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Sunday
Aug122012

Ten Common Cult-Like Characteristics Evident in Mickey Connolly’s Leadership

When I was earning my Masters of Divinity degree in seminary, I had the privilege of studying under the world’s foremost expert on the cults, Dr. Walter Martin.  His book, The Kingdom of the Cults, was the standard reference work on the subject.  Dr. Martin taught us to refute the false doctrines of the cults; but he also trained us to discern the characteristic traits of cult leaders.  Every Christian must be equipped to spot these identifying marks.         

Mickey Connolly is preaching the gospel and his doctrine is fundamentally sound.  I do not consider him a cult leader.  Nevertheless, he has come to share the foremost characteristics of cult leaders with the exception of false doctrine.  I want to point these out for his sake and the sake of those who follow him. Mickey is one of C.J.’s closest confidants and a Board of Director for SGM.  He has great power in the movement.

These are matter of fact observations.  I am not attempting to be inflammatory or sensational.  I’ve not taken this approach for the shock value.  These characteristics are self-evident to any believer who has studied his actions and comments.  Nor is this a vindictive post.  I am not attempting to injure Mickey but I am calling him to repentance.  I am also providing a warning to those who remain at CrossWay Community Church and to the SGM Board of Directors who condone his cult-like words, attitudes and actions.    

In order to fully appreciate my analysis, every pastor and every member in every Sovereign Grace Church should carefully read the following posts. 

I’ve endeavored to be brief in this post.  It could be ten times longer.  The other blog posts provide much more evidence and context which are important.  I am not misrepresenting Mickey or making anything up.  This is a simple study of Mickey’s comments in context.  His words expose him.  I just offer commentary.     

The tendencies I am about to point out in Mickey are obvious to anyone who has studied the cults and their leaders.  They are not novel inventions.  I have hope for Mickey because the Holy Spirit indwells him.  I want to see him prospering in gospel ministry as a humble pastor and teacher.  Over the past three years, I could easily have written hundreds of pages regarding Mickey but I held off in hopes that C.J. would come to repentance first so he could help Mickey.  That has not happened.  

Mickey is like C.J. but he is worse in some ways.  As with C.J., I have been appealing to Mickey’s in private for many years.  I hope this short synopsis will suffice and finally produce a godly response.  I genuinely hope the Lord opens Mickey’s eyes to see the error of his ways even at this late hour.  I’ve not chosen this approach to inflame the situation but to point out the seriousness of the situation.  There are real similarities between Mickey and stereotypical cult leaders.  I hope the comparisons serve to get people’s attention and open their eyes. 

Nine months ago, I wrote the following email appealing to Joe Lechner and the other pastors to “shoot straight with the people” at CrossWay Community Church.  It was one of many such emails.  The pastors disregarded all those appeals.  The current crisis in CrossWay has not come upon them suddenly.  The pastors were forewarned for the longest time but did not listened.  

From: Brent Detwiler  
Sent: Friday, October 28, 2011 3:22 PM
To: Joe Lechner
Cc:  Mickey Connolly; Larry Malament; Nick Swan; Mike Seaver; Jim Hawkins; Jeremy Oddy; Jonathan Shea; David Moore
Subject: RE: Blog Post

Joe,

Mickey has not been open and honest with the church about C.J., SGM, Grace Community, etc.  People are figuring it all out.  Even people like the Aldridge’s.  Mickey slandered my documents by calling them slander – that was really dumb and one of the oldest tricks in the SGM play book.  No originality there.  And [for Mickey] to describe C.J. actions [over the past decade] as “disappointments.”  As they say in the Far East.  Holy cow!

Listen, you guys need to shoot straight with the people.  It won’t be long before they discover the truth.  It’s coming to a town near you.  If you don’t speak up against the serious problems in SGM and make open and honest changes in CrossWay you will be like Richmond or Orlando or Ashburn.  C.J., Dave and others sins are growing each day.  People won’t be conned by Mickey forever.  I’ve gone very easy on you but that won’t continue forever.

When Mickey came by on August 24 [2011], I confronted him on his [claim of] sinless perfection again.  No change.  Five years running now.  You and Gene [Emerson] ambushed me February 28, 2009.  It was a horrible display of abuse.  Just one example.  But you are all content to live with guilty consciences. 

As I proceed, I will define each trait, quote Mickey in context, and provide commentary that is new or taken from previous blog posts.   


Trait 1:  Require Absolute Trust

Cult leaders teach their followers that they are the only ones who can be trusted.  Everyone else is suspect.  Therefore, all reliable information and truth comes from them and no one else.  People are called to complete dependence up the leader.  He thinks and decides for his followers.  

When Mickey excommunicated me as divisive and condemned my writings as slander and gossip on November 13, 2011, he insisted the church explicitly trust his judgment of my character and assessment of my writings.  He told the church they did not need to be informed about my concerns for SGM because they could trust the pastors leadership.  He allowed for no middle ground between absolute trust and total ignorance.  Mickey also called the church to explicitly trust the pastors to impartially examine any charges I brought against him without the involvement of anyone besides the elders.   

Mickey Connolly
Excommunication Meeting
November 13, 2011

“So here is the key question, really, of all of this.  It is a question that some of you have asked.  ‘If I don’t read this stuff how can I be informed?   How do I know that you aren’t telling me not to read these things because of what the blog says.  So Mickey, isn’t this just a ploy to avoid having your sins uncovered?’… I want you to know that I understand the question and in some ways there is only one answer I can give you and it is this.  You need to decide whether you trust your pastors…. You need to decide whether you are going to trust your pastors…. You have to decide do you want to trust us.  Do you trust that if charges ever were brought that the other pastors would impartially hear those charges and act according to 1 Timothy 5.  Do you trust your pastors!  That is really the key question that we are facing here tonight.  And I want to let you know something.   We can’t function without your trust.  If I ever lose the trust of this church I will resign that very day.  I can’t function without your trust.  I can’t function without your trust.  That is the great horror of gossip and slander and divisiveness.  It fosters suspicion.  It fosters mistrust.  Mistrust and suspicious divide.  We cannot function without your trust.  I am not going to publicly defend myself.  I will not defend myself at Brent’s or anyone else’s expense by revealing private conversations and I will not put anyone else in a bad light and put myself in a good light.  I’ve appealed to Brent privately and will continue to do so but I will not tear down Brent to defend myself.  I realize this puts me at a disadvantage which is another reason I so need your trust.”

Brent Detwiler
Trust and Obey for There’s No Other Way to Possibly Stay at CrossWay!
November 14, 2011

“The final section of Mickey’s message summates the evening.  He commands people to cut off outside sources of information, remain ignorant and trust only their pastors who clearly deserve such mindless submission.  If any member is unwilling to exclusively trust and obey Mickey and the pastors, they must leave the church.  Once again we see a clear abuse of authority and a superiority of attitude that is suffocating.  It is blatantly obvious that the pastors don’t trust the dumb sheep, but they hope the sheep are dumb enough to trust the seemingly infallible pastors.  The pastors show no respect or need for the congregation.  The pastors will evaluate themselves and they will think for everyone else!  Just do what they tell you!  End of discussion (if there ever was one).”

