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An Open Letter to the Leaders & Pastors of SGM Regarding Their Cowardice & Corruption

To the Leaders & Pastors of SGM, 

Over the last three years, God the Holy Spirit has been convicting you of sin, righteousness and judgment.  But like the Sanhedrin “covered their ears” at the preaching of Stephen, so you have covered the ears of your heart to Jesus Christ.  This hardness of heart has choked the seed of God’s word that was intended to bring forth repentance.   Alas, no fruit emerged.  The tree is barren.  

The Lord’s word through Jeremiah is true for you.   “In vain I punished your people; they did not respond to correction” (Jer. 2:30).   The Sovereign Lord has been punishing and correcting you for “lying, deception, hypocrisy, abuse, etc.” but you deny such sins have been committed by any of your leaders.  

In August 2013, you excommunicated me for bringing charges against you.  Here’s what you said.    

“As the Sovereign Grace Council of Elders, representing the elderships that govern local churches, we believe that Brent Detwiler has repeatedly and grievously slandered our churches and our leaders.  … This belief is based on the numerous public statements Brent has made accusing leaders of Sovereign Grace churches of lying, deception, hypocrisy, conspiracy, abuse, etc. without due process nor sufficient information and at times blatantly contrary to the facts.” (Council of Elders Statement, August 5, 2013) 

Without due process?  I pleaded for due process a thousand times.  You were always the ones who rejected it!  Nor sufficient information?  Three thousand pages of carefully documented evidence was not enough for you!  And at times blatantly contrary to the facts?  Like my claim that C.J. was asked to resign as President of Sovereign Grace Ministries!  You love to label as slander that which is true when you are corrected and confronted.  

I responded to these obscene charges in two blog posts.  You should read them in entirety.  Here are a few excerpts. 

SGM Council of Elders Commends C.J. Mahaney & Condemns Brent Detwiler
Friday, August 9, 2013
Brent Detwiler

The charge of slander is the only weapon in SGM’s arsenal.  They have never allowed me to present charges and they have never been willing to defend themselves.  Their only defense has been to label me a slanderer, tell people I am motivated by vengeance, and threatened people with church discipline if they read my material. (see for example, Ten Common Cult-Like Characteristics Evident in Mickey Connolly’s Leadership) …

They are welcome to accuse me of slander but they must prove it.  In over 3,000 pages of hard evidence, I have documented my charges of “lying, deception, hypocrisy, conspiracy, abuse, etc.”  I say to the Council of Elders, “Set up an open hearing!  I am glad for you to show me where I have presented insufficient information or information contrary the facts.”  That has always been my position and posture of heart. …

The Council of Elders claims I’ve accused their leaders without due process.  This is the most deceitful and disturbing comment of all.  It is pure spin and contrary to all the facts.  These leaders know I’ve repeatedly asked C.J. Mahaney and those accused to defend themselves. 

SGM has not been denied due process.  The truth be told, they have fled, loathed, and despised due process.  Due process means they have to provide answers to hard questions.  Due process means they have to be open and honest.  Due process means they have to refute evidence.  Due process means objective judges are present to adjudicate.  SGM fears due process more than anything in this world! 

In this act of great hypocrisy, the Council of Elders condemns me for slander without presenting evidence or allowing any defense.  This is a brazen denial of due process and an egregious violation of the polity they proudly espouse, but don’t follow, in their Book of Church Order. See Rules of Discipline, pp. 55-74. …

Council of Elders put forth your evidence to show where I have slandered, failed to put forward sufficient information, and blatantly put forward charges contrary to the facts.  This is not a dare.  I have invited such examinations for over three years.  I am serious about this offer.   

