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An Open Letter to the Sovereign Grace National Council of Elders Regarding Gene Emerson

I began writing The Untold Story in June 2011 but never finished it.  It is not a story I find easy to tell.  Nor is it a story most people will likely believe.  It covers the events surrounding my treacherous firing, the temporary face saving reinstatement by Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM), the unjust assessment that followed, my voluntary resignation as senior pastor of Grace Community Church (GCC) and my departure from Sovereign Grace Ministries.  I’ve not wanted to rehearse these events or write about them further.  They are painful memories of profound betrayal by those I counted friends.     

A little background before I continue for those who don’t know me.  I helped start Sovereign Grace Ministries in 1982.  I served on its Board of Directors for 25 years.  In August 2004, I led a meeting in which the top nine leaders in SGM and Covenant Life Church (CLC) lovingly confronted C.J. Mahaney on long standing patterns of serious sin.  In the days to follow, C.J. repudiated our input and turned against me.  He also turned others against me.  Over the next three and a half years, I was the object of his personal hostility and mistreatment.  

In November 2007, I resigned from the Board of Directors as a matter of conscience.  In February 2008, I turned over all my apostolic responsibilities to four other men which included Gene Emerson.  I could no longer work for C.J.  He had lost my trust and respect.     

In April 2008, I planted Grace Community Church in Mooresville, NC.  Despite the various trials, I still wanted to be in SGM.  I thought I’d be safe planting a church 30 minutes north of Charlotte.  That was not the case.  In August 2009, I left SGM having experienced severe lording and injustice by those sent against me by C.J.  

This time, Gene Emerson played a central role.  C.J. wanted me out of ministry or out of SGM by whatever means necessary.  He initially called on Gene to make that happen.  We had been close friends but I was expendable because Gene craved C.J.’s favor and that was a stepping stone to greatness in C.J.’s sight.  As a result, Gene directed a conspiracy to terminate me on trumped up charges by false witnesses without any kind of a hearing.  His assaults on me were breathtaking - like nothing I’ve ever seen in 40 years of Christian ministry.  The Untold Story is an unbelievable story! 

During this 2008-2009 time period, I repeatedly and strenuously confronted Gene on his abusive, deceitful and treacherous leadership that resulted in the destruction of Grace Community Church in Mooresville, NC.  This was all known to Mahaney.  I repeatedly appealed to Dave Harvey, Bob Kauflin, Phil Sasser and Wayne Brooks to take firm action against him but I was confronted by them for being proud in so doing.  They did absolutely nothing except cover up for him in typical SGM fashion.  That resulted in the devastation of many lives.  

After I left SGM, I wrote Bob and Phil in 2010 to see if they ever followed up with Gene on the four questions they included in their “Recommendations for Grace Community Church” on July 29, 2009.  The answer was no.  Not in the least.  This was unsurprising. 

From: Brent Detwiler []
Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 9:21 AM
To: Bob Kauflin
Subject: Follow Up with Gene 

Hi Bob, 

Quick question – did you ever ask Gene to follow up with me on these questions from the “Recommendations for GCC” report? 

1.  Did Gene dive in to Brent’s sins too quickly and strongly when he first started providing care for Brent?

2.  Did Gene come to conclusions about Brent too quickly, without fully investigating situations or hearing Brent’s perspective?

3.  Was Gene faithful to highlight evidences of grace in Brent and the church?

4.  Was Gene patient in his interactions with Brent?



From: Bob Kauflin []
Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 11:41 AM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: Re: Follow Up with Gene

 Hey, again! 

Our recording those questions in the assessment report was our follow up.  We know Gene saw the report and we had asked him those questions in the process of interviewing him. 

From: Brent Detwiler []
Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 4:58 PM
To: Bob Kauflin
Subject: RE: Follow Up with Gene 

I talked to Gene about each of the concerns below on several occasions starting in March 2008.  Each time he rejected the validity of my observations (with one minor exception regarding a choice of words) and responded in a contentious and self-justifying manner.  He also rejected the input of Ray, Eric, Jonathan and Jenny. 

