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Thursday
Aug142014

Sex Abuser Nathaniel Morales Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison

Nathaniel Morales abused a great number of boys in the New Testament Church, Montgomery County Covenant Academy and Covenant Life Church in Maryland from 1980 until 1992.  

He was investigated starting in October 2009, arrested in October 2012, tried and found guilty on seven of eight counts of sexual abuse and offense against four boys in May 2014, and sentenced today to 40 years in prison. 

C.J. Mahaney, John Loftness, Gary Ricucci, Grant Layman and other pastors at Covenant Life Church knew about these crimes but conspired to cover them up.  They agreed not to report a known sexual predator to law enforcement officials.  As a result of their criminal dereliction, Morales went on to abuse an even greater number of boys in multiple cities in different parts of the United States over the next 20 years.   

Morales left Covenant Life Church in 1992 and married Marcia Jo Griffeth in 1994.  She had no idea he was predatory sex abuser.  Marcia had five boys from a previous marriage.  Morales sexually abused two of them.  She only discovered the extent of his crimes after he was arrested.  She divorced him in December 2013. None of the pastors from CLC have ever contacted her to ask forgiveness or make restitution.

Nathaniel Morales received justice today.  He is 56 years old and will never see the light of day which was the goal of prosecutors.  The conspirators who protected Morales have not yet received justice for their crimes. 

The victims of Morales heinous crimes are glad to see this day but the harms against them can never be forgotten.  Morales is typical of sex abusers in church settings.  The Church and its pastors needs to be educated by experts in the field.  All suspected child abuse must be immediately reported to police.

Thank you Jeremy Cook, Sam Bates., Brian Wolohan and David Tapia for courageously testifying against your abuser.  Thank you Marcia Jo Griffeth for being willing to testify against your former husband.  Thanks to everyone else who supplied supporting testimony and to the other victims who were willing to testify, namely Daniel Bates and James Roberts.  Nate will never harm another child because of your efforts.  

Layman resigned from pastoral ministry at Covenant Life Church after 23 years in April 2014.  Sovereign Grace Ministries continues to highly commend Mahaney, Loftness and Ricucci and taken no action against them. 

The same is true of well-known evangelical leaders like Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan from Together for the Gospel and D.A. Carson, Kevin DeYoung, Justin Taylor from The Gospel Coalition.  Both groups posted letters on their respective websites in May 2013 defending Mahaney against all charges found in the civil lawsuit against him.  They have never retracted those statements. 

Much more needs to be said about the cover up of sex crimes in Covenant Life Church and Sovereign Grace Ministries.  I plan to say it a few weeks from now.

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Friday
Aug082014

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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