9Marks, Addressing Abuse, C.J. Mahaney, child abuse, Clergy Misconduct, Clergy Sex Abuse, Dr. Albert Mohler, Failure to Report Crimes, Mandatory Reporting, Sexual Abuse/Assault and Churches, Southern Baptist Convention, Sovereign Grace Ministries, Sovereign Grace Ministries Lawsuit, Statute of Limitations, The Gospel Coalition, Together for the Gospel

SBTS President Albert Mohler Apologizes for Supporting C.J. Mahaney

This is a big story – one we’ve been waiting for over 7 years. C.J. Mahaney, former President of Sovereign Grace Ministries churches has been best buds with leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) despite the fact that there were huge sex abuse scandals (including reports of a pedophile ring) under Mahaney’s watch.

Most of the survivors have never had justice served because of a technicality which disallowed their case from being heard: the Statute of Limitations. (Don’t get me going on that topic.)

But despite having had no independent investigations, C.J. Mahaney’s pals from Together for the Gospel, The Gospel Coalition, and the Southern Baptist Convention have stood by him, even publicly defending him, and inviting him to speak at their conferences! #mindblown

Albert Mohler

Today, the Houston Chronicle interviewed Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in which he apologized for not speaking out earlier.

Interestingly, today I was tweeting about Albert Mohler’s relationship with C.J. Mahaney, even tagging Albert Mohler and asking about their relationship in light of the SBC sex abuse cases uncovered by journalists at the Houston Chronicle.

Here is Mohler’s apology:

“I believe in retrospect I erred in being part of a statement supportive of (Mahaney) and rather dismissive of the charges,” Mohler said. “And I regret that action, which I think was taken without due regard to the claims made by the victims and survivors at the time, and frankly without an adequate knowledge on my part, for which I’m responsible.”


Mohler, the longtime president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., has long been silent about his support for Mahaney. His comments to the Chronicle on Thursday came just days after the newspaper reported hundreds of sexual abuses committed by Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers, some of which were not reported to law enforcement.

After resigning from the Maryland-based organization, Mahaney started a new church in Louisville in part, he said, to be closer to Mohler’s seminary.

Mohler also admitted he should have encouraged an independent investigation. This is something that Rachael Denhollander urged publicly when she addressed the issue that Sovereign Grace Churches (formerly Ministries), had failed to do due diligence in their investigations.


Mohler said he should have been more forceful in his denunciation of Mahaney.


“Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes,” he said. “I should have been very clear about insisting on an independent, credible third-party investigation.”


He added, “I should have said nothing until I had heard from those who were victims and who were making the allegations. I should have sought at that time the advice and counsel of agencies and authorities who were even then on the front lines of dealing with these kinds of allegations.”

The article also mentions that Danny Akin, President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, who finally shared similar regrets:


“Do I think that Sovereign Grace handled the accusations brought
against them well?” Akins said. “No, I don’t. I think they could have been far more transparent. I think they could have been far more forthcoming. Even to this day, there’s still a lack of clarity.”


He added, “I absolutely think they’ve handled (the allegations) poorly and that they have not been as transparent as they should have been or could have been, and (that they) could have saved a lot of people a lot of grief,” Akin said.

I am grateful that these statements are coming out from SBC leaders, but it makes me question if they would have come out had the Houston Chronicle not released their SBC sex abuse series. Why did they only take the C.J. Mahaney/SGM sex abuse scandal seriously when the sex abuse in their own camp came to light?

Are these statements enough? Does it heal the pain that so many SGM victims/parents have felt over the years for remaining silent about the abuse and defending Mahaney? Is this really a step forward, or is it just the politically correct thing to do?

I want to believe that this is a genuine wake-up call for all church leaders to get their collective acts together and take sex abuse and cover-ups seriously. I only wish it came spontaneously from the hearts of leaders – you know, humble leaders who truly care about the people in their flock. Maybe I ask for too much.

Who wants to bet there will be more church leaders speaking out against the way C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Churches has handled their sex abuse cases?

67 thoughts on “SBTS President Albert Mohler Apologizes for Supporting C.J. Mahaney”

  1. Whoa! I never thought I’d see this happen. If he was going to take this position before the Houston Chronicle article he waited just a little too long to express it. It should not have taken seven years and a media exposé. I hope the SGM survivors find some closure in it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. BTDT – I agree – far too long. I should not presume to know how the SGM survivors feel, but to be honest, I’m upset. It’s just too convenient to do it now as the SBC sex scandal is publicized. Yea, right.@@

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  3. Better late than never, but truly many days, no, many years, late. What will he now do to show repentance? Has he now called the victims and listened to them? Has he called Mahaney and rebuked him? Has he held a meeting at the seminary and repented to faculty, students, and donors?

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  4. They are confident they can lie and people will go along with their self-serving lies.

    Al Mohler can prove he cares about victims of sexual abuse by stepping down. He would never do that because all he really cares about is HIS power. These are the most self-important group of people in America. They hate the voices of abused children and abused women.

    The voices of men who abuse children and abuse women are the only voices they love and respect.

    In these embarrassing men’s minds, it is ALWAYS women and children’s job to have every kind of pain there is to make fathers and husbands feel good. That is the southern baptist convention.

    If Al Mohler was so moral and so smart no one would have ever had to write the Houston Chronicle article.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I went to Dee Parson’s Twitter page and listened to the joke Mohler made while introducing Mahaney at the 2016 T4G conference. Of course, Mohler never should have said such a horrific thing in the first place. And SBC and TGC leaders are complicit in defending their buddy Mahaney for so long.

    But what really troubles me is all of the laughter, coming from the thousands of people listening to Mohler. Covering up sexual abuse really is a laughing matter, to many average Christians sitting in the pews.

    Hearing that is just such an awful dissonance. It feels like I’m hearing all this talk about loving Jesus, but He’s nowhere to be found in the building. It’s really chilling.

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  6. This is Al Mohler showing his real true colors by mocking victims of childhood sexual abuse.

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2016/04/15/al-mohler-extolls-cj-mahaney-at-t4g-while-joking-at-the-expense-of-sgm-victims-does-money-play-a-role-in-the-relationship/

    I grew up in this misogynistic cult. With these men, it is always sadder for a wife not to be submissive to her wife-beating husband than it is for a man to repeatedly rape a child.

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  7. Mickey Connolly, a bigwig in the Sovereign Grace Churches, told me last April when I picketed T4G that there would never be an independent investigation. So there’s that.

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  8. My church had other issues a decade ago (not sexual abuse, thankfully), but it resulted in a huge financial crisis that could have obviously been avoided. People had literally given until it hurt, there were layoffs of much-loved staff while the “ogres” remained, and it got ugly. Finally, after a couple years of losing members and lame excuses, the elders called a meeting where they listened and actually issued a public apology (and also mailed it out so everyone could have a copy). It was a true apology, acknowledging errors and failings on the part of leadership. It was another five years of rebuilding, some of the older members trickling back, and new ones coming in. I was involved in a ministry that had strong emotional ties on me, but I was getting ready to leave as well, right up until the apology. Ten years later, we are growing under new leadership and we have become much more involved with our neighborhood, and our finances are sound because of better spending choices. In short, I do believe God can change people when they sincerely repent and apologize. That doesn’t mean overnight miracles (my church had several years of recovery after the apology), but it does mean that change can happen.

