SBC leaders stand by accused colleague

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (ABP) — Southern Baptist leaders in a movement that goes by names including the “New Calvinism” and “young, restless and Reformed” voiced support for a friend and colleague accused in a Maryland lawsuit of collusion in what is being called American evangelicalism’s biggest sex scandal to date. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C., joined Presbyterian minister Ligon Duncan in a statement of support for C.J. Mahaney, one of several defendants accused of permitting and covering up the sexual abuse of children in churches affiliated with Sovereign Grace Ministries, a Calvinist church-planting organization based in Louisville, Ky. “We have stood beside our friend, C. J. Mahaney, and we can speak to his personal integrity,” the trio, who with Mahaney started a biennial preaching conference called Together for the Gospel in 2006, said in a statement on the T4G website.

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7 Responses to SBC leaders stand by accused colleague

  1. Griffin Gulledge says:

    C.J. is not accused of ‘permitting and covering up’ sexual abuse. Certainly he, and SGM as a whole, are accused of failing to report to the proper authorities and merely encouraging reconciliation within the church (which may have been [certianly, it seems]) to be unwise. They did not, however, knowingly permit sexual abuse.

    • Eleanor says:

      Regrettably, that is an incorrect statement. Read the Second Amended Lawsuit. Multiple plaintiffs state that Mahaney, then senior pastor, together with various pastors, knew about child sexual and physical abuse situations and conspired together to cover them up AND allowed the pedophiles to remain in good standing and in contact with children. They contend that this allowed more children to be horribly abused who would not have been abused if the earlier cases had been properly reported. They also allege that some of those abuse victims went on to molest other younger children. In at least two cases, parents fought against pastoral pressure and reported anyway, and those cases resulted in convictions of the perpetrators and in shunning and expulsion of the reporting parents. Another man connected with youth ministry during that time is in jail awaiting trial on 10 molestation counts involving 4 boys. Pastors on staff have admitted that they chose to deal with such things ‘in house’. The fact that much sexual abuse occurred is not in dispute. It is the culture of coverup and the liability for harm that followed that is in contention.

      • Griffin Gulledge says:

        My last word on this: It doesn’t seem to me to be a coverup. It seems that the SGM pastors in question tried to handle the issue in house through counseling, confrontation, and repentance and it went horribly wrong. They should have pastored their people, yes. In retrospect, however, they should have gone to the authorities. I see nothing here that looks to be a willful coverup or scandalous propagation of child molesters. I grieved for those attacked, but find no solace in pointing the finger at men who made a mistake in how they dealt with it. I don’t ask for you to agree with me, but that’s how I see it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Griffin, let me give you actual paragraph numbers that show a different story…

    (Everything beyond this point is “alleged,” for the lawyers out there.)

    The vast majority of the 218 paragraphs are horribly graphic, detailing names, locations, and description of sexual abuse. Summary of some paragraphs, which are abridged and not quoted verbatim, are below:

    Paragraph #:
    Describes this as a lawsuit seeking damages for all person harmed by an ongoing conspiracy that permitted sexual deviants to have access to children for purposes of predation.

    Abuse of children occurred at church buildings, school buildings, during church retreats, and other events.

    From 1982 to present conspiracy of defendants to permit sexual deviants to have access to children for purposes of predation.

    8-year-old child had to meet with the defendant who molested her and another defendant and was told to “forgive” the molester. The defendant did not report the molestation.

    Youth ministry leader Morales molested several boys who admitted it to Chris Glass but were cautioned against talking about the facts.

    Defendant David Adams was convicted and served jail time. He was welcomed back into the church without the church taking any effective steps to prevent him from having continued access to children.

    Second-grade girl pushed down and gang-raped by defendants and by other adults who were wearing masks.

    Defendants Ecelbarger, Mullery and V. Hinders, conspiring together with Mahaney and Loftness, violated the mandatory reporting obligations and conspired together to cover up [name withheld pending court ruling on defense motion]‘s molestation of children.

    The church provided babysitting services for Home Group members, many of whom homeschooled their children, but failed to advise them that the defendant had raped and assaulted Jane Doe.

    Defendants made a series of misrepresentations to the parents of Jane Doe to prevent them from attending court appearances and to prevent them from filing a victim impact statement…

    …Defendants falsely claimed that they were speaking on behalf of the parents of Jane Doe, and falsely claimed that the parents did not wish to participate in the court proceedings regarding the sexual assault…

    Defendants permitted David Adams, a known pedophile, to attend church-sponsored sleepovers without advising parents about his sexual deviance.

    Discovery will show that Defendants Mullery, David Hinder and Vince Hinders (sic) spoke with Maryland-based Defendants Mahaney and Loftness, and together conspired to prevent any reporting to the secular authorities.

    Defendants conspired to permit the pedophiliac to have unfettered access to children…in a back hallway where children routinely played

    Rather than report the ongoing abuse to secular authorities or take any steps to stop the abuse, Defendants informed the father that his children had reported the abuse. This led to further abuse by the father. In exchange for the conspiracy of silence, the abusive father paid to send Defendants Mahaney, Ricucci, and Layman and their families on vacation to the Kiawah Islands, South Carolina.”

    …they permitted Griney to teach and have unfettered access to children, and conspired to cover up the facts.

    On or about August 17, 2011, Defendants admitted during a meeting that they placed protecting the churches from lawsuits over and above the safety of children. This admission revealed ….[they were] acting for financially motivated reasons, had designed and agreed upon a plan to obstruct justice, yet permit predators to continue to have unfettered access to children in church and school settings.

    For the entire lawsuit (which is a public document), do an internet search for: SGMsuit – SGM Survivors pdf

    • Griffin Gulledge says:

      I didn’t need to read this. I’ve followed this story and watched as you’ve posted this Anonymously on every website you can find. A bit of advice if Christians are to be taken seriously: quit being a coward and sign your name. Otherwise, there’s no reason for me to believe you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Griffin, now that you know what the lawsuit says. Do you still stick by your claim that Mahaney is not being accused of covering it up, as you said in your first comment?

  3. David A Johnson says:

    Failing to report a crime is a crime.

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