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May 16, 2013

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Joe Blackmon

I totally agree. After reading the legal stuff yesterday I have no use for C.J Mahanney. Even though he didn't molest a child, he didn't do anything to prevent someone who did from doing it again.

The only thing that gives me pause is the whole "...who have been accused...". I still support the motion because I believe what he's done warrants us disassociating from him and his organization.

FWIW

Ben Simpson

Peter,

I really love aspects of this resolution, particularly the part about loving and protecting children. However, I'm not comfortable at this point calling for SBC-ers to sever all ties. The allegations are terrible, and some of the defendants have already been adjudicated for crimes, but we must keep in mind the words of Scripture, which say, "The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him," (Pro 18:17) and to remember the American judicial system maxim of "Innocent until proven guilty." We must keep in mind that anybody can accuse anybody of anything. Therefore, we must wait and see if the accusations are true before any relationships are cut. To call for a severing of ties at this point is too early, and I'm not sure if there are really any formal ties to cut concerning the SBC. Are there?

This is just my opinion, but I think your resolution would be stronger and more accepted at this point if you'd focus only on loving children biblically, protecting children, and reporting sex abuse. That seems more appropriate at this point because whether the allegations are true or not, those points need to be strongly reiterated.

Lydia

Well, God bless you, Peter. You will probably be reviled for this and if it gets to the floor, this will probably be removed by the Mohler folks who pretty much run the SBC
now:

RESOLVED that we strongly urge denominational servants, entity leaders and our trustee boards to sever all ties, whether official or unofficial, with any evangelical organization, fellowship of ministers, and/or celebrity leader who, presently or in the past, is facing criminal and/or civil litigation for neglecting moral or legal obligations to protect the little children whom Jesus said suffer to follow Him, ties including but not limited to speaking engagements at conferences, entities, and/or agencies supported, whether full or in part, by Cooperative Program monies; and be it finally

Joe,
"Even though he didn't molest a child, he didn't do anything to prevent someone who did from doing it again."

It goes much deeper than that. SGM Pastor College trained ministers were trained NOT to report these things but to handle them in house. They viewed the civil authorites as too ungodly to handle things. Ironic, eh?

The first lawsuit has more detail on how they were handled in house including requiring 3 years olds to face their molester and forgive him and for the mother of a girl who was raped by her father to let him come home and give him more sex while putting a lock on teh daughters door to deter him. Being the head of the home was more important than a teen girl being raped by her dad. (Yes, they really are that sick)

From Brent Detwilers website concerning the 2nd Amend:

"Everything alleged at Covenant Life Church occurred while C.J. was the senior pastor. John, Grant Layman, and Gary Ricucci did not act independently of C.J.’s counsel regarding how known sex abusers should be handled. That’s why he is a co-conspirator. C.J. was also close friends with Stephen Griney and an acquaintance of Mark Hoffman.

There are also many other names left out of the amendment due to motions by the Defense that are pending before the Judge. A wide circle of people at Covenant Life Church are now alleged to have committed horrible abuses. The FBI is busy! This doesn’t end in Civil Court. I’ve said for a while. More people are going to jail."

If you read the SGM wikileaks docs, you would know CJ was a control freak. No one made a move without CJ's blessing. Yes, he had "strong leadership" as Mohler admired about him to a reporter.

The SBC needs to clean house on those who thought Shepherding cults were a good thing to partner with. It is not like there has not been a ton of evidence there were things to be suspicious of early on and then with all the blogs, wikileaks, etc. After all, not long ago CJ referred to himself as an "Apostle" and named his movement the "People of Destiny". That was an obvious clue something was not right and we should have been more circumspect about this giggly chameleon.

Rick Patrick

Excellent resolution! Who could possibly oppose this? No Southern Baptist is pro-child abuse.

Perhaps the committee will delete or reword paragraphs five and six. Personally, I like them, but people in the know will understand you are referring to Mahaney and Mohler. They may argue that the resolution can stand alone without those paragraphs and still fulfill its purpose. Then again, they may argue that we have already spoken to this issue in the past.

I have only submitted one resolution--ever. It was just prior to Obama, and opposed Socialism, primarily on the basis of religious liberty considerations. Committee Chair Russ Moore denied it, probably saving me from being targeted by the IRS.

Chris Roberts

Slash the last Whereas and the next-to-last Resolved and I could go for it. The problem with those is they assume and assert too much about the nature of relationships with organizations when focus needs to be against perpetrators. Otherwise, great resolution with a good call for churches to be intentionally diligent on this issue.

Debbie Kaufman

Ben Simpson: I'm trying to put some point of reason or even sense to your comment. I can't.

Christiane

Hi PETER,

as an observor, I totally respect your efforts to have the SBC publicly repudiate those who have tolerated what can never be tolerated by a Christian people . . . my own Church has learned terrible lessons and sought course changes which, if begun sooner, might have saved many from terrible suffering.
It is SBC business, but a public statement, formal and in the presence of the whole convention, would assure many people that right is being done for the sake of the innocent. I have another concern that I hope is one day expressed by Southern Baptists: the works of people like Michael and Debi Pearl, which have led to the spanking of very tiny babies who cry. Peter, this breaks my heart. I hope some day that the SBC will take a formal stand against the extremes of discipline that are horrific for little ones. For me, it's all the same thing: little ones injured emotionally and physically.

God bless you for trying to do something positive here.

Lydia

'The allegations are terrible, and some of the defendants have already been adjudicated for crimes, but we must keep in mind the words of Scripture, which say, "The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him," (Pro 18:17) and to remember the American judicial system maxim of "Innocent until proven guilty." '

Oh dear Ben. According to many of the survivors, that was Mahaney's favorite verse quoted all the time along with Hebrews 13:17. You might want to think about why he would constantly pull that one out on people considering what we know now from not only the lawsuit but sgmwikileaks, etc. Anytime a serous problem was brought to the leadership they whipped this one out on folks. Then called it gossip.

