C.J. Mahaney, Dr. Albert Mohler, Failure to Report Crimes, John MacArthur, John Piper, Kevin DeYoung, Mandatory Reporting, Mark Driscoll, Sexual Abuse/Assault and Churches, Sovereign Grace Ministries, Sovereign Grace Ministries Lawsuit, Together for the Gospel

The Photo Promotion of C.J. Mahaney at Together for the Gospel

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C.J. Mahaney is pictured in front-row seats at the Together for the Gospel conference after publicly saying he would not participate due to the distraction of the Sovereign Grace Ministries lawsuit.

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Note: Brent Detwiler graciously allowed me to cross-post the following article which was originally found at his site. SSB has covered the Sovereign Grace Ministries lawsuit for quite some time. This article shows you the heart of the men who stood behind Mahaney and who continue to support him.  This bold move by C.J. Mahaney to show up at the Together for the Gospel conference is such a slap in the face to all of the victims and their families. This behavior shows unbelievable insensitivity not only to the participants, but to the victims and families of victims.  ~ja

Late Edit:  I asked Pam Palmer, mother of a plaintiff in the SGM lawsuit,  if she had any comments to share regarding this situation and she sent me this reply:

Sometimes I am at a loss for words on what to say at the insensitivity and callousness of C. J. Mahaney and the men who support him. What other conclusion can observant people come to when they see a disgraced (yet undisciplined) leader sitting in the front row at such a prominent event other than the men sitting with him approve of his 30+ year record of covering up child sex abuse.  ~Pam Palmer, mother of plaintiff in Sovereign Grace Ministry abuse lawsuit.

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The Photo Promotion of C.J. Mahaney at Together for the Gospel
Brent Detwiler
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 303 PM

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The Together for the Gospel (T4G) conference is currently going on in Louisville, KY. This photo shows Al Mohler, John MacArthur, Thabiti Anyabwile, John Piper, C.J. Mahaney, and Kevin DeYoung sitting together in the front row (left to right). The other men are all speakers. C.J. is not.

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CJ Mahaney, John Piper, John MacArthur, Kevin DeYoung, T4G2014, Together for the Gospel, lawsuit
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Nine months ago, C.J. issued a statement about withdrawing from the conference. Here are his remarks.

“After much prayer, reflection and counsel I have decided to withdraw from participation in the 2014 Together for the Gospel conference. My reason for doing so is simple: I love these men and this conference and I desire to do all I possibly can to serve the ongoing fruitfulness of T4G.

“Unfortunately, the civil lawsuit filed against Sovereign Grace Ministries, two former SGM churches and pastors (including myself), continues to generate the type of attention that could subject my friends to unfair and unwarranted criticism. Though dismissed in May (and now on appeal), the lawsuit could prove a distraction from the purpose of this important conference. My withdrawal is not intended to communicate anything about the merits of the suit. My decision simply reflects the reality that my participation could create a hindrance to this conference and its distinct purpose of serving so many pastors. My strong desire is to make sure this doesn’t happen. I believe the most effective way I can serve my friends who have supported me, and continue to support me, is by not participating in the 2014 conference.” (C.J. Mahaney, July 1, 2013)

 

C.J. was forced to withdraw from speaking even though one of the four original founders (Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever being the others). He may not be an official participant but he is a participant. That aside, this photo is a clear endorsement of C.J. It was taken by Melton Duncan and put on the internet. Melton is Ligon Duncan’s brother.

C.J. claims he didn’t want to subject his friends to “unfair and unwarranted criticism” or be “a hindrance to this conference.” Really? Then why in the world did he agree to sit in the front row in front of thousands of people? He should be sitting in the back row. This is a loud statement by C.J. that he’s back! Honesty, this photo promotion is an affront to every conferee who was opposed to C.J.’s participation.

I have benefited from the writings of Mohler, MacArthur, Anyabwile, Piper and DeYoung but I am greatly concerned for them! They are promoting a man who betrayed Covenant Life Church, stumbled thousands of people by his hypocrisy, divided Sovereign Grace Ministries, and manage a conspiracy to cover up sex abuse for over 30 years. Those are the facts. None of these men have studied the evidence. In saying so, I am believing the best of these men in the parlance of SGM. If they knew the facts, and studied the evidence, they would remove C.J. from ministry; not have him sitting in the front row next to them.

An appeal. Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, John MacArthur, John Piper, Thabiti Anyabwile, Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung, and Justin Taylor – please attend the May 12-16 criminal trial of Nathaniel Morales for the sexual abuse of boys in C.J.’s former church under C.J.’s leadership. C.J. knew full well about these abuses but did nothing. He did not report to law enforcement, alert others in harm’s way, or stop the predator. As a result, Morales went on to abuse other youth in other states including stepsons. This is all due to C.J.’s cover up of his crimes. Honesty, C.J. should be put in jail, not in the box seats at T4G. Your support of him is a betrayal of all the victims in Sovereign Grace Ministries. Like C.J., you need to repent!

A request. I want to meet or video conference with the nine of you in private in order to present the overwhelming evidence of a widespread conspiracy to commit and cover up sex abuse in Covenant Life Church and Sovereign Grace Ministries. Your support of C.J. is unconscionable. This should meet with no objection if you are interested in the truth. C.J. is welcome to participate. I am also glad to talk individually. Please contact me at abrentdetwiler@gmail.com.

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Recommended Reading

C.J. Mahaney Withdraws from Together for the Gospel & Founders Remove Statement of Support
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung and Justin Taylor Defend C.J. Mahaney Against Charges in SGM Sex Abuse Scandal
Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Flagship Church of Sovereign Grace Ministries Announces Plans to Leave
November 5, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Grant Layman & the Conspiracy Surrounding Nathaniel Morales
Friday, July 26, 2013 at 5:10 PM

 

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296 thoughts on “The Photo Promotion of C.J. Mahaney at Together for the Gospel”

  1. These people are wholly conformed to the world in every way. The way they put on their conferences, the way they strut and preen and play the leader, how they are organized and operate like any corporation in the world – how would you expect anything but the behavior of school districts when an aide beats up a non-verbal sped kid?

    Happily, this apostasy is what the gospels and other Bible writings tell us to be prepared for.

    Like

  2. Good on you, Brent Detwiler!
    Good on you, Julie Anne Smith!

    “An appeal. Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, John MacArthur, John Piper, Thabiti Anyabwile, Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung, and Justin Taylor – please attend the May 12-16 criminal trial of Nathaniel Morales for the sexual abuse of boys in C.J.’s former church under C.J.’s leadership. . . . Your support of C.J. is unconscionable.”

    I agree 100%.

    Like

  3. This is somewhat reminiscent of the account in John chapter 7, of the Lord Jesus’ own ambivalent behaviour, in relation to his attending, or not, the Feast of Tabernacles, and whether, when and how to court publicity at the feast, if and when he did attend.

    66

    John 7
    New King James Version (NKJV) (abridged)
    Jesus’ Brothers Disbelieve

    2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. 3 His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” …

    6 Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. … 8 You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.” 9 When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.

    10 But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. …

    14 Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. …

    24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

    25 Now some of them from Jerusalem said, “Is this not He whom they seek to kill? 26 But look! He speaks boldly, …

    28 Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, …

    37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

    99

    See: “In john chapter 7 Jesus said He wasn’t going to the feast of tabernacles. But He secretly went! Did Jesus lie?” at

    http://clearbibleanswers.org/questionsanswers

    Jesus declined the invitation to arrive at the feast with his brothers, attracting attention to himself. He set off for the feast late, arrived secretly, and kept a low profile at first, though that didn’t last. There certainly are parallels here, you must admit.

