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:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mahaney/ SGM – Louisville, KY SBCers? Mohler/SBTS to the Rescue?

Deb at "The Wartburg Watch" is offering the following interpretation of Mahaney's convenient and hasty westward retreat from his home church--whence he fled--, Covenant Life, Gaithersburg, MD, towards Kentucky.  Mahaney had a temporary layover at Dever's community and then Solid Rock (SGM), MD.  We suspect that Mahaney got a preliminary whiff of possible fallout and debris from an impending report from the Ambassadors of Reconciliation (due end of Mar 2012).  The new school Baptyerian, Lig Duncan, once suprised RA, but his stock has dropped to about $0.25 from the old school standpoint.  As to the forthcoming T4G, 10-12 Apr 2012, we did a preliminary analysis last year:  one can expect a few cool $$ million in profits for the event.  Where the $$s go is anyone's guess.  On another note, for those advancing in years, we offer this.  Three benefits accrue in watching and researching Mahaney's history.  (1)  Ocular exercises, especially.  That is, "rolling the eyes."  (2) "Shaking the head."  It works the neck muscles to get those kinks out.  (3) "Laughter."  It works the cheek, face and throat muscles.  "Ya just gotta laugh a little." Nothing like watching a skilled enthusiast "enthuse." A modern mountebank of the first order.  However, there is one contra-indication:  do not watch or research Mahaney/SGM if one has blood pressure issues.  But back on point.  Deb says:  "For those of you who are sports enthusiasts, here is what Mohler and Dever have done on behalf of pastor-athlete Mahaney. They have RUN INTERFERENCE, meaning they have protected Mahaney from the criticism and correction he is rightly due from those whom he has hurt in Sovereign Grace Ministries. To put it another way, Mohler and Dever have done an end run around SGMers and prevented that from occurring. Now Mahaney is hiding out at Solid Rock Church until he makes the BIG MOVE" [emphasis in the original].

"I think preaching and pastoral ministry are where grace is most evident in my life and where my leadership is most effectively expressed. Others seem to agree."

We believe history is being made as high profile leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention MEDDLE in the affairs of another denomination, which self-identifies as a "family of churches".

Yes, I'm talking about Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM). In case you haven't heard, C.J. Mahaney, who was recently reinstated as President of SGM, is assisting with the appointment of his successor and laying the foundation to PLANT a new church in another state.

As the saying goes, "bloom where you're planted", and the word on the street is that Mahaney is planning to relocate to Kentucky and set down roots there. There is also speculation that the offices of Sovereign Grace Ministries will be moved from Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland to Kentucky — most likely Louisville.

We have written extensively on C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries, so if you are new to TWW, you might want to browse through our archives. Why is Mahaney leaving the state where he grew up and the church he pastored for 27 years? It appears the accusations of hyper-authoritarianism and spiritual abuse (among other things) by hundreds and hundreds of current and former SGMers (including many pastors) have reached a fevered pitch, and Mahaney believes his best option is to get out of Gaithersburg! The Ambassadors of Reconciliation have been called in to investigate the accusations, and they will be issuing their findings very soon. We will be sure to pass along any information that is made public.

What was the straw that broke the camel's back in SGM? From our vantage point, it appears the 600+ pages of documentation that Brent Detwiler compiled (which an anonymous individual posted on the internet) put all of this in motion. As soon as Mahaney suspected Detwiler was going public in some way with his incriminating information, Mahaney voluntarily stepped down. That was in early July 2011. Seven months later Mahaney was reinstated as president of SGM.

Perhaps the most damning information that was revealed in Detwiler's documentation was Mahaney's attempt to blackmail his mentor Larry Tomczak if he did not leave the organization quietly back in 1998. Tomczak had a big problem with the shift toward Calvinistic theology, and, Mahaney threatened to go public with the confidentially confessed sins of Tomczak's son if Larry did not go away quietly into the night… Fifteen years passed, and Mahaney finally made an attempt to patch things up with Tomczak, who had been urging a reconciliation for years.

Why would Mahaney relocate to another state — Kentucky — as some are speculating? If the Bluegrass State is the Mahaneys' destination, there is a very good reason… Dee and I first began investigating C.J. Mahaney and SGM in the fall of 2008 — seven months before we began blogging. Exactly two months after we launched The Wartburg Watch, we wrote about CJ's significant monetary contributions to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in a post called The Mahaney Money Machine. We were so new to blogging that not many people read the following "observation" included in that post:

"How did C.J. Mahaney become so popular among reformed Christians? As far as we can determine, C.J.’s secret to success is that he has friends in high places. We believe his recognition among the “Reformed Big Dogs” began when he befriended Mark Dever, Senior Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, in Washington, D.C. (a church not far from Gaithersburg where CLC is located)."

For more, see:

Also, Deb concludes with this bit of humour.  We leave you with a tune the Mahaneys may be singing.

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