C.J. Mahaney Attempts To Shut the Mouths of His Critics

By | May 13, 2016

“Something is wrong my beloved when the Church of Christ just allows this to continue. We are allowing little lambs to be fleeced and slaughtered while those of us who know better are, for the most part, silent. Unless the Body of Christ rises up and starts going after these wolves, we will be just as guilty as they are for allowing God’s children to be destroyed.”
-Nancy A. Almodovar, A Modern Ninety-Five: Questions Today’s Evangelicals Need to Answer


2016-05-12 Father forgive them naked pastor


“Those who step forward and bring truth to the light are often accused of “damaging the Gospel.” Isn’t the Gospel about truth and light?”

“Putting aside our “religious” work will often open our eyes and hearts to the beaten and bruised laying in the dirt who have given up hope.”
-Two Tweets by Boz Tchividjian


2016-05-12 Redmond:Boz tweet about Mohler:Mahaney

C.J. Mahaney is at it again! Undoubtedly facing the sting of criticism from a large number of media outlets for his appearance at the Together for the Gospel (T4G) conference last month, Mahaney was doing the only thing he and his fellow Sovereign Grace leaders know to do when facing accurate criticism – attempt to silence their critics! Mahaney resorted to his favorite battering ram, James 3:1-12 as he launches into his tirade against those who dare write Tweet’s opposing him.




Mahaney laments that the internet is “where the presence of uncontrolled tongues and unaccountable people is so prevalent and so damaging to the lives and the reputations of so many.”

CJ, or the “Humble One” as I like to refer to him, has been known to frequently state that “I am the greatest sinner I know.” I suggest we take him at his word. One of the big problems in Evangelical Christianity “leadership” is the fact that the big dogs are not accountable to anyone. One of the T4G panel discussions attempted to persuade their faithful followers that this was not the case with them.  Lig Duncan, Al Mohler, Mark Dever and C.J. Mahaney told the crowd that they get together every other year for a few days  to plan for the T4G conference.  The first thing they do is confess to each other areas they are struggling in.  This could take up to an hour per person!  What models of accountability these men are!  How fortunate we are that they share these few morsels with us.

In reality I would say this is a farce.  Brent Detwiler had this to say about the Humble One and his  accountability:

“We also asked if the CLC pastors were speaking into your life.  You assured us they were. (Later we discovered this was untrue.   They were providing very little input.)  If true, we asked why we were not updated on the team level.  We talked about the disconnect between us being evaluated by you, but you not being evaluated by us.  We also talked about other issues and examples but I have not included them here.

…C.J. badly misled us in this regard.  Dave (Dave Harvey) and I (Brent Detwiler) were shocked by the almost total lack of accountability we later discovered in his life.  This profound lack of authenticity really affected us given C.J.’s teaching on the subject.  C.J. has yet to confess his patterns of hypocrisy or share specific examples.”
-Brent Detwiler, “Three Years Trying to Help C.J. (Dec. 2000 to Dec. 2003)”

And let’s not forget how the Humble One submitted to Covenant Life Church pastors, again the model of accountability.  Brent Detwiler said:

“So is C.J. leaving because he disagrees with the pastors?  Is he leaving because he feels shamed or mistreated by them?  Is he leaving because he finds them inept or unable to pastor him?  Is he leaving because he doesn’t trust them?  All of these sinful reactions are familiar patterns in C.J.’s life.  Or, from the Lord’s perspective, is he leaving because he doesn’t want their pastoral input, he is offended, and Joshua and the pastors are building a church contrary to his wishes?

So, C.J. and Carolyn have packed their bags and taken off to greener pastures where C.J. can “receive care and counsel,” “examine [his] life and leadership,” and “consider [his] future.”  Wow, who needs the CLC pastors to do any of that!  And who could get away with this but C.J.?  Men throughout the history of the movement have sat tight during similar circumstances.  

C.J. wrote today, “Some of you have asked where I will be attending church during my leave.  That’s a good question, as it’s not uncommon for pastors to take a leave in a church that is away from their home congregations, and this seems wise.”  This is a case of SGM spin.  It is partly true but mostly false.  It is true that pastors outside of SGM may attend another church while undergoing evaluation but that has never been true for us.  It has never been the case in the history of Sovereign Grace Ministries.  No pastor has been granted “asylum” or refuge in other church or been transferred to someone’s pastoral care outside of SGM.  Of course, the SGM Board thinks this is best.  But do the CLC pastors think this is best?  

Here is what Joshua said on Wednesday.  “We’re torn over this decision.  We understand C.J. wanting to attend where he feels he can best be cared for and best serve his family, but we also have reasons why we think it would be good for him to stay at Covenant Life.”  Did the SGM Board and C.J. pursue input from the CLC pastors before making the decision to have C.J. and Carolyn pull out of CLC?  It doesn’t sound like it.  

