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20 Hard Questions to Ask Your SGM Pastor

More and more churches in Sovereign Grace Ministries are meeting to discuss whether they should stay or leave.  And more and more people are asking hard questions of their pastors.  That needs to happen in every church at public meetings where the pastors are accountability for their answers.  This week I was asked to put some “hard questions” together that could be used at these meetings.  Here are some suggestions.  Please don’t allow for vague or evasive answers.  Respectfully challenge your pastors if they do so.  It will take courage.   

  1. Do you believe C.J. Mahaney is above reproach as set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-8? 
  2. Do you believe C.J. should be removed as President of Sovereign Grace Ministries? 
  3. What specific attitudes or actions by C.J., the interim Board and the current Board have concerned you over the past 19 months? 
  4. Why was Dave Harvey suddenly asked to step down from all his responsibilities by his local pastors in the midst of the current crisis facing SGM?  
  5. Has anything been covered up over the last ten years that would have called into question Dave’s qualifications for ministry? 
  6. Why did SGM break its repeated promise to have all of Brent’s charges heard and judged by an outside, independent, no history with SGM, third party of evaluators? 
  7. Did you oppose the unjust and crooked approach implemented by the interim Board in devising the Three Panel Review which trampled underfoot all due process and made certain Brent’s charges were never heard?  
  8. Why did C.J., John Loftness, and the Board of Directors respond so self-righteously to the Plaintiffs and lawyers in the class action lawsuit when it was filed? 
  9. Given the horrific nature of the Complaints in the lawsuit do you support SGM’s apparent attempt to hide behind the First Amendment? 
  10. Is the SGM Board of Directors doing a thorough investigation of all the Complaints against C.J., John Loftness (Chairman) and Gary Ricucci (pastor over the Pastors College)?  When will they report on their findings?  
  11. Have you asked the SGM Board of Directors to place C.J., John and Gary on “administrative leave” until they are cleared of all charges in the lawsuit? 
  12. Is SGM using any monies given by donors and churches to pay for their lawyers and legal fees in the class action lawsuit?  
  13. Is our church giving monies to SGM?  If so, how much and why?  
  14. Are you committed to contact law enforcement regarding all incidents of sexual abuse you become aware of by anyone who visits or attends our church? 
  15. Are you committed to reveal the identities of all convicted juvenile and adult sex offenders who attend our church to members? 
  16. Have you talked to the pastors of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD and Sovereign Grace Church in Fairfax, VA in order to fully understand why they left SGM over concerns for its leadership culture?  What did they tell you? 
  17. Have you talked to any of the pastors from the other 14 churches that have left SGM?  Why were they compelled to sever ties? 
  18. What are your greatest concerns for how our church will be governed by SGM according to the Sovereign Grace Book of Church Order
  19. Will you allow the church to vote on whether to accept or reject the Sovereign Grace Book of Church Order since its statutes and regulations will directly affect all of us? 
  20. Why do you think we should stay or leave SGM?  Be specific.  


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