Since you made the recommendations on July 29, 2009, Gene has never expressed any interest, or taken any initiative, in talking with me about his lack of grace and gospel, sinful judgments, critical approach and demanding attitude.  He makes it sound like he has…that is deceptive.  And it doesn’t sound like you asked him to follow up with me or ever checked back with him to make sure he did.  He has not been held accountable.  There has been no follow-up with him.  He has been treated with partiality.  

From: Brent Detwiler []
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 3:44 PM
To: Bob Kauflin
Cc: Phil Sasser
Subject: RE: Follow Up with Dave 

It was wrong for no one to follow up with Gene given your written recommendations to GCC.  They are serious questions yet no one checked to see if he talked to me about them. 

From: Brent Detwiler []
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 3:49 PM
To: Bob Kauflin
Cc: Phil Sasser
Subject: RE: Follow Up with Dave 

I’d like to add that a hypocritical standard was applied to Gene.  A lot of people had concerns for him and voiced them.  Each time Gene was let off the hook. 

In October 2010, I also wrote C.J. about Gene in A Final Appeal (AFA).  Here are a few excerpts.  

“I appealed to the Assessment Team [Bob Kauflin, Phil Sasser, and Wayne Brooks] and asked that this information [about the conspiracy to fire me] be shared with Grace Community Church.  In their final report to the church on July 29, 2009, they communicated an incomplete and watered-down overview of Eric, Ray, Jim and Roger’s [conspiratorial] actions.  Even worse, they never said anything to the church about Gene’s crucial role.  They withheld it from the church.  In fact, they withheld the same information from me for nearly two months until the very end of the assessment.  I found out from Ray two nights before I resigned.  This was purposeful and strategic – not a mere oversight. 

“I was kept in the dark when I should have known about Gene [i.e. about his conspiracy] from the very beginning.  Oh, the duplicity!  If I had known about his secret counsel to “fire” me, I would have spoken up.  There was no “open and outside evaluation” of Gene.  For this and other reasons, Gene should be removed from the Sovereign Grace leadership, step down as sr. pastor of KingsWay Community Church, be put on probation and required to make a public confession to the movement.” (AFA, p. 134)

 A few pages later, I wrote,  

“You recently stated you don’t know of any pastor in Sovereign Grace Ministries who is “lying, covering up, manipulating, lording, etc.”  Yet this is currently happening in Midlothian, VA.  Both Gene and Dave are involved in these types of activities and this has been brought to your attention.  I hope each of them confess these sins to the church.  Gene should not be overseeing churches in Sovereign Grace Ministries and he should not continue as senior pastor.  Last year I brought my grave concerns for Gene to Dave and Bob’s attention.  They effectively dismissed them when disciplinary actions were clearly in order.  It is hard to describe how abusive Gene was in his dealing with me.  I tried to help him deal with pride over the years but with little success.” (AFA, p. 136)               

C.J.’s response to all of the above was predictable.

“I think you have misunderstood and misrepresented Gene, Bob, Dave (and me) in some of these things.  And I am concerned that your heart may have been blinded by bitterness.” (AFA, p. 7)

Gene also wrought havoc in Sovereign Grace Church (now called Redeemer Church) in Chesapeake, VA in 2008 and 2009 by labeling those bringing needed correction to the pastors “enemies of the church.”  He also wrought havoc in his own church in 2009-2011.  This is alluded to on the Kingsway Community Church website.

Our Story

Between 2009 and 2011 our church experienced a period of significant conflict, culminating in the departure of a number of longstanding members.  God disciplined us during those years.  He exposed a lot of self-righteousness in our church culture and challenged us to become a more humble people.  The church members who remained during those years would say that it was the most painful time in the history of Kingsway.

