse-conference/

  25. Stunned says:

    Dr Pepper said, “You’re right nobody here probably cares what covfel people think about this website. However, it really doesn’t help them see any truth if its all speculation and not the truth.”

    Dr. Pepper, do you really believe that “its all speculation and not truth” here? I would be surprised if you believe that, given your participation here. But I am perplexed as to why you would say that. Is that something someone at Cov Fel has said to you in regard to this site? I am very confused why you are here if you believe that it is all speculation and not truth. I would agree that a site that is all speculation and no truth is useless. But I sure as heck don’t believe that about this site. I have found more truth, through people’s testimonies here, than I ever heard in my 15 years of cover-up/SGM.

  26. Mandavilla says:

    Spin Spin Spin and more Spin-Worst than a spinning class.ha ha

  27. JeffB says:

    I see that, at the CROSS Conference, Mahaney is speaking on his signature subject:

    “Humility: The One Thing You Can’t Leave Home Without”

    I would prefer:

    “Self-Knowledge: Something I Am Always Without”

  28. Dr. Pepper says:

    Stunned,

    I do believe a lot of what is said here is true. I just mean that people speculate on what led to CJ not speaking at T4G 2014. I do agree that what people experienced is true because I have experienced it. But what I’m talking about I’d when people try to speculate on why people CJ no longer will be speaking at T4G or why so and so did that or this or the reasons behind it. I do believe that what people experienced is that complete truth.

    If you could Stunned, please pray for me. My image of God is not good. I don’t see a God of grace. All I see is judgement. All I see is my sin, sin, sin. I’ve gotten so depressed lately because i really don’t feel that I’m loved by God at all. At covfel I’m confused. I hear I’m loved by God and I can’t get to heaven on my own and then I hear about being Godly blah blah blah. I feel really emotional right now. I feel that God doesn’t care if someone hurts me because I need to look at my own sin. I just want to scream.

  29. Jenn Grover says:

    Dr. Pepper it takes along time to get out of that mindset. I have recently been encouraged by a few dramatic answers to prayer, experiences where I strongly felt God leading and also by Tullian Tchividjian’s tweets. I gave up reading the “recommended reading years ago, but I have been seriously considering reading his book because he seems to haveea passion for Jesus and knows his love.

  30. Dr. Pepper says:

    Jenn,

    Covfel does not have any of Tullians books in their book store. I do wonder what he thinks about this whole sgm lawsuit. His brother is Boz.

  31. It's just the beginning says:

    Concerning “speculation” or not … there is often times lots of speculation here, but this CJ announcement–to me, he made it perfectly clear in his opening phrase:
    “After much prayer, reflection and counsel

    That ‘counsel’ is obviously outside counsel .. this was most certainly not 100% CJ’s idea. We don’t know any more details than his statement reveals, but I don’t think it’s speculation at all to assert that other people influenced CJ’s decision to not speak.

    ..

    Now was he “forced” to not speak? i.e. does CJ feel he should be allowed to speak but his outside counsel disagreed to the point where they convinced him he should not speak? we’ll never know…and really it doesn’t matter. His not speaking at the conference this year is a big statement in and of itself.

  32. Stunned says:

    Dr Pepper, thank you for clearing that confusion up for me.

    As to the speculation, I don’t think we as mere humans can ever know what is in the heart of a man. We would be foolish to say we know 100 percent. Though I have found I have often gotten to the heart of the matter and find out the truth by listening to my gut and saying, ” Something is not right here” and discussing my concerns with others until the truth comes out. For me, I think a lot of what is happening here is that. Though I am not a fan of someone saying, ” This is how something happened.” More- ” this is what I wonder” or am suspicious of.

  33. It's just the beginning says:

    @Steve240, #24: thanks for digging that up…that really makes it clear (as mud). :)

    ..

    This brings back so many questions from two summers ago like:
    * if someone is “forced to apologize” .. does it really count? does it really mean anything?

