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May 15, 2013

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Max

Whew! A snapshot of darkness indeed! The Bible has a warning about harming little ones ... millstones.

Ministerial integrity demands that Mr. Mahaney step away from the pulpit until the courts deal with these very serious allegations. That same standard requires his supporters to love him and pray for him, but not encourage his ministry at this time. None in our ranks, including seminary presidents, are beyond correction and reproof for inviting him to speak or teaming with him in any way until the legal matter is settled. Where is SBC leadership when you need it?!

Lydia

I read the amended lawsuit last night. I am devastated over the evil that was done to ittle children using the name of Jesus.

The reason this was able to go on for so long and kept hidden is because SGM Has been a shepherding cult all along. The traits of a shepherding cult is to revere your leaders and obey them ' as they care for your soul'.

Shepherding cults tend to attract those who are least qualified for any leadership. The SBC needs to learn this immediately. Before it is too late.

Those who continue to remain silent and continue to affirm Mahaney-- Spit in the face of God.

Mitch

Peter,
I also found the whole filing impossiable to finish. What I cannot figure out is why our SB leaders are not speaking out and why they continue to not only be silent but prop up the leader of this so called family of churches. I noticed yesterday that one of them had another article telling christian couples if the could use birth control or not and even explianed the attitude couples should have when it comes to the area of having children. Yet no mention anyplace else about the harm that has been caused to living breathing children by men who claim to be called of God. I am sorry the whole thing makes me sick.

hariette

If these monsters get away with this it is not only a travesty toward these poor children, but upon the conscience of any moral hope. God help us. God bring these evil monsters to justice. It is so disgusting I am without words to adequately describe my anger. Pure disgust.

Scott Shaver

Looks like the Maryland legal authorities will accomplish a kind of reform that the Calvinistic theology of SGM never could.

I probably shouldn't make theology jokes in light of something this disgusting. Having done so, however, I will say it's a better option than stating what I really think about these people.

Peter wouldn't be able to print that kind of language anyway.

Richard

Both the SBC and CBF are hiding behind the subterfuge of local church autonomy, and ministers continue their violations. We are always anxious to transcend local autonomy when a church ordains/calls a woman pastor, or crosses the line on gay acceptance, but we remain silent about sins of abuse. We have to do more to study and act on this problem, and to protect our young. Today I am embarrassed to be a Baptist, and I am appalled that Southern Seminary continues to court Mahaney and SGM.

Adam

C.J. is slated to speak at the 20/20 Collegiate Conference at Southeastern in 2014.

http://www.sebts.edu/news-resources/conferences/20-20_collegiate_conf/Default.aspx

I'm sorry, but Daniel Akin ought to be ashamed of himself. This is an embarassment to Southern Baptists.

Ben Simpson

Scott, you should follow your own advice. There's no place for that in a post like this.

I'm devastated by the allegations contained in the document. It's so far-fetched and depraved that I pray it's not true. I don't say that to protect some celebrity preacher. I say that only because it's unthinkable that children should endure such evil and that leaders would act so ungodly, selfishly, and cowardly. Please, Lord, I pray this is not true, but if it is true, these men are no shepherds, and may justice to the full extent of the law be done to the perpetrators. Every one of them.

Max

Adam,

Mr. Mahaney's scheduled appearance at the 20/20 conference in 2014 is not surprising. He spoke at 20/20 earlier this year well after news of the SGM mess made headlines. I repeat ... Mr. Mahaney needs to come out of the pulpit until the courts settle this case and SBC leaders should not give him a platform while this is still pending. What say the trustees at SEBTS and SBTS in this regard?

Scott Shaver

Ben, you are not my priest, mother, or finishing school instructor so your opinion about the appropriateness of my post is just that ... your opinion.

I opt to disregard your opinion as to which of my words (or the construct thereof) are fitting for this or any other forum and cast myself at the mercy of the site's moderator.

Fair enough?

Scott Shaver

Hey Max:

We may be waiting a while to hear any comments on this matter out of SEBT, SBTS and Baptist Press.

Meanwhile, you can bet they're putting clearance prices on SGM/Mahaney books and materials still in stock at the seminary book stores.

Patrick

After reading the filing, if true, the defendants deserve to rot in jail for the rest of their lives.

