The Hall of Shame

By | July 8, 2013

abuse do nothing

“I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.”
Ezekiel 34:15-16

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.”
-Proverbs 31:8-9 NLT

“When the facts became known, the firings of both Paterno and Spanier were inevitable and necessary. Both men had credible knowledge that young boys were being sexually abused, and neither did anything effective to stop it. Most crucially, neither man did what they should have done within minutes of hearing the first report — contact law enforcement immediately.

But the world has not only changed for college athletics. The detonation of the Penn State scandal must shake the entire nation into a new moral awareness. Any failure to report and to stop the sexual abuse of children must be made inconceivable. The moral irresponsibility that Penn State officials demonstrated in this tragedy may well be criminal. There can be no doubt that all of these officials bear responsibility for allowing a sexual predator to continue his attacks.

What about churches, Christian institutions, and Christian schools? The Penn State disaster must serve as a warning to us as well, for we bear an even higher moral responsibility.

The moral and legal responsibility of every Christian — and especially every Christian leader and minister — must be to report any suspicion of the abuse of a child to law enforcement authorities. Christians are sometimes reluctant to do this, but this reluctance is both deadly and wrong.”

-Albert Mohler, President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

 

The seven men below have spoken at C.J. Mahaney’s newly formed church in Louisville, KY.    One must wonder why they choose to attempt to prop up C.J. Mahaney when he is a defendant in the biggest sexual abuse lawsuit to hit the Evangelical Church.  The apparent lack of concern for the victims of sexual abuse is appalling and incomprehensible.

 

2016-02-19 Just heads of T4G speakers

 

NEWS FLASH – I just received this email from Grudem’s assistant in response to an email I sent him urging Grudem to reconsider preaching at Mahaney’s church:

Dear Todd,

My name is John Paul Stepanian, and I am Dr. Grudem’s assistant as well as a student here at Phoenix Seminary. One of my jobs is to see to Dr. Grudem’s correspondence on his behalf.

Thank you for your inquiry regarding Dr. Grudem speaking at CJ’s church.  Dr. Grudem has the challenging task of weighing many worthy and intriguing requests.  His current research, teaching, speaking engagements and family commitments have filled his schedule, and unfortunately he will be unable to answer your questions directly.  Please accept his regrets.  Dr. Grudem has asked me to personally respond to these requests on his behalf.

Dr. Grudem is speaking at CJ’s church specifically so that he can signal support for CJ in the face of unjust accusations.  No further communication on this subject will be responded to.

May God bless your continued work for His kingdom.

Sincerely,

John Paul Stepanian
MA to Dr. Grudem
Phoenix Seminary

On behalf of:
Wayne Grudem, Ph.D.
Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies
Phoenix Seminary

 

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cj schreiner

Thomas R. Schreiner, Professor of New Testament interpretation, associate dean, scripture and interpretation, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Guest preacher at C.J. Mahaney’s church 10-21-2012.

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Thomas R. Schreiner’s opening remarks at Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville:

“It’s great to be with you this morning, thank you so much for your warm welcome and your prayers; that means so much to me… Thank you for the honor to be here. I’m just so glad that Sovereign Grace is here, that C.J. is here; we need in Louisville more churches that preach the gospel. We have a lot of work to do in this city. We have many people that need to be saved in this city so we’re so glad you’re here to partner with us in that. We’re comrades in the gospel, we’re friends in the gospel and we just rejoice that Sovereign Grace is here. So that brings a great joy to my heart. Also I just want to say that I feel really comfortable right here. At Clifton Baptist we were, we had a church plant, we called it Trinity Baptist, we merged with Clifton in 2001 but we met here for 2 or 3 years as a church plant in the late 90’s early 2000’s. So I feel really comfortable preaching in here, in this room, it brings back many memories, yeah, the faces are a little different. But it’s great to be here again at Cal.”

cj stiles

Mack Stiles, CEO of Gulf Digital Solutions and general secretary for the Fellowship of Christian UAE Students (FOCUS) in the United Arab Emirates. Guest preacher at C.J. Mahaney’s church 2-3-2013.

cj piper

John Piper,  founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Guest preacher at C.J. Mahaney’s church 2-17-2013.