    * if an organization refuses to acknowledge that something they did was wrong .. but then later acquiesces to it only because the larger public believes it was wrong, is that true repentance?

    You’re so right — SGM plays the politician role so well: not admitting to past wrongdoings, talking around the issues, delay tactics, yuck!

  34. Wow says:

    Attention! Revised statement:

    This, from CJ Mahaney:

    July 1, 2013

    After much prayer, reflection and counsel I have decided to withdraw from participation in the 2014 Together for the Gospel conference. My reason for doing so is simple: [I've tried in every way to escape accountability but have not had success]. I love these men [who made a formal statement in support of me, which has recently disappeared] and this conference and I desire to do all I possibly can to serve [I can hardly make a sentence without drawing attention to how I serve] the ongoing fruitfulness of T4G.

    Unfortunately, the civil lawsuit [the decision to cover up child sex abuse and to protect pedophiles] filed against Sovereign Grace Ministries, two former SGM churches and pastors (including myself) [i put myself in parentheses so that you may not notice that i was the leader of the entire collusion] continues to generate the type of attention [you know...civil, criminal] that could subject my friends to unfair and unwarranted [fair and warranted, as they continue to diss the survivors of the abuse] criticism [accountability]. Though dismissed in May [more accurately, not allowed in its form, due to the fact that statute of limitations had expired on ll but two victims] (and now on appeal) [other ministries have been held accountable with no protection from statute of limitations] the lawsuit could prove a distraction [yes, the coverup of sex abuse carried out by me is distracting from my good intentions] from the purpose of this important conference. My withdrawal is not intended to communicate anything about the merits of the suit [no, I won't address the merits. And please don't read it. That would be a participation in gossip and slander]. My decision simply reflects the reality that my participation [has been prohibited by those trying to save themselves] could create a hindrance to this conference and its distinct purpose of serving [again...count my serves] so many pastors. My strong desire is to [have this crap go away fast] make sure this doesn’t happen [a conference being ruined not a child being protected]. I believe the most effective way I can serve [Note! I'm serving!] my friends who have supported me, and continue to support me, is by not participating in the 2014 conference [look for me in 2016 when this has gone away].

    My enthusiasm for this conference is undiminished and I believe it will continue to be a powerful context for encouraging and equipping pastors in their efforts to serve their churches and proclaim the gospel. I am immensely grateful for the undeserved [undeSERVED] privilege to have been involved in previous conferences, and, most importantly, my ongoing friendship with these men I love and respect [who will take me back after I've found my way out of this conundrum].

    C.J. Mahaney
    Sovereign Grace Church | Louisville, KY

  35. Hännah says:

    Hi gang,

    Just wanted to pop in and thank you for your support on the previous thread. So appreciated everyone’s kind words.

    And, just a point of clarification: I was at KingsWay, not CLC, for 10 years. I also spent a year at Providence in Pittsburgh (had an overall positive experience there), and another year at Iain Duguid’s church in Grove City, Pa (less positive there, due to similarities in use of authority to SGM). I visited CLC a few times with my ex, who did grow up there, and I used to comment here under the moniker “Mattie Chatham.” :)

    Thanks, everyone!

  36. Jenn Grover says:

    Dr. Pepper they went through a season of quoting Tullian a while back. My guess is that due to his association with his brother we won’t hear much more about him from SGM.

  37. Sandy Thompson says:

    Dear Dr. Pepper and to all my dear brothers and sisters (the walking/limping/crawling wounded)
    It has taken me years and years of purposeful prayer, reading, and study to finally be at the point where I can say that God loves me, He likes me (What’s not to like, right!?) He’s for me and NOT against me. I still have a ways to go but I have finally gotten to a place that doesn’t have despair in it. I view books as my personal therapy sessions directed by God. Sometimes, when you’re in a “state”, it may be easier to read a book and be ministered to that way. God can work through anything, even a donkey.
    The TOP 2 books that have helped me the most besides the Bible are:
    The Gospel According to Job by Mike Mason ( I’ve read it 2-3 times, learning something new each time.)
    Disappointment with God by Philip Yancy (Several of his books have been helpful.)
    There are probably a few more but I can’t think of the titles right off the bat, just the authors.
    Brennan Manning’s books and Max Lucado’s books have also been helpful.
    Mike Bickle (Internation House of Prayer) books and messages

