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Not Talking…But Talking About Talking

Yesterday, a reader posted the following in a comment:

Observation 1: Since the reinstatement announcement on 25 January, there have been *no* denominational updates over at Plant and Build blog.  We’re going on nearly a month.

Observation 2: In the same period, multiple SGM congregations across the country have been on the receiving end of unity-related and godly speech/slander/gossip-related sermons.

Earlier, when people had been discussing the recent barrage of “Don’t Talk” messages flowing out of SGM pulpits, I wrote this:

I haven’t had an opportunity to listen to any of the messages that have come down the pike about gossip, slander, and “passing along bad reports,” but I think it’s tremendously revealing that this particular topic is what some SGM pastors have chosen to focus on at this time.

I mean, if you consider the amazingly wonderful scope of the Bible, with its pretty much endless store of sermon fodder, and if you consider how the “Gossip & Slander” meme has already been so thoroughly beaten into the SGM culture, to where a significant cause of SGM’s present issues has actually been SGM’s code of silence, where nobody dared speak up, it seems pretty obvious that yet another teaching about “Gossip & Slander” is the very last thing your average SGMer needs.

Yes, godly speech is important.  Christians ought to be mindful about what they say.  They ought to make every effort to avoid mean-spirited conversations where the goal is to tear others down.

But in my experience, SGMers are already hyper-sensitive about this.  They have already been taught frequently about the pitfalls of “Gossip & Slander.”  They are very careful in their attempts to honor God, even to the point of trying to steer clear of “Gossip & Slander” according to SGM’s expanded definition, where “Gossip & Slander” no longer means what the Bible or the dictionary would tell us, but instead has come to mean, “Anything one might say that would show one is questioning one’s pastors.”

So, why hammer away on a well-worn subject yet again, when SGMers have already proven themselves to be almost paranoid about avoiding “Gossip & Slander”? Why not just crack open the Bible to some Psalm that celebrates God’s goodness…or focus on our identity as new creatures in Christ…or talk about the glories of the resurrection…or any of a thousand other topics that SGM pastors have tended to neglect over the past decades? Why revisit “Gossip & Slander” now?

(Especially since such messages would seem to be more topical in nature and not the sort of preaching that would be characterized as expository…which is the type of preaching SGM claims its pastors do?)

Sometimes SGM pastors are pathetically obvious, and to me, this is one of those times. Carting out the old “Gossip & Slander” chestnuts at this point in SGM’s history is a desperate attempt to do damage control by controlling the flow of information by controlling what people feel they can say to one another…and even what people can READ. These pastors ought to step back and realize how bad a choice this is. The church members who will listen to them unsuspiciously and eagerly imbibe their directives to not discuss church problems are the very same people who are already so drunk on the SGM Kool-Aid that the pastors have nothing to worry about with them anyway.

But those who have had their eyes opened even just a little bit almost can’t help but see how utterly self-serving yet another sermon about “Gossip & Slander” is…and what a desperate attempt it is to try and put the rain back into the storm clouds.

SGM pastors who are trotting out your “Gossip & Slander” sermons, you might want to rethink that idea. Honestly, I know this line has been mentioned many times here, to the point where it’s become something of a cliché, but you’re so obviously like the little man in Wizzard Of Oz, desperately trying to get people to “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”

Talking about SGM’s problems, and objecting to CJ’s reinstatement, and rising up and demanding that church leaders make themselves formally accountable to the people whom they supposedly serve – none of that is sinful. None of that is “Gossip & Slander.” It’s just a much-needed dose of honesty, a much-needed reality check, from other members of the Body of Christ. If SGM’s pastors don’t accept this honesty and respond correctly to the reality check, they are going to lose the very kingdoms they are trying so hard to preserve.

195 comments to Not Talking…But Talking About Talking

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  1. Sick with Worry
    February 25th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    FF #150

    True – Dave is probably very busy right now.

    Curious to know if anyone has sent an email or called any of the board members to express their concerns. I mean – are they accessible at all? I have not done that since the stuff hit the fan in the Summer. They must eat lunch somewhere. It has crossed my mind to try to hook up with one of them – like Dave or one of the DC guys.

