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Thursday
Apr052018

P.J. Smyth & Mark Mitchell Refuse to Answer Question at Members’ Meeting About Reliable Witnesses Calling P.J. a Liar for Denying Knowledge of Father’s Violent Beating of Boys

This crucial question was asked of P.J. Smyth at a Members’ Only Meeting of Covenant Life Church on March 4.  (I’ve added comments in brackets for clarity and underling for emphasis in this article.)

“Many of you [in the church] who have been looking to social media know that Brent Detwiler put out a statement within the last few days that included some new information that basically had witnesses stating that P.J. is a liar.  Let’s be clear about it.  I am wondering if P.J., if you were going to be responding to some of those things.  I want to be respectful about this.  I know Brent Detwiler does not always have the attitude, or his motives may be questionable, but some of those witnesses sounded like they might have been reliable.  So, I am just wondering if you could respond to some of those.”

Two days before the Members’ Meeting, I posted the “statement,” New & Indisputable Evidence Proves P.J. Smyth Knew All About Father’s Violent Beating of Boys – He & Pastors Continue to Deceive Covenant Life Church Despite My Appeals (March 2, 2018). 

A year ago, I posted Lead Pastor P.J. Smyth Deceives Covenant Life Church About Knowledge of John Smyth’s Violent Beating of Boys (March 3, 2017) 

I applaud the courageous question asked above and I don’t mind being disparaged.  That has been going on since I sent out The Documents in July 2011.   

On the other hand, I must take issue with the understatement that my recent post includes “some” new information.  No, it contains an abundance of new information.  That is, information in the form of additional evidence that is extremely important!  For example, The Ruston Report, The Coltart Report, and the Investigative Report.  All of these have remained confidential until now.  These three reports provide irrefutable and indisputable evidence proving P.J. knew all about his father’s crimes and sought to defend his father instead of helping to prosecute him.  “P.J. is a liar.  Let’s be clear about it.”  

This evidence was provided to me by Andy Morse, Mark Stibbe and Andrew Graystone.  These men are all distinguished.  Two of them were victims of John Smyth.  No one on planet earth knows more about the beatings of John Smyth, or P.J.’s knowledge of the beatings, than these three men.  They have the favor, ability, contacts, and resources necessary to gather information from all kinds of sources including other victims, their families, their pastors, medical experts, the press, board members, lawyers, institutions, government officials, etc.  They are the Rachael Denhollanders’ of the United Kingdom.  In fact, they are far more knowledgeable of John and P.J. Smyth, then Rachael is of C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Churches, Inc. though her knowledge is extensive.  In my post, I simply present what they have provided me in the form of evidence. 

Therefore, it makes me chuckle when the questioner says, “Some of those witnesses sounded like they might have been reliable.”  You think?  You can’t find individuals more reliable than Andy, Mark and Andrew.  And the same is true of witnesses like Stellar Leander and victims like her son, Rocky.  Or of the premier civil rights lawyer in Zimbabwe, David Coltart, who gathered all the evidence against Smyth at the time.  He is currently a Senator and the Minister (i.e. Secretary) of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture in the national government.  These and many others referenced in my post, prove P.J. is lying.

The CLC member specifically asked, 

“I am wondering if P.J., if you were going to be responding to some of those things. … So, I am just wondering if you could respond to some of those.” 

It is ever so revealing, but not at all surprising, that P.J. refuses to answer the question twice directed to him.  P.J. can’t respond to the evidence put forth by these reliable witnesses without incriminating himself.  It is impossible!  For instance, how can he respond to the fact his father was arrested, jailed and put on trial before the Zimbabwe Supreme Court for the very allegations P.J. claims he has no recollection of even though he was involved in the legal process?  

Before proceeding, it is important for the reader to understand the procedure used at the Members’ Meeting.  Multiple questions were asked in a row by groups of individuals.  Kevin Rogers, one of the pastors, took note of them and then answered, or in most cases redirected the questions to Mark Mitchell or P.J.  Mitchell is the executive pastor.  P.J. is the lead pastor. 

The only questions answered by P.J. concerned CLC joining the global Advance Movement that he heads up and CLC becoming a praying church.  He was not held accountable to answer the most important question of the evening which was specifically addressed to him.  Instead, Mitchell provided cover and answered for him.  There is little doubt, this arrangement for answering was worked out in advance of the meeting. 

The question about P.J. being a liar was the second substantial question of the night.  The first question was about God’s sovereignty and “why this is happening.”  It was a good question, but Mitchell gave a bad answer. 

“Alright, my question is, it seems to me that our attitude moving forward as a church, bringing P.J. in [as lead pastor on Jan. 29, 2017] and then things came out with his father [on Feb. 2, 2017], and then also now trying to make some bold moves and move forward as a church, the thing with Rachael came out as well [on Mar. 1, 2018].  Do you guys think that there is a reason why this is happening?  Do you sense God is saying anything about that?  Do you think there a reason?”