This “period of significant conflict” occurred because he refused to heed the correction provided him by Bob Dixon, Buddy Moreland, Steve Whitman and others regarding his fierce pride.  Then he had Dave Harvey come in to rebuke these men in public and defend him against the supposed “tyranny of the aggrieved” in September 2010 (see AFA, pp. 154-162).  It was an extraordinary display of lording and arrogance.  It divided the church.  During these years attendance went from approximately 700 to 250.     

I also wrote C.J. about this in A Final Appeal and told him Gene should be removed from ministry. 

“You have taken no disciplinary action with Gene but I’m afraid the Lord has.  Over the last two years, 450 good people have left the church he leads.  I find no joy in this tragic development.  They were dear folks and fine servants.  I knew many of them.  So the church has gone from 700 to 250.  That means two out of three people have left.  Why?  They lost trust in Gene and Sovereign Grace Ministries.  In large measure this was due to the patterns of sin identified in Gene’s life by me and others but ignored and rebuffed by you and others.  So many people have been devastated as a result.”  (AFA, endnote 159, p. 176)

During this time, I also wrote the pastors at Kingsway Community Church and raised my concerns for Gene in the form of questions.  Gene refused to answer them but promised Aaron Campbell, Matthew Williams, Doug Wilda and Keith Breault would respond.  I never heard from them.  There was no willingness to engage me on Gene’s deceit or brutal treatment.         

From: Gene Emerson
Sent: Monday, November 01, 2010 12:04 AM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: Re: Second Appeal


The pastors will respond to you in writing, but the pastors’ conference and mediation will make that a few weeks out.


From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Friday, November 05, 2010 4:31 PM
To: Breault, Keith; Campbell, Aaron; Emerson, Gene; Wilda, Doug; Williams, Matthew
Subject: RE: Second Appeal 

I’m glad the pastors plan to respond to the questions I asked of them.  I hope you will do the same.  The latter is far more important and needed. 

Eight months later in July 2011, I sent the Untold Story to all the pastors in SGM including Gene and Mickey Connolly and it was subsequently posted on the internet with my three other major documents (i.e. Response Regarding Friendship & Doctrine, A Final Appeal, and Concluding Remarks).  Gene and Mickey were forced to “update” the church.  

Gene Emerson & Mickey Connolly
Kingsway Community Church
July 10, 2011 

Well, I [Gene] wanted to bring you a brief church update.  Most of you who are members received an email from us this past week letting you know that C.J. Mahaney, who leads our family of churches, is taking a leave absence to be able to give attention to examining charges brought against him by a former colleague, Brent Detwiler.  And C.J. is wanting to respond appropriately, to think, to listen, and to engage in that.  In reading Brent’s documents, which we recently realized were posted on line, I became aware that I also am included in Brent’s charges.  And so I wanted to let you know that.  I am taking Brent’s charges seriously.  I’ve asked Mickey, Matthew [Williams] and Doug [Wilda] to help me to examine the charges, to examine my own heart and to respond where appropriate.  I will let you know more about that.  But please pray for me.  Pray for us in this process."  

I had already written the entire pastoral staff about my concerns for Gene in November 2010.  Gene promised they would respond to my questions which amounted to serious charges.  Now, eight months later, Gene claimed, “I am taking Brent’s charges seriously.”  That is a standard ploy used by SGM to deceive its people.

It was just like C.J.’s deceitful promise in June 2011 (see C.J.'s Foxhole Conversion for fuller treatment). 

“So it is my determined intention to continue to pursue a rigorous evaluation of my heart, involving those inside Sovereign Grace as well as those outside Sovereign Grace who do not have history with me.  I take your charges seriously and I want to do all I can to convince you [Brent] of this.” (June 24, 2011). 