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  9. Regarding the link that Christianity Hurts provided…

    Mohler’s introduction of CJ Mahaney in 2016 is a three minute plus marathon of lavish praise. Here is why I’m extremely skeptical of Mohler’s apology… besides the gross laughter after Mohler’s joke about googling Mahaney’s name, there is another revealing moment where Mohler says why he admires Mahaney:

    “…he has modeled endurance. It can be very easy to get up here and just say CJ Mahaney’s going to speak for us, but I think, faithfulness in my responsibility this afternoon in introducing him, is to just say we know he has demonstrated endurance in the face of an incredible trial, and he has been a model of endurance for us…”

    What was CJ Mahaney’s “incredible trial” of which Mohler speaks? (Gag!) Was it not running away under pressure and escaping accountability for his part in covering up rampant sexual abuse at SGM? And this kind of behavior is a model of endurance for T4G attendees?

    So it’s hard for me to believe that Mohler’s apology means anything other than he just wants the current heat and spotlight off of himself.

    p.s. Mohler extolls Mahaney with attributes of endurance, kindness, consistency, massive influence, steadfastness, an encourager who has joy, a wonderful life and ten thousand friends! LOL. This kind of glorification is sickening and a form of brainwashing if you ask me.

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  10. I believe when anyone takes a step in the right direction, one that validates truth and ‘might’ lead to healing and justice–it’s a really good step, and should be applauded. Reconciliation, restoration of relationship depend on a lot more variable than a simple admission of guilt, and are not certain. But the admission of failure opens a door for future communication. It’s not the war–but it’s a very significant battle won by victims!

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  11. Mohler should have spoken out against Mahaney and spoken up for clergy abuse survivors YEARS ago. I’m having difficulty believing he’s sincere in his recent statements.

    Christianity Hurts, I agree with what you said, “With these men it is always sadder for a wife to be submissive to her wife-beating husband than it is for a man to repeatedly rape a child.”
    I tried to find the Wartburg Watch report of Mohler joking at the expense of sex abuse victims while introducing Mahaney, but was unable to. I’d really like to have that info to share with those in my women’s bible study group who do not believe clergy sex abuse of women and children exists in Southern Bapt churches.

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  12. Like

  13. Liked by 2 people

  14. Just a little Friday afternoon bantering on Twitter between Phil Johnson and me.

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  15. Maybe it is bad communication.

    Child rapist deserve to go to prison for life.
    Child molesters deserve to go to prison for life.
    People who look at child porn deserve to go to prison for life.
    People who protect child rapist deserve to go to prison for 20 years.

    Berdard Madoff will spend the rest of his life in prison for stealing powerful Hollywood’s money.

    Children have no power. Children have no money. It isn’t their fault.

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  16. Here is Janet Mefford’s perspective on Mohler’s apology:

    https://janetmefferd.com/2019/02/al-mohlers-incomplete-apology-my-story/

    We will see if Mohler apologizes to Janet Mefferd.

    Maybe Mohler should also investigate this about Mahaney:

    http://sguncensored.blogspot.com/2011/02/cj-mahaney-covering-his-sons-sin-and.html

    It seems that C.J. Mahaney covered up his son’s actions (pot smoking) that would have disqualified any other pastor within SGM. Mahaney doing that really isn’t surprising since Mahaney was willing to blackmail Larry Tomczak.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Julie Anne, I have seen the longer statement but thanks.

    One person asked this about Mohler’s statement:

    “Why then Al did not immediately reveal that he severed all ties and call all others to do the same? Why all this time until a news man shows up at the door?”

    Al Mohler sure kept his severing ties quiet for a while.

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  18. @STEVE240 – That is a very good question.

    On Mohler’s new statement: “When this issue resurfaced a year ago, I was made painfully aware of my serious mistakes. I immediately urged that an independent investigation be conducted and agreed that CJ needed to step down from public ministry until that took place. This resulted in a severing of all personal and ministry ties, and I have had no relationship with CJ or SGC since that time.”

    A year ago he urged an independent investigation, agreed that CJ needed to step down from ministry, and severed all ties with CJ and SGC. While I agree that his statement today is a step in the right direction, why didn’t he make this statement a year ago?

    Imagine the impact if he would have said this a year ago. Now it’s left to people to wonder why now? Is he saying this to restore his own image? Do the victim’s voices really matter?

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  19. It seems that C.J. Mahaney covered up his son’s actions (pot smoking) that would have disqualified any other pastor within SGM.

    RANK HATH ITS PRIVILEGES.
    (Especially when bestowed by Divine Right.)

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  20. Thank you for adjusting the font in your new blog theme. Much improved and highly readable!

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6.

    >

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  21. He added, “I should have said nothing until I had heard from those who were victims and who were making the allegations. I should have sought at that time the advice and counsel of agencies and authorities who were even then on the front lines of dealing with these kinds of allegations.”

    So, has he now done any of this? Or just made the necessary statement now that the news media has made things public and he is forced to say something?

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  22. “One, you’ve seen ACTUAL deeply troubling evidence, yet you’ve still remained silent? Yet you assume that we have not seen actual troubling evidence? Why does your actual evidence trump ours?”

    Because he’s a man and a protege of John MacArthur, because he’s a self-styled leader in a great movement. Don’t you get it, you “silly, benighted woman”? Don’t you understand that even when you’re proven totally, 100% right, everything you said that Johnson sneered at all along proven true, even when you’ve been saying all along that you’ve been getting this information from insiders, from the abused who’ve had actual experiences, that you were still wrong.

    You cannot be right because you are not John MacArthur, Al Mohler, Mark Dever, John Piper, or Phil Johnson. And even when he’s proven wrong, Phil Johnson cannot be wrong…because he’s Phil Johnson. I just gotta say it: Don’t try to reason with an unreasonable person, don’t try to reason with a hateful, abusive personality, don’t try to reason with a sociopath, it will cause your head to turn clean around, it will make you crazy. And if Phil Johnson is not a sociopath, then all apologies—but could you tell the difference based on the way he was acting towards even, even when you were proven to be 100% right and he was proven to be 100% wrong?

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  23. I wrote complaint letters to every single US Attorney General begging them to investigate the Roman Catholic bishops’s records. ND doesn’t work. You have to write every single county. Too few Catholics for the effort. I would suggest you try to do the equivalent. It will HAVE to be from outside your Church. That is why we have separation of Church & State.

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  24. Phil Johnson stated “But I do stand by my conviction that mob persecution is an unholy pursuit, perpetrating the very kinds of abuses you complain about.”