 

Trait 2:  Demand Unconditional Obedience

Followers are expected to obey the commands and instructions of the cult leader.  Unconditional obedience flows out of absolute trust.  You do what you are told without questioning those in authority. The actions of the cult leader are not open to criticism. 

Mickey equates absolute trust with unconditional obedience.  If you won’t fully obey him you are told to leave the church.  He exercises total control over the church and demands adherence to his commands.  He forbids every church member from talking to me, meeting with me, or reading anything I’ve written about Sovereign Grace Ministries.  Mickey is very comfortable lording it over people. 

Mickey Connolly
Excommunication Meeting
November 13, 2011

“So what I am asking you to do as a church is to avoid him as long as he engages in this behavior: gossip, slander, scoffing, mocking…. Having nothing more to do with him, or avoiding him, would include not discussing these things with him personally, reading any of his materials on blogs or Facebook.  If that means you have to defriend him to avoid the temptation, do that, or following the story on anti-Sovereign Grace Ministries blogs…. So I want to be clear!  Not discussing this with him personally.  Not reading any of his materials on blogs or Facebook or following the story on the anti-Sovereign Grace Ministries blogs…. If you can’t trust your pastors, you need to leave.  You need to go…. If you cannot trust your pastors, if you cannot obey your pastors and what we are asking you to do biblically then you need to find another church because we cannot function without your trust.  You can’t follow pastors you don’t trust.  You can’t honor pastors that you are willing to have slandered.  And that you’re willing to go and seek out slander about.  You can’t do that.”  

Brent Detwiler
Trust and Obey for There’s No Other Way to Possibly Stay at CrossWay!
November 14, 2011 

“In other words, if you don’t cut off your relationship with me, if you continue to read my blog, if you don’t defriend me on Facebook and stop reading my comments, you MUST leave CrossWay and find another church.  There is absolutely no alternative.  So if you stay, you must stick you head in the sand and unconditionally trust, obey and honor the pastors as though they were Jesus.”

 

Trait 3:  Claim Divine Status

All cult leaders suffer from a messianic complex.  Some claim to be god or a messiah of god.  They are egomaniacs.  They claim a degree of holiness unattainable by others.  Their faults are concealed and an image of perfection is put forth to followers.  Their real character is covered up and their sinful nature denied.  They don’t admit to wrong doing even when exposed.     

Mickey does not claim divine status but he does believe he is worthy of absolute trust and unconditional obedience because of his godliness.  For many years, Mickey has claimed sinless perfection in relation to me and the planting of Grace Community Church (sorry if I lost you – it’s a story for another day).  Mickey and the SGM Board recently claimed that C.J. has “exceptional character.”  Exceptional means “rare, outstanding, extraordinary.”  That is the way these men think about themselves.

Mickey Connolly
Excommunication Meeting
November 13, 2011 

“You need to decide whether you are going to trust your pastors.  I’ve never asked you to trust me blindly.  Never.  You have to examine my life and examine the life of these other pastors.  The way we’ve lived, the way we’ve served you, the way we’ve taught you, the way we’ve cared for you.  You have to examine our lives and have to answer that question.  You have to decide do you want to trust us.” 

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Sunday, November 13, 2011 11:35 AM
To: Mickey Connolly
Cc: Nick Swan; Joe Lechner; Larry Malament; Mike Seaver; Jim Hawkins; Jonathan
Shea; Jeremy Oddy
Subject: RE: An Appeal to Call Off the Meeting to “Mark” Me 

Mickey, you’ve abused your authority and you’ve acted deceptively.  These are serious, but far and away, my greatest concern for you and the other men, is your claim of sinlessness.  I’ve never seen such a display of arrogance and self-righteousness.  You remain deceived regarding your sins against Grace Community Church, me and others.  Nevertheless, I am willing to meet with you but only if members of CrossWay are authorized to hear and adjudicate my charges against you.  You may defend yourself and level your own charges against me.  But I cannot meet with you and the pastors alone.  You’ve abused me too many times and always insisted upon your perfect innocence and my complete guilt.  Let’s meet but put others in charge so there can be a fair and just hearing.  Demonstrate you are willing to be evaluated and held accountable by the church.  This is now my third appeal for justice.  You rejected my first two appeals.

Brent Detwiler
Trust and Obey for There’s No Other Way to Possibly Stay at CrossWay!
November 14, 2011

“I have shared concerns [regarding Mickey] for 5½ years.  I just talked to Mickey in person on August 24 [2011].  He was immovable and maintained his sinless perfection.… Mickey believes he is worthy of unqualified trust because of his exemplary life, service, teaching and pastoral care.  No one deserves this kind of trust except Jesus Christ.  Mickey’s extremely high opinion of himself translates into a demand for unconditional followership.  That’s what happens when you claim perfection.  You universally trust yourself and so should everyone else.… At no point in Mickey’s [excommunication] message does he qualify his request for trust.  It is absolute.  Complete.  Unconditional.  This is more than an oversight.  Under these circumstances, he should be telling the church he is a sinful man, made mistakes, needs to change and understands why it is hard to trust him.  Instead, he demands total trust and obedience which he assumes he warrants.  There is no self-suspicion.”

 

Trait 4:  Surround with Weak Leaders

Cult leaders have no accountability.  They surrounded themselves with devoted followers who see no fault in them or fear the dire consequences of pointing them out.  Critics are not found among the inner circle of loyalists.  The cult leader selects “lieutenants” whom he rewards for protecting and promoting him.  His leadership goes unchallenged by weak and compromised subordinates.

Since turning the church over to Mickey in 2003, I’ve tried to get the pastors around Mickey to be open, honest and direct with him.  I’ve brought many serious charges against Mickey to their attention.  They would not deal with him.  These men joined Mickey in his abuses in 2007.  That continues.  They are like the SGM Board that surrounds C.J.  In private conversations, Ted Kober and Ed Keinath of Ambassadors of Reconciliation, expressed their great concern for the blind loyalty shown C.J.  That sinful dynamic is also apparent in relation to Mickey.  For example, after my excommunication, I pointed out to the pastors Mickey’s obvious lying and deceit.  They took no action, refused to meet with me, and forbid any manner of congregational accountability.  His sin was covered up. 

Mickey Connolly
CrossWay Family Mtg.
February 8, 2012

“Paul addresses this whole issue of what if someone brings a charge against an elder?  How is that to be adjudicated?  How is that to be reviewed?  And so let me read 1 Timothy 5:19-21… And so here Paul gives, you know, not outside panels, not courts, not anyone else.  Paul gives local elders the most solemn charge possible: In the presence of God and of the Lord Christ Jesus, to hear these charges without prejudging [partiality] or prejudice [favoritism]. And I recognize we’ve kind of run up here against this kind of modern idea of conflict of interests, that somehow it would be a conflict of interests to have fellow elders to judge or review or hear charges against another elder.”

##

“Conflict of interests” is not a modern idea!  It goes back to the fall of Adam and Eve.  It is addressed throughout Scripture.  Phil 2:20-21, I have no one else like him [Timothy], who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. [21] For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.  Paul gives this command (1 Tim 5:21) to Timothy to give to the elders because elders are prone to show partiality and favoritism to one another.  It was Timothy’s responsibility as an outside authority to make absolutely sure no partiality or favoritism were shown to a co-elder.  He would have intervened and rebuked any elder or eldership giving evidence to such corruption.  He was called to monitor any disciplinary process introduced against an elder in Ephesus.

