Questions For Discussion

April 4, 2009 in Sovereign Grace Ministries

I thought I’d throw out some questions for discussion. 

First, here is one from my “in” box:

Dear Kris,

I have some extended family members who are very committed to their Sovereign Grace church.  I am concerned for them, as it seems like they have gone through several situations where they are suffering under some pretty heavy-handed legalism.  I myself left SGM (PDI) years ago under painful circumstances and would love to talk openly and honestly with my relatives about what I believe to be our similar experiences.  However, there seems to be no way to get a conversation going in that direction.

I would be interested in hearing suggestions for how to bring up the topic in a way that would not offend them or make them shut down but would provoke them to think.  I would especially love to hear from those who have recently left SGM.  What set you on the path out of your SG church?  Was it a bad personal experience, or did you just get to thinking about things and “see the light”?  Thanks.

The second question for discussion is this one:

If SGMers see something that concerns them and/or believe that something in their SGM church needs to change, what avenues are available to them to perhaps make this change happen?  Is there anyone out there who has walked through such a process, where you’ve identified an issue and successfully sought change?

And finally, a question that I’ve asked again and again, to no real avail:

Who holds CJ Mahaney accountable?  Does he officially answer to anyone with any real authority over him?  We know the “pat” answer – that CJ is surrounded by a his “circle of accountability.”  But it’s my understanding that most of those guys would classify themselves as answering to CJ in all other SGM contexts – in other words, most (if not all) are currently on SGM’s payroll and are for all practical purposes powerless to bring real correction to Mr. Mahaney, should he ever need it.

(I mean, let’s be honest.  How likely is it that any man, no matter how bold and brimming with integrity, will have the moxie to persevere in bringing correction to the guy who has always been his own “spiritual authority” and, more importantly, his BOSS?)

How is it possible that someone who talks so much about his own sinfulness and would appear to be so aware of his own shortcomings has effectively placed himself in a position where he answers to no one? 

Or am I mistaken?  Is there a governing body within SGM that has some sort of “hiring and firing” authority and could, if necessary, force CJ to change a behavior or reverse a leadership decision?

© 2009, Kris. All rights reserved.