    By the way, so far as I can remember, I had never heard of C.J. Mahaney, or T4G, before today. I am not defending C.J. Mahaney generally. For all I know, he may be a complete and utter rascal. I defend this stranger only against the specific accusation that he acted deceptively,or being economical with the truth, in such a way that he is shown to have sinned, by lying, or by breaking his word.

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  4. John:
    You said:”By the way, so far as I can remember, I had never heard of C.J. Mahaney, or T4G, before today. I am not defending C.J. Mahaney generally. For all I know, he may be a complete and utter rascal. I defend this stranger only against the specific accusation that he acted deceptively,or being economical with the truth, in such a way that he is shown to have sinned, by lying, or by breaking his word.”

    Then what makes you “feel” the need to defend him?

    Like

  5. Tom, John explained that need: that scripture does not support a finding that he acted deceptively or dishonestly by going to the conference after all, and handling the scriptures properly and abstaining from charging someone wrongly are good reasons having nothing to do with what Mahaney is like in general. The right not to be charged wrongly extends to everyone, no matter how unworthy, and the harm we do to ourselves by such injustice is the same.

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  6. I guess it all depends on what it means to not participate at a conference you have said you are not going to participate.

    Like

  7. As a lifelong Evangelical and a donor to a lot of Christian causes, I think it’s shocking that Piper, Mohler, MacArthur, etc., cannot see the facts that have been publicly exposed in the Sovereign Grace Ministries child sexual abuse cover-up lawsuit.

    Already 3 of the defendants have gone through the legal system for child sexual abuse — 2 convicted as adults; 1 went through the juvenile system.

    It take a lot of effort to ignore these facts. Piper, et. al, must be deliberately putting their heads in the sand. I no longer trust The Gospel Coalition and Together for the Gospel.

    They worship cronyism over truth.

    What would Jesus do to people who hurt children? We don’t have to guess, we already know.

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  8. “By the way, so far as I can remember, I had never heard of C.J. Mahaney, or T4G, before today. I am not defending C.J. Mahaney generally. For all I know, he may be a complete and utter rascal. I defend this stranger only against the specific accusation that he acted deceptively,or being economical with the truth, in such a way that he is shown to have sinned, by lying, or by breaking his word.”

    (Sigh)

    Very typical “Christianese” position. This person does not know the facts, has not been following the situation, has not interacted with victims of this shepherding cult but feels the need to “defend against a specific accusation”. One wonders how he knows to defend that particular “specific accusation”.

    It is like interacting with Bill Clinton supporters back in the day. What is the definition of is? They claimed to be ignorant of the issue but the “defend” some vague point. And our guy uses a strange passage to prop all this up suggesting Mahaney is really doing what Jesus was doing.

    John, your slip is showing.

    Like

  9. “Tom, John explained that need: that scripture does not support a finding that he acted deceptively or dishonestly by going to the conference after all, and handling the scriptures properly and abstaining from charging someone wrongly are good reasons having nothing to do with what Mahaney is like in general. The right not to be charged wrongly extends to everyone, no matter how unworthy, and the harm we do to ourselves by such injustice is the same.”

    You guys want to get mired in ridiculous details that miss the whole point. The charges include: Blackmail of partner, Shepherding cult operation which includes sin sniffing of others, not allowing “disciplined” people to leave SGM including pastors YET Mahaney flees to Mark Dever/Capitol Hill when he was being scrutinized. The charges include a systematic approach to protecting child molesters and shaming victims into forgiving them “because they are just as big of sinners”.

    There is much more but those are the highlights.

    Mahaney communicates like Bill Clinton (meaning of is) and Obama (you can keep your doctor and it will be cheaper) so you gotta analyze every word. Mahaney implied he would not be a featured main venue stage speaker at T4G. They nver communicate specifically. All is always implied.

    Many interpreted that as his staying away completely. Not showing his face because of the way and timing of the announcment. (Remember that? TGC had to inform people that not every TGC big shot agreed with their statement supporting Mahaney.?)

    People forget that Mahaney’s SGM organized and facilitates part of T4G and it has been a big money maker in the past. Of course the front row seat and next to Mohler (who he gushes over in social media) were on purpose to send a message.

    News flash- they don’t care what the peasants think. They hear directly from God through Carl Trueman and Ray Ortlund that CJ is fit for Ministry.

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  10. It’s the Politboro on May Day, watching the parade in Red Square from Lenin’s Tomb. With Western intelligence agencies trying to figure out Soviet politics from who’s there, who’s not, and who’s standing next to who.

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  11. @Lydia:

    News flash- they don’t care what the peasants think. They hear directly from God through Carl Trueman and Ray Ortlund that CJ is fit for Ministry

    HUMBLY, of course. (chuckle chuckle)

    Like

  12. @BarbaraRoberts:

    “An appeal. Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, John MacArthur, John Piper, Thabiti Anyabwile, Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung, and Justin Taylor – please attend the May 12-16 criminal trial of Nathaniel Morales for the sexual abuse of boys in C.J.’s former church under C.J.’s leadership. . . . Your support of C.J. is unconscionable.”

    Does King Joffrey on the Iron Throne of Westeros ever give ear to an appeal from the Small People? Their only reason for existence is to die as needed while their Betters play The Game of Thrones.

    Like

  13. We believe that those who teach and preach the word of God are God-appointed agents to save God’s people from ignorance.

    Albert Mohler, Sermon, First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida; January 30, 2011

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  14. These celebrity dudes give themselves away by their tweets. Check this one out by Kevin DeYoung singing praises of his friend, Mark Dever (and my lone response). Notice how many retweets and favorites!

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  15. Yesterday I had sent a note to Pam Palmer (mother of plaintiff in the SGM abuse lawsuit) to see if she had a comment regarding this situation. I got a reply this morning and have added it to the article below my note. Here it is:

    Sometimes I am at a loss for words on what to say at the insensitivity and callousness of C. J. Mahaney and the men who support him. What other conclusion can observant people come to when they see a disgraced (yet undisciplined) leader sitting in the front row at such a prominent event other than the men sitting with him approve of his 30+ year record of covering up child sex abuse. ~Pam Palmer, mother of plaintiff in Sovereign Grace Ministriy abuse lawsuit.

    Like

  16. ” 45And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, 46“Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 47who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” ” Luke 20:45-47

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  17. “The consistent disciple of Christ is pained by being put into chief places.”

    Matthew Henry commentary on Matt 23.

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  18. @JulieAnne:

    This is brazen. Look at the celebrity church leaders who co-authored this book which has publish date of April 2014.

    I notice the ghostwriters are NOT named on the cover. Only the CELEBRITIES who put their name on it.

    April 2014? Is Result Source charging their usual $200 grand to guarantee a place on the Best-Seller List?