  2. Uriah
    February 25th, 2012 at 11:17 am

    I think you also have to factor in the possibility that members of SGM have succumbed to being deceived by the leaders of SGM and therefore, cannot make rational and reasonable assessments/decisions…. because doing so would not square with what they have come to embrace as truth.
    This dynamic keeps members and entire churches captive to SGM. If one becomes skeptical of SGM’s doctrine/teaching/behavior, by extension, one must begin to question one’s investment of decades of loyalty and come face to face with the reality that one has led themselves and their family into what might possibly be a cult. To leave SGM is to admit poor judgement, a lack of spiritual discernment, and allowing oneself to having been duped. That’s a very large pill to swallow. It is tantamount to being blindsided with the realization that your life savings has been invested in a ponzi scheme.

  3. Let My People Go
    February 25th, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Roadwork #122 – “You’re not going to turn my daughters into slaves to men and my boys into abusers of women.” Wow. Wow. Wow. How true and sobering. I appreciate your comment and your heart. :goodpost

    AKS #149 – “Learn to let go and let God deal with that group. Only He can bring people to repentance.” :word
    Thank you for taking the time to post that. I think it is a tough, painful process to get to the point of letting go and turning relationships over to God…especially ones that have been abusive. But what a place of freedom to come into when we do let go. I am grateful for this site that has a body of believers who help one another in that walk to freedom. I thank God for all of you.

  4. StvMac
    February 25th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Steve240 – RE: # 138

    I don’t think that one should assume that just because MC says something that he necessarily believes it. He gave a sermon (I mean MESSAGE) not long ago at CrossWay where he said that a pastor must have the trust of his flock and that if he thought for a moment that he did not have that trust he would be gone in a heartbeat. I guess the exodus from his church hasn’t told him much. Or maybe it just means that the ones you have not driven out trust you.

    Brent’s post about MC’s deceitful use of scripture is perhaps the best objective example (http://www.brentdetwiler.com/brentdetwilercom/2011/11/26/mickey-connollys-deceitful-use-of-scripture-and-commentaries.html). There is no way a man with as many years of pastoral experience could really believe the things he chose to say.

    I used to admire this man. I have heard him give numerous excellent, biblical sermons. But like so many other SGM pastors, when push comes to shove there is greater fealty to the machine than to their congregations or the Word. Here in the mid-Atlantic we have seen this close-up and personal – and this is where MC is now the “regional apostle”, or whatever they are calling that position now. Oh Boy!

    With anyone you deal with, if you have to ask yourself constantly if the other person is being truthful, you are in the wrong company. If you look at his track record in the Brent situation, his handling of his own church’s problems, his “caring for” KWCC, his statements as a Board member, and you come to a not very charitable conclusion, and then you think about the fact that if you are wrong about the majority of your conclusions, it’s still not pretty. Kinda’ like if you think the only thing CJ is really guilty of is the Larry blackmail.

    Above reproach?

  5. A Kindred Spirit
    February 25th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    As an aside note, with reference to Roadwork’s concern for his daughters and for those concerned about the many “negatives” that have resulted from patriarchal teachings…

    Those in the reformed world need to beware of the Doug Wilson types. (Doug Wilson especially appeals to the intellectual folks and those that embrace covenant theology.) Satan always mixes “good” with the “bad” when trying to deceive people. I’m very concerned about the circles Wilson is running in these days and those who are listening to him for the first time. You may agree with some of his theology, but don’t forget his deep ties to the patriarchal crowd.

    Be very cautious, my reformed brothers and sisters. Be very cautious and discerning with all that you listen to and read. Always trace a teaching as far back as you can to the original person that first taught it, careful to observe the various circles it has passed through. And thoroughly check out the “gurus” doing the teaching, tracing their biography as far back as you can, also.

    A sampling of Doug Wilson’s books…

    http://www.canonpress.org/store/pc/viewCategories.asp?pageStyle=h&ProdSort=0&page=1&idCategory=139

    Some of Wilson’s books were once a staple on the SGM shelves. (Wanna guess which ones?)

    The culture within the CREC (Wilson’s movement/denomination) has many similarities to SGM’s. It’s interesting because theologically they’re very different, but culturally similar (with one of the exceptions being the “no-college-for-daughters” mentality – Wilson is the classical education guru).

    I don’t think many of you would want your daughters and sons affiliated with a CREC church, either.