Kevin Roger’s restated the question. 

“So, the first question is, ‘Man, here we are trying to lean forward and then in the span of a week there is a post related to P.J. [by me on Mar. 2, 2018], a post related to our history [by Rachael on Mar. 1, 2018], a lawsuit [in the past], and those things.  Any sense of why or what is going on? 

Mark Mitchell answers. 

“You know I really don’t even want to speculate to be honest.  So its - we serve a God who is sovereign over all things.  You know the Bible tells us not even a sparrow can fall to the ground apart from God’s will.  The Bible tells in Proverbs 21 that the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord and like a channel of water, he can turn it wherever he wishes.  God is sovereign over nature, he is sovereign over people, he is sovereign over everything.  And his ways are also inscrutable.  So, the short answer is, I don’t know and I don’t want to try and speculate.  To me, when circumstances come along, I think what God looks for in us is a response of trust and faith.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”  And so, when these things come, I think what we want to do as elders, is just say, “Okay Lord, how are you calling us to respond?”  “What does it look like to trust you?”  How do we shepherd this local church faithfully?”  Sometimes there is clarity right away.  And sometimes we feel like, you know, we need to take some time to really stop and think and not feel the need to give a hasty response and deliberate more as elders.  So, that is my best answer.     

When we go through times of difficulty or affliction, we want to respond to the Lord with trust and faith.  So far, so good.  But the Bible also teaches we must respond with self-examination because there are times when we are being judged, opposed, or disciplined by God for our sin.  A few examples from Scripture include Acts 5:1-6; 1 Cor. 11:27-32; Heb. 12:4-11; James 4:5-10; 5:14-16.  Covenant Life Church should study Revelation 2-3 to help understand God’s dealings in their midst.     

The Scripture also teaches that God tests our hearts to show us what is in them (cf. Deut. 8:2) and to see whether we will obey his commandments (cf. Gen. 22:1).  The question posed to the pastors about “why or what is going on” was a test.  The question to P.J. about being a liar was a test.  No one answered these questions truthfully.  How I wish these pastors were men of integrity like David in Psalm 26. 

Mitchell doesn’t want to state the obvious.  The Lord Jesus Christ has clearly been opposed to CLC for some time.  I think it began in earnest when Joshua Harris, Grant Laymen, and Kenneth Maresco failed to hold C.J. Mahaney responsible in 2004, and the years following, for serious and longstanding patterns of sin.  I think it increased in 2007, when Harris, Layman, Maresco, Robin Boisvert, and Corby Megorden refused to stop Nathaniel Morales from abusing boys even though they knew he was a longtime serial predator.  And I believe the discipline increased again in 2011, when the CLC pastors refused to remove Mahaney from ministry in obedience to God’s word.  Read In Need of a Corporate Rebuke – An Appeal to the Covenant Life Elders (June 17, 2011).     

I think God’s opposition grew again, when the CLC pastors retained Lars Liebeler in 2014 as their lawyer and had him do a scandalous investigation of child sexual abuse which they deceitfully called “independent.”  Then they hired P.J., who immediately lied in 2017, claiming he knew nothing about any allegations of abuse against his father.  These are just a few thoughts on why God is opposing CLC.     

Mitchell was asked, “Any sense of why or what is going on?“  His answer, “I don’t know and I don’t want to try and speculate.”  I don’t believe him.  He knows, P.J. knows, and the pastors know.  They just won’t be honest.  Therein is the problem.  “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”  Read Psalm 36.  

In answering the two-part question put to him, Mitchell intentionally skipped over the second part about P.J. being a liar.  Roger’s (to his credit) came back to it. 

“So, on the question then, that came after that, is Brent’s recent statement, anything you want to add to that, one more time? [Laughter] And even Mark, did you know about the statement?” 

Mitchell refuses to address anything I wrote in New & Indisputable Evidence Proves P.J. Smyth Knew All About Father’s Violent Beating of Boys – He & Pastors Continue to Deceive Covenant Life Church Despite My Appeals

“Yes.  There are - most things that Brent produces we don’t respond to.  And a lot of things we won’t even engage.  We won’t even read it.  Brent has rightly said that we are not responding.  And we’ve got, we believe very good reasons for that.  I am trying to be very disciplined with my tongue here, okay.  And maybe I’ll just leave it as, we are aware of what he has written, we believe that, um, you know, when we replied before [on Feb. 22, 2107] when these things came up, that we engaged a good process to look into it.  I am not sure what more to say.” 

