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Wednesday
Aug032011

No One Can Question C.J.'s Public Confession of Specific Sin - Really?

Where do I begin?

Four weeks ago today, I sent out "The Documents" (see sgmwikileaks) to all the pastors in Sovereign Grace Ministries.  Since then I've been watching and waiting.  It is now time for comment on what I've observed.  Hence this blog.

I've also begun Aletheia Ministries - a separate Facebook page and website is in the works.  I don't plan to use Aletheia, which is the Greek word for truth, in order to address personal issues or individuals within Sovereign Grace Ministries.  I will do that on this blog.  More on Aletheia Ministries in the future.

I want my posts to be focused and of limited length.  Therefore, I don't plan to make or develop too many points at one time.  At least I'll try not to.  Instead, I'll attempt to develop the point(s) I make and bring home its implications.  I'll build new points upon previous points.  I plan to write two or three times a week.  Sign up to receive posts automatically under the "Connect" section using "Subscribe in a reader" or "Subscribe to BrentDetwiler by Email."  I also want to use language that is accessible (you know, understandable) to the average reader.

Well, that's enough of an introduction.  I'll tell you how nice a guy I am later.  Let's get going.

Yesterday, Dave Harvey, interim President of Sovereign Grace Ministries, posted the preliminary findings of a three man panel on the SGM blog.  The panel was asked "to offer non-binding advice on the narrow question as to whether C.J. Mahaney is presently fit for ministry based on those sins to which he has already confessed."

Today, I am going to deal with one part of one statement in their finding.  That is, "No one can question that C.J. Mahaney has specifically confessed his sins, both publicly and privately."

A few brief observations.

  1. "No one" - this is a categorical statement, a universal negative, not a single person.
  2. "can question" - the evidence is so overwhelming it cannot be questioned, end of debate, it is a shut and closed case, no further examination is necessary.
  3. "that C.J. Mahaney has specifically confessed his sins." - this is an assertion with no proof, the panel provides no information regarding the specific sins C.J. has confessed, the reader is left to research the matter for himself, very unhelpful.
  4. "both publicly and privately" - the panel claims C.J.'s confession of specific sins has unquestionably occurred in private and in public, that's obvious to them.

I want to address the last part of this authoritative assertion regarding C.J.'s public confession.

There have been two occasions when C.J. "confessed" his sin in public.  The first time in a Sovereign Grace blog on July 6 entitled, "Why I am taking a leave of absence."  The second in person on July 10 at Covenant Life Church (CLC).  In my next two blogs, I will provide detailed comments on those "specific" confessions according to DeYoung, Ortlund and Trueman.  For now, let me summate my findings in contrast to their findings.

  1. Nothing in C.J.'s July 6 blog is specific and it hardly qualifies as a confession.  It is a vague acknowledgement of unspecified "sins" and "deficiencies."  Read it closely.
  2. Little in C.J.'s July 10 confession is specific and those comments are confined to Dave and me back in 2003-2004.  Otherwise, C.J.'s comments to CLC are vague, general, and non-descript.  For example, he says, "in a particular phone conversation I sought to coerce Larry...my public announcement of his departure was self-righteous in attitude and critical of Larry."  He doesn't go into any detail.  He provides little background.  He doesn't share particulars (for that kind of information you must read Part 3: Concluding Remarks, pages 131-179 at sgmwikileaks).  At the end of his comments, C.J. says to CLC, "I want to ask for your forgiveness for these sins and their effects on you."  What does he mean specifically?  What sins against CLC is he talking about?  What adverse effects upon the church does he have in mind?  He makes none of this clear.

I took occasion to share my perspective with Joshua when he wrote me the day after C.J. spoke to Covenant Life Church.

Brent,

Last night at the Member's Meeting as I shared about my involvement in the process back in 2004 a faithful member asked me in the Q&A if I had specifically asked your forgiveness for dropping out of the process back then.  I've talked about this to you in different emails but I said I hadn't and I wanted to do that now.  Brent, I'm sorry for the position I put you and Dave in back then by pulling out of the process.  There were mixed motives.  I wanted to protect Covenant Life and preserve my relationship with C.J. but I was also afraid.  I lacked courage.  I feared man more than God.  I was not a faithful friend to C.J. nor to you.  I know now that you were seeking to love C.J. by challenging him then.