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John Piper’s opening remarks at C.J. Mahaney’s church:

“Thank you, C.J.  I chose to be here.  Nobody forced me.  He is a pretty persuasive guy but  I really, really wanted to be here.  And therefore when the opportunity arose I snatched it.  And I’m thankful for it.

I wanted to be here because I am excited about what God is doing in this church plant.  I’ve been following it from a distance.  And I’m thrilled with what is in the offing here in the mix of this city.  I’m excited to be here secondly because I love Sovereign Grace and what God is doing in it across the country and the world.

And most emotionally significant, I’m glad to be here because C.J. is right, he is my friend and he has meant a lot to me over the years both at the encouragement level of preaching and professional life – though nobody in the ministry is a professional – but even more at the personal family level of caring.  So it is real easy for me to stand here and be with you.  It is what I want to do.”

Click here to view a great post by Brent Detwiler on John Piper’s endorsement of C.J. Mahaney.

 

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cj bridges

Jerry Bridges is an evangelical Christian author, speaker and staff member of The Navigators. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Pursuit of Holiness, which has sold more than one million copies. Guest preacher at C.J. Mahaney’s church 3-10-2013.

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Jerry Bridge’s opening remarks at Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville:

“It is a delight to be here, I have been around Sovereign Grace churches for a number of years, taught in the Pastor’s College, and I have to say to you that teaching in the Pastor’s College is one of the absolute highlights of my year. And so I’m grateful to be here once again.”

cj ware

Bruce Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Guest preacher at C.J. Mahaney’s church 4-21-2013

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Bruce Ware’s opening remarks at Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville.:

“I  just want you to know how much my wife and I and our family have been blessed by Sovereign Grace Ministries and Sovereign Grace music.  Oh my, you have enriched our lives! And we are just overwhelmed with gratitude to the Lord, through you to the Lord, for the ways in which you have enriched us, taught us, inspired us in worship, and have been very good friends to us. I think the very first time I ever was involved in a Sovereign Grace meeting, by the time I left my car and arrived to where I was supposed to be at least 8 people asked me “Is there any way we can serve you?” So this is a group of people who really does love the Lord and love others and it has been very evident. So we are very grateful to be a part.”

 

cj dever

Mark Dever has been the senior pastor of the Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. since 1994, and is the president of 9Marks, a Christian ministry he co-founded “in an effort to build biblically faithful churches in America.” Guest preacher at C.J. Mahaney’s church 6-2-2013.

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Mark Dever’s opening comments at Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville.

“What a joy this is.  It’s a particular privilege to be here. Capitol Hill Baptist Church has prayed regularly for the Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville. I guess we’ve been praying for you longer than you’ve existed because you don’t have members yet. So you’re working on existing and we’re already praying for you! We want to encourage you in that, and that’s especially because we know a number of the brothers and sisters involved here; we’re thankful for you all, thankful for the ministry you’ve had in our church over the years.  The Sovereign Grace Churches in general that I’ve had to do with have marked fruits of the Spirit, more marked than any other group of Christian churches I know of, and I am thankful for that.

And in fact your own pastor was the object of gossip yesterday at this event that I was at, the wedding of Al Mohler’s daughter. There were three Christian leaders standing there, I overheard them talking about C.J. and I stepped up and listened; and all three of them know him and all of them were bragging on him and his integrity in a number of ways, one of which is the way he’s begun in leading this church plant. So you all who are here in this church, and particularly if you’re visiting or you’re sort of new to Sovereign Grace, you have the privilege of having this man as your pastor that you don’t fully grasp; and that’s absolutely fine. Just thank God for him and enjoy the Word of God as he brings it from a life and a heart full of the gospel.  Know that I am delighted to be here. It is a privilege to address you brothers and sisters.”

wayne grudem

Wayne A. Grudem is an evangelical theologian, seminary professor and author. He co-founded the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and served as the general editor of the ESV Study Bible. Guest preacher at C.J. Mahaney’s church 7-21-2013.

