Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them. This verse perfectly describes what is happening in Sovereign Grace Ministries. It is being destroyed by the crookedness repeatedly evidenced in the actions of C.J., Dave Harvey, and other SGM leaders.
These men have flattered themselves thinking their iniquity would not be found out and hated by men and women of integrity. Their mouths have been full of deceit and this has brought great trouble. They are no longer wise or good. They no longer fear God. And they should no longer be followed.
Psalms 36:1-3 Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated. The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit; he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
I said the following to all the SGM pastors in my cover letter to Part 1.
From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 6:39 PM
To: SGM Pastors
Subject: The Ethical Demise of SGM (Part 1)
This is a serious and important post. The ethical demise of SGM has been my main concern since 2004. I made this point to C.J. in my first document.
“Lastly and most importantly, I write because of my deep love for you and for Sovereign Grace Ministries. My greatest concern is for the increasing presence of deceit and hypocrisy rooted in self-preservation and love of reputation. I’d be overjoyed to see you acknowledge these things to the movement, whether or not you ask my forgiveness for anything specific. Comparatively speaking, the latter is unimportant. Ultimately, this isn’t about us. It is about something much bigger.” (RRF&D, March 17, 2010)
The “much bigger” is deceit and hypocrisy. They are the main reasons you should leave SGM but if you stay they are the main things in need of reform. This post illustrates in a factual manner the deceit of C.J., Dave and the SGM Boards. There will be a Part 2.
These are all charges I planned to bring up to an objective group of evaluators in a just setting. The interim Board made sure that did not happen. None of these charges have been addressed in a hearing and no one has ever acknowledged any kind or occasion of deceit to me, you or SGM.
A large number of churches are planning to leave SGM in the coming months. They must not leave quietly. They must speak out against the ethical violations that abound in SGM. Churches may leave over polity differences but they should leave over the heartbreaking corruption that exists. When they leave, they must be faithful to call SGM to account lest they condone deceit and hypocrisy by their silence. They must reject the pressure from SGM to “leave well” which translated means to “leave quietly.”
Here now are Lies 26-50.
25. C.J. and Dave promising Larry Tomczak (and others) they will pursue reconciliation after the Ambassadors of Reconciliation report came out this past April.
- AoR to Board: “Several relationships need help in reconciliation. We recommend that people within SGM use the reconcilers you appoint or other outside sources to help mediate some of the major broken relationships.” (Apr 10, 2012)
- C.J. to SGM: “AoR identified for the Board several relationships in need of help. They presented these to us as confidential matters. We have discussed the specifics of each conflict with Ted Kober and Ed Keinath and have acted in keeping with their counsel.” (Jun 29, 2012)
- Larry Tomczak recently wrote me about this lie.
From: Larry Tomczak
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2012 12:19 AM
To: Brent Detwiler
Hi. How about including this blatant one [lie]? Even though I have taped evidence of Dave’s participation in the blackmail, he calls after 13 years of silence to finally ask forgiveness for what he dubs “coercive pressure” and will not admit “blackmail” even after repeated appeals to admit it. Weeks later, I take initiative and call Dave to forgive even though it [his confession] falls far short of what he did. He then promises me that once the AoR report comes out he will take action to resolve and see to it that all of us will meet to see reconciliation. How long has it been [4 months] and I’ve never heard a “peep” from Dave although I’ve heard that over the decade he has experienced serious issues with his children! Was he removed? Hypocrisy?! Double standard?! Fact!!!
- C.J. and the Board have not “acted in keeping with [AoR’s] counsel.” None of the “major broken relationships” have been repaired and no outside mediation has been used. I have not heard a word from C.J. or the Board since AoR released their report in April. No one I know who remains unreconciled has been contacted and that is a long list of people.
24. C.J. having Larry Tomczak come to the 2011 Pastors’ Conference as his special guest.
- C.J. to SGM: “Larry and I stood side by side and co-founded Covenant Life Church. We stood side by side and co-founded SGM. Sin separated us, but I will have the sweet joy to stand side by side with him again in November when he joins us as a special guest at our Pastors Conference. I hope to do the same at Covenant Life Church to welcome him back. Actually when we do this I think it would be appropriate if I stand off to the side. Larry has been a wonderful example of extending forgiveness.” (July 11, 2011)
- C.J.’s “sweet joy” of standing “side by side” or humbly “off to the side” at the Pastors Conference never materialize. And C.J.’s dream of welcoming Larry back to Covenant Life Church never came to pass. Larry began to raise additional concerns for SGM after his “reconciliation” with C.J. over the blackmail and was summarily dumped and uninvited. He too has been cut off by C.J. and the Board.
Reference: Harvey Tells Tomczak to Stay Home
23. C.J. pretending to be unaware of the ways he sinned against me and claiming to want no separation of heart between us.
- CJ to Brent: “Recently I was informed that you might have some offenses with me…. Brent, if it is accurate that you have offenses against me, I want to do whatever I can to address these and pursue reconciliation. I also want to make every effort to preserve our friendship…. I don’t want there to be any separation of heart between us.” (Jan 14, 2010)
- Brent to CJ: “I appreciate the sentiments you express in the e-mail above; but, I also find them disconcerting. On the one hand, I hope they represent a change of heart. On the other hand, I find them disingenuous. Let me briefly explain. During the last decade, many people brought to your attention numerous ways they thought you sinned against me. I did the same either directly or indirectly through others. Therefore, I don’t know how you can say that ‘Recently I was informed that you might have some offenses with me.’ This is unintelligible because the ‘offenses’ outlined in my response [RRF&D] are not new to you. You are well acquainted with them. They have been outstanding and unresolved. As such, I don’t understand how you can claim ignorance until quite recently. The same is true about “preserving our friendship” and not wanting “any separation of heart between us.” I want that to be true but it has not been my experience. Since the day I stepped down from the apostolic team over two years ago, I’ve not seen you or talked to you.” (Mar 17, 2010)
- I resigned from the apostolic team in November 2007. For the next two years, I didn’t hear from C.J. except for a one sentence email. Even when I left SGM in August 2009, I did not hear from him. That means there was no contact from C.J. between November 2007 and January 2010 after 28 years of friendship. I was cut off overnight for speaking the truth in love to him. C.J. knew I felt he sinned against me in numerous ways. That included the ending of our friendship. Five months after leaving SGM, C.J. manipulatively claimed to be ignorant of my offenses and tried to pretend he wanted no separation of heart between us. He was concerned I’d share my experience with him with others.