And then allow for reciprocity!  Let the facts speak and let me demonstrate that I am the one who has been denied due process and by malicious means.  You have never allowed me to make my case by presenting evidence, calling witnesses, or cross examining false witnesses though all this was promised me.  Instead, you have shielded the accused and let them off the hook when they have grievously transgressed God’s holy law (see for example, Get Out of Jail Free Card for C.J. – No Adjudication Hearing). …

When the Council of Elders met for the first time in May, they had no idea it might be a good time to humble themselves in light of God’s opposition!  There was no willingness to examine the past or present.  There was no self-suspicion or self-examination. 

Instead they took the occasion to exalt themselves by putting forth a statement that denies lying, deception, hypocrisy, conspiracy, and abuse by it leaders and especially by C.J. Mahaney.  In my opinion, and let me quote them, “Such harmful speech is ruinous to the church of God.”

Tragically the 50 representative elders have failed to be trained by discipline over the last two years.  They continue to lead SGM down the path of pride that has brought about its demise.  They have taking lightly the discipline of God and “run away from this process.” …

It doesn’t matter what the Council of Elders says about me.  I will continue to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and God’s people by presenting the truth about Sovereign Grace Ministry as fairly and accurately as I can.  I have no choice in the matter.  My life is not my own.    

In his providence, God has ordained every circumstance surrounding SGM for the good of his Church at large.  Once greatly exalted, Sovereign Grace Ministries has been brought low.  This is not due to slander or owing to the devil.  It is an expression of God’s opposition in the face of unrepentant pride. 

Sovereign Grace Ministries is in grave trouble.  This edict is a desperate attempt to salvage the vestiges of what little remains.  Please pray for C.J. that he will sincerely repent (see C.J.’s Foxhole Conversion).  Pray for the Council of Elders that they will pursue truth and justice.  Pray for national leaders who enable C.J. and refuse to examine the evidence.   

Pray also for law enforcement.  Widespread crimes have been committed and a great effort is being made to conceal them.  Last of all, pray for the victims of physical and sexual abuse in SGM.  There are 11 Plaintiffs in the lawsuit but many more victims.  The massive conspiracy to commit and cover up these horrors must be exposed by the power of God. 

It’ Been a Good Week!
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Brent Detwiler

This week, I’ve been reflecting on the events of last week.  Last week, C.J. Mahaney was canonized and I was demonized.  I thank God for this development.  It’s been a good week!  

In case you’re not following, the national Council of Elders for Sovereign Grace Ministries put out a statement last week in which they highly commended C.J. and royally condemn me.  It was an answer to prayer!  

In fact, the statement not only justified C.J., it justified every leader in SGM against whom I have brought formal charges.  I am genuinely grateful to God for the clarity found in their unequivocal pronouncement.  We now know the position taken by the new governing body of SGM.  No accused leader in SGM is guilty of lying, deception, hypocrisy, conspiracy, or abuse. 

According to the Council of Elders, my 3,000 pages of documented charges are baseless and the 46 page class action lawsuit is bogus.  There is no conspiracy to commit or cover up sex crimes by C.J. Mahaney, John Loftness, Gary Ricucci or anyone else!  The alleged conspiracy is pure fiction per the Council of Elders and its Executive Committee.  In their view, not one shred of evidence exists in support of a conspiracy!  They agree with the former [interim] Board of Directors. … 

All of this is lost upon the Council of Elders.  That’s why their statement from last Monday is extremely helpful.  It sets forth in no uncertain terms their present view.  Anyone who reads it is up to date on what they believe about C.J. Mahaney and themselves.  Simply put, it is “all good” in SGM!  No sins.  No crimes.  No conspiracy.  All good!!!  