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Wayne Grudem’s opening remarks at Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville:

I’m just glad to be here in this church plant.… I got an email from C.J. and said, “Could you come and speak for us on Sunday morning?” So we were eager to do that, we changed our tickets so we could get here and I wanted to do it; Margaret and I wanted to do this because we wanted to give a very public, visible signal of support for this church plant and especially support for C.J. whose been just a wonderful friend for so long; and a man of very high integrity and exemplary Christian character; and I just count you a friend C.J. and very honored to be here with this church plant. So thank you.

 

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The above-mentioned men, by speaking at C.J. Mahaney’s church plant, are indirectly endorsing the man. Mahaney has been listed as a defendant in a lawsuit alleging a conspiracy to cover-up sexual abuse in several Sovereign Grace churches.  Some of the complaints are listed below.  See Brent Detwiler’s blog for a complete list. These Christian “leaders,” whom many people look up to, apparently have no problem with the following behavior.

Complaint 43

“On or about November 2, 1987, Peggy reported David Adams’ sexual assaults on her daughter [Dara’s sister] to Church leader Dave Mays, who in turn immediately reported the abuse to Defendant Ricucci, and later reported the abuse to Defendant Loftness.”

Observations

Dave Mays reported the abuse to Ricucci and Loftness who would have reported it to Defendant Mahaney since he was the senior pastor and a friend of David Adams.  I hope Dave Mays is fully cooperating with law enforcement and not part of the alleged cover-up.

Complaint 45

“In 1987, Defendants conspired to cover up David Adams’ pedophilia, and conspired to violate their mandatory reporting obligations.  Acting through Defendant Ricucci, they directed Peggy to let them ‘take care of everything.’”

Observations

We know for a fact that Defendants Mahaney, Loftness, Ricucci, and Layman did not report David Adams or Nathaniel Morales to law enforcement.  That is a criminal offense.

Complaint 53

“Those who voiced concerns were told they were ‘slandering’ Adams and needed to keep quiet.”

Observations

Those who “voiced concerns” were faithful sheep trying to protect little lambs.  The accusation of gossip and slander is a common intimidation tactic employed by Sovereign Grace Ministries.  It has been repeatedly used as a means to discredit godly witnesses and their evidence.  On this basis, SGM leaders and pastors have forbid members access to the truth, sometimes under the threat of church discipline, in order to cover up their corruption and criminal activity.

Here are some complaints dealing specifically with Nathaniel Morales.  See Brent Detweiler’s blog for a complete list.
Editor’s note: Since this article was posted, Nathaniel Morales has been convicted of sexually abusing boys. Morales was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Complaint 37

37.  During 1990/1994 timeframe, as Plaintiff Roberts reached high school, he continued to engage in self-help by avoiding Morales.  He knew others had been molested by Morales, as his molestations were well known.  During one youth group discussion group about being “pure,” some of the teenage boys expressed dismay that it was “too late” for them to be “pure.”  Plaintiff Roberts then openly referred to Morales’ ongoing molestation of boys, stating words to the effect, “yeah, Nate got me too.”  This discussion group was headed up by Chris Glass, who reported directly to Defendant Layman.  After Plaintiff Roberts was questioned about what he meant, and disclosed that Morales molested boys, Chris Glass cautioned him and the other boys against talking about the facts.  Plaintiff Roberts learned that Chris Glass informed Defendant Layman about what had transpired immediately after the discussion closed.

Observations

Roberts is now in high school.  He tells us the molestations of “Nate” Morales “were well known.”  That is true.  Grant Layman already knew about some of Morales’ molestations at this time according to police reports.