Reference: Response Regarding Friendship and Doctrine (pp. 1-3, 88-92, 116)
22. C.J. claiming not to know of doctrinal differences between us after saying he knew we could not work together because of doctrinal and practical differences.
CJ: “I also want to make every effort to preserve our friendship. Even though I know we hold disagreements over doctrine and practice that now separate us from serving together, I don’t want there to be any separation of heart between us.”
Brent: “Would you please tell me what you have in mind when you say ‘I know we hold disagreements over doctrine and practice that now separate us from serving together.’ I am not aware what those disagreements are but would really appreciate knowing. Would you please inform me and be as specific as possible?”
CJ: “Good question! Well, perhaps we don’t have any differences in doctrine or practice! I’d love to talk with you to discover if there are any differences but primarily I don’t want our hearts to be separated.”
Brent: “Of course, we both know we have doctrinal disagreements. We’ve talked about them over the [past 26] years. I was unaware, however, that these disagreements ‘now separate us from serving together.’ That’s why I’d really appreciate if you answered my question.”
- C.J.’s response regarding doctrine and practice was a deceitful flip flop. He knew and explicitly stated that it was no longer possible for me to serve in pastoral ministry in SGM because of his differences with me over doctrine and practice. He didn’t need to “discover” differences because he knew my doctrine and our doctrinal differences better than anyone. Instead of being honest, he lied because he didn’t want to reveal what doctrine and practice prevented me from returning to the movement. Those unacceptable differences if revealed by C.J. would have caused great concern throughout SGM.
Reference: Response Regarding Friendship and Doctrine, pp. 116-119.
21. C.J. discrediting my documents soon after extolling my documents.
- Here are numerous comments C.J. made about the beneficial nature of my documents.
“Brent, let me conclude by thanking you for sending me these documents. I am deriving much benefit from reading them and reviewing them with others. As I read them by God’s grace I am perceiving more of my sin, more clearly…. So I am grateful for your care expressed in and through these documents and the opportunity to attempt to address these issues again and hopefully do so more humbly and effectively. There are a number of ways I have been dull to perceive my sin due to the pride in my heart…. So thanks for sending these documents and thanks for your patience with me. I look forward to meeting with you when you are convinced I am sufficiently trustworthy to interact with in person.” (Oct 26, 2011)
“Thanks for your gracious response. I’m not finding the documents to be of some benefit, I’m finding them to be of significant benefit.” (Nov 3, 2011)
“Thanks for your kindness, understanding and patience with me concerning my written document. I am working on it and benefitting from this as I have benefitted from the documents you have sent to me.” (Dec 7, 2011)
“Let me begin with what seems to me to be the only appropriate place to begin, by thanking you for your friendship and your desire to serve me by providing me with these two documents that express your perspective, concerns, correction and care for me. I am deeply grateful for your friendship over the years and this particular expression of your friendship has helped me to perceive my sin more clearly, experience conviction of sin more deeply and comprehend the effects of my sin more specifically.” (Dec 16, 2010)
“And though there are a few different points where I don’t agree with your perspective at present, there are far more ways I agree with you and realize I have sinned.” (Dec 16, 2010)
“I was reluctant to send this but decided to do so. I am not trying to impress you or convince you about what I am perceiving in my heart. But since I began to reengage with your documents a couple of days ago and with the help of others I have already perceived a couple of areas of sin I didn’t clearly perceive previously. It’s discouraging how slow and dull and blind I can be. My pride/self-righteousness are no doubt the root cause. Pathetic really.” (Jun 25, 2011)
- People assumed and concluded that C.J. was he in agreement with my documents because he constantly extolled my documents just like the old SGM Board did. In fact, C.J. was still perceiving areas of sin on June 25, 2011 according to his own testimony. Four months later, however, he reversed course, attacked the documents and made the statement below behind closed doors to all the SGM pastors.
- C.J. to SGM pastors: “However, it does appear that some assumed or concluded that I agree with Brent’s narrative, his accusations and interpretations and judgments of my motives, and this simply wouldn’t be true and it never has been true…. Brent’s documents construct a narrative that I disagree with. That narrative portrays my sins as scandalous, calculated and deceptive, and uncommonly intentionally hypocritical, and pervasively so, and this is false.” (Nov 9, 2011)
- To the best of my knowledge, nothing I’ve written is unfactual, taken out of context or embellished. The narrative is true, the accusations well documented, the interpretations in keeping with facts, and the judgments based upon evidence. No one on the old, interim or new Boards has ever corrected anything in the documents. The facts show that C.J. has willfully committed sins that are “scandalous, calculated, deceptive, and uncommonly hypocritical” on a wide scale basis. Conclusion? I don’t know which C.J. to believe – the one extolling or condemning my documents - but I do know one of them is lying.
20. C.J. promising me on three different occasions that he would provide a thorough response to my three major documents.