Please forgive me.

God bless you, Brent.

Joshua

I responded to Joshua's humble note and added my thoughts about the deficiencies of C.J.'s remarks.

Joshua,  

We have all lacked courage.  You were 29.  Those older had a greater responsibility at the time but you are freely forgiven.

I thought C.J. did a poor job on Sunday night.  He's not really seeing the issues.  I hope he returns this Sunday night and makes a clear and specific confession of deceit, hypocrisy, and abuse.  He also needs to reference specific illustrations like his treatment of Larry.  People are reading the documents and they know he is not coming clean.

I'll be appealing to him again this week.

Brent

Of course, C.J. has not returned to CLC since July 10.  He has not been to any Sunday morning meetings or any subsequent Sunday evening Member's Meetings.

Okay, let me wrap things up.  DeYoung, Ortlund and Trueman concluded their findings with this statement.

"Having said all that, here is our conclusion.  We do not believe C.J. Mahaney's confessed sins have disqualified him from Christian ministry.  Or to put it positively, from all that we have seen, heard, and read, we believe C.J. Mahaney is, at this moment in time and based on those sins which he has acknowledged, still fit to be a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ and a pastor to others."

Here's the stunner!  I totally agree with their conclusion!  Based on C.J.'s publicly "confessed sins" he is not disqualified.  Why?  Because he acknowledged next to nothing and nothing specific except for his treatment of Dave and me eight to nine years ago!  So based upon his public confessions, the three man panel is correct - C.J. is "still fit to be a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ and a pastor to others."  Thanks Kevin, Ray and Carl for making that clear to all of us.

 

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Reader Comments (50)

Is Joshua cool with you publishing a private, personal correspondence? Additionally, how will doing so bring reconciliation to this situation?

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJustin

Where do I begin? How should anyone respond to this? There is something wrong with the fact that you need a "board" to establish the facts as to whether you have done something wrong or not. The Holy Spirit is not in this.
This is the "man" that wrote the "book" on humility!?!
I am sorry, I can not write anything further at this point. I might put something in print I may regret later.
Cedrick

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCedrick

Hi Brent:

I agree with your assessment re: CJ's public comments: I will not define them as "confession" of sins as no biblically identifiable sins were even mentioned. Essentially CJ admitted he showed poor judgement and provided bad leadership at times.

A little background from me. My wife and I left CLC back 2008 due to growing concerns over the way leadership interacted with members when those members either disagreed with them or (even more importantly) when a member did not fit within a narrowly defined paradigm of outward behavior. This was especially evident in microcosm in the CLC sponsored high school. I will not go into retake here -- it would be too long. I also had significant theological differences with CLC's version if Calvinism, which btw is not IMHO how Calvinism or Reformed theology is understood in much of the Reformed theological streams. There is wide variation and a grasp of humble belief and praxis which at the time was not evident in CLC's " my way or the highway" polity.

Anyhow, we left after being there for almost 30 years. When the "Detwiler" papers came to light someone sent me a link and I spent the better part of the next two days avidly reading them. As the now infamous documents spread and CLC recognized they were implicated in the shenanigans, a family meeting was wisely called. I emailed the church and sought permission to come as an outsider. Corby Megorden was quite gracious in inviting me. I say all this because I was able to attend the first two members meeting (kudos to Josh Harris for his lack of spin control and honesty). I heard CJ' s comments and was asked on the spot by a CLCer what I thought in a night I wrote "weak" and mentioned the entire lack of mention if any actual sin.

Brent I applaud you steadfastness in this whole process and know you are doing this out of deep care for CJ as his long-time friend.

Steve Z

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Zahm

Hello Brent,
I am trying hard to understand all this. This is my understanding at this point.
The 3 pastor panel has said CJ is still qualified for ministry. It seems they are saying that this is a church governance problem and there are no clear disciplinary procedures in place. Other than CJ saying someone is de-gifted. He obviously isn't de-gifting himself...
The SGM board, I understand 17 out of the 20 have said CJ is qualified for Ministry. No word about the 3.
So the Ambassadors of Reconciliation are going to go through all this information and bring their findings back to the SGM board to make the final decision? Does it seem it is two to one already?
We are praying for you and your family...
patti

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatti M.