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  19. “There’s a lot of pressure today for pastors and leaders to build their “platform” in order to gain an audience and building influence. This is especially true if you are seeking to publish a book. With all the encouragement to self-promote and brand your identity online, how does this relate to the gospel call of taking up your cross and denying yourself? How do we make much of Christ when it seems so necessary to make much of our work?”
    http://bandofbloggers.org/

    Gosh – the Band of Bloggers had a mini conference two days ago called, “Platform Building and the Gospel” to discuss the above. This must be what they mean about gospel relationships. You make much of my work, and I will make much of yours! 🙂

    Like

  20. Julie Anne,

    Of course, DeYoung has a “gospel marriage” with “gospel children”. In 2011, Scotty Smith ( member of TGC) tweeted 36 weeks of 20 grace tweets a week.

    Signs you are growing in grace:
    You’re not good at directions, but your heart is growing a gospel GPS.
    Even your body language is gospel. People feel God’s welcome in your presence.
    You’ve got a gospel posse that knows your darkest stuff and current struggles, bar none.
    Your increased use of the word “gospel” is surpassed by evidence of grace in your life.
    When you’re with your gospelicious friends, you enjoy fellowship more than the food.

    These people do not want you to figure out that by the use of “gospel” they are talking about progressive justification ( not sanctification).

    Like

  21. Oh- and to answer the two questions posted in my last comment that the Band of Bloggers felt they just had to have a mini conference to address…my answer to the first question is:

    It doesn’t relate, unless you call being the opposite–relating.

    My answer to the second question is:

    Who said it seems so necessary to make much of your work? All you book writers / pastors / wannabe leaders did. Your making much of Christ is about making much of Him and that does not involve making much of you/your work/your gospelbooks/your gospelconferences or your gospelbackscratchings.

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  22. We also see the same thing with the term “covenant” among the followers of some in the homeschooling movement. Sproul and Wilson…. Everything is covenant something. Covenant marriage. Covenant children. Covenant community.

    It conveys a sense of specialness and superiority. And it’s code for people to understand in a single word that the idea it modifies is pure and direct from God.

    Like

  23. I think Brent Detweiler used the most appropriate word: Unconscionable. Mahaney has no conscience, at least when it comes to the welfare of victims.

    Like

  24. Thom Rainer’s “The Narcissistic Christian Leader” makes clear what many refuse to see here. What Rainer failed to say was that narcissists have no empathy, no conscience. The behavior of TGC does call into question whether they also fit the category of narcissists, as ministry is a profession that attracts many narcissists. I pray that the state steps in and uses their God-given authority in regards to Mahaney.

    Like

  25. “Thom Rainer’s “The Narcissistic Christian Leader” makes clear what many refuse to see ”

    Excuse me while I throw up. The damage his son did to my cousin’s church makes me sick. Talk about narcissism.

    Like

  26. JA, thanks for bringing us the quote from the mom of a victim of SGM.

    What vile men of T4G. No love for victimized innocent children at all.

    Like

  27. Carmen S. – like pedophiles, narcissists believe their own lies and remain among the most difficult to counsel. It’s extremely rare to see a narcissist or pedophile change.

    Like

  28. @Diane:

    This must be what they mean about gospel relationships. You make much of my work, and I will make much of yours! 🙂

    Gospel Relationships(TM):
    Larry promotes Moe.
    Moe promotes Curly.
    Curly promotes Larry.
    Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!

    Like

  29. @CarmenS:

    You’re not good at directions, but your heart is growing a gospel GPS.
    Even your body language is gospel. People feel God’s welcome in your presence.
    You’ve got a gospel posse that knows your darkest stuff and current struggles, bar none.
    Your increased use of the word “gospel” is surpassed by evidence of grace in your life.
    When you’re with your gospelicious friends, you enjoy fellowship more than the food.

    I get it. “Gospel” is the equivalent of “Object” in the language of C++ geeks. Can mean anything and everything, so it means nothing.

    Like

  30. @TomParker:

    I guess it all depends on what it means to not participate at a conference you have said you are not going to participate.

    “It all depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”
    — William J Clinton

    Like

  31. My guess is that C.J. simply meant he wasn’t going to get up and speak. After all, it wasn’t like he actually SAID he wouldn’t be there at all…
    Not defending him, just guessing that if confronted, this is what he’d probably say.

    Cindy is definitely right about the “covenant” everything. I got tired of hearing it so frequently at the first PCA church we were part of. Apparently if you are in a church with a significant or majority homeschooling/private classical schooling contingent, and a pastor who is somewhat of a fan of Doug Wilson, you’re going to hear it A LOT. I also ran into this in a bulletin of an OPC church–no homeschoolers that I know of, but private christian schooling was the norm. If you are sufficiently middle class enough to obey “God’s commands” with regard to training up your children in the way they should go.

    OK, getting off my soapbox here.

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  32. NJ – That is probably the excuse he would use, too.

    Note that a common characteristic among those who have little regard for victims is a sense of entitlement. CJ feels entitled to be there. He feels entitled to seated by his buddies. Not only does he feel entitled to be there with his buddies, but also in the front row in front of approximately 14K who can see his him. He does it unashamedly. Entitlement has the root of pride and putting SELF first. It is not godly.

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  33. This last of Julie is more to the point. Mahaney didn’t necessarily do anything wrong by showing up after he said he wouldn’t, and it’s not saying he’s like Jesus to point out that in a particular way Jesus did the same thing. In the same way Stalin murdered millions of people and committed other crimes, but if someone wants to charge him with wrong because he killed and ate fish, well, so did Jesus. You’re not making excuses for someone by urging that we stick to the things he did wrong.

    Sorry if you find that to be irrelevant details. They’re not irrelevant when it happens to you, and they’re not irrelevant if someone tries to point out someone’s wrongness to yuou with weak arguments. You won’t listen to that either.

    Now if it doesn’t matter to you whether people are persuaded by you to recognize men like these – notice how they’re all men? – for what they are, then by all means take no care to ague honestly and carefully, just let yourself go. But if deconstructing them properly is worthwhile, then learn some lawyerly wisdom about how to do it and the mistakes to avoid – and don’t assume that someone who warns you not to step in something is trying to protect them.

    It doesn’t matter that Mahaney went to the conference. It does matter that as Jeremiah says, he doesn’t know how to blush. He sits up there with the speakers like there’s no problem, loving the first place in the synagogue – as they all do – even though he ought to be embarrassed to be seen in public. And his buddies in that row have also made it clear that they have no shame. It’s not like they don’t know there’s a problem, because they all recognized that having him be one of the speakers would have been a little uncouth. It’s just that the problem is a public relations awkwardness, not a substantive problem. The problem is not that he went. The problem is the psychopathic shamelessness of those in that row, and the thousands of others that love to have it so.

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  34. The hubris and avarice of these men is breathtaking. CJ can’t stand to be out of the spotlight, and by sitting with the elite, he can have his cake and eat it, too. They all have their disclaimers. And these men have no shame about their activities earlier this year. Deleting any opposition, closing comments on their posts on FB, behaving like petulant children, outright lying about the fact that the civil suit against CJ and others is now moot. Money’s thicker than blood or water with them, and they all love the attention. It is sick.

    I don’t mind CJ being there to get good counsel and support. But he’s posturing himself, and the Good Ole’ Boys Club has made a statement in their manosphere: we still support CJ regardless. We choose him over victims and children that have been raped and molested as if a civil judge who threw out a few cases in the class action suit because of statute of limitation issues in some states of the plaintiffs is the same thing as moral justice. These men should know better. Heavens! Eric Hume knew better than that.

    They are the new demi-gods and the popes who bring truth and God’s will down to us poor ignorant lost chumps. It’s Pharisaism at its finest.

