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.