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Brent Detwiler's Tweets
Saturday
Jun022018

Who’s the Worst of Sinners - Paige Patterson or C.J. Mahaney?

For decades, C.J. Mahaney has made a public spectacle of himself by claiming to be the worst of sinners (cf. 1 Tim 1:15 NIV).  But that empty boast has never translated into reality.  Mahaney is loath to confess his sin in private or public.  This was a longstanding issue during my 25 years of working with him.  We addressed the pattern but without success.  In fact, we discovered he was accomplished at covering up his sins and hiding them from us. 

That same pattern may be true with Paige Patterson.  I wrote about him on Thursday in Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Strips Former President Paige Patterson of all Benefits, Rights, and Privileges for Not Reporting a Rape to Law Enforcement in 2003

But as it turns out, there is more to the story.  No surprise!  Like Mahaney, Patterson has been covering up.  Unlike Mahaney, Patterson is being investigated and held to account by the Board of Trustees at SWBTS.  That is something you will NEVER see the Executive Committee or Leadership Team at Sovereign Grace Churches, Inc. do with Mahaney!     

Instead, the top SGC leaders (i.e., Mark Prater, Mickey Connolly, Bob Kauflin, Jeff Purswell, Tommy Hill, Ian McConnell, & Rich Richardson), have condemn all the victims of sexual abuse in the lawsuit, Rachael Denhollander, and me as false witnesses for bringing false allegations.  At the same time, they adamantly refuse to be investigated or deal with the evidence we have presented. 

I am not an expert on what is happening with Patterson by this comment yesterday by Kevin Ueckert, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, indicates Patterson lied to them.  

“We confirmed this week through a student record, made available to me with permission, that an allegation of rape was indeed made by a female student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2003.  This information contradicts a statement previously provided by Dr. Patterson in response to a direct question by a Board member regarding the incident referenced in our May 30 statement.  The 2003 rape allegation was never reported to local law enforcement.”  

Chairman Uecker also included this new information. 

“In addition, as previously disclosed, a female student at SWBTS reported to Dr. Patterson that she had been raped in 2015.  Police were notified of that report.  But in connection with that allegation of rape, Dr. Patterson sent an email (the contents of which were shared with the Board on May 22) to the Chief of Campus Security in which Dr. Patterson discussed meeting with the student alone so that he could “break her down” and that he preferred no officials be present.” 

These issues are serious!  Patterson covered up a rape in 2003 and sought to “break…down” (apparently silence) a victim of rape in 2015.  He also lied to the Trustees.  These matters “warranted” his immediate firing.    

Meanwhile, Mahaney is celebrated as a hero of the faith.  Less than two months ago, he was slotted to be a main session speaker at Together for the Gospel before a crowd of 12,500.  His topic – “Hope, Holiness and Heartbreak in Pastoral Ministry.”   No doubt an allusion (in reality an illusion) to all the heartbreak he has experienced that supposedly produced hope and holiness in his life.  He is hardened to the “heartbreak” he has visited upon thousands of people including scores of victims of sexual abuse and their families.    

And he was also scheduled to participate in two “Day in Review” panels with Al Mohler, Mark Dever and Ligon Duncan and teach a seminar on “A Pastor’s Marriage: For Sanctification, Imitation, and Celebration.”  Unfortunately, his wife, Carolyn has enabled him in de-sanctification.  

Rachael Denhollander also made this statement on her Facebook page this morning in relation to the developments with Paige Patterson.  I’ve added a few comments.   

Denhollander Statement 

Poor teaching regarding domestic violence, submission to civil authorities, and women was known for years.  No one did anything. 

National pressure over a decade later changed that.  ONE allegation came out that Paige Patterson had counseled “forgive and forget” instead of reporting a rape.  And for the first time, a few key people actually considered that it might be true and investigated. 

Comment: “Forgive and forget” has been a key tactic used in the cover up of physical and sexual abuse in Sovereign Grace Churches, Inc.  When will “a few key people actually consider” the SCORES of allegations in hundreds of pages of documented evidence against Mahaney and other SGC leaders “might be true” and need to be “investigated”?  Key leaders like Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, John Piper, Kevin DeYoung, David Platt, Matt Chandler, John MacArthur, and Thabiti Anyabwile. 

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Now, look what was found when someone listened and actually investigated.

Brothers, pastors, leaders - there are many, many others in our midst who have had significantly more allegations made against them, who are still being protected through silence, or chosen ignorance.

Comment: So many “brothers, pastors, leaders” have covered up for C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Churches, Inc. who have “significantly more allegations…against them.”  If men like Mohler, Dever and Duncan called for an investigation, they too would be exposed for protecting Mahaney through their silence and willful ignorance.

To put it simply, speaking out against Mahaney is speaking out against themselves. That takes humility because they will have to admit their egregious fault. Thus far, no one has been willing to do that.  The protection of Mahaney and SGC continues.  

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What are you NOT finding in these other organizations, churches, and about these leaders, because we are still refusing to say the hard things? 

The leadership of SWBTS is finally, finally doing the hard things.  It won’t undo the incredible damage to these women, but it can set an example for the future. 

When are we going to call for investigations and pursue the truth with other similar situations in our midst? 

Comment: When will Together for the Gospel, The Gospel Coalition, the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, Grace to You, Acts 29, Nine Marks, Desiring God, Reformed Theological Seminary, the Southern Baptist Convention, etc. do “the hard thing” and call for an investigation of Mahaney and SGC in the pursuit of the truth?  Actually, it is not a hard thing, it is a soft thing.  That is, an easy thing if you are concerned for biblical justice and care about those harmed by spiritual, physical and sexual abuse.  How can you possibly justify not doing so?          

