Would you recognize a wolf if you saw one?

By | May 1, 2012

“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.”
(Acts 20:28-30 ESV)

Would Paul need to take the time to warn us of wolves coming in among us if they looked   like wolves?   What did Jesus say?

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits.”
(Matthew 7:15-16 ESV)

So Jesus warns us of wolves that are ravenous coming to us looking like sheep.  Is it possible a ravenous wolf might endear himself to his future victims by writing a top selling Christian book or two?

Could a wolf possibly start out as a sheep, but somewhere along the line morph into a wolf?  How would we recognize that this has occurred?  What did Jesus say?  “You will recognize them by their fruits.”

So would blackmailing your former friend and co-founder of your ministry be good fruit or bad fruit?


“What was the straw that broke the camel’s back in SGM?  From our vantage point, it appears the 600+ pages of documentation that Brent Detwiler compiled (which an anonymous individual posted on the internet) put all of this in motion.  As soon as Mahaney suspected Detwiler was going public in some way with his incriminating information, Mahaney voluntarily stepped down.  That was in early July 2011.  Seven months later Mahaney was reinstated as president of SGM. 

Perhaps the most damning information that was revealed in Detwiler’s documentation was Mahaney’s attempt to blackmail his mentor Larry Tomczak if he did not leave the organization quietly back in 1998.  Tomczak had a big problem with the shift toward Calvinistic theology, and Mahaney threatened to go public with the confidentially confessed sins of Tomczak’s son if Larry did not go away quietly into the night…   Fifteen years passed, and Mahaney finally made an attempt to patch things up with Tomczak, who had been urging a reconciliation for years.”



“After writing us and later the same day, Steve (SGM Board Member Steve Shank) talked to Chip Grange, our (SGM’s) legal counsel, to get his perspective on the sharing of this information. Steve sent us the following notes regarding whether or not we should reveal details regarding the child‘s sins.

Steve‘s Notes Regarding Counsel from Chip Grange
Gentlemen, here is a bullet form synopsis of our lengthy conversation.362
3. Re: us divulging [the child‘s] sins if necessary. He said this is the shakiest
part of our perspective. Would STRONGLY recommend we jettison the
idea. Court would recognize our responsibility for Larry because he was an
employee. [His child] was not an employee. Even though he was a [child]
of an employee, it doesn‘t matter. If we divulged what was shared in
confidence in a pastoral climate of counsel and confidentiality, we would be
very vulnerable…
9. Regarding us disclosing [the child‘s] sin, there is a big red flag here. Even if
we state more than Larry has said in his May 15 letter, there are major
cautions. Strong recommendation we do not divulge [the child‘s] sins to
any degree in any fashion. He was not an employee and we are not
responsible for [the child] (legally) unless that has been delegated to us by
[the] parents, which it wasn‘t. Voiced major reservations that we do this.
We would be vulnerable if we did…
11. The courts would see a strong line of demarcation between divulging
Larry‘s sins and revealing [the child‘s].”



“To whom it may concern:

I have been asked my thoughts on the AoR report.  First, I appreciate all the hard work that went into this project dealing with very sensitive matters in scores of people’s lives.  I trust AoR was well compensated.  

Second, after waiting and praying for almost a year regarding this endeavor (regularly not daily), I was EXTREMELY disappointed with the results.  I could scarcely believe what I was reading.  I believe multitudes share this perspective.  

Third, my wife and I believe the report was a serious disservice to scores of people who invested incredible amounts of time and effort to serve the AoR team.  Doris and I gave over 250 hours to prepare for our contribution in addition to travel time and the days given to the interview.  Addressing the illegal, immoral and documented blackmail plus the reprehensible conduct that shattered our reputation, relationships and family ties (plus our livelihood) was afforded a dismissive SIX sentences in the report!  Unbelievable.  

Finally, we are of the opinion that if the SGM leaders had simply done the report on their own, they would have been more forthright and harder on themselves than this most favorable AoR document.  

When we shared our experience with Ted and his assistant, one wiped away tears and the other dropped his head in shocking dismay at our traumatic experience, manipulation, falsehoods and numerous examples of unChristlike behavior we experienced that could have destroyed our Christian lives as a family of six.  We, like hundreds of others who experienced spiritual abuse from SGM leaders, now wonder if some of the apologies and asking of forgiveness will have to suffice.  

We love you Ted and the team but inquire if your labors represent the accurate picture of the systemic problems that multitudes hoped would be addressed and corrected so SGM could begin a new season in humility and integrity.  

Trusting God’s sovereign grace, I am, yours in His service,  

Larry Tomczak “



“Yes, sadly I am a sinner and throughout my Christian life I have never viewed myself otherwise, and I think I have acknowledged this however inadequately throughout my Christian life but I don’t believe my sins are uncommon or scandalous or disqualifying. … One member of the first panel said this to me – quote: “I respect, CJ, how seriously you take the respectable sins but you left the impression that you did something scandalous. But nothing you confessed reached the level of public scandal requiring a public confession. Your sins are routine and common.” 

That is not to minimize my sin.  But it did help me to see the wrong impressions  I left and I regret that.”

C.J. Mahaney, SGM Pastors Conference on November 9, 2011.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments