Worshipping Mahaney

By | April 19, 2016

2016-04-19 Mahaney with nixon clinton quotes


Yesterday, in an attempt to shed some light on what I consider to be an abnormal veneration of the Humble One by Bob Kauflin, among others, I tweeted the following:


2016-04-19 My tweet to Kauflin


Here is the actual video in question:


Bob Kauflin responded with a few tweets of his own.


2016-04-19 Kauflin response on Mahaney worship song


2016-04-19 Kauflin pastor leads to cross


Kauflin’s tweets set off a torrent of responses, I will include only a few here.  Feel free to go to Twitter and read further responses.


2016-04-19 Not obvious to me bob



2016-04-19 most leaders would deprecate this


What is readily apparent to me is that Mahaneyites have been immersed in this culture of flattery for so long, encouraged by the Humble One himself, that they cannot recognize what those outside of their church culture see as an obvious “over-the-top” adulation for their leader.  The individual who posted the “Bob Kauflin Worships CJ Mahaney” video stated in his description that “this pathetic song speaks for itself.” That sums up the feelings of many non-Sovereign Grace members.  If I were Bob Kauflin, I  would be embarrassed to have this video made public.  Kauflin doesn’t seem to be embarrassed at all, responding that he simply views his song as a way to thank someone for years of service.

Another observation – how many truly humble Christian pastors would even have allowed this evening of idolatry to take place, much less reveled in the adoration? When I think back over my life, I was privleged to know a few pastors I consider authentically humble; I know they would never have allowed this ceremony to take place.  They were obviously uncomfortable if a man spoke one sentence praising them.

Here are a few more examples of Mahaneyites praising the Humble One.  First is an audio of pastor Kevin Maresco and then a video that again, can best be summed up as pathetic.



Upon further reflection, maybe I am being too harsh on Kauflin, Mahaney and the Sovereign Grace church members who have “entrusted their souls to them.”  After all, here are a few other religious organizations, whom I esteem equally with  Sovereign Grace Churches, that also sing worship songs to their leaders!

2016-04-19 evernote furtick

The article on Furtick may be viewed at the Charlotte Observer’s website.

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A bit late to the discussion here, but thought some history might be in order.

Kauflin was the nicest guy in the world according to folks that knew him way back. He was an asst to Ron Klaus of the Philly Living Word Community churches that birthed out of John Poole’s ministry. Poole was close to the Ft Lauderdale Fab 5, the heavy shepherding and discipleship movement. Poole took off with another woman and left behind a wife and kids. Klaus was a brilliant man and good teacher, but also allegedly very harsh and authoritarian. I was told this by a higher up in John Hoehn’s sister church. (Klaus eventually got caught giving a woman in the church who was mentally ill and lived in their home a naked bath, and it was a scandal that saw him ousted.)

All of those churches hung out with Larry and CJ at conferences, and greatly admired them. Not sure when CJ got Kauflin to join his group.

Kauflin shared at a Celebration in Indiana PA, mid 90s, about how he was confronted with his anger, and plunged into a deep depression lasting months. It was actually a marvelously humble and open testimony in a group where being depressed was sin and shameful. I think he helped a great many people with his honesty about his struggles.

Ok, now here is where it gets weird. CJ talked him into leaving wherever he was and packing up and coming to Mecca, uh, Gaithersburg, so he could be with CJ. Here is a guy steeped in shepherding doctrine, who was under an abusive and harsh pastor for years, wrestling with anger and depression, and instead of getting real help, he gives his soul to CJ. The way he talked…..it was like he adored and revered CJ. I don’t know what it is with CJ and young men, it isn’t sexual, but it is like he seduces them, and the ones with some gaping needy hole in their soul fall for him. Father figure maybe? God figure?

I just don’t think we should view Kauflin as “normal”. I don’t fault him for his childhood or for his depression, but somewhere along the line he chose to nestle into the arms of the loving daddy CJ and I assume finally found relief. Like I said, weird. But not healthy and normally masculine.

Jennifer Cahalane

I’m just a little confused: did Bob Kauflin sing the same song at T4G 2016 that he sang years ago to CJ (the video was posted in 2012, and is from a number of years ago)?

I am grossed out by all things SGM. I was in the system for 12 years, 3 of which I worked for them! I can’t understand how seemingly intelligent people can follow the drivel that comes out of CJ’s mouth. Oh wait. I did it for over a decade. Sigh.

Paula Rice (Mod)

Hi Jennifer,

Kauflin didn’t sing the song of adulation he composed for CJ at T4G, (that was a private worship service for CJ that was conducted for his fake retirement from the pastorate). But Bob sang a lot about the gospel at T4G, which he and his family members are good at doing. Like how he and his son Devon, who was studying theology at the SBTS, went to the Philippines in 2013 to conduct a WorshipGod conference in Bohol and Cebu. While they were there a catastrophic event occurred, and they found themselves at the EPICENTER of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. They weren’t hurt, but there was devastation all around. What did Bob do in response? How did Bob demonstrate the cross-centered life CJ Mahaney had modeled for him? How did all those times CJ led Bob again and again and again to the cross pay off?