Are you forgetting this is a civil suit looking for damages? So what exactly must Mahaney/SGM be proven guilty or innocent of? Not reporting child molestations to the authorities? That Mahaney was a "strong leader" who had no clue what was going on in his own church and other churches for decades? That pastors who worked for SGM were required to report molestations?

The problem is you are not keeping up. Best to be ignorant of the facts though. See they had this anal rentitive guy in leadership there for years who kept every single email or documentation of any kind. he sort of fancied himself the SGM historian. Mahaney is going to have a problem arguing church autonomy when they are looking at systemic molestations which is why he floated the 1st Amendment to protect molesters.

Amazing what you guys will make excuses for and one reason I do not think our children are safe in SBC churches who promote Mahaney/SGM type of polity or thinking.

Because.............. perverts always lie both to children and adults. And you are right, it is hard to prove and many are never caught. That is why they have so many victims. In this case, it was PDI/SGM systematized protection of molesters. mainly because they were men and these 'temptations" were only natural and btw, the victim is just as big of a sinner. (see docs) The natural progression of the worm theology of Calvin.

So what I hear you saying Ben is that we should act like nothing is amiss in the wacky world of Christendom unless the COURTS say SGM should pay for not reporting child molestations? SBTS, Mohler, Dever, etc should keep right on promoting Mahaney until a civil court jury says he is not ok? That is our cue? I mean we know for a fact that there were molestations all over SGM and that some even served time because the victims family DEFIED the pastor and called the cops. Some were shunned for doing so. Or have you not read all the docs? SGM even gave the perp a heads up on it and helped pay his legal fees while the mom was in poverty.

God help us what passes for intergrity, character, love and compassion in the Reformed movement and their admiration for shepherding cults.

Amazing. Ben thinks a civil court jury gets to decide if Mahaney/SGM represents the sort of character and integrity we want the SBC to be involved with.

peter lumpkins

All,

I appreciate the broad support. There appears to be reluctance in urging our entities/denominational employees/trustees to "sever ties" with those organizations, fellowships, and/or persons who have criminal/civil litigation baggage they presently possess. I think the resolution makes it clear that it doesn't have to be "official" ties but "unofficial" ties as well. Of course, this has nothing to do with personal friendship and/or support but deals with the entities and employees' public support as entities and employees of the SBC funded through the CP for those organizations, fellowships, and/or persons who have criminal/civil litigation pending.

Moreover, I fully understand how our justice system works so far as "innocent until proven" guilty is concerned. Nonetheless, when charges this serious are pending the outcome of the judicial due process, it seems to me we have a moral obligation to fulfill toward the purported victim--in this case, the little ones Jesus instructed us to suffer coming to Him--to at least temporarily suspend our public relationship, whether official or unofficial, with those legally accused of criminal and civil wrong-doing until the judicial due process has run its course.

In addition, to act otherwise, may only deepen, in the long run, the branding of public perception that Southern Baptists are morally complicit toward child abusers if the verdict goes for the plaintiffs; contrarily, our public severing of ties temporarily would but strengthen positive public perception that Southern Baptists erred on the side of caution if the verdict goes for the defendants. What is more, it may assist victims of abuse in restoring trust in the evangelical church's mission to suffer the little ones to follow Christ, protecting them, and positively nurturing them in a secure, safe environment.

For me, to pull out of the resolution the urging to denominational leaders and trustees to "sever ties" (official or unofficial) with those hauling litigation baggage around with them pulls from the resolution a major plank holding the structure together to support a strong statement on the sexual abuse of children.

Kyle B. Gulledge

Great resolution. Look forward to voting for it in a few weeks!

Jenn Grover

Peter, thank you. I spent 20 years with SGM, clueless about the abuse that has allegedly transpired. Mahaney and his loyal cohorts read the continued support of your popular leaders Mohler and Dever, among others as affirmation that he has walked rightly. Though at lest 25 churches and probably thousands have left SGM over the last 2 years, largely due to his refusal to repent, he remains stiff-necked.If these men love him, they must forsake him or he will continue to feel affirmed in his actions.

Ben Simpson

Oh dear Lydia, the Scripture is still true even if somebody perverts it. The civil court proceeding will certainly show if Mahaney is liable for wrong doing. You noted from Detwiler that this will end up in criminal court. Perhaps I am ignorant of all the facts that you know. That's why I'm not ready to go as far as you are yet. When I hear evidence and not just allegations, then I'll be glad to go where you are now.

Ben Simpson

Peter, with that left in there, is there a possibility your resolution will be ruled out of order since it is clearly aimed at Mahaney & SGM?

hariette

thank you. I pray this goes through the resolutions committee and passes on the SBC floor. I am sickened to death over this. I can't be there, but I am so grateful someone, SOMEONE, has taken this initiative and is going to introduce this to the messengers of our convention. Prayerfully, the entire SBC messengers will be there and there will not be a bunch out to lunch or sight-seeing when it is introduced and voted upon.

peter lumpkins

The resolution's not clearly named at Mahaney. It's rather aimed for thousands upon thousands of children in our churches and the Lord Jesus Who suffers them come unto Him. That circumstances involving some organizations and personalities occasioned the writing of it is unfortunate. Thus it can't be ruled 'out of order' since it mentions no one specifically. But even if it did, if the Resolutions Committee wanted to address and include it, they'd just expunge the names, etc. rather than kill it completely. At least that seems the way they've normally dealt with more provocative resolutions like this one...

Adam

can anybody set the record straight as to whether or not CJM is enrolled as a student at SBTS? I've been told that he is. Not allowing him to be a student (if he is) is one great first step in severing ties.

Scott Shaver

Ben:

Why don't you invite Mahaney to speak at your church next Sunday? Put your reputation where your mouth and "concerns" are.

You could even protect yourself before he steps to the pulpit by offering the same disclaimer to your church and visiting reporters that you just gave to Lydia: "The civil court proceeding will certainly show if Mahaney is liable for wrong doing." Up until that time, however, we will carry on as if nothing happened.

Whether Pete's resolution lives, dies, or is ruled out of order at the upcoming annual meeting in Houston, it will be a barometer as to how much the SBC collectively shares your mentality on the matter.

