“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
On February 13, 2018 Sovereign Grace Churches, undoubtedly reacting to intense heat from the comments Rachael Denhollander made about them, issued its second statement in 11 days. Published on its national website, it was no doubt an attempt to reassure their friends that all is well in Sovereign Grace. Indeed, the usual cast of Mahaney supporters quickly tweeted out their postive responses. Birds of a feather flock together.
(Realizing that many read this blog on their phones, below you will find the text from the photo of Kevin DeYoung (above) to make it accessible to those of you using mobile devices.)
So the entire legal strategy was dependent on a theory of conspiracy that was more hearsay than anything like reasonable demonstration of culpability. As to the specific matter of C. J. participating in some massive cover-up, the legal evidence was so paltry (more like non-existent) that the judge did not think a trial was even warranted.
False statement made in support of C.J. Mahaney by Kevin Deyoung, Don Carson & Justin Taylor
The Gospel Coalition, “Why We Have Been Silent about the SGM Lawsuit”
May 24, 2013
In what follows I have quoted some statements in the Sovereign Grace document which I believe to be less than honest. You will find those statements with a blue bar on their left side. I follow by evidence which I believe demonstrates the Sovereign Grace comments to be disengenuous.
Below is an audio file of Kojo Nnamdi interviewing Tiffany Stanley.(The interview can be heard here.) Tiffany Stanley is a journalist who conducted a thorough research of Sovereign Grace Ministries/Churches prior to writing an excellent piece for the Washingtonian titled “The Sex-Abuse Scandal That Devastated a Suburban Megachurch: Inside the rise and fall of Sovereign Grace Ministries. You cand find the article here.
While I feel Stanley did a good job of maintaining neutrality in her article, she has recently made it quite clear on her Twitter account that she believes the stories of those who were sexually abused.
Below are audio files of Dominic and Pam Palmer testifying before a Maryland House Subcommittee hearing on whether to extend the Statute of Limitations on sexual abuse of children. Dominic and Pam Palmer’s daughter was abused when she was three years old. It should be added that two women from Covenant Life Church, along with representatives from the Roman Catholic Church also addressed the Maryland Subcommittee. They opposed extending the Statute of Limitations!
Below is an audio file of an interview Janet Mefferd conducted of Susan Burke, the attorney representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that was filed against Sovereign Grace Ministries; Covenant Life Church; Covenant Life School; Sovereign Grace Church of Fairfax; Charles Joseph Mahaney; Gary Ricucci; David Hinders; Louis Gallo; Frank Ecelbarger; John Loftness; Grant Layman; Larry Tomczak; Mark Mullery and Vince Hinders.
Below is a comment I found on the SGM Survivors blog. “Persona” frequently leaves comments on this blog and appears to be well versed in the operating practices of Sovereign Grace Ministries/Churches.
(Realizing that many read this blog on their phones, below you will find the text from the comment made by Persona (above) to make it accessible to those of you using mobile devices.)
RP, something you need to keep in mind about CLC and SGM is CJ was ‘the man behind the curtain’ from their inception. He controlled everything that was said and done in those organizations, directly or indirectly.
He knew about cases we were involved in even though they were miniscule compared to the Morales case. Our pastor received correction and direction directly from CJ. In fact, I think part of the reason CJ fled when he did was he knew the Morales tsunami was heading his way and he no longer felt safe at CLC.
We saw over and over, that the pastors at CLC would never think of going rogue in their counsel or behavior. They mimicked their boss in almost every way and he encouraged that. He held a sustained grip on their actions, private and public and he heavily influenced even their thought lives. Those guys hid nothing from him and he was not shy in stating his judgments and opinions.
Over the decades, as we knew Mahaney and the other face cards at CLC and SGM more intimately we found out (way late) that instead of being our ‘heroes of the faith’, they were untrustworthy and deceitful micro-managers, greatly overstepping their ‘call’ as pastors.
We left CLC, not because of the release of Brent’s docs. But, one by one, we lost all respect for those leaders, including CJ and could no longer stomach their ungodly behavior.
I believe one would be hard pressed to find any church with an official policy of “not reporting” sexual abuse to Law Enforcement, but to refresh your memory, here again is what Joshua Harris, fomer Senior Pastor of Covenant Life Church, said about “not reporting.”
“Harris said the thinking of the church was that such allegations should be handled as an internal, spiritual issue.” (See the Washington Post screen capture from January 2015 above.)
Below is an audio of Janet Mefferd interviewing Bill O’Neil. He is an attorney who was assisting Susan Burke with the lawsuit against Sovereign Grace.
While true that only two Sovereign Grace churches were named in the lawsuit, this does not mean that sexual abuse was restricted to these two churches only. Both Pam Palmer and attorney Bill O’Neil said there were many abuse victims who chose not to come forward. We have documentation that some of them were from other churches besides the two named in the 2nd Amended Complaint.
For example, Brent Detwiler wrote an article titled “Hush Fund Set Up by Top SGM Leaders to Meet the Demands of a SGM Pastor Whose Son Was Sexually Abused. (See here.) I happen to know at which Sovereign Grace Church this abuse occurred. Brent Detwiler did not mention it in his article and I will not name the church either, but it was not one of the two mentioned in the lawsuit.
We also have evidence that Covenant Fellowship Church has covered-up sexual abuse in a recent post on Detwiler’s blog titled “Sarah Kacala Speaks Out Against Covenant Fellowship Church for Trying to Stop Her from Exposing & Prosecuting Sex Abusers.” (See here.)
I think I will wait and see what Rachael Denhollander has to say in response to this attempted beat down of her. She is a courageous, intelligent woman and a sharp attorney, so I expect she will shred this lame attempt to silence her.
Let me only add that individuals speaking publicly about Sovereign Grace does not damage churches and gospel ministries. The damage was done when your “gospel ministers” conspired to cover-up abuse.
In the above quoted text the first paragraph is in reference to the reason Sovereign Grace Churches leadership opposes an investigation of their churches by Boz Tchividjian. The second paragraph referring to and “independent investigation” is blown apart by Brent Detwiler in the quote below.