Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Brent Detwiler's Defense of Data Dump on Mahaney-SGM-Operations

Brent Detwiler, former employee and SGM-board member, long-term associate of Mr. C.J. Mahaney, issued the statements below in response to criticisms of his [Mr. Detwiler] release of the 600+ page data dump on SGM-Mahaney operations.  Those daunting pages can be accessed at  Quite a read.!/notes/brent-detwiler/did-i-follow-matthew-1815-17-heres-my-answer/245588655468706

Did I follow Matthew 18:15-17? The answer is yes. I have gone to CJ countless times "in private" but he did not listen. Then, I've gone with "the testimony of two or three witnesses" countless times but he also refused to listen. These two steps have been repeated time and again over the last decade. More than with any leader we have ever disciplined or removed from ministry. It was due to our cowardice and favoritism that we never took step 3 which says we must "tell it to the church." That is one reason why (but not the only - that awaits another document) I sent my documents out to the SGM pastors on July 6. C.J.'s longstanding patterns of serious sins have been the best kept secret in SGM for many years. Unfortunately, the new Board under Dave Harvey's leadership, has condemned my action. On July 13, they posted on the SGM blog “that Brent Detwiler’s distribution of written accusations against C.J. Mahaney to all Sovereign Grace pastors constitutes the public slander of Mahaney’s reputation.” My friends are mistaken.!/notes/brent-detwiler/a-second-reason-for-sending-out-the-documents/245668182127420

A Second Reason for Sending Out the Documents

by Brent Detwiler on Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 11:50am
After 18 months of appeals and 600 pages of writing, the old & new SGM Boards refused to take any disciplinary action with regard to C.J. On July 13, they posted the following. “The board of Sovereign Grace Ministries has reviewed Brent Detwiler’s documents…and finds no reason at this time to deem him unfit for ministry… C.J. Mahaney is a qualified minister of the gospel and this board approves his pastoral and teaching ministry in Sovereign Grace and the wider body of Christ.” That has been their consistent position throughout this lengthy process.!/notes/brent-detwiler/a-third-fourth-reason-for-sending-out-the-documents/245699472124291

A Third & Fourth Reason for Sending Out the Documents

by Brent Detwiler on Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 1:07pm
On June 11, Dave Harvey alerted all the SGM pastors to my documents. He wrote, “If you haven’t received them already, you have hundreds of pages of documentation - Brent’s concerns for CJ - coming your way.” Dave then went on to discredit me and my writings while commending C.J. for his humility. He ends by saying “Gentlemen, it ain’t pretty…but it’s a faithful narrative [i.e., Dave’s perspective] of a sad tale [i.e., my conduct and writing].” I found out about this correspondence three weeks later on June 26. Needless to say, I was shocked, troubled and disappointed at this preemptive strike; and more so, because this action was hidden from me both by the SGM Board and the Covenant Life pastors.

During those three weeks, I was working with the Covenant Life pastors and appealing for them to follow 1 Timothy 5:19-21. “Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning. I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.” I was intentionally holding back the sending out my documents to the SGM pastors until I got a report of their time with C.J. These men are C.J.’s pastors. They have a responsibility to watch over his soul. Not the other way around. I wanted them to do their job.

I also wanted to hear a good report, a detailed report, and an honest report; because I did not want to send out the documents. I was hoping the pastors would come through unlike the SGM board. Instead, I was left hanging. Joshua sent me a general report but refused to provide any details or the official minutes which I asked for a head of time. I couldn’t tell if the pastors formally rebuked C.J. or not; and I could not determine how he responded. From what I can tell, the CLC elders did not reprove C.J. except for the blackmail of Larry Tomczak. They questioned him about other matters but there is no evidence in my possession that they corrected him. Things went silent after this when they decided to turn everything over to an outside mediator. I believe this was a clear dereliction of duty. The elders, not mediators, have the foremost responsibly to discipline C.J. That was the fourth reason for broadening my appeal to all the elders in SGM.!/notes/brent-detwiler/a-fifth-reason-for-sending-out-the-documents/245745185453053

A Fifth Reason for Sending Out the Documents

by Brent Detwiler on Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 2:56pm
Wednesday, July 6 was a monumental day in my little life on planet earth! That evening, I sent out “Response Regarding Friendship and Doctrine,” “A Final Appeal,” “Concluding Remarks,” and “The Untold Story” to all the pastors in SGM (see sgmwikileaks). It was something I never planned to do or hoped to do. But releasing the documents had become a matter of conscience by that evening.

Earlier in the day, C.J. posted the following statement on the SGM website. “Over the last few years some former pastors and leaders in Sovereign Grace have made charges against me and informed me about offenses they have with me as well as other leaders in Sovereign Grace.”

This statement by my friend was terribly misleading. First, for many years, not a few years, many people, not some people, raised legitimate concerns with C.J. Our dealings with C.J. were not a recent development. They had a long history. The reader was led to believe otherwise.

Second, the charges (i.e., reproves, correction, rebukes) against C.J. came from men who worked with him at the time. They did not come from former pastors and leaders who recently left SGM or from men who leveled bogus charges because they were offended. No, the unsuccessful process of speaking into C.J. had been going on for a long time. It began in December 2000.

C.J. should have made clear to all of SGM that his pride, unteachableness, deceit, sinful judgments, hypocrisy and more; had been addressed for a long time by people who loved him, were loyal to him, and cared about him. Not just by offended former leaders.

I hate to say it, but this is an example of Sovereign Grace spin. What C.J. said was a small part of the story. He left the rest out. In so doing, he minimized the seriousness and down played the extensiveness.

Decide for yourself. Read all 600 pages and compare them to C.J.’s statement above. I’d say there is a massive disconnect. C.J. had a responsibility to tell the whole truth. He did not do so and that is the fifth reason why I sent out “The Documents.”

C.J.’s statement on July 6 was monumental in what it did not say. I had no choice but to inform the SGM pastors of the deceit I observed. It was the straw that broke this camel’s back.


terriergal said...

This is all very sad. I read an article re Mahaney which seemed to poo poo Detweiler's contentions. I guess I can see why, but then reading detweiler's documents, I can see his point too.

sigh. I don't know that I would have gone this far in trying to rein Mahaney in. I would have walked away and left it, and just kept the emails until something more substantial happened, so you have a paper trail/corroborating evidence to say "look, I tried to warn you" later.

Everyone has pride. But establishing a pattern of white lies or obfuscation is very very difficult. In those cases what seems obvious to the people involved is not so easy to prove to those not acquainted with the situation, on the outside looking in.

Reformation said...

Thanks Terriergal.

Am trying to follow varied resources. Autocracy, blackmail, and abusiveness seems to be thematic. 100s left their churches over this, but their stories haven't been told. They walked away as you indicated you (and I) would have. "Sin sniffing" is also a common theme. It would appear that Mr. Detwiler, a top leader, perfected the skill and used the Mahaney-developed skill on Mahaney himself. These folks are not Confessional or liturgical. They have polity problems, including appellate and superior/or wider courts for review. It's all problematic.


Anonymous said...

If you're posting 600 pages about your leader's failing, I'd consider you to be a little anal.

BTW, I know none of the principles, none of the congregants.

Seneca Griggs.