It was just like Dave Harvey’s deceitful promise in November 2011 (see We Are Taking Brent Detwiler's Allegations Seriously! for fuller treatment)

“How is Sovereign Grace’s board handling the allegations that Brent Detwiler has brought against C.J. Mahaney?  We know that you care about this a lot.  We also care about this a lot, and we are taking Brent’s allegations seriously.  We don’t want to ignore the many accusations that now sit in the public mind.  We want to get this right.  Brent’s documents require impartial examination.” (Nov 28, 2011)

It was just like Jeff Purswell and Joshua Harris deceitful promise in March 2011 (see The Five Resolutions – July 13, 2011 for fuller treatment).

“First of all, we [Jeff, Joshua, Dave] want to stress that we take very seriously the allegations you made in your documents.  By his own admission, C.J.’s sins were serious expressions of pride.” (March 11, 2011)

As everyone knows, my allegations were never taken seriously!  In fact, I was excommunicated by Sovereign Grace Ministries and CrossWay Community Church for bringing these carefully documented charges against C.J. and others.  Hundreds of serious charges, all substantiated by evidence, were never heard as repeatedly promised by an objective and independent third party. 

And everyone remembers C.J.’s infamous retraction of his July 2011, “Why I am Taking a Leave of Absence” confession, four months later at the SGM Pastors Conference in November 2011. 

“I regret that my language conveyed that my sins were unusually serious.  I do not think that, I have never thought that.  I don’t believe my sins are uncommon or scandalous or disqualifying. ... I have never believed that since the day the first document arrived.” (Nov 9, 2011)

See My Thoughts on C.J.'s Leave of Absence, Transcript of C.J. Mahaney’s Remarks at Sovereign Grace Ministries 2011 Pastors Conference and C.J.’s State of His Heart Message - Reflection on Personal Sins for fuller treatment.

Back to Gene in July 2011.  He goes on to say that Mickey Connolly, Matthew Williams and Doug Wilda are going “to help me to examine the charges, to examine my own heart and to respond where appropriate.”  That examination went nowhere and bore no fruit.  No one ever contacted me and Gene never responded to me in any fashion.  There was never an acknowledgement by him of any wrong doing in private or in public.   

Sometime after this I read the “Our Story” referenced above where Gene claimed “God disciplined us during those years.  He exposed a lot of self-righteousness in our church culture and challenged us to become a more humble people.”  That may be true for some people in the church but it was not true for Gene.  It was an empty boast.

Mickey spoke after Gene.  He was C.J.’s apostle over the church.

 “Let me [Mickey] just caution you [Kingsway Community Church] that if you do choose to read Brent’s documents, as you are certainly free to do, that you would recognize that these are one sided accounts that all the parties involved may not at the end of the day agree with. … Let me also remind you that C.J. and the Board of Sovereign Grace Ministries are treating the charges in this document with the utmost seriousness and are committed not only to self-examination but are committed to taking these charges to an independent mediator. … And I want to let you know that Gene is also eager to examine his heart for any sins and also to just examine his actions for any mistakes that he has made and also eager to make things right there.  So I wanted to assure you of that.  I want to assure that Matthew [Williams] and Doug [Wilda] and I are going to do all that we can to help him as he walks through that process. 

You must remember the historical context in order to understand Mickey’s comments.  He is speaking on Sunday, July 10, 2011.  I just sent out the documents on Wednesday, July 6, 2011.  SGM was in a panic.  At this point in time, he says “You are certainly free” “to read Brent’s documents.”  That quickly changed.   Four months later, Mickey gave this ultimatum to the members of CrossWay Community Church in Charlotte, NC.  

“Having nothing more to do with him [Brent].  Avoiding him would include not discussing these things with him personally, reading any of his materials on blogs or Facebook.  If that means you have to defriend him to avoid the temptation, do that. … If you cannot trust your pastors, if you cannot obey your pastors and what we are asking you to do biblically then you need to find another church because we cannot function without your trust.”

See Ten Common Cult-Like Characteristics Evident in Mickey Connolly’s Leadership for fuller treatment.