- C.J. to Brent: “I am glad to respond further to your recent e-mail and document. I take your concerns very seriously and very much want to address them.… I will respond to your request [for a thorough response] and attempt to provide you with a written response to the issues you have identified [in RRF&D and AFA].” (Oct 15, 2010)
- Jeff Purswell to Brent: “We as a board have agreed to accommodate your request and have asked C.J. to provide a further response to your documents in an attempt to answer more of your questions. He has willingly agreed to do this.” (Feb 3, 2011)
- C.J. to Brent: “In answer to your question, yes, I am changing my mind in regard to your request to give a more thorough response to your documents.” (June 24, 2011)
- All three of these promises were broken. C.J. never provided a thorough response to Response Regarding Friendship and Doctrine or A Final Appeal. He purposely passed over hundreds of important points, illustrations, and questions. That’s why I added 400 endnotes to RRF&D and AFA and sent them to C.J., Dave, Jeff and Joshua on June 8, 2011. C.J. never responded to these endnotes. In addition he never provided any kind of a response to Concluding Remarks though promised.
19. C.J. promising to address 15 critical areas of concern and sin.
- C.J. to Brent: “In attempting to give a more thorough response to the three documents, my plan was to give particular attention to the 15 areas of concern/sin you think I have yet to perceive or acknowledge…. As a result of these steps, my plan is to provide you with my response to your documents that specifically addresses your primary areas of concern.” (June 24, 2011)
- The fifteen areas were a lack of integrity, deceit, hypocrisy, sinful judgments, concealment, cover-up, damage control, spin, manipulation, partiality, favoritism, abuse of authority, lording, need for a confession, and wrong-doing by others. C.J. never provided me a response of any kind.
18. C.J. committing to make a confession to the SGM pastors and public.
- C.J. to Brent: “I am committed to making a public confession, as detailed below…. I also plan to make a public confession to the Sovereign Grace pastors. My hope is to do this at our November  conference although it’s possible this could take place at an earlier date. I want my confession to be as fully informed as possible, so I’d like to get the benefit of the independent review process before making it. It’s also my preference to make this confession in person with the pastors rather than by e-mail. I want these men to hear my confession and hopefully perceive my conviction/sorrow as well as ask their forgiveness…. And once God has given me a clear understanding of my sin and its impact on others, I anticipate that it will be beneficial for me to make a wider confession to the general public about God’s correction and refinement in my life.” (June 24, 2011)
- C.J. broke this commitment in the most astounding way. At the November 2011 Pastors Conference, after four months of supposed “self-examination” and pastoral care, C.J. retracted his July 6 online confession to the movement, his July 11 confession to Covenant Life Church, wished he had defended himself instead of making any confessions, lamented his leave of absence, appealed for sympathy, justified his departure from CLC, minimized his personal sins, used morally neutral language to cover over his leadership sins (e.g., “deficiencies,” “weaknesses,” “not communicating wisely,” “inadequate,” etc.), vindicated himself by quoting others, commended himself for his self-examination and humbly over-stating his sin; rejected my narrative, accusations, interpretations and judgments as false; said he never believed his sins were uncommon, scandalous, disqualifying or unusually serious; didn’t believe there were systemic (widespread) problems in SGM, blamed slanderers for distorting (exaggerating) the problems in SGM, acknowledged no abuse of authority in the sinful handling of former leaders, focused on those that “assault” him, and called for the discipline of “divisive” church members by courageous pastors.
References: A Few Bible Thoughts about Online Confessions; The Transcript of C.J. Mahaney’s Remarks at 2011 Sovereign Grace Ministries’ Pastors Conference; C.J.’s State of His Heart Message – Reflection on Personal Sins
17. C.J. promising to convince me that he would take my charges seriously and confess his sin as dely necessary.
- C.J. to Brent: “I have asked Ken Sande for counsel on the best way to proceed…and find some independent mediators who could help us rigorously examine the concerns you raise. I would be eager to invite the conciliators to dig as deeply as they want into my life in order to fully address your concerns. I will take their counsel seriously, and I will confess my sins as widely as they recommend…. I am committed to do everything possible in order to evaluate and resolve these issues in a way that will honor God, expose unaddressed sin in my life, and lead to a genuine reconciliation of our relationship.” (Oct 15, 2010)
- CJ to Brent: “So it is my determined intention to continue to pursue a rigorous evaluation of my heart, involving those inside Sovereign Grace as well as those outside Sovereign Grace who do not have history with me. I take your charges seriously and I want to do all I can to convince you of this.” (June 24, 2011)
- CJ to Brent: “I asked the board for a leave of absence from my position as President so I can have no position of influence in this process or its outcome, and so that every charge can be thoroughly evaluated.” (July 11, 2011)
- C.J. convinced me of one thing. He was willing to do all he could to avoid a rigorously examination of my concerns and his heart. Ambassadors of Reconciliation never even heard my charges because they never did an adjudication hearing and I was forbidden by Dave and the interim Board from presenting my charges to the three Review Panels comprised of Sovereign Grace pastors. No charge against C.J. has ever been properly evaluated or evaluated at all.
