January 6, 2008 in Sovereign Grace Ministries

After quite an interesting conversation (in the last twenty or thirty comments under the post entitled, “Your Questions and Concerns“), I decided it might be an interesting exercise to make a list of what I’d call, “Sovereign Grace Contradictions.”

Here are a few that I’ve come up with:

“We’re not a courtship church.”  But they teach courtship, and if you were to try to have a dating relationship with a longtime SGM person, you’d be out of luck.

“We’re not a homeschooling church.”  But the majority of SGM folks DO choose to homeschool – or they have their kids enrolled at the church-sponsored Christian school.  Moreover, it’s my understanding that virtually NO ONE in leadership has ever chosen NOT to homeschool.

“We’re all about grace.”  But “grace” soon comes to mean availing oneself of all the church’s “means of grace” – which reader and commenter “SGM Casualty” listed for us as:

accountability groups, approved reading lists, home schooling, no group Bible studies (only studies of approved books), parent-led (and tightly monitored) youth groups, modesty checklists, courtship, church discipline, the the arduous discipline of leaders, etc., etc. 

So essentially, “grace” comes to mean our own efforts at following manmade programs or systems or at employing manmade safeguards against sin.

“Sovereign Grace is all about the Gospel.”  Well, that depends on how you define “Gospel.”  If the “Gospel” is about focusing on our own sin, Christ’s death on the cross, and His shed blood for us, then yes, SGM is all about the “Gospel.”  But if you’re looking for the “rest of the story” – the RESURRECTION – with its message of victory and triumph, you probably won’t hear much about THAT “Gospel.”

“Sovereign Grace is Reformed.”  Well, yes.  Sovereign Grace teaches many of the Reformed doctrines with respect to sotereology, God’s sovereignty, election, and so forth.  But C.J. Mahaney’s teachings on submission to authority would probably have put Martin Luther in the doghouse.  Also, the highly Reformed notion of a “priesthood of believers” does not appear to be something in which SGM truly believes, as they do not promote Bible studies independent of SGM leadership.  They tell their small group leaders that they don’t want non-pastor-led Bible studies because these studies could lead people into “incorrect doctrines.”  Apparently, only the leaders have enough of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling Presence to “lead them into all truth“?

Have I missed anything?

© 2008, Kris. All rights reserved.