And of course, the SGM Board and C.J. did not take the charges in the documents with “the utmost seriousness” as was evident in the violation of their commitment to take “these charges to an independent mediator.”  Instead, they set up the corrupt Three Panel Review comprised solely of insiders loyal to C.J. 

Though these panels were supposed to address allegations, I was barred from participating in two out of the three.  I protested but to no avail.  They were not interested in the truth or providing a context for just proceedings.     

I did, however, speak out forcefully at one of the panels and laid out my charges against C.J. and other SGM leaders.  During this panel in December 2011, I brought all my charges against Gene for his “atrocities” to the attention of Mark Prater, Warren Boettcher and Ron Boomsma.  Here is an excerpt of what I wrote them after they issued their unbelievably corrupt report.    

“You have written a totally one sided report!  It contains none of the concerns I voiced or any of the evidence I presented orally or in writing.  The report is a total whitewash!  I could not be more disappointed.  What you include, exclude, and conclude in the report is extraordinarily biased.  It is the work of partial insiders, not the work of impartial outsiders.  You demonstrate no integrity by presenting all the facts fairly. …  Your report doesn’t deal with any of the horrendous realities I brought to your attention.  It doesn’t begin to address the atrocities cited in The Untold Story.  Betrayal, conspiracy, deceit, hatred, false testimony, cover-up, and injustice are all condoned by you! … All of this hurts!  But none of it is a surprise!  I’ve come to expect such deceitful treatment.” (Jan 25, 2012)

None of this matter to these three men.  It was all covered up by them.  In May 2013, Mark Prater was made Executive Director (i.e., President) of SGM.  In January 2014, Warren Boettcher was put on the Executive Committee (i.e., Board of Directors).  Corruption is rewarded in Sovereign Grace Ministries.

For a much fuller treatment, read Panel Report on Brent Detwiler’s Dismissal from Grace Community Church

Why have I taken the time to lay out the chronological events above?  Simple.  Gene Emerson was one of the most corrupt, abusive and treacherous leaders in SGM from 2008 forward.  He was repeatedly confronted and these sins were well known to C.J. Mahaney, Dave Harvey, Mickey Connolly, Bob Kauflin, Phil Sasser, Wayne Brooks, Mark Prater, Warren Boettcher, and Ron Boomsma. 

Because Gene was not disciplined by any of these men, his selfish pride and deceitful arrogance grew and led to his involvement with prostitution.  He has now brought additional harms to Kingsway Community Church, devastated even more lives, and gravely sinned against his wife and children.  Worse, he has brought extraordinary reproach upon the gospel of Jesus Christ by his flagrant hypocrisy.  These men share in Gene’s sin because they too acted corruptly (1 Tim 5:22).  Instead of confronting his sin, they covered up his sin.   

For those who may not know, Gene was found guilty and sentenced in July for the solicitation of prostitution in Midlothian, VA where he was the senior pastor of Kingsway Community Church.  He withheld the information about his sentence from church leaders and also lied to the church about his criminal activity.  He told the church he innocently went to a motel room for a massage where he was illegally entrapped by a female undercover officer and wrongly arrested.  He also told the church he was considering a lawsuit against the Chesterfield County Police Department for their actions.  It was all a ruse to deceive the church into believing he was innocent of soliciting a prostitute. 

Read more at Gene Emerson, Former Regional Leader for SGM, Found Guilty for Solicitation of Prostitution, Gene Emerson’s Summons, Sentence & Court Order for HIV Testing and What C.J. Mahaney & Gene Emerson Can Learn from R.C. Sproul Jr.’s Visit to Ashley Madison

Tomorrow, the Council of Elders for Sovereign Grace Churches has their annual meeting in Indianapolis before the Pastors Conference begins.  If you discuss measures to be taken against Gene Emerson, you MUST discuss measures to be taken against all the men listed above.  For years, they justified a man who repeatedly acted in wicked ways.    