However, am I the only one who is troubled by the fact that at the end of the day, this seems to come down to money? After laying out all of the allegations (which are indeed horrible), the conclusion is then that the plaintiffs have experienced economic hardship due to reduced earning capacities. Perhaps it's just me, and it rubs me the wrong way, but I have a difficult time with that. If the allegations are true, how does money make things better for the victims? I completely understand pursing punishment and justice...because those things should be pursued against the perpetrators...but money?

Lydia

I suspect the YRR/TGC/T4G movements will now start backing away from Mahaney and pretending he was never really that influential.

However, SGM shepherding cult thinking has infiltrated SBTS. Quite a few of the SGM entourage who moved to Louisville have connections to the seminary like Kauflin's music program (stuck at the cross songs) and CJ's son in law with some job there, (tuition discount for non SBC?) and so on. Mohler has embraced SGM/Mahaney even when there were a ton of red flags there were serious problems. Mohler chose to chide bloggers for "not liking his (Mahaney's) strong leadership" to a reporter.

Folks, the basic child molestations and abuse info has been out there for 5 years and some victims even went to the Ambassadors of Reconciliation who basically said the victims were just angry. They dissed them. Trueman, Ortlund, Dever, Mohler, Piper, etc, etc have all worked to exonerate Mahaney from any responsibility. Challies wrote that he "wanted to think biblically" about SGM which basically ended up being "don't talk about it". He also lied about his connections to them.

A lot of Reformed guys have been complicit in propping SGM up when they should have walked away and told CJ he was on his own. But they loved the "power and control" CJ seemed to have over SGM. They loved the shepherding model.

I am furious the SBC has been involved with SGM at all. It is time to do some house cleaning. And let folks know we take molested/terrorized children very seriously. Listen folks, the molestations, many of them have already been proven. Some have even served jail time. And there is a paper trail of SGM actually HELPING perps by funding their defense and giving them a heads up when they were reported by family members. They are guilty. Now, it is about the coverups.

Lydia

"If the allegations are true, how does money make things better for the victims?"

Patrick, what else is there for "punishment" in a civil suit? The suit is about failing to report and covering up massive child molestations. We don't do public floggings anymore. We hit pocketbooks. Why would a "church" have insurance for something like this, we could also ask.

One of the important things that came out of this civil filing was the arrest of Nate Morales who was pastoring a church in Las Vegas. He made quite a few victims. There might be more arrests. This only happened because the victims tried AoR and other venues and were not believed. As early as a year ago, a molestation in another SGM church was outed. It is systemic. People do not understand that part.

Not sure about the amount of money cos there are so many plaintiffs and only so much insurance. And Burke is a master lawyer who will take about half if they win. So I doubt anyone will get rich except the lawyers but it is worth it if others think twice about not reporting because they are concerned about image. Perhaps the money might pay for some of the counseling expenses and having to grow up listening to leaders tell "you must be joyful while we serve you" we are here to "care for their souls" while they are being molested and it is being covered up so more children are molested.

Let us hope it is enough money to put them out of business for good. Shepherding cults should be put out of business with spiritual understanding and education but too many love to follow personalities. Perhaps folks can buy "Humility: True Greatness" as a reading companion to SGMwikileaks and the Cross Centered Life as a companion to the last 5 years worth of survivor blog articles that Mahaney's T4G peers not only derided but ignored.

You know Patrick, some folks think the molestations are no big deal. As one of the defendents (CJ's brother in law) is quoted: "He (the molester) was not attracted to an 11 year old but the woman she was becoming". Some victims were even told it was a sin (gossip) to tell anyone and the parents were told these things are handled in house by the leaders who care for your soul. That is how sick SGM is. yep I am thinking zillions would not be enough. Little children are priceless but you gotta make such evil hurt and the pocketbook is all we have to work with in our court system when statute of limitations have run out on child molestations.

Adam

Patrick,

I'd keep your musings to yourself about this. It makes you sound like you ought to be rotting in jail with these twisted people. The families deserve every dime they get and more. I hope you never openly suggest otherwise again.

Ben Simpson

Scott, you should have a higher Governor over your words than this site's moderator or me. You'll not be accountable to us. True enough? Reality check.

Scott Shaver

Adam tells Patrick "keep your musings to yourself". He then turns right around and says "you sound like you ought to be rotting in jail with these twisted people."

What's wrong with this picture?

Patrick is right about the money. It's always about money where lawyers are involved.

Lydia

I don't know Scott, we seem to have a found a good use for good lawyers on this one.

