Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Other Sovereign Grace Uncensored Has a New Look


I haven't posted for a bit. The other Sovereign Grace Uncensored has a new look.

They have a new address and in addition to blogs where you can leave comments there is a forum set up by various topics and threads. This makes much easier viewing.

The address for this locations is: (blog) (forum)

I would encourage you to go by and take a look at this new location.

Numerous topics have been discussed including:

New postsGeneral Discussion

New postsTell Your Story

New postsDoctrinal Issues

No new postsWhat's New At SGM?

New postsRandom Comment of the Day

New postsRecommended Reading

No new postsCourtship

New postsJust for laughs

New postsFor Wikipedia



Pastor Timothy said...


Please consider some of my other thoughts regarding "unifying" over an issue that the Scriptures doesn't tell us to unify over....

Again, I am sorry that so many are hurt, but this is not the pathway to healing. This could actually lead more people to even greater bitterness.

Steve said...

Pastor Timothy

I do hope you realize I am not the owner or a moderator of the blog. I am just promoting on the web where I feel is appropriate.

I will consider your thoughts on this. As people have shared on the above referenced blog, their knowing that they weren't the only one to suffer what they went through at SGM. It has lead to their healing.

If SGM was truly concerned on this and maintaining unity I would think that they would be doing more to have reconciliation and doing some soul searching on things that they might have done wrong. SGM leadership is quick to say they are "imperfect" but quite reluctant to admit what they have done wrong from what I have seen.

I also know of at least one case where SGM did not follow the advice of the "Peacemaker" organization that was given to them when one former SGM member used that method.

Pastor Timothy said...

First, I am NOT the judge or moderator between people and their churches.

Second, please take to heart my encouragement for you regarding having a page dedicated to unifying people around the so-called imperfections and potential sins of another organization. Nowhere in Scripture does it say we can find true healing by focusing on this....

Steve said...

Pastor Timothy

I certainly hope you will see the other side of this.

When various groups categorize questioning as "gossip" and "slander" and when those same terms are use to keep pastoral leadership's actions from knowledge and thus the scrutiny of general members then I have an issue. I agree that there should be a balance here but so many times the use of terms "gossip" and "slander" are to an extreme. Consequently leaders are able to repeatedly abuse their power without their actions being known had there been more of a balance here.

Any suggestion on what the proper take on this should be?

Pastor Timothy said...

Suggestion on proper action to take?

Yes and no. Again, I'm not the moderator or judge in this scenario. So, I can only give an on-lookers suggestion (which I trust is biblically accurate): focus on Christ and his work. Point people away from the hurt and pain and find Jesus as the all-sufficient Prophet, Priest and King.

Now, I know someone might say, "Well, the leadership needs to confess their sins, etc." Since I'm not in the situations and don't even personally know the people involved, I can only give advice to someone asking. So, with that I say, if you have already taken steps to resolve the issue and it isn't resolved, then you must pray for the individuals (yourself included) and put the situation in God's hands. I'd recommend praying for wisdom, love, patience, teachableness, etc.

I give this advice because I find nowhere in Scripture where it says, "Once you've tried to resolve the issue - keep bringing it up and let everyone you come into contact with about the scenario so that they can be leery of the individuals, too." Instead, I find passages in the Scriptures that would lead people to cover things in love and trust God's final judgment. In the end, God will reveal who was correct and who wasn't.

One interesting note - I told you that I went to a college where people had issues with it and there are facebook pages, etc, that deal with this Christian University, and I've chosen not to participate in these things. 1) Because I don't think it will be helpful or beneficial to anyone participating (and I think it - at a minimum - can lead people to sin and bitterness), 2) There were great things that I did learn from this University.

That said, I did have disagreements (and still do) with certain issues the University holds to. BUT, just this past week, the University confessed one of its longstanding sin issues! God is powerful enough to break through the hearts of his children. While we are used to accomplish great things for God's glory, there are times when God tells us to move aside completely and he says, "Just let me handle it completely." And, I confess that when we trust his ways, there is true delight!

Hope this is helpful.

Steve said...

Pastor Timothy

From my first read of your comments it appears that you are looking at this as if all that is going on is past tense.

If Sovereign Grace Ministries actions were only past tense and thus things done only in the past then I would agree with your approach and as scripture says to leave room for God's judgment.

Unfortunately we aren't just talking about the past. SGM appears to continue to do to some degree what has been pointed out in various blogs and may actually be getting worse in some regards.

If nothing else, these blogs serve to warn potential new members as well as existing members of what is going on. They can then use this information to make a more informed choice.

Using your university example, wouldn't it be valuable if somewhere potential students could find something that alerts them what they are getting into. They can then use that information to decide if they want to pursue attending this university when certain policies exist that they don't know about. .

Pastor Timothy said...

I guess I can't give an answer in reply.

Personally, with the "university example," I don't think it's wrong for people to say, "Hey, you should be aware of this or that...." But, it seems detrimental to judge motives, etc, when the Scriptures say that we can never know the motives of an individual - only fruit.

My personal thought is that if people have been personally offended and have done what they need to do to resolve the issue and still the issue is not resolved, then people need to let go of the situation and leave it in God's hands.


1. Do the people you know tend to become more embittered when they discuss these issues or do they seem to see Christ more clearly and seek his glory more when they talk about these issues?

2. How much time do you (or others) spend talking against Sovereign Grace Ministries as opposed to talking FOR the gospel?