    It appears to me, that Phil Johnson believes he is the rectory of all truth based on his penned words. What pride lurks behind the proud clergy class of our day. And then proceeds to spin the narrative as Phil does here, into making those who are crying out for justice as “mob persecution.”

    Wow. A double minded man in unstable in all of his ways…..Jesus speaking, not me.

    How about bringing to light, that good old fashioned “mob persecution” by pastors, leaders of c’hurches, other self righteous “yes” men and women who turn a blind eye to abuse in their congregations. The mob persecution by church hierarchy, pales in comparison with the “mob mentality” I have seen on Christian discernment sites in exposing the darkness of abuse.

    Written by a true complementarian here, thanks to Phil, which is another “sign” that complementarianism is a lie from satan.

    A young woman in my former baptist church was brutally raped by the son of the c’hurch board president at that time. A mediation (cover up) ensued as the l’eadership dealt with the crime in house, meanwhile the rapist attended youth group activities with our daughters and sons…..those of us who were “not in the hierarchal loop of information” had no idea a rapist as in our midst…….the big baptist cover up is quite powerful within its ranks. A year went by, and the rapist decided he was going to go back to his leadership position on the praise band team, which was part of the “plea deal” with the victim and her family; that he was no longer to hold any type of l’eadership position within the c’hurch. When the rapist took it upon himself resume his position, all hell broke loose, and the victim and her family decided to pursue a conviction via the civil court system. The c’hurch’s “rulership system” failed miserably in that very little punishment and justice has taken place, and the rapist’s pride was stroked even more due to his “family’s rule and influence” within the congregation.

    Meanwhile, during that year, the victim and her family were “mob persecuted” by the rest of the c’hurch leadership, of both genders. One c’hurch board member, also a deaconess, called that young lady a “slut” over and over again throughout that time period. She also degraded the family in their “parenting skills” amongst other vicious gossip designed to poison their character. It appeared that she hated this family for some reason due to her character assassinations of the family and those who supported them. I noticed how other c’hurch leaders all of a sudden, “shunned” this family by not speaking to them as they once had before and after c’hurch services. Also, we, the congregation, became the “pulpit victims” of painful lectures on being “peacemakers (via Ken Sande pastoral crap)” and “keeping the peace.” Our family became confused and suspicious as to why all of the “peace keeping” brainwashing that was coming down the pike, so I began to ask questions as to why we were now doing Sunday School lessons, even at our elementary level, on “peace keeping” using Ken Sande material.

    Then one of the c’hurch board leaders slipped up in their “gossip” and told me what had happened in secret behind c’hurch closed doors a year earlier. Finally, everyone in the congregation discovered the truth because the rapist went to court, was convicted and served time in prison. Meanwhile, the victim no longer attended our fine, outstanding baptist church filled with unholy, mob mentality leadership folks…..

    So dear Phil, many of us know, have experienced, have witnessed, and are still living the “persecution from the mob mentality” religious folks who love a religious system in which Jesus is not the “Head,” but instead, mere man is the head.

    Just sweep it under the rug, Phil, and the sins of the c’hurch hierarchy will go away, and make sure you label those who seek justice, as “mob persecution” in pursuit of unholiness………..sounds like words right out of satan’s manipulative “playbook.”

    Shame on you, Phil. Just, shame on you.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Katy – Johnson said ‘mob prosecution’ rather than persecution on the internet. What I call trial by internet, and an increasing problem in today’s climate, and I’m thinking in very general terms.

    I stopped reading his blog a long time ago, in particular over his two sidekicks, but in this instance I think he has a point.

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  26. KAS,
    Likewise, when I left that abusive baptist c’hurch years ago, never to look back (and turn into a pillar of salt – Genesis 19:26), and deeply hurt, I went searching for answers as to how and why this happens within the c’hurch. Phil Johnson, John MacArthur, Albert Mohler, Chuck Crismier, Erwin Lutzer, R.C. Sproul, June Hunt, John Piper, Todd Friel, Ravi Zacharias, are just a few of the myriad of preachers I faithfully listened to desperately trying to find answers as to why institutional c’hurch folks could be so abusive, and yet, not name their sins and claim it as the rest of us lower laity sheep were supposed to do.

    The double standards were/are still legion!

    I will agree to disagree with you KAS, for no, Phil Johnson’s point is sinking sand, not Rock solid. He is part and parcel of the wolf pack listed in my first paragraph as Jesus is now and forevermore my Teacher, and the only Good Shepherd I trust.

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  27. And KAS,
    I want to speak truth in love here to you, and to those who believe that the complementarian worldview of the Bible is correct theology, when I believe that Jesus’ Ways are far above our ways, and His Teachings are in stark contrast to what the institutional religious systems have indoctrinated us into believing…..

    ……so why on earth did the hierarchal religious leaders of Jesus’ day hate, with a vengeance, the only ONE Who came to save us/mankind? Hmmmmmm. The costumes have changed somewhat throughout the ages, however, the hearts, minds, and ways, of those who love to lord it over, have not changed one single bit.

    And Phil Johnson is a part of the current Nicolaitan system in place within the visible c’hurch system. He, fortunately, is not my Good Shepherd, nor is he my Teacher, nor is he my Master, nor is he the Cornerstone or Head of the Body of Christ scattered over this planet, nor is he my pastor, elder, bishop, or any other function listed in Scriptures. I don’t give him the opportunity to speak into my soul as I once did, much to my own error in being deceived by the enemy.
    I have repented unto Jesus for following man, instead of Him…..that one is on me……..and now, on Him, for He has forgiven me for not trusting and believing in Him, alone, for my salvation and eternal life, at the end of this life’s journey. And I am delighted that our Good Shepherd never, ever and ever lies to me, but speaks truth every time I fellowship in His Words. Alleluia!

    As for what happened to the victim in me formerly abuse baptist c’hurch with an assembly of god pastor man……well, she never set foot in that religious system ever again. And who could blame her? Nor did her family ever set foot in that baptist building made with human hands. Nope, they were wise in doing so, as well as those of us who consciously chose not to support a c’hurch where the rapist is supported and the victim/and her family were treated so horribly.

    The victim graduated from the university with a degree in Criminal Justice and here is where Jesus has turned her ashes into His Glory. She now is an invited speaker to junior and senior high schools, sharing her experience and informing the teens of the power of the word “NO!,” with regards to sex.

    Yep. She loves the LORD and is working out all things for the good, her good, and others as well in convincing each teen that they have personal rights over their own bodies. Each person can say “NO” with regards to sex, and she is living proof of how far faith in Jesus Christ can be turned right side up in warning and helping others. She is “not being silent” nor is she “shutting up” like some so called christian folk would love to see her do, no, she is bold and courageous and taking a stand against abuse.

    And it is my hope, that no psycho religious pastor man, calls her “worldly” or any such condescending adjective full of filthy lucre, in sharing her testimony in the public arena, for she knows first hand, how filthy, abusive, and just plain disgusting, baptist “c’hurch” folks can be………especially the comp. men and comp. women, hiding under the rugs instead of loving and supporting the victim and her family.