  6. Philly Girl
    February 25th, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Regarding the word ‘movement’…When we first met with BP and AR, original pastors of CFC, we were told that we were NOT a denomination. That was taught throughout the years while we were there. It wasn’t said, but I think ‘denominations’ were bad….’movements’ were good! Another funny thought, once DH came to CFC, oops, there goes BP, oops, there goes AR, oops there goes LT. Look out CJ, DH is on his way to rule the ‘kindgom’! Let’s watch and see.

  7. DB
    February 25th, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Philly Girl,

    I have thought the same thought, DH is like the the egg a bird lays in another bird’s nest and the big bully peep will kill his nestmates one by one and end up the only one left in the nest to be given the caretaking the murdered genetic offspring deserved.

    But wen they use the word, “Movement,” I tend to think BM particularly since they’re full of it.

    Which reminds me, I figured out how Harve is going to lie and get away with it; he made the promise as ceejays stand-in and now that ceejay is baaack, anything Harvey says is moot.

  8. Persona
    February 26th, 2012 at 1:10 am

    DB 157

    I think you and others may be correct in thinking CJ does not need to comply with any previous ‘rules of engagement’ made by Harvey during his, hopeful brief, resumed-presidency.

    CJ didn’t even feel the need to comply with his own rules when he repented and then retracted his repentance for sin and again, when he dis-invited Larry to the Pastor’s Conference this year.

    Fact is, there isn’t anyone in a position to tell CJ what to do. He does whatever he pleases and, he still tickles the ears of the Big Dogs and makes them laugh.

    I hope people can see through the charade and refuse to attend T4G. Celebrity Pastors, indeed!

  9. Happymom
    February 26th, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Uriah said in #152,
    “I think you also have to factor in the possibility that members of SGM have succumbed to being deceived by the leaders of SGM and therefore, cannot make rational and reasonable assessments/decisions…. because doing so would not square with what they have come to embrace as truth.
    This dynamic keeps members and entire churches captive to SGM. If one becomes skeptical of SGM’s doctrine/teaching/behavior, by extension, one must begin to question one’s investment of decades of loyalty and come face to face with the reality that one has led themselves and their family into what might possibly be a cult. To leave SGM is to admit poor judgement, a lack of spiritual discernment, and allowing oneself to having been duped. That’s a very large pill to swallow. It is tantamount to being blindsided with the realization that your life savings has been invested in a ponzi scheme.”
    :goodpost :goodpost :goodpost

  10. Lynn
    February 26th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    For some reason I don’t think CJ will stop the release of the AoR reports. I think he will want them released and he will respond and will look so “humble”.

    On a side note, does anyone know if Next is having problems with people attending? it just seems like I get more emails this year this previous years. I know this is the last Next, but it just seems heavily promoted. They seem to be giving away more free registrations than usual. However, maybe its just me who thinks that.

  11. Mr Stretch
    February 26th, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Uriah #152

    You are correct.

  12. 5yearsinPDI
    February 26th, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    To leave SGM is to admit poor judgement, a lack of spiritual discernment, and allowing oneself to having been duped. That’s a very large pill to swallow.

    Very true. We ourselves did believe for perhaps three years that since doctrinal truth is both Reformed, charismatic, and complementarian, we were in the best possible church situation overall…probably in the world. “The goal of our instruction is love” ( 1 Tim 1:5). It took a long time to see and admit that something was radically wrong.

    I think that a number of celebrity speakers all over the nation are not ready yet to admit they were duped. One only hopes the AoR report changes that ( if published), but I wonder. It is humbling to admit your own gullibility, blindness, vulnerability, and arrogance.

    There is so much joy on the other side though…..

    Thanks again to all the wonderful posters here.

  13. Ozymandias
    February 26th, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    For those who are interested — John Loftness preached this am on Philippians 4:2-3 (“I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.”) and the issue of church conflict. The sermon link is here: http://www.solidrockchurch.net/blog/index.php/p/Philippians_42-3. Loftness talked extensively about Paul’s use of to auto phronein (“agree/think in the Lord”) and ended with the following about Solid Rock Church:

    – We’re in a season of relative peace and harmony.
    – It won’t always be that way.
    – It hasn’t always been in that way in the past.
    – How do we hear these verses, so as to preserve the sweet harmony and unity we currently have.
    – The church needs to “think/agree together in the Lord”
    – We need to help one another “think/agree in the Lord”
    – He also prayed that God would protect the church from the evil one who wants to divide us through our disagreements.