But this exalted view has only produced greater concerns for SGM in the hearts and minds of those inside and outside the organization.  People around the nation, and even the world, are shocked by the pride and heavy handedness evident in their statement. … 

This latest action by the Council of Elders was self-defeating.  From my perspective, the Lord sent a spirit of confusion into their “camp” like he did with the Egyptians (Exodus 14:24), the Amorites (Joshua 10:10) and the Philistines (1 Sam 14:20) of old.  The Council of Elders conceived a plan for victory but they were handed a defeat by the Lord.  Their commendation of C.J. and condemnation of me only heightened people’s concern for SGM. … 

I am grateful for this statement by the Council of Elders because it brings closure to the question, “Has SGM changed like they confidently claim?”  The answer is a resounding “no.”  Nothing is different except for external changes in polity.  There is no change of heart.  No ethical reform.  They have indicted themselves yet again in this statement.  Until they deal with the “lying, deception, hypocrisy, conspiracy, abuse, etc.” the Lord will continue to oppose them.    

Moreover, you exulted over C.J. though he is the prime example of these very sins.  You said,

“Furthermore, in contradiction to Brent Detwiler’s ongoing statements, we vigorously reiterate our support of C.J. Mahaney as a qualified minister of the gospel. … We also publicly declare our gratefulness for C.J.’s many years of service and commend his ongoing ministry of the gospel.” (Council of Elders Statement, August 5, 2013) 

You should have removed C.J. and Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville from SGM and asked him to step down from pastoral ministry for being unrepentant like the Acts 29 Board just asked Mark Driscoll do today.  Instead, you coddle and cuddle C.J. like a little child.  No one has the courage to speak out against him like men did against Driscoll in the Acts 29 network of churches.  You should read my blog post “The Twin Brothers Driscoll & Mahaney” from April 4, 2012.

I often think of Revelation 21:8.  “But the cowardly…and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.”  You can’t be a Christian and a coward.    You can’t be a Christian and corrupt.  And you certainly can’t be a Christian leader if you are both cowardly and corrupt!  When will anyone take a stand and boldly speak out in public!  C.J. should not be in ministry.

As leaders and pastors in SGM, you continue to tolerate the sins of lying, deceit, hypocrisy and abuse like the church in Thyatira tolerated the woman Jezebel.  No, even more!  You exalt and promote men characterized by these sins.  You put them on your Executive Committee and Leadership Team and make them your Regional Leaders. 

Once again, the Lord has exposed your deceitful scheming with newly released evidence.  Will you ever learn the Almighty God is not mocked?  In June 2012, members on the Board of Directors did not want C.J. to continue as President.  In September 2012, members on the Board of Directors and other major leaders wanted C.J. removed as President.  This was all covered up with lies and lording.  The proof is definitive. 

My work has always been about telling the truth.  Someday I hope it leads many of you to repentance.  “Grieve, mourn and wail.  Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.” (James 4:9) 

Here are the links to my recent blog posts about the cowardice and corruption surrounding C.J. continuing and remaining the President of SGM.  I’ve provided brief summaries below but you must read the posts in entirety and face the facts.  Then maybe, just maybe, someone will have the guts to do what no one has done.  Come clean and tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth about attempts to remove C.J. as President and the cover up that ensued by C.J., John Loftness, Mickey Connolly and others.    

And even as I’ve been writing this post, I received additional evidence regarding the manner in which the Executive Committee pushed through my excommunication.  It would never have happened if further discussions were permitted as requested by Aron Osborne, Jim Britt and others.  These evidentiary emails between Phil Sasser (your Director of Church Governance) and Aron and Jim reveal more corruption and heavy handedness.        

Paul Buckley, Chairman of the SGM Board & Other Top Level Leaders, Secretly Plotted C.J. Mahaney’s Removal as President
Brent Detwiler
Saturday, August 2, 2014 

Luke 16:10 Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

This newest illustration is in the “much” category.  The entire Board of Directors in conjunction with C.J. Mahaney, repeatedly deceived the SGM pastors, SGM members, and Body of Christ.  They purposely concealed the truth and actively put forth lies. In fact, top level leaders did not want Mahaney to continue as President and when he did, they worked to remove him.  All this was covered up by the Board, however, as they worked out a deal for Mahaney to transition under the pretense he was not the “best fit.

