Friday, February 18, 2011

C.J. Mahaney Covering His Son's Sin and a Double Standard?

Listed below was posted recently on the website by the moderator Kris. Here is a summary of what is alleged:

  1. C.J. Mahaney’s son and other Covenant Life Church students were caught smoking marijuana.
  2. All of the kids were told that they couldn't return to Covenant Life Church’s school.
  3. C.J. Mahaney’s son was quietly transferred to another private school with a pastoral recommendation while the other students not allowed to return were not given this recommendation.
  4. C.J. Mahaney so far has denied any of this.
  5. Mahaney in the past has required other leaders both at Covenant Life Church and within Sovereign Grace Ministries to step down due the leader’s children misbehaving such as this. Apparently Mahaney has a double standard.
If one knows the Mahaney boys first name and does a Google they will find that he did attend another school for one year and is now back attending the Covenant Life Church School. This tends to confirm what is alleged here. There must be some reason such as what is alleged for this one year transfer to happen. Especially when one is in high school one usually doesn’t move between schools unless one has to. As Kris has requested on her blog I am not sharing the son’s name.

When one is young they do make mistakes. The issue really isn’t that much the son’s actions especially if it was a one . It is more the actions of C.J. Mahaney that is the issue: C.J. Mahaney’s double standards.

  • Mahaney's son gets a letter of recommendation while the other involved students get no recommendation.
  • Other leaders in SGM have to step down due to their childrens’ actions while Mahaney is allowed to remain a leader.

From SGM Survivors Blog:

February 3rd, 2011 at 10:04 am
Over the past year or so, several people have written to me about the hypocrisy of SGM’s de-giftings, especiallybecause of a situation involving one of CJ’s own kids. Apparently, when several young people at CLS were busted (by their parents, not the cops) for pot use, a few were told that they could not return to CLS. CJ’s kid was among the group caught using. His kid, however, was quietly transferred to another private school…one that required a pastoral recommendation, which apparently was no problem for CJ’s kid to obtain…even as another of these former CLS students was told by CLC’s pastors that such a pastoral recommendation WOULD be a problem (and was consequently prevented from transferring to another private school).
CJ has continued to refuse to acknowledge any of this…even as all the other people involved (teens and their families) are well aware of the truth.

February 3rd, 2011 at 10:09 am
I should say that I have refrained from drawing attention to this situation because I truly do feel sorry for CJ’s kid. I’d want to get high, too, if I had to grow up in such a pressure cooker. (OK, I’m joking…sort of…)
I just wish that CLCers would have some way to call for honesty from their head honcho, without having to make life any harder for CJ’s son. The way this situation has been handled, with the hush-hush school transfer and the lack of openness – even as others involved have suffered far different and far worse consequence – is disgusting, even though it almost seems justified, given how tough it must be to be the son of CJ.
Note to readers: please do NOT use CJ’s son’s name when commenting. No point in making the poor kid easily tracked by Google searches.

February 3rd, 2011 at 11:43 am
From what has been shared with me, I do not believe that CJ’s son was the “dealer” in the scenario. But he apparently participated. And yes, as Sidney mentioned, there were obviously other kids involved, kids who have now seen firsthand that “some people are more equal than others.”
I’m NOT comfortable having an opinion about what consequences should have been meted out for these kids. But suffice it to say that I do believe that whatever punishments might have been given, they should have been given equally. The fact is that they weren’t.
Another interesting aspect of this is that CJ has been confronted – asked directly about this situation – by at least a couple of people. Reportedly, his repsonse has been complete and total denial, that any of this happened the way that it actually did happen. In one instance, CJ claimed to be “unaware” of his son’s drug use…even AFTER he and Carolyn transferred the boy to another school.
I’m thinking that that simply HAS to be an outright lie. Does anyone believe that CJ would transfer his son out of CLS, to a non-SGM Christian school, and NOT be aware of why his son needed to leave CLS? Really? I mean, come on. This is the same guy who claims to select his wife’s clothing, for heaven’s sake! If he’s THAT involved with the details of his family’s daily life, then he certainly had to know that his son was tokin’.
But he stated outright to at least one individual that he knew nothing about any drug use.

