Ten years ago I sent out four documents to the 300 pastors in Sovereign Grace Ministries documenting the long term patterns of disqualifying sin in the life of C.J. Mahaney. They were posted on the internet and went viral.
The Documents, as they came to be known, were read by over 100,000 people within 12 months. They contained 600 pages of appeals to my dear friend.
I sent them to CJ. over a period of 15 months.
I never anticipated the need to make these documents public. That changed when C.J. posted an extremely deceptive explanation for why he was taking a leave of absence as President of Sovereign Grace Ministries. I wrote about it on my Facebook page. That was before I started my blog.
A Fifth Reason for Sending Out the Documents by Brent Detwiler on Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 4:43 pm Facebook
Wednesday, July 6 was a monumental day in my little life on planet earth! That evening, I sent out “Response Regarding Friendship and Doctrine,” “A Final Appeal,” “Concluding Remarks,” and “The Untold Story” to all the pastors in SGM (see https://www.scribd.com/user/86813507/sgmwikileaks). It was something I never planned to do or hoped to do. But releasing the documents had become a matter of conscience by that evening.
Earlier in the day, C.J. posted the following statement on the SGM website. “Over the last few years some former pastors and leaders in Sovereign Grace have made charges against me and informed me about offenses they have with me as well as other leaders in Sovereign Grace.”
This statement by my friend was terribly misleading. First, for many years, not a few years, many people, not some people, raised legitimate concerns with C.J. Our dealings with C.J. were not a recent development. They had a long history. The reader was led to believe otherwise.
Second, the charges (i.e., reproves, correction, rebukes) against C.J. came from men who worked with him at the time. They did not come from former pastors and leaders who recently left SGM or from men who leveled bogus charges because they were offended. No, the unsuccessful process of speaking into C.J.’s life had been going on for a long time. It began in December 2000.
C.J. should have made clear to all of SGM that his pride, unteachableness, deceit, sinful judgments, hypocrisy and more; had been addressed for a long time by people who loved him, were loyal to him, and cared about him. Not just by offended former leaders.
I hate to say it, but this is an example of Sovereign Grace spin. What C.J. said was a small part of the story. He left the rest out. In so doing, he minimized the seriousness and down played the extensiveness.
Decide for yourself. Read all 600 pages and compare them to C.J.’s statement above. I’d say there is a massive disconnect. C.J. had a responsibility to tell the whole truth. He did not do so and that is the fifth reason why I sent out “The Documents.”
C.J.’s statement on July 6 was monumental in what it did not say. I had no choice but to inform the SGM pastors of the deceit I observed. It was the straw that broke this camel’s back.
The resultant persecution from those I considered friends was as treacherous as it was intense. So too the national campaign to discredit me headed up by C.J.
I sent out The Documents to the pastors in July 2011. I wrote the article below in May 2013. It is one of my most informative (and entertaining)! It provides a condensed history and recounts the anguished suffering I endured. This was before my coverage of the sex abuse scandal. I hope you will read it in entirety. Here are some excerpts.
Struck Down But Not Destroyed Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 5:14PM
Since our historic meeting with C.J. on August 20, 2004, I’ve been struck down but not destroyed many times by lies, threats, slanders, betrayals, injustices, cover-ups and conspiracies. The Greek word for “struck down” is kataballomenoi. It means “punched to the ground.” I’ve been through a 15 round heavy weight fight and tempted to quit on many occasions. I’ve known agony, despair and exhaustion. But even though I’ve been knocked down a plenty, I’ve never been knocked out. By the grace of God, I am still standing. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
Long ago, I articulated the battle plan SGM would use in its fight against critics and for supporters. It was all encompassing. No punches were pulled. No holds were barred.
C.J. Mahaney Convinced He Is Above Reproach & Fit to be President of SGM! Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 2:48 PM Brent Detwiler
Here is their basic strategy.
1. Defend and reinstate C.J. as President [which happened on Jan. 25, 2012]. 2. Acknowledge little or no wrong doing to the public. 3. Withhold indicting information or incriminating evidence from the SGM pastors and public. 4. Refuse to answer hard questions that hold them accountable. 5. Misrepresent the past two years. 6. Disparage credible people and vital evidence by labeling it gossip and slander. 7. Put forth a positive image of SGM. 8. Cut their losses, put things behind them, and move on.
