Once again I have experienced the tactics of silence and censorship from the “good ol’ boys gospelly club” when I have confronted them with uncomfortable truths concerning C.J. Mahaney. “The Ceej” seems to have a group of hard-core, shameless supporters willing to go to great lengths in an attempt to help revive his flailing conference-speaking career. Back in March I found out that The Gospel Coalition’s Arizona chapter was organizing yet another conference and one of their featured speakers was going to be the humblest man on the planet, C.J. Mahaney. If you have been paying attention to the neo-calvinist movement the last few years undoubtedly you are aware of “the greatest sexual abuse scandal to hit the evangelical world.” Sovereign Grace Ministries leaders have covered up, enabled and allegedly even participated in the sexual abuse of minors. While Mahaney has not been alleged to be a participant in the abuse, it it quite clear that as senior pastor of Covenant Life Church and head of Sovereign Grace Ministries he knew what was occurring on his watch and conspired to cover it up rather than alert authorities. In fact, Grant Layman, Mahaney’s brother-in-law, testified in the May trial of one of the perps, Nathaniel Morales, that they (the pastors) knew of the abuse and did not alert authorities. Morales was convicted of numerous counts of sexual abuse. In addition to that there is the documented case of Mahaney blackmailing Larry Tomczak, co-founder of SGM with the threat of revealing information Tomczak’s son shared with Mahaney while in private counseling. All this is more than sufficient grounds for removing Mahaney from the ministry, yet he still has friends attempting to get him back on the conference circuit. In fact, below is a brazen comment found on the Anchored website:
Yes indeed, what a rare privilege! Have these conference organizers no shame? No sense of decency? No thoughts whatsoever of the abused victims? But I am getting ahead of myself. When I heard of the intent of these conference organizers to have Mahaney on the venue I wrote them the following email, urging them to reconsider their choice.
I knew they were not ignorant of the situation because, at the very least one of the men on the organizing committee, Rich Richards, is the senior pastor of the Sovereign Grace Ministries church in Gilbert, AZ. Steve Shank is also on the pastoral staff of the Gilbert church. He and Mahaney have been friends since the very beginning of SGM and Shank was one of the “apostles” back before they dropped the embarrassing job title.
So I sent the email off and sat back waiting for some sort of acknowledgement from the Anchored organizers. I am still waiting, and seeing that the conference is now over, I think it’s a safe bet they aren’t planning on responding to my email.
A few days ago I revisited the Anchored Conference website and Facebook page to see if I might be able to partake in the “rare privilege” of hearing some of the faithful preachers for myself. Unfortunately there was nothing to be found, but they did promise the sermons would be posted after the conference. I guess it’s only fair that if you shell out $200 for the rare privilege of hearing Mahaney live and in person, freeloaders such as myself should have to wait until after the conference ends.
While perusing the Anchored Facebook page I came across this little gem:
I couldn’t resist commenting so I wrote “Seriously? Have you no shame?” and then added a link to this blog post of mine so that the uninformed might realize what I was talking about.
Predictably my post was so offensive that it was removed, and as you can see from the above screenshot, I no longer have the option of commenting on their posts. Way to “man up” you gospelly boys!
Ah yes, back to your happy thoughts of sitting under faithful preachers, heart pounding singing of gospelly saturated lyrics and a chance to catch your spiritual breath. Onward Christian Soldiers!
Editor’s Note: Today, October 16, 2014, we are nearly 4 months removed from the Anchored Conference. If you check their Facebook page you will notice their last entry was June 28th. They stated they were working on getting the sermons from the conference posted. To date, they still have not done it. I emailed Rich Richardson, senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Gilbert, AZ and co-organizer of the Anchored Conference a few days ago and brought this issue to his attention. I have not heard back from him. I’m guessing I never will be able to access the “12 hours of expository preaching from some of the most gifted preachers in our day.” Oh well. Somehow I will carry on.