ABUSE & VIOLENCE IN THE CHURCH, C.J. Mahaney, Crazy Things Church Leaders Say & Do, Domestic Violence and Churches, Failure to Report Crimes, LAWSUITS, Mandatory Reporting, Sexual Abuse/Assault and Churches, Sovereign Grace Ministries, Sovereign Grace Ministries Lawsuit, Statute of Limitations, Tullian Tchividjian

Sovereign Grace Ministries Sex Abuse Lawsuit and Tullian Tchividjian

Update on the Sovereign Grace Ministries sex abuse court case and Tullian Tchividjian’s clarification of his related statements concerning his “breakup” with The Gospel Coalition.


After recently posting this article in which I expressed concern that Tullian Tchividjian failed to make any mention of the SGM sex abuse survivors in his apology,  An Open Letter to Tullian Tchividjian, Including a Personal Note from a Sex Abuse Survivor, we now have some clarification and it comes from an interview with Janet Mefferd.  You can fast forward to the 2:00 minute mark.



Additionally, Janet Mefferd also recently interviewed SGM victims plaintiffs’ attorney, Susan Burke, to discuss the upcoming court case on Monday.    The discussion includes the impact of Grant Layman’s sworn court testimony that he new about the sex abuse and failed to report.

*  *  *

From Brent Detwiler:

Anyone interested in the truth will take this interview to heart. There is no question of a conspiracy to cover up sexual abuse.

Please pray for the Maryland Court of Special Appeals who hears the appeal on Monday. Let’s hope they overturn the decision of the lower court that dismissed the case in May 2013 based upon the statute of limitations.

Regardless of their decision, however, Mahaney, CLC and SGM are guilty of an evil conspiracy per the evidence. They did not report Nathaniel Morales (and others) who was a known serial predator. He went on to abuse for 20 years.

Two weeks ago in his first trial, Morales was found guilty on all five counts with a maximum sentence of 85 years. The follwoing week in his second trial, Morales was found guilty on two counts for another 25 years.

The evangelical and Reformed Church must act. This is no time for silence. Leaders everywhere should speak out and demand an accounting of Mahaney, et al. regardless of the criminal or civil proceedings.  (Read more: Riveting Interview with Lead Attorney Susan Burke on Civil Suit Appeal and SGM Conspiracy)

*  *  *


They will present their case before the appellate court so that they can they deliberate when the “clock should start ticking for the conspiracy claim” — be it the time of the assaults or the point at which the plaintiffs learned that there was a conspiracy on the part of the church system to cover up those assaults.

As Janet Meffered stated it, because of Grant Layman’s testimony in the Morales trial, we have moved from “conspiracy theory to conspiracy fact.”


Janet Mefferd’s interview with Susan Burke: 


The SGM story starts at the 7:00 minute mark.

*  *  *

“[T]he pastors knew of the various instances of sexual abuse, they knew that they had a duty to report it to the police, they discussed with each other whether or not to do so, and they reached an agreement – they collectively decided that they were going to cover it up rather than bring it forward to the secular authorities. And they took steps to encourage anyone who learned of it to do the same.”

~Attorney Susan Burke


27 thoughts on “Sovereign Grace Ministries Sex Abuse Lawsuit and Tullian Tchividjian”

  1. These poor poor celeb pastors….what are they to do? On one hand they have abused children and protected child molesters and on the other, their “very good (celeb) friends in the Lord” whom they might offend by actually saying out loud it is wrong to defend the child molester protector pastors of their tribe. Of course it all came much later when the good friends in the Lord decided to suddenly take him off their blog aggregate.

    I feel so sorry for them trying to walk that tightrope. (snarc)


  2. I’m glad Tullian spoke out and I am also glad that he clarified his position on SGM clearly. I have been listening to Tullian for quite a few years and could not see him going back on that.

    He did say something to the leaders of the Coalition although not publicly. For that I not only respect him more than I did, but commend him for doing so.


  3. I’m really glad, too, Debbie. I knew when he didn’t mention anything in the apology that there would be survivors interpreting that silence as back-pedaling. I’m so glad that this is cleared up. Really glad.


  4. Did TT also make a written statement about this on his Liberate website or was it only the radio interview?


  5. Can someone explain to me what that picture at the top of TT’s “break up” post is supposed to be and what it means.


  6. ‘He did say something to the leaders of the Coalition although not publicly. For that I not only respect him more than I did, but commend him for doing so.”

    You commend him for saying something but you have no idea what it is? Strange. Too bad he did not have the courage to say it publicly. The abuse surivivors might have benefited.