3. Do you really find this all spiritually beneficial?

It seems to me that AT A MINIMUM you could be steering people away in order to help them. But, that's the minimum. What are the potential greater ramifications? To me, these blogs COULD have the potential of being like a spiritual atomic bomb - where you're just trying to get rid of the bugs in your house, but you end up destroying everything around you.... (not sure if you get this analogy).

Please know that I'm speaking from experience from the "university standpoint." In this scenario, I have a sister-in-law who spends her time discussing all her disagreements on-line. But, instead of helping her, it just fuels her negatively. She still seems bound by the university because she's not giving it up. It seems as though she just wants to hold on to the fact that they were wrong for some reason, and she's not moving forward.

I hope you understand what I'm trying to communicate, and even if we disagree, I hope that we can agree to disagree peaceably and graciously.

Steve said...

Pastor Timothy

Your zeal for all of this makes me think you never "got" my first response to your post. I don't own or moderate these two blogs or other blogs.

With that in mind, the purpose I see of these other blogs is:

1. Warning of others as to potential problems with Sovereign Grace Ministries. It could be potential members, existing members and others especially leaders in the body of Christ. A number of Reformed "Big Dogs" are seeming to be getting quite "cozey" with Mahaney. They need to be aware that there just might some abuses going in Mahaney's group.

2. Healing for person's that experienced the reported abuse that occurs at SGM. It is comforting for them to realize they aren't the only person who experienced this with this organization. The veneer of the organization may seem great but apparently some of their practices behind closed doors that isn't widely known is at least suspect.

3. These blogs may serve as a warning to the leadership within SGM. Who knows, if what is reported on these blog actually occurs, their time of God's judgment may be coming. If and when is a matter for God to decide.

It would be much better if these blogs would wake SGM leadership up and seek God on this to see if they are in error and seek repentance and restoration if these problems do exist. I sincerely hope SGM leadership does before if/when it becomes too late.

With respect to your burn the house down to destroy the bugs analogy, I would point out that sometimes tearing down is necessary. Please see my previous paragraph to put this in perspective. During the 80's when a few televangelists were exposed for what they were doing, one pastor's comment that God was doing a routing in His kingdom. Lets hope it doesn't come to that but sometimes that is necessary.

I do see your point about time. What what does with their time does need to be balanced etc. When the SGM Survivors blog originally appeared (was called SG Uncensored at the time) a lot of posts were happening. I have seen that settled down. Thus there are seasons when more time is required and times when less is required.

We may need to just disagree on this.

Pastor Timothy said...

I do appreciate you taking the time to talk. Regarding the other two blogs, I know you're not the moderator, but I figured that this blog (and the other one you "own" were at least similar to the other ones).

That said, thank you again for taking the time to talk. If we can agre to disagree, that would truly be wonderful and hopefully an expression of unity! :)

theophilus said...

I appreciate that you are trying to bring a serious issue to light. I am praying for that girl and her family. I for one am grateful for (a site that i follow fairly regularly) to the extent that I am made aware of disconnects between SGM faith and practice. It reminds me of the flaws in SGM as well as the flaws in myself-- both of which, I think, are invaluable to any pastoral ministry.

However, I don't appreciate the gossipy overtones of your unsolicited comment. There are definite issues and wounds and abuses that need to be confronted, but commenting on strangers' blogs is not the way to fix these things. For people who have been hurt to come together on a site dedicated to their healing might not be gossip, but advertising a poor girl's abuse and subsequent church struggles on strangers' blogs most certainly is. I agree with "Pastor Timothy's" comment here: this is not the pathway to healing.

As to my calling to pastoral ministry and my love for Sovereign Grace Ministries, your comment does not dissuade me. Let me be clear: I do not want, in any way, to minimize some of the very legitimate concerns and trauma that people have had and experienced. I grieve for them, and I pray for them and their pastors, that the Holy Spirit would bring healing and address the underlying issues here. But with my eyes wide open to past and present problems within SGM, I reaffirm my sense of calling. If I was looking for a perfect church, I would still be looking. But I have found a wonderful home at SGM, a home full of messy people with broken lives and a glorious Savior. I am thankful that God has led me here, and I look forward with expectant faith to how He might use me here.

In His peace,

Steve said...


I put this information out here so that other people can be aware of these blogs and read them and decide for themselves. I appreciate your sensitivity to the wrongs done in SGM and your acknowledgment that some changes need to be made.

Unfortunately, it appears that posting of these issues may be the only way that SGM may feel moved to make changes. These certainly have existed for quite some time. Besides the infant molestation case, SGM has yet to address any of the issues that have been brought up on these blogs that I am aware of. That certainly says something.

I do hope SGM leadership is seeking God on all of this. You sound like a second generation SGMer. Hopefully SGM will make changes necessary or you may see what your parents work to build collapse. Only God knows.

Unfortunately, SGM has a long history of calling something "gossip" or "slander" as a way of suppressing any questioning. It certainly also allows leadership to rule without their actions being questioned. Your calling my sharing this blog information "gossipy" sure sounds like the old SGM ploy. Keep sheep blind about abuses that have occurred and leadership's actions.

It is your decision between you and God about whether you want to be a pastor there. I am glad that you are at least aware of various issues that exist at SGM. I am also glad to see you are getting a college degree before your possibly entering into their pastor's college.