    I have great respect for that young lady, and zero respect for those baptist religious leaders (and AOG pastor man). Side note, this amazing young woman’s siblings were treated like proverbial “crap” by most of their peers from their former baptist c’hurch in their high school environment. Just shameful.

    Repeat…..ZERO tolerance for comp. baptist leaders. Zero.

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  28. KAS, “Johnson said ‘mob prosecution’ rather than persecution on the internet. What I call trial by internet, and an increasing problem in today’s climate, and I’m thinking in very general terms.”

    I think you are condemning Paul.

    (1 Cor 1:10)My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.

    (1 Cor 5)It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.

    For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

    Here, Paul is responding in condemnation to the Corinthian church, and based on “reports” he heard. He did not conduct court. He did not find judges and call witnesses. He didn’t give the accused a chance to defend themselves. He judged based on “reports”, and he says, “already judged him who has so committed this”, so Paul seems, despite the fact that he was far removed from the situation, to condemn this man based on reports from one or more concerned church members. I think you are on very shaky ground if you’re going to claim the inerrancy of the teachings of Paul, and yet condemn people for doing the very sorts of things that he did in practice.

    This is pure sanctimony. When you don’t like the narrative, you claim that we are somehow unrighteous in judging. Yet Paul says: “Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?”

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  29. Mark – I don’t know where you are getting the impression I am against Christians exercising judgment, especially in the discernment sense. It’s vital.

    Paul did indeed pass judgment in the case of ‘reported’ immorality in 1 Cor, reports presumably from those he trusted, and in any event about a very public case of immorality, and not a crime. The ‘sentence’ was excommunication. Elsewhere Paul says God has instituted government to deal with crime and justice, this is not within the personal remit of individuals.

    Later Paul instructs believers not to go to law in disputes with each other, but rather to settle (“judge”) such matters between themselves. They should never sue each other. I personally think this holds true today and we should not follow the surrounding litigation culture.

    In 1 Tim 5 in dealing with widows he complains of those with too much time on their hands in terms of Besides that, they learn to be idlers, gadding about from house to house, and not only idlers but gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. … For some have already strayed after Satan. There are plenty of ‘internet widows’ who go from blog to blog in today’s scene. This is spreading gossip, getting involved in things that are not actually their business. Gossip in my experience is almost always highly inaccurate and negative.

    Where judgement and discernment are vital is in deciding what is a ‘report’ and what is gossip. If a report, is this sin and immorality or a crime as to who should deal with it. Pastors or police.

    Later on in the same chapter Paul deals with accusations made against an elder, and here it is he applies the OT rule of needing two or three witnesses. The Bishop Bell case was a classic instance of where this requirement wasn’t met, yet the accusation was too readily believed. Note though that Paul does not assume elders are above wrong-doing.

    Finally, in today’s climate Ex 23 has words of caution You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit That, I think, is what was happening with Bell.

    Christians need to be awake rather than woke. And they certainly need to be aware of equating an accusation with guilt, and putting the onus on the accused to prove their innocence.

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  30. KAS, “Elsewhere Paul says God has instituted government to deal with crime and justice, this is not within the personal remit of individuals.”

    I don’t really know what you’re saying, you say Christians are to judge, then you say stuff like the above. For example, in the OJ Simpson trial, he was declared not guilty. However, there was plenty of evidence and people can make up their own minds whether he was actually innocent or guilty. I am not beholden to a court of law to decide what the truth was. In fact, our savior, Jesus, was declared guilty in a court of law. If we are to follow your guidance here, then how can we say that Jesus was, in fact, innocent? Do we not have to apply our PERSONAL JUDGMENT as to the truth of the matter?

    So, in the case of Bell, which I’m not familiar with – people have to decide what the truth is. The truth is the truth, whether it is proven or not. It is just that the church and civil courts are not to pronounce judgment against someone without sufficient evidence, not that we as humans who have to decide for ourselves what happened have to erase our own memories.

    So, if a wife comes before the church, she could be telling the truth, or she could be lying. The husband could be telling the truth or lying, or they may both misunderstand. But, the church courts may fully believe that the husband, let’s say, hit his wife, but throw up their hands and say that there is insufficient grounds to pronounce judgment. Those are two different things.

    Yet, you seem to be equating “pronouncing judgment” with “judging”. When something happens in my house, I may have a pretty good idea what happened, but I’m not going to pronounce judgment without sufficient evidence. In the same way, we can argue online the merits of a particular case ad nauseam without pronouncing judgment.

    In the case of Kavanaugh, it becomes tricky. He said this, she said that. If we say, “Kavanaugh is innocent” then we are calling Ford a liar. He doesn’t have to be criminally guilty for us to have a personal opinion that he did what she accused him of. If he isn’t criminally guilty, we don’t have to say that she is a liar.

    And, your attitude is used to silence victims. When a victim files charges against an abuser, the police may or may not find enough evidence to bring it to trial. The statute of limitations may have passed. Yet, Christians like you try to silence victims by saying, “if the police didn’t prosecute the case, then it must not have happened”. But… the Bible says Amnon raped Tamar. There was no trial. He was not declared guilty. Is God gossiping by taking a private, unsubstantiated matter and putting it on social media?

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  31. “Where judgement and discernment are vital is in deciding what is a ‘report’ and what is gossip. If a report, is this sin and immorality or a crime as to who should deal with it. Pastors or police.”

    WRONG.

    We are ALL called to defend the sheep. We are all called to weep with those who weep.

    It’s generally easy to tell what is gossip and what is a report. If Christine Ford says “Brett Kavanaugh tried to rape me” that is a report, not gossip. It may be a FALSE report, but it is a report, nonetheless. If you say your daughter attempted suicide, that may be a report and it may be gossip – depending on whether that is something that is public, or whether it is something your daughter gave you permission to share, or whether it is something you discovered for yourself.

    The Bible NOWHERE says that pastors deal with sin. Dealing with sin is a responsibility of all Christians. It’s just that pastors/church leaders have usurped the idea of “the church” and said that they are the church. So, when the Bible says, “take it to the church” it’s only the pastors and elders claiming that they get to decide for the church. Matthew 18 doesn’t say, “if your brother sins against you, tell the pastor.” It doesn’t even say, “if your brother refuses to listen, go tell the pastor.” Nowhere in the passage does it even mention the pastor or church leaders. But, not surprisingly, the pastor and elders want to take that authority upon themselves to be the gatekeepers for the church legal system.

    Like

  32. Mark – the Bishop Bell case, in the UK so you won’t have heard of it, was a classic case where guilt was assumed, both by church authorities, and the media (both press and social) simply on the basis of the accusation brought by the complainant. Due process wasn’t followed with the assumption of innocence until proven guilty. In this particular case, it is almost if not quite certain that criminal proceedings would never have led to a successful prosecution based on the evidence. Yet references to the Bishop were expunged from the diocese as though he were proven guilty.