The reference to “some of the teenage boys” includes Samuel Bates, Daniel Bates, Jeremy Cook, and Brian Wolohan.  They are each named as victims in the December 13, 2012 indictments which are a matter of public record.  I applaud their bravery.  Other “boys” have also told investigators they were molested by Morales.  I know all the families affected by these molestations except for one.  The evidence against Morales is rock solid.  So is the evidence against Grant Layman regarding the conspiracy.

Chris Glass worked for Grant Layman.  He immediately reported the “youth group discussion” to his superior.   Grant Layman worked for C.J. Mahaney.  He too would have immediately reported because Defendant Mahaney was the senior pastor and required anything of this magnitude be brought to his attention.  Layman is also Mahaney’s brother-in-law.  Moreover, Mahaney knew Morales and was friends of the victims’ parents.  In some cases, close friends!  Not only did Mahaney know all about Morales molestations, he was the one advising Layman not to involve law enforcement.

According to the factual allegation, “Chris Glass cautioned [Roberts] and the other boys against talking about the facts.”  This will be easy to prove at the up-coming jury trial on November 18.  Glass was simply following the training he received from Layman and Mahaney.  He is now a Captain in the United States Navy.  I hope he is cooperating with law enforcement.

Complaint 38

38.  The Individual Defendants conspired to cover up Morales’ ongoing molestation of boys at church events, and conspired to violate their mandatory obligations to report.  Wholly apart from and without any help from Defendants, law enforcement years later investigated and indicted Morales for sexually abusing children.

Observations

God knows how many children have been sexually abused by Nathaniel Morales since  1979 when one indictment says his first reported offense occurred.  Morales will stand before God and give an account but so will C.J. Mahaney, Grant Layman, Robin Boisvert and anyone else who knew about his heinous crimes but did not report them to law enforcement.  Once these men became knowledgeable, they were required by law to report these sex crimes.

It is incomprehensible that these pastors didn’t do everything in their power to make certain Morales was locked up so he couldn’t destroy any more young lives!  He needed to be stopped.  Instead they let him go and did not track his whereabouts.  This enabled him to become a pastor at the Las Vegas Valley Christian Church in Nevada.  Is anything more irresponsible?  We are not talking about a wolf in sheep’s clothing, we are talking about the likelihood of a wolf in shepherd’s clothing!

Mahaney, Layman, et al. are guilty of criminal neglect if any minors were molested by Morales after these “shepherds” were made aware of his crimes.  Jail time is appropriate.  Furthermore, these men need to be held accountable by Covenant Life Church and Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville.

None of the victimized boys (now grown men) referenced in the December 13, 2012, indictments and police reports are Plaintiffs in the Second Amended Complaint.  All of them could be awaiting a guilty verdict in a criminal court before suing for damages in a civil court.  Sovereign Grace Ministries want everyone to think all is well since the May 17 dismissal of the lawsuit.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

To the best of my knowledge, C.J. Mahaney and the pastors of Covenant Life Church have never notified law enforcement of suspected or actual child abuse since its inception in 1977 to the Second Amended Lawsuit in 2013.  That is certainly true in the case of Plaintiff Grace Goe with help from Layman and it certainly true with Nate Morales.  The Plaintiffs’ lawyers note, “Wholly apart from and without any help from Defendants, law enforcement years later investigated and indicted Morales for sexually abusing children.”

The investigation leading to Morales’ arrest on October 15, 2012 began on October 20, 2009, when Samuel Bates (a victim, not a pastor) contacted the Family Crimes Division with the Montgomery County Police Department, Maryland.  It took Detectives three years to make their case “without any help from Defendants.”  They finally got their man in spite of Mahaney, Layman, et al.

 

2016-02-19 Just heads of T4G speakers

For an outstanding article by Boz Tchividjian, in which he powerfully shames the men listed above, please click here.  Also read the comments as there are several good ones.

