In 2010 Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) abandoned their long-held doctrine of “apostles” as part of their leadership team. Making the claim that the office of apostles is for today is not only biblically indefensible, it is also highly embarrassing for a denomination that desired to be acknowledged as mainstream and Reformed.
As many may know SGM has been undergoing a severe shake-up over the course of the last year. Documents have come to light making many claims of a highly embarrassing nature to SGM and more particularly to C.J. Mahaney, the leader of SGM. (See my earlier post on this subject.) Many churches in the SGM denomination are now considering breaking away from SGM and becoming independent churches. In light of this it seems the SGM leadership is desperately considering methods of keeping their church leaders in line and in their denomination. Obviously if a large scale departure from SGM occurs the ministry will become financially unsustainable in a short time.
It appears that SGM’s solution to this potentially widespread defection is to re-institute the office of apostle. SGM “apostles” will have the authority to remove pastors from local churches, and if these pastors make any overtones of departing the SGM denomination you can bet they will be removed and replaced with more “compliant” pastors. I have read that in the past SGM has removed over 100 pastors. I imagine some were removed for valid, biblical reasons. I would also imagine some were not.
Why do I believe SGM may be close to re-instituting the office of apostle? Because of the following blog:
Two of the writers of this blog are Nathan Sasser and Phil Sasser. Phil is the father of Nathan and also serves as co-chairman (along with C.J. Mahaney) on the newly formed church polity committee. It seems they are making a thinly veiled pitch for once again joining the ranks of the wacky denominations still making claims for modern day apostles!
I have included two links worth looking at. The first is a short video by Dr. Alan Cairns. He makes the point that those claiming modern day apostolic ministry are generally doing so to assume a dictatorial position in the church which they have no right to.
The second link is to a well reasoned biblical argument put forth by by Nathan Busenitz which totally discredits the arguments of Phil and Nathan Sasser. I should add that Busenitz refers often to Dr. Wayne Grudem to bolster his case, one of the favorite theologians of the SGM crowd.