Thank you for your posts and you coming clean. PDI/SGM has ruined many lives and it's about time that the truth put forth. I'm saddened that it took this long ...but we have a sovereign God who will not be mocked. Below is a letter that was written to a friend when he asked for my opinion before their "Family meeting.

“For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another." (Isaiah 48:9-11, ESV)

"Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." (Galatians 6:7-10, ESV)

Winky,

I told you so! Just kidding! Even though this is the reaction that many would have expected out of me, I have had a variety of emotions concerning the events at SGM. These emotions range from being surprised, vindicated, disappointed, and saddened.
So, here are some of the thoughts that I have had the past couple of weeks regarding the events at SGM. As you read this e-mail, forgive me if it seems like a pure stream of consciousness. I am still in the process of sorting through my thoughts and emotions regarding these affairs. Also, if I should say something that offends you, please be assured that these words come from my own desire (even though they more than likely will be tainted with my own sinfulness) for God’s name to be gloried through His Body – the Church.
I’ll begin by saying that I only have fond memories of my time at FCC/SGM Fairfax. Contrary to popular belief, I did not leave that local church because I felt that I was sinned against. During my 5+ years at FCC, not only did Christ use the church to effectually call me to himself, but he also sanctified me and drew me to a desire to know him more through the disciplined and organized study of Scripture. Honestly, I miss the “good old” days when we use to get together and worship God through prayer, praise and godly conversation. Again, I only have fond memories. Additionally, I would be foolish to leave out the fact that it was through FCC that I met my beautiful and faithful bride. This alone will give FCC a special place in my heart.
But even with all these benefits, as I grew in my knowledge of God and Scripture, I came to a point where I realized that FCC, and SGM as a whole, had considerable shortcomings in a variety of key areas. This is not to say that other denominations are perfect, but the deficiencies that I recognized in SGM as a whole and, in FCC in particular, were and are too fundamental to be ignored. The disappointing part of the whole situation is that they were and are being ignored for the sake of (in my humble opinion) personal/corporate preservation.
With this being said, I will again reiterate that I did not leave FCC/SGM because I felt that I was sinned against. Rather, I left because, after confronting the pastors and members of the church about my concerns, these concerns were discounted as being trivial. At this point, I had to decide what was more important. Was the comfort and joy that I had established at FCC more important than glorifying God by leaving? In many ways, I could have just shut up and stayed at FCC? This would have been the easy thing to do, but I knew that this would not have been good for my family and my soul. But most importantly, it would have shown lack of trust in the great Savior whom I promised to glorify with all my heart, mind, strength and soul – something that I could not do by staying at FCC.
With all this being said, I will now answer the question that you asked me concerning my thoughts about the current situation in SGM. My first reaction (whether it was right or wrong) to the news about CJ and SGM was a feeling of vindication. After all the years of believing in my heart that SGM had severe deficiencies regarding its church polity and leadership, I was happy to see that my concerns were finally being addressed. But this feeling of vindication was short lived. I then felt saddened and angered because of all the lives that were hurt and ruined. (Some eternally, because they will never trust a Gospel minister again. With my reformed perspective, I know that the ultimate responsibility rests on God and the individual. But the fact that your leaders will have to one day give account for their actions should not be discounted either.) You and I know of several personal friends who’s lives have been ruined (Yes, I mean RUINED) by the pastors at FCC. Their lack of training, experience, and wisdom has ruined many lives. But yet, in the past rather than repenting and desiring to grow in the areas where they were lacking they just “swept it under the rug” and went on doing their business. Status quo was the standard, unless it came from CJ and the SGM leadership. But I should stop with these personal rants and return to a more objective evaluation.
From a human perspective, all this could have either been prevented or limited if the “complaints” of members of your denomination would have been seriously addressed. But, I have to remind myself that God is sovereign in his actions. He will not be mocked, nor will He give his glory to another.
While my original reason for leaving FCC and SGM was rooted in a difference in missiology, I have since come to realize that FCC’s and SGM’s errors in this area of theology was just the fruit of a greater problem – namely your denomination’s Church Polity. While SGM recognizes that the biblical warrant and necessity for a plurality of elders and congregational involvement for a healthy Christ centered church, but this is sadly not the reality in day and life of all the churches within your denomination. What you call a plurality of elders are just a group of men who have only one mode of thinking. To put it in more crass terms, SGMs plurality of elders are comprised of a bunch of “yes, men”. Any man on the leadership team, who desires to speak out of step within the denomination, does so at his own peril. (This is also applied to those who pastor the local churches) Congregational involvement is mostly limited to those mandates that come from the leaders within the church. All other activities, if connected to other ministries not tied with SGM, either formally or informally, are not endorsed or frowned upon.