No one is going to evaluate Mickey except for the pastors he has hired, are half his age (except for Larry Malament), and have a vested interest in protecting him.  Mickey fails to grasp or take seriously the warning in this verse.  He brushes off concerns for a “conflict of interests” as a modern idea.  Once again, he demands absolute trust and repudiates accountability beyond his inner circle of devotees. 

In contrast, churches like Covenant Life (Joshua Harris) and Sovereign Grace Church – Fairfax (Mark Mullery) have identified the real problems that exist in themselves.  They have benefited from this year of discipline and grown in humility, confession, accountability, transparency and approachability.  They’ve provided honest answers to hard questions.  They are pursuing input and accountability from the church like never before.  They don’t trust themselves like Mickey and the pastors do at CrossWay.  As a result, church members at CLC and SGCF don’t fear the pastors as they once did.  There is far more trust and mutual respect. 

Mickey has done just the opposite.  That is why these woes have come upon CrossWay.  That is one of the reasons the Charlottesville, VA left SGM, the Chesapeake, VA wants nothing to do with Mickey’s leadership and the Richmond church lost 450 out of 700 members.  CrossWay members have no idea how negatively Mickey is viewed in many parts of SGM.  That is not slander.  It is the truth but the church would not know because they have been kept in the dark.  C.J. will applaud Mickey (as Mickey applauds C.J.) but few others in the movement are so foolish.  They are embarrassed by Mickey.       

Here are several examples from times I appealed for an open hearing of charges, the involvement of the church, or examination by objective evaluators.  All requests were denied and I suspect concealed from CrossWay. 

Brent Detwiler
CrossWay Pastors Threaten to Excommunicate Me for being Divisive
November 3, 2011

“Mickey, Joe, Nick and Larry may not like my strong words but that is not the issue.  Their threatening’s [of excommunication] and claim of perfection are the issue.   As with C.J., I’d be glad to meet with CrossWay over the course of several weeks and talk openly about the past and the present.  The pastors can present their case.  I will present my case but there should be no attempts at censoring and controlling important information that people need to hear.  That amounts to a cover-up…. Mickey, Joe, Nick and Larry claim to be fulfilling their ‘sacred duty as shepherds who are charged with protecting the flock of God’ from me.  But what none of these pastors or board members will allow is an open hearing of the facts.  Instead they resort to charges of slander, divisiveness and now excommunication.  I have called for Mickey’s removal from the SGM Board of Directors since the day Dave Harvey appointed him.  He does not qualify.  That call stands.”

##

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Saturday, November 12, 2011 10:08 PM
To: Mickey Connolly; Joseph Lechner; Nick Swan; Larry Malament
Cc: Jeremy Oddy; David Moore; Jonathan Shea
Subject: An Appeal to Call Off Family Meeting

I have offered to meet with you and the church to discuss these matters but you have refused.  You do not want to be open and accountability to the church.  I also asked if I could come to the “marking” but you have forbid me.  I cannot even hear what you are going to say about me.  You want no accountability. 

##

Brent Detwiler
CrossWay Pastors Proceed with “Marking” as Divisive Despite Appeals for Adjudication
Nov 13, 2011 

“People who are being ‘divisive’ should be sought out and humbly heard not ‘marked,’ excoriated, cut off, and ostracized.  In my case, the CrossWay pastors are unwilling to be evaluated.  Just like C.J., they refuse to allow for an adjudication hearing.  It is easier for them to mark me as divisive than it is to examine their hearts in the midst of hearing presided over by an objective third party.  Therefore, they must resort to control by silencing me.”

##

Brent Detwiler
Trust and Obey for There’s No Other Way to Possibly Stay at CrossWay!
November 14, 2011 

“Our trust and obedience to Christ is absolute.  Our trust and obedience to men is limited and conditional.  I have listened to all of Mickey Connolly’s comments from last night’s “members’ only” [excommunication] meeting at CrossWay Community Church in Charlotte, NC.  It would take a millennium to correct the errors, misrepresentations, and untruths communicated to this dear church by Mickey.  I’ve appealed three times for a process whereby an objective third party can be involved in hearing and evaluating my charges against Mickey and the CW pastors.  They have refused to allow anyone, except themselves, to assess my concerns.  They have no accountability to Sovereign Grace Ministries and they have no accountability to the congregation.  They are an island unto themselves and control the flow of all information.  Increasingly, the other pastors are culpable of, and blinded by, the same sins I have raised with Mickey.” 

##

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2011 3:30 PM
To: Mickey Connolly
Cc: Joe Lechner; Larry Malament; David Moore; Jeremy Oddy; Jonathan Shea; Nick
Swan
Subject: Request to Meet

Our own attempts at reconciliation have failed.  It is time to involve others. 

Would you allow the members of CrossWay Community Church to choose 5 men from the congregation who could evaluate my charges against you (and vice versa).  I don’t have any confidence in the other pastors to do this since they have repeatedly supported your claim of sinlessness and participated with you in abusive practices from my perspective…. 

As it stands, you have given the members of CrossWay no choice.  They must follow your commands to trust, obey and honor you or else leave the church.  That is not a good solution.

The five man panel can hear and judge our grievances in private and then publicly share their findings with the church and also publish a report that covers the same material.  Let’s be open and honest with the church.  

## 

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Friday, November 25, 2011 7:49 AM
To: Mickey Connolly; Joe Lechner; Larry Malament, Nick Swan; Jonathan Shea; Jeremy Oddy, David Moore
Subject: Mickey’s Deceit
Importance: High 

Mickey’s deceitful use of Scripture and commentaries at the “marking” and “shunning” meeting on November 13 is an extremely serious matter.  He violated the trust of the entire church by his manifest lack of integrity.  Please call me this morning to talk about it.  I don’t want to go public but this is now my 6th appeal.  I’ve received one response from Joe in which he defended Mickey’s actions.  The other pastors [Larry Malament, Nick Swan, Jeremy Oddy, David Moore, Jonathan Shea] have made no effort to contact me.  None of you have shown any concern for this matter including Mickey.  By now, you should be completing a plan for Mickey to confess publicly and a disciplinary course of action to follow.  Please contact me via phone this morning.   

##

Brent Detwiler
Mickey Connolly’s Deceitful Use of Scripture and Commentaries
November 26, 2011 

“I made every effort possible to talk to Mickey, Joe and all the pastors about these matters but they repeatedly refused to discuss my concerns.  That is impossible to understand.  As a result, it is up to the members of CrossWay Community Church.  They need to study this matter and call Mickey and the pastors to account.  It is time for men of conviction to stand up and lead…. If Mickey feels wrongly accused by me, he should provide a defense and ask to be  examined by the church.  I’d suggest a panel of five men selected by the church who will report their findings back to the church.  Instead, I fear Mickey will hide behind the pastors as they circle the wagons…  Finally, since the pastors are unwilling to address Mickey, the church must address the pastors and require accountability to the congregation in the future (look into what Covenant Life Church and other churches are doing in SGM).  From my perspective, the church should ask for Mickey’s resignation and the other pastors should be put on probation for not dealing with Mickey’s deceitful use of Scripture and commentaries in justifying his unbiblical actions.” 

