Here at Apprising Ministries I’m doing what I can to continue covering The Falling Away Of The Evangelical Church, which appears to be happening at warp speed now. As I recently said in C.J. Mahaney at Together for the Gospel, from where I stand, it looks pretty easy for “big time” pastors, who are always rubbing shoulders together at the same conferences, to have their judgment clouded by their friendships.

Has this happened in the case of C.J. Mahaney? Obviously, I can’t say because I don’t frequent the circles he does, nor do I know the men he does. What I can do, however,  is remind you that two years ago I posted C.J. Mahaney & Sovereign Grace Church Bring History, Controversy To New Louisville Launch and Lawsuit Claims C.J. Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace Ministries Concealed Sex Abuse Allegations.

Therein AM did what little I could do at the time due to my deteriorating health to try and bring light upon alleged problems surrounding Mahaney and his charismatic Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM), which was once known as People of Destiny International (PDI). ((In my earlier article Beware of Spiritual Abuse I showed you that PDI has ties with the Shepherding Movement, which begat “’Heavy shepherding’ (also referred to as the ‘Discipleship Movement’) [and] is a method of psychological control used by abusive churches and cults. It came out of the Shepherding Movement of the 1970s.”: http://www.gotquestions.org/heavy-shepherding.html, accessed 5/21/14.))

At last check, we saw that Brent Detwiler ((If you didn’t know, Detwiler is “a former SGM leader turned vocal critic, attended the trial and blogged his account of what information surfaced related to what SGM leaders knew when.“:  http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2014/may/c-j-mahaney-joshua-harris-resign-from-gospel-coalition-sgm.html, accessed 5/21/14.)) had reported Nathaniel Morales Found Guilty on All Counts of Sex Abuse & Offense. ((This report from WJLA, who covered the trail itself, fills in more of the details: http://wj.la/1mYGsdw, accessed 5/21/14.)) Detwiler told us:

The Jury has returned it’s verdict. Nathaniel Morales was found guilty on all five counts of sex abuse and sex offense.

There are two more trials scheduled for next week against Morales for the sexual abuse of other boys. I don’t know if he will plead guilty, work a plea deal, or make a defense now that he has been found guilty. I hope it goes to trial because more evidence exposing the conspiracy at Covenant Life Church will come out. (source)

Then today, once again, we now see Tullian Tchividjian Blasts Sovereign Grace Ministries Handling of Sex Abuse Scandal; Prematurely Departs The Gospel Coalition over at Christian Post. But as Detwiler also points out, this CP story suddenly vanished last night:

The article, “Tullian Tchividjian Blasts SGM Handling of Sex Abuse Scandal” by Morgan Lee is back up at The Christian Post website as of 5:49 AM. It was taken down 30 minutes after it was posted yesterday afternoon.

The author, Morgan Lee just tweeted (10:27 AM) this clarification.  “Hey everyone, about CP’s story on @pastortullian last night. The story was accidentally published early at the end of our work day when it was actually supposed to go out this morning. Too many editors working on it and was pulled down after editor realized it was live early.” (source)

Lee now informs us that:

Tullian Tchividjian is slamming Sovereign Grace Ministries for its handling of a sex abuse scandal, while announcing this week that his participation with The Gospel Coalition will unexpectedly end on Thursday.

Tchividjian, whose brother, Boz, is the founder of Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment, a group that investigates sexual abuse in churches and ministries, spoke out against TGC’s actions in light of the Sovereign Grace Ministries sexual abuse scandal.

C. J. Mahaney, who founded the SGM, along with other ministry leaders, was hit with a civil lawsuit last year alleging that they conspired to “permit sexual deviants to have unfettered access to children for purposes of predation and to obstruct justice by covering up ongoing past predation.”

While the lawsuit was thrown out due to statute of limitations, Tchividjian said that unlike many of those connected to TGC who considered Mahaney a friend and claimed that he had “been the object of libel and even a Javert-like obsession by some,” he saw the situation differently. In his eyes, given that Mahaney’s brother-in-law and fellow former pastor at Covenant Life Church had confessed to knowing about sex abuse claims and withholding that information from police last week, the SGM pastor was guilty.

“Give me a break. These people, they’re family. Of course he knew,” Tchividjian told The Christian Post. “C. J. was, for many years, the micro-managing head of the organization and nothing happened under the umbrella of Sovereign Grace that he wasn’t made aware of, so for anyone to say, ‘Well he didn’t know,’ that’s totally naive.”

Tchividjian added that he was “pretty disturbed” when Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung, and Justin Taylor published a statement on TGC website in May 2013 which defended Mahaney, saying that it looked “like the good-old boys club covering their own.”

“I thought it was premature. I thought it was insensitive. I communicated with the guys who wrote this statement that I was disappointed, that I thought it was unwise and premature and that they needed to clarify that their statement was not a statement from The Gospel Coalition, per se, but was their own personal statement,” Tchividjian explained.

“There were some of us on the coalition, or who were associated with it, who didn’t want to be associated with their defense of C. J.,” he continued. “I’ve just been sort of disgusted by the whole thing.”

Speaking about his departure from The Gospel Coalition, Tchividjian said his departure came with little warning, though he explained that he made the decision eight or nine months ago to leave in August…

Last week, Tchividjian said he was informed via a friend on TGC’s council that the group’s leadership wanted his blog posts removed “ASAP.”  According to Tchividjian’s contact, TGC leadership was hoping to have his content removed because the website was relaunching on Monday, but noted that part of its decision seemed to “be personal, some of it theological.”

Tchividjian told his friend to inform TGC leadership that he already intended to remove his content in August, but that his site was not ready yet; after talking with leaders, his friend told him he had until Monday.  TGC leadership ultimately gave him until this Thursday. (source)

The Gospel Coalition issued their version of events today in On Some Recent Changes At TGC:

We want to give readers help in understanding some of the changes that have gone on at The Gospel Coalition of late. One minister, Tullian Tchividjian, was asked to move his blog off our website. Two other members of the Council, Joshua Harris and C. J. Mahaney, resigned from the Council (Tullian was not a member of the Council). Each move had significantly different reasons behind it.

In Tullian’s case, it was obvious to observers that for some time there has been an increasingly strident debate going on around the issue of sanctification. The differences were doctrinal and probably even more matters of pastoral practice and wisdom. Recently it became clear that the dispute was becoming increasingly sharp and divisive rather than moving toward greater unity. Earlier in the year our executive director spent two days with Tullian in Florida. Coming out of that meeting, it was decided that Tullian would move his blog. Finally the Council at its meeting last week decided that Tullian should move his blog immediately, and we communicated this conclusion to Tullian.

Both Joshua Harris and C. J. Mahaney were Council members who resigned their position, but though they came at the same time, it would be mistaken to think the reasons and processes for these decisions were the same.. (source)

And so, the fallout from this sad saga concerning SGM and C.J. Mahaney appears to be continuing…

Further reading