    For a good discussion of to auto phronein, see page 302 of David Alan Beck, “Paul and Christian Unity: A Formal Analysis of Philippians 2:1-4,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 28/3 (September 1985), 299-308. The article can be found at http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/28/28-3/28-3-pp299-308_JETS.pdf.

  14. MAK
    February 26th, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    So Ozy…what did you think of the message? What do you think he was REALLY saying in light of the current situation? Looks like that everyone in the church should be in agreement and NOT disagree…what if one disagrees?

  15. Persona
    February 26th, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    It is so hard not to be snarky about Loftness but, he pulls out the Euodia and Syntyche cards when he wants to manipulate others into believing how ‘grave’ he finds the situation to be.

    Good try, John but, there are plenty of other ‘cards’ in the pack that tell us to be wary of other ‘evil doers’. How about this one?

    “Be careful,” Jesus said to them.
    “Be on your guard against the yeast
    of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
    (Matthew 16:6)

  16. MAK
    February 26th, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    CLC message today…part 3 or 6 on church government…this week’s topic was elders. Josh explained that CLC will have “non-vocational elders”. These will be leaders who function as pastors/teachers/elders but are not paid staff. Very clear message on a subject that has not been clear in the past. This is teaching that will lead up to CLC’s new constitution.

  17. MAK
    February 26th, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Persona… :goodpost

  18. Kris
    February 26th, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Again, if I were a member of Mr. Loftness’ church, I’d be wondering about his decision to preach on this particular passage and this particular topic at this particular time.

  19. glad i am out
    February 26th, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    sounds like JL’s message is just a more subtle word against gossip and slander – maybe he has been paying attention lately to all of the criticism of preaching ant-GS messages at this particular time when all w/ the panels and CJ’s situation are going down… Other churches have been more obvious.. he is sly… maybe… Just my thoughts

  20. Steve240
    February 27th, 2012 at 1:07 am

    This is something that John Loftness apparently thought he could apply to all circumstances what Apostle Paul was applying to a specific circumstance. I am sure for this specific situation Paul was giving the right teaching but there were other times when Paul himself didn’t show “agreeing” for good reasons. Paul rebuked Peter. Paul had strong words for Alexander the copper smith and also referred to some as “dogs.”

    Thus there is a time and place for agreeing. If things are truly of the Lord then people should agree. If things aren’t of the Lord then hopefully there won’t be agreeing and disagreement is really a good thing to point out issues, problems and sin. For too long SGM preached “agreeing” and is one of the major reasons they are in the situation they are.

    As others have said, it certainly is a crafty way to teach people to not question and share concerns they have without using the old “gossip” and “slander” method.

  21. A Kindred Spirit
    February 27th, 2012 at 5:55 am

    You know SGM, Steve.

    When folks are on to you, just “repackage” it and send it back through.

    And people really think this bunch can change. :roll:

    (See #149)

  22. Moniker
    February 27th, 2012 at 8:42 am

    AKS – Thanks so much for posting that link in #149 on leaving abusive churches. Excellent article! I especially liked the section titled “The Road to Recovery”. It was helpful for me, and I’ve passed it along to some friends who have also recently left abusive church situations.

  23. Muckraker
    February 27th, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Steve240 @170 :goodpost

  24. ExClcer'sMom
    February 27th, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Steve240 @170, I agree, too! :goodpost
    Common sense and good conscience would tell us especially that one does not agree when it comes to matters that endanger or harm a child. Then again, John Loftness has proven himself, that he has a ‘wide range’ of what is acceptable behavior in that area! I would not trust that man in anything. I lost any minute respect that could have remained when I saw how quickly he responded to a newspaper article, but for 20 years can not respond to a person he severely hurt as a child? SMH

  25. Somewhereintime
    February 27th, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I’m not reading nor writing as much on the blogs as I did in the past … probably because I don’t really care any more. I’ve left my SGM church and I’m actually having my socks blessed off in a great independant Baptist church that loves the Lord!

    I wonder if this is the master plan of Cj and the Board. Just wear everyone down!

  26. Oswald
    February 27th, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Somewhereintime #175 — They probably want to wear people down, but I doubt that they want people to leave the churches as you did. Blessings to you.

  27. MAK
    February 27th, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    steve240 :goodpost

    I also wonder why JL thinks his congregation needs this particular teaching. Is there a lot of members who disagree? Does he just want to nip things in the bud?