##

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Monday, July 09, 2012 11:47 AM
To: David Moore; Jeremy Oddy; Joe Lechner; Jonathan Shea; Mickey Connolly; Nick Swan; Larry Malament; John Morrison
Cc: Joshua Murphy
Subject: Mickey’s Slander

Mickey has been slandering the CLC pastors to you and to others.  This has been brought to the attention of the SGM Board of Directors.  Has Mickey made you aware of this correction or has he concealed it?  You need to contact Paul Buckley for a report.  Then you can repent of listening to Mickey, correct Mickey and deal with his deceit.

I am still amazed that you allowed Mickey to misuse Scripture and deceitfully use commentaries at my excommunication and then force people to leave the church if they read any of materials.  What hypocritical lords.  And you would not even talk to me about my concerns.  That was cowardly, partial and reprehensible. 

And someday I hope all of you that were at the Feb 28, 2009 meeting with Gene will repent of your abusive handling of me.  Every problem (and more) cited by AoR in their report applies to that meeting.  God forbid you ever do that again to any living person.

##

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 11:27 AM
To: David Moore; Nick Swan; Jeremy Oddy; Jonathan Shea; Josh Murphy; Joe Lechner
Cc: Mike Seaver; Jim Hawkins
Subject: Family Mtg. Transcript - Larry Tomczak

Brothers,

I also read the Feb 8, 2012 transcript of the Family Meeting.  Serves as yet another example.  So much deceit and misinformation.  No wonder Mickey demanded it not be recorded.  If you men don’t deal with Mickey and come clean you will end up experiencing a greater degree of God’s discipline like Kingsway [Gene Emerson’s church in Richmond].  Not because of anything done to you.  Solely because of what you have done to yourselves.  God’s opposition is growing every day.  Please humble yourselves rather than arrogantly attack others and blame “slanderers.”  This is pure manipulation.  Mickey’s letter to the church is a telling illustration of all that is wrong among you as leaders.  You are my friends.  I pray for your immediate repentance before you, not me, destroy the church.  I don’t want this to happen!  Here’s is Larry Tomczak’s letter to Mickey.  Each day Mickey is being further exposed.  You must deal with him in private and before the church.   

 

Trait 5:  Warn Against Outsiders

People outside the cult are viewed as enemies especially when they seek to rescue those inside the cult.  Cult leaders instruct their followers to cut off contact with outsiders and have nothing to do with them.  They view such persons as agents of the devil who are seeking to mislead the devoted cult member away from the true fold. 

Mickey Connolly
Letter to CrossWay
August 3, 2012 

“He [Brent] has now, in a sense, invaded your home and workplace with his campaign against SGM and Crossway…. Let me be very frank with you…. Brent is driven by a sinful lust for vindication and vengeance…. Brothers and sisters, we must not allow this witch hunt of C.J. and other SGM leaders to continue.  We can’t stop Brent from his writing but we can and should refuse to read or listen to the divisive speech he and others continue to spread.  To do otherwise is to poison your soul, damage Crossway and displease God.  Sadly, many people have already left because they have been affected by this.  I appeal to you not to let this continue…. So please join me, the pastoral team and many faithful members in fighting for Crossway…. Please don’t let Brent or any other divisive man or woman destroy the unity that scriptures command us to be eager to maintain.  Please don’t let the devil have his way in this.  Please don’t let gossip, slander and divisiveness have their evil effects.” 

##

I am Mickey’s best friend but somehow that fact escapes his notice!  My “witch hunt” is exactly what Sovereign Grace has needed.  I didn’t plan it that way.  For over a decade, I worked for reform in private but when that failed and things worsened, it was necessary to produce a just, thorough, and fact based expose’ for the SGM pastors.    

In a “witch hunt” you drum up false charges in a climate of hysteria in order to burn innocent people at the stake.  That is what SGM has done to me but that is not what I have done to them.  First, C.J. and Mickey are not innocent.  Second, my charges are proven with sound evidence.  None have been refuted.  Third, I’ve not been motivated by a sinful craving to harm them.  I’ve been motivated by a godly desire to help them by reproving them in hopes they will change.    

Last week I sent the “The Ethical Demise of Sovereign Grace Ministries (Part 1)” to old friends at CrossWay.  Mickey responded with a letter to the church that included the comments above.  These comments are extremely revealing.  This is what Mickey really believes and this is the perspective he has activity reinforced in C.J., the SGM Board of Directors and SGM at large.  I’m afraid the Board will celebrate Mickey heroism when they should be denouncing his letter.  No wonder the ministry continues its rapid decline.  This letter is another testament against SGM.  It is no wonder half the pastors in movement are serious about leaving SGM. 

I have a question.  How in the world can anyone trust Mickey when he writes this kind of irrational letter?  As one SGM leader wrote me, “Mickey has fallen off his rocker.”  That’s true.  Mickey’s oblivious to the fact that God is opposing him.  He attributes God’s discipline to the work of the devil.  That borders on blasphemy.  People haven’t left CrossWay because of “gossip, slander and divisiveness.”  That have left because they are discerning.  They have seen and experienced the things about which I have written.  Mickey implies that such defectors are dumb sheep.  They have ingested my homemade poison pills.  They have been deceived by the devil.  How arrogant and reprehensible an assessment by Mickey.  

Cult leaders never face the ethical and doctrinal charges presented against them.  Instead, they divert attention to an imaginary devil outside the cult rather than dealing with the real devil in the cult.  Whenever you find prolific lying and deceit, the father of lies, is clearly at work.  Whenever you find truth, honesty and accountability, the Holy Spirit is active.

Mickey has to demonize me (and others) in order to get the focus off of the real issues.  Cultists often employ this kind of manipulative strategy.  Mickey rallies the church around a common enemy instead of a humble response.  He is angry.  But in his anger he cuts himself and others off from the very thing that will help – the truth and grace that comes from humility.  

C.J. and Mickey crave respect and recognition.  They thrive on the adoration and admiration they received from followers.  That is why they become so agitated when people leave or expose them.  They can’t bear insubordination.  

Many of the those who have left CrossWay are mature saints and fine servants – some of the best. Moreover, “the unity that scriptures command” is not a false unity rooted in lies.  Those that have left, left for good and godly reasons.  We are called to maintain a unity that is grounded in truth and integrity.  Unity grounded in error and deception is not something God blesses and we should not sustain.  

Mickey Connolly
Letter to CrossWay
August 3, 2012

“I’ve been made aware that Brent Detwiler has emailed a document to many of you regarding what he calls the “ethical demise” in SGM.  While I’m not surprised by this development I am saddened and angry.  This is what we would have anticipated when, in November, we marked Brent as a divisive man because of his persistent gossip, slander, scoffing and threats.”  