References: C.J.’s Foxhole Conversion; Whitewashed Tombs
16. C.J., Dave, Jeff, Joshua and the interim Board promising an independent review of all my charges.
- C.J. to SGM: “I’ve asked to take a leave of absence in order to give time to considering these charges, examine my heart, and receive the appropriate help from others…. In order for me to receive an objective evaluation in relation to these charges the board is securing the help of a third-party ministry that has no history of relationship with SGM.” (July 6, 2011)
- Dave to SGM: “Because some of the charges move beyond C.J. to SGM, we also wanted to examine ourselves and our practices both past and current. To that end, we are in the process of securing help from an outside organization that can conduct a thorough and objective review of the charges being brought against C.J. and SGM. We are seeking to identify an organization that has no prior history with us and that has wide respect in Christian circles.” (July 7, 2011)
- Dave to SGM: “Given the numerous events, people, and perspectives involved, the work of an independent panel will be vital to fully examining these charges and arriving at an objective conclusion, especially on those charges with which the board does not agree…. Like C.J., we are committed to facilitate as thorough and objective a process as possible by an independent panel.” (July 7, 2011)
- C.J. to CLC: “I have welcomed the recommendation of the SGM board that we establish a panel of respected leaders outside SGM to study these charges and give us their evaluation of me and the ministry as a whole.” (July 11, 2011)
- Joshua to CLC: “He [C.J.] is taking a leave of absence so that an independent panel, a group of people outside of our church, outside of our family of churches, can look into these accusations and provide an objective evaluation of his character and leadership of Sovereign Grace Ministries.” (July 10, 2011)
- Brent to interim Board: “From the beginning, the MOST important ingredient has been the pursuit of outside assistance in order to secure an OBJECTIVE panel of men NOT ASSOCIATED with SGM in order to evaluate my charges against C.J. The Board has failed to do this in every respect. That is unacceptable…. A panel comprised of one SGM Board Member and four SGM pastors does not in any way secure objectivity in evaluating C.J. It does just the opposite. It guarantees bias regardless of any elaborate selection process for pastors…. It also demonstrates a total disregard for every promise made by you and C.J. to secure an objective evaluation that was safe from partiality, bias, and favoritism. Once again, you have violated your word, compromised your integrity, and disillusioned people inside and outside of SGM…. I am not surprise by your reversal but I am always saddened. It is one of many such disappointing experiences related to a lack of integrity. How can anyone trust you to keep your sacred word?” (Aug 26, 2011)
- Brent to CLC pastors: “The SGM Board is in need of your rebuke for not following through on their promise to secure an unbiased and impartial group of evaluators in order to procure a just process of evaluation whereby they, and C.J., are carefully examined. I hope the SGM Board will quickly change their minds, acknowledge their travesty to the public, and show the fruits of repentance by pursuing the course of action originally promised in response to your intervention at this critical point in the crisis…. If the SGM Board is genuinely interested in objectivity they will reverse course immediately. This is a moral issue, not simply a procedural issue. This is a major issue, not a minor one. If Sovereign Grace Ministries cannot be trusted to secure an unbiased panel of evaluators in keeping with their word, they cannot be trusted in anything. Please appeal to them to repent.” (Aug 29, 2011)
- Over and over again from October 2010 to October 2011, I was promised by the old Board and interim Board that independent evaluators would examine all my charges against C.J. and SGM in a just and open setting. Instead the interim Board handpicked three Board Members and six biased pastors all favorable to C.J. for the Three Panel Review. This corrupt approach was contrived behind my back and without my involvement. A year full of promises were set aside and violated without any regard for all their previous pledges. Ambassadors of Reconciliation never adjudicated a single charge.
15. The old Board and interim Board promising all my charges against C.J. and SGM would be heard.
- Not only was I promised an independent hearing of my charges, I was also promised a hearing of ALL my charges. I was promised I could present 1,200 pages of charges which would be thoroughly investigated. What a lie. Instead, the interim Board devised a plan that vanquished all previous commitments. The Three Panel Review hearing was limited to three supposed charges against C.J. by me. Just three out of hundreds and none of my charges were heard against Dave, Bob, Gene, Mickey, et al.
- Furthermore, no corroborating charges from other witnesses were permitted to be heard against C.J. or SGM by the three panels. This too was promised. The Three Panel Review was extraordinarily narrow and biased in every way possible. AoR never created, supported or affirmed this crooked arrangement but neither did they oppose it with all their might. Furthermore, AoR never adjudicated a single charge against C.J. and never commented in their report to SGM on a single charged against C.J. They stood on the sidelines watching this grave injustice take place. They refused to take a stand despite my countless appeals to them to confront the deceit.
- Old Board to Brent: “Because we nonetheless want to make sure that your concerns are thoroughly investigated, we are initiating a completely independent review of all the allegations you’ve raised concerning C.J. and the Sovereign Grace board’s response to those allegations. Our goal in this is to ensure the most thorough and objective process possible.” (Dave, Jeff, Joshua, June 14, 2011)
- Old Board to Brent: “Since you are at present still not willing to meet with an independent mediator, and because we nonetheless want to make sure that your concerns are thoroughly investigated, we are initiating a completely independent review of all the allegations you’ve raised concerning C.J. and the Sovereign Grace board’s response to those allegations. Our goal in this is to ensure the most thorough and objective process possible, and so we will seek to engage an independent panel of mediators who are spiritually mature, trained professionals who have no connection to Sovereign Grace…. The goal will be for them to provide an objective and detailed critique of C.J.’s and Sovereign Grace’s actions, as well as any appropriate evaluation of others involved in these various events. They will also provide specific recommendations for what remedial steps C.J. and Sovereign Grace should take in the future. Although our desire remains that you and C.J. could meet together personally with a mediator, we hope this step will be encouraging to you that your allegations and perspectives will receive a fair and impartial hearing. ” (March 11, 2011)
- Dave Harvey and the interim Board reduced my participation to addressing one question which was only a minor concern. That is, “Did CJ Mahaney wrongly influence the process of Brent Detwiler’s dismissal from his church in Mooresville, NC?” I did not have evidence that C.J. wrongly influenced the process. I did have evidence he sinfully influenced Dave, Gene Emerson and Bob Kauflin. I presented this evidence but Mark Prater, Warren Boettcher and Ron Boomsma purposely excluded it from their report. In fact, they excluded from their report everything I said and provided them in written form. All of this with the full knowledge of Bryce Thomas and the interim Board. This panel was devious in their conduct.