    Like

  35. Legalism isn’t mentioned in the Bible, but antinominism is. The lawless ones. Did Jesus say He would find many people with faith when He returned?

    What Mahaney has done is evil and demonic. Kevin DeYoung is sitting right next to Mahaney. DeYoung has six young children. Do his children have to be raped and molested before he will say something?

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  36. The question of whether or not *Mahaney* was deceitful in attending the conference is not the issue!!! The question is: “Why in the WORLD are the other leaders allowing it, when this man covered up and enabled the activities of sexual predators in his church for YEARS??” My husband-the-genius is a nitpicker over little details like this, and tends to completely miss the big picture, so I wasn’t *as* outraged by John Allman’s comment as others—-but hubby and I know his sometimes-inappropriate comments are a function of his mild Asperger’s syndrome. I’m not sure what Mr. Allman’s reasoning is for completely missing the point. 😦

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  37. Carmen,

    And how ironic is it that we who reject their New Calvinism (justification by works and carrying on about how wretched we are as regenerate Christians with no power over sin) — we’re the ones called antinomian because we don’t bind ourselves to the covenants of the Old Testament? That we don’t go around keeping score of the laws in the OT to know how to live but follow the law of love that God imparts unto us through the Spirit?

    During the sessions of T4G that my husband and I heard last night, he said four times, “And what about the Holy Spirit?” And he wasn’t talking about the Charismata — he was talking about the spiritual discernment that Paul talked about in Corinthians and that John wrote about in his epistles. Mohler made one statement on the panel that was a good one in this regard, but the rest turn to the law of T4G to discern how to live.

    As for DeYoung, I think he’s sold out to the sacred science — and the gurus are unquestionable. If he does think about what is really at risk, a major chunk of his belief system — the part built on men and the validation he gets from them — will fall apart.

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  38. You explained Allman’s point, and mine too. Making an issue of things that are not the issue makes the real issue or issues recede into the background. Why does anybody think it helpful to complain that Mahaney was being deceitful in attending the conference, when the real issue is as you stated here? If you want the jury to get it about someone enabling child molestation, you don’t set before them a stop sign ticket, especially when maybe it was a bad ticket. Stick to the real points. Does anyone have a problem with that?

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  39. Carmen S., you have a good point: WHY do these other leaders simply not understand the gravity and depravity of Mahaney’s sin? I may have heard a good explanation for that in my sociology class in college. I do NOT have the source for this, since it was over 10 years ago, but I will try and find it:

    A serial killer had raped and killed a couple of women, and disposed of the bodies in his own trashcan. He then proceeded to take them to the *curb* to be picked up by the local trash collector. The neighbors (who of course, had known this guy as “the-guy-next-door” for years) were like, “What the heck is that?” Did they call the cops when they saw a FOOT sticking out of the trashcan? No. They knocked on the guy’s door. “What on earth is in your trashcan?” “Oh, I’m sorry, it was for a science experiment for school, which didn’t work out the right way, and blah blah blah.” The neighbor’s response? “Well, could you call the trash company to get it now? It’s stinking up the whole street.” The serial killer apologized, and that was that. He went on to rape and kill a couple of more wo21

    This story was used to illustrate a couple of basic human responses that honestly revolted me: 1) People in general tend to look for the most *normal* possible explanation to everything. “A serial killer lives next door” is a heckuva lot less terrifying than “Oh, dude is a scientist and had an experiment gone wrong.” I believe that the normalization of abusive, predatory, and criminal behavior in the church is epidemic, because of the next point: 2) People say, “I know this guy/I’ve been blessed by this guy/I love this guy,” and he couldn’t POSSIBLY have done the thing you say he did!!” They can’t process that the minister-who-led-thousands-to-Christ might also be the guy who seduced teenage girls in his office.

    As the daughter of a narcissist, I don’t have those two basic human responses any more. I truly believe that awful things can happen to anyone, and even if “I know the guy,” I’m completely aware that anyone is able to deceive others and cover up unbelievable sins. 😦

    My two-year-old is crawling all over me, so I can’t finish my thought right now, but PiperandMohlerandCrew’s behavior is not all that strange to me. It seems completely normal in this context that Mahaney’s behavior would be jusitified, and that Mahaney himself would be protected and supported.

    That doesnt’ make it any LESS demonic. 😦

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  40. Taylor Joy,

    I think that Mr. Allman is deferring to the Appeal of Authority informal logical fallacy.

    We are not running willy nilly to criticize these men. God calls such a thing wickedness. They’re teaching another gospel (see A Cry for Justice on Piper and a recent post written by Joel Taylor of 5ptSalt for more on that). They’ve been confronted about their doctrines, ones that have been deemed semi-Arian/aberrant by theologians in the Evangelical Theological Society and in books and in other discourse. They will not even hear their critics. And Mahaney’s group was listed as a cult in the old directory of the Cult Awareness Network before the Scientologists did them in and then bought them out after bankrupting them. They are steeped in cultic shepherding. It is sick.

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  41. H.U.G. wrote, “I get it. “Gospel” is the equivalent of “Object” in the language of C++ geeks. Can mean anything and everything, so it means nothing.”

    Okay, I’m not from the Christian sub-culture that calls everything “gospel,” so I was confused why it was used so often and what it meant? It seemed like it took the meaning away from the Gospel = salvation in Jesus Christ. It really meant nothing in the context of the sentences I read. I expected to see gospel shoes, or gospel backpacks, or gospel recipes for that matter. “Gospel-centered” whatevers sprinkled about their speech seems to be the badge of how spiritual one is. Is this how it’s meant?

    As an outsider, this speech is awkward and a glaring flag of arrogance, so it seems to me.

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  42. Katie,

    That is how high demand religion or ideological groups manipulate thought and prove that they’re special at the same time. Robert Lifton called it Loading the Language.

    This is from Steven Martin’s book, “The Heresy of Mind Control”:

    Loading the language involves the manipulation of words and phrases to produce “thought-terminating cliches.” It is thus a tool and extension of the “Sacred Science” — language that is used in order to stifle doubts and criticism, resulting in a narrowing and constriction of thought processes. It involves abstract words that categorize and judge members within the group and people outside the group. Such language is used for manipulating and even stifiling a members thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
    .
    The words and phrases have special meaning within the group — a kind of language which, of course, exists to some degree in any organization, and all belief systems depend on it. However, the loading is more extreme in totalist groups since jargon expresses the certitudes of the sacred science serving to stifle and control
    one’s thinking.

    -Summary and paraphrase of Dr. Lifton on Loading the Language

    http://recognizeheresy.com/default.aspx

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  43. @Taylorjoyyoung,

    I like your example. It makes sense to me. We just can’t imagine that what we see is actually a foot that is attached to a dead body we can’t see.

    I saw a dead foot sticking out …
    A Women’s Ministry Leader blew up cussing me out. Simple fix, I thought. I would just work it out with an asst. pastor as a mediator. Long story short, it backfired.