The first blows came from two big bruisers, Dr. Ligon Duncan and Dr. Albert Mohler. … They jumped in the ring with brass knuckles and started throwing punches even before SGM. These heavy weights were looking to take me out in round one. C.J. could be heard in their corner cheering them on. …
In addition to rock climbing, I did a fair amount of boxing growing up. Ring fighting has rules. Street fighting does not. C.J. has never been willing to engage me in the ring. Nor has anyone else. For years I’ve asked for just one thing - a fair fight before the public! Such an arrangement terrifies SGM. That’s why all such requests were denied.
Instead SGM had to resort to street fighting knowing they could win no other way. They had to punch below the belt and tell people I was bitter and vengeful. They had to kick to the groin and say my writings were gossip and slander. They had to beat off witnesses to their hooligan actions with the threat of church discipline. How else could they prevail? Allowing me to present my charges and call witnesses would have resulted in a knock out.
This same kind of strategy has been used against countless others. It may be the most deeply entrenched pattern of spiritual abuse in SGM. …
The good fight has now concluded in the providence of God. That doesn’t mean I plan to retire the gloves. I will continue to comment on major developments in SGM and keep people up to date. For instance, the Second Amended Complaint (i.e., lawsuit) comes out next week. I’ll provide my analysis. It does mean I plan to redirect my focus. There is so much else I feel called to pursue. I am looking forward to the future!
At this point, I planned to curtail my blogging. Then the Second Amended Complaint was filed. It was brought by 11 plaintiffs (victims) and was 46 pages in length. It alleged a conspiracy to commit and cover up the sexual abuse of children.
I knew most of the parents and the children in the lawsuit but I did not know they had been abused. C.J. hid this information from me knowing I would insist it be reported to law enforcement. I began to realize his long term patterns of deceit included the cover up of crimes against children.
I exposed the conspiracy including a bogus investigation most thoroughly in this article.
The Lars Liebeler “Independent” Investigation of Sexual Abuse at Covenant Life Church Finally Exposed as Utterly Corrupt Based on Never Seen Before Transcripts. C.J. Mahaney’s Claim of Vindication Another Great Deception.
Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 2:02PM
Since May 2013, many other victims have come forward and provided me evidence. For instance in this recent article.
Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 12:18PM
What I hoped was concluding in the providence of God in May 2013 was only beginning. Over the last eight years I have continued to fight the good fight. I’ve been struck down but (still) not destroyed.
Amazing Grace 2nd Stanza
Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.
The hatred and hostility directed at me by Sovereign Grace Churches has only increased but gratefully it has abated among national leaders who fiercely defended C.J.’s innocence and condemned my work.
Praise be to God many of those men now acknowledge my work and have quietly pulled away from C.J. and SGC. Not all, but many. Unfortunately, they have yet to acknowledge their grievous sin or speak out in public.
Response Regarding Friendship and Doctrine was the first document I sent C.J. on March 17, 2000. I was seeking to serve my friend. Here is how I opened the appeal.
“I write because of my deep love for you and for Sovereign Grace Ministries. My greatest concern is for the increasing presence of deceit and hypocrisy rooted in self-preservation and the love of reputation. I’d be overjoyed to see you acknowledge these things to the movement, whether or not you ask my forgiveness for anything specific. Comparatively speaking, the latter is unimportant. Ultimately, this isn’t about us. It is about something much bigger. Therefore, I provide the history that follows for your careful consideration.” (RRF&D, p. 3)
Here is how I closed my appeal.
“I’d love to see our friendship restored. I’d love to see some acknowledgment of wrong-doing. I’d love to see issues from the past resolved. I’d love to be in good standing with Sovereign Grace Ministries. But all of these hopes and desires are very secondary!
