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Tim Challies on Thinking Biblically About C.J. Mahaney and SGM

On Thursday, Tim Challies, noted blogger in the Reformed community, posted “Thinking Biblically about C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries.”  He should have written “Thinking Biblically about Pastors Who Protect Sexual Predators and Devastate Victims.”  Tim always purports to think biblically for his readers but he often errs in his use of Scripture.  

Over the past 18 months, Tim’s message has remained the same regarding C.J.  Believe the best about him, remain ignorant, and don’t form an opinion about him or SGM.  Tim reminds me of Neville Chamberlain. 

Tim and C.J. are not buddies but Tim is buddies with C.J.’s Reformed friends.  His claim of neutrality is bogus.  He is a spokesman for C.J.’s friends which means he is effectively a spokesman for C.J.  

I also wish Tim had written on the subject of “Thinking Biblically about the Nature of Love, Truth and Justice” with 1 Corinthians 13:6 in mind.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”  

Lastly, I wish he were a bonafide journalist.  From what he has written in his post, there is no reason to believe he even read the class action lawsuit against C.J. and SGM.  Here is how he summarized it. 

“A lawsuit that will soon go before the courts alleges that [SGM leaders] responded unwisely when [significant sexual abuse] was reported to them and that they failed to take sufficient action on behalf of victims.” (Tim Challies, Feb 28, 2013) 

What a positive spin on the lawsuit.  It is not about SGM leaders responding unwisely or taking insufficient action in relation to pedophiles, victims, law enforcement and church members.  That is a total misrepresentation.  Here are but a few excerpts from the lawsuit that contains 143 legal Complaints.  C.J. and SGM are Defendants.     

  • "The facts show that certain individual Defendants and other predators not named repeatedly physically and sexually abused children.” (C1)
  • "Defendants failed to stop repeated and ongoing sexual predation. (C1)
  • "Defendants failed to report known incidences of sexual predation to law enforcement” (C1)
  • "Created a culture in which sexual predators were protected from accountability and victims were silenced.” (C1)
  • "Defendants negligently hired sexual predators.” (C25)
  • “Defendants provided sexual predators with free legal advice and counsel on how to evade accountability, and repeatedly worked with sexual predators to mislead law enforcement.” (C30)
  • “Defendants concealed the ongoing sexual predation in order to avoid any financial or reputational harms to the Church.” (C31)
  • “Defendants refused to alert members to the presence of known and convicted pedophiles.” (C33)
  • “Defendants permitted…known pedophiles to interact with children without advising the parents of these interactions.” (C33)
  • “Defendants exacerbated the harm to the innocent victims of sexual predation by forcing them (some as young as 2 and 3 years old) to meet and “forgive” their sexual predators. These sessions re-traumatized the victims and their parents.” (C34)
  • “Defendants have conspired repeatedly to permit sexual predators to evade detection and prosecution.” (C111)  

If you want to know more of my thoughts on Tim Challies you can read a former post entitled “A Brief Response to Tim Challies” (August 17, 2011).  Go to: 

Here is an good article by Rachel Held Evans regarding Challies’ recent post on “Thinking Biblically About C.J. Mahaney and SGM.”  I’d recommend it to you.


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