More Evidence Surrounding the Request for Mahaney’s Resignation & Its Cover Up
Brent Detwiler
Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 10:54 AM

My last blog post was entitled, “Paul Buckley, Chairman of SGM & Other Top Level Leaders, Secretly Plotted C.J. Mahaney’s Removal as President.”  This post is a follow up based upon two emails from Jim Britt to Al Pino and Aron Osborne after the October 2012 Board of Directors retreat when Mahaney’s resignation as President was debated and discussed.

I first reported that Mahaney was asked to resign in March 2013. I was immediately condemned by the SGM Board of Directors for making such an outrageous claim.  SGM has always denied there was any debate, division, or disagreement about Mahaney’s role as President; let alone an earnest request for his resignation.  It is one more lie that has been exposed.  The truth has now come out.

I’d also recommend you read the following blog posts from July.

SGM Uses “Strategic Global Projects” to Fraudulently Raise Money
Brent Detwiler
Friday, July 4, 2014 at 7:28 PM

It is a marketing ploy to refer to these international involvements as “Strategic Global Projects.”  If they were strategic global projects, Sovereign Grace Ministries would be investing strategic global money! 

Instead, Cuba, the Philippines, South Korea, Zambia and Mexico are being used to raise “global money” to fund SGM in the United States.  These five nations will receive next to nothing in aid or assistance.

Supermajority of Florida Churches Leave Sovereign Grace Ministries 
Brent Detwiler
Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Over the past two years, 38 churches left Sovereign Grace Ministries, one church plant decided not to join, and two churches were closed.  Now a supermajority of churches in Florida have pulled out during the short span of two years.  Mark Prater does not want this information getting out.  It is disastrous news. 

List of SGM Churches that Left, Closed or Didn’t Join between July 2012 & July 2014
Brent Detwiler
Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 8:41 AM

SGM Pastors College on Life Support – Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Terminates Special Agreement
Brent Detwiler
Friday, July 18, 2014 at 5:57 PM

The Pastors College is on life support. Millions in debt.  No ties to The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  An average enrollment of nine in recent years.  Hosted by a church with corrupt pastors.  Led by Jeff Purswell who thinks the victims in the civil suit are liars and the sworn testimony of Grant Layman at the Morales trial was fallacious.  And a senior pastor who is under criminal investigation. ... Bad things lie ahead for C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries.  If they don’t close the Pastors College in Louisville they are just postponing the inevitable. 


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More Evidence Surrounding the Request for Mahaney’s Resignation & Its Cover Up

My last blog post was entitled, “Paul Buckley, Chairman of SGM & Other Top Level Leaders, Secretly Plotted C.J. Mahaney’s Removal as President.”  This post is a follow up based upon two emails from Jim Britt to Al Pino and Aron Osborne after the October 2012 Board of Directors retreat when Mahaney’s resignation as President was debated and discussed. 

I first reported that Mahaney was asked to resign in March 2013.  I was immediately condemned by the SGM Board of Directors for making such an outrageous claim.  SGM has always denied there was any debate, division, or disagreement about Mahaney’s role as President; let alone an earnest request for his resignation.  It is one more lie that has been exposed.  The truth has now come out. 

I’ve italicized in bold print Jim Britt’s emails and interspersed my comments using regular print.        

From: Jim Britt
Sent: Saturday, October 27, 2012 6:59 AM
To: Al Pino
Cc: Aron Osborne
Subject: Confidential 

Good morning my friend.  I pray you don’t get a migraine today due to lack of sleep last night.  It is early, I got to bed late, and as I am writing to just you I am rambling a bit.  Sorry.

This was written to Al Pino.  He was on the Board of Directors at the time.  It was copied to Aron Osborne.  He was a Regional Leader and former member of the Interim Board.  It was written by Jim Britt.  He was a well-known church planter.  All three of the men are friends.  Pino and Britt are close friends.  They are on staff together at Palm Vista Community Church.  I’ve had no contact with any of them for a long time. 

If you choose to answer the emails sent to everyone (and I might), here are some suggestions.  