    Red flags that alerted me there was a bigger issue that I could not see:

    1. The pastor chose a WML who had an habitual sin of outbursts of anger.
    2. Asst.Pastor said he could not rebuke WML because they were on the same leadership team and were “supposed to have each other’ backs.”
    3. Asst. Pastor and WML would not allow my husband in the meeting.
    4. Asst. Pastor allowed WML to talk for almost 3 hours without hearing from me (He kindly gave me 2 minutes at the end.)
    5. Asked the Pastor every week for some 10 months for a meeting to discuss the issue, but he never followed through.
    6. Called by the Pastor and was told to come late and leave early to church, don’t talk to people, don’t get involved so the WML is not bothered by my presence, though my family should stay involved.
    Etc…

    See how this works? I could have known there was a serious problem at #1. #2 was enough for many others to leave the church. #3 should have been my exit, for sure. I never imagined that the situation would just keep getting worse till in the end we ended up being shunned, in spite of the fact that the pastor told me I was innocent and he acknowledged that the WML did have an habitual sin problem.

    A year and a half later, the pastor was found to have 4 women, stolen lots of money, and has never repented to this day. You’d think that would be enough, yet with just a little digging, I realized that the head of the association of churches actually designed the church governance to have all the control in the hands of the pastor, without accountability. The church culture perpetuated the unhealthy notion that leaders protect leaders, not the congregation.

    … there was a dead body attached to that foot. Actually, there were a pile of dead bodies in that dumpster.

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  44. “You explained Allman’s point, and mine too. Making an issue of things that are not the issue makes the real issue or issues recede into the background. Why does anybody think it helpful to complain that Mahaney was being deceitful in attending the conference, when the real issue is as you stated here? If you want the jury to get it about someone enabling child molestation, you don’t set before them a stop sign ticket, especially when maybe it was a bad ticket. Stick to the real points. Does anyone have a problem with that?”

    Not at all. I totally get it. And you make a good point. EXCEPT his actually showing up there after the entire debacle T4G of facebook statements going up supporting him then tons of very negative comments then deletion of entire page, etc, etc…the TGC had similar situation……showed how callous they all are. I would not call it “deceitful”. I think they are all that big of narcissists and I believe Mahaney has sociopathic tendancies.

    However, I will ask you as an attorney how one proves narcissism/sociopathy in court? Because these types wreck havoc in people’s lives. But being one is not a crime, is it? (Which is why YOU NEVER talk to one if you are smart. You make them communicate by email or some other documention)

    If you want to get technical and argue the law, Mahaney has broken NONE. And T4G and TGC consistently pointed that out. That was their exoneration of him and what they hang their protection racket of Mahaney on. So to go that route plays into the lower standards or right and wrong for believers.

    Thing is, we are NOT in court. We are to have higher standards than our law as believers, right?

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  45. I just tuned in for Piper at T4G. He’s crying as he delivers his speech.

    Katie, as Cindy mentioned, it’s used as loaded language, and as a bonding experience with the group. You are now special. You now belong. But the real gospel is the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Tell me how many times this crowd mentions the new birth, the new man, the new creation. Red flag, people!

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  46. “As the daughter of a narcissist, I don’t have those two basic human responses any more. I truly believe that awful things can happen to anyone, and even if “I know the guy,” I’m completely aware that anyone is able to deceive others and cover up unbelievable sins. ”

    Or those of us who knew nothing about it, had no label for it who got sucked into the celebrity cult of personality and then saw the pattern up close and personal in more than a few mega church venues. It is enough to make one sick. Then when blogs start you find out it is all over what is evangelicalism. Like you, I now see the red flags early and depending on the situaiton walk away. Most folks won’t see it cos they love the guy or they are not seeing the patterns over time because he is the “guy on the stage” they think they know real well.

    Had there been an internet back in 94, most people would have seen a whole other side of Mohler that says exactly who he is and what he is about. He was appointed to SBTS at age 33. The thing was to clean the place out. A witch hunt for any liberals and the word liberal was not defined but very broadly applied. It was actually anyone who did not tow the party line but that took a while to figure out.

    Not long after being hired a speaker at chapel (Tom Eliff, now IMB pres for SBC) made some mention of there not being any :”conservative” chapel speaker for x amount of years. A senior staffer who was a research librarian at SBTS for 30 years sent Mr. Eliff a letter stating the facts of conservative speakers in chapel during those years. Mr Debusman was about 9 months from retirement after all those years there. Eliff sent the letter to Mohler who at 34 years old fired Debusman.

    Mr. Debusman, the courtley Christian gentleman he was from another era, left quietly and never made a fuss even though his retirement was hurt. He really thought the chapel speaker would appreciate facts and as a sort of SBTS archivist, Debusman had them.

    Mohler went through people like a steamroller and all you had to do was slap the liberal label on them if they dared to disagree with him. He surrounded himself with very young yes men then later got them into big positions in the SBC where they carry one his legacy.

    That is who these guys are. And people should be warned not to trust them with either doctrine or your well being. You have to sell your soul to them.

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  47. I” just tuned in for Piper at T4G. He’s crying as he delivers his speech. ”

    He always cries except when he is teaching that women should take “abuse for a season”. Then he giggles.

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  48. He’s saying that we should plead for others to be our brothers, but that’s not how he responds to people like me. All I’ve every received on behalf of this group is miserable pejorative and threats. Why don’t they reach out to us poor lost tarts in compassion instead of with aggression?

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  49. Maryland Judge Sharon V. Burnell dismissed the lawsuit ruling that 9 of the 11 plantiffs waited too long to sue under the statue of limitations. How can anyone claim that Mahaney broke no laws? How safe are your children in New Calvinist churches?

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  50. “Lydiasellerofpurple, do you have a blog?”

    No. I am not nice enough about evangelical evil to have a blog. :o)

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  51. Taylor, you make very good points. Confronted with evil, people do have a tendency to dismiss it, to believe that they just cannot possibly have seen what they have seen; they must have misunderstood. And it is worse when they know the person and have liked him.

    I would add a third problem that is related to this, blaming the victim. I first noticed this many years ago. A young woman I had gone to school with later had a child with multiple birth defects. I was stunned and angry when I ran into a mutual acquaintance from those days who said to me “Well didn’t she use drugs when we were in school together?” My friend never so much as smoked a marijuana cigarette! She was interested in her studies, didn’t date then, and was active in her church. I finally realized that fear was at the root of the unkindness of the acquaintance. Because if bad things can happen randomly to good people, then we are never really safe, are we? And if we admit that evil is real and we can encounter it and that perhaps people can fool us, it is even worse.

    Grown ups know that evil exists, that sociopaths and pedophiles etc can be charming, and that we have to stand up for victims.

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  52. Actually, I’m not a lawyer, although as a special ed advocate I litigate like one all the time at the administrative level.

    Several points:

    Yes, it should be a higher standard among us, but when you’re dealing with people like this, it isn’t. 2 Samuel 23:6-7 applies.

    It has nothing to do with proving anything in court, because most of what we’re talking about here is not within the jurisdiction of any court, which for this sort of thing is not a favorable forum anyway. But the same rules for being persuasive, for not getting dragged into losing issues, and so forth apply in the court of public opinion or even in the courts of individual consciences. The impulse, when dealing with someone clearly and demonstrably corrupt like this is to feel free to throw any crap at that them that comes to hand. The trouble is that besides being unjust, it is wholly self-defeating. In every situation, your weakest argument becomes the big issue, because it’s the easiest to attack. There’s no point in being mad about it, just like you don’t argue with the injustice of asphalt skinning your knees if you land on it. You just have to handle asphalt and bare knees as they are, and act accordingly.

    The lesson? Love your enemy. Argue on his behalf in your mind, and if his argument is unpleasantly persuasive, stay away from that issue. This is a practical outworking of Proverbs 25:21-22.