    This is happening too frequently. You can try to assess moral guilt or character in a church based on information you consider reliable, but when it comes to crime it is the job of the state to deal with this. And I would repeat there is a need to discern reporting from gossip.

    Yet, Christians like you try to silence victims by saying, “if the police didn’t prosecute the case, then it must not have happened”. Christians like me are not trying to silence anyone. If no successful prosecution takes place, the assumption of innocence must apply in public dealings with the individual. This is not the same thing as saying no crime or moral sin ever took place.

    In the vast majority of cases reported, unless we are actually involved with the church concerned in the case of Christians there is no need nor moral obligation to have to try to decide who is guilty or innocent. If it doesn’t affect us, it is none of our business. By all means discern false teachers, but not on the basis of unsubstantiated rumours.

    The Bible NOWHERE says that pastors deal with sin. Dealing with sin is a responsibility of all Christians. Well I believe in every member ministry, and all believers accepting some responsibility for the wellbeing of the fellowship, so I don’t disagree with you there. But there is a special responsibility upon pastors/elders/overseers – if you try to have a fellowship without these, you will find every nutter in the area will be attracted to the fellowship to exercise their ‘ministry’, false doctrine will not be refuted, hobby horses with be ridden. Someone has to carry the can, and be recognised as having the right to intervene if things go wrong.

    If this were not so, why the fuss over C J Mahaney and the alleged failure of his to exercise oversight? Why should Mohler apologise? Why not just rely on the membership to deal with abuse? Because not everyone in the fellowship has the same function.

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  33. KAS said,

    Christians like me are not trying to silence anyone. If no successful prosecution takes place, the assumption of innocence must apply in public dealings with the individual. This is not the same thing as saying no crime or moral sin ever took place.

    Mark,
    ask KAS how he feels about the Michael Jackson documentary “Leaving Neverland.”

    Inside ‘Leaving Neverland’: Sundance’s Horrifying Michael Jackson Child Rape Documentary

    (“Leaving Neverland” will be airing in the UK around March 7/8, and has already aired in the United States on cable channel HBO)

    Like

  34. KAS, “If no successful prosecution takes place, the assumption of innocence must apply in public dealings with the individual.”

    I’m going to call this a complete crock. If you look at, for example, the clergy sexual abuse uncovered in “Spotlight”, you see that the legal system was not, at that time, prepared to handle these sorts of cases. The victim settled out of court, meaning that no charges were ever filed. Yet, I think the church had (and has) a moral responsibility to remove those priests from office, despite the fact that they were, by your logic, to be assumed innocent.

    Are you so blind that you can’t see that guilt or innocence, in terms of my relationship to another, cannot be simply offloaded to a court? In the case of OJ, my conscience is not bound by whether the detective did or did not forget to store the blood samples in a freezer within some pre-determined safe time. My conscience is not bound by whether a proper search warrant was obtained, or whether a person was read his/her rights when being arrested. Yet all of these things, in the US legal system will acquit a defendant if the procedural issues are not followed.

    So, in your case, I’m under no moral obligation to treat Bishop Bell as if he did or did not do what he was accused of.

    To bring this full circle to the Bible:
    King David was never convicted of murder
    Amnon was never convicted rape
    Judas was never convicted for betraying Jesus
    Jesus was convicted and executed

    So, if we are to believe your logic, the Bible itself fails your test. I think that puts you in a very awkward situation.

    I can rattle off a list of people who, most likely, did very bad things that they were never convicted of. Famously, Al Capone was tried and convicted of tax evasion. The US legal system convicts only “beyond a reasonable doubt” for criminal cases. For civil cases (OJ Simpson lost the “wrongful death” civil case) the standard is “preponderance of evidence” which is more like a 51% likelihood. This is based on a history of the legal system/police state being used to intimidate citizens, which still happens today, but to a much lesser extent than when a king could put one of his subjects in jail on a whim.

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  35. Mark did you miss my sentence after the one you quoted This is not the same thing as saying no crime or moral sin ever took place?

    No-one is saying you have to have court cases to deal with church discipline over sin and immorality committed by church members. Moral failings. Lack of honesty. Slander and rumour-mongering.

    Crime is different, and the state needs to deal with that.

    In the Bishop Bell case, you are under legal obligation of assumption of innocence unless a court could have proven otherwise. You may have a personal opinion, but this should not affect say removing all references to the Bishop in his former diocese on the assumption he might have been guilty. Calling the complainant a ‘survivor’ is against the legal assumption of innocence. It is to cease to be impartial.

    The independent report commissioned by the Church of England in this case concluded the principle of assumption of innocence was under threat. In practice increasingly the accused is expected to prove his innocence. It was severely critical of how the case was handled. Not only so, but such evidence as there is would not be enough to justify prosecution, and would have had virtually no chance of success. So why is the C of E still to some extent treating the Bishop as though he were guilty? The complaint didn’t even satisfy the biblical requirement of two or three witnesses. Yet post report the Archbishop said Bell still had ‘a cloud over his name’.

    This encapsulates the problem I am complaining about, namely social media playing judge and jury. The Kavanaugh case is an American example – clearly muddied by party politics (i.e. partiality). He should only have been refused office if the accusation had been legally proven, which is wasn’t.

    The legal assumption of innocence is not a declaration of actual innocence, whether of the Bishop or Kavanaugh, but is a necessary and biblical requirement to protect all of us from false accusations, whether malicious or accidental.

    Impartiality is also a biblical requirement. I have to say not having read him for along time Phil Johnson has said some wise things on this lately. I’m not going to disagree with him just because I don’t adhere to the ‘stable’ he comes from.

    In the end, everyone who has ever lived will be judged by God who has exhaustive knowledge of all the facts, and all injustices in this life will be put right then.

    Like

  36. Daisy – I’ve not seen the Jackson documentary, but the following comment by a Christian (I believe) on a newspaper journalist’s blog caught my eye:

    It seems evident that there is much ignorance and forgetfulness that sex, outside the confines of a loving, faithful relationship, is a destructive addiction just like any other.

    The media, in all its forms, are cynically peddling that drug wherever and whenever they can and it now graphically displays all its forms.

    For the latest example: I believe that the motives behind the Michael Jackson revelations go beyond that of the justice aspects and is as much an opportunity to titillate and lure the feeble-minded; to enable voyeurism to all and to continue the desensitising effects for which the medias are infamous!

    Why else would it include repetitive and hitherto unreported details of the diabolical means and methods of achieving sexual gratification with young boys?

    Don’t be manipulated and fooled by what the media’s aims are.

    Like

  37. KAS, your tongue is forked:

    “Mark did you miss my sentence after the one you quoted This is not the same thing as saying no crime or moral sin ever took place?”

    Okay, but you continue…

    “In the Bishop Bell case, you are under legal obligation of assumption of innocence unless a court could have proven otherwise. You may have a personal opinion, but this should not affect say removing all references to the Bishop in his former diocese on the assumption he might have been guilty. Calling the complainant a ‘survivor’ is against the legal assumption of innocence. It is to cease to be impartial.”