Thanks for your posts.

Jennifer S

While I like Dr. Danny Akin and SEBTS I don't understand how he can bring CJ to speak at SEBTS as a model to the students and my spouse. I just don't understand this. Mark Driscoll , James Merritt, and now CJ is making me wonder about Dr.Akin and his team's level of discernment. Have I missed something ?

Lydia

Ben, Your movement is deaf. Mahaney/SGM have already floated their "Proverbs" defense in a statement: The 1st Amendment defense.

The 1st Amendment for pastors to have the freedom to protect child molesters. Who woulda thought it?

I am curious, are SGM/Mahaney "more guilty" the higher the monetary reward to victims? And, totally NOT guilty of protecting molesters if there is no monetary reward? Is that how the YRR wing view this case? It seems this is the argument you are really making.

Lydia

"can anybody set the record straight as to whether or not CJM is enrolled as a student at SBTS? I've been told that he is. Not allowing him to be a student (if he is) is one great first step in severing ties:

Adam, the question is more like: Is CJ teaching, speaking or training in any capacity there. There are Mahaney family members there. His son in law (I forget his name) is enrolled there. There might be more from his entourage that got some special deals or jobs. I wish we could get information but usually one finds these things out on the sgm survivors blog from folks who know them personally.

I really do think there was a plan to plant sgm style churches with NAMB money (As we did with Acts 29) when CJ fled to Dever's church then to Mohler in Louisville. There is also some sort of SBTS partnership with SGM/Bob Kauflin. Kauflin mentioned internships with SBTS on his blog not long ago.

I do wonder if we have long time SBC people who would qualify for these sorts of privileges/partnerhships that are not shepherding cult folks? One would think?

See, SGM only has a 9 mo pastors college for indoctrination so their pastors are not really qualified for SBC type churches. I think educating some of the Mahaney entourage who fled...oops, moved to Louisville was a step toward putting them in an SBC church. I think some promises were made because you don't just move your organization and all those families to Louisville and announcing your plans to " plant a church near the seminary" just to have an adventure. I mean why not Indiana? Georgia?

What is even more interesting is who has preached at the beleagured SGM church plant in Louisville now meeting at the Marriot instead of my daughters school, thankfully, as they have a zero tolerance for protecting child molestation and swiftly got them out after a few weeks. Let us see....Bruce Ware (SBTS), John Piper, Jerry Bridges....and some more I cannot remember. Many Reformed leaders/celebs have gone all out to exonerate and prop up Mahaney. The list is long: Mohler, Dever, Ortlund, Trueman, Piper, DeYoung, Duncan, TGC, T4G, AofR and many more!

Mahaney has gotten his money's worth out of the YRR movement. Too bad the movement lacks so much discernment but then again, I think they rather agree with Mahaney's polity.

Scott Shaver

Lydia:

Could it be that expressed concern about "paydays" for the SGM victims is actually a fear of the legal process successfully shutting down the SGM presses, support networks and shepherding internships via financial award to plaintiffs?

Just a thought turned question since you obviously have a better handle on the history of SGM than I.

Max

Peter,

It is an extremely sad state of affairs that the resolution you propose even needed to be written, given the grave concern that "... some of our entities and/or entity heads supported by the Cooperative Program have established close relational ties with some ... who, presently or in the past, are facing criminal and/or civil litigation for neglect of moral and legal obligations."

Such alliances are not implied in "Together for the Gospel." Ministerial integrity demands tough love in such instances that would put a distance between SBC entities and the accused, while also loving and praying for the them, until the legal system settles the matter.

Watchkeep.blogspot.com

Bob Allen has a story up today about your resolution at the Associated Baptist Press. I'm quoted in it:
http://abpnews.com/ministry/organizations/item/8509-sexual-abuse-resolution-proposed#.UZVWQbG9KSM

Max

Jennifer S,

Welcome to the growing list of Southern Baptists who question the wisdom of certain SBC seminary heads in selecting who speaks to our pastors-in-training. Potty-mouth ministers of non-SBC entities and non-SBC leaders of organizations accused of sexual abuse of children should not be placed on SBC platforms.

Dwight McKissic

Peter,

Why limit this resolution to children? When we look at the sexual abuse that's often been reported and highly documented in Professor Diane Garland's research on clergy sexual abuse that involve SBC pastors as well as others-wouldn't your resolution need address adults who have been victimized by Pastors and church leaders?

I have been considering submitting a resolution dealing with clergy sexual abuse that would be inclusive of all. If you amend your resolution to include adults, mine would become unnecessary. Please consider doing so.

On another subject, I saw several quotes by John Piper on your this blog a while back that I can't now find.I need to document these quotes and their source for a post I.m working on.My email is [email protected] Please send me your info so that I can ask your assistance in finding the Piper quotes. Thanks.

JoAnn McKinny

Reading through the comments some feel as if Lumpkin's resolution is way too hard. Watch this video and you'll see it may be way too soft

http://www.wjla.com/articles/2013/05/sovereign-grace-ministries-class-action-civil-lawsuit-involving-child-sex-abuse-88894.html

What a mess!

Ben Simpson

Scott,

The blog tough guy schtick is wearing thin. Do you another gear than jab, taunt, and condescend?

Scott Shaver

Sorry Ben:

I'm really a pussycat. How about we meet and have coffee?

Debbie Kaufman

Ben: I would highly recommend you listening to the interview with Attorney Bill O'Neill on the Janet Mefford show. You do realize this is the biggest sex scandal that I know I have ever seen in one place. 11 victims plus more who are coming forward. I think the scripture you have given is out of place. This involved children who went through horrific sexual rape. What does the scriptures say about hurting children? It's pretty tough on those who do and it has nothing to do with the courts. I and so many others have read the stories. I believe each and every one of those who put everything on the line to come forward.

Mary

I'm not as famaliar with this as some others so correct if what I'm about to say doesn't line up with the facts.

1. There's no debate crimes against children were committed. That's already bend adjudicated. Not up for debate serious crimes were committed and proven in the courts.