14 Mickey Connolly blatantly lying in a recent letter to CrossWay Community Church that all my charges were “thoroughly examined.”
- Mickey to CWCC: “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. Their findings were published and are still available on SGM’s Plant and build Blog. Nothing was hidden, nothing was kept back. And considering all this evidence they found C.J. fit for ministry.” (August 3 2012)
- Only three narrow questions, each worded in C.J.’s favor, were looked into by three extremely biased Board Members and six favorably disposed pastors. The three Board Members are not respected in many quarters of SGM any longer. The same could be said about several of the pastors. So great was their bias, two of the three panels, did not want me to participate in their hearing.
- The only “charges” ever “examined” were the following three.
1. Was C.J. Mahaney’s participation in fellowship in 2003-2004, including the giving and receiving of correction, in keeping with the teaching of Scripture?
2. Did C.J. Mahaney wrongly influence the process of Brent Detwiler’s dismissal from his church in Mooresville, NC?
3. Was Larry Tomczak’s departure from Sovereign Grace Ministries handled properly?
- Every person on the panels and every person who appeared before these panels received a stern warning from Bryce Thomas the facilitator/administrator about strictly confining themselves to the question at hand and no more. Here was his exhortation to me.
The Board of Directors of Sovereign Grace Ministries is requesting that you… participate in a review procedure. A subcommittee of 3 members of the Sovereign Grace Ministries family consisting of one Board Member and 2 Senior Pastors would like to listen to information (and review if written) that you may have concerning this issue: “Did CJ Mahaney wrongly influence the process of Brent Detwiler’s dismissal from his church in Mooresville, NC?” Given this is the issue this subcommittee is addressing, you will be asked for information that pertains to this issue only. And we ask that you likewise direct the information that you share--to this issue only.” (Bryce Thomas, Nov 18, 2011)
- Mickey is flagrantly lying when he says, “Nothing was hidden, nothing was kept back.” Almost everything was hidden and kept back. The men on the panels were not allowed to rule on “all the evidence.” They were prohibited by Mickey (as one of the Board Members) from adjudicating the mountain evidence against C.J. that so clearly disqualifies him. I pity my dear friends at CrossWay Community Church who are being deceived by such a dishonest pastor.
13. The old Board, interim Board and Ambassadors of Reconciliation promising a just and fair process.
- Old Board to Brent: “Your lack of trust in us, combined with our inexperience in handling a conflict of this complexity, heightens the necessity of seeking the assistance of godly and experienced men who can help us address these issues in a trustworthy manner…. Wanting to move ahead with an independent panel as soon as possible, Tommy, Jeff, and John Loftness had a telephone conference call with Ted Kober last week to explore the possibility of his organization serving us. Being aware of your concerns about secrecy and transparency, we tape recorded the entire conversation. We have informed Ted of all your concerns about secrecy, transparency, confidentiality, and accountability, and he is consulting with his colleagues on how they might handle your concerns. We will do all we can within the limits of their policies and guidance to make the process open and trustworthy, not only to you but to anyone else who wants to participate consistent with their guidelines.” (Dave, Jeff, Josh; July 4, 2011)
- Interim Board to SGM: “A second panel [AoR] will commence work concurrent with the first. It will consist of members of an independent conciliation ministry [AoR] with no ties to Sovereign Grace. This panel will create a process for examination of the outstanding charges against Mahaney and create and lead a process for a fair hearing of those charges to determine if they are true or false.” (Dave, Aron, Craig, Jeff, John, Mark, Mickey, Pete, Rick, and Steve; Jul 13, 2011)
- Ambassadors of Reconciliation to Interim Board: “We noted that these lengthy documents with numerous allegations provide Brent Detwiler’s perspective on the issues. These allegations have not been heard in a fair hearing where both accused and accuser have faced one another, where accused and accuser can provided oral testimony and other evidence, where accused and accuser can present witnesses as part of their testimony, and where both accused and accuser have reasonable opportunity for cross examination…. We view the documents written by Brent Detwiler, while extensive in nature, as allegations that have not yet been tried or tested in a fair hearing…. We believe that they should be taken seriously and handled by those properly authorized…. Matters as serious as charges against the chief leader of an association of churches ought to be handled in a way that honors our God and promotes justice for all involved.” (Aug 20, 2011)
- Every single promise for a fair and just process was intentionally violated by the Three Panel Review. There was absolutely nothing just or fair about it.
- Here are the facts.
1. I was not allowed to face C.J. and make my case.
2. I was given no time for oral testimony before two of the three panels.
3. I was given very little time to present my charges before the third panel.
4. I was forbidden from knowing who the witnesses were against me.
5. I was not told what testimony they provided.
6. I was forbidden from calling witnesses in my support.
7. I was forbidden any kind of cross examination of C.J.
8. I was forbidden any kind of cross examination of witness against me; many of which were false witnesses.
9. The panel before whom I appeared believed these false witnesses.
- Here were the consequences.My allegations were not heard, tried or tested in a fair hearing.
1. My allegations were not heard, tried or tested in a fair hearing.
2. The vast majority of my allegations were ignored and covered up.
3. I was brutally slandered in the panel report created by Warren Boettcher, Ron Boomsma and Mark Prater. This was in direct opposition to their assignment and the rules laid out by Bryce Thomas.