    The ‘tone policing’ starts. Calling someone a murderer or a survivor or a molester is a matter of opinion. How do you deal with OJ Simpson, where he was acquitted of criminal charges, but sued successfully on the civil case by a jury? Did Monica Lewinsky not give Bill Clinton oral sex because he was not ever charged or found guilty of it?

    “The independent report commissioned by the Church of England in this case concluded the principle of assumption of innocence was under threat. In practice increasingly the accused is expected to prove his innocence. It was severely critical of how the case was handled. Not only so, but such evidence as there is would not be enough to justify prosecution, and would have had virtually no chance of success.”

    Now you start contradicting yourself. You are throwing the “legal assumption of innocence” to the wind because it doesn’t match your predisposed conclusion. In this case, you are saying that the church made a mistake and that Bell must be assumed to be innocent. Why? Was David innocent?

    “He should only have been refused office if the accusation had been legally proven, which is wasn’t.”

    This is a politically loaded question and it is unclear. Robert Bork was not confirmed – not for any indiscretions, but that he had strong opinions on certain hot button issues. Confirmation is not a guarantee. Also, Senate hearings are not a court of law. They’ve become a de-facto court simply because that is what the predominantly lawyers in the Senate are well-versed in. Even if the allegations had been “proved” in Senate, he still would not have been “guilty” in a legal sense, thus your entire point is moot. Whether or not he was “guilty” had no bearing on whether or not he was confirmed.

    “The legal assumption of innocence is not a declaration of actual innocence, whether of the Bishop or Kavanaugh, but is a necessary and biblical requirement to protect all of us from false accusations, whether malicious or accidental.”

    Okay, but how does this make it immoral to debate guilt or innocence on social media? In fact, where???? does the Bible say “you are under legal obligation of assumption of innocence unless a court could have proven otherwise.” No court said that Judas betrayed Jesus, yet, that’s the truth of the matter.

    “In the end, everyone who has ever lived will be judged by God who has exhaustive knowledge of all the facts, and all injustices in this life will be put right then.”

    The ultimate cop out. Of course, it’s true, but I have to live my life. If someone is arrested for child sexual assault on credible charges, whether or not he’s declared “legally guilty” (and, in the US there are plea deals where he might accept a lesser non-sexual assault charge to avoid the difficulties of a trial) I’m not going to allow my kids to be around him, and I’m probably going to call his victim a victim.

    My former church charged members with all sorts of sins. Knowing what I know now, I doubt many of their accusations. They were power hungry and when members did not do what they wanted, they were charged with insubordination. But… they were given a trial and an “impartial” jury and they were “legally guilty”. Do I have to call them insubordinate?

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  38. Re: KAS

    I have seen Part One of the “Leaving Neverland” documentary, and I’ve been following the story very closely. I’ve read many articles about it, have read interviews with the director as well as interviews with critics of the film.

    Kas is all (summary of his stupid opinion):
    “You cannot have an opinion on criminal cases or accusations made public, and you certainly should not discuss them on blogs!”

    Sure we can.

    KAS would want to argue that Michael Jackson is innocent, even though there is more than enough for an average person who has been following this case to see he was molesting kids.

    KAS would want to argue it’s wrong for us to look at Jackson’s publicized questionable behavior with children over the decades and to arrive at conclusions about it.

    KAS is like the Jackson fans described in this essay:
    _Michael Jackson’s Defenders Are Starting to Sound Like Conspiracy Theorists _

    KAS said (quoting some Christian blogger guy),

    —(start the quotes)—-
    “It seems evident that there is much ignorance and forgetfulness that sex, outside the confines of a loving, faithful relationship, is a destructive addiction just like any other.

    ….For the latest example: I believe that the motives behind the Michael Jackson revelations go beyond that of the justice aspects and is as much an opportunity to titillate and lure the feeble-minded; to enable voyeurism to all and to continue the desensitising effects for which the medias are infamous!

    Why else would it include repetitive and hitherto unreported details of the diabolical means and methods of achieving sexual gratification with young boys?
    Don’t be manipulated and fooled by what the media’s aims are.”
    —(end the quotes)—

    No, no, and no.

    I’m over 45 years old and still a virgin KAS, no penis has been in my vagina, so I have more authority to discuss these issues than all Christians, because most of you are viewing porn and committing adultery, in spite of the fact you run about saying you support sexual purity.

    I have actually walked the walked Re: sexual purity, where-as most Christians have not. I have more authority than the guy whose blog post you are quoting at me.

    The “Leaving Neverland” documentary was not a case of “media manipulation.”
    The film was a chance to give two of Jackson’s victim (Robson and Safechuck) an opportunity to come forward and share the story of what happened to them both.

    The program was also educational in that it showed how pedophiles groom children and the children’s parents.

    Here is why the documentary contained a few graphic details of the sexual abuse Jackson committed against the boys, and it had nothing to do with voyeurism or manipulation:

    _Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed defends graphic descriptions of abuse allegations_

    Speaking to Digital Spy and other media, filmmaker Dan Reed defended Robson and Safechuck’s often uncomfortable descriptions [in the Michael Jackson documentary “Leaving Neverland”], arguing that Leaving Neverland aimed to leave its viewers “in no doubt” of the allegations against Jackson – allegations both the popstar and his estate have denied.

    “For such a long time, Jackson hid in plain sight, saying his relationships with children were innocent,” Reed claimed. “Cuddles at bedtime and innocent slumber parties.”

    “I needed to establish in the most graphic terms that what Jackson was doing with children was sex. It was full-on sex.”

    Via the site “Deadline” – from the article titled,
    ‘Leaving Neverland’ Director Defends Doc’s Graphic Details, Tells ‘CBS This Morning’ Jacksons Don’t Know Of Abuse

    Also this morning, Reed insisted he began the project [Leaving Neverland documentary] with an open mind and no preconceived notions of Jackson’s guilt or innocence.

    When King asked why he felt the need to include graphic sexual details in Leaving Neverland, Reed responded,
    “I think for many years Jackson got away with this image of being a bit of a child himself and being very affectionate with children, and I wanted to make sure people understood this wasn’t overenthusiastic kissing or cuddling. This was sex, the kind of sex adults have but he was having with a little child.”

    There is nothing wrong with people discussing or arriving at opinions about publicized allegations of wrong-doing.

    As usual, KAS is speaking out of his butt and has no idea what he’s talking about. Your behavior is arrogant, KAS.
    You want us to take your opinion on this and every other topic discussed on this blog as being the only “proper” one, and as being the final word, the Gospel truth.

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  39. And, btw, KAS, you did not cite the source of your quoted, which is a pet peeve of mine.

    I had to Google to find the source of your excerpt, and this is what I found – it is a comment left below the following editorial, by a guy calling himself “Micahel Wood“-

    The State Seizes Yet More Power From Parents – and it is the Tories who are responsible Daily Mail, Peter Hitchens blog

    Are you Michael Wood, KAS? Are you quoting yourself back at me on this blog?

