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T4G 2016 and C.J. Mahaney

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I’m here at Together for the Gospel 2016. I started attending these conferences in 2012, and look forward to them each time. This year is the biggest yet, with some 12,000 people in attendance. With that many men belting out hymns to the simple accompaniment of Bob Kauflin on his baby grand, the sonic effect is formidable. I love it.
     C.J. Mahaney is back on the roster this year and he delivered arguably the most powerful message of the opening day of the conference. I’ve benefited from Mahaney’s preaching over the years and admired the ministry of Sovereign Grace in general. So when the sex abuse scandal came to light a few years ago, I was, perhaps, too eager to find an excuse to dismiss the allegations. In truth, I’ve been laboring blithely under the assumption that since I haven’t heard anything about it recently, the issue was settled.
     I was mildly surprised then, to read a Twitter exchange between Thabiti Anyabwile and Amy Smith on March 28, bringing the issue up again and I was surprised to discover that there were victims’ families in Louisville, protesting T4G. I was disturbed to read the article by Todd Pruitt chastising the T4G leadership for returning Mahaney to his place at the metaphorical table.
     More than being surprised and disturbed, though, I’m just confused.
     I’m confused about how to think about the allegations made against Sovereign Grace and against C.J. Mahaney in particular. I’m confused because, if this were any other situation, involving any other leading churchman, I would already have concluded that the allegations warranted at least the voluntary self-absenting of the accused until matters were settled, and perhaps even resignations or worse. But in this case, I can’t draw that conclusion. And the reasons I can’t will all be sitting on the front seats of the KFC YUM! Center in Louisville tomorrow morning:

Mark Dever

Al Mohler

Ligon Duncan

Kevin DeYoung

Thabiti Anyabwile

John Piper

Matt Chandler

David Platt

John MacArthur

     These men weigh so heavily in my estimation that I can’t fathom that they would continue to extend their unqualified fellowship to a brother who was in the midst of a serious unrepentant sin or the covering up of such. On the contrary, I assume that these men would address the issue.
     But they have not.
     This is why I’m confused.
     I don’t expect any of these men to read this post, but I write the following as though they will:

     Please address the sex abuse allegations at SGM. Help us understand why you are not as concerned about the accusations as many others are. The influence of T4G, and the influence of each one of you individually, are commodities far too valuable to squander. I trust your judgment. But my trust right now is foundering in the face of an imbalanced scale of justice. Your silence, while heavy to its own degree, is outweighed by the cries of the victims.

     Please address the issue.

     My knowledge of the subject is indirect enough, and my respect for these churchmen is great enough, that I cannot and will not call for more than this. But this much is not too great a demand.

     Address the issue.

  1. Andrew:

    Thanks so much for this! Much like the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tail, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” where a child uttered the truth to power (to the dismay of his parents “But he hasn’t got anything on!”) the truth that no one wants to talk about MUST BE TOLD AND THEN MUST BE ADDRESSED The scandals and tumult in Sovereign Grace Ministries that involve C. J. Mahaney have been going on for far too long and it’s PAST TIME that this is resolved. Until it is, C. J. is a cancer upon Together For The Gospel and these Christian Church Leaders who want to present a unified message of hope that pollutes the message of the gospel and tells the world that Christians are hypocritical and instead of being salt and light are more perverted than the rest of the world.

    Thanks!

    David Gibson

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