  7. Tullian’s post. It’s some kind of red sparkling thing that looks like a disco Mickey Mouse. I went to see if he’d written a response on his own post and to see if he’s written anything new on his blog. And there’s that picture that I just don’t get.

    Is he saying that he raised a weapon when he told the truth about how TGC lied about the “break up” and that it concerned his doctrine only?


  8. Okay, I looked up Deadmau5 online, and this is a song by the group which is pronounced “dead mouse.” But the lyrics don’t really fit the situation, if they are to echo an apology. I’m even more confused. I still don’t understand how it bears on offering an apology to the world for sounding harsh. Unless it’s not supposed to mean anything. ??? I guess this means I’m officially over the hill.


  9. He said on the interviews what he told the Gospel Coalition concerning their support of Mahaney on the Facebook statement they gave. I believe him. I think the fact that he told about it in two interviews how he felt about the sex scandal would be considered a public statement.

    Yeah Julie, I wondered too if he was backpeddling on his statements concerning Mahaney. I am glad he didn’t.


  10. Tullian seemed to exonerate Keller later. I know that many victims/survivors were let down once again by a celebrity.

    Peter, I have no doubt your comment disappeared. Right now it is important to control the message.


  11. Strange to think that all of the drama with SGM first coming to light via Wikileaks was almost three years ago now. Thanks for continuing to put the spotlight on this and other scandals and spiritual abuse cases. I’ve honestly grown weary in following all of this more closely and have focused more on my own healing process. This is a reminder to pray for the victims, to pray for justice via the legal system. For them. this is not nearly over.


  12. I am glad Tullian clarified what his apology was for. I hope he learns from this that when apologising, it is important to make crystal clear what one is apologising for and what one is NOT apologising for.

    I also have to say that I very much like the clarity Tullian has about how properly to distinguish between Law and Gospel. I listened to the whole interview and was impressed with his handling of that theology. I haven’t followed him much before, but I recognise that the way he distinguishes between Law and Gospel is quite like Martin Luther. And for that, I commend him.


  13. @Peter Atwood — Your comment on Tullian’s post is not the only one that has disappeared Peter. My comment has disappeared too.

    That is very disappointing.

    When I submitted it it went live straight away. I just submitted another comment on Tullian’s blog and it is being held in moderation. Maybe he has decided to moderate all comments before publishing them. I can understand that. But to delete ones that were published already. . . that’s not good form, not generally speaking. As a blogger myself on a blog that moderates ALL comments before they go live, we occasionally delete comments that had been published, but it is a very rare occurrence.

    Now the tone of the comments that remain on that post of Tullians is almost 100% praising of him. There is only one (by Eric Rasmussen) that is somewhat critical of Tullian.

    I am going to be disappointed if his comment-publishing policy results in his threads being almost entirely a praise fest of him.


  14. Barbara –

    Another blogger etiquette issue that seems to be missing: if a comment is allowed to be published and then later is removed, the blogger should clarify to the readers that the comment was removed and why. This is the same kind of courtesy that news media offers when they revise an article. It’s called honesty and shouldn’t we as Christians be setting the bar on that?


  15. Yes I agree JA.

    And I’ve searched high and low on Liberate’s site and can’t find anything that explains their comment-publishing policy.

    That kind of thing annoys me as well. A blog owner has the right to run their blog any way they like, but courtesy to readers in explaining their policy is important. Experienced bloggers who don’t even bother explaining their policy appear to me to be superior and arrogant.


  16. Tullian Tchividjian’s clarification means nothing if he will not post it, in writing, on the same blog on which he posted his apology.

    Plus, I find it difficult to suppose that he may have wisdom regarding the relationship between law and gospel where he habitually uses non-Scriptural terminology such as “God the Holy Spirit.” This terminology may (or may not) be good theology, but I am sick and tired of these supposed spiritual authorities promoting the conclusions of theological logic as though they were the very words of God.


  17. I would give the Liberate site a little slack as a very new site that suddenly had to become available earlier than they had planned. Hopefully, they will catch up with all of the things that should be there.


  18. I was wrong saying above [ #comment-122381] that my comment on Tullian’s blog had been removed. My comment had not been removed; what happened was that I looked for it later but was looking at the wrong website. Tullian blogs at his own (new) blog pastortullian.com which was where I posted my comment. But he also posts blog posts at LIBERATE. He posted the same thing at both of these sites and when I went looking for my comment I looked at Liberate not at the pastortullian.com site. I was emailed by the editor at Liberate explaining that TT has two blogs, so now I understand. . .

    I think it might be quite confusing with TT having two blogs. But maybe this is just part of the teething problems, and I take your point Attorney that we maybe need to cut him some slack.


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