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Some readers of this blog may find this completely uninteresting, fair enough. See you after the break.
For the rest of you, you may be aware that a guy I’ve always really respected, CJ Mahaney, was accused of a whole bunch of pretty significant stuff getting on for a year or so ago. Because of the society we live in these accusations were made in a wikileaks style viral document, which was quickly circulated among every church leader within the global ministry he oversees, Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM), and all his critics. For examples of the sort of hatred he received (and I wouldn’t waste your time on them), have a look at this blog post, and this one, both of which were written at around that time.
CJ’s immediate response was to resign from his position as Chair of SGM. He said this was so as not to appear to be influencing any response the Board would want to make, but it obviously looked like an immediate admission of guilt.
Tim Challies is a blogger who I really enjoy reading, and he did a great summary at the time of what happened, and what the plans were going forward.
An independent review panel has completed its work, and has issued this report. The conclusions of the report are complicated and not just related to CJ so if you’re interested do go and read it, but in terms of addressing the accusations made in the wikileaks thing it turns out that the guy who raised the concerns in the first place was seeing sin where there was none.
The report by no means paints CJ as some victim or saint, but does come up with the following, significant conclusions:
- The panels exonerated CJ from any charge that the things he did wrong are areas of unrepentant sin. With respect to [one of the specific situations raised], CJ repented and apologised to the family; with respect to [another], the panel found that the process was handled appropriately (and did not involve CJ); and with respect to his practice of fellowship, they found that his practice was in keeping with the teaching of Scripture.
- Months ago, an outside panel representing the perspectives of three denominations reviewed the sins CJ confessed – which includes the most serious allegation against him – and advised that they were not grounds for removal from ministry. And in our own internal review with the three panels (comprised of nine SGM pastors), the same conclusion was reached – not one panel recommended that CJ be disqualified from ministry.
So there you have it. CJ confessed and repented of sin in accordance with biblical teaching, and hasn’t done anything to disqualify himself from a ministry position.
I have to admit I am one of the ‘CJ fanboys’ who hopefully expected that this wasn’t the last we’d seen of a man who I’ve experienced to be a wonderful, humble, grace-filled man (not without his faults, but who is?). I was glad to read last week that CJ’s taken this time away to re-evaluate his role in the global church and will be planting another church in the near future.
Soli deo gloria!