Another Confession

March 4, 2012 in Sovereign Grace Ministries

Many readers have requested prayer for tonight’s family meeting at Covenant Fellowship Church, during which Dave Harvey will be reading a confession of his own personal hypocrisy and a subsequent cover-up. 

From what I understand, it sounds like Mr. Harvey is finally being forced to follow the same standards he has helped to impose upon others over the years.  Unfortunately, some of those standards have to do with how a leader deals with his family members, one of those pieces of Sovereign Grace Ministries’ culture that in my opinion should not ever have been executed in the rigidly legalistic way that it has been.

So let’s all pray for this meeting, the CFC congregation, and Dave Harvey and his family.  Specifically, I think we should pray that the focus would be on what it should be on.  If people are going to be aghast and horrified, I’m hoping that it’s over the idea that impossible standards and too-high expectations were set out for pastors and their families…and then area leaders (formerly known as “apostles”), who knew from personal experience just how impossible those standards are to uphold, nonetheless turned around and proclaimed other pastors unfit for ministry because they hadn’t lived up to those extrabiblical expectations.

In other words, it’s the hypocrisy, people!

I also think this situation raises some other interesting questions having to do with Dave Harvey’s leadership during the investigation of Brent Detwiler’s charges against C.J. Mahaney.  A major theme in Mr. Detwiler’s documents was that C.J. did not himself follow the rules and live by the standards he had established for the men in leadership beneath him.  How meaningful is it, anyway, for a guy now revealed as guilty of the same pattern of hypocrisy – Dave Harvey – to oversee panels and write questions for those panels and eventually declare C.J. “fit for ministry”?  Wouldn’t someone with his own skeletons (well, “skeletons” according to SGM’s definition) have a hard time being fair and impartial, particularly when his own hypocrisy was along the exact same lines as that of the man he’s in charge of investigating? 

Depending upon what Mr. Mahaney knew about Mr. Harvey’s own secrets, doesn’t the very real possibility exist that Mr. Harvey could have been concerned about a new, second episode of blackmail (or “coercion,” or whatever you want to call what C.J. did to Larry Tomczak over Larry’s child’s confessed sin)?

I hope that SGMers focus on the important questions, rather than upon whatever personal issues may be revealed.  I hope people think long and hard about what they’ve been taught to expect out of their leaders – and what it means when it comes to light that leaders don’t live up to those expectations but are nonetheless enabled by the pyramid structure of the organization’s government to turn around and demand that those beneath them continue to follow the expectations.

What is this culture that C.J. Mahaney has created and presided over for so long, anyway?  Should C.J. be starting a new church?  Would SGM really be any different in a new location?  What does it mean for an organization, when one of its defining characteristics – the authority of its pastors, conferred upon them in large part because of their exemplary “biblical” lifestyle – is revealed to be more about image and perceptions rather than rooted in reality?

© 2012, Kris. All rights reserved.