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Tuesday
Mar132018

Executive Director of SNAP & Parents of a SGM Victim Write Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan & Matt Schmucker Appealing for Justice re: C.J. Mahaney

The letter below was sent to Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan and Matt Schmucker (administrator for T4G) on February 12 by Barbara Dorris, Executive Director for SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) and Dominic and Pamela Palmer, parents of a sex abuse victim in Sovereign Grace Ministries. 

Dorris and the Palmers cite “two of the documented facts that point to Mahaney being knowledgeable of and complicit in cover up of sexual abuse.”  They also point out the cyclical and intergenerational nature of sexual abuse in SGM.    

“The continued pattern of cover up that occurred under Mahaney’s watch over 30 years caused a maelstrom of abuses by multiple abusers.  In several cases, cyclical, intergenerational abuse occurred within the SGM family of churches: a young child victim would be abused and then grew up and became an abuser to other children.”  

The Palmers are also well-versed on the conspiracy to interfere with justice by Covenant Life Church pastors.  

“Our (The Palmers) daughter’s abuser [identifying information removed to protect his identity because we see him also as a victim of cyclical abuse].  As a teen he abused our precious 2 ½ year old daughter and was convicted in juvenile court.  Several CLC pastors interfered with the criminal prosecution.  They tried to have us not call the police and later to drop the charges.”   

For these and other reasons, the Palmers and Barbara Doriss asked that C.J. Mahaney be vacated as a speaker at Together for the Gospel. 

“For the sake of the still-vulnerable children within the entire Evangelical church, we respectfully but urgently ask that you dis-invite C.J. Mahaney from speaking at the T4G-18 conference.” 

This appeal had no impact on Mohler, Dever, Duncan or Schmucker.  They refused to “dis-invite” Mahaney.  Instead, they allowed him to write a self-vindicating response that doesn’t mention any willingness to do an independent investigation to back up his claims.  

“I am innocent of the allegations that have been made against me personally … I categorically reject the suggestion that I have ever conspired to cover up sexual abuse or other wrong-doing.” (Mahaney, March 7) 

Mohler, Dever, Duncan, and Schmucker should have removed Mahaney from speaking and publicly asked him to embrace an independent investigation given the magnitude of the evidence against him.  Instead, they continue to enable him and cover up his wrong doing with no concern for the victims or the adjudication of truth. 

Read Mahaney’s Withdrawal from Together for the Gospel Is Meaningless as He Continues to Run from an Independent Investigation with the Help of Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, et al. 

## 

February 12, 2018 

Dear Drs. Mohler, Dever, Duncan and Mr. Schmucker: 

Once again, it is the season leading up to your biennial conference, Together for the Gospel (T4G).  We, the sexual abuse victims and family members of Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) (now SGC) are still here.  Along with SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests), we implore you to do the right thing – disinvite C.J. Mahaney as a plenary speaker at T4G-18. 

Mahaney, co-founder of T4G, was the President of SGM and the Senior Pastor of Covenant Life Church (CLC) during most of the sexual abuse cases that are documented in our legal complaint [lawsuit] and in other sex abuse criminal cases.  He personally knew of many of these sex abuse cases.  If he did not – what kind of executive leader was he? 

His own brother-in-law and former pastor, Grant Layman, admitted under oath in court in 2014, that during the 1980s, Layman knew about the sexual abuses by Nate Morales, should have reported it, and did not.  Layman, also verified under oath in court during the Morales’ trial, that in 2007, five pastors of CLC discussed Morales’ sexual predation in a pastoral meeting and chose not to report Morales to the police.  Mahaney was in a primary place of authority at CLC throughout the 1980’s and was President of SGM in 2007.  He either knew or should have known of these sexual abuses and the pastoral cover up by the pastors under him. 

These are just two of the documented facts that point to Mahaney being knowledgeable of and complicit in cover up of sexual abuse, while in a pastoral and executive position of authority over his former church and denomination.  The continued pattern of cover up that occurred under Mahaney’s watch over 30 years caused a maelstrom of abuses by multiple abusers.  In several cases, cyclical, intergenerational abuse occurred within the SGM family of churches: a young child victim would be abused and then grew up and became an abuser to other children.  

Our (The Palmers) daughter’s abuser [identifying information removed to protect his identity because we see him also as a victim of cyclical abuse].  As a teen he abused our precious 2 ½ year old daughter and was convicted in juvenile court.  Several CLC pastors interfered with the criminal prosecution.  They tried to have us not call the police and later to drop the charges.  At least four CLC pastors, while Mahaney was Senior Pastor, knew of our daughter’s sexual abuse. 

Dr. Mohler, echoing the words from your podcast “The Briefing” of 1-25-2018, discussing Rachael Denhollander’s court testimony of convicted pedophile and gymnastics coach, Larry Nassar: 

“Mrs. Denhollander turns to the judge and said, ‘I ask that you hand down a sentence that tells us what happened to us matters and that we are worth every measure of justice available.  How much is a little girl worth?’  Those are words that are very difficult to hear, very difficult to read, very difficult to say, they are very difficult words [that] we need to hear, and of course, they are words that have the ring and authenticity of biblical truth.” 

We completely agree with you and with Rachael Denhollander in this statement.  Every measure of justice available should be provided for every little girl and boy violated by sexual abuse. 

What happened to the sex abuse victims of SGM matters. 

In 2014, when Mahaney voluntarily withdrew from speaking at T4G, he stated, “my participation could create a hindrance to this conference and its distinct purpose of serving so many pastors.”  What has changed since then?  Only that the civil lawsuit was dismissed on the technicality of short statutes of limitations – not on the merits of our case. 

Gentlemen, by bolstering Mahaney’s reputation and standing by him, rather than standing by the multitudes of victims from SGM revealed in civil and criminal court cases, you are choosing to side with abusers and those who cover up for them. 

Giving Mahaney a teaching platform with international influence in the Evangelical church through your organization’s conference is tantamount to re-victimizing sex abuse victims.  In essence, you are telling other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers “Don’t bother speaking up.  No one will care.  No one will take action.  No wrongdoer will be held accountable.” 

Allowing Mahaney to be a plenary speaker, in essence, you are teaching the 10,000+ pastors who will be in attendance at T4G-18, that Mahaney is an example to follow in pastoring.  You are mentoring the next generation of Christian leaders, that the manner in which SGM handled sex abuse is acceptable and righteous and should be the status quo. 

“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” (Isaiah 1:17 ESV) 

Again, as we did in 2016 at the T4G conference, we are seeking justice: that you would disinvite C.J. Mahaney from speaking at T4G-18.  We strongly believe Mahaney has been knowledgeable of and complicit in multiple cases of sexual abuse cover up under his watch as Senior Pastor and as President of SGM. 

We are asking you, “How much is the soul of a little child worth to you?” 

For the sake of the still-vulnerable children within the entire Evangelical church, we respectfully but urgently ask that you dis-invite C.J. Mahaney from speaking at the T4G-18 conference. 

Barbara Dorris
Executive Director, SNAP
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
6245 Westminster
St. Louis MO 63130
314 503 0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org

Dominic and Pamela Palmer
Volunteers, SNAP
Parents of a SGM sex abuse victim
240 994 1278

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