##

I pose a threat to Mickey because I am telling the truth not because I am spreading gossip or slander.  And it is the Lord’s scoffing that should concern Mickey.  Psalm 2:4, The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.  Lastly, I have not made threats.  I have provided biblical warnings.  The Lord is bringing down Sovereign Grace Ministries not me.  Luke 1:51-52, He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. [52] He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Saturday, November 12, 2011 10:08 PM
To: Mickey Connolly; Joseph Lechner; Nick Swan; Larry Malament
Cc: Jeremy Oddy; David Moore; Jonathan Shea
Subject: An Appeal to Call Off Family Meeting

I am sending this to you [Mickey, Larry Malament, Joe Lechner, Nick Swan] tonight so you have time to cancel the Family Meeting scheduled for tomorrow night.  You can easily reverse course by making an announcement in the morning at the Sunday meeting.  Brothers, you are erring in many grievous ways and I hope you will change direction before you do greater harm to CrossWay Community Church…

Furthermore, it is tragic that C.J. has instructed you to take this action.  You [Mickey] are now putting yourself forward as the first “courageous” pastor in Sovereign Grace Ministries to discipline me, mark me as divisive and treat me as heretic and unbeliever.  SGM is going to implode.  This strategy of intimidation and manipulation only feeds the distrust already in people’s hearts….

This strong arm approach will backfire.  You can’t silence people.  You can keep evidence from people.  You can’t tell people you’ll do all the discerning and thinking for them.  All of this will result in more departures.  You are afraid of the truth…

Finally, your actions as senior pastor are analogous to your actions as a SGM Board Member.  No one at CrossWay should believe the case you will now make against me tomorrow night.  You will act as though their god but they must investigate things for themselves.  You have proven by your words and deeds that you cannot be trusted….

Mickey, I fervently pray my appeals to you will someday be effectual and you will come to see the abuses about which I have written.  Please don’t proceed with your illicit and coercive action.  This is reminiscent of C.J.’s treatment of Larry Tomczak.  Call off the meeting.  Not for my sake, but for your sake.  If you proceed, there must of necessity be divine consequences.  God protect the saints from your example and the harm to follow.  May they too appeal for your repentance.  If you do repent, my heart is ready to forgive. If you have the meeting, please read this letter in entirety to all my friends at CrossWay Community Church.  They need and deserve to hear my perspective.

##

Mickey has no choice but to attack the messenger because he can’t possibly defend against the message.  His letter to CrossWay is an act of desperation.  I’m afraid Mickey is in a state of panic.  My campaign has never been against SGM or CrossWay.  I’ve prayed and worked for their reform and preservation.  My campaign has been against lying, deceit, lording, manipulation, injustice, corruption, concealment, dishonesty, favoritism, partiality, and hypocrisy.  That is not the work of the devil. 

Mickey says I am motivated by vindication and vengeance.  Vindication of the innocent is a noble pursuit but this has never been my goal.  Vengeance is also a holy enterprise but it is not my prerogative to pursue.  It is God’s prerogative alone.  Hebrews 10:30-31, For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.”  And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” [31] It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  God is repaying right now, not me.

##

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Sunday, November 13, 2011 11:35 AM
To: Mickey Connolly
Cc: Nick Swan; Joe Lechner; Larry Malament; Mike Seaver; Jim Hawkins; Jonathan
Shea; Jeremy Oddy
Subject: RE: An Appeal to Call Off the Meeting to “Mark” Me

Your action [in excommunicating me] will bring shame upon CrossWay and that is not right.  The members of CrossWay should appeal for your repentance and oppose your actions.  Once again, you are lording it over the flock and acting as the supreme judge.  I pray you will renounce your heavy handedness and allow for the hearing of evidence.  I have hundreds of friends at CrossWay whom I love and carry in my heart.  Don’t do this to them.  Your sinful actions will have negative consequences for them.  Instead, choose the way of humility and allow yourselves to be examined by others in a fair and honorable fashion.  In condemning me, you condemn yourselves.  I am not concerned for my good.  I am concerned for your good and that of many brothers and sisters.  You are choosing the way of abuse, not truth.  Please stop for the sake of CrossWay, SGM, and the gospel.  Don’t introduce this reign of terror, intimidation and control. 

 

Trait 6:  Use Mind Control

The cultist does everything possible to control the information that reaches members of the cult.  In so doing, he controls their minds.  Cult members are forbidden from reading material not sanctioned by the cult leader.  The actions and teaching of the cult leader are not open to criticism.  Cult members are called to believe what they are taught without thinking for themselves.  They are forbidden from using outside sources for information.

Mickey Connolly
CrossWay Family Mtg.
February 8, 2012

“Before I begin, I want to make a request…. I want to ask you to please not record this.  At our family meeting in November where we talked about Brent Detwiler and divisiveness – that meeting was recorded by someone and sent to both Brent and the anti-Sovereign Grace blogs…. I want to tell you that I’m deeply troubled by that.  I think it’s a real disloyalty to us as a family, not only to me but I think to all of us.  I need to be able to come to these meetings and share openly with you, trusting in your confidence and your discretion, and I can’t do that if I fear that my comments are going to be distributed beyond these walls….. So I’m just going to ask please don’t record anything that I’m going to say.” 

##

This was a cultic request.  No one is required to abide by such a restriction under these circumstances.  Comments like “deeply troubled” and “real disloyalty” manipulate people into submission.  At the November 13, 2011 family meeting referenced above, Mickey made a case for my excommunication by intentionally twisting Scripture and deceitfully citing bogus references.  If the meeting had not been recorded, his lies and manipulation of the church would never have been exposed.  There would have been no record. 

I asked to be at that meeting in order to monitor what was said.  I also offered to answer all accusations by the pastors before the church.  I even told the pastors I was glad to field any questions from church members.  Of course, all of this was forbidden by Mickey and the other pastors.  They did not want me to hear or have any opportunity to defend and Mickey certainly didn’t want a record of his spurious case against me.     

The quote above comes from a February 8, 2012 family meeting.  This past week I was provided a complete transcript of Mickey’s comments at that meeting.  Someone defied him and recorded it.  Thank God.  This statement was the most disturbing.  “I need to be able to come to these meetings and share openly with you, trusting in your confidence and your discretion, and I can’t do that if I fear that my comments are going to be distributed beyond these walls.” 

This statement if beyond comprehension.  I simply can’t relate.  It is irrational.  If you tell the truth and nothing but the truth, you have nothing to fear.  I’ve written more than 500,000 words the past couple years about SGM.  I don’t fear their public distribution.  I welcome it.  What I’ve written will stand up under the most severe scrutiny.  Here or there a minor mistake may be discovered but no lies, deceit, or untruths will be exposed.  That is not true for C.J. or Mickey.  Mickey’s paranoia is wrapped up in his lack of integrity (Prov 10:9).  For good reason, he fears being tested, evaluated or held to account.  The only way he can deceive people is by keeping them ignorant and not allowing his deceptive comments to see the light of day where they can be exposed.    

## 

Mickey Connolly
Letter to CrossWay
August 3, 2012 

“We can’t stop Brent from his writing but we can and should refuse to read or listen to the divisive speech he and others continue to spread.  To do otherwise is to poison your soul, damage Crossway and displease God.”   

