Sexual Abuse/Assault and Churches, Sovereign Grace Ministries, Sovereign Grace Ministries Lawsuit

Mohler, Dever, and Duncan break their silence and release statement in support of C.J. Mahaney

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Lawsuit Against Sovereign Grace Ministries: Failure to Report Sex Abuse

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Notice the date of that tweet?  October 17, 2012 right about the time the lawsuit came out. After all of this silence, they now speak.  I am issuing a trigger alert. This may produce strong negative emotional or physical responses.

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Responses to Lawsuit Filed against Sovereign Grace Ministries

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Albert Mohler, Mark Dever, and Ligon Duncan released a statement  just minutes ago to show public support for C.J. Mahaney.

The statement can be found in its entirety here.   Below are a few excerpts:

We have stood beside our friend, C. J. Mahaney, and we can speak to his personal integrity. We can make no judgment as to the truthfulness of the horrifying charges of sexual abuse made against some individuals who have been connected, in some way, to Sovereign Grace Ministries and its churches.  . . .

If a Christian leader is accused of any wrongdoing, those to whom he is accountable must investigate the charges and then deal responsibly with the evidence. If a criminal accusation is made, Christians have a fundamental duty to inform law enforcement officials. This does not, however, preclude or mitigate the church’s responsibility for biblical church discipline. . . . .

A Christian leader, charged with any credible, serious, and direct wrongdoing, would usually be well advised to step down from public ministry. No such accusation of direct wrongdoing was ever made against C. J. Mahaney. Instead, he was charged with founding a ministry and for teaching doctrines and principles that are held to be true by vast millions of American evangelicals. For this reason, we, along with many others, refused to step away from C. J. in any way. We do not regret that decision. We are profoundly thankful for C. J. as friend, and we are equally thankful for the vast influence for good he has been among so many Gospel-minded people.

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I am going to keep track of other public Christian leaders who have publicly endorsed this statement. Please let me know if you see others.  I’m sure others will jump on the bandwagon:

Denny Burk posted on his blog:  “I am so thankful to see these men release this statement. Consider this my cosign. “

Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung and Justin Taylor release their own statement of support.

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Let’s move on to more important matters.  While Mohler, Dever, and Duncan seem pretty confident of their friend’s innocence, criminal investigations are ongoing.   I have been in contact with several of the victims over these past months.  I believe them 100%.  I have no doubt that they are telling the truth.  But in order for this case to succeed, it is important that the attorneys have as much information as possible.  If you have been physically or sexually violated or have any information related to this case, I would like to personally urge you to contact Attorney Burke.   Your information is valuable to the case.   Here is an important note from Brent Detwiler, including important contact information:

An Appeal for Evidence – Contact Information

There are criminal investigations going on related to the crimes alleged in The Second Amended Complaint against Sovereign Grace Ministries and other Defendants. They range from obstruction of justice to rape.

The on-going collection of evidence is vital in the prosecution of each case. Please contact Detective Sally Magee of the Family Crimes Division at the Montgomery County Police Department in Maryland at 240-773-5400 with information. She can also be emailed at She is heading up the investigation in that jurisdiction but can provide contact information for other jurisdictions.

The Plaintiffs’ lawyers should also be contacted with additional evidence as soon as possible.

Susan L. Burke BURKE PLLC 1000 Potomac Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20007-1105 (202) 386-9622

William T. O’Neil THE O’NEIL GROUP LLC 7500 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 1375 Bethesda, MD 20814 (202) 684-7140

I realize there are additional victims and witnesses who are undecided about coming forward for a wide range of reasons (e.g., finances, time off, peer pressure, fear of retaliation, etc.). Please don’t be deterred by these obstacles. You may suffer but your action will please God and serve the good of others.

One final comment. I know a few victims no longer confess the Christian faith. It is still so important for you to speak up and get your voice back. If you remain silent these predators will not stop. Please take a stand. These abusers need to be removed from their homes, neighborhoods and churches. You can play a big part in making sure that happens.Speaking up will also help you find some closure. Silence suffocates. I know. I remained silent about other forms of abuse in SGM for too long. It eats at you. There is freedom in doing what’s right. You’ll be at greater peace knowing you have stopped evil.

No one has asked or prompted me to put out this appeal for evidence.

Thank you,
May 21, 2013
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Bravo to Boz Tchividjian for his passionate response on Facebook.  I took a screen shot just in case it mysteriously disappears.
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Related links:

32 thoughts on “Mohler, Dever, and Duncan break their silence and release statement in support of C.J. Mahaney”

  1. I agree with the “Together for the Gospel doesn’t take any position on court proceedings” stuff, but, otherwise, the substance is indefensible platitudes about C. J. Not to mention that they don’t directly address the issue that the lawsuit is against SGM as an organization, not individuals-in-some-way-connected. It doesn’t address any of the other issues, either.

