I Have Never Conspired to Protect a Child Predator

By | June 5, 2014

“Without minimizing the skill as a gift from God, I want to direct my son’s attention to character as theologically defined. So as Chad and I watch the game, I will draw his attention to any evidence of humility or unselfishness I observe, as well as any expression of arrogance or selfishness. I will celebrate the former and ridicule the latter.”       C.J. Mahaney

Following the advice of Mahaney I offer some ridicule of his ridiculous claim of innocence regarding the cover-up and enabling of sexual abuse of children in Sovereign Grace churches.

“For nearly two years now, I have remained silent about a civil lawsuit brought against various parties including myself. During that time, many have urged me to respond publicly and address the accusations against me. These pleas have only intensified over the last week in light of reports of testimony in a recent trial. I look forward to the day when I can speak freely. For now, the simple and extraordinarily unsatisfying reality—for myself and others—is that in the face of an ongoing civil lawsuit, I simply cannot speak publicly to the specifics of these events. Even with those constraints, however, let me be clear about this: I have never conspired to protect a child predator, and I also deny all the claims made against me in the civil suit.
C.J. Mahaney

“C. J. Mahaney, who founded the SGM, along with other ministry leaders, was hit with a civil lawsuit last year alleging that they conspired to “permit sexual deviants to have unfettered access to children for purposes of predation and to obstruct justice by covering up ongoing past predation.”

While the lawsuit was thrown out due to statute of limitations, Tchividjian said that unlike many of those connected to TGC who considered Mahaney a friend and claimed that he had “been the object of libel and even a Javert-like obsession by some,” he saw the situation differently. In his eyes, given that Mahaney’s brother-in-law and fellow former pastor at Covenant Life Church had confessed to knowing about sex abuse claims and withholding that information from police last week, the SGM pastor was guilty.

Give me a break. These people, they’re family. Of course he knew,” Tchividjian told The Christian Post. “C. J. was, for many years, the micro-managing head of the organization and nothing happened under the umbrella of Sovereign Grace that he wasn’t made aware of, so for anyone to say, ‘Well he didn’t know,’ that’s totally naive.”
From an article in the Christian Post titled: “Tullian Tchividjian Blasts Sovereign Grace Ministries Handling of Sex Abuse Scandal; Prematurely Departs The Gospel Coalition”

And then there is this statement from the parents of a sexual abuse victim in Sovereign Grace Ministries, found in The Wartburg Watch:

In response to CJ Mahaney’s recent statement, we offer this rebuttal. 

  • We met with CJ in January 2009 to discuss our daughter’s molestation and how Sovereign Grace Church of Fairfax had handled it.  
  • There were 3 meetings with CJ and we have emails to verify this. 
  • He also sent us an article, When Child Sex Abuse Occurs:  Considerations for Pastors. 
  • Details of our family’s meetings are in “Wallace’s Story” April 8, 2011. 
  • CJ mentioned in one of his emails that he found Noel’s story “heartbreaking”.  Her story was made public on December 31, 2008. 
  • Kenneth Maresco (CLC pastor) was also involved with 2 separate meetings that we had with Sovereign Grace Church of Fairfax.
  • Both men were well informed on the situation regarding the Fairfax church.   

Please the keep victims and victim’s families in your prayers.
Wallace & Happymom   

And finally, let’s take a look at what now appears to be a story rich in irony written 5 years ago by Mahaney:

Hunting Tiger Woods
December 3, 2009 by C.J. Mahaney

Tiger Woods wants his privacy back.

He wants the media entourage to disappear from his life.

He wants to be left alone so he can manage his personal problems in private.

Not a chance.

The story began unfolding in the early hours of last Friday when he crashed his Cadillac Escalade into a tree and a fire hydrant near his Florida home. He refused to speak with the police about the incident, raising curiosity about the circumstances. The story has now escalated into allegations of marital infidelity, and that generated a blog post from Tiger that stated, “I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart.” This statement by Tiger has led most to believe that the allegations of infidelity are true.

Hunted by the Media
As expected, the allegations of adultery involving a public figure are attracting a media pile-on. This is a big story with a big audience and it’s a story that will not disappear soon. Tiger Woods is being hunted by the media.

But let us make sure we do not join the hunt. A Christian’s response to this story should be distinctly different. We should not be entertained by the news. We should not have a morbid interest in all the details. We should be saddened and sobered. We should pray for this man and even more for his wife.

And we can be sure that in the coming days we will be in conversations with friends and family where this topic will emerge. And when it does, we can avoid simply listening to the latest details and speculations, and avoid speaking self-righteously, but instead we can humbly draw attention to the grace of God in the gospel.

Hunted by Sin
But Tiger is being hunted by something more menacing than journalists. Tiger’s real enemy is his sin, and that’s an enemy much more difficult to discern and one that can’t be managed in our own strength. It’s an enemy that never sleeps.

Let me explain.

Sin Lies
The Bible in general, and the book of Proverbs in particular, reveals an unbreakable connection between our character, our conduct, and the consequences of our actions. These three are inseparable and woven by God into His created order.

Deception is part of sin’s DNA. Sin lies to us. It seeks to convince us that sin brings only pleasure, that it carries no consequences, and that no one will discover it. Sin works hard to make us forget that character, conduct, and consequences are interconnected. And when we neglect this relationship—when we think our sins will not be discovered—we ultimately mock God.

Sin Hunts
We’ve all experienced it: Sin lies to us. We take the bait. And then sin begins to hunt us.

One commentator on Proverbs articulated this truth like this: “The irony of a life of rebellion is that we begin by pursuing sin…and end up being pursued by it!….You can ‘be sure your sin will find you out’ (Num. 32:23).”[1] In other words, sin comes back to hunt us.

In light of this fact, sin is an enemy Tiger can’t manage. He can’t shape this story like he does a long iron on a par 5. Tiger doesn’t need a publicity facelift; Tiger needs a Savior. Just like me. And just like you. And if by God’s grace he repents and trusts in the person and work of Christ, Tiger will experience the fruit of God’s promise that “whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

Conclusion
Tiger cannot intimidate this enemy like he can Pebble Beach or any of the field of professional golfers. And there is no privacy he can claim from this enemy, regardless of his resolve, his silence, or the name painted on his yacht. It’s likely Tiger only perceives the press hunting him out of a vain “curiosity about public figures.” But Tiger is being hunted and hounded by a far greater foe: the consequences of his sin.

And this story should humble and sober us. It should make us ask: Are there any so-called “secret sins” in my life? Is there anything I have done that I hope nobody discovers? Is there anything right now in my life that I should confess to God and the appropriate individuals?

And this should leave us more amazed by grace because there, but for the grace of God, go I.

[1] John A. Kitchen, Proverbs (Fearn, Scotland: Mentor, 2006), 294–295

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[…] yeah, whatever C.J.  As I have stated before Mahaney sounds similar to one of our former Presidents who wagged his finger in the face of the nation and strongly denied the […]

[…] cannot speak publicly to the specifics of these events. Even with those constraints, however, let me be clear about this: I have never conspired to protect a child predator, and I also deny all the claims made against me in the civil suit.” -C.J. Mahaney, “A […]