4. Nothing I’ve said or written has been taken seriously by the SGM Board.
5. The three panel approach dishonored God and promoted injustice.
6. C.J. was treated with extraordinary favoritism.
7. The panelists showed extraordinary bias.
8. The three panel reports did not deal with the evidence or deal with it justly.
- Brent to Mark, Warren & Ron: “The SGM Board has not changed one wit! They are clueless about justice. They continue to forbid due process, suppress evidence and come up with schemes to oppress and violate people. They lie, deceive, manipulate and spin to achieve their desired ends. You are now part of the grand cover-up. What is happening is a mirror image of the Kangaroo Court I experienced in June/July 2009. It’s happening all over. That’s to be expected when evaluators are biased, witnesses are shielded behind the veil of secrecy and lie with impunity, no defense is permitted by the accused, and cross examination is ruled out. There are no controls. There is no accountability. There have been no polity changes! And there have certainly been no heart changes!!! I find your report a great injustice.” (Jan 25, 2012)
References: Panel Report on Brent Detwiler’s Dismissal from Grace Community Church; Try This Twelve Step Program on for Size!; An Appeal for Ted Kober to Expose Dave Harvey; My Appeal to the SGM Pastors for a Church Court in Order to Avoid a Civil Court
12. Dave Harvey and the interim Board claiming to care a lot about taking my allegations seriously, promising not to ignore my accusations, and making sure there was an impartial examination of my documents.
- Dave to SGM: “How is Sovereign Grace’s board handling the allegations that Brent Detwiler has brought against C.J. Mahaney? We know that you care about this a lot. We also care about this a lot, and we are taking Brent’s allegations seriously. We don’t want to ignore the many accusations that now sit in the public mind. We want to get this right. Brent’s documents require impartial examination and C.J. deserves a fair hearing.” (Nov 28, 2011)
- My allegations were never taken seriously because the vast majority of them were never heard. The interim Board, the three review panels, and AoR purposely ignored 95% of them. There was never an impartial examination of what I wrote because none of what I wrote was ever discussed with me by AoR or two of the three panels.
Reference: Whitewashed Tombs
11. Dave Harvey saying Ambassadors or Reconciliation approved the Three Panel Review.
- Dave to SGM: “We also said that we would work with Ambassadors of Reconciliation, adjudication facilitator Bryce Thomas, and SGM pastors to develop and launch an alternative [three panel] process. We’ve done that…. Meanwhile, we had been working with those mentioned above to define an alternative to seriously examine the substance of Brent’s allegations. In recent weeks we developed a plan together.” (Oct 28, 2011)
- SGM did not work with AoR “to develop and launch an alternative,” “design an alternative, or “develop a plan together.” Here is what Ted Kober wrote me about these lies. “The Board designed the process before telling AoR what it planned to do.” (Feb 4, 2012)
- Dave to SGM: “With the help of Ted Kober from Ambassadors of Reconciliation and under the direction of an independent facilitator named Bryce Thomas, we’ve set up the following process…. Three committees have been formed, each one responsible for answering one key question established by the independent facilitator…. Each committee is made up of two pastors from within SGM and one member of the SGM board. Both AoR and the facilitator recommended a panel of three and affirmed this composition…. We believe that this is a fair, impartial process. The fact that it has been endorsed by both the independent facilitator and the team from AoR gives us confidence that the questions before each panel will be answered fairly and judiciously.” (Nov 28, 2011)
- Ted Kober did not help set up the three panel process and he did not affirm or endorse the three panel process as fair or impartial. Neither did he endorse the use of three extremely narrow questions. These too are lies.
- Dave to SGM: “To further protect the integrity of the process, the interim Board sought the counsel and affirmation of an outside conciliation ministry, Ambassadors of Reconciliation (AoR). With C.J. on leave and AoR involved, the review process took the following form…. We then commissioned three panels—each consisting of three SGM pastors—to evaluate C.J.’s involvement in the three central events of Brent’s allegations.” (Jan 25, 2012)
- SGM did not seek the “counsel and affirmation” of AoR regarding the three panel process and AoR was not involved in setting it up in order “to protect the integrity of the process.” This was an audacious lie.
- Dave Harvey and the entire interim Board deceitfully used AoR as “character witnesses” for their corrupt three panel review by stating in no uncertain terms that AoR developed and endorsed the three panel approach. Ted flatly and unambiguously denied this to me twice during a phone call on January 25 saying “the SGM Board devised the plan entirely on their own.” He told me he knew nothing about the process until after it was finished. He denied helping, creating, approving, affirming, supporting, endorsing, setting up, developing, defining, or launching the process.
10. Dave Harvey saying Bryce Thomas established the three narrow questions for the Three Panel Review.
- Dave to SGM: “Three committees [panels] have been formed, each one responsible for answering one key question established by the independent facilitator [Bryce Thomas]. The first committee will answer the question: Was Larry Tomczak’s departure from Sovereign Grace Ministries handled properly? The second committee will answer the question: Did C.J. Mahaney wrongly influence the dismissal of Brent Detwiler from his church in Mooresville, NC? The third committee will answer the question: Was C.J. Mahaney’s participation in fellowship in 2003 and 2004, including the giving and receiving of correction, in keeping with the teaching of Scripture?” (Nov 28, 2011)
- The origin for such narrow questions was attributed to the work of the independent facilitator and trial lawyer, Bryce Thomas. Dave said each “key question” was “established” by Bryce. That was a lie intended to provide cover for the interim SGM Board. Bryce had nothing whatsoever to do with the questions. They were assigned to him. He had no say in the matter. He was under orders to use them. Nevertheless, Dave credited him for the three questions and clearly conveyed they originated with him. Bryce was made to look like the one responsible for limiting the scope of the investigation when in fact it was due to the cunning of the entire interim Board.