2. What's happening now is the civil part going after the people who failed to report those crimes.

3. The defense is not "we did report those crimes!" The defense is basically "we don't have to report those crimes"

Basically it seems like SGM is admitting that they did not report criminal activity because they didn't think as a church they had to. They admit they did the thing they are accused of doing.

Why do you have to wait for the courts to smack this down when they admit to not reporting these crimes?

Is protecting Mohler, Dever, and Akin that important?

scott shaffer

1. There's no debate crimes against children were committed. That's already bend adjudicated. Not up for debate serious crimes were committed and proven in the courts.

I wasn't aware that these had been settled in criminal court. I believe one youth pastor was indicted last December, but nothing beyond that had been brought to criminal court. Can you post links to the cases you mention? I'd like to read about them. Thanks.

Ben Simpson

Debbie, thanks for the recommendation. I'll listen to it soon.

Mary, thanks for the summary. I appreciate the insight here as I come to understand the situation.

Mary

Scott and Ben, this is where I need Lydia to help me out here. I've read the summaries from other places. Just this morning I read over at Wartburg about one of the cases where a convicted abuser was welcomed back into the church - having sleep overs with kids and the church was not told about his conviction. A lot if this stuff has been talked about for years and I'm pretty sure there have been several convictions. What the current class action is about is the SGM system that covered up these crimes.

The question for the SBC is this - Does the SBC agree crimes against anybody should be reported immediately to the governing authorities or should churches get a pass because of 1st Amendment. That's SGMs defense - 1st Amend entitles them to handle these things in hous as church matters.

BUT facts are already established that SGM did not report criminal activities. The lawsuit is about whether this was a concerted coordinated policy of SGM that caused damages to the victims.

Based on the already established facts we should all agree that the SBC should denounce these people and this whole horrible horrible mess. Peter's resolution DOES NOT need changes because facts are already out there. Unless someone can point to CJ Mahaney denouncing this ideal that churches should not report crimes to the authorities then the SBC should have nothing to do with him. Of course being Al Mohler's friend goes a long way in the SBC.

But there is year's of stuff and links at SGM Survivors and Wartburg Watch for those who want to dig deeper.

I am open to correction if I've spun something the wrong way here so anyone please correct me if I've gotten any bit wrong.

Lydia

Scott, some of this stuff goes back 20 years or so. There is not really one link that will lay it out the convictions over the last 20 years.

one guy who was convicted and served time (sgm helped him with legal counsel but shunned the victims) and came back to sgm. He was pictured on the news report recently. There are others who were convicted simply because the family DEFIED the pastors and called the police.

There was even one powerful dad who they were told raped his daughter who ended up paying for an island vacation for the pastors. There is some weird stuff. I mean really inbred weird stuff. It is like Jim Jones without the kool aid but with middle class clothes and homes.

You gotta remember PDI/SGM is a shepherding cult. They tend to isolate people and your 'care group leader' and pastor are the people you look to and go to for all your problems. They are very authoritarian top down in polity. These folks never questioned their leaders and if they did, they got shunned really bad.

When when they planted churches, several families would quit their jobs and move together to the place. (Not unlike what they did in Louisville so they have an instant church) The families would all get homes near each other, school their children together, etc. Things that sound good but that environment is isolating to where people did not think for themselves and really believed the pastor/care group leader was really in care of their soul.

These are people who really bought into the 'elder really knows best for you'.

Who knows, they might have even obstructed justice inserting themselves into manipulating the process. Listen to the Mefford program I linked to on another thread. There were instances that it is claimed the pastors told the victim different court dates so they would not show up while they were helping the molester with legal defense. That might be hard to prove but isn't that horribly sinister and obstructing justice for those molested children? There are also some news pieces that get into some of it.

The adult parents are responsible for being involved ina cult. But SGM uses the "love bombing" cult tactic and people really do get sucked in and before they know it they are immersed.

I personally think CJ will walk away from this untouched and that is one reason the RBD stay silent. CJ will be the "duped" leader and will write a book on "grace" that the RBD will endorse. It hardly matters if any of the Reformed speak up at this point or cancel Mahaney stage appearances. it will only look like what it obviously is at this late time: a PR move not concern for molested children.

But keep in mind, the FBI is very busy on this one. If you read the lawsuit there are still quite a few things pending before the judge.

Mary does a good job with what this is really about. That is why they floated the 1st Amendment.

Scott, for some interesting reading on how shepherding cults operate at the top, read the SGMwikileaks (google that) docs. You will read men with the emotional mentality of 13 year old boys who have way too much time and money on their hands. It is so cheesy and fake you will need a barf bag.

Debbie Kaufman

Ben and all: Here is the first television interview from one of the victims on the site Spiritual Sounding Board.

http://spiritualsoundingboard.com/

Louis

I appreciate the sentiment, but the resolution, as drafted, reads too much like a Bill of Attainder.

If the whereas section talking about some evangelicals finding themselves sued etc. and the paragraph about SBC leaders associating with such people were reworked, and the resolved paragraph talking about severing ties were reworked, I could support it.

I also think that you could make it stronger. Instead of saying that churches should adopt policies, it should say that churches should adopt policies that require contacting the police authorities as a first step.

Most importantly, I believe the resolved paragraph should say something about helping the victims. All of the attention seems to go to the perps. Nothing for the victims. The resolution should say that the victims and their families should be given the highest priority.

But it's a good sentiment and start.

Mary

A big big issue in the SBC is that NAMB is now planning on spending millions of SBC money planting churches that are clones of SGM/Acts 29. These churches are cultic in their structure. Various "groups" are used to control what people think and who they are associated with. Members are isolated from those outside the group. Shunning is used to shame and control members. The SBC should never have gotten mixed up with these people but Mohler wants to build a coalition with Calvinists and that's all that matters.

pam knight

Theo and I totally agree with addressing this issue and we appreciate your effort to bring it to the attention of others. We pray that this issue will not be swept under a rug. Thanks Peter for for your thoughtful efforts on this.
In Christ
Theo & Pam Knight

Julie Anne

Peter: Thank you for speaking out on this horrific situation. It needs to be exposed and discussed. I tried to comment on the ABP article and last I checked it was stuck in moderation (it may be there now), but wanted to thank you here for proposing the resolutions for the SBC. I can see Jesus doing something like that. I think he probably liked to protect little ones. It's shameful that some of these so-called pastors protect their brand of doctrine before defenseless children. You would think protecting children would be part of their doctrine? I'm tired of thinking about the whys. I just want something done to stop this insanity.