These organizations are constantly speaking out on a host of important issues; but they are mute when it comes to their buddy and pal.  Given the evidence from the past seven years, it is mind boggling the men leading these groups have wholeheartedly supported and promoted Mahaney and SGC.   

In response to further revelations about Paige Patterson, Al Mohler tweeted this morning. 

Albert Mohler‏Verified account @albertmohler
My heart has been broken for my beloved Southern Baptist Convention in recent weeks, days, hours.  Never more than in last few hours.  WE are broken down, indeed.  I pray for God to rescue us, and all those we are called to rescue.
12:08 AM - 2 Jun 2018

I responded with this tweet. 

Brent Detwiler‏ @BrentDetwiler
Replying to @albertmohler
What C.J. Mahaney has done far exceeds what Paige Patterson has done & yet you have protected & promoted Mahaney for the last 7 yrs.  Please end the hypocrisy & be explicit in calling for an investigation. http://abrentdetwiler.squarespace.com/brentdetwilercom/cj-mahaney-covenant-life-church-the-conspiracy-to-cover-up-t.html
11:14 AM - 2 Jun 2018 

I pray the Lord will “rescue” the SBC but that rescue must include Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Russell Moore, David Platt, Stephen Wellum, Michael Haykin and other Southern Baptist leaders, withdrawing their support of Mahaney and SGC.  They must see the connection.  

Furthermore, will Al Mohler ever care about helping to rescue the thousands and thousands of people who have been stumbled by Mahaney and his surrogates? 

What Patterson has done is bad.  What Mahaney has done is far worse!  Who is the chief of sinners?  It is obvious when you study the evidence.  Start with the Second Amended Complaint (i.e. lawsuit), then read the following posts.  

C.J. Mahaney, Covenant Life Church & the Conspiracy to Cover-up the Sexual Abuse of Children
Brent Detwiler
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 12:42PM

Hush Fund Set Up by Top SGM Leaders to Meet the Demands of a SGM Pastor Whose Son Was Sexually Abused 
Brent Detwiler
Monday, March 30, 2015 at 1:56PM

Response to Sovereign Grace Churches
Rachael Denhollander
Thursday, March 1, 2018 

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Statement by Kevin Ueckert, Chairman of the Board of Trustees
By Kevin Ueckert on Jun 1, 2018

Based on a number of follow-up questions I have received this week, I am providing this additional statement related to our May 30, 2018 statement.  The unanimous decision by the Executive Committee to immediately terminate Dr. Paige Patterson was prayerfully considered and warranted.   

We confirmed this week through a student record, made available to me with permission, that an allegation of rape was indeed made by a female student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2003.  This information contradicts a statement previously provided by Dr. Patterson in response to a direct question by a Board member regarding the incident referenced in our May 30 statement. The 2003 rape allegation was never reported to local law enforcement.  SWBTS will not release the student record to the public without additional appropriate permissions.  

In addition, as previously disclosed, a female student at SWBTS reported to Dr. Patterson that she had been raped in 2015.  Police were notified of that report.  But in connection with that allegation of rape, Dr. Patterson sent an email (the contents of which were shared with the Board on May 22) to the Chief of Campus Security in which Dr. Patterson discussed meeting with the student alone so that he could “break her down” and that he preferred no officials be present.  The attitude expressed by Dr. Patterson in that email is antithetical to the core values of our faith and to SWBTS.  Moreover, the correlation between what has been reported and also revealed in the student record regarding the 2003 allegation at Southeastern and the contents of this email are undeniable. 

Further, SWBTS received a request from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary requesting the return of any documents taken by Dr. Patterson upon his departure from Southeastern. Counsel for SWBTS, Michael Anderson, immediately reached out to counsel for Dr. Patterson, Shelby Sharpe, on May 25 and made inquiry regarding the documents. Mr. Sharpe advised Mr. Anderson that Dr. Patterson only took documents from Southeastern that belonged to him. Yet, independent of that request, following the May 30 Executive Committee meeting, SWBTS located Southeastern documents on the SWBTS campus and began taking steps to preserve them.  Mr. Anderson is in contact with George Harvey, counsel for Southeastern, and is working with Mr. Harvey regarding Southeastern’s request for the return of its documents.  

The morning after the May 30 Executive Committee meeting, Mr. Sharp provided a few documents he reportedly obtained from Dr. Patterson.  The documents clearly dealt with Dr. Patterson’s tenure at Southeastern and should have been previously provided in response to Mr. Anderson’s May 25 request.  Shortly after these documents were provided, the wife of Dr. Patterson’s Chief of Staff published a blog and attached these documents without the permission of the students referenced in the documents or appropriate leadership from SEBTS or SWBTS.  I believe this was inappropriate and unethical.  Regardless, the additional documents do not alter the decision of the Executive Committee.

Ultimately, the decision of the Executive Committee to immediately terminate Dr. Patterson was clear and unanimous. 

I also want to reiterate what SWBTS Interim President Dr. Jeffrey Bingham said earlier this week.  SWBTS denounces all abusive behavior, any behavior that enables abuse, any failure to protect the abused, and any failure to safeguard those who are vulnerable to abuse. 

In this difficult situation, the Executive Committee based its decision on the current performance of the president and did not allow the legacy of Dr. Patterson or the #MeToo pressure to steer the outcome.  We did not react; rather, we decisively exercised our responsibility based on the Seminary’s biblically informed core values and integrity.

I join Dr. Bingham in his call for the SWBTS community to join the Body of Christ in praying for healing for all individuals affected by abuse.