I am sorry to have to inform you that the toxic tentacles of what Bojinar Marinov refers to as the “ministry-industrial complex,” have stretched across the pond, from the USA to the UK.
Marinov, in his excellent article “Kevin DeYoung’s Gorbachevian Perestruvka Will Fail,” has rightly described this “complex” as “a conglomerate of denominations, publishing houses, mission boards, local churches, seminaries, ministries, lobbyist and lawyers’ guilds, all devoted to the task of taking advantage of the market of donations, that is, the market of millions of Christians who want to see some godly leadership and teaching, and are willing to donate money to see it happen.”
Marinov states that the ministry-industrial complex will ultimately fail because “the institutional system DeYoung defends is a fake, and it has been designed as a fake from the very beginning when it replaced the church. It was designed to destroy the real church, and it was designed to destroy the victories of the church in the West in the last several centuries.”
While I can generally laud the Evangelical Christians in the UK for their serious demeanor and disdain for the “Christian Celebrity Culture,” which is so rampant in the USA (see this video by UK pastor Stephen Holland, made in response to Mark Driscoll’s controversial visit to his country), I must report that the Sovereign Grace Churches denomination is attempting to spread their “fake” brand of the gospel in the UK. Unfortunately, there never seems to be a shortage of those who see the pastorate, in the role perpetrated by the “ministry-industrial complex,” as a quick road to fame, wealth, and power. Such, in my opinion, is Nathan Smith, lead pastor of Grace Church Bristol
Last week The Wartburg Watch shined their spotlight on C.J. Mahaney and two of his assistant pastors, Bob Kauflin and Jeff Purswell. This threesome were recipients of an all expenses paid trip to the United Kingdom. Once there, they were undoubtedly richly rewarded in British Pounds for speaking at a couple of conferences.
Mahaney, a blind guide of the blind (Matthew 15:14), served his usual gruel of regurgitated sermons. His blind admirers, in a ritual not unlike Wayne and Garth’s “we’re not worthy” obeisance, obligingly Tweeted out the Humble One’s pearls of wisdom, an action of questionable purpose which has come to be expected at these “love-ins.”
Mahaney has recited all the sermons listed below numerous times. He has his lines down so well that one might think he is lip synching if he didn’t know better. With “minimal effort” you can verify this for yourself, but let me offer you a little help. Check out my blog article titled “C.J. Mahaney Once Again Displays Minimal Effort.“
I guess I should give the guy credit for being a good little capitalist, he has learned how to maximize profits while minimizing effort. Unfortunately, I am unable to find that model in the Bible, but then I can’t find where blackmail, covering up the sexual abuse of children, and the misappropriation of church funds to establish a hush fund are sanctioned activities for gospel preachers either. But hey, what do I know? I have never had the advantage of attending Sovereign Grace’s nine-month Pastor’s “College.” Perhaps the “college,” in addition to teaching you how to successfully use brown-nosing to climb the corporate ladder, also teaches that the above list of activities are all gospel-centered and gospel-sanctioned.
Nathan Smith has close ties to Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville and C.J. Mahaney. His bio is below. Smith has attended the nine-month “Pastor’s College,” apparently the only formal “theological” training he has had.
Smith has also hosted Mahaney & Company in past conferences. Below is a letter of thanks he wrote to Sovereign Grace Louisville.
If the document below is hard to read on a mobile phone, please click on the following link to open up a PDF of the full webpage. Thanks! SGM Louisville Partnership With the U.K.
This past summer, Ben Shaw, a student at SBTS and a member of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, served as an intern at Smith’s Grace Church of Bristol.
You can undoubtedly see that Nathan Smith drinks deeply from the Sovereign Grace Kool-Aid pitcher. It’s tough for me to understand why a guy would want to hitch his wagon to a denomination as toxic as Sovereign Grace, but then, the crowd that followed the Pharisees’ lead during the Passover observance so many years ago screamed to crucify Christ and release Barabas.
Not wanting to give any free publicity to the Sovereign Grace conference, I refrained from writing about it, but I was monitoring social media. Leading up to the conference, Nathan Smith’s Twitter account was primarily a running promotional piece for the conference. After the conference, Smith’s tweets basked in the afterglow of the glorious event. One of the many tweets is pictured below.
Following the conference. Smith tweeted a similar photo with the words “This. Today.” Or maybe it was “This. Yesterday.” I can’t recall. I would post the tweet, but it has been deleted.
Why was it deleted? Because guys like me can’t stomach guys like him promoting a corrupt organization like Sovereign Grace. I’m sorry, I just have a primal instinct to speak out against people and organizations who sexually abuse children, or are complicit in the action by covering it up and not reporting the abuser to law enforcement. I refuse to remain silent as the Mahaneyites attempt to lure the unsuspecting into their trap.
So what did I do? I replied to Smith’s tweet with one word – “This,” and a link to one of my blog articles – “Mahaney Has No Clothes!”
Smith reacted as most cowards in the ministry-industrial complex react when confronted with an inconvenient truth – he deleted his post and my response. Within ten minutes of publishing my response it was gone, and I was blocked from yet another gospelly boy’s Twitter account! By the way, if you want to keep him busy and could care less if he blocks you on Twitter, you could tweet a link to this article: @nathansmith_
A couple of other suggestions you may wish to Tweet Smith’s way, in an attempt to enlighten our gospelly preacher boy to the corruption of the organization he supports:
“Unpacking the Web of the Sovereign Grace Ministries Scandal”
Brent Detwiler’s Compilation of the Lawsuit Documents
I mentioned to some friends that due to the rapidity with which Smith deleted my tweet and blocked me, he must be a 9Marxist! And sure enough, as I did some research for this article it is clear he is a 9Marx supporter, as well as a supporter of CBMW and TGC. He definitely knows who a guy in his club needs to support if they hope to get to “a whole nutha level!”
A few weeks ago Smith tweeted this out for public consumption:
Mack Stiles is a definitely a 9Marx man. He is a good friend of Mark Dever’s and, until recently, lived in Dubai. He was instrumental in bringing John Folmar in to pastor UCCD, the church I quit over three years ago. Stiles left UCCD and planted Redeemer Church of Dubai, along with Dave Furman. Furman is a rising star in 9Marx, having recently written an article for their website. Stiles has recently moved to Louisville and is a member of Third Avenue Baptist Church, a church pastored by Gregg Gilbert and Matt Smethhurst, both formerly on staff at Mark Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist Church.
Of course, Smith pays the obligatory homage to 9Marx leader Mark Dever. Question for Dever and Smith: Are the numerous sexual abuse victims and their families from Sovereign Grace Churches included in the people you should be loving? Because I have seen a whole lot of love from both of you for C.J. Mahaney but none for the victims.
Smith has also had Kevin DeYoung at his church. DeYoung, mentioned at the top of this article, is a firmly entrenched member of the Celebrity Gospel Club, frequently speaking at conferences for T4G and 9Marx.
Smith, making certain to check all the necessary boxes if one hopes to obtain fame in the Celebrity Gospel Club, places himself firmly in the patriarchal movement.