These are beat up, abused, used souls in the Image of God who came out of an shepherding cult where their molestations was considered "obeying their leaders" and not ever discussing it was considered spiriual was holy. Telling anyone was considered the sin of gossip. Shepherding cults do a big number on people and it is almost impossible or takes years to reprogram what is normal.

The amount of time and money it takes to prepare a class action for a contingency fee is pretty risky so they must think they have a pretty good case and SGM had good insurance for such things. :o)

If there is one thing I have always found a bit hypocritical about Christendom is that churches often have tons of issues/positions legally vetted to protect them from....."who"? Oh yeah, those they also claim are their brothers and sisters in Christ. (I know I have these legal eagles in my world who specialize in this stuff)....

And then we have all these victims from this massive SGM
suit and people are concerned about the money victims might get? I find it all very incongruous...always did.

Church leaders would tell people what a sin it was to sue but...and the greed of wanting money for being wronged, etc.....but I knew all the while..... all the money spent on the backend of the church operation protecting the church from being sued and/or losing!I know churches that have very expensive lawyers....on retainers!

You got it: They don't want to be wronged either.

So pardon me if I am not impressed with any bellyaching about victims getting some money out of being horribly abused and terrorized as children by the very people they were supposed to be able to trust. Who reprsented JESUS CHRIST TO THEM.

So, we need the greedy lawyers on both ends, it seems to protect us from each other. It is just that you don't see them on the church end. It is all backroom for the celeb churches and para church organizations.

This is the unbrave new world. This is Christendom in America.

You might want to check on how your tithe dollars are spent. Oh, that is IF you are allowed to see a detailed unsanitized budget and don't have elders who take care of such things for you while you check your brains at the door. :o)

Scott Shaver

Lydia:

My comment to Adam on Patrick being "right about the money" was meant to highlight the duplicity of Adam's jab at Patrick. It was not,as I failed to make clear, a defense of Patrick's questioning the appropriateness of monetary settlement through civil litigation.

Whatever financial penalties can be assessed on behalf of those who were victimized by SGM employees is part of the process of justice in my opinion. As you have previously and correctly questioned, "What else remains for punishment in a civil suit?"

While I highly suspect Patrick's question about the appropriateness of monetary settlement is a reflection of his affinity with SGM, I took issue with the language of Adam's response to Patrick.

My brother-in-law is a lawyer. He worked for many years in Louisiana as an assistant D.A. and prosecutor. He now provides counsel and administrative oversight for a sitting Louisiana member of the U.S. House of Representatives. I'm somewhat familiar with the hard work and valuable services attorneys provide. Lawyers must of necessity be "about the money" for all the reasons you have previously described.

Additionally, I have no problem with the idea of monetary recompense to plaintiffs and lawyers in the SGM case right up to the extent of shutting down the entire SGM operation.

My comment to Ben had more to do with my personal sense of fairness in dialogue than my opinion of lawyers.

Forbidding the musings of Patrick seemed lopsided when you consider that Ben turned right around to pen his own musings about the personal character of Patrick. (i.e. "you ought to be rotting in jail with the rest of these sick people").

As much as I might disagree with Patrick on a host of issues, I don't remember seeing his name listed as a defendant in the SGM lawsuit.

Consequently, any suggestion that he deserves to be imprisoned with those who might be convicted is a low blow.

IMO.

Janna Chan

Patrick:

What do you think happens to people who have been severely physically, emotionally, and sexually abused? Do you think just carry on like nothing happened?

If nothing else, some of the victims need money to pay for their considerable medical expenses. Several of them have reputedly been hospitalized multiple times and spending a day in the hospital costs $1000-$3000. Should their families have to foot the bill for that if Church leaders, getting rich at big Evangelical conferences, were letting a sicko pedophile ring run wild for decades because reporting sexual abuse would destroy their business model?

Generally

Regarding Susan Burke: she has made and could be making a lot more money suing organizations far wealthier and higher profile than Sovereign Grace Ministries.

In my opinion, the only reason SGM wasn't sued earlier is that very few lawyers could foot or wanted to foot the upfront cost for such a complex and risky class-action suit given that SGM and the other defendants almost certainly don't have the $50,000,000 they're being sued for.

Even if they have insurance coverage it's unlikely to be more than a million dollars AND insurance companies only cover negligent acts. They don't pay for deliberate attempts to subvert the law.

Not only are Susan Burke and her co-counsel spending a lot of time on this case, they're presumably footing the bill for expert witnesses and the other the actual costs of litigating the suit.