In actuality, SGM has always and continues to model an executive model of church government. As the name implies, this form of government calls for a single source of leadership to pastor the denomination and the local churches. Thus, CJ being the head of the denomination commands his other leaders (the senior pastor of the local churches) to follow what he believes to be true and godly. And the direction of leadership flows from CJ, to senior pastors, to associate pastors, to care group leaders, to the members. In the end the members are taught and encouraged to do and follow the head of the denomination in all matters concerning the life of the church and SGM. While this is an excellent way to run a corporation, the military, and Amway, it is not how Christ’s church should be governed. Because of our fallen nature, there is only one head of the Church and this is Christ alone. He is the CEO and he will not share his glory with another. It was bought with his blood and vindicated by his resurrection. He is the head.
If I were a betting man, I would guess that SGM in reality follows this form of church government out of fear, laziness, and pride. Fear in the fact that the lack of experience and training that their local pastors possess makes it easier for them to dictate orders from on high, rather than to biblically justify and win over their congregations concerning their decisions. Laziness in that dealing with people and coming to a consensus is hard work. Finally, it is humbling to be proven wrong and not get what your heart desires. I bet you are learning this in your young marriage. It’s a lot easier to just command your subordinates and, if proven wrong, hide your mistakes.
But SGM has insisted that this is the biblical model of an Acts 2 NT church. (This is to infer that the other denominations that don’t follow such a model are not NT churches?) They believe that the Leadership Team (as they call themselves now) has a special apostolic authority to establish and govern other churches. But what they have to realize is, Christ’s gift of Apostolic authority (and that too of prophets) was limited to and for the establishment of his Church and the completion of the Cannon. The Church is now established and the Cannon is closed. Yet, we still have evangelist, pastors, and teachers to complete the ingathering of the Saints. (see Ephesians 4:1-16)
I find it ironic that many ex-Catholics feel drawn to SGM. They leave Catholicism feeling the bondage of legalism and worshiping a man (the pope), yet they come into a denomination having no problems with leaders who view themselves as apostles (whether they now admit it or not). If I’m not mistaken, does not the pope also believe himself to be an apostle and have apostolic authority? Is it not a bit humorous that CJ puts himself in line with the same authority as the pope? Consider Cardinals and Bishops. Does this not describe the Leadership Team and Senior Pastors within SGM? All these men are appointed to positions of power and authority within the church from within? Is it not strange that an outsider first need to be indoctrinated with SGM, not only in doctrine but also in all areas of life, before he/she is allowed to serve? Just some questions to ask yourself.
While I could go on with other issues, it is time to wrap this e-mail up. I will close with one final observation/question. If it were not for God’s own jealously for his glory, would CJ and SGM ever have confessed their short comings? To put it another way. If Brent and various blogs did not expose CJ and SGM’s sins with hard documented evidence, would they have ever confessed their sins in public? Or would they have just continued to cover up their deceitful actions simply for the sake of survival. I say this because, while everyone is commending them for being so transparent and repentant for their sins, yet they are only doing so because they were caught. Before Brent’s exposure of CJ and SGMs practices, your denomination’s response to their sins and shortcomings were to cover them up and act as though they did not exist.
This pattern was seen when CJ’s actions were first uncovered. It continues to be SGM’s actions as more truth is exposed. They will repent only to the extent that specific sins are uncovered. Instead of being open and transparent, sins need to be discovered before repentance occurs.
To be more specific, your local church had no desire to have a meeting concerning these issues until they realized that it was too big to handle, and they risked loosing the congregation. In my book, this is cowardly and sad.
This pattern tells me that SGM’s desire to repent and change is driven more out of a desire to survive, rather than to repent because of they believe that they have dishonored God and his glory.
I pray that all these things change in the coming months. I pray that tangible and godly changes occur within your local church and SGM. I pray that your leaders within SGM humble themselves before God and before the people that they claim to lead. That they be and are transparent and truly repentant of all their mistakes and shortcomings. That your leaders try to reconcile themselves to any and everyone that have been affected by and through their sinful behaviors.
I pray that their concern for the lost, the expansion of Christ Kingdom, and ultimately His glory, outweigh SGM’s desire for preservation. That they will change their desires from wanting to be a successful and relevant denomination, to one that desires to really please God.
I pray that if these things do not change, that God will continue to humble and discipline SGM until they repent. That, if needed, He will dismantle SGM completely.
Finally, I pray that you will lead your new family with wisdom. That if your local church does not change, you will find the courage to speak out and leave if needed. That you will desire Christ’s glory above all comfort and relationships.

"Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen." (Jude 24-25, ESV)

In Christ’s Love,

Ex-Fcc'er (removed my name)

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEx-FCC'er

Brent

Glad to see you setting up a blog so people can hear your viewpoint on this.

Good first post. Good point about what Mahaney has actually confessed so far.

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSteve240

I look forward to reading more. Thanks for keeping it as, "I want my posts to be focused and of limited length." That is helpful at the end of a long workday. God Bless.

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary

Brent, I joined Fairfax in 1991, just a few months after you left I think; so I heard your name often through my years in PDI/SGM. I left in 2002 or 3 (never can remember which.) Thank you for your persistence through the years with this process. I've often said that just about anyone can rise to the occasion in a sudden crisis (or even a tragedy) but slogging on year after year takes a different kind of character. You clearly have it. And my respect.

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPhoenix

Dear Brent,

I would be interested to read from your insider experience, about what men were degifted and removed from pastoring because of the same things CJ may have very recently admitted to. I do not know how much degifting was due to older ch.ildren sinning, and how much was due to the same character flaws CJ may have acknowledged the past month. Also, were any other men forced to step down or step aside because of one single incident (like the coercion mentioned in the inital statement from Larry, Moe and Curly?) Is there a double standard operating? Thanks.

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter5yearsinPDI

Quick Question:

Did you get permission from Rev. Harris to post this private communication that was written to you? If so, when were you granted that permission and in what form did the permission take place? Please be specific.

Thanks!

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTravis K. Kircher

Brent,

I can appreciate all you've been through the past few years but, trust God's peace is ruling your heart. I just want you to know that I'm standing with you as a brother, a friend and a witness. I believe that you have followed the scriptural model we've been given concerning CJ and that the matter has now been taken to the Church.

After careful meditation on the admonition given to us in Gal. 6:1, I have made a number of heartfelt and prayerful comments on SGM Refuge. My heart has been stirred by the Hoy Spirit and I'm seeking God's wisdom concerning what involvement, if any, the Lord is calling me to. I, like many, have many questions and expect more in the future. The primary question I have is at this moment is... What now? and would appreciate it if you could share your wisdom.

"...take it to the church". What church is this referring to? the church universal? The churches under the authority of SGM? The local church? and which believers? Present "members" only? Past "members"? I'd really appreciate hearing your thoughts. I have other questions that I consider equally important but, will post again soon.

All the best,
Lacey

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLacey Roland

I'm excited about the new blog.

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSeneca Griggs

Thanks Brent for bringing crystal clarity out of mud. Sincerely, you have a gift and it is both recognized and appreciated.

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHoi Polloi

Thank you, Brent.

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSidney

Hey Brent,

Maybe a technicality but the team of three's conclusion is based on "all they have heard, seen, or read so presumedly they are drawing that conclusion based not only on CJ's public confessions but all the documentation that was made available to them. Not saying I agree, but thought i'd point that out...

Oscar

August 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOscar

During the midst of all of this, which includes my own journey, I am reading 'The Sheparding Movement' -Controversy and Charismatic Ecclesiology-, by S. David Moore. To attempt to understand the present, it can be useful to attempt to understand the past. I can't say much more as unrighteous anger is looking for an outlet and I can be a conduit.