Talk about contrary to SGM polity.  Since when can the Board pull rank over the local church and C.J.’s pastors and determine church membership and pastoral care without  their input?  Never!  The support of the SGM Board in C.J.’s decision is secondary.  They are not C.J.’s pastors!  C.J. is a not a member of Dave Harvey’s Covenant Fellowship Church!  He’s a member of Covenant Life Church.  That’s doctrinal hypocrisy.  I’m afraid the happiest place on earth is now the last place on earth you’ll find C.J. and Carolyn.”
-Brent Detwiler, “C.J.’s Flight From Covenant Life”

And then in the recording above the Humble One has the nerve to state how these evil Tweeters have damaged his life and reputation! Of course he doesn’t specifically mention himself, that would not be humble, but it’s pretty obvious that the narcissist is always talking about himself.   No mention of the many lives damaged by abuse in Sovereign Grace churches.  I saw the comment below on the Wartburg Watch and thought this indvidual did a good job of summing up the disgust many former Sovereign Grace members have for Mahaney:

2016-05-13 Good quote from the Wartburg Watch


So my advice to Tweeters?  Continue to use your tweets to speak out about the injustices, lies and hypocrisy found among C.J. Mahaney and his loyal band of enablers.  Let him continue his ridiculous antics in the pulpit. He can flail his arms, stomp, scream, whisper and cry all he wants.  We who tell the truth are the ones doing the Lord’s work.

My suggestion to C.J. Mahaney is to follow his own advice below and shut his pie hole.  You have said more than enough Charles Joseph Mahaney.  Do the respectable thing and remove yourself from the pulpit.  You make a mockery of Christ.



“Proud persons are of all others the most impatient of church discipline, and incapable of living under the government of Christ. If they sin, they can scarce endure the gentlest admonition; but if they are reproved sharply (or cuttingly) that they may be sound in the faith, you shall perceive that they smart by their impatience. But if you proceed to more public reproof and admonition, and call them to an open confession of their sin to those whom they have wronged, or before the congregation, and to ask forgiveness, and seriously crave the prayers of the church, you shall then see the power of pride against the ordinance and commands of God. How scornfully will they spurn at these reproofs and exhortations! How obstinately will they refuse to submit to their unquestionable duty! And how hardly are they brought to confess the most notorious sins! Or to confess that it is their duty to confess them; though they would easily believe that it is the duty of another, and would exhort another to do that which they refuse!”
-Richard Baxter, “The Signs of Pride in and about Religious Duties”

Submit Comment

newest oldest
Notify of


I was referring to the statement made by CJ during the lawsuit: ”
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.”
Janna hit the nail on the head: it was a ploy to buy time, because since he wrote that, the “time” has come where he is not involved in a current suit and he could speak publicly but hasn’t. I’m guessing his lawyer is advising him to continue to keep silent in light of potential litigation in Virginia. I had been wondering if he had some big “story” from his perspective of what went down at CLC that was going to be released after the case closed. Guess not. I mean, everyone really would love to hear whatever this undisclosed information is, that like Janna said, would most definitely vindicate him. 😉

Thanks for the clarification about which statement you were talking about, letterofmercy. I agree with everything you said. Best, Janna


One thing I’ve been trying to puzzle out is why CJ had referred to wishing he could “speak freely” with regards to what happened at CLC. What exactly does that mean? What sort of information could he be withholding that would actually help his cause?

Any thoughts Todd/Janna?

Thanks, letter of mercy. I think that C.J. Mahaney is just telling lies to throw people off track and try and buy himself more time. If he really thought he was innocent of all the allegations in the class action lawsuit, Mahaney would have said so/argue so at the time. Instead he tried, and succeeded, in getting the lawsuit dismissed based entirely on technicalities, including one saying he thought that the First Amendment gave clergy the right to cover up child sexual abuse. It’s hard to believe that someone who believes the law gives him or her the right to cover up child sexual abuse is remotely interested in protecting children on any level.

I also don’t think that Mahaney’s so-called public statement should be taken seriously as he didn’t physically sign it and it appeared on his Church’s website even though Mahaney has a private personal blog.

I suspect that Mahaney will deny that he gave his Church permission to post the statement in question or find some other rationale for disavowing it in a court of law.


Jack Rhoads

For all those who might question their faith because of the leadership failures and hurts from relationships gone bad. Remember, you were saved, not just for eternal life but for a relation with God almighty. You now call him Abba Father. He wants to have a personal relationship with you, through his son, by the power of the Holy Spirit. He so loves you and wants to meet with you every moment of every day.

I was a part of PDI/SGM from 82 – 2011 and I can tell you it was not always like what we see today. We had amazing times in the Lord back then, at conference and in churches. They stressed worship, the word and your personal relationship with Jesus. Then slowly it changed to obedience to the leaders. Slowly the Holy Spirit was marginalized to where he was just a passing phrase. The Holy Spirit is sensitive, He WILL so respond to repentance, but will not force Himself on anyone. The leadership of SGM does not like having Him in charge because they cannot control Him. They so desperately want to control every aspect of the meeting that they leave little room for Him. So what happens when a vacuum is created by the removal of the HS? All other evils fill up the space. And that’s what you’re seeing today.