## 

This is a serious piece of mind control.  Mickey once again labels my writings as “divisive speech.”  Nothing new.  He must beat this into people’s minds in order to control them.  But this time he goes farther.  He also scares people.  He intimidates members into obedience.  He compares the reading of my writings to taking poison.   Ingesting my writings could prove fatal like cyanide.  Stay away from such lethal  substances.    

But not only will my poison harm them it will also harm the church.  Even more seriously, reading anything I’ve written displeases God.  Therefore, only a person intent on suicide, damming CrossWay, and angering God will disobey Mickey.  There is only one right way to please God and save the church and that is remaining absolutely and totally ignorant.  Mickey is dangerous.  Truth be told, reading what I’ve written will equipped you with the truth, position you to genuinely help CrossWay, and motivate you to take action that pleases God. 

##

Brent Detwiler
Trust and Obey for There’s No Other Way to Possibly Stay at CrossWay!
November 14, 2011 

“The exposing of major problems in SGM is a service to the entire movement.  Division comes from its leaders who are unwilling to humble themselves, make public confessions, right wrongs, or identify individual and corporate sins.  Instead they call good, evil; and evil, good.  The charges against C.J. and SGM are serous and widespread and come from hundreds/thousands of people.” 

##

Brent Detwiler
CrossWay Pastors Proceed with “Marking” as Divisive Despite Appeals for Adjudication
November 13, 2011 

“No one can express differences or disagreements with SGM in public without fear of being mark, reproved or intimidated…. It is this kind of information that Mickey is trying to keep from people.  He is willing to use passages of Scripture that do not apply, abuse his authority by using it to coerce silence, control people by telling them to stay away from those who know what is going on, and require the sheep to only listen to the authoritative information and interpretation he provides them as a “shepherd.”  It is no wonder a growing number of people think SGM has become cultic in its leadership…. It is no secret why you [Mickey] don’t want people to read my documents and posts.  In them, people will find a superabundance of evidence supporting my claims.  Instead you must suppress the truth and keep it from the people of God by labeling me divisive and my writings slanderous.  You are not guarding the flock, you are lording it over the flock and hiding your sins.  C.J., you and the Board remain self-appointed, self-determined and unaccountable…. It is your misuse of Scripture, abusive use of authority, and complete lack of self-examination that frightens me the most.  It is evidence of a heart that has grown hard and dark.  I hope you do not destroy the dear church I worked so hard to build and turned over to you in 2003…. This strong arm approach will backfire.  You can’t silence people.  You can keep evidence from people.  You can’t tell people you’ll do all the discerning and thinking for them.  All of this will result in more departures.  You are afraid of the truth.” 

 

Trait 7:  Employ Lying and Deceit 

Lying and deceit are used or sanctioned when necessary in order to protect the cult or the cult leader.  The Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon calls this “holy deception.”  Cult leaders use dishonest scholarship or make up historical claims in order to advance their false doctrines and promote their celebrity.  Building a “cult of personality” is central to their mission and notoriety.  When you think of cults you always think of their leaders.

This has been one of my leading concerns from the beginning.  The truth about C.J., Dave Harvey, Steve Shank, Gene Emerson, and others has been concealed at all costs.  Lying and deceit are now common place among SGM leaders.  Here are two example from the secretly recorded family meetings at CrossWay on February 8, 2012.

Mickey Connolly
CrossWay Family Mtg.
February 8, 2012

“Were Brent’s desires to plant a church reasonable?  Yes, they were.  Brent was tired of traveling.  He’d spent many years serving Sovereign Grace and being on the road and traveling and it’s tiring.  And so he was tired of that.”

##

This is an utterly untrue statement but all the unsuspecting members at CrossWay would have no clue.  I did not plant a church because I was tired of traveling.  I planted a church because I was relationally and functionally cut off by Mickey after turning the church over to him.  He wants to conceal that vital piece of information.  I also grew increasingly concerned for his character and leadership as I observed him in his role as senior pastor.  My attempts to speak into his life and address his pride were rebuffed.  Larry Malament and Jim Hawkins preferred I come back as the senior pastor.  I wanted to come back as senior pastor but C.J. overruled us and kept Mickey in that role.  I was left with no choice.  I needed to start over and build another apostolic base.  Mickey covers all this up by telling CrossWay members I was tired of traveling.  And here’s the really sad part for me – the other pastors (e.g. Larry Malament, Joe Lechner, and Nick Swan) know he is lying.  You can only getting away with such deception in the absence of a recording or transcript.  See pages 72-74 in A Final Appeal for the reasons why I wanted to plant a church.  They are clearly documented. 

The same kind of misinformation is true in relation to comments Mickey made at the February 8 family meeting about Larry Tomczak.  Larry wrote Mickey a lengthy letter this past week.  In part it reads, 

“Mickey, you told people that blackmail has to have the monetary component which is incorrect and most significant to our situation.  BLACKMAIL DOES NOT HAVE TO INCLUDE A PAYMENT OF MONEY[1]…. I think you should correct this most significant point with those to whom you spoke.  Also, I believe you were very unfair to us in the way you emphasized our teenager’s waywardness and lightly cited what was done to us which was so ungodly, unethical and immoral…. You should have explained things honestly and fully, even though SGM would not have looked very good.  That’s ok.  People deserve the unvarnished truth…. Blackmail, defamation of character, breaching a clergy/penitent vow, etc., etc.  SERIOUS CRIMES, Mickey!!... As you share with the flock there, please be accurate and consider the above points to more honestly convey the ‘whole story.’” 

There are many other examples of deceit in Mickey’s comments at the February 8 family meeting but I am not going to take the time now to deal with them.  Suffice it to say, this new transcript provides further evidence for why Mickey “fear[s] that my comments are going to be distributed beyond these walls.”  He must cover up all incriminating evidence. 

Here is another example from his recent letter to CrossWay Community Church.

Mickey Connolly
Letter to CrossWay
August 3, 2012

“The charges that Brent has brought against C.J. Mahaney have been thoroughly examined by respected pastors in SGM who, having all of Brent’s documents, other pertinent documents and the first-hand testimony of many witnesses had access to more evidence than any of us will ever be privy to.” 

## 

This statement will be near the top in the 50 most egregious lies told by SGM that continues later this week.  Everyone knows the review of my charges was restricted to three narrow questions designed by the interim Board of SGM in order to suppress a thorough examination.  This kind of misinformation is at the heart of cultic activity.

But the most egregious example of lying and deceit by Mickey occurred when he excommunicated me last November.  This illustration alone should result in Mickey’s removal as senior pastor.  Mickey had no idea the meeting was being recorded.  Neither did I.  He thought he could get away with his blatant deception. 