This a reference to two emails that were sent after the Board of Directors retreat in October 2012 when they agreed Mahaney would “transition” as President.  I don’t have these emails in my possession or know their precise content at this point in time. 

1.  I would answer them both without referring to either specifically.  And I would not include CJ in the string nor the body of the answer.  He is not a member of the Board.  The Board governs.  CJ is an employee of the Corporation and as such has no authority.  He may have strength of conviction; but he has no more authority than any other employee of the Corporation, pastor, or member of our family of churches.  Anyway, you are answering convictions, opinions, and appeals…not personalities or individual people. 

The Board of Directors (a.k.a. Executive Committee) and Leadership Team are now separate entities in SGM.  They were once combined.  Loftness was Chairman and Buckley was Vice Chairman of the Board.  Mahaney was President (a.k.a. Executive Director) of the Leadership Team.  On paper, the Board governed Mahaney and the Leadership Team.  In reality, Mahaney’s “strength of conviction” governed everyone.  Britt advises Pino to cut Mahaney out of the follow up discussion. 

2.  Change the rules of engagement; or rather, change them back.  You have been told that you are being pragmatic more than you are being principled.  And you have been told that it is also about a lack of protecting CJ and SGM during a pending lawsuit.  John, Mick, and CJ have changed the focus to CJ as person and the potential inaccurate reporting of you and Pete.  The focus is now about reports and lawsuits.  What began last week as a discussion ended with an ad hoc decision about CJ’s suitability (with reports from churches only added to suggest that more member churches agreed with the members of the Board more than was originally thought).  Remind the men that this began with and still is only about CJ’s ability to lead the organization in the future: 

I don’t claim to fully understand Britt’s thoughts but it appears Pino is being corrected for “a lack of protecting C.J. and SGM during a pending lawsuit” which is the “principled” (i.e., right) thing to do according to John Loftness, Mickey Connolly and C.J. Mahaney.  Of course, protecting means promulgating Mahaney’s innocence in the sex abuse scandal.  This email is dated October 27.  The original lawsuit was filed on October 17.  The retreat occurred on October 9-11 between the filing and this email.  

On this October 2012 retreat, the Board of Directors should have had but one main agenda item.  How they were going to independently investigate Mahaney’s and Loftness’ alleged role in a criminal conspiracy to protect child abuse predators and obstruct justice.  Even though Loftness was Chairman of the Board, he should not have been in the room when this matter was discussed except when it was time to be questioned.  Furthermore, the Board of Directors should have required an immediate leave of absence for Chairman Loftness and President Mahaney until a thorough going investigation was completed in conjunction with the police that completely exonerated them.   

Instead Mahaney, Loftness, Paul Buckley, Ron Boomsma, Craig Cabaniss, Mickey Connolly, Ian McConnell, Ken Mellinger, Al Pino and Phil Sasser put out a statement about the lawsuit that said in part: 

“It is important to note that it does not allege any act of child abuse by a pastor or staff member of SGM or of an associated church.  SGM is not in a position to comment on the specific allegations at this time, but we are beginning a careful legal review of each allegation.  Upon initial review it appears the complaint contains a number of untrue or misleading allegations, as well as considerable mischaracterizations of intent.” (October 26, 2012) 

Of course, Chairman Loftness thought it “important to note” that no “pastor or staff member is accused of child abuse.  That would change when he was accused of child abuse several months later.  

Every one of the men on this Board foolishly believed Loftness and Mahaney.  “Upon initial review” means after talking to Loftness and Mahaney.  They never talked to the victims and they did not cooperate with the police.  Instead they hired lawyers, hid behind the First Amendment and cast evil suspicions upon the victims.  

The Board was happy to disparage these victims by saying their accounts “appeared” to contain “a number of untrue or misleading allegations” and “considerable mischaracterizations of intent.”  Of course, that is exactly what Mahaney and Loftness wanted the Board to say.  