Max

"The detonation of the Penn State scandal must shake the entire nation into a new moral awareness. Any failure to report and to stop the sexual abuse of children must be made inconceivable ... What about churches, Christian institutions, and Christian schools? The Penn State disaster must serve as a warning to us as well, for we bear an even higher moral responsibility." (Al Mohler) http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/11/10/the-tragic-lessons-of-penn-state-a-call-to-action/

Debbie Kaufman

I still hold to the TULIP and believe it to be in scripture. But it's not about all Calvinists or even Calvinism. This is about horrific acts perpetrated by a cult who sneaked into the SBC disguised as a sheep. SGM doesn't just need to be disassociated with, they need to be totally shut down and exposed for what they are. The devil in disguise with many destroyed people as proof.

Mary

Max, how hypocritical is it that people in the SBC freely spoke out about Penn State before any trial/conviction but now refuse to make any statement despite all the overwhelming years of evidence against SGM.

People aren't evil and horrible because of their Soteriology but a big part of why Mahaney gets a pass is because of his Soteriology. Mohler would have had nothing to do with Apostle CJ if he weren't a Calvinist. It's all about sticking Together for Calvinism and The Calvinist Coalition with people like Mohler and Dever. Gotta keep the tribe together.

peter lumpkins

Brother Dwight,

Thanks. You ask "Why limit this resolution to children?" Simple. Because the ignored white elephant in the room presently is sexual abuse of children and the possible cover-up of it. Southern Baptists should state and state in the clearest terms we: a) detest any form of child abuse and especially the sexual abuse of children; b) and we're not going to tolerate or 'cover-up' any abuse of children.

As for the Piper quotes, brother, I'm not sure what quotes you are referencing. They must have been in a comment thread for I don't think I quoted Piper lately...

Always good to hear from you brother.

Scott Shaver

Max:

If that's a quote from Mohler how come we don't hear any gems of wisdom on this matter right now from Louisville?

peter lumpkins

Louis,

Well, the resolution is more than "sentiment" I assure. And as for reading like a "bill of attainder" I haven't a clue to what you refer. It's easy enough to know what a "bill of attainder" is but what you mean when you say it reads like one--as if "bills of attainder" are common sources of reading enjoyment for vanilla Joes like me--again, curious but confused. The resolution above no more cites contemporary occasions as sources which spawned its driving "sentiment" than any number of other resolutions I could cite over the last few years.

And, the reason for mentioning the lawsuits and prosecutions was because that's reality, Louis. SBs continue to parade some of these guys around our denominational dog and pony shows and it's time to stop it. Many churches and pastors express the exact "sentiment" about that I again assure.

Yes, I agree it could have been stronger. No argument. But your suggestion that policies should include absolute directives is, I think, much too specific. Local churches working this out with their own local authorities will find out soon enough when they should call lawful authorities and what is expected from them pertaining to possible breaches of the law. And, frankly, I'm not sure the local authorities is the first call. Parents would need to be called first it seems to me.

Finally, you may be correct it focuses more on perps than victims. But I think you're judgement that "Nothing for the victims" is included hardly reflects a fair reading of the resolved:

--renew "our allegiance to our Lord Jesus to love children as He loves children"

--implement sound policies to develop "our spiritual, moral and legal obligations in nurturing loving care for our children"

--protect the "rightful interests" of children as "members of the human family made in God's image"

--"sever ties" with groups and/or individuals who appear callous toward protecting children

--"urge all Southern Baptists to pray for and financially support healthy children's ministries"

Thus, while a more detailed description of victims' rights, ministry needs, and the church's obligation to the families of abused children could surely have been proposed (though personally I'm not sure that's the purpose of resolutions; i.e. to spell out in detail solutions to problems rather than raise the awareness and propose general guidelines or solutions) to suggest "nothing" for the victims is present as you do is just not well taken, Louis.

Thanks again. Always learn from our encounters...

Louis

Peter:

You are welcome. I wasn't really trying to be critical of your effort. Was just providing my thoughts.

And by "sentiment" I meant intent.

So, I agree with the goal, the intent, even the idea, just disagree on some of the particulars. Plus, I would like to see the resolution survive and be voted on affirmatively. My suggestions reflected only my thoughts on what would attract me to vote for it.

I always learn from you, too.

Hope to meet you in Houston.

Lydia
Dr. R. Richard Tribble, Jr.

Peter,

Under the provisions of the last sentence of the third paragraph of Bylaw 20, entitled, ‘Committee on Resolutions’ a messenger may bring his resolution to the floor of the Convention if the committee refuses to do so. The messengers decide whether to hear the resolution by a 2/3 vote.

Under the provisions of Roberts Rules of Order (RONR) when the Resolution Committee makes its report not to recommend or submit your resolution to the convention you would need to rise to a microphone and indicate a ‘Point of Order.” When recognized indicate that you rise to appeal the Committee’s decision to not present your submitted resolution to the assembled messengers under the provisions of SBC Bylaw #20.

The Chair will then present the issue to the messengers who must approve it by a two-thirds margin for the resolution to be presented and debated on the floor. One problem I've noticed is that in the past the Chair hasn't always been able to correctly determine a two-thirds majority when it was on something they didn't agree with.

Hope this can be of some help.

peter lumpkins

Dr. Tribble,

Thank you, brother. Yes it helps very much. Since I've never presented a resolution before, there's much I've got to get settled into my thinking before the convention. You've given me a great start!

Dave Miller

Peter, I will certainly vote for such a resolution if it makes it through committee.