Brent Detwiler
Mickey Connolly’s Deceitful Use of Scripture and Commentaries
November 26, 2011

“Mickey Connolly should be tried by the church he leads for deceitfully using Scripture and commentaries in justifying his use of Titus 3:10-11 and Romans 1:17-18 to “mark” me and have the church “shun” me.  For a pastor/teacher, there could hardly be a more serious breach of trust.  Mickey misled the church and it was intentional…. A church assumes they can trust their pastors/teachers to formulate doctrine and practice with the greatest integrity.  That is, not use Scripture to fulfill a self-serving purpose (e.g. health and wealth teachers).  Mickey’s teaching had an obvious goal which was to implement C.J.’s instruction at the Pastors Conference to discipline divisive people.  Of course, I am public enemy Number 1 on the SGM 10 Most Wanted List.  In order to do this he had to abuse Scripture and misled the congregation by not having them open their Bibles, by not citing verses 19-20 when quoting Romans 16:17-18, by not dealing with the meaning of Romans 16:17-18, by not mentioning Titus 1:10-16 or 3:9 when interpreting 3:10-11, by giving the impression his statements and quotes about Titus 3 also applied to Romans 16, by badly exaggerating his claim that “many commentators” agree with him when the opposite is true, by intentionally misrepresenting commentators like Kelly, Fee and Murray, by saying Romans 16 and Titus 3 are not about excommunication, by misusing 1 Timothy 1, 6 and 2 Thessalonians 3, when comparing 2 Thessalonians to Romans 16 and Titus 3, and by wrongly applying Galatians 5 to my writings and actions…. What Mickey has done is tantamount to a partner at an accounting firm embezzling funds, a Congressman perjuring himself under oath, or a doctor diagnosing and treating a condition that does not exist for the money.  Mickey should step down as senior pastor and work to regain the trust of the church over time.” 

 

Trait 8:  Threaten Punishments

Dissent is not tolerated.  Those that threatened the unity of the cult are quickly silenced, threatened, shunned or publicly disciplined.  They are made an example.  Cult leaders become angry when they are defied.  If people leave the cult, they are vilified by the cult leader and his lieutenants.  Cult leaders fear defections knowing they can lead to exposure.       

Mickey is prone to speaks contemptuously of people who leave CrossWay Community Church.  That is common knowledge.  He often refers to such individuals as “malcontents, grumblers and complainers.”  He regularly talks about people who leave in a condescending fashion.  Many people, including myself, have heard him do this.  He is glad to see people leave when they cause him “problems” or won’t give him the trust and obedience he demands.  This attitude has distressed me for years.  Many good men and women over the years have tried to talk with Mickey about his pride.  They leave CrossWay exasperated.  It is no use.  They end up being corrected by Mickey or his lieutenants.         

Here again is what Mickey has to say to those persons who question or disagree with his handling of me.  “So I want to be clear!  Not discussing this with him [Brent] personally.  Not reading any of his materials on blogs or Facebook…. If you can’t trust your pastors, you need to leave.  You need to go…. If you cannot trust your pastors, if you cannot obey your pastors and what we are asking you to do biblically then you need to find another church.”

Mickey has also waged a war against other individuals.  “We can’t stop Brent from his writing but we can and should refuse to read or listen to the divisive speech he and others continue to spread…. Please don’t let Brent or any other divisive man or woman destroy the unity that scriptures command us to be eager to maintain.”  So often men and women who disagree with Mickey or confront Mickey are labeled “divisive.”  

It is no wonder so many people fear Mickey.  They don’t want to be forced out of the church, marked as divisive, or ridiculed by the pastors behind their backs. 

 

Trait 9:  Promise Eternal Life

Cult leaders supply false hope and promises of a better future.  Following them leads to abundant life and the promised land.  Their way is the way of salvation.  It is not based upon authoritative truth (like the Bible provides) but on humanistic optimism.  No matter how bad or hard life is in the cult, the hope of the future blessing keeps members from departing.  Their well-being and comfort depend upon staying.  Outside is darkness and despair and the loss of salvation.  Followers live in denial. 

I don’t know the future of CrossWay.  It could hold together or it could fall apart.  I do know it is the height of arrogance for Mickey to promise a future characterized by “the greatest fruitfulness we’ve ever experienced together as a church.”  God is opposing and disciplining CrossWay because of its leaders.  More and more people are leaving deeply troubled.  Such profound arrogance by the pastors is the source of such presumptive promises.  Self-righteousness always leads to a false sense of assurance. 

I am reminded of Rev 3:17, “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’  But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”  Doom can be right around the corner while promises of blessing lull people asleep.  “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom 3:18)It also reminds me of the false prophets in the Old Testament who always prophesied peace and prosperity in the face of God’s impending judgment.

Mickey Connolly
CrossWay Family Mtg.
February 8, 2012

“Here, every pastor on the staff just has a sense from God that we are poised for a season of some of the greatest fruitfulness we’ve ever experienced together as a church.  We believe that.”

Mickey Connolly
Letter to CrossWay
August 3, 2012

“The other pastors and I have sensed for some time that we are on the brink of some great things here.  I am excited about our future together.  Please don’t let these issues distract us from what God is doing right here, right now.” 

## 

These things will only happen if Mickey and the pastors humble themselves and stop deceiving and dominating the sheep.  My son, Jonathan and his wife, Katie were visiting last weekend from Augusta, GA.  One evening they picked up some carry out dinner from a nearby Chinese restaurant.  American fortune cookies have always humored me because they never promise anything bad will happen to you – only good.  Here was my fortune.  “You will spend many years in comfort and material wealth.”  It reminded me of the pretentious promises made by Mickey and the CrossWay pastors.  

 

Trait 10 - Produce Cult Followers

People in cults are brainwashed by the cult leader.  Followers are characterized by subservience, dependence, passivity, indifference, fear, and silence.  They lose the ability to think critically.  They are only concerned for their happiness which they believe comes from the cult.  That’s why they will fight for the cult and the cult leader.  People have to be deprogramed and taught to think for themselves when they leave a cult.  Human dependency and mindless obedience has to be replaced with inquiry, industry, initiative, and ingenuity.  Life in a cult always ends in tragedy when the cult leader is exposed or “prophecies” aren’t fulfilled.  The end result – skepticism and extreme disillusionment. 

Mickey and the pastors at CrossWay should encourage people to read everything I’ve written and talk to me about it if they have any questions.  Having done so these members can return to talk with their pastors in an informed fashion.  Or if you wish go talk to Mickey about me first.  Just make sure you come to me afterward.    

Mickey and the pastors are concerned about my “gossip and slander.”  At least I publish my “gossip and slander” for the world to see and evaluate.  I’ll field any question or challenge.  No so with Mickey and the pastors.  They will only talk to you behind closed doors when nothing is recorded so they can mislead with impunity.    

At the end of Mickey’s recent letter to CrossWay members he says the following.  “As always, if anyone would like to speak to me personally about any of this please let me know and I will set up a time.”  That is fine to do but it is the least reliable way of discovering the truth.  What Mickey tells you in secret must be tested because the most vicious slander occurs in his office where it is not heard by others – particularly the victim.  Only occasional does he blurt it out in public.  “Let me be very frank with you…. Brent is driven by a sinful lust for vindication and vengeance.” 

Cult followers are never willing to deal with reality.  They believe it is godly to turn their minds over to the control of another person.  They won’t listen to criticism against the cult.  They won’t investigate.  They bury their heads in the sand.  

My friends at CrossWay are better than this but here are two examples of willful blindness that greatly concern me.  I’ve changed the names of these persons.  Instead of their example, I’d encourage you to follow the exhortation of Scripture.  “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph 5:11).    