    Whoever that guy is, he’s wrong.

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  40. “Why else would it include repetitive and hitherto unreported details of the diabolical means and methods of achieving sexual gratification with young boys?”

    There are orthogonal reasons. The easy answer is that the media is a business and certain types of stories draw more viewers, but the more complicated answer is that journalists see themselves as defenders of society, so they are going to be attracted to stories for which we should be outraged. The purpose is that we as a society can grow – both in our understanding of evil and our aversion to it. So, for example, when media reports on “Black Lives Matter” – it is not just trying to raise racial tension. No, they are saying, this is a societal evil that needs to be fixed. Unfortunately, the Republican response has been – we shouldn’t focus on a few dead black people when it might take away from our respect of the police.

    I am thankful for the media exposes of this sort of thing. The news media, not movies. The news media talks about Jerry Sandusky, Abusive Priest, pastors and teachers gone awry and using their positions of influence to access children. That is different from the entertainment industry that focuses on abductions by total strangers. I’m thankful to them for knowing that I need to establish trust and credibility with my children in order for them to feel safe enough to tell me that someone very close to us has done something inappropriate.

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  41. More on the use of the mention of graphic sexual details from the “Leaving Neverland” MIchael Jackson documentary, written by a former, life long Michael Jackson fan:

    —(start quotes)—
    I’ve always been of the mindset that there is no reason to depict sexual assault in such graphic detail as Leaving Neverland does.

    But in this instance, I think it’s necessary because after all these years, hearing that horrifying detail and hearing it straight from the victims and their families, is what it took to wake me the hell up to what a monster Michael Jackson truly was.

    It took these men reliving their pain, their broken families speaking about how he tore them apart from the inside, seeing the way they still seem to love him despite everything – all of that to make me realise the allegations were more than just Hollywood headlines and Michael Jackson was not simply a pop icon.

    He was a man. A man with power. Power which he so clearly abused.
    —(end quotes)—

    Source for that:
    _Doco on Michael Jackson ‘changes everything’_ by Siena Yates

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  42. Johnson said ‘mob prosecution’ rather than persecution on the internet. What I call trial by internet, and an increasing problem in today’s climate, and I’m thinking in very general terms.

    I stopped reading his blog a long time ago, in particular over his two sidekicks, but in this instance I think he has a point.

    And considering the case under discussion, KAS, in what sense does Johnson has a point? Pope Mohler himself is now calling for an independent investigation of SGM and Mahaney, which Rachael Denhollander and many others have been doing for over a year. And in the face of this, Mahaney and his minions still insist that no such investigation needs to take place.

    How, exactly, do you think SGM and its “Head Apostle” are being unfairly prosecuted by a “mob”?

    In the vast majority of cases reported, unless we are actually involved with the church concerned in the case of Christians there is no need nor moral obligation to have to try to decide who is guilty or innocent. If it doesn’t affect us, it is none of our business.

    Women and children have been bullied and molested in Jesus’ name, and you’re trying to tell me that’s “none of my business”? I don’t care what you say, I’m making it my business.

    If this were not so, why the fuss over C J Mahaney and the alleged failure of his to exercise oversight? Why should Mohler apologise?

    We’re seething over Mahaney because he had the colossal nerve to dub himself “Head Apostle” over SGM (or at least one of its previous incarnations), and yet apparently was content to let wolves run loose in the flock. He wanted power and authority, but none of the responsibility. And he still refuses to take responsibility now.

    And Mohler should apologize because he fawned shamelessly over Mahaney, in the teeth of one of the SBC’s own resolutions, and topped it off with a vile, heartless joke — practically spitting in the faces of sex abuse survivors. And as the head of a seminary, this is the very behavior he modeled for countless future pastors.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. “For such a long time, Jackson hid in plain sight, saying his relationships with children were innocent,” Reed claimed. “Cuddles at bedtime and innocent slumber parties.” “I needed to establish in the most graphic terms that what Jackson was doing with children was sex. It was full-on sex.”

    Thank you for digging up this quote, Daisy. I think people with a tendency to minimize offenses sometimes need the details to understand what people are really talking about.

    I haven’t seen the documentary yet so I can’t comment on it specifically – but I think the details about grooming are very important so we can all as a society understand and watch out for it, and for our kids.

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  44. Serving Kids – I think Johnson has a point in arguing for impartiality. He is certainly on solid ground in both OT and NT on this. This is what didn’t happen in the handling of the Bell case in the UK. There is a marked tendency that because some clerics have been guilty of abuse, when a complainant comes forward to assume that the cleric they accuse is likely guilty. A kind of no smoke without fire basis or they are all at it, aren’t they. Complainants should always be taken seriously, but not unconditionally believed. There is a duty of care to both accuser and accused.

    Let me try to head off some misunderstanding. You said Women and children have been bullied and molested in Jesus’ name, and you’re trying to tell me that’s “none of my business”? It’s very much your business if it is your woman or your child. Or those in your fellowship, and to a lesser extent neighbouring churches in the same town. For me personally, it is not my business to judge the guilt of otherwise of what happened in a church thousands of miles away two decades ago. (It is easy to get bogged down in this to the detriment of things much nearer to home. I have been convicted of spending too much time on the internet in my time getting bothered about things that are of no immediate concern to me and which I can do nothing to change.)

    Regarding Mahaney, we are in agreement if you look at the context of my quotation If this were not so, why the fuss over C J Mahaney and the alleged failure of his to exercise oversight? Why should Mohler apologise? It is the job of Christian leaders to exercise oversight, not just the membership keeping their eyes open. Leaders do have to expose and confront the wolves, and have the authority to do so.

    In Mohler’s case, I hope his newly found sensitivity to abuse will not morph into becoming ‘woke’. He has a very difficult line to walk on this. He is not responsible for what Mahaney did or didn’t do, but I hope at least that now he has spoken out this may in turn cause those who think leaders can do no wrong or in any other way seem to support them unconditionally will be made to think again.

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  45. SKIJ said:Women and children have been bullied and molested in Jesus’ name, and you’re trying to tell me that’s “none of my business”?

    KAS:It’s very much your business if it is your woman or your child.

    SKIJ seems to have more empathy and understanding than KAS, which is not shocking.. And wow at the ‘your woman’ phrasing. Whoosh.

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  46. “KAS: It’s very much your business if it is your woman or your child.”

    Typical tone-deaf response. You are shaking your finger at God. The Bible does not leave out the sordid details of sin. The Bible does this for the purpose of us being able to understand how sin works – how not to be caught in sin, how not to coddle the abusers, how not to ignore the victims. So, in your claim that we are somehow commanded not to pick one side or another, unless some court of law has made a pronouncement, you are calling God unjust, because HE DOES THAT VERY THING. Jesus, in parables, sets up a situation, then asks his audience to judge. He uses their, usually correct, judgment to then explain about current situations.