When victims of abuse finally come forward they should be treated with great respect and sensitively.  The Board of Directors should have worked out a plan to meet, reconcile and make restitution with the Plaintiffs.  Instead, they believed the lies of Mahaney/Loftness and followed the advice of lawyers.  The Board continued to disparage a growing list of victims that came out in the First Amended Complaint and the Second Amended Complaint.  

The Board promised, “SGM is not in a position to comment on the specific allegations at this time, but we are beginning a careful legal review of each allegation.”  What ever happen to this careful legal review of each allegation?  It was covered up.  “Legal review” means SGM lawyers reviewed the allegations.  SGM has never reported on their findings. 

Britt says the focus is now on “the potential inaccurate reporting” of Pino and Pete Greasley and “about reports and lawsuits.”  It appears Pino and Greasley have brought “reports” from churches that don’t think Mahaney is suitable as President.  Mahaney, Loftness and Connolly disagree and present their own “reports” that Mahaney is suitable.  That is standard operating procedure for these three men.  Correct Pino for not protecting Mahaney and correct Pino/Greasley for potential inaccuracies.  That is, shut them down.  The one bringing correction ends up being corrected.  That’s why it is so hard to correct Mahaney especially with men like Loftness and Connolly shielding him and defending him. 

Pino and Greasley seem to be on the same page regarding Mahaney’s lack of suitability.  That is, they don’t think he should continue as President.  Add Pino to the list of those who wanted Mahaney removed. 

Britt says, “What began last week as a discussion ended with an ad hoc decision about CJ’s suitability. … Remind the men that this began with and still is only about CJ’s ability to lead the organization in the future.”  The discussion about Mahaney ended at the October 2012 retreat “with an ad hoc [impromptu] decision” by the majority that he was qualified to remain as President.  Britt defines what he means by “CJs’ ability to lead the organization in the future” below.

a.  It is not about numbers nor is it about a lawsuit.  It is about a difference of opinion concerning principled leadership during crisis, courageously (and wisely) admitting past mistakes, and leading with humility.

This is the most important statement in the email.  It goes to the issue of character.  Mahaney, Loftness and Connolly have “changed the rules of engagement” and they have changed the subject.  They’ve made it into the number of reports they got from churches supporting Mahaney versus how my reports Greasley got from churches not supporting Mahaney.  They’ve also made it about the lawsuit.  That is, “protecting” Mahaney from implied guilt in the criminal conspiracy if he was removed as President for other reasons. 

o  The Board must govern for the glory of God and the good of the organization. If the Board deems that responsibility and (appropriate) transparency equals humility and courage, then the majority of the Board must overrule the minority (as has been done on other items in the past) and press its employees to comply with their governance.  The Board has a mandate to govern and an obligation to expect their governance to be acted upon by the employees of the Corporation. 

This Board, like the other Boards, have not governed for the good of SGM because they have not governed for the glory of God.  Britt is correct.  You govern for God’s glory when ”transparency equals humility and courage.”  The SGM Boards have governed with deceit which equal pride and cowardice.    SGM has been consumed with its own glory.  That’s why these men failed to exercise “principled leadership during crisis, courageously (and wisely) admitting past mistakes, and leading with humility.”

The four Boards over the past three years have utterly failed to deal with C.J. Mahaney.  Britt is encouraging Pino to make Mahaney’s disqualifying sins the basis for his removal as President.  The Board should expect Mahaney “to comply with their governance” as an employee of the Corporation.  True but Mahaney would never comply with being fired. 

o  Prior discussion of who might leave or stay was in response to the convictions and opinions within the Board about how SGM has been governed in the past and in crisis.  Its focus was on the advice to CJ by specific members of the Board.  The perspectives and numbers of member churches have always been a part of the narrative.  And they have always been based on the differing perceptions of various Board members.  If these discussion were not pragmatic then, why are they now? 