    At CLC we have been encouraged to bring our concerns/disagreements to the pastors and believe me I have. Each email/meeting has been received and responded to with no condemnation.

  28. intheNickoftime
    February 27th, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    In regards to JL and Harvey and Melinger and Sasser and Connolly and all the other repressive churches, it is much easier to keep them under control than it is to get them BACK UNER CONTROL. So they think these speeches are needed to hold down the one or two or three people in those congregations who might have heard something that was not SGM filtered.

    At CLC, Fairfax, Frederick and other churches where the whif of freedom has excited the masses, these kinds of speeches would be useless and they would most certainly look like an attempt at control and coercion (because that is exactly what they are…last straw attempts keeping the ignorant people ignorant.)

  29. intheNickoftime
    February 27th, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    ooops. my previous post is in reference to all the G&S sermons and the charitable judgement speeches cropping up in all the Kool-aid bastions of SGM.

  30. Uriah
    February 27th, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Steve240, MAK,
    Maybe JL’s message is indicative of SGM damage control being implemented prior to the release of the A of R report. If we find out that “Gossip and Slander” messages are popping up at other SGM churches then you can be assured a preemptive effort at damage control is afoot.
    Any other SGM churches hearing messages on Gossip and Slander or the need to maintain unity??

  31. 5yearsinPDI
    February 27th, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    “indicative of SGM damage control being implemented prior to the release of the A of R report.”

    Possibly. Or possibly laying the groundwork for the rational to not release the report at all.

    After all, how can we know if the hundreds of interviewees who told their story to AoR were humbly trying to seek reconciliation in a godly way, or just venting their unforgiving bitterness in a gossipy slanderous way? How can CJ release anything that might contain the slightest criticism of pastors, now that CJ is alpha and Harvey is back to beta?

    Well, we’ll see soon enough. I hope I am just overly cynical.

  32. Steve240
    February 27th, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I also wonder why JL thinks his congregation needs this particular teaching. Is there a lot of members who disagree? Does he just want to nip things in the bud?

    It wouldn’t surprise me if John Loftness is being “proactive” (if one wants to use that term). As someone said, it is easier to keep people under control than regain control thus John Loftness use and appeal for “unity” to suppress and questioning or spread of exposed problems and sin within SGM. So sad.

  33. Lost in (cyber) Space
    February 27th, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Nick #178

    You mentioned the Frederick Church. I believe this is the first time I have seen it mentioned here. What have you heard about Frederick?

  34. Fried Fish
    February 27th, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Ex’s Mom #174 -

    I lost any minute respect that could have remained when I saw how quickly he responded to a newspaper article, but for 20 years can not respond to a person he severely hurt as a child? SMH

    I’ve wondered at times what kind of hard hearted, evil, un-Christian person could ignore those pleas for 20 years… but am coming to the realization that there is something in the psyche of some of these SGM leaders that will not allow them to intellectually or emotionally address an issue where the only possible rational outcome is that they will have to admit they were wrong in the way they treated one of the “sheep”. Cognitive dissonance, indeed.

    :beat

  35. Fried Fish
    February 27th, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    meant to remove “or emotionally” b4 hitting submit…

  36. Steve240
    February 27th, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    ExClcer’sMom

    What article did John Loftness respond to? I missed that.

  37. Persona
    February 27th, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Fried Fish 184

    It doesn’t help that the American legal system emphasizes defense rather than confession (with the exception of plea bargains) and, Sgm pastors habitually hire defense attorneys.

    Also, Loftness in particular, loves posturing himself as an amateur-attorney. I think he would do well to halt dispensing legal advise to any more church members.

    Hmm, maybe we would have gotten more traction if we had offered CJ and Co. a plea bargain?

  38. ExClcer'sMom
    February 27th, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Steve240, I will try to research what article it was..there was a bog title here as well concerning the article, as well as on Refuge, I believe. I think it was the Washington Post, last summer. They quoted Larry Tomczak, and they asked if anyone from Survivors was willing to speak to her on record, using their name, etc. John Loftness was the person to respond for SGM. I will look for a link to it for you.