    For example, in the parable of the workers in the vineyard, Jesus is asking his audience to judge between God and the religious leaders / nation of Israel. The implication being that God is just in expelling the Jews from Israel.

    What bothers me more is that your policing here seems primarily to be a means of silencing victims. You say we must hold our tongue unless someone is deemed a criminal by a secular court. Then and only then can we chime in. But, that is not what the Bible says.

    Read Ezekiel 34. God says that he will deliver his flock from the shepherds. Who are those shepherds? The very same people you want to say get to decide right and wrong – the judges, the civil leaders and the church rulers. God says he’s had it with those people, and he’s going to protect his sheep himself. Do you see how much at odds you are with God?

    What does Jesus say – after the passage about judging? “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?” (Matt 7:15-16) Isn’t this a call to judge? How can you then say we are not allowed to judge CJ Mahaney as a ravenous wolf based on his fruit? Again, you are against God!

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  47. Mark – What bothers me more is that your policing here seems primarily to be a means of silencing victims. You say we must hold our tongue unless someone is deemed a criminal by a secular court

    I haven’t tried to silence victims at all. I have only ever said the NT standards of speech and conduct – speech mentioned by both Paul and James writing as apostles – apply to Christians today, including exposing abuse and giving testimony about it. Unrighteous speech makes legitimate criticism less credible with those who most need to hear it imo. So it is counterproductive as well as wrong. And again: the legal presumption of innocence is vital to obtaining justice, and it is under threat by internet and social media mobs.

    Mark said Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits…. Isn’t this a call to judge? How can you then say we are not allowed to judge CJ Mahaney as a ravenous wolf based on his fruit?

    I said It is the job of Christian leaders to exercise oversight, not just the membership keeping their eyes open. Leaders do have to expose and confront the wolves, and have the authority to do so.

    I haven’t said you can’t judge. In the sense of discerning it’s vital. But I would say to be careful of making judgments based on third-party internet information. Probably best to withhold judgment. I don’t know exactly what went on with Mahaney, and I don’t consider it my job to find out. I’m not going to read all the released e-mails, because I don’t think this a right use of time. For others, more directly involved, like Americans for example, that may be different. I would tend to avoid Mahaney anyway as I don’t like the whole celebrity preacher circuit and its big names.

    From what I have read Mahaney’s ministry does need investigating, and I think I have a good idea what the result of that would be, but until it is I can only have a personal opinion. I don’t have enough information to make a judgment, and don’t need to.

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  48. You’re evading again.

    So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.

    I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. (John 10:7-8, 14-16)

    “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? (Matt 7:15-16)

    Who are Jesus’s sheep? LEADERS or CHRISTIANS?
    Who is the YOU Jesus is talking to in Matt 7? LEADERS or CHRISTIANS?

    So, you continue to deflect this as somehow, individual Christians are not to judge people by their works or words, but here is Jesus himself saying exactly that. Your tactics are Satan’s tactics. Satan wants to create a good-ole’-boy network and then convince the sheep that they don’t have the right to judge who is a wolf and who is not?

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  49. Also, Matthew 18:17 says “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

    Who is the implied YOU here? Is it the church leadership, or is it the same YOU who told him his fault in private, and who brought along witnesses?

    So, then why do you say that we as the church are to shut our ears to all of the Christians who are doing exactly what Jesus commanded and are telling it to the church in the best way they can? Why do you say that only church leaders are able to hear and judge the merits of any given case?

    Isn’t one of the biggest problems in churches these days people that have closed their ears to the sheep and refused to judge for themselves between the sheep and the wolves? They are told they are not qualified to judge or they don’t have the facts, or simply refuse to judge as their fellow sheep are torn limb from limb by wolves in spiritual leadership.

    One of the best stories I heard was when an elder board refused to allow a wife to divorce whose husband was addicted to porn. Supposedly, when the church heard that, a quarter to a half of the membership walked out the door and never came back. They rightly judged their leaders to be opposed to Christ and his law.

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  50. Sorry, I have not read or skimmed most of the posts on here since I last posted (except for one or two by Mark).

    Mark said (to KAS, I take it),
    “So, you continue to deflect this as somehow, individual Christians are not to judge people by their works or words, but here is Jesus himself saying exactly that. ”
    end Mark quotes

    That sounds like KAS.

    Given that deceased singer Michael Jackson was most likely a pedophile (he admitted in interviews to sharing beds with little boys and was always seen cavorting with them),- and see also the “Leaving Neverland” documentary-

    if Jackson were alive today, and KAS had a son or grandson under the age of 14, would KAS permit that kid to spend one- on- one time, I mean, let the kid be totally alone, with Michael Jackson, even sharing a bed alone with Jackson at night, if Jackson asked for that?

    Why or why not?

    Would KAS permit any sister / daughter / aunts / nieces of his to date or marry O. J. Simpson, _Drew Peterson_, or Scott Peterson? Why or why not?

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  51. Above:
    “permit” may not be the right word there, because it denotes that women are children who can’t make choices for themselves, but I meant, would KAS agree with or approve of his female relatives dating those guys?

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  52. Daisy, this is actually a way that I was silenced growing up. The church made it sound like only the leaders could judge evil and not the congregants, but, whenever I asked an elder about a situation, the reaction (if not outright rejection of my concern) was, “did you follow Matthew 18?” Even the sermons on Matthew 18 make it sound like it’s reserved for gross public sin. I was told to follow Matthew 18 when I found glaring theological errors in a sermon, for example.

    So, it’s not surprising that someone immersed in authoritarian culture is going to think that “mere Christians” cannot judge people’s fruit, and that only the leaders are qualified to do that, despite the fact that Jesus simply never said that. That is a Christian right that the authoritarians have usurped for themselves. For the purpose of silencing victims and those who might point out their sin.

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  53. I got Matthew 18 years ago when I went to a pastor at a sister church of our denomination and asked why the adulterous pastor from my previous church had been allowed to go on to another church with the denomination’s blessing. That’s when I realized nobody in the denomination really cared-until the pastor of my previous church tried to take on an underage girl at his new place of ministry. When everyone in a small town knows, when church members are leaving in droves, when your church has become the laughingstock of the denomination, asking an individual congregant about Matthew 18 is not the answer.

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  54. If Al Mohler was serious about his public censure of CJ Mahaney, has he assembled the other T4G men to privately meet with CJ and confront him in his sin? Has this already been done? Perhaps it has and it has failed. But then Al Mohler should come forth with that, too. “We have spoken to CJ about his deceit and lack of accountability. We are publicly censuring him and shunning him and asking all evangelicals to do the same.” Also, what about John Piper? I lost a lot of respect for that man when he publicly endorsed CJ years ago in the midst of continual allegations.

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  55. In response to Hastentheday’s comment: I checked T4G’s website this morning. C.J. Mahaney is still mentioned on the site. His name and signature still appear on the site’s “Affirmations and Denials” page. Also, a “save the date” reminder for next year’s conference appears on the homepage, though there is no mention of whether Mahaney will participate.

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