    Far from letting them get away with anything, this is how they get held accountable.

    Yes, indeed, everything has to be in writing. One of the favorite scriptures of all education advocates, one we all learn on our hides as we deal with these vile people: “If it’s not in writing, it never happened.”

    If you haven’t had to deal with education industry administrators that are tirelessly resorting to any dirty tricks that come to hand to avoid doing their jobs for a kid when it’s contrary to their administrative convenience, the ways of Al Mohler, John Piper, John MacArthur, et al are a shocking and outrageous novelty. Me, I’ve been dealing with their kind for 7 years, and they’re completely familiar. My heart is ready for such vileness in churches, for uncleanness to go out of them into the surrounding world just as the Bible says.

    It’s not OK. It is totally vile and outrageous. In a way, it never stops being surprising, and how can it when God himself is astonished (Isaiah 59:13-16)? And yet, God is not unprepared in heart, being ready for it even though wondering at it. And that’s what we’re to learn to be like, too.

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  53. How many people will confront and stand up against something if this is the way they draw their paycheck and making a living? Secular or Christian. There is a cost. I do not have to wonder what the Apostle Paul would do.

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  54. Upton Sinclair: “It is very difficult to make a man understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

    “And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous.” Exodus 23.8

    “You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous.” Deuteronomy 16:19.

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  55. @ taylorjoyyoung

    You wrote, “I’m not sure what Mr. Allman’s reasoning is for completely missing the point.”

    The point I made in my only other comment so far on this blog post, was a response only to what I took initially to be the main point of the blog post. I took this from the opening words of the first paragraph, which is in the same size font as the title: “C.J. Mahaney is pictured in front-row seats at the Together for the Gospel conference after publicly saying he would not participate”.

    That criticism of somebody I knew nothing about, immediately made me think of John chapter 7, and the behaviour of the Lord Jesus Christ, in relation to the Feast of Tabernacles. I made the one simple point that I made, which was this first and only point that came into my head, upon reading that opening paragraph, because that paragraph was in such large font that I supposed it to be a good guide as to what the entire blog post was about. I said the only thing that (I believe) God wanted me to say, about that and only that.

    If I completely missed *other* points, buried deeper in the small print of the text of the article, and this has caused anybody distress, I regret that distress.

    Looking at the original blog post, composed by Brent Detwiler, I now realise that I may have misinterpreted what *his* post was intended to be about. But in that case it was the extra opening paragraph, in large font, presumably added by whoever pasted in Brent Detwiler’s original blog post to this blog, that misled me. I hope you can see why I was misled now.

    Peter Attwood explained my point of view so well that I haven’t felt the need to explain myself until now. But some people are clearly still unhappy with my contribution, so I am taking the trouble now to explain my point of view for myself, with all the risks that that entails.

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  56. “Yes, it should be a higher standard among us, but when you’re dealing with people like this, it isn’t. 2 Samuel 23:6-7 applies.”

    Well what would be the point of a “Body of Christ” then? I do not subcribe to the Augustinian “Total Depravity” so I believe people are responsible for their behavior and teaching. So excusing evil because they are “people” makes no sense to me if they claim Christ. And I don’t map OT stuff to the NT because we are promised the indwelling Holy Spirit as believers. We can be new creatures in Christ.

    As to the rest of your points, good ones but in fact, they do not apply. These men base every thing in life on a pecking order. A caste system. You cannot even get close enough to practice the ever popular but misapplied Matt 18. They are insulated, isolated orators on a stage who apply a Christian caste system their life and surround the wagons for each other. In fact, that is the first red flag…the stage persona and cult of personality. That is where education comes in and why we discuss it on blogs.

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  57. @Cindy K,

    ” ‘thought-terminating cliches.’ It is thus a tool … used in order to stifle doubts and criticism, resulting in a narrowing and constriction of thought processes.”

    This makes total sense. Now I wonder if they just happened upon such a use and found it to be helpful, or if one of them actually learned this and applied it knowingly? Doesn’t really matter, cause they are still using it as a tool for their purposes. Seems to miss the point of the gospel all-together.

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  58. John, what freaked me out is that you admitted you know nothing about Mahaney. There is no way each blog post can give the whole story going back 20 years and intensifying over the last 6 years. The scandalabra includes most of the YRR/Neo Cal movement as supporters or ignorers. There is a “pattern” of behavior over years with both the movement and CJ.

    And don;t get me started on Detwiler who was part of the problem and helped build the empire until he got dissed by Mahaney and thrown to the curb. He does not see the entire system was wrong. It is a shepherding cult.

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  59. The point of a body of Christ is for Christ to rein among those that acknowledge his rule in practice. For those that don’t, no matter how their mouth runs, we have to follow the Bible guidance on how to deal with them – and both harmless as doves and wise as serpents applies, as Jesus said. They’re false brethren, and the apostolic instruction on false brethren applies.

    An unusually pertinent passage is 2 Timothy 3:1-9, which following on from the previous chapter, is clearly describing how it is within our own company. These guys are as Peter and Jude describe them – and nothing about the body of Christ nullifies their nature or how they have to be handled.

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  60. “Upton Sinclair: “It is very difficult to make a man understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

    Bingo. But this does not explain the pew sitters. And that is where we need to focus. What attracts believers to a cult of personality?

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  61. Katie,

    Google “Australian Forum”, “Sonship Theology”, “Gospel Sanctification”, which now goes under the name “New Calvinism”. This started in the 1970s.

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  62. Peter, can you try that last answer without all the Christianese? Now, would you or would you not avoid someone you see narcissistic tendancies in —even though in the Body of Christ? Keep in mind, narcissistic behavior and tactics.

    We must ask ourselves WHY narcissists and other creeps such as pedophiles find church an easy venue in which to operate. There IS a reason.

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  63. Katie,

    A smart manipulator learns very quickly what works with his or her audience. We fall into the works of the flesh all of the time, and we forget that we are following what God ordained for us and works in us to do. Without Him we can do nothing — and in in Him we live and move and have our being. But we should be constantly about putting to death the deeds of our flesh, and we don’t always do that.

    In a nutshell, I think that it all hinges on people giving in to letting the end justify the means. Some fall into it innocently. In the cultic church I was in back in Maryland, just down the pike from Mahaney (we were like the poor, country cousins), people were saved right into a spiritually abusive system, and this was their “normal.” In their case, they were taught the ways of shepherding by Charles Simpson who helped spearhead that movement, right about the time that CLC was established, too. They instituted systems of control for the lofty, good ideologic end, but they were taught a skewed and aberrant version of how God works.

    In the case of Gothard and in Simpson’s movement, spiritually abusive ways were taught to young ministers and new converts as God’s highest and best way. I think that the New Calvinists have also just fallen into these same patterns. It’s what our flesh tries to do. In the case of these systems, they codified the practices of shepherding, and the whole Reformed Baptist/Presby system jives well with the authoritarianism via exploitation of the elder rule. Mahaney is such a classic example of it, too. But I suspect that this is all that he knows.

    More in a minute. Phone…

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  64. It’s not necessary to know anything about Mahaney to know essential things about what issues matter and what don’t in his case. It’s always true that we can know the essential issues and to stay away from issues that – completely independent of anything about him – are irrelevant. If he were guiltless in every other respect, bringing up his attendance as though it were a problem would be making something of what in the biblical record is not necessarily a problem. And if he is enabling and covering up child abuse, that little issue should be stayed away from because it distracts from his genuine criminality, which no one should be incited to move away from.