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 5:00 PM
To: Harry
Subject: RE: SGM Panel and Mickey

Have you read both documents I sent you [about my excommunication] yet?

From:  Harry
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 5:23 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: RE: SGM Panel and Mickey

No.  I am not in faith to do so at the moment.

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 7:54 AM
To:  Harry
Subject: RE: SGM Panel and Mickey

Let me know when you read them.  I can’t really help you until you do.  You need to see the gravity of the situation and the decade long process I’ve walked through in order to understand my actions.  Be like the Bereans.  Acts 17:11 “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”  

Mickey’s presentation [regarding my excommunication] on Nov 13 was full of deceit.  He twisted the Scripture and used commentaries in a deceptive manner to support his unbiblical actions.  You should be alarmed and appalled.  You need to read what I wrote and call him and the other pastors to account.  Mickey is misleading you and the church.  I say these things because I love you and I am concerned for you.  There is a lot of lying, deceit, cover up, manipulation and lording going on with C.J., Dave, Mickey, etc.  Many churches are talking about leaving SGM.  The problems are widespread and serious.  It is not the same SGM I once knew.

From: Harry
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 12:26 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: RE: SGM Panel and Mickey

Thank you for your care towards me.  However, I am not willing to read the 2 documents at this point…. I do believe that you are doing what you think is best to care for me.  However, if you think that you can’t help me until I read your documents. I believe that you are deceived…. To reiterate though, I do not plan on reading any of the documents you are sending.

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
To: Harry
Subject: RE: SGM Panel and Mickey

Harry, I say this lovingly but you are a fool not to read my documents.  How do you know who is right or wrong when you refuse to examine the evidence?  You have a solemn responsibility to examine Mickey’s handling of Scripture and commentaries at the Family Meeting.  You have no excuse.  He deceived the church.  It is these kind of sins, I’ve addressed along with many other people now, which are destroying the movement and bringing reproach upon the gospel.  If you remain ignorant and silent, you too are contributing to the destruction of SGM and reproach upon the gospel.  You should be confronting the evil around you.  Love rejoices when the truth wins out.  Not duplicity, manipulation, hypocrisy, lording, etc.

From: Harry
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2012 1:17 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: RE: God Holds Me Accountable

So, since I do not have the faith nor the time to read all of your documents and blog posts, how about we start simple? 

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2012 1:45 PM
To: Harry
Subject: RE: God Holds Me Accountable

Harry, my brother, it is not an issue of “faith.”  It is a matter of obedience.  God commands you to pursue justice [Prov 18:17].  You condemn me but you have no idea what has transpired over the past 12 years.  If you had any concern for me or the well-being SGM you’d seek out the truth.  Instead you choose to be deceived.  It’s like you’ve been put under spell.  Mickey has commanded you not to seek out the truth under the threat of being forced out of the church.  That is coercion, lording, control, and domineering. 

## 

From: Alicia
Sent: Monday, August 06, 2012 10:01 AM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: The Ethical Demise of SGM (Part 1)

Brent, do not send us any further communications in any way to us or our family.  Do not write us back and tell us how you are only sending this out of love and concern for our souls, your actions speak otherwise.

I’m sorry but I do not respect the way nor the means you continue to attempt to bring down SGM and CWCC.

Brent from my vantage point you are in a very sad place.  I find it very hard to believed that you actually think that your actions are pleasing to God.

I am stating again, do not send us any further communications in any way to us or our family.  Do not write us back, remove our email from your arsenal.

Sincerely,

Alicia

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2012 12:14 PM
To: Alicia
Subject: RE: The Ethical Demise of SGM (Part 1)

Hello Alicia

I think of you and Bob fondly.  You are fine servants of the Lord and I sincerely appreciate all your contributions to CrossWay Community Church over the years.

I’m sorry I can’t oblige.  I have a higher obligation.  The principle of Ezekiel 3:16-20 applies to me.  I am not the watchman of SGM but I am a watchman.  Before the Lord I am endeavoring to be faithful to call C.J., Mickey and other SGM leaders to repentance in this time of discipline.  I don’t imply by using this verse that C.J. or anyone else will die.  I do, however, have an obligation before God to warn you and others about the on-going sin and seriousness of the situation.  You can ignore this warning but then you are accountable to God for that decision and I am not guilty before the Lord for being complacence.

Ezek 3:16-20 At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: [17] “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. [18] When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for  his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. [19] But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself. [20] Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die.  Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin.  The righteous things he did will not be remembered and I will hold you accountable for his blood.  [21] But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”

You too have a biblical responsibility (Prov 18:17).  You must examine Mickey by examining the evidence.  I hope you fulfill it.  You have not been told the truth.  Half the pastors in SGM are giving serious thought to leaving SGM.  That number could easily increase.  This is not due to gossip or slander.  Many pastors are appalled at Mickey’s excommunication of me and the abusive way in which he used Scripture and deceitfully used commentaries.  The problems in SGM are extremely serious and Mickey’s cult like leadership in relation to me is but one example. 

You’ll be receiving “The Ethical Demise of SGM (Part 2).”  I mean no disrespect.  I am not endeavoring to provoke you.  But I am providing you a biblical warning and I am providing you rock solid evidence.  You’d be wise to read all I have written.  Mickey is one of the key men contributing to the destruction of SGM.  Not the devil.  Not me.  Not the blogs.  For instance, ten of the pastors from Covenant Life Church recently presented evidence against Mickey to the entire SGM Board for his slander of them.  There are so many examples like this of which you are utterly unaware.  I could write a full length book.  Mickey has deceitfully and arrogantly led you.  In time, I hope you will speak out against such transgressions. 

 

Conclusion

Anyone in CrossWay can know the truth about C.J, Mickey and SGM if they are willing to renounce their blind followership and throw off the shackles imposed upon them by Mickey and the pastors.  They must commit themselves to God (not Mickey or the church) and think independently.  I love pastors but not when they control people’s lives.  I love loyalty but not when it exceeds the boundaries of Scripture. 

My friends at CrossWay can know the truth and be set free but it will take some work and courage.  They must care, read, study, think and investigate.  Their pastors have led them down the wrong road in asking for blind obedience and a call to arms.  Like every church member in SGM, they have the tools to know the truth if they will apply themselves.  

At my excommunication, Mickey said, “If I ever lose the trust of this church I will resign that very day.”  Well, that day has come.  These ten common cult-like characteristics in his leadership are convincing reasons not to trust him.      

 

  1. Require absolute trust
  2. Demand unconditional obedience
  3. Claim divine status
  4. Surround with weak leaders
  5. Warn against outsiders
  6. Use mind control
  7. Employ lying and deceit 
  8. Threaten punishments
  9. Promise eternal life
  10. Produce cult followers 

Unfortunately, cult leaders and cult-like leaders never resign.  They do down fighting.  Mickey will force out of the church everyone who does not trust him before he ever quits.  CrossWay may implode as a result.  If so, it’s because of Mickey; not the devil, me or blogs.  You cannot sow lies, deceit and lording without reaping destruction.  The God who rules over all is demonstrating he will not be mocked by such sophistry.


[1] See Concluding Remarks, pages 160-163 and especially footnote 364.

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