Primarily, I hope and desire to see a restoration of integrity, truth telling and justice in Sovereign Grace so there is no lying, spin, manipulation, lording, cover-up, or partiality. I am concerned for the movement. Some men have followed sinful aspects of your example and leadership – the kind referenced in this response. These men have acted deceitfully, judgmentally, unbiblically, and hypocritically. Their example in turn, has harmed others and been corrosive in its effect.” (RRF&D, p. 128)
The sins above have only grown over the past decade as has God’s judgement. There has been no restoration only increasing reprobation. C.J. and the leaders of SGC have embrace these sins as mainstay. They depend upon them to survive. There can be no “truth telling” because it would effectively mark the end of them. Leaders and pastors would have to step down from ministry wholesale.
This all goes back to C.J.’s “deceit and hypocrisy rooted in self-preservation and the love of reputation.” Those sins multiplied in him and those around him destroying lives and causing “little ones” to stumble by the thousands. The devastation cannot be overstated.
On this 10th Anniversary of sending out The Documents I’d still love to meet with C.J., his pastoral staff, and Sovereign Grace leaders to talk about them. That was something C.J. promised ten years ago but then deceitfully refused to do. Instead, he devised a plan to escape all accountability. In his sovereignty, God made certain it did not work.
If Sovereign Grace Churches is to prosper again, it will start with C.J. He will repent, confess, and obviously resign from ministry. The only thing standing in the way is his pride. Yet, all things are possible with God.
As for me, I look forward to the next ten years and whatever work the Lord has assigned to me in his kind providence including suffering. Every day I wake up amazed at God’s grace revealed in the cross of Christ. It is incomprehensible the sinless Son of God should take my sins and suffer in my place the wrath I deserved. This blessed truth sustains me and fills my heart with joy.
Like all believers, I am a jar of clay. Christ is our treasure. He indwells us by the Holy Spirit and through his indwelling presence sustains and preserves us in sorrow and suffering. We may be struck down, but we are not destroyed. God be praised!
2 Corinthians 4:7: But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
This article was originally published at brentdetwiler.com and is reposted with permission from the author.
Big Tech censorship has been expanding beyond just Conservatives… Christians are next!
While many of us have been warning about the coming persecution of Christians, I don’t think any of us thought that it would be ramping up so quickly. While we are luckily not facing physical persecution yet, such as beatings or death, we are facing censorship, deplatforming and even jail time in some instances. These are just the birth pangs of what is coming next.
While we still have a voice here at The GateKeepers, we are doing everything that we can to bypass the algorithmic walls put up by Big Tech and the Social Media companies like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Our videos used to get thousands of views across all of our platforms, while now they are being throttled and hardly getting distributed at all. An added wrinkle is that, while our video content is seeing lower views, traffic to our website has never been higher. Over the past year we’ve seen a 700% increase in traffic, and it’s been amazing to experience this kind of growth. Because of this, we’ll be launching GKTV very soon, hosting all of our shows exclusively on our platform.
While The GateKeepers started out as nothing more than a blog for me to post my articles, it has now expanded into a podcast network featuring fifteen shows, a publishing company that has published three books over the past year and we are now hosting conferences on a regular basis. We’ve seen the addition of contributors to The GateKeepers such as Denise McAllister, Pastor Cary Gordon, Pastor Ken Peters, Dr Mike Spaulding, Dr Bobby Lopez and many other amazing Christian leaders. Our lineup of shows has expanded, as well, featuring shows such as The Shining Light Podcast, Conversations with Jeff, The Big Brown Gadfly, Battlefront: SouthGate and The Verum Monitae Report with Dr Mike Spaulding, in addition the the several other shows we also carry on The GateKeepers.
While we’ve seen some amazing growth and expansion, we are also working hard to make this be a long-term play, and with that comes with how to fund our work here. I’ve intentionally not turned The GateKeepers into a non-profit organization because I don’t want to become beholden to the government, and I also don’t want to be focused on sending out fundraising letters constantly begging for money like most non-profit ministries do.
Instead, we have our online book store, are hosting online conferences and have our Plugged In membership program. Right now we are funded exclusively through these three different avenues. We are especially excited about our Plugged In membership, as this brings so much added value to you as a thank you for supporting our work here at The GateKeepers.