    For example, ministers who are found guilty of misconduct should not be allowed to preach or teach while under discipline. We in America are so lucky to have really good church discipline and ecclesiastical trials.

    Oh yeah, uhhhh …


  2. Dever, Duncan and Mohler have proved themselves to be modern-day Pharisees (hypocrites). They claim: “[Christians] must act immediately to inform legal authorities of any charge or claim of sexual abuse, and do so without delay.” And Dever, Duncan and Mohler say “We have stood beside our friend, C. J. Mahaney, and we can speak to his personal integrity.”

    By their own words, they have proved themselves men of defective integrity, standing beside a man who totally lacked integrity when he and his fellow leaders of SGM told the complaints not to go to the police.


  3. If I was a white male religious leader, I would feel good about having my ass covered by such important male religious leaders and you can be assured that I will cover theirs in the future.
    If I am a woman or child, not so much but, of course, I’m on this earth to serve the aforementioned male leaders so who the hell cares what I think (think?!) or how I feel.


  4. Well, the whole FB post is now gone. Surely they’re not going to pass it off as a figment of our imagination. 🙂


  5. As BeenThereDoneThat says, the entire Together for the Gospel Facebook post has been taken down. There had been more than 100 comments, about 95 were harshly critical toward Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan and Al Mohler. I’m sure people got screenshots of everything.

    What amazes me is that Dever, Duncan, and Mohler are so confident that people will support them and C. J. Mahaney that they didn’t monitor the Facebook comments for several hours. They’ve lived in an echo chamber so long they have no idea that the Christian world, including their good Refomed constituency, are disgusted.

    When a Christian leader covers up child sexual abuse in his church and Christian school, it is sickening. Allowing known pedophiles to have access to children under your care is reprehensible.


  6. Julie Anne, the link you gave above to the full text of the statement at TGC’s facebook page is now no longer working. When I click on it is says “Sorry, this page isn’t available. The link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed.”
    Seems like TGC have gone into cover-up mode. There were so many comments being put on the post, comments highly critical of Mohler, Dever and Duncan’s position, that they have just wiped the whole thing.

    When will they ever learn?

    God is watching; He is angry with the wicked every day. And those who side with the wicked — how will they escape His wrath?


  7. What’s more, I put a link on our A Cry For Justice facebook page about the statement by Mohler/Dever/Duncan at TCG’s facebook page. My post has now vanished from our FB page. Is that how FB operates? Do they delete a post which links to a post at another FB page when the *original* post on FB has been deleted by its owner?

    If that’s how FB operates, their operating policy is enabling the wicked to cover-up their misdeeds.


  8. I don’t believe that conservative Reformed people and Reformed charismatics are going to put up with their self-appointed leaders in parachurch ministries behaving in this way.

    This all looks like a classic case of organizational self-preservation. If they do what they’re supposed to and demand that churches make full reports of *past* abuse, a number of churches would not survive as organizations or their influence could be greatly diminished. The problem is that not dealing with something generally backfires and the consequences end up worse.

    Thankfully, Reformed Christianity is not dependent on leaders for its survival.


  9. “Barbara Roberts
    MAY 24, 2013 @ 7:47 AM
    What’s more, I put a link on our A Cry For Justice facebook page about the statement by Mohler/Dever/Duncan at TCG’s facebook page. My post has now vanished from our FB page. Is that how FB operates? Do they delete a post which links to a post at another FB page when the *original* post on FB has been deleted by its owner?

    If that’s how FB operates, their operating policy is enabling the wicked to cover-up their misdeeds.”

    I don’t think FB is contributing to any cover up Barbara. They probably have automatic maintenance features that remove links that are broken because the FB article it is linked to is deleted. Probably just an effort to keep a monster of an application as clutter free as possible.

    Now T4G on the other hand is a different story.


  10. Correction to last post:

    “Not T4G on the other hand is a different story” should read “NOW T4G on the other hand is a different story.” Typing and posting a little too fast. 🙂


  11. Yeah, I get that Wesley. I wasn’t thinking that FB are enabling wickeness deliberatly, just inadvertently. And I get that they have to do what they can to keep their ginormous application as clutter free as possible.


  12. Here are my thoughts. These men have been known to very quickly call people heretics who are leading Christians who don’t agree with their narrow view of penal substitutionary atonement. They do so because they feel they have to defend the faith and protect the flock. Yet they chose to remain silent about this for how long?


  13. Julie Anne,
    Is there some financial tie between Dever, Mohler, Duncan, DeYoung, Taylor, Carson, and Burk — and Mahaney?

    In corporate America we learn to follow the money. Finding out where money goes tells you a lot about people’s motives.

    Do you know how these men benefit from C.J. financially? Or fail to benefit if he is disgraced and no longer speaks?


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