The article below can be found here.

2016-03-24 The Sin of Silence

upon these people build church

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[…] has been nearly two years since I wrote an article about seven celebrity pastors who made their way to C.J. Mahaney’s runaway church plant in Louisville, KY.  These men […]

[…] has been nearly two years since I wrote an article about seven celebrity pastors who made their way to C.J. Mahaney’s runaway church plant in Louisville, KY.  These men all […]

[…] Sunday past Jon Payne joined my Hall of Shame, a group of celebrity preachers mentioned here, and here. Qualifications for this “honor” are simply accepting an invitation to speak […]

[…] Sunday past Jon Payne joined my Hall of Shame, a group of celebrity preachers mentioned here, and here. Qualifications for this “honor” are simply accepting an invitation to speak […]

[…] In an effort to prop-up Mahaney’s  flailing ministry, fellow members of the celebrity preacher’s club have dutifully taken their turn speaking at Mahaney’s church in Louisville, KY.  You can see the distinguished list here. […]

[…] agree with Tchividjian’s assessment.  Yet, on August 3, 2014, Kevin DeYoung joined a long list of celebrity preachers who have chosen to preach at Mahaney’s church.  DeYoung’s preaching there was particularly outrageous behavior in light of the recent […]

[…] upcoming trial.   This trial should serve to seriously discredit C.J. Mahaney and those who have steadfastly endorsed him.  There is presently enough evidence in the public domain to disqualify Mahaney from ministry, but […]

[…] church, offering praise of the man and endorsing his ministry are going to be very embarrassed.  (You can view the list of the celebrity preachers here. ) But then again, perhaps they have no qualms endorsing a celebrity preacher who covers up sexual […]

[…] read more in-depth about these men and to listen to their words of praise for C.J. Mahaney go here, here, and […]

[…] Grudem is too busy to respond personally to emails.  His assistant does that for him.  He is also too busy to prepare new sermons for his occasional guest speaking commitments. One […]

[…] Grudem is too busy to respond personally to emails.  His assistant does that for him.  He is also too busy to prepare new sermons for his occasional guest speaking commitments. One […]

[…] Sunday, January 19, 2014 Thabiti Anyabwile chose to speak at C.J. Mahaney’s church.  He is not the first.  He adds his name to a rather lengthy list of Christian celebrities who have chosen to honor C.J. Mahaney while saying nothing about the numerous victims of sexual abuse undoubtedly still suffering from the terrible crimes perpetrated upon them while in attendance at C.J. Mahaney’s church.  For the complete list of these men who apparently have no conscience see an earlier post here. […]

[…] would have been in favor of having Piper and Dever speak in Dubai.  The past, as in prior to their unwavering public support for C.J. Manahey.  Mahaney is an unrepentant blackmailer and plaintiff in a class action sexual […]

What I did not know at the time I published this post was that Mahaney used Sovereign Grace Ministries monies, donated by the faithful in the pews, to support Grudem. This allowed Grudem to take half of the school year off and work on the ESV bible. I would guess that Grudem’s blind loyalty to Mahaney is a bit of quid pro quo. Of course this is inexcusable behavior for a Christian leader. One would hope that “leaders” would demonstrate the love of Christ to the victims of sexual abuse, not write them off with a claim of “unjust accusations.”

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” -Proverbs 31:8-9 NLT

Dee

I would like to know how Grudem came to the conclusion that the accusations against Mahaney are unjust. I checked with a victim’s family and was told that he had not contacted them.

The statement could be a bit of doublespeak. Note that he did not say the charges against SGM or the other people were “unjust.” Perhaps they hope to pluck CJ out of the morass that masquerades as the “happiest place on earth?” and continue business as usual?

Do you think that Grudem, who should have a good grasp on the ministry of Jesus, should have expressed concerns for those who have been hurt? Or are they just collateral damage?