August 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterListener

Brent,

I'm reading your posts with great interest. I was a member of two SGM churches for over 15 years before leaving. I will continue to follow your blog, but I did want to make an observation. All your arguments and points are well thought out, and I realize you are appalled at the conclusions of the three-man panel, but when you slip into sarcasm, this takes away from your credibility. I'm specifically referring to the last line of your first post. It's easy to slip into especially considering what you have been through, but I don't think it will help your cause. Just some friendly advice. :)

August 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

Brent, I was re-reading “The Fifty Fruits of Pride” and thought these were appropriate for the day.
6. Deceitful and Pretentious (Psalm 24:3-4, 26:2-4; Jeremiah 48:10; Proverbs 26:20-26)
“I tend to be deceptive about myself. I find myself lying to preserve my reputation. I find myself hiding the truth about myself, especially about sins, weaknesses, etc. I don‟t want people to know who I really am.”
34. Not Teachable (Proverbs 12:1)
“I‟m not very open to input. I don‟t pursue correction for my life. I tend to be unteachable and slow to repent when corrected. I don‟t really see correction as a positive thing. I am offended when people probe the motivations of my heart or seek to adjust me.”
35. Don‟t Admit Wrong Doing (Proverbs 28:13; James 5:16)
“I have a hard time admitting that I am wrong. I find myself covering up or excusing my sins. It is hard for me to confess my sins to others or to ask for forgiveness.”
36. Do Not Welcome Correction (Proverbs 15:12)
“I view correction as an intrusion into my privacy rather than an instrument of God for my welfare. I can‟t identify anyone who would feel welcome to correct me.”
37. Resent People Who Correct Me (Proverbs 9:7-9)
“I resent people who attempt to correct me. I don‟t respond with gratefulness and sincere appreciation for their input. Instead I am tempted to accuse them and dwell on their faults. I get bitter and withdraw.”
38. Contentious and Argumentative (James 1:19-20)
“When corrected, I become contentious and argumentative. I don‟t take people‟s observations seriously. I minimize and make excuses or give explanations.”
39. Get Angry or Offended With Others (1 Corinthians 6:7)
“I am easily angered and offended. I don‟t like being crossed or disagreed with. I find myself thinking, “I can‟t believe they did that to me.” I often feel wronged. I hate to be misunderstood by others especially those I respect and desire to think highly of me.”
48. Unaccountable (Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:25)
“I am unaccountable. I don‟t ask others to hold me responsible to follow through on my commitments. I don‟t really need accountability for my words and actions.”

August 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Brent, can you post a Paypal Donation Link so that those of us who support you can aid in this David vs. Goliath battle you've taken on? The other side is well-funded so I see no reason you can't take donations if you want to.

Best, Janna

August 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanna L. Chan

I don't attend CLC or any other SGM church, but I just want to caution you as a sister in Christ...."Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." - Ephesians 4:5 "Brothers, if someone is caught in sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load." -Galatians 6:1-5.

I would ask you to ask yourself, "Why am I writing this blog, really?"....is it to justify yourself? Will it bring peace among believers, or will it stir up dissension? I can tell you that for me, it has cause hurt and frustration for our church bodies. Does this blog seek to bring God glory? Is it pleasing to Him?....b/c you seem to be somewhat "playing judge"....and no where in the Bible, to my knowledge, does God ever give us that role. I urge you to be very careful of your motives. "It is mine to avenge" says the Lord. And you should be solely trusting in God's infinite wisdom and plans to take care of the situation. I would not think that He would need this blog from your point of view to bring about resolution. If CJ or any other SGM leaders are not fully disciplined as you feel they should be, it would certainly be left up to the righteous and Holy God....He has been represented by CJ and is certainly capable of dealing with CJ's errors of poor leadership. Be encouraging to those who have been discouraged. Do not stir up trouble, or I fear you will reap what you sow. Please re-think what you are doing and saying. We have a much bigger cause to fight for....and this whole problem has taken so many eyes off of the purpose for which we were created. Praying that you move on and focus on the kingdom and God and His great and mighty glory and power in which He created you and for which He created you. May God bless you...

[Shannon. An "unwholesome word" is not the same as a truthful word or a hard word or a reprove, rebuke, exhoration. I am writing out of a sincere desire to help SGM and protect people in the future if there isn't change. God is greater than all but he has ordained to work through people. My blog is a small part. Most encouraging, people around the country are beginning to share also. This is good for SGM. Brent]

August 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

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