Scripture reminds us to return to our first love. Weary saint, return to the Lord if you are dry. If you are questioning all that you once held dear. He has not left you, He is calling your name, even today. God bless!

Thanks for the great comment, Jack. I do believe that things were different at Covenant Life Church in the past, and I’m sorry that you’ve had to see it degenerate into what it is now.

Ironic that he talks about lot about untamed tongues. While he has an open mic, free to say whatever he pleases.

And that he posts his sermons on the internet and markets his books through Amazon.com


CJ your venom does not work on those who have been bitten by you.
The tongue that speaks the truth is not from hell and Satan as you say.
But, if the tongue has the power to destroy a life. I will wait with great anticipation. For you have no credibility to speak about God or what is true and good. You can not manipulate the mothers of the children who were sexually abused and discarded under your “leadership”. You can not manipulate the victims.
It is only a matter of time for you now. Justice is certain.
The truth has set us free and we are not weary in our freedom.

Great to see you, Patti!

Todd- I would love to tweet C.J! My first and only tweet to him and Carolyn was my post about how the SGM lawsuit helped me with the problem of evil, and thanking Pam Palmer for the lawsuit. I also called for the lawsuit to resume and to finish the job. First and only tweet got blocked quickly. ?


So you’re saying these clips you posted don’t mean what the BIble clearly says they mean? How can you know he’s thinking about any of what you are saying here when he is preaching from this passage? Your reasoning and unfounded assumptions astound me!

By the way, I have no desire whatsoever to defend CJ. My comments have nothing to do with his guilt or innocence. Its the principle of the thing. It would be so easy for you to dismiss my qyestion or comments by assumig that I am a supporter.

If everyone had the “right” to determine what the pastor is thinking when he preaches a message, Sunday mornings would be chaos everyhere the Gospel is preached!

I personally can’t make any logical sense of out of your comment, Jay, but thanks for sharing your perspective.

Best, Janna

Ron Oommen

I think its about context. Does anyone commend Adolf Hitler because he loved animals and was a vegetarian? There is nothing wrong with the the principle of being vegetarian but what meaning does it hold when Hitler propounds it?

Now one can certainly jump to the conclusion that I am likening Mahaney to Hitler: I am not. I’m engaging in a bit of hyperbole. However my argument would be the same. Given the actions that Mahaney and his enablers have demonstrated, what value is his preaching this text? Given the context and background how is it possible to divorce his preaching from his actions and not opine that his thinking is wrong?

What is, indeed, wrong with making judgements about what a pastor might be thinking when he preaches on Sunday morning? When someone like Benny Hinn preaches on giving from 1Cor 9:9-11 how on earth should we ignore the greed and money-loving in his life on the basis that the text is correct? It is a failure to do so that allows greedy men like Hinn to keep doing what he does.

Should one listen to Mark Driscoll’s sermons on submitting to leaders and not consider his context or make a judgement about his possible motives? It is the general failure across Christendom to do so that allows this man to pop up and start again – with no evidence that his mentality had changed.

Likewise with Mahaney. Until there is credible demonstration of repentance and a change of heart it is completely reasonable to judge his underlying motives on the basis of what he practices in his life.

So it should be with any one of us.

It’s the state of Christianity today demonstrated in the public domain by people like CJ and the money grubbing Christian-Evangelical-Industrial-Complex that makes people like me and many others wonder if there IS a God. It’s most discouraging when the average ‘Joe(s)’ who read their Bibles with lessor and lessor confidence because sanctified baboons like CJ, Steve Furtick and Davey Blackburn (right?) are more concerned with money, image and empire rather than raw Biblical TRUTH (the Truth that can’t be transformed by personality and spin). Much of the problem (IMHO) is SOCIAL Christianity rather than REAL LIFE Christianity…the difference being SOCIAL Christianity is lived by catch-phrase, buzzwork, meaningless memes (like “Nothing Wasted”) and career advantage…Jesus didn’t have a place to lay His head but Steve Furtick lives in a 16,000 sqft “nowhere to lay his head” and claims hes living according to Jesus’s values? Could it be that Jesus just wasn’t living according to His OWN values? Nonsense, Steve’s a greedy, bastard and it’s in everyone’s face. OOPPS! I said “bastard”…that will mean more to some than Steve’s greed, Davey’s sociopathic behavior and CJ’s arrogance…the thing these three guys have in common is an attitude that’s believes they are above accountability…of course, they will say they are “accountable to God” but their actions prove they are practical atheists because IF they truly believed there is a God to be feared, they would behave much, much differently and speak much, much differently than they presently behave and speak.

So, in closing, thanks guys, your practical atheism is evangelizing others to practical atheism.