    I know the Bible is our Source but just as Jesus is our Healer, those who believe you shouldn’t go to a doctor might use the same reasoning for not reading books for help. (Thank you clc/sgm) But I have found significant help as well as the Lord speaking to me between the lines. I keep a journal of what He says and take notes from the book that I use to review. (Yes, I am a teacher and that’s what teachers DO!)

    The GOOD work that HE began in us, HE WILL bring it (us) through to completion.
    He causes us to do and to desire to do HIS good pleasure.

    One quote from Mike Bickle that I heard about a year after leaving CLC that “shocked” me but really, really helped me as I meditatted on the truth of it was that “God sees the “YES” in your spirit and He is so pleased.” So to all of you, because you are still seeking and seeking healing, HE sees that hunger, that “yes” in your spirit and He never gives up on you!” No one can steal you out of the Father’s hand. No one! We are in a committed relationship with the Holy One and He is ever faithful even when we falter.

  38. Stunned says:

    Dr. Pepper, it sounds like you are in a lot of pain. I know God can get you through. Many people have to go through what some call “detox”. It can be a painful process at times, while at other times there is either joy or at least a new kind of rest you may not have experienced in a long time.

    I think God’s path for everyone is unbelievably unique, just like the way he made each of us. I can share with you what God led me to do, though who knows what your path may look like so I wouldn’t expect your path to necessarily look like mine.

    For me, I felt God pull me away from Sunday services. It was strange and the first time in my entire life. I kept sensing that He was a jealous God and He wanted me all to Himself, without having the voices of other mere humans telling me who He was. HE wanted to tell me and show me all himself. It was scary, especially coming out of SGM where Sunday services could be a huge golden idol.

    And then one day a few years later, He spoke to me, in the aisle of a CVS of all places. It was there he released me to start going to Sunday services and to create a community for myself. I was able to minister to others much more powerfully out of those few years where God kind of kept me to myself than I was able to due to the fruit of SGM. (Don’t get me wrong. I believe there were good things from my time in SGM. Just today I was thinking of one of the many things I am grateful for from my time there.)

    Anyway, all that to say, I think I may have gotten closer to God or at least, He spent that time cleaning up my misunderstandings of His care.

    I KNOW He can show you who He is. He loves you. He cares for you. He is close. He does NOT condemn. He convicts, not condemns. If you feel condemnation, it is NOT of God. If you experience some free floating fear, God is NOT in it. He gives us a spirit of love, not of fear. If you recognize that you are not loving yourself, God is NOT in it.

    I will continue to pray for you today as I think of you.

    Much love and many hugs,
    Stunned

  39. Sandy Thompson says:

    Good word, Stunned” @38. I guess that’s is how I “detoxed”. I read books that could negate the negative, misguided doctrine we had sat under for 20 years, erasing it from my heart and replacing it with the Truth.

  40. No1uknow says:

    I wonder if Bob will be leading worship at t4g?

  41. JennGroverSuperFan says:

    Oswald mentioned Marty’s message from this Sunday at covfel. I just listened to it. Wow! I would encourage MANY of you to listen to it. **Warning- hearing this could really hurt some of you*** http://www.covfel.org. Fast forward to about 15 min into it. listening for 5 min will be enough to get the point. Marty references people that have left SG by quoting from Ephesians and says, “run away”, as he laughs. This post is dedicated to Marty.

