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Thursday
Mar222018

Mark Galli, Editor in Chief of Christianity Today, Calls for a Fresh & Thorough Independent Investigation of Sovereign Grace Ministries

The article by Mark Galli is titled, We Need an Independent Investigation of Sovereign Grace Ministries.  We sure do.  And I hope C.J. Mahaney agrees.     

The Sovereign Grace Executive Committee (Board) and the Leadership Team should listen to Galli and many others across the nation who are desperately calling for a new and thorough independent investigation of allegations for the sake of unheard victims, the evangelical church and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The 2014 internal (not independent) investigation done by a Covenant Life Church lawyer hiding behind attorney client privilege was woefully deficient to say the least.  

Here is an excerpt from Galli’s article. 

To repeat: While we find Denhollander’s and Detwiler’s allegations compelling, we are not ready to say each of their charges is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And we are hardly ready to conclude SGC and the accused congregations and leaders are guilty of every charge brought against them.  We are grateful that SGC says (in its statement to CT), ‘It is our desire to walk transparently, to grow in our ability to better address this risk, and to honor Christ in the way we care for those who have experienced abuse.’  Still a number of its explanations for past events remain inadequate and leave too many questions unanswered. 

We desperately need a fresh and thorough independent investigation by an organization that specializes in these matters. … We call for this on behalf of potential victims who may have yet to be heard.  And for the sake of SGC and for the integrity of evangelical churches everywhere.  And especially for the sake of the gospel.

I agree with Galli.  Rejecting an investigation is foremost a repudiation of the gospel.  It shows no concern for the interests of Jesus Christ. 

If C.J. Mahaney, Covenant Life Church, Redeeming Grace Church and Sovereign Grace Churches, Inc. are innocent of the “allegations” brought by me and Rachael Denhollander, they should eagerly embrace an investigation.  There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

I hope Christianity Today’s call will be followed by a call from Together for the Gospel (T4G), The Gospel Coalition (TGC), Desiring God, Grace to You, Acts 29 NetworkThe Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), The Counsel on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood (CBMW), The Christian Counseling & Education Foundation (CCEF) and others.  

I cite We Need an Independent Investigation of Sovereign Grace Ministries in conclusion. 

On March 1, 2018, Denhollander, a practicing attorney and advocate for victims of sexual abuse, issued a reply of her own.  It was not a cursory or flippant statement by any means, but one of nearly 8,000 words and, from our point of view, devastating in its detailed comments on the many aspects of the case.  This does not mean we can verify every word Denhollander has written; only that she has so carefully documented so many of the disputed matters that we have concluded that this whole affair needs a fresh, independent investigation to clear the air. 

Again, we are deeply concerned about this matter in part because we want to make sure justice is done for all the alleged victims.  But we also see this as an opportunity for SGC to become a positive example for the rest of the evangelical community.   

In addition to public calls for an independent investigation by the organizations linked above, I hope the leaders of those organizations personally exhort C.J. Mahaney to be “a positive example for the rest of the evangelical community.”  If he embraces an investigation, so will Sovereign Grace Churches, Inc.  

Readers should also watch Rachael Denhollander’s interview with Martha MacCallum of FOX NEWS on her prime-time newscast from last Friday night.  FOX NEWS provided excellent coverage and Rachael did a great job summating the evidence and explaining why an investigation is so important.  

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