“Who might leave or stay” is a reference to SGM churches.  Seven churches had just left SGM.  Pastors were watching to see if Mahaney and Board members like Loftness and Connolly changed the way they governed.  Mahaney was receiving “advice” from “specific members of the Board” like Pino who were representing pastors and their “differing perceptions of various Board members.”  There was no change.  Things worsened and 30 more churches left.  Pino finally left three months ago.  

o  Perhaps this is really about the two different models of leadership that are behind this discussion. 

That’s precisely what Joshua Harris and the Covenant Life pastors said about Mahaney and the Interim Board of Directors when they left SGM in December 2012.

It is not about whether or not CJ will have a voice.  Nor is it about not protecting CJ in the lawsuit.  Those are givens.  [Britt is wrong about the lawsuit.  He believes Mahaney is innocent and therefore should be protected.]  Will the Board govern in a specific manner at a specific time? [Meaning with principled or ethical leadership – no.]  Is clear and transparent communication about our past the right thing to do at present? [Yes]  What is to be communicated and why? [Everything of consequence because it has dishonored God, brought reproach upon the Gospel, and harmed God’s people.  That includes the conspiracy to protect sexual predators.]   How does the Board define courage? [It doesn’t matter.  They don’t live by it.]  Does the Board think that CJ should continue in his present role? [I’d like to know who was for and who was against C.J. and why those against allowed themselves to be silenced.]  Does the Board still want CJ to assume some degree of responsibility for things that happened while he was President? [Even if they did they never required it of C.J.  No public confession was ever forthcoming.]  Does the Board still desire CJ to our pastors SGM’s past mistakes? [C.J. doesn’t need to talk about “past mistakes,” he needs to talk about past pride, deceit, abuse, lying, hypocrisy and independence.]  What does the Board think that Scripture mandates in this current crisis? [It doesn’t matter.  The Board is not submitted to the authority of Scripture even though they know what it teaches.  They don’t do what the Bible clearly commands.]

b.  If the Board still thinks the way it did last week then it is responsible to make sure that CJ’s opening night comments both reflect the advice of the attorney about topics relating to the lawsuit and the Board’s majority vote concerning items happening on his watch. 

Britt believes Mahaney is innocent of wrong doing in the lawsuit so I assume following “the advice of the attorney” means Mahaney denying wrong doing and disparaging the victims as in the October 26, 2012 press release. 

Britt also refers to “the Board’s majority vote concerning items happening on his watch.”  Mahaney is supposed to make a confession during his “opening night comments” at the upcoming Pastors Conference that starts in three days on October 30.  Mahaney refers to his main session message in this press release from the previous month. 

C.J. Mahaney: Pastors Conference Update
C.J. Mahaney 

Main Sessions – Our own Dave Harvey, Jeff Purswell, Mickey Connolly, and Ian McConnell will join me in speaking at the main sessions to help us explore, admire, and apply God’s varied grace to the present circumstances in our lives, families, and ministry.  

Guess what?  The audio of Mahaney’s main session was never made public.  He was instructed by the Board to confess but that confession was covered up if it ever happened.  This much we know – Mahaney never followed up with those he sinned against and he never made a public confession to SGM for any of the things that happened on his watch during his tenure as Chairman/President going back to 1991. 

The same day Mahaney put out the Pastors Conference Update, the Board put out their own update.  Here is an excerpt.

Board Update: A reasoned response to six questions
September 14, 2012 

Dear Friends of Sovereign Grace Ministries,

We’re writing in response to questions that we’ve been hearing and discussing since our seating as a board this past spring. … These questions do not involve matters of sin or ethical violation—they are matters of judgment.  We’re writing to let you know that these questions have had our attention and to explain why the SGM Boards and leaders have taken the steps they have. … 

We also believed, given what we consider unfair and unwarranted damage that has been done to his [Mahaney’s] reputation through the past year, that it was important for us to express our support of C.J. and to let SGM know that this Board, if still in place, would consider him as a candidate to continue as president after the polity process is completed [in April 2013]. … We do not think this is the time for a debate about who should lead our ministry.  We have a major transition to make in our governance, and we believe that no other leader in our movement has the qualities that will effectively guide us through these changes. 