    Since we all see in a mirror in a riddle (1 Cor 13:10), it’s a good thing that much can be said with assurance just the same.

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  65. “It’s not necessary to know anything about Mahaney to know essential things about what issues matter and what don’t in his case. It’s always true that we can know the essential issues and to stay away from issues that – completely independent of anything about him – are irrelevant. If he were guiltless in every other respect, bringing up his attendance as though it were a problem would be making something of what in the biblical record is not necessarily a problem. And if he is enabling and covering up child abuse, that little issue should be stayed away from because it distracts from his genuine criminality, which no one should be incited to move away from.”

    Ok, I get it now. You tend to see the bible as a sort of how to application manual. I don’t.

    I saw his presence there as “he is acting as if HE DID NOT enable and cover up child molestation and abuse” and many celebs are helping him do that. Perhaps it is the callousness and cold heart of a movement that is so incredible.

    BTW: Is that Johnny Mac next to Mohler? He sold out did he not?

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  66. “What attracts believers to a cult of personality….and how do you break them out of this cult?”

    Cindy is an expert on that! This is especially important for new believers and young ones….what becomes ingrained early is horrible to try and break out of. It is why we are seeing so many pew sitting former YRR become athiests/agnostics. (Not the paid ones) There are many of them here at ground zero. They bought into the determinism but then trying to apply it to every day life will make you nuts. But it is their only view of the “Sovereign” God.

    They usually trade one tyrant for another without realizing it. former fundys do the same thing with the culture war they leave right wing and go left wing. One tyrant for another.

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  67. Carmen,

    People get sucked into these cultic groups because they offer some magical solution to a problem, then they use surreptitious techniques of manipulation without people realizing that it’s manipulative until they’re entrenched. They love bomb you, get you hooked, and then the trouble starts. They don’t give you permission to entertain your own natural doubts (SGM is classic for this), calling everything gossip. What emerges is a predictable pattern of the fully orbed system wherein people’s thoughts, emotions and behaviors are manipulated. To survive and remain a part of the “buzz” you get from participation, you have to follow the program. If you deviate, they use shame and withdraw personhood and salvation from you. There is no truth outside of the group — and the group is special to God.

    The best way to help people is to teach them about the techniques of thought reform/spiritual abuse. I have a ton of stuff like this on the sidebar of my blog. Usually, people won’t entertain the idea that anything is wrong until they start to suffer or see someone they love suffer at the hands of the group. The needs of the group/leader/ideology becomes more important than the individual at some point.

    You have to create a safe place for people to feel comfortable entertaining their natural doubts (which the group prevents you from even thinking about). Then you can ask questions to get the person to explain how stuff makes sense (outside of the context and influence of the group). Once you get their own critical thinking engaged (which they handed over to the group/leader/doctrine to be a part of the life of the group), most people start to see the problems.

    The tough part of that safe place is getting through their expressions of the mantras that they learned in their group. If you think of what they were taught as poison that they ingested, the initial phase of this is pretty ugly. You just have to keep on loving them through the process no matter what, so that they can learn that you are trustworthy. When they are ready, they will come to you or God will send someone to them to help. (What do we do when we ingest poison? We get sick out of both ends. But I think it’s a good analogy to help loved ones and friends get through the first hard process with their friends.

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  68. At conferences like this T4G, they use what essentially becomes hypnosis. I have a series on my blog about how conferences basically mesmerize you and how that all works. Many different things are used to lull people into a state where they suspend their critical thinking and just start agreeing with the speaker.

    Here’s how the process works most of the time. We are all human, and this takes advantage of our strengths and weaknesses both.
    http://undermoregrace.blogspot.com/2009/03/understanding-cognitive-dissonance.html

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  69. Katie,

    The other half of that question about whether they know what they’re doing is the subject of much study. Social psychology was birthed after WWII when people watched the Nuremburg Trials. The Nazi Doctors are excellent examples of what happened. To survive the system, the completely suppressed their personalities and take on the personality that the manipulative system demands. WWII was over, and these men who did horrific things to people who were defined less than human went back to living regular lives. How could that be?

    Leaders end up getting into these systems, and they become victims of the unquestionable nature of the doctrine for which they are the arbiters. They become infallible, too. But then they get stuck. There’s hardly any incentive to give up being the grand ruler and perfect. But truth be told, they end up being victims of the system and trapped, too. Thinking of what Challies recently wrote about T4G conferences being like catnip, these positions of leadership are like catnip to the sociopath and the narcissists. The leaders end up generally fitting the profile of Cluster B personality disorders.

    Middle management in these systems end up selling their souls to stay in good with the group. And it’s so terribly hard to realize that you’ve been dooped. I remember walking to the car with my husband after spending hours with our exit counselor in ’97, and I just repeated for about an hour, over and over: “Oh dear God! I am a Moonie. I’m no different than a Moonie.” And I really wasn’t. I’ve been sexually assaulted and have suffered some other terrible traumas, and this was by far more devastating than anything I’d ever been through.

    Most people shy away from looking into the abyss of who they are without Christ and feel completely undone in the flesh when Christ looks into them. I understand why Isaiah (ch 6) fell on HIs face when he saw the Lord on His throne, hearing the angels cry Holy, Holy, Holy. I had to choose the truth over my comfort, however. And this is what I learned from those who had been through what I was through. They comforted me with the comfort of the truth they received.

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  70. I don’t know if I communicated that well or not. But the leaders are far, far more trapped in the system than the follower is. A foolish consistency is a mean hobgoblin.

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  71. In God’s benign providence and purposes for my good and that of all his saints, news of Tony Miano’s arrest in Scotland, and my Google alert that I created to follow the ensuing important legal case in my country (i.e. the UK, rather than just Scotland), in which Andrea Williams (who has helped me in a “persecution” court case or two of my own) brought me here. Here of all places, where I would become bombarded daily with barbed criticisms penned by American people using pseudonyms, of American church leaders I’d never heard of (church leaders of sorts, far richer than me, but who at least use their real names), one of whom (Miano) denounces Julie Anne publicly as a reprobate, at least as vehemently as -er- she denounces him thus.

    Why did God bring me here? I do not know. So I will do here what God has taken me decades to teach me to do everywhere – to be truthful, and faithful to his word.

    So, here I am, and (until the owner blocks me), I can do no other (whilst here) than what I have done so far, even if some people think that all I am doing is playing Devil’s Advocate for the sheer, narcissistic, ulteriorly-motivated fun of it, quoting what have been called “strange” scriptures, for example (in this thread) from John’s Gospel (i.e. not quite as strange as the minor prophets), to bolster up some malign agenda of my own that I came here with in the first place, possibly being in cahoots all along with the very church leaders of whom I’d never heard, and whom this blog denounces.

    Using the bible, I can shut the mouths of trouble-makers, stunning them into silence because they have no answer to the wisdom in the bible. Or, in the same breath, I can help embittered true believers who have survived spiritual abuse (or just common-or-garden abuse perpetrated against them or their kin by bossy, churchy people) to hone their skills in the art of exposing evil – “have noting to do with the evil deeds of darkness, but rather expose them” – by focusing upon arguments that are persuasive, and discarding arguments that are dubious.

