A Powerful Note To C.J. Mahaney…And A Request From A Reporter

August 16, 2011 in Sovereign Grace Ministries

A couple of days ago, someone going by the handle of “Laconic Conservative” posted the following comment.  I thought it was pretty powerful:

Dear CJ,

I wrote you a letter of thanks and encouragement 15 years ago.  You told me later that you were going to keep it along with other special letters you had received over the years to share with your children as a legacy of your life.  I certainly hope you receive and keep a copy of this letter for them to read as a comparison of my disappointment as well!

So, CJ, let’s talk man-to-man.  You wrote that your 13 year friendship with Mark far outweighs the love and care that you believe can be provided for you by those who have loved you, worshipped with you and prayed with/for you over the past 30 years?  What greater insult could you heap upon the members of Covenant Life Church than this slap in the face from the man who held us all to such a high standard of accountability?  Well, so much for your preaching about your commitment to “The Local Church”.  We now see the true weight of your commitment to CLC, your fellow church members or your own teaching.  All the while we are shaking our heads ruefully.

CLC membership does not need to decide whether you are still qualified to lead.  You disqualified yourself upon abandoning CLC for the sake of your own pride and vanity.  You are obviously too embarrassed and ashamed to face accountability, corrective adjustment and your own reality.  You should be ashamed!  Looking back, it was a good thing Carolyn’s father told you at your wedding that he trusted Jesus!  How insightfully prophetic was he?  Do you ever wonder whether your father would still be so proud of you or would he simply shake his head ruefully?

1 Timothy 5:1 reads: “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers” but you abandoned CLC and now disallow those who have loved you for years from either rebuking or encouraging you!  We are the same age, and “brother”, since you will not allow us to restore you gently, we shall treat you as an unbeliever while we continue to simply shake our heads ruefully!

I am sickened to my stomach to remember the day you were preaching about Larry’s departure from SGM!  In case you have forgotten, let recreate the moment for you, (and for everyone else who happened to miss your performance).  You were fully engulfed in tears!  Between sobs you asked that the microphone be turned off so you could “speak off the record”.  Your words still ring in my heart through your sobs, “I would rather die than to do what Larry has done.”  There was no explanation from you about what Larry had done and so you left CLC members sitting in our seats thinking, “WTF?” as we wondered what happened that would make you want to die?

Oh, yuck, that memory just made me throw up in my mouth . . . but just a little!

I praise God you preached for years to place our trust in our Sovereign Lord.  Abandoning CLC has perfectly demonstrated that placing our trust in man will always result in disappointment and failure.  I praise God that He does fulfill His promises and that my wife and I have taught our children to place ALL OF OUR FAITH in Him!

3 more short things . . .

1 – Christ’s finished work was not the Cross . . . the finished work was His resurrection!  Everyone dies, but Christ’s death was meaningless unless he had overcome death!

2 – Yes, I too am a sinner, but I don’t dwell on it all the time anymore because I am a redeemed sinner.  (SEE # 1 ABOVE)

3 – I have prayed for you at length.  Please know that I forgive you just as Jesus would.  But in my failures, I won’t trust you anymore.  Thank you, CJ, once again, for demonstrating a lesson filled with so much life application.  (SEE # 1 ABOVE)

—- From “Laconic Conservative”


Secondly, I received a request yesterday from a reporter at the Washington Post.  She is interested in talking with those who are willing to go on the record, under their real names, and speak about their experiences with Sovereign Grace Ministries.  This reporter and I have exchanged several emails, and we’ve come up with the following arrangement:  if you would be willing to be interviewed, please email me, and I will forward your message on to her.

Many of you have in the past expressed wonder over the idea that the news media has not paid more attention to the SGM situation.  People have often urged me to seek out reporters and try to get them interested in the story.  Frankly – as I shared with the Washington Post person – I have always hesitated to pursue the secular media, as I think SGM’s issues are extremely nuanced.  It’s always been my concern that any story would shortsightedly hone in on SGM’s conservative, Bible-based theology as the source of all the organization’s woes and completely miss the larger story, which is that a group that espouses essentially orthodox Christian beliefs can nonetheless redefine certain key terms and use social pressures and tactics straight out of thought-reform practices to end up functioning like a cult sometimes.

But I do believe that many of you have had experiences that are newsworthy, and I would strongly encourage anyone willing to be interviewed on the record to contact me at krisATsgmsurvivorsDOTcom.

© 2011, Kris. All rights reserved.