    Marty,
    You have exposed your heart. Out of the abundance of your heart, your mouth speaks. Marty you have been a pastor at cfc for 25 years. Recently your job was sparred from you being disqualified as the elders forced the change of church doctrine on its members to ensure you and Dave wouldn’t lose your jobs as your home lives were in complete violation of qualifications of a minister. You see Marty, people ARE RUNNING from your church but they are in no way running from God. Most are not running because things are difficult. Many members fully executed and still are executing Matthew 18. You refuse to listen. I believe you are an arrogant man (and im being gracious)! How could you poke fun and judge people’s motives? Marty, scores of people (past, present, and definitely future) members have been hurt by you. You helped create an environment that has hurt people mentally, physically, and spiritually. You played a part in families being destroyed and people running from their faith. Your heart is hard and you may or may not know what you are doing. How could any decent human being make light of such horrible and tragic reports? You know most of your congregations cries bc people were emboldened to face you. This site is no more sinful then your own heart. REPENT!!! Shout from a roof top Marty! Shout this, “I’m sorry for the role I played in you being hurt!” Shout it Marty! Shout it for the mother that weeps herself to sleep every night bc of your arrogance. Shout it for the teenager that is further from God then he’s ever been before. you are well aware of of what people are troubled by and so is your staff as well. REPENT!

    Mark Prater. REPENT!

    To members of Covfel:
    Some of you have been at that church since it opened its doors and you are weary and confused. You’ve tried to hang in there. You’ve been so patient. Do not let this kind of guilt from Ephesians hold you back from leaving. Do not let the guilt hold you back one more time from answering Gods Spirit prodding you over the last few years. Grab your babies and flee like there is no tomorrow. Run! All of you beautiful people! Run! God is with you! God is with you! And God will sustain you. Run! And may God have compassion on Marty and Mark Prater. “Father forgive them for they no not what they do.” Or do they know what they do? Scores of people have addressed the same issues over and over again; many of these times as groups. Matthew 18. We’ll never know what they know. We don’t really know how to pray for them other then, “show them Lord. Just show them”

    REPENT! REPENT! REPENT! REPENT!

  42. Questioning says:

    I have read through all of stories here and some of Brent Detwiler’s documents and it appears there are incredible similarities with respect to the character of each man whom has been accused of pride and being “unteachable” and requested to “step down/leave”. I find it amazing that each of the men’s stories seem so similar in that each one of them was Very humble, Trusting, God fearing and God loving had a serving heart and a desire to please the Lord above men. Each of these individuals seemed to be targets to SGM/CLC/SGM etc., due to what appears to be one single issue:

    —None of these men exhibited the necessary leadership qualities. The following were very important characteristics required by the SGM Board: (arrogance, sinful pride, slander, self promotion and self preservation, love of money, love of prestige, lying nature, cold heart, and a callous nature, I may have missed an additional few).

    In all stories it seems like SGM Pastors have an evil/devious ability to distort the truth. They call lies the truth and the truth a lie.

    Perhaps each person whom has been grievously sinned against should consider one thing. Thank you LORD for not allowing me to partake in this sinful evil culture. God spared you from judgement, because I believe at some point God will pour out His righteous judgement on these men -if it is not happening today?

    The Lord is Merciful, but He is also Righteous, Slow to Anger, but does NOT withhold correction.

    For those people whom have been wrapped up in this church, The doctrines espoused here do NOT line up with scripture at all. Your ungodly focus on sin is what the Devil wants you to do NOT GOD. Was JESUS not raised from the Grave on the 3rd day? Did Jesus not die for your Sin? Jesus is ALIVE today NOT DEAD. He lived a life for us to Model. That should be our endeavour. Our focus should be on his life, we are adopted into the Kingdom, we are sons and daughters of the MOST High! When we gave our life to Jesus we relinquished our lives and desire to live “as we pleased” but to allow the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts. Man has no ability to forgive sins – ONLY Jesus (in the catholic church you are called to confess your sins daily so the priest can forgive you). How is CLC/SGM/CGC any different from the Catholic religion? Your relationship with Jesus is YOURS ALONE –no church or pastor will get you to heaven NO EXCEPTIONS. Notice ONE of the fruits of the spirit is JOY: Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. IF you do not experience LOVE, and JOY you are not experiencing the fruit of the Spirit -then ask yourself what are you experiencing? Does this church exhibit the fruit of the spirit? Do you have peace? I submit to you to challenge yourself to answering these questions.