Robert Vaughn

I fully support our the American judicial system principle of "innocent until proven guilty." The presumption of innocence is absolutely essential to the criminal process in the American judicial system. A defendant comes before the court with assumed innocence that requires the government to prove the guilt of a criminal defendant. The defendant (or his council) does not any burden to prove his or her innocence.

This can be misunderstood in application to a situation such as alleged child abuse in SGM Ministries. For example, a church that supports a missionary, children's home, ministry etc. accused of wrong-doing does not have to depend on the courts finding someone legally guilty to decide to sever their relationship (or not). A church or an individual Christian can make their own moral judgment as to that person's/ministry's guilt or innocence and act accordingly. Legal innocence and actual innocence are not the same thing.

James Thompson

A simple reading of this resolution raises some concerns for me along two fronts:

1.) Shouldn't we wait until such organizations, fellowships or leaders have actually been convicted by a court of wrongdoing?
2.) Where is the opportunity for repentance and redemption in this?

Condemning entire organizations for the wrongdoing of individuals seems problematic unless those organizations habitually fail to deal with the wrongdoing. We need to be careful not to engage in injustice by advocating for Guilt by Association.

Lydia

James, You have not been following this scandalabra for the last 6 years have you? There is no "guilt by association" there is willful, deliberate promotion and protection of Mahaney by most of the well known Reformed leaders. Even to the point of exonerating him as "fit for ministry" and signing their name to it.

I am not even sure you have read the comments here well. SGM/Mahaney is not claiming they never protected molesters. They are proud of it. They cited the 1st Amendment as their defense.

Evidently, the Reformed wing has no problem with that.

Debbie Kaufman

Thanks to Daisy, a commenter on WW. Here is a new interview 5/20 with the attorney for the plaintiffs Bill O'Neill talking about the latest decision on the lawsuit.

http://www.janetmefferdpremium.com/2013/05/20/janet-mefferd-radio-show-20130520-hr-1/

James Thompson

Lydia, my problem is with the language of this resolution, which does not encourage Southern Baptists to act on evidence, much less proof or a court conviction, but instead to act based merely on accusation. The resolution is, thus, inherently flawed and unworthy of adoption. If the intended target is merely SGM and it's leaders then the resolution should simply state that. There have been plenty of resolutions and motions presented directly addressing Mark Driscoll and others, so why not just go for the intended target and avoid possible, and unintended, collateral effects?

peter lumpkins

James,

If the resolution makes it to the floor, it probably won't make it in its present form. But your characterization of it is pure nonsense. The resolution is about protecting children not making accusations. Aren't you for protecting children James? Then at least state as others did who didn't agree with my stated ocassion for offering the resolution your disagreement with the ocassion but nonetheless agree we need to address the issue. Or do you think the sexual abuse of children is not an issue the evangelical church must strongly address?

Lydia

"Lydia, my problem is with the language of this resolution, which does not encourage Southern Baptists to act on evidence, much less proof or a court conviction, but instead to act based merely on accusation. The resolution is, thus, inherently flawed and unworthy of adoption. If the intended target is merely SGM and it's leaders then the resolution should simply state that. There have been plenty of resolutions and motions presented directly addressing Mark Driscoll and others, so why not just go for the intended target and avoid possible, and unintended, collateral effects?"

James, The child molesters love your thinking and thank you. They rarely get caught. And of course, they don't molest for audiences. That is why it is such a great crime for them. Victims are rarely believed anyway so why are you so concerned?

I would suggest you spend some time studying the issue in depth. The psychological factors make children the perfect targets as "the least of these" because of trust and innocence..... and the adults who protect them or dismiss any concerns are deeply appreciated by the perverts.

And I am curious, what sort of conviction are you looking for? The average pedophile has 50-100 victims before caught. And they are not walking around in parks with trench coats on. They groom kids and build their trust. The problem we have is that churches are a great venue for them.

James, I will always err on the side of protecting innocent kids. Sorry if that bothers you. I think we send a message of ZERO tolerance for those who protect molesters or fail to report them.

At the very least we can send a message? Seriously, I doubt it will change Mohler's support for Mahaney. Mohler can do whatever he wants in the SBC, that much is clear.

Patrick

Aren't you for protecting children James?"

Adventures in missing the point!

Of course James is for protecting children...as am I. Suggesting that our actions be based on more than just allegations does not make one a "protector of molesters."

peter lumpkins

I suppose Patrick we now are supposed to have some tit-tat on 'missing the point' Luckily for me I have no time for such. Now unless you or James have something directly related to the resolution...

Patrick

It just shows the idiocy of your position when someone logs a valid criticism of the wording of the resolution, and they're met with the ridiculous charge of, "Aren't you for protecting children?"

OF COURSE THEY ARE! I'm for protecting wives from getting beaten as well, but that doesn't mean that I would support a resolution which takes allegations of spousal abuse as fact. I'm sure if you wrote that resolution, you'd meet any disagreement with, "How can you not support beaten wives? You're a protector of wife beaters!"

It's called using your brain, Peter. I suggest you try it some time.

peter lumpkins

Why, of course Patrick. Thanks!

Lydia

Patrick,

Piper is on record saying that wives should take "abuse for a season". Now I realize the Piper interpreters will all say we just misunderstood. Nope, I have not. I take ALL his teaching into consideration and that is a natural progression of his beliefs.

Perhaps some pastors need to know that such things are wrong even if they happen once because they don't actually know that.

You would think Dever/Mohler would know it is wrong to protect and partner with someone who built a church empire has a long historical pattern of not reporting molestations and rape of children. Evidently they do not know this. Someone should tell him.

peter lumpkins

Sweet heavens. What on earth did Denver, Duncan, and Mohler think they'd accomplish now by going public? And if was 'irresponsible' to speak before a ruling on 11 plaintiffs why is it not 'irresponsible' to speak before we know the ruling on the two remaining plaintiffs? When I get opportunity I'm considering a response...

Mary

Peter, there are a coulple points that are being missed here. And I think anyone writing on this should pound them pound them and pound them some more.