Bob Kauflin boarded a plane as fast as he could and ran for the comfort of his gospel-centered home, where his wife and kids gave him a hero’s welcome.

And I can relate to your 12 years in SGM! Been there done that 😐

Ron Oommen

First-time commenter here. Been reading for a couple of weeks.

That was one grotesque and disturbing video. I did think it couldn’t be real at first…but it is. That is worrisome on so many levels. “By their fruits you shall know them”. What a lot of rotten fruit we’re seeing…

Bill M

It was some months ago that one of the posts “CJ Mahaney is no CH Spurgeon” brought up the fawning introductions and creepy flattery that goes on, Kauflin’s song is yet another example. It might be excusable if it was a once a lifetime event at Mahaney’s retirement but this seems the norm and appears to be expected if not required.

Kauflin embarrassed himself and then furthered the degradation with his “obvious” insufficient defense. Kauflin needs to go into detox before more defilement robs him of any sensibility.

Someone has to say something about what Kenneth Maresco said, starting at the 00:13 mark: “We pinch ourselves that we have been the most blessed beneficiaries of your personal care.”

Please Kenneth, let’s hope afterwards you went and wallowed in the mud since apparently only CJ Mahaney has the power to lead you to the cross, cleanse you from sin, and take you to the promised land. Where would you be without his beneficence? Keep pinching yourself Kenneth. Hopefully during one prolonged one you will wake yourself up.


If a leader had actually pointed people to Jesus, surely the appropriate tribute would be a song about Jesus.

Well said!

“Upon further reflection, maybe I am being too harsh on Kauflin, Mahaney and the Sovereign Grace church members who have “entrusted their souls to them.” After all, here are a few other religious organizations, whom I esteem equally with Sovereign Grace Churches, that also sing worship songs to their leaders!” LOL Todd! Hilarious – and so true!

Al Mohler has stated that no one can provide any sort of biblical basis to disagree with Mahaney, that all of us who do, do so on the basis of taste or opinion. Yet, here we see clear and convincing evidence of the kind of culture Mahaney created, that he constantly claimed was “gospel-centered,” but which, within, he really occupied center stage. Kauflin wasn’t just thanking Mahaney, he was ADULATING him. Apparently Mohler doesn’t have any theological difficulties with this sort of thing. I know all of us here at thouarttheman.org certainly do.


I’ve known some pastors who possess actual (rather than performative) humility, and I guarantee they would be absolutely mortified by this kind of blatant public adulation. It’s so uncomfortable to watch because the tone is almost identical to the typical worship song, only the “you” is referring to C.J., not God.

Agreed. The lyrics, “you brought us to the promised land,” addressed to Mahaney, are really creepy. Thanks. Janna

Wow, quote from the first couple of lines in the song: “…our lives are more like Jesus because we’ve followed you…” with the “you” referring to CJM. I guess I misunderstood the Scriptures all these years. I’ve always understood that it is Jesus who begins the work and Jesus who is faithful to complete the work (Phil 1:6). I always thought it was by God’s doing that we are in Christ and that righteousness and sanctification and redemption are from God so that men only boast in the Lord (1 Cor 1:30). I always thought the scriptures taught that God sanctifies us by the Spirit and faith in the truth (2 Thes 2:13). Silly me, I’ve had it wrong all these years, we’re actually more like Jesus (experiential sanctification) because we follow celebrity preachers. I’m so glad that Bob Kauflin cleared that up for me!


This was one of the reasons why we left CLC around 2000. In the late 1990s there was a period that it seemed like every other week they honored one of the pastors; each other. I said to myself, to give them some credit, well, it’s a big church, and it’s a way to introduce all of the pastors to everyone in the congregation over time.

We got sick of hearing how hard they worked, like no one in the congregation worked hard at their job. We took my mother in law to a service there and not too long into it, she up and left; she had driven herself. I asked my wife later what was with her because it was abrupt. She said, she was not going to sit there and listen to them bragging about one of their own. How was it she could see what others did not? Well, she had been the wife a man who had been a pastor for 35 years and she had seen enough of it for a lifetime.


Wow. I thought that Broadway number was a joke about someone other than CJ Mahaney. Wow.

Did Kauflin write the score for that one too?


You’re not the first person to think that video was a joke or parody. It’s been confirmed by many reliable sources as being part of the celebration Covenant Life Church put on when Mahaney handed the reins of the Church over to Joshua Harris.

Chances are that Bob Kauflin did write the score although I cannot even try to verify that hunch on my part.



Actually that Broadway skit is from a well known Broadway musical called Mame. It was written by Jerry Herman in the 1960’s who also wrote Hello Dolly and La Cage aux Falles. I just think its important to be factual.

Thanks for the info, David!

It occurred to me that the general skit may be from a Broadway musical but the lyrics are not. 😉

I’d say it’s likely that Bob Kauflin wrote the song lyrics since he’s SGM’s principal song writer and this skit was preformed at a major event. 😉

Agree with you. The song is from a classic Broadway musical but the lyrics are totally re-written.