On the CJ Mahaney Mess
If you are not following from home, let me bring you up to speed. CJ, the former pastor of the Sovereign Grace flagship church in Gaithersburg, MD, was the head of the Sovereign Grace network. I say “was” because two weeks ago he stepped down in light of accusations against him. These accusations were made by former pastors who were on his staff. The essence of the accusations? CJ is proud and manipulative.The main accuser, Brent Detwiler, put out over 600 pages of emails interspersed with his own commentary to make those points. I have read much of those 600 pages, and let me save you some time by telling you this: 1. Don’t waste your time. These things have been downloaded 55,000 times, and I feel sorry for anyone who has read more than 10 pages of them; 2. There is no smoking gun. Strip away all of the commentary and whining, and you are left with a picture of a pastor who is running an organization, and some associates who feel slighted.
Honestly, reading this made me ask: “Don’t these people have real sin to confront?” Some of the pastors think CJ is acting too proud, and they rate him on his pride, and they schedule meetings to talk about his pride, and CJ repents of 9 of 11 species of pride that they have identified, and they go back to the drawing board to identify examples of the other two species of pride, they email each other to ask if others have seen that pride, and then CJ thinks those fit under the first species of pride, and they chart the pride, and so on. Blah. Wouldn’t it be nice if occasionally love covered a multitude of sins?
I will give you one example, just because it illustrates the pointlessness of this whole ordeal. CJ and his wife were scheduled to speak in Phoenix around the same time. CJ emailed the executive pastor asking if he could bring his son with him, because he wanted to spend more time with him. After a few emails among the finance committee, they decided that they would rather CJ pay for it out of pocket, unless he felt like his finances were too tight, then they would give him a taxable bonus to cover the flight. CJ decided to pay for it himself, saying that the reason he wanted to bring his son is because both he and his wife were going to be there simultaneously. At this point, I felt like this was actually an exchange I had with my accounting department last week.
But then Brent (a former member of CJ’s “apostolic team” and the one who posted the emails), points out that CJ is manipulating the situation. CJ originally said he wanted his son to go with him to spend more time with him, and then changed his story and said it was really because both he and his wife would be there! AH HA!
This synoptic problem is typical of the whole lot. Maybe I am jaded. I used to attend a megachurch where the pastor got busted absconding with hundreds of thousands of dollars and the radio equipment…and he is still the pastor. CJ, meanwhile, asked permission to spend $300 on his son’s airfare—and they told him no!—but the crime is in the way he asked? Did he have too much pride in his voice?...more
If you’re not following the CJ Mahaney drama, then nevermind
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