The theme of your conference is “The Pastor and the Word: Standing on Truth in a Shifting World.”  You may know something about objective truth but you know little about subjective truth.  That is, applied truth.  Obedient truth.  Truth in the inner man.  No pastor with integrity could possibly have remained in Sovereign Grace Churches this long. 

Why?  Over the past six years, I have documented hundreds of examples of deceit and corruption at the highest levels of SGM leadership.  Such corruption is indisputable.  And yet, it has all been accommodated.  No righteous action has been taken.  Take for example my post, Hush Fund Set Up by Top SGM Leaders to Meet the Demands of a SGM Pastor Whose Son Was Sexually Abused from earlier this year.

How in Christ’s name can C.J. still be a SGM pastor, Mark Prater the Executive Director, Paul Buckley the Chairman of the Board, and Tommy Hill the Director of Finance and Administration given this deceitful and I believe illegal use of a “hush fund” and its manipulative implementation?  There is no acceptable explanation in the sight of God.  No one in their right mind would want these kind of unscrupulous men to be their leaders.  They should have been fired.  I sent you this post eight months ago in March and yet they all remained in their lofty positions. 

Recently, I was interacting with law enforcement over this matter.  I wrote them the following in part.      

“This ‘hush fund’ involved interstate fraud from my perspective. … Monies were solicited from SGM pastors and churches across America.  Therefore, I assume you will bring these matters to the attention of federal authorities like the FBI or the Internal Revenue Service. … Furthermore, the monies paid may have constituted an illegal bribe and the binding agreements they were required to sign in exchange for the monies may have constituted coercion.” 

I also wrote the auditors at Aronson LLC and copied Jon Payne who heads up the Audit Committee for Sovereign Grace Churches.  Aronson LLC does the annual audit for Sovereign Grace Churches. 

From: Brent Detwiler [
Sent: Monday, August 31, 2015 8:59 AM
To: Jeffery Capron 
Cc: Rob Eby; Craig Stevens; Jon Payne <>
Subject: Interest in Evidence & Willingness to Investigate 

Mr. Capon, 

In my last correspondence with you on May 13, I asked the following.  “Please let me know if you are interested in the evidence and willing to do an investigation in order to determine if there has been ‘material misstatement…whether due to fraud or error.’”  You never responded to my questions. 

Sovereign Grace Churches closes it books today for the fiscal year 2014-2015.  Your audit follows.  As I’ve previously stated, “I hope Aronson LLC is committed to due diligence in the obtaining and assessing all available evidence that may demonstrate unethical, fraudulent or illegal activity by the officers, leaders or employees of Sovereign Grace Churches, Inc.”  That is your responsibility as its auditor as I understand it. 

To that end, I am providing the attached evidence regarding the “hush fund” set up by Mark Prater (Executive Director), Paul Buckley (Chairman of the Board) and Tommy Hill (Director of Administration & Finance) to make your job easier.  You should also read Hush Fund Set Up by Top SGM Leaders to Meet the Demands of a SGM Pastor Whose Son Was Sexually Abused at this link.

I trust you will address this serious matter in your management letter and notes that accompany the audit when it is completed later this year.  You may also find it necessary to inform the Internal Revenue Service of wrong doing once you have done your research and written up your findings.


Brent Detwiler

Attached: Aronson – Evidence Regarding Use of Hush Fund

Or take for instance the devious way in which Mark, Paul and Tommy sought to raise funds in the Mission Presentation last year.  Read SGM Uses “Strategic Global Projects” to Fraudulently Raise Money.  I wrote in part,

“Time after time over the past five years, I have illustrated the systemic corruption that characterizes leaders in SGM in thousands of pages of carefully documented evidence.  THIS IS NOTHING NEW!  It is just another example of their deceit.  For certain, no Christian organization in America has been more deceptive since the advent of Modern Evangelicalism in the 1940’s.” 