#1 SGM is not a group of autonomous churches like the SBC. Anything going on in SGM churches was known, approved and controlled by the Apostle Mahaney. Calvinists in the SBC have for years envied this top down structure and we see them now trying to duplicate it in the SBC by taking over failing churches, consolidating them and having one church be in charge of "multi" campuses.

#2 SGM has admitted in their defense in the lawsuit that they attempted to take care of these sexual abuse cases in house and did not call the appropriate authorities. They asserted that they had a first amendment right to handle these issues as church issues. Their defense wasn't "this never happened" their defense was "we're not guilty because we're a church and we don't have to report these things to the authortities. This was the culture through out SGM and if this was the culture through out SGM than Mahaney had to have known about it and approved of it.

So now we see the idiots like Mohler declaring that "sure you should call the cops" and yet he's defending Mahaney for not calling the cops, he's defending the Apostle's culture of dealing with these issues in house and not notifying authorities.

We don't need a court, we have SGM's legal defense that tells us what they were doing and what they admit to doing is reprehensible. And what these response continue to show us is that even if these cases go all the way through the courts these men will stand up and defend Mahaney no matter what.

Mary

And Peter, I think if you want to make a change to your resolution you should add something about the SBC condemning this idea that churches do not have to contact authorities because of the 1st Amendment and we don't want to associate with churches who believe they do not have to contact authorities. Let's see the defense of that. Why would that be removed?

James Thompson

Peter & Lydia,

Did I ever say that we should not seek to protect children from abuse? No. To say such a thing would be unconscionable. But, I will not condemn someone based on accusations that were not even brought in a criminal case, and which were thrown out by a judge I should be able to assume is competent; unless I should abandon any and all reliance on our legal system. Moreover, I can not help but criticize a resolution that calls on Christians to act in such an ignorantly judgmental and unjust manner; to do so would be irresponsible. Simple changes to the resolution could make it perfectly acceptable, such as conditioning any break in fellowship on conviction or public admission of sin. But, even in that circumstance we ought to express a redemptive hope concerning matters of discipline within the body of Christ, which is really the heart of what seems to be called for in this resolution.

At this point the comments seem to have devolved into simple character assassination and mudslinging by those who have an assumption of guilt and conspiracy. That I have been said to be complicit with molesters because of an insistence on acting on more than just accusations is laughable and reveals a lack of sober-mindedness in this discussion. Certain individuals in this whole mess may very well be guilty and deserving of punishment, but that should be given over to the civil authorities who "[do] not bear the sword in vain" (Rom 13:4). That a civil authority has dismissed one case already should help inform our opinions, not harden our preconceptions. To pass judgement without direct and explicit knowledge is inappropriate, and I will maintain that position in my desire to promote justice, rather than vengeance or any other form of malice.

Lydia

"So now we see the idiots like Mohler declaring that "sure you should call the cops" and yet he's defending Mahaney for not calling the cops, he's defending the Apostle's culture of dealing with these issues in house and not notifying authorities. "

Mary, this is where the Reformed sycophants do not have a leg to stand on. Their hero's (Mohler, Dever, Duncan) words and actions do not match. Mahaney's statement used the 1st Amendment defense for not reporting the molestations. (People must keep in mind it is proven there were molestations and by using the 1st Amendment defense, they are claiming they had the right to NOT tell the authorities which means they KNEW of the molestations and rapes of children)

Mohler is defending Mahaney's right to NOT call the authorities (That has been proven that they did NOT and it
WAS systemic thinking by PDI/SGM leaders) while telling people to call the police.

And let us not forget there is proof of a phone conversation where Mahaney blackmailed Larry Tomzack.

I really think Mohler needs to go. He is dragging us all down in his cognitive dissonance cesspool. The SBC will be tarnished for this one. Mahaney fled to Louisville, for crying out loud, to be "near the seminary".

The Christian blogosphere is melting down. The T4G facebook statement was deleted as there were almost 100 comments 90% of them outraged. Many were from those in the Reformed movement. of course they had to delete that.

Thank goodness some people got screen shots of the comments.

Mary

Well and how ridiculous is it to declare we couldn't make a comment while this was in the court but now that the thing got thrown out because of the Statute of Limitations we can comment? What exactly is different now that allows them to make a comment? No one has been exonerated of wrong doing. Nothing is different - allegations are still out there and according to the victims attorney they are not done - they're going to appeal. This is nothing but a PR stunt before the convention to tell the mob what they're supposed to say to knock down Peter's resolution.

And then is it T4G who is going after a rape victim using her quote to try to discredit those who are outraged. The idiots are multiplying.

Mary

Oh and let's not forget this spot of brilliance:


“Instead, he was charged with founding a ministry and for teaching doctrines and principles that are held to be true by vast millions of American evangelicals

The poor Apostle is a VICTIM because he's a CALVINIST! Boo Hoo!

Mary

This might be a double post but don't want to lose this comment because this is THE ISSUE the SBC has to address.

Here's a front page comment:


“Why is no mention made that the heart of this lawsuit is about a systematic church effort to discourage and eventually prevent the families of children who were allegedly (and repeatedly) sexually victimized by church officials from speaking out and reporting to law enforcement. This lawsuit is less about the abuse and more about an institution that took steps to protect itself and it’s reputation over the victimized souls (and bodies) of little ones. Omitting such a fundamental fact from this statement is a fundamental error.

Why no mention that CJ Mahaney was actually the Senior Pastor at one of these churches where all of this horrific abuse allegedly occurred AND that discouraged these families from bringing this matter to the God ordained civil authorities? Omitting such a fundamentally important fact from this statement is a fundamental error.

This lawsuit was dismissed for one reason and one reason only…expiration of the statute of limitation. Isn’t it tragic that the reason why this suit was dismissed – taking too long to file – was the very objective of these church leaders when they discouraged these precious souls from stepping forward.

Many of these men have not hesitated to write (or tweet) on the Penn State horrors, gays in the Boy Scouts, and Universal healthcare, but have been conspicuously quiet on this issue…just doesn’t sit right with me (and apparently a lot of others). And when they finally speak, what is omitted speaks more than what is said.