9. The Interim Board creating a question about C.J. as a pretense for Mark Prater, Warren Boettcher, and Ron Boomsma to make a case against me aided and abetted by Bryce Thomas.
- This evil machination causes great pain. I was utterly betrayed by the interim Board, Mark, Warren, Ron and Bryce. It was reminiscent of my experience in June 2007 at the hands of Gene Emerson, Eric Kircher and Ray Mulligan and the Kangaroo Court that followed which was led by Bob Kauflin. This panel hearing was a set up - another SGM ambush. A proceeding about C.J.’s fitness for ministry was used as a pretense to press home my unfitness for ministry. I’ve never been allowed to make a defense or face my accusers. Nor have I ever been allowed to present my charges against these abuses in any hearing designed to address them. Here again is what I was told by Bryce Thomas.
A subcommittee of 3 members of the Sovereign Grace Ministries family consisting of one Board Member and 2 Senior Pastors would like to listen to information (and review if written) that you may have concerning this issue: “Did CJ Mahaney wrongly influence the process of Brent Detwiler’s dismissal from his church in Mooresville, NC?” Given this is the issue this subcommittee is addressing, you will be asked for information that pertains to this issue only. And we ask that you likewise direct the information that you share--to this issue only.”
- Mark, Warren and Ron totally disregarded these restrictions with Bryce’s full support. I told Bryce he would be disbarred as a lawyer from the State of NC for such treachery if attempted in a civil court. The panel’s report was almost entirely about me in total violation of “this issue only.” Mark, Warren and Ron asked questions and solicited information from false witnesses and proven liars in order to condemn me. They went way beyond the boundaries set by the question regarding C.J. Moreover, they foolishly believed what they were told and put that in their report. This was another Kangaroo Court. I was not allowed to call witnesses. I was not allowed to know who testified against me. I was not told what they said. I was allowed no cross examination. Every rule of justice was transgressed. This was one of my most devastating experiences in SGM. Betrayal at this level cuts deep. It was a diabolical trap set up by deceitful men including the interim Board in order to harm me.
8. John Loftness telling the public that C.J. has been rigorously examined.
- John Loftness to SGM: “C.J. has been rigorously examined over the past year (both through individual examination of accusations brought against him and through a comprehensive evaluation of our entire ministry). This comprehensive process has clearly confirmed C.J.’s fitness to lead and his exceptional character as he has graciously endured major trials. Through all of this he has been found to be a man and a minister of fundamental integrity. We know of no one who is better suited for the office of President at this transitional time in our history.” (June 28, 2012)
- As already pointed out, C.J.’s “rigorous examination” was confined to three questions addressed by nine affirming friends. This assertion by the Chairman of the Board is total malarkey. The new Board of Directors is just as big a problem as C.J. starting with the Chairman. There has been no comprehensive process and John knows it. This was a bold and brash lie. His claim was completely untrue and the facts prove it. The examination of C.J. was confined to the Three Panel Review and they covered almost nothing.
- Brent to John: “There has been no comprehensive review of C.J. or SGM as you assert. My charges have never been heard or evaluated. C.J. is not the object of gossip and slander; he is the object of countless witnesses whose testimony is right and true. He should not be a sr. pastor let alone the President of SGM.”
7. C.J., Dave, Jeff, Joshua, and Pat counseling a covering up of my betrayal and the conspiracy behind it to the Care Groups leaders of Grace Community Church (Mooresville, NC).
- Dave to CGLs: “Gentleman, an additional point of clarification related to the public announcement to the church. We would not recommend that the church be informed of the request [i.e., insidious demand] for Brent’s ‘resignation’, but only of the request to SGM from the local team for an ‘evaluation of Brent’s leadership.’” (June 11, 2009)
- Brent to Dave: “I’d suggest you be open and honest [with the church] about what has happen less you be accused of a ‘cover up.’” (June 11, 2009)
- Gene Emerson hideously directed four Care Group leaders to demand my resignation as sr. pastor with no due process if they hoped for SGM to get involved in our local situation. Dave, speaking on behalf of the old Board “recommended” no one be informed of Gene’s sinful actions or of the betrayal and conspiracy that ensued. The entire Board of Directors for SGM was extremely concerned that people in the church, and outside of the church, not find out about this abusive counsel and the conspiracy and betrayal that followed and therefore covered it up. To this day, the church has never been told the truth.
6. Mickey Connolly misleading CrossWay Community Church (Charlotte, NC) when he excommunicated me by deceitfully using Holy Scripture and commentaries.
- “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.” (Nov 26, 2011)
5. C.J. claiming that no one he knows in all of SGM (including himself) is guilty of lying, spin, manipulation, lording, cover-up or partiality.
- Brent to CJ: “Do you believe there is a need for ‘a restoration of integrity, truth telling and justice in Sovereign Grace so there is no lying, spin, manipulation, lording, cover-up, or partiality?’” (June 21, 2011)
- CJ to Brent: “Brent, I don’t think Sovereign Grace in general or anyone I know in particular is ‘lying, covering up, manipulating, lording, etc.’” (July 2, 2011)
- Everyone in SGM knows there has been lying, spin, manipulation, lording, cover-up and partiality including C.J. But after 2½ years of evidence this continues to be C.J.’s position. No one has ever admitted to me or SGM any of these sins.
Reference: A Final Appeal (pp. 123-126)
4. The new Board saying there was unanimous agreement among them on C.J. returning as the President of SGM.
- Dissenting Board Members told numerous leaders in SGM they didn’t agree with C.J. being the President. They also told leaders in SGM they were asked by some leading Board Members to present the decision as though unanimous. Initially, these dissenters refused and said they would go public in order to expose such a claim. In the end, they capitulated to the majority. Paul Buckley (Vice Chairman of the Board) and Ian McConnell (Board Member) can verify this is true.