Much grace to you all, 

The SGM Board 

This terribly dishonest and deceptive response was put out by “The SGM Board” even though Paul Buckley, Ian McConnell, Al Pino and other Board Members wanted Mahaney to resign as President.  So did Dave Harvey, Pete Greasley, Aron Osborne, and Jim Britt.  There was a debate going on about Mahaney.  Vice Chairman Buckley was pressing for his resignation.  And yet this press release says, 

  • "These questions do not involve matters of sin or ethical violation—they are matters of judgment.”
  •  “We do not think this is the time for a debate about who should lead our ministry.”
  •  “We believe that no other leader in our movement has the qualities that will effectively guide us through these changes.” 

Mahaney, Loftness, and Connolly were behind these outrageous lies but the other men let them get away with it.  It was about “matters of sin or ethical violation” in Mahaney’s life and ministry.  It was about debating whether Mahaney or someone else should be President.  It was about a group of men trying to remove him.  

The same kind of capitulation happened in June 2012 when the Board was divided but over Mahaney’s continuation as President but allowed a press release written by Loftness to say they were totally unified. 

Once again, those opposed to Mahaney’s Presidency were unwilling to expose Mahaney, Loftness and Connolly for their horrendous duplicity and heavy handedness.  They allowed them to lie and deceive.  Is so doing, they enabled them like codependents enable alcoholics.  Moreover, they allowed these men to silence all the pastors in SGM who “have always been part of the narrative.”  The debate was over!  End of discussion.  

Some leaders took baby steps in confronting Mahaney but no one took manly steps.  No past or present leader in SGM has ever stood up to Mahaney in the final analysis.  That’s why he remains in ministry and the SGM Pastors College operates in his church.  That’s why he has never been disciplined or publicly rebuked.  That’s why he has never been exposed by any member of the four Boards. 

Instead all the men on all the Boards have commended Mahaney in public statements as a man above reproach, fully qualified in character to be a pastor and teacher, and an outstanding ambassador to the Body of Christ.  One day, I hope someone’s conscience becomes so troubled, they write an honest account about their view of Mahaney and his enablers.  

From: Jim Britt
Sent: Saturday, October 27, 2012 8:00 AM
To: Al Pino
Cc: Aron Osborne
Subject: RE: Confidential

Re: #1 [in email above].  While I do want to stress CJ’s lack of authority, I do not want to imply that I want him out of future conversations or influence.  I just want to see the playing field leveled out a bit as strength of personality in two of the guys seems to be affecting this.  I am not saying it is intentional, but it seems to be there nonetheless.

Britt knows the playing field is not level for those wanting Mahaney’s removal.  They are going up against the “strength of personality in two of the guys.”  That is a reference to John Loftness (Chairman of the Board) and Mickey Connolly (Mahaney’s closes confidant).  I don’t think Britt is being completely honest with Pino and Osborne.  He knows the authoritarian leadership of Loftness/Connolly intimidates the other Board members.  He won’t come out and say their intimidation is intentional. 


I left Sovereign Grace Ministries five years ago this month.  Soon thereafter, I began to produce “documents” for C.J. Mahaney that I hoped would bring about reform.  That effort failed.  As a result, it was necessary to send those documents to the SGM pastors in July 2011.  Since then, I’ve continued to write.  I’ve also worked behind the scenes helping leaders and people inside and outside of SGM including victims of sexual abuse.  These endeavors have been my full time work.  

I continue to hold SGM accountable, write about lessons to be learned, work for criminal justice, seek reform in the Body of Christ, and care for those who have been harmed.  A lot of what I do is unseen.  Your financial assistance in support of these efforts would be greatly appreciated. 

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