On July 7 C.J. Mahaney announced a personal leave of absence. See C.J. Mahaney: “Why I’m Taking a Leave of Absence.”2 The following comment was posted by Alex Guggenheim in a discussion thread under a Filing at the pseudo- fundamentalist Sharper Iron site about Mahaney’s leave of absence.3 I present it here for your consideration because of its spot-on analysis with my personal commentary to follow.
SGM [Sovereign Grace Ministries] (formerly PDI/People of Destiny International) is basically a neo-Purtian, neo-Charistmatic, and neo-Calvinistic/Reformed sect/organization whose history provides a backdrop to why “we” (since Mahaney makes this public then “we” is appropriate here) find so many problems and objections concerning its leadership and operations. As well, Mahaney’s complete lack of formal theological matriculation, no doubt, has contributed to his rise and maintenance as a novice with the Scriptures.
But these are all, really, his concern and the concern of those who are gullible enough to choose to yield themselves to such leadership and teachings. But what is striking is the emphatic allegiance by Dever and the like within the Reformed community to SGM and Mahaney over the past decade. Did they not do their due diligence or is this simply another case of so-called Conservative Evangelicals in the Reformed sect sycophantically revolving around Augustinian/Reformed/Calvinist (ARC) theology and not the Scriptures so that they ignore their very own teachings on the qualifications required for leadership that when a rising group or personality comes along that has had their own ARC epiphany, they welcome them with opened arms without requiring them to scrub themselves of their many errors before being embraced and promoted within their ranks?
Now one might respond with, “But CJ Mahaney is being called out, isn’t that enough that they are dealing with him?” Well that doesn’t undo their lack of due diligence and having their eyes closed (and if they didn’t have their eyes closed then either ignoring what was evident or worse, calling into question their judgment) before they ever embraced Mahaney and this group. But of course with the words “sovereign grace” in one’s title, what’s to be concerned with, right?
A little bit of research would shine a light on the many erring teachings of Mahaney. I know some of you want to retort, “but he teaches orthodoxy,” right? To that I respond, “Evangelical orthodoxy is not an acceptable guise for the embodiment of error.” Jack Hyles was orthodox. In fact, I tell you what I see with these groups, more of the same but under another name and the very same kinds of objections when anyone levels a concern about leadership abuses and doctrinal departures.
“But what is striking is the emphatic allegiance by Dever and the like within the Reformed community to SGM and Mahaney over the past decade. Did they not do their due diligence or is this simply another case of so-called Conservative Evangelicals in the Reformed sect sycophantically revolving around Augustinian/Reformed/Calvinist (ARC) theology and not the Scriptures….”The irony and lesson here is the strikingly similar actions, or more accurately, lack thereof by Drs. Kevin Bauder, Dave Doran, Matt Olson and Tim Jordan to the egregious errors of the evangelicals whom they eagerly seek to join in cooperative fellowship and ministry. I have been writing and documenting for many, many months a clear pattern from these men in regard to the conservative evangelicals in which they allow for, tolerate, ignore and/or excuse egregious doctrinal errors, ecumenical compromise and worldliness for the sake of fellowship around “Augustinian/Reformed/Calvinist (ARC) theology.” Calvinism, its soteriology in the form of Lordship Salvation, is the magnetic attraction of Reformed men in fundamental Baptist circles to their Calvinistic counterparts in evangelical circles.
4 was excused by both Bauder and Doran. Dave Doran has attended T4G and MacArthur’s Shepherds conference where Mahaney and/or Piper have been keynote speakers. Yet, on Piper and Mahaney’s charismatic teachings virtually nothing. Mark Dever’s SBC entanglements, amillenialism and personal affinity for and use of the RAP/Hip Hip medium in ministry is also ignored for the sake of cooperative ministry5 such as at the 2011 Leadership Conference at Calvary Baptist Church & Seminary, Lansdale, PA. Virtually no ministry of warning emanates from self identified biblical separatists.
Evangelicals, with highly questionable doctrines and practices, are “being embraced and promoted within [our] ranks.” In the new day resurgence of New Evangelical like tolerance and compromise for the sake of unity there appears to be no boundaries. In compromise, are cousins becoming twins?
Site Publisher Addendum:
Additional related comments by Brother Guggenheim, worthy of your consideration, include #: 19, 25 and 47. Among sources (provided by Alex Guggenheim) that might be of interest concerning the excesses and charges of abuse by SGM/Mahaney can be found at: SGMSurvivors; SGM Refuge; The Wartburg Watch: The Mahaney Money Machine and CJ Mahaney and SGM: The Systematic Approach to Sin Sniffing.
*On June 22 Phil Johnson (at SI) indicated that John MacArthur will not appear at the 2012 T4G. Johnson wrote, “The few reasons I gave for John MacArthur's non-participation in T4G 2012 were by no means an exhaustive list. There are some additional factors that have contributed to his decision to quietly back away from some of the large coalition meetings....” As of this date, however, MacArthur’s name and photo still appear under the featured speaker section of the T4G site as a scheduled speaker for the 2012 conference.
1) Together for the Gospel: “A Final Sad Spectacle”
2) C.J. Mahaney: “Why I’m Taking a Leave of Absence”
3) Comment #8 under the discussion CJ Mahaney’s Leave of Absence
4) Al Mohler Signs the Manhattan Declaration, Part 2
Dave Doran’s final determination on Al Mohler’s signing the MD was that it was merely a “wrong decision based on bad judgment.” Kevin Bauder’s only known reference to the MD was to state that Mohler’s signing was only an “occasional inconsistency…single episode,” which is widely known to be only one of several ecumenical compromises in the ministry of Al Mohler. Al Mohler’s “Occasional Inconsistency”5) The RAP on Mark Dever: What is the “Militant” Separatist to Do?
Are there any concrete reasons why militant, biblical separatists should avoid a cooperative ministry with Mark Dever? Does Mark Dever embrace any “worldly approaches for the church’s growth and/or worship?” Is there a clear “distinction between the church and the world [that] must be guarded?”