February 3rd, 2011 at 3:32 pm
I think the most interesting aspect of what went down with CJ’s son is that so many people all around CJ were complicit in protecting the Mahaney family. That would include staff and administrators at CLS, some of the other kids involved, some of those kids’ parents, and anyone else who knew the truth about why CJ’s son left CLS and went to another school for awhile (only, according to what one correspondent shared, to come back to CLS, where he will end up graduating with the rest of his class, apparently “restored,” even to the point of getting a highly coveted job as a CLC intern).
Why weren’t more of the other kids’ parents outraged at the special treatment? Why was this allowed to happen, basically unremarked (except by those who wrote to me to vent)?
And – the best question of all – how does CJ get away with his outright denial? Certainly he ought to be aware of the fact that there are enough witnesses out there to contradict him when he claims that he has “no knowledge” of his son’s involvement in any of this…insinuating that his son didn’t actually do what the other kids did…when all those kids know very well what he did.
It boggles the mind. It really does.
Unassimilated posted a quote from CJ’s account of his own drug bust. I’d say that this incident involving his son is different in that it wasn’t even that CJ pulled strings and used his influence – it’s that he now denies that there ever was an issue.

February 3rd, 2011 at 3:40 pm
Here’s a bit more, just for the record…
I want to be clear that I’m NOT saying that I necessarily think that any of the kids involved deserved the harsh punishments most of them (except CJ’s kid) received. I mean, I know that a Christian school has standards, blah blah blah, and the school administrators had to do their job. I understand that.
But it seems to me that discovery of this kind of teen drug use in the SGM environment ought to prompt more of a desire on the part of the adults to understand, rather than to punish…and to spend at least as much time examining themselves, the church’s teachings, and their parenting practices as they do focusing on their “bad” kids.
What I’m objecting to is the unequal treatment. It’s just not right for CJ’s son to be able to slither off, unremarked, to another Christian school (complete with his CLC pastor’s recommendation) while other kids guilty of the same trespass were sumarily kicked out with NO such pastoral recommendation.

February 5th, 2011 at 4:20 pm
I believe the situation with CJ’s son demands full disclosure NOT because CJ’s son’s actions (or those of the other kids involved) were so horrible…but because the situation is simply yet another manifestation of SGM’s usual problems.
CJ and other SGM leaders have always claimed to hold SGM’s pastors to the highest standards, both in terms of the men’s own personal behavior and of the behavior of their children, even adult children. Over the years, there have been several very public “stepping-downs,” where pastors have been showily honored for leaving their jobs “for a season” of discipline. Some of these guys were made into very public examples, both of what NOT to do (mess up in one’s parenting to the point that one’s children deviate from SGM social norms) and what TO do (publicly talk about their failings and allow themselves to be relentlessly humiliated by their superiors).
I think a case could be made that SGM leaders’ responses to at least some of these pastors’ failings were way too harsh and graceless. I mean, take the Benny Phillips situation some years ago, where such a big deal was made when his adult daughter eloped. Maybe the technical rationale was the whole “household in order” thing, but really, how “disorderly” is it, anyway, for an 18- or 19-year-old girl and her semi-secret boyfriend to have internalized Christian ideals to the point where they’d run off and get married just to “make it legal”? Seems to me Benny and his wife actually did their job as parents pretty well, since their daughter chose to get married rather than continue to live in sin (if that’s indeed what she’d been doing).
But instead of seeing things this way, the repsonse from SGM was to recoil in horror at the idea that a pastor’s daughter would dare to make her own decisions and not follow the proper protocol for courtship.
It’s possible that CJ and his cronies have now re-thought their ideas about standards for leaders, to the point where they no longer believe that finding out that – say – a pastor’s son has smoked dope should automatically disqualify the pastor from a leadershp role. Maybe CJ now believes that a more grace-filled response is in order.
If that were to be the case, I think many of us would agree with this change of heart.
But here’s the thing. I harp on this all the time, but it’s worth saying again: it’s NOT necessarily bad or wrong for SGM leaders to modify their beliefs or practices or teachings. But if beliefs or teachings or practices have changed, SGM leaders owe their peoplea clear and open explanation of the changes. If CJ’s ideas about the proper response to pastors’ kids’ misbehavior have changed, then he needs to come forward and SAY SO. He needs to talk openly about what prompted his thinking to change…maybe even share about how his own son’s failings caused him to realize that he’d been too harsh in the past…and that now, standards for ALL pastors – and not just himself – are going to be different.
But instead, it would appear that CJ wants it both ways. He wants his own parental failings to be hidden or denied. He wants his own kids to be able to “be restored” in a very secret, private manner. Yet he hasn’t recanted or repented of any of the old punishments he and his crew have meted out to others whose kids have done similar things.
THIS is why this situation is worthy of discussion. It’s yet one more example of SGM leaders’ hypocrisy and lack of openness and honesty.