    I am a public figure. That is not to say that I am famous. It is simply to say that I use my real name, and publish all my contact details on the internet. So nobody here needs to speculate about who I am, who I work for, what my agenda is, or what I am like. Just email me, fax me, phone me, Skype me, comment on my “Have your say” blog page, or knock at my door, if there is anything you want to know.

    My very short sermon tonight is based upon the following short text, taken from Jude 1:9. Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

    Even the devil himself, whom we must all know by now has done at least one thing wrong, has the right not to be falsely accused of doing something wrong, even by an archangel, that his accuser cannot be absolutely sure that the accused has done wrong.

    If we are to live as saints, we dare not risk slandering, be it ever so slightly, the worst of the worst who also call themselves saints. We, like archangels, are supposed to be the good guys. “Be ye perfect”, Jesus said. Can a certain tyrant be proven to have murdered a million innocent civilians? Then woe betide us if, purporting to be God’s spokesmenandwimmin, we “dare” to accuse that tyrant of murdering a million-and-one innocent civilians. Because that’s not how we serve “The God of Truth”.

    Get it? Peter Attwood does. It’s not rocket science.

    I didn’t seek out this hornet’s nest of a blog on purpose, a blog which has the potential to bring the gospel into disrepute. I offer an impartial outsider’s “gospel response” (grinning, ducking and running) to the web content that modern technology has brought before my eyes lately, from this blog, all of this being in God’s often surprising plan. Take it or leave it, but please don’t shoot the messenger, or stone the prophet.

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  72. ” A blog which has the potential to bring the gospel into disrepute.” Your “impartial” “outsider” concern has been duly noted, I’m sure. “God” has brought you here…duly noted.

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  73. Ok, I am going to participate. Even though I said I wouldn’t. But it’s ok, because Jesus told his brothers he was not yet going to the feast, and he showed up there later. I realise that most people would assume that when Jesus said he was “not yet” going, he meant that he wasn’t going at the same time that they went but but he planned to go later. But I am instead going to interpret the passage to mean that Jesus said one thing but did another, because that makes it okay for me to say one thing but do another. I like how this works, getting to justify my falsehood by appealing to a strange interpretation of what Jesus did. I will be able to get away with so much this way!

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  74. One of the most difficult things to face is that you have believed a lie. Jesus said the Truth will set you free. Freedom. What a glorious word!

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  75. @ lydiasellerofpurple

    “I believe Mahaney has sociopathic tendancies”

    “how one proves narcissism/sociopathy in court?”

    I don’t see how adopting the modern lingo of pseudo-scientific psychobabble assists those of us of the sola scriptura brigade in purging the entire church visible of leaders who are evil, assuming that such a purge is even to be desired, as you suppose it might be. The state openly discriminating against persons with (a secular court has ruled) the disability of sociopathic or narcissistic personality disorder, in the selection of church leaders, could be considered “disablist”, as well as violating about as badly as as possible the principle of the separation of church and state.

    It simply isn’t safe to expect the secular government’s courts to hear the expert witness evidence of largely unchurched psycho-professionals, in order to rule that certain allegedly disabled individuals, with alleged disabilities that you think make them “types [that] wreck havoc in people’s lives”, are so dangerous that the government, through its courts, should overrule the “votes” (either figurative votes cast with tithes, or their literal votes when churches are governed congregationally) of the faithful, for those particular disabled people, into church government.

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  76. “But I am instead going to interpret the passage to mean that Jesus said one thing but did another, because that makes it okay for me to say one thing but do another. I like how this works, getting to justify my falsehood by appealing to a strange interpretation of what Jesus did. I will be able to get away with so much this way!”

    Exactly! That is why I said what I did concerning using that passage. What a twist to say that I said scripture (in general) was weird. I thought his use of that passage concerning CJ attending T4G, very strange indeed.

    Thank you Tom for articulating it better than I ever could.

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  77. I find the modern lingo quite helpful when it describes validated methods with statistically significant findings after one has thrown all of the math that one can throw at it to determine and discern truth in terms of what is real and what is falsehood. There’s plenty of psychobabble out there, but there is also great research done by people who want to understand disorders and what helps people with disorders so that they can be as functional if not healed.

    Jesus just happened to use different language. He talked about how the Pharisees talked about swearing by the gold in the temple as opposed to swearing by the temple itself. This is a double bind and induces psychological splitting. Jesus talked all about primitive ego defense mechanisms, manipulation, external locus of control, narcissism, psychopaths, narcissists, etc. He just used the language of his day. He used terms like straining gnats and swallowing camels. He was the best psychologist who ever lived.

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  78. I don’t know that I see the Bible as an application manual, but I see it as God’s counsel, with examples to be learned from, followed, or avoided, as it may be, and advice offered, which it is wise to digest and practice. I’ve seen that whe I blow it off, it ends badly, just as it warns me.

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  79. “Why did God bring me here?”

    This is why determinism is producing so many young former YRR athiests. We are supposed to assume John was “led by God” to follow Tony Miano’s antics and God had him subscribe to google reader. (remember, John does not know the “why” of any of this. He is a mere marionette doll on the strings) So John is “led here” and God “leads him” to engage us nasty “Christians”. Then God leads him to preach to us with his interpretation of scripture which he thinks is God’s interpretation.

    John, You don’t have enough volition to engage here. How do you know you are not hearing from satan since “John: is not really involved in any of it but only being led by God? See all you have to do is say “God led me” and no one can argue with that, can they? It smacks of pleading to a special authority which John thinks gives him some sort of special authority.

    So what is missing in all of this? Those innocent children molested at SGM who were told to instantly forgive their molester and not speak of it because they are just as big of sinner as the molester and talking about what was done to them is gossip

    “Using the bible, I can shut the mouths of trouble-makers, stunning them into silence because they have no answer to the wisdom in the bible. Or, in the same breath, I can help embittered true believers who have survived spiritual abuse (or just common-or-garden abuse perpetrated against them or their kin by bossy, churchy people) to hone their skills in the art of exposing evil – “have noting to do with the evil deeds of darkness, but rather expose them” – by focusing upon arguments that are persuasive, and discarding arguments that are dubious.”

    You aren’t the first to use it as a club to beat people with or as sharp sword to prove to yourself how clever you think you are. Your bigger problem is finding an audience who will fall for it. :o)

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  80. Cindy,

    Jesus talked all about primitive ego defense mechanisms, manipulation, external locus of control, narcissism, psychopaths, narcissists, etc.

    Man, that would make a fantastic Bible study!!

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  81. “I invite you to take some advice from old EL Bynum who we all will get to meet in glory one day: IS IT RIGHT: To Judge, To Expose Error, and To Call Names?”

    Wonder what he does with 1 Corin 5 which tells us not to judge the world but to judge within the Body of Christ? Oh, I forgot. That is only for elders in the celebs local church. Sigh. But that would make us wonder why Dever, Mohler, and all the other outsiders judged CJ fit for ministry wsince they teach that can only happen at the local church level. Hmmm.

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  82. Peter,

    I don’t know if that was directed at me or not — I don’t see the Bible as an application manual, either. In the event that it was, I only meant to highlight the fact that Scripture addressed all sorts of things related to psychology — why people did things and how predictable they were. Robert Lifton talked about Loaded Language and the Sacred Science, but they are just different expressions for human behavior that Jesus and even the old Patriarchs noted and described well.

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