Mitchell is having to “be very disciplined with [his] tongue” because what is in his heart toward me will come out.  But to the observant, I am not the problem.  That is just an excuse for not answering.  Nor am I the issue, but Mitchell makes me the issue.  It is the content of my writings, which comes from reliable sources and witnesses, that is the issue.  

That’s why there are no “good reasons,” only godless reasons, for not responding to the evidence in my post.  This is a deflection of the question to avoid the question.  I suspect this diversionary tactic was decided on in advance.  It is nothing new.  

The original question was about the “new information that basically had witnesses stating that P.J. is a liar. … Some of those witnesses sounded like they might have been reliable.  So, I am just wondering if you [P.J.] could respond to some of those.” 

Mitchell is being so deceptive when he says, 

“We [the pastors] believe that, um, you know, when we replied before when these things came up, that we engaged a good process to look into it.  I am not sure what more to say.”  

The pastors did not engage a “good process” in February 2017.  They engaged a hidden process, whereby they covered up the truth; but that is beside the point for the sake of argument. 

Mitchell refuses to acknowledge the new and indisputable evidence included in my recent post.  For instance, the detailed information found in the Investigative Report (all of which P.J. deceitfully claims no recollection). The CLC pastors have not addressed this “new information” and they never will because it conclusively proves P.J. is a liar.  Once again, they are being dishonest.  It is not true they “replied before when these things came up.”  Why?  Because “these things” did not come up a year ago.    

The only strategy P.J., Mark Mitchell and the pastors can employ is dissing me and my writings.  That is nothing new.  It is the C.J. Mahaney strategy and has been in effect since 2011.  If people read what I write, they will discover the truth in the form of justly presented evidence.  That is what terrifies the CLC pastors and Sovereign Grace leaders.  So, Mitchell sends an indirect message to CLC members not to read what I write.  They should be like their pastors who don’t even read (supposedly) what I write.    

“Most things that Brent produces we don’t respond to.  And a lot of things we won’t even engage.  We won’t even read it.”  

If the CLC pastors were interested in the truth being known, they would encourage the entire membership to study both my posts on P.J. and his father, John Smyth.   Of course, they do just the opposite to keep people in the dark.  

Mitchell ends by saying “I am not sure what more to say.”  Well, how about saying what is so obviously true.  “The evidence is irrefutable.  It is indisputable.  We are removing P.J. as the lead pastor.  We have no other choice given the teaching of Scripture.  We are not going to repeat our preferential treatment of leaders like we did with C.J.”  

And, “I am resigning along with all the pastors because we too have been lying.” 

The deception employed by Mitchell in answering questions at the Members’ Meeting was pervasive.  More posts will follow on other topics.  By the way, the reader should know CLC members were not allowed to comment, make reasoned arguments or cross-examine the pastors at the meeting.  They were only allowed to ask questions.  There were tight controls on what was permitted. 

There were even tighter “controls” on the answers.  That is, P.J. Smyth, refused to answer this all-important question.  An innocent individual would never do that! 

“Many of you who have been looking to social media know that Brent Detwiler put out a statement within the last few days that included some new information that basically had witnesses stating that P.J. is a liar.  Let’s be clear about it.  I am wondering if P.J., if you were going to be responding to some of those things. … So, I am just wondering if you could respond to some of those.”

P.J. did not take the occasion to defend himself or say he did not lie.  Neither did Mark Mitchell or any of the CLC pastors.  Why?  Because the evidence is so totally against them.  They have all conspired together.  Instead they are hiding behind silence, a bogus process in the past, and the predictable condemnation of me. 

The morale of the story?  P.J. is like C.J.  This is a repeat performance.  He won’t answer questions.  He lies and deceives. He uses surrogates to cover up for him.  

This time round, however, I hope something is different.  That is, members press for a congregational investigation of P.J. and the pastors by individuals known for their integrity, courage and godly independence.  Anyone inclined to partiality or favoritism must be excluded.   

The pastors should agree to this investigation and turn over all the documents in their possession.  They should also agree to being questioned.  During this time, I’d recommend P.J. and Mark Mitchell be put on probation until all issues are resolved.  If the pastors don’t allow this investigation, it must be done anyway, though hindered by their unwillingness to cooperate.  It is time for CLC to hold its leaders accountable in light of the overwhelming evidence against them. 

In addition, the CLC pastors, past and present, should be thoroughly investigated by a professional outside third party, for their role in the conspiracy to commit and cover up the sexual abuse of children. 

Related Posts 

C.J. Mahaney, Covenant Life Church & the Conspiracy to Cover-up the Sexual Abuse of Children
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 12:42PM
 
Debunking the Claim that Sovereign Grace Churches, Inc. Is “Unable to Authorize an Independent Third-Party Investigation”
Thursday, March 29, 2018 at 5:16PM 

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