  39. ExClcer'sMom
    February 27th, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Here is the link to that article:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/sovereign-grace-ministries-riven-by-conflict-seeks-to-change/2011/08/19/gIQAJuXt7J_story.html

  40. Sopwith
    February 27th, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    SGM “GroupThink” In Action?

    HowDee YaAll,

    Ozymandias # 163: “…John Loftness preached…on Philippians 4:2-3…”

    humm…

    …The church needs to “think/agree together in the Lord”…

    What?

    Has JohnnyL shown us the ‘S-e-c-r-e-t’ ingredient in da SGM KoolAid? (“auto phronein”)

    Ahem! 

    Doesn’t he mean: “groupthink” -snark-

    hahahahahahahaha

    Sopy ;~)
    ___
    A Short Presentation - ”Groupthink” 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FdgnMcbet4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Comic relief: “A Christian Youth Speaker”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkK6PkUotfc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  41. Bridget
    February 27th, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Persona -

    I think Harvey did create and dispense a plea bargain in Maganey’s behalf as it is. Isn’t that what you would call the 3-panel process? It got CJ back in the saddle with some suggestions of what he can do to wrap things up (in their opinion).

  42. KMD
    February 27th, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    The following message was sent to members of CLC this evening. I have omitted the specifics of the “Coffee and Questions” meeting, as it is for recipients of the message.

    Dear Members of Covenant Life,

    We are writing to update you regarding another important moment in the events of the last eight months.

    Last month when his leave of absence as President of Sovereign Grace Ministries ended, C.J. Mahaney wrote the elders of Covenant Life informing us of his decision to transfer his membership to Solid Rock Church. At that time we told C.J. that the elders would like to meet with him and discuss several concerns that we had for him, as well as hear his questions and concerns for us.

    This past Friday, Grant, Josh and Robin met with C.J. along with two members of the Sovereign Grace Board and had an honest conversation. We began by asking C.J. to share his concerns and disagreements with our leadership over the past eight months, and then we shared our concerns and questions for some of his actions and statements during that same time. We felt the Lord gave grace for everyone to speak forthrightly and listen to each other. We believe this meeting was an important step, though it confirmed that we have different perspectives on what has unfolded since last July.

    Having had the opportunity to meet with C.J., we have agreed, with sadness, to accept and support his membership transfer. C.J. has communicated to us that he no longer thinks the formal mediation he requested last fall is needed (this mediation was going to be led by Ted Kober and was to address differences C.J. had with the pastors’ public leadership in response to the release of Brent Detwiler’s documents). We are grateful that we’ve been able to talk together, and we expect there will be further dialogue. Because we understand there will be questions on these matters, we have scheduled another “Coffee and Questions” night. We’ve created a simple form to allow you to submit your questions in advance of the meeting.

    C.J. has communicated his love and appreciation for Covenant Life and that he believes God is leading him into a new season of pastoral ministry. C.J. has told us that his time at Solid Rock will be brief as he plans to plant a new church in another state later this year. Details of those plans will be announced by Sovereign Grace in the coming months.

    We pray God’s blessing on C.J. and his family. We will always be grateful for his service to this church. If you want to talk further about this, we hope you can come to the “Coffee and Questions” night on Wednesday the 7th, and as always, feel free to contact your pastor.

    Sincerely,

    The pastors of Covenant Life

  43. Luna Moth
    February 27th, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Remind me what church is Solid Rock? Is it an SGM church?

    God forbid CJ just goes out and plants a church.

  44. Persona
    February 27th, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    My favorite sentence fragment was,

    “At that time we told C.J. that the elders would like to meet with him and discuss several concerns that we had for him…”

  45. Persona
    February 27th, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Luna 193

    Solid Rock is an SGM-adopted church, located in PG County, MD, not far from the U of MD. The leadership of Solid Rock was usurped from Barry Woods, the founder. He posted his story here a while ago and it was a sad tale. Mickey Connelly may have been the first SGM pastor there.

    John Loftness left CLC behind, about 4 years ago, to take the same job from the previous pastor, who assumed slot #2. Curt Allen, a new PC graduate was took slot #3. It is a small congregation.

    I believe the Solid Rock building was built with member’s labor. Some say it now has ‘sick building syndrome’ and should be torn down. I hardly think CJ will want to stay there long, if that is the case. It’s quite a step-down for him in many ways. The areas has seriously gone downhill since the 80′s and it is not the typical SGM demographic.

    I’m relieved to think CJ will eventually be going out of state.

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