Just a short note here on the now amended lawsuit against Sovereign Grace Ministries, CJ Mahaney, et al.
I have seen a few people caution those asking questions about SGM to wait for the “other side of the story.” This is not always a bad idea. And sometimes it is absolutely necessary. But most of the people I know who are asking questions are not concerned about the other side of the story so much wondering why the neo-Calvinist superstructure will not even acknowledge there is even a story.
The response I keep getting is, “Why did I not know anything about this?” The guilt of those named in the lawsuit against SGM is not the whole matter here. One of the great concerns is the lack of acknowledgement and comment on the very existence of it. To the point that many people are in the dark.
A lot of folks have trusted SGM and its leaders with their souls. Worship leaders have used their music. SGM has been held up as an example of church health. Mahaney wrote the book on humility. And families devoured their materials on family and parenting. Asking questions makes sense.
No one would have thought it strange for an alumni of Penn State to ask questions about the Sandusky affair.
But let’s be honest, something is horribly wrong within SGM and has been for a long time. No one waited this long to deem Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno and the rest of Penn State as guilty of similar crimes.
Not even the neo-Calvinists.
If this were someone whose theology we did not like, say Joel Osteen…we would not wait to say anything. With bated breath, we would not wait.
I just want the truth to come out. Those responsible to be accountable. And to hear some discussion about this in the church — instead of it being not discussed or swept under the rug.
I think you hit a key point in your final sentence. There’s a breath of favoritism (maybe more than a bit) when we would be quick to examine the outcome of the life of those we disagree with theologically (especially a bad outcome) but we refuse to acknowledge problems when they happen to our buddies.
I’m not saying “pile on” or “let’s kick em while they are down” but “learn from their mistakes” and don’t repeat them. Caution others. Don’t use silence as a way of ignoring and marginalizing victims (“if we don’t talk about it, it must not exist”). And most of all, make sure we are protecting the vulnerable, doing justice, being merciful (even to fallen leaders who repent) and walking humbly in relation to God and others. Not outward humility. But the kind of humility that listens to others and doesn’t shut them down in their pain. That is willing to go the extra mile to walk with someone who is hurting. That apologizes when you’ve been wrong without making excuses.