Here’s What’s at Stake: C.J. Mahaney


Visiting the Together for the Gospel website, I stumbled across this older 2006 C.J. Mahaney video.  It’s exactly two minutes long.  You’ve got the floor.

*     *     *

Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching.
Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.  
1 Tim 4:16

*     *     *

34 comments on “Here’s What’s at Stake: C.J. Mahaney

  1. The irony? At every point in this whole debacle the pastor/teacher has been held to a lower standard. An it’s all been done because they are celebrities but in the name of friendship.


  2. I agree, Matt, but the most bizarre thing about it is that he has had them believing that he is held to such an amazingly high standard (in his ever-so-humble-yet-not-really-humble-at-all way). He’s quite masterful at manipulation.


  3. Okay then. There is no culpability for me, and no pastoral privilege in relationship when they Brotherhood of the Mega Pastor’s back me up! Nothing to see here….move along.


  4. My heart weeps. THAT is the voice I was listening to when I was born again. THAT passion for holiness and righteousness and authenticity. There is a disconnect in me when I think of this man. Who I THOUGHT he was transformed my life and made me the person I am now to a large degree. Where is that authenticity and responsibility in leadership now? Running away to new cities and blame-shifting, it seems. Praying that the Lord will sort the lies from the truth, expose all things, heal the broken and hold the wicked accountable.


  5. Amen, Lisa! I suppose I should have posted a trigger alert. I know it is frustrating and very sad to think of what has been done to us who have been spiritually abused. But I get hope when I see people like you calling it out as you share your story. Those of us who have experienced this kind of pain have an understanding like none other. Thank you for sharing, Lisa.


  6. maybe they both subscribe to what might be considered a good soteriology, christiology, etc—but in no way do they hold to a good ecclesiology.

    their shepherding doctrines are Roman and Nicolaitan (in the true etymological sense of the word*). . their ideas of pastoral authority are spiritually corrupt—providing us with bad practice flowing from bad theology, imo


  7. *

    ‘The root of the word “nicolaitan” comes from the Greek words, nikos, which means “victory” or “conquest,” and laos, which means “people.” We get the word “laity” from laos. The compound of these Greek words means “conquest over the people” and points to the earliest forms of a priestly or clergy class in the church. Church history shows us that a full-blown clerical system developed relatively quickly in the early life of the church. By the mid-sixteenth century the Council of Trent announced, “If anyone shall say that there is not in the Catholic Church a hierarchy established by the divine ordination, consisting of bishops, presbyters and ministers, let him be anathema.”

    ‘How amazing is that? This declaration directly contradicts several clear statements Jesus and the apostles made in reference to hierarchy. The issue of ministry gifting and guidance by gifted individuals is not in question. The problem is the hierarchy and the dominating, conquering ways and means behind the structures it creates, coupled with the behavior of those who maintain them. The insidious nature of Nicolaitanism lies in the separation between normal saints and elevated leaders. Take note, Jesus doesn’t merely dislike this stuff. He doesn’t prefer things were not this way. He categorically hates it!’

    [[ see Revelation 2: 6, 15 ]]

    ~ Lance Ford, Unleader, p. 49


  8. even if a pastor’s in possession of a good ecclesiology there’s still that “enemy within”—the flesh—that being accountable to the people they serve will help check.


  9. I agree, their ecclesiology is a serious problem. In both Mars Hill and SGM, we see a strange mixture of rule by plural elders and monarchial episcopacy. The leader makes decisions and the other elders are peons who carry those decisions out.

    Church discipline should generally follow Matthew 18 unless the offense is very egregious and personally hurtful to someone or if it’s a crime. In Mars Hill and SGM, you are expected to regularly make personal confession of your sins to people in your (mandatory) small group. It can actually create a strongly sexualized (and abuse prone) environment if people are constantly confessing struggles with lust. It’s better to focus on the Gospel (many Christians who commit sexual sin are already convicted and don’t need the Law preached to them) and other positive stuff, like platonic friendship with whichever sex you are attracted to.


  10. monax,
    I agree with you on the nicolaitin stuff. I learned about this in a Calvary Chapel but the ironic thing is that I learned the etymology of this word but what I see is exactly what they taught against. Its absolutely amazing that they don’t even consider their own teaching for even a second.


  11. Andrew,

    a friend of mine is reading Bonhoeffer’s Life Together, and just sent me this ((most perfect)) quote from the book:

    Pastoral authority can be attained only by the servant of Jesus who seeks no power of his own, who himself is a brother among brothers submitted to the authority of the Word. ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer


  12. What is a sarcasm tag? I wish I could provide them.

    I’m afraid sarcasm and I get along too well at times. But it helps to unload some steaming anger.