- Brent to Board: “You also continue to lie. You know there was not unanimous support for C.J.’s return as President when you voted at the June 11-14 retreat in Annapolis! You conceal that in this communique instead of being honest and telling everyone the Board was divided. Instead, you followed through on your deceitful presentation that the Board was united in this decision. The hardline majority persuaded the soft minority to go along with the ruse even though men like Paul [Buckley] and Ian [McConnell] promised to expose it. Unbelievable! No one should trust any of you. This is just more SGM spin and deceit…. This is not a new occurrence. The same kind of deceitful activity occurred with the interim Board when they presented decisions as unanimous when in fact it was not the case. Craig [Cabaniss] and former Board Members like Aron Osborne and Pete Greasley will tell you so if they are honest. Contact them.”
3. C.J.’s emphatic assertion to all the pastors that there will be no damage control in SGM.
- C.J. to SGM pastors: “It is stunning when anyone in any modern American institution takes honest responsibility. I want you to know, it should not be stunning when pastors take responsibility. It should be the norm. And in Sovereign Grace we are not about damage control. It would be a complete contradiction of this passage [James 3:2] and what we believe about the doctrine of sin for us to engage in damage control. We do not engage in damage control. There will be no damage control in Sovereign Grace. We will seek to walk humbly before God and when we stumble we will not seek to engage in damage control. No, instead we will humbly acknowledge with sorrow that we stumbled – we stumbled. No damage control!”
- This strenuous denunciation of “damage control” and forceful commitment to “humbly acknowledge with sorrow that we stumble” was made by C.J. in April 2009. For the past 12 years, C.J. has habitually covered up his sins and has yet to confess any sin to SGM or the SGM pastors. For the past 12 months, the SGM Boards have also habitually covered up sin and have yet to confess any sin to SGM or the SGM pastors. C.J.’s strenuous assertion that damage control is not tolerated in SGM was a lie and a form of damage control itself.
2. John Loftness and the new Board telling the public that C.J. has exceptional character and is a minister of fundamental integrity.
- John to SGM: “This comprehensive process has clearly confirmed C.J.’s fitness to lead and his exceptional character as he has graciously endured major trials. Through all of this he has been found to be a man and a minister of fundamental integrity.” (June 28, 2012)
- This is the runner up for the most grandiose lie of all. Every affirmation in this paragraph is pie in the sky. That’s why C.J. is not the only problem in SGM. The new Board is a major problem starting with its Chairman. For instance, the word “exceptional” means “rare, outstanding, superlative, extraordinary.” Really John? And “through all of this he has been found to be a man and minister of fundamental integrity.” How can that be? None of the charges contained in these 50 lies were ever evaluated! If you tell a lie often enough some people end up believing it. That is all John has going for him. Here is the unvarnished truth. With one exception, no leader in SGM history has demonstrated worse character or lied more often than C.J. over the past 10 years. This has been repeatedly demonstrated. The old Board, interim Board, and new Board have all abused their positions of power in order to champion a “without spot or blemish” caricature of C.J. That should come as no surprise given the fact each member of each Board was handpicked by C.J. and Dave Harvey.
1. C.J.’s emphatic assertion that he has always been above reproach and qualified for Christian ministry.
- C.J. to SGM pastors: “I don’t believe my sins are uncommon or scandalous or disqualifying. I have never believed that since the day the first document [Response Regarding Friendship & Doctrine] arrived [Mar 17, 2010].”
- C.J. has never thought for a split second that his long term lying, deceit, abuse and hypocrisy are in the least bit disqualifying. The notion has never crossed his mind over the past 2½ years. That’s C.J. – his sense of moral superiority and imperviousness to reality is unmatched. Most pastors I know assume there is plenty in their lives to disqualify them and they are so grateful others disagree! With C.J. it is just the opposite. The fact that C.J. has always considered himself “above reproach” (I Tim 3:1) and “blameless” (Tit 1:6) is the clearest evidence of his fierce pride. It is staggering. This is unquestionably the biggest lie he has ever told. It is Numero Uno on my list!
The following statement may sound dramatic but that is not my intent. I present it as a simple matter of fact. C.J. and Dave are proven liars. This has been repeatedly shown. I derive no pleasure in saying or proving so. Christian ministry is a high calling and those in it must have the highest degree of integrity. Tragically, the guile of these men and their followers has brought great reproach upon Sovereign Grace Ministries.
The past 13 months have been characterized by cunning and duplicity. The lies referenced in this post (and there are many more) were told in order to deceive and mislead people. No one should remain in Sovereign Grace Ministries because nothing it’s leaders promise, pledge or say can be trusted. They will break their word whenever it serves their purpose. They will lie whenever necessary to cover their tracks. Therefore, no one should be following or endorsing their leadership.
The commendation of C.J. by the new Board of Directors as clearly fit for ministry flies in the face of reality. Go back and briefly review the 50 headlines for each lie. There is no doubt the ethical demise of SGM has been great. Denying it only increases it because the suppression of truth always produces depraved minds and darkened hearts. For the past decade, the Holy Spirit has been patiently convicting C.J. of his pride, duplicity, and hypocrisy but he has steadfastly hardened his heart against God’s kindness in leading him to repentance.
Over the past 13 months, the Sovereign Lord has been turning Sovereign Grace over to their lies and deceit. This is an act of judgment. The Holy One has been mocked long enough. He is taking action to undo the unrighteousness of men. It is time for everyone in Sovereign Grace Ministries to “shake the dust off their feet” (Matt 10:14) and leave what was the dearest place on earth.
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