I also call to mind the way Paul Buckley, Mickey Connolly, Phil Sasser, Ian McConnell and the other Board members lied to the SGM pastors and all of SGM about being united in their support of C.J. as President when in fact Paul was working with others like Ian to get him removed.  These men have no scruples and yet you follow them.

Read the evidence in Paul Buckley, Chairman of the SGM Board & Other Top Level Leaders Secretly Plotted C.J. Mahaney’s Removal as President, More Evidence Surrounding the Request for Mahaney’s Resignation & Its Cover Up and The Cover-up of Buckley’s Cover-up of Mahaney Is Underway.

I also think of C.J.’s categorical denial that he knew nothing whatsoever about Nathaniel Morales’ abuse of multiple boys during his involvement in Covenant Life Church from 1982-1991 when practically everyone on his staff did including Grant Layman, Robin Boisvert, Gary Ricucci and Chris Glass.  I believe the evidence shows C.J. is lying.  In the months to come, I will lay out this evidence in a book length treatise entitled “C.J. Mahaney, Covenant Life Church & the Conspiracy to Protect Child Predators.” 

Let me conclude.  Anyone reading The Untold Story with discernment knew it would not go well for Gene Emerson.  He came under the judgement of God and was turned over to the evil desires of his heart.  In his apostate and reprobate state he pursued prostitution.  God in his sovereignty then determined to expose him through an undercover operation.  Instead of being honest about his criminality, he lied to his wife, family, fellow leaders, and church.  He also lied about law enforcement.  He was exposed once again after I talked to law enforcement and a partial summary of his arrest was secured by a former church member and posted on SGMSurvivors. 

Throughout this debacle, Matthew Williams, the interim lead pastor, has made effusive excuses for Gene’s sins and not corrected the faulty narrative he put forth concerning Gene in several posts on the church website.  For Gene’s part, he refuses to come clean in public and acknowledge his sins. 

I recently listened to all of Gene’s preaching in the weeks before and after his arrest during which he repeatedly exhorted church members to deny themselves, pick up their crosses and follow Christ in holiness.  For example, he was in the pulpit two days after his arrest admonishing the church to flee sin in the strongest possible terms. 

“If your hands cause you to steal, cut it off!  If your feet take you to evil, cut them off!  He is not calling us to self-mutilation but he is calling us to flee sin.  It is a command to deal drastically with sin because sin is to the inner person what a cancerous tumor is to the body.  Whatever tempts a person must properly and decisively be renounced even as a surgeon amputates a limb to save a life.” (Gene Emerson, The Pathway to Discipleship, May 31, 2015)

To hear this was an eye opening experience for me.  I’ve never witnessed such extreme hypocrisy in preaching.  None of this brings me joy.  Nor does it motivate me to pile on in a carnal fashion.  It is, however, the impetus under the providence of God to address you men yet again.

Sovereign Grace Ministries has fallen so far, so fast.  Gene is just the latest example.  The national Council of Elders may revoke his ordination today.  That is fine but that is not of greatest importance.  The Lord has already removed him.  Rather, the Council of Elders must deal with everyone who directed him, enabled him, and covered up for him.  That includes C.J., Bob Kauflin and Mark Prater to mention a few. 

In reality, this doesn’t begin to address the problem of corruption in SGM.  The Executive Committee and Leadership Team are filled with men who have acted corruptively.  They must be replaced and I don’t see any signs of that remotely happening.  These men have a grip on power.  That’s why they haven’t been removed.  That’s why Mark Prater is still Executive Director and Paul Buckley is still Chairman of the Board.

In theory, the Council of Elders has more power than the Executive Committee or the Leadership Team.  The council is composed of one representative pastor from each church.  If there is ever a revival of integrity among the pastors then there is a chance for change.  The Council of Elders could replace the corrupt leaders on the Executive Committee and Leadership Team with honest leaders who fear God. 

For now, however, I hope you deal with the issues of corruption surrounding Gene Emerson.  I am praying for you today as you meet in Indianapolis.    

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