  13. New Calvinism has been running the show now for 43 years. Are we better for it, or worse?


  14. Dear “Paul’s Passing Thoughts”

    New Calvinism has raised up a generation of young authoritarian leaders who act nothing like Jesus. They honor the powerful, and abuse and take advantage of everyone else.

    Many of these leaders act humble on stage but behind the scenes they are vicious to anyone who doesn’t share their opinion exactly.

    Any church that has a controlling domineering pastor is chasing people away from the faith. In my area, there used to be an abusive Lutheran pastor who would force people to be silent for a year if they had the boldness to disagree with him on anything.

    New Calvinism churches have identified themselves online, so they are fairly easy to avoid. They don’t make up more than 5% of the churches in the U.S. and Canada.

    Here’s the link to the list of 9 Marks churches:

    Here’s a link to the list of Acts 29 churches:

    Here’s a link to the list of Sovereign Grace Ministries churches:

    Link to search for Family-Integrated Churches (FIC)


  15. @Anonymous

    Do you know which denomination the Lutheran pastor was a member of? Do you remember his name and church?


  16. Nicolas, it was at least 15 years ago. It is currently listed as AALC and the old pastor is no longer there. I’m not Lutheran, so I don’t know the significance of that group.


  17. At the end he repeated “keeping watch on our life and doctrine”, isn’t doctrine defined as “a set of principles or beliefs”. So, I ask who’s doctrine am I to keep watch of? What I’ve read and heard of this guy’s makes me want to run for the hills. “Doctrine”, imho is just a list of rules and regulations based on the teachings of Jesus.
    Sorry I am on a tangent there, it just was very telling how he used the word “doctrine”.


  18. I found two disturbing “theological” points he was trying to get across

    First he stated that the pastor was responsible for weakening sin in himself and the congregation. No, no, no………it is the believer filled with the Holy Spirit in co-laboring that weakens sin. The Holy Spirit himself with our submission to Him that weakens sin; the pastor is there to teach and provide proper leadership. This is what has veered them in the wrong direction – they feel responsible to correct and clean up others sins. Who are they but mere men?

    Second, he stated that “we are to keep close watch on our life because of the ENEMY within”. WHAT ENEMY within? My God states that I am declared righteous in His sight! Yes, we deal with the sin of our flesh; we deal with it until we go to meet Him in glory, but we do not have the ENEMY within – we have the Holy Spirit within.
    Julie Anne, you know with Paul Dohse what he stated about that Calvinists do not see the Holy Spirit as an active agent living WITHIN the Christian?

    Flawed teaching is what can lead to many diverse and dangerous paths. Stay focused on the Holy Spirit- He never leads one astray.


  19. Just read the tweets- Wow! what can i say but – arrogance. Do I trust what scripture says (Holy Spirit illuminated) or what the Calvinist states the scripture says?

    I know that I am clothed and bathed clean and pure with Gods righteousness- Praise God! They need to check out Zechariah 3- beautiful verses on how God clothes with righteousness and sin is no more. The problem with neo-Calvinism is that it states that one STILL keeps his or her sinful state. We are still carrying on the burden of our depravity with us. Disgusting!! if the Calvinist philosophy was true- why would I need to become a Christian if I am still holding on to sin and not truly justified? What would be the benefit of it?

    Keep the charge Julie Anne; you are truly a blessing sister!


  20. I tell you what, T4HO, I am learning a lot in this process. Now I am convinced that some of these guys tweets are pushing their doctrinal agenda. It’s very clear to me.


  21. One of the most difficult things for me to come to terms with when I emerged from my childhood with an abusive pastor-father was that he gave very good sermons. They were rich and true! At his funeral, people came in a line for two hours to tell about the lovely things my father did for them!

    My conclusions:

    1. Humans have an immense capacity to lie to self and others in a continuous loop. And unfortunately when truth is attached to such lying, it will imply that the truth is also a lie. Three sibs turned away from God altogether and another is carefully and gently venturing back at age 45.

    2. Truth is truth. When someone awful says it, it doesn’t actually diminish or destroy truth, but simply makes the awful person even more awful. (I find that very relieving.)

    3. Even when awful people tell the truth, it will be influenced by their lies over time. Looking back, I can see it clearly.


  22. Pingback: C.J. Mahaney withdraws Himself from T4G Conference | Spiritual Sounding Board

Thanks for participating in the SSB community. Please be sure to leave a name/pseudonym (not "Anonymous"). Thx :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s