February 5th, 2011 at 6:21 pm
A couple other things…
Two different people wrote me and suggested, in different ways, that CJ’s son does not come across as a forceful, leadership-type of personality. They both suggested that he was likely a follower in the pot-smoking incidents…and consequently, that that would maybe explain why CJ and the other leaders (at CLS, and CLC) gave CJ’s son different consequences.
I can actually buy that. I can see why, if CJ’s son is not a very forceful, prepossessing sort of character – more of a follower rather than a leader – that the adults in the situation would think that he could be let off the hook in a different way. Maybe they figured (and maybe correctly) that he’d not have made the choices he made if he’d been influenced differently. Maybe they believed that the influencers were to blame, and that CJ’s son was more of the hapless victim of circumstances.
Even if that is all true, well – isn’t raising an easily-influenced mealy-mouthed follower just as poor a commentary on CJ’s parenting practices as if his son would have been the instigator? And, given the way SGM apostles leaders have always held other accountable no matter what the extenuating circumstances, shouldn’t they be open and honest if they’re going to change their tune? Shouldn’t they announce boldly that they’ve now come to believe that extenuating circumstances SHOULD actually be taken into consideration before doling out punishments?
Another interesting aspect of this fiasco is the change in policy that was instigated at CLS around the same time that these expulsions basically decimated attendance numbers. After an entire history of barring children of non-CLC-members, Covenant Life School suddenly and without much fanfare announced that they were throwing the school doors open to anyone who attended church anywhere.
It seems to me that CLS’s policy change was done for practical reasons, and not because they suddenly saw the light. Yet for years and years and years, the old policy had caused issues for a lot of people who wanted to leave CLC but didn’t want to disrupt their children’s education. Seems to me that those people would be owed some serious apologies…especially if the policy could be so summarily changed for pragmatic reasons…and especially if CJ’s own son was involved in the scenario that brought about the expulsions.
To hammer away at the same old theme, it’s about honesty. Truthfulness. Openness. Accountability. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with SGM’s leaders’ deciding to change policies and procedures. But if they do, they need to repent (if necessary) of the old policies and procedures. They need to EXPLAIN why they came to change their minds. And they ought to quit being so afraid of what would happen if ordinary members put two and two together and correctly figured out that leaders are fallible and frequently make mistakes…even in areas like policy and procedure.

Recent documents have been posted at the following site:

These documents provide a really bad behind the scenes view of what goes on with the top leadership of SGM especially C.J. Mahaney. It documents some really questionable actions that Mahaney did. These documents are currently being discussed on:

In light of this disclosure it makes the probability that Mahaney covered for his son all the more likely.


Another relatively recent development (though late to post this) C.J. Mahaney's son was recently arrested and charged with a DUI.  This was another item that C.J. Mahaney would make other pastors step down if their children did this.

This picture was shown at this link:

At least on thing C.J. Mahaney and so did not too long after Chad's arrest became public is they stopped posting to their father son sports blog after doing on blog post on 8/18/15 (4 days after Chad's arrest).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello, I just recently found your comment on my blog dashboard. I did know that C.J. Mahaney had dealt with this sin for a while, but still decided to share the message on my blog. Thank you for your concern, and God bless. :)