If they lose they get nothing and they're out all the money they've poured into this case. If they win they certainly deserve a significant portion of whatever percentage of $50 million they recover, in my opinion.

Jenn Grover

As an SGM member for over 20 years, I want to thank you for raising this issue. You do those of us from SGM who have clamoured for repentance and reform. SGM's issues hve been character related, yet, it has been passed off to us tht a change in church governemnt would save us from these woes.

In the last 2 years at least 25 churches have pulled out of the small movement and perhaps thousands of members have left. I am amazed the Al Mohler and Mark Dever have intentionally turned a blind eye to the mounting evidence of Mahaney's lack of fitness for leadership. Mohler proves himself hypocritical in his support given what he wrote amidst the Penn State scandal (note: before the criminal trial) http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6153/6235079943_4be93a34e9_z.jpg

Criminal investigations for the accused in SGM are pending and I think it is very likely that things turn worse before SGM finally collapses.

IT brings me pleasure, but grieves me deeply to see the utter collapse of this organization. I have invested my adult life into SGM but I fear that it must be destroyed for the sake of the glory of God. SGM had many chances to repent nd has chosen not to do so.

Patrick

"If they lose they get nothing and they're out all the money they've poured into this case. If they win they certainly deserve a significant portion of whatever percentage of $50 million they recover, in my opinion."

That really sums up the crux of my problem...someone getting sexually abused isn't an investment opportunity.

Pushing for SGM to get shut down? Absolutely!
Pushing for more criminal charges to be filed? YES
But treating this as a potential opportunity to cash in monetarily (be it either the attorneys or the victims)? I don't think so

Scott Shaver

Patrick:

Sorry, but your issues are not with the opinions of any commenting on this thread. Your concerns about how justice would be carried out in such a tragic scenario are issues with the federal and state laws applicable in Maryland.

Should the allegations contained in the lawsuit be substantiated by legal process, Plaintiffs and counsel deserve every penny (and them some) that they are awarded.

"Cashing in" would certainly be a step in the RIGHT DIRECTION following conviction. Absolutely.

Patrick

""Cashing in" would certainly be a step in the RIGHT DIRECTION following conviction. Absolutely."

Why? Why on earth does having something criminal happen to you "deserve" a payday? It necessitates the perpetrators being punished, but the idea of making money off of it is certainly something new in recent decades.

Patrick

"Sorry, but your issues are not with the opinions of any commenting on this thread. Your concerns about how justice would be carried out in such a tragic scenario are issues with the federal and state laws applicable in Maryland."

I disagree. My concerns are with the attitudes exhibited here that somehow someone DESERVES to get paid because of this. Justice is most certainly deserved, however, when all those who should be seeking justice seem to be after is a paycheck it makes me take pause.

Lydia

"Pushing for SGM to get shut down? Absolutely!
Pushing for more criminal charges to be filed? YES
But treating this as a potential opportunity to cash in monetarily (be it either the attorneys or the victims)? I don't think so"

Patrick, You might be happier in a more totalitarian type of country where the government would agree with you.

Patrick V

Hello,

I am a different Patrick. Just sayin'

Sorry for the confusion. I will put a V after my name now for any posting.

Patrick, you can continue just putting our name only.

Debbie Kaufman

"Pushing for SGM to get shut down? Absolutely!"

Yes and yes. Morris Dees did this with the KKK in 1986 where he represented the mother of the slain Michael McDonald. She was awarded 7 million dollars which bankrupted the KKK. She received the deed to their headquarters which shut them down.

Tim Rogers

Peter,

Got to give it to you, when you put a resolution up you really do it right. I will support you on this. If it does not come out of committee and you want to present it on Wednesday morning to get it before the convention I will second it and speak for it

Norm

Mohler, Akin, et al, would never consider a pastoral candidate who has the kind of baggage CJM is carrying.

How is defending/showcasing CJM/SGM any different than covering up alleged abuses?

Is not the defending/showcasing of CJM/SGM both hypocritical and propogation?

What messages are seminary leaders sending?

Those who would protect/showcase CJM/SGM remind me of a passage from Virgil’s Aeneid, Book VII:

"He even tied corpses to living bodies, as a means of torture, placing hand on hand and face against face, so killing by a lingering death, in that wretched embrace, that ooze of disease and decomposition."

“O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Rom. 7.24.

Scott Shaver

Thanks Norm:

Never read that one but plan to now.

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