What these men don’t realize is that their silence is pushing a large group of precious souls farther and farther from the Church…and our glorious and gracious God. [sigh]

Boz Tchividjian, J.D.
Executive Director, GRACE”

Lydia

"What exactly is different now that allows them to make a comment?"

CJ is off scott free because of the statute of limitations.
Which is ironic because it was a 'shepherding cult' actually worked in his favor. It is like going after God to talk about what happened to you there. It means you are unforgiving and besides, you are just as much a sinner as the rapist. That is how SGM operated. That is why it was in house. That is why they used the 1st Amendment as a defense. The "authorities" are ungodly and do not handle things the way God wants us to. This was all part of the PDI/SGM doctrine. Many of these victims had been brainwashed for years. Some of them had parents who called the police anyway and those situations are documented with convictions and jail time.

PDI/SGM did help some with legal fees and warnings that the police had been called. (they inserted themselves between the victims and the authorities) Even going as far to tell the victims wrong court dates so they would not show up.

So you can imagine the fear and trepidation of coming forward. Not that many in the Reformed wing of the SBC can empathize with that. Theirs is a harsh doctrine of preying on the weak as we can see by some of the blog posts like over at The Gospel Coalition. Very sad. I find myself concerned for their hard hearts.

Some of the victims tried with AoR and were totally dismissed. All of these stories were dismissed by the exoneration of Carl Trueman and Ray Ortlund who found CJ fit for ministry. Then Mark Dever takes him in when he fled CLC/SGM. Now Mohler has him in Louisville.

They have circled the wagons for Mahaney. An Apostle with the People of Destiny morphed into SGM. A shepherding cult.

Unless the appeal works, Mahaney can walk away while those who "obeyed" him as pastors/leaders are left to face serious charges for the act of obeying him about not callling authorities instead of having the Spirit of truth as a guide.

This is a "leadership" moment for some of the higher ups in the SBC as to whether this will tarnish us for a long time or not. I don't have high hopes they will do the right thing. I think they are just as mesmerized by Mohler as the young men.

Mary

And please spare me idiots such as Mr. Unity who think the judge threw this case out because of lack of evidence. A Motion to Dismiss is not about evidence:

http://www.rotlaw.com/legal-library/what-is-a-motion-to-dismiss/


It's at the Summary Judgment stage where judges throw out cases because of lack of evidence. How can a judge throw out a case before Plaintiffs have had opportunities for discovery? Idiots! But that's how these fools are trying to spin this away from having nothing to do with the evidence "the judge didn't think they had enough evidence But these fools will follow their leaders off a cliff and actual facts in the real world mean nothing to them.

Mary

Here's another link for Motion to Dismiss

http://www.everything2.com/title/motion+to+dismiss

It's not about the evidence at this point. Remember what happened in the Klouda case - the defense was denied the Motion to Dismiss, but then granted Summary Judgment because after the discovery process the Plaintiffs didn't have enough evidence that a law had been broken.

Lydia

Mary, I linked to the article by Boz that Scott McKnight posted today on another thread. He is a former prosecutor whose organization GRACE deals with abuse in case anyone here does not know.

Mary what is so astounding is that the Gospel Coalition wrote an article on Penn State titled: Love Notices Wet Hair.

Now their statement leaves out very important information such as Mahaney being Sr Pastor at CLC when much of this went on?

As someone noted on another blog today, these same men, who are now hanging on a legal point, are dogged enforcers of church discipline for disagreeing with the pastor or missing too much church! These are the men of church covenants which demand you sign on and be loyal to their leadership.

Pharisees?

The thinking in this movement is warped.

Mary

I cannot believe that these men are blatantly and intentionally attempting to deceive people into believing that these claims were thrown out for lack of evidence. They are absolutely out of control. The problem is that you have idiots who are so blinded by their idolization of Calvinism that they will believe this deception. It won't matter how many attorneys try to correct them - they will believe their idols. You would think they would recognize this deception and then start questioning the morality of these men trying to deceive like this.

Max

Mary says "You would think they would recognize this deception and then start questioning the morality of these men trying to deceive like this."

Mary, a nagging concern of mine is that, left unchecked, New Calvinism will approach antinomianism ... stretching "grace" and "there is nothing unclean" beyond their true boundaries. We certainly see glimpses of that with Dricoll's ministry and this unbelievable rally around Mahaney to keep this darling of the movement on stage. I fear that we are losing a generation of young Southern Baptists to this madness. I've just about had it with our leadership.

Lydia

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/evangelical-leaders-stand-by-pastor-accused-of-abuse-cover-up/2013/05/24/30d6208a-c4b9-11e2-9642-a56177f1cdf7_story.html

Great. Now the WaPo has the SBC/SBTS and our entity president listed as one who stands by a shepherding cult that is glad the molested/raped children did not "win" a lawsuit.

What a great witness the SBC is to the world. This is what we are known for. Thanks Al.

Mary

Max, you are absolutely onto something. More and more we see these people just bold faced lying - in this instance about what is actually going on in the law suit. And then on the blog where the ethically challenged think it's acceptable to secretly record conversations we see lies such as "Traditionalist believe you can seek God on your own." Which of course no Traditionalist has ever said anywhere but since these people really want to scream heretic they have to lie and distort what Traditionalist actually believe. And now we see someone claiming that there are those who are claiming the Abstract of Principles doesn't line up with the BFM - again no one has said that anywhere but since these fools have to lie to attack those they want to kick out of the SBC they just make stuff up. It's the interpretation of the Abstract that is in question. But again when young fools can't deal with what someone is actually saying they have to resort to lying. And the people who know better, those Voices who wring their hands and claim they want to hold their side accountable remain silent while these young Calvinist continue to lie and bear false witness.

Scott Shaver

Regardless of the SBC's current leadership style and theology Max, the resolution speaks to an issue that has already devastated a "young generation of SBC'rs" Past and historical as opposed to a future unframed and unnamed

Any positive or continuing negative public perception of the SBC will be affected by how the issue is dealt with. Joe Public wont' care one whit about rationales, theologies or individual convictions with supporting biblical text about moral justice.

IMO

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