  43. Jenn Grover says:

    Can Jenn Grover be a fan of JennGroverSuperfan? Oh, wait, I am describing the celebrity pastor culture. :)

  44. Jenn Grover says:

    The part where he bashes people who left starts around 26:30. I am pretty much astounded that he would reference people who left SGM in a message on Judas.

    Wow. You want to talk about authoritarian abuse and a controlling and manipulative message. That message was as evil as the televangelists who manipulate people for money.

  45. Jenn Grover says:

    Let me appeal to anyone still at CovFel – please for the sake of your souls get out and do not tarry under that poison any longer. I am not sure I would have recognized the control, manipulation, and abusive behavior as clearly 2 years ago but having been out it is perfectly clear.

  46. Jenn Grover says:

    Dr. Pepper, I now understand your remarks about the blog and people at CovFel. There is serious spiritual bullying going on at that place that is pure evil. The leaders are clearly using fear and intimidation to control people. I am very disappointed that Tim Shorey is aligning himself with these men.

  47. Oswald says:

    Jenn, Pep — I guess this message from Marty at CovFel has something to say concerning Pep’s confusion and being emotional. I’ve been there/done that also. And Jenn I also am disappointed concerning Tim S. I had hope…
    Pep — If you are a believer, you have no business looking at your sin; it’s gone. Raking through all that crap is a study in unbelief. It’s carried to the bottom of the deepest sea. Don’t go there. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on you own understanding. In all you ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your way”. Prov 3:5,6.
    Time to get out, Pep.

  48. Questioning says:

    Jenn Grover,

    You are absolutely correct! And I would say any church that does not want you to “question” because they have labeled that “Gossip” has a manipulative hold on people. Because silence is how Evil is perpetrated and works best. God gave us a sound mind, God also tells us to question what is taught and compared to scriptures so we are NOT DECEIVED. Look at the other religions –Please note I’m not condemning anyone but for purposes explaining so someone whom has drunk deeply into the “SGM kool aid” would understand. We are taught that Catholicism is not scriptural because they worship May and the priests are the intercessors between you and God. You have to do good works and you have to pay penance for sins with your money. Ok do you believe in the catholic doctrine? No because it’s not biblical – Ok so how can you in good conscience not question if what is going on at SGM is biblical. Are you being led by HONEST people? Are these people condemning of others who don’t share the same view point? This IS NOT biblical FYI. Did God really give the pastors at SGM the authority to condemn and pass judgement on people! Is that biblical? Go to the bible —NOT their books and interpretation of the Bible.

    I know when I left that church the idea that I had participated and was so wrapped up in it made me feel like a fool. I felt like a doormat I was so gullible, but what was so hard to understand was because I honestly with all my heart wanted to do what was right. I believed with all my heart these “Pastors” had my eternal welfare at heart. I felt like a fool when “I woke up”. Your NOT dumb, Your not foolish! You have a heart for the Lord and that is NOT bad. But as Jenn say’s it’s time to leave. You cannot have more warnings than you have received. You know you must. Just believe there are so many people on this site whom have been where you are right now. —It does get better when you leave. God does not want you to be discouraged and abused. That is not His plan for your life. Please know HE loves you!!! You are precious in His site! He knows your sins – you have confessed to Him (not your caregroup) and He has forgiven them! If you are a parent you know what I’m saying. When your daughter or son say’s something or does something that was wrong and they ask you to forgive them you do! You don’t’ hold it over them, you don’t look at them and only see what they did NO! You let it go immediately and you hug them and kiss them and tell them you forgive and understand. So does our Heavenly Father hug and kiss us and tells us He loves us! Otherwise He would not have died for us. Please know this and please believe –their is hope there is freedom! there is love! –may Jesus hold you in the palm of His hand and walk you through these times.