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48 C.J.'s State of His Heart Message - Reflection on Personal Sins Footnotes)

48 C.J.'s State of His Heart Message - Reflection on Personal Sins Footnotes)

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C
.J.’s State of
His Heart Message
Reflection on Personal SinsDecember 28, 2011 at 1:05 PMBrent Detwiler
What follows is a transcript of C.J. Mahaney’s talk
at the SGM Pastors Conference onNovember 9, 2011
. John Loftness introduced C.J. I’ve added my commentary
usingfootnotes.
I’d strongly encourage everyone to also read
the blog post,
“Transcript ofC.J. Mahaney’s Remarks at Sovereign Grace Ministries’ 2011 Pastors Conference” from
 November 12, 2011 at BrentDetwiler.com. It includes insightful remarks from Kris atSovereign Grace Survivors.
This state of his heart message is an open window into C.J.’s soul especially the section
regarding his reflection on personal sins. A lot of SGM pastors were discouraged by
C.J.’s comments and expressed their concerns to the SGM Board.
They were alsoconcerned for the Board and wanted to know if they agreed with
C.J.’s comments. I’ve
not heard their answer.In any case, I hope the message is getting through. It is time for an overhaul.Minimally, C.J., Dave, Steve, and Mickey should be removed from the Board and notallowed to return. The rest should resign. Then new directors can be nominated,reviewed, and voted upon by the SGM pastors.In January the SGM Board has
promised to make a final determination regarding C.J.’s
fitness for ministry based upon the hearings conducted by the three panels inDecember. They also need to evaluate themselves and determine their own fitness andfutures. John Loftness speaking:
 
I am here right now to give some context before CJ comes to give an update from hisleave of absence. More than four months ago CJ volunteered to take this leave. Theboard decided to expand the board of three men by having all of the regional leaders inSG
I am one of those leaders
and so suddenly in a day I was transformed into a
board member. I’ve known CJ for 33 years.
 Since leaving CLC and moving to Solid Rock four years ago our friendship has only
deepened though we don’t see each other as much as we once did. I give you that
background because of our history because the board asked me to serve as a liaisonwith CJ so he could get appropriate updates of our work and developments that mightaffect him. The board also thought it was wise and helpful if CJ could receive pastoralcare from someone who knew him well and was familiar with all that was going on inSovereign Grace. I consider it a great privilege to stand with my friend during this most
trying time. We’ve met often, we’ve talked extensively about his soul his leadership
 
and how to evaluate Sovereign Grace. So what you are about to hear reflects thecontent of many, many conversations over the last four months.
1
 CJ speaking:
 
Over the last four months so many of you have communicated your support to Carolynand I and we are so very grateful.I have been looking forward to this moment when I could address you. I have spentmuch time over the last four months studying Second Corinthians.
2
Paul is uniquelypersonal in Second Corinthians, uniquely heart revealing and heart appealing. He says
 
to the Corinthians, “My heart is wide open to you.”
He expresses this care in thisunique way, it is the only time he does th
is…soon after this statement Paul says this tothem, “make room in your heart for us.”
3
You bear no resemblance to the
Corinthians…but I think there is relevance in his communication.
 
I want to…my heart
and I want to appeal to you to make room in your heart for me.
4
 Here is the state of my heart. I am sad, I am hopeful, and I am eager to return to theprivilege to serve you.
5
Those would be three categories.
6
I am sad. I reflect on whatyou have experienced during this season, the time you have invested because of all thathas taken place, the challenges you have encountered over the past four months, howthis has adversely affected your church. I locate myself in the midst of that and find myway to where I bear responsibility for that.
7
I am so sad. My heart aches and breaksbecause I wan
t to serve you. I don’t want to
create work for you. So I pray that my
1
Does that mean four months of conversations were focused on self-justification rather than self-examination? I doubt it but you would not know
based upon C.J.’s comments. Honestly, I wonder if
 John Loftness had any idea what C.J. was about to communicate. If he did, he should have stopped C.J.in order to avoid the train wreck that ensued.
2
2
Corinthians is Paul’s most autobiographical epistle. He is under attack by false apostles who havesought to turn the church in Corinth against him. That is C.J.’s view of what has happened. He views
himself as the victim, not the victimizer.
3
2 Cor 6:11-13 (ESV) We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. [12] You are notrestricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. [13] In return (I speak as to children) widenyour hearts also.
4
In the context of 2 Corinthians, Paul is asking the church to trust him and repudiate the false apostlesand their slander. That is what C.J. is doing. In other words, C.J. believes some SGM pastors have closedtheir hearts to him because they have been misled by me and ot
hers who have leveled “all manner offalse accusations” against him. C.J. wants them to take on his perspective (i.e., not guilty as charged
andinnocent of wrong doing) which will result in open hearts.
5
Something C.J. assumes will happen.
6
 
In C.J.’s “state” of his heart message, there is no category for “I am convicted” or “I have sinned” or “Ineed to ask your forgiveness” or “I’ve been a poor example.”
7
This is extraordinarily vague. C.J. gives no explanation for how or why he is responsible for the adverseeffect upon the churches, the creation of work, and the months of mourning.
 
sorrow and sadness is evident to you. I want to open my heart to you. I feel like it hasbeen four months of mourning for the people I love the most.But I am also hopeful because God is sovereign and He is wise and He is good and Hehas good purposes for Sovereign Grace and His good purposes cannot and will not be
 
frustrated ultimately.Deficiencies can be and will be addressed.
8
Never has there been an interim board thatwe should be more grateful for or appreciative of. These men and their wives havegiven countless hours of sacrifice. We have been served heroically by these men andtheir wives. I am so grateful for Dave assuming this leadership role which he did not
 
desire, did not volunteer for, and all the men participating on this interim boardbecause they love the Savior and they love us so let them be the object of ourappropriate gratitude for the countless ways they have served us during this season. Ihave hope because these are humble men, men of integrity,
9
looking to lead us wisely aswe walk forward. So I am very sad and I am also very hopeful. That is a little of myheart.I want to appeal to you to make room in your heart for me.
10
Many of you
this appeal
isn’t necessary. From the beginning you have indicated that there has been
noadjustment in your heart toward us. The room that was there prior is still there. And
some of you seem to have added room in your heart. I don’t want there to be any
misunderstanding.
So many of you, this appeal isn’t necessary.
11
Given the size ofSovereign Grace, given the diversity of questions, it is quite possible; it isunderstandable that for some there might be less room in your heart today for me.There may be little room, or maybe no room and if so, I understand.
12
My appealwould simply be that I hope and I pray that what I say and in the future will allow youto make some room in your heart for me.
8
What kind of deficiencies? Evidently, not ethical ones.
9
 
I don’t know what has happened behind the scenes. It is possible some Board members have
confronted C.J. and Dave and asked for resignations and public confessions of wrong doing. But to date,the SGM Board has acknowledged no wrong doing and no deceit which has frequently transpired.
Collectively they have not been “humble men” or “men of integrity.” There may be individual
exceptions. If so, they should make that known in the days ahead so as to clear their reputations. Theyshould be afforded this opportunity. There is a lot of explaining to do and each member should have thatfreedom.
10
 
C.J.’s is focused on asking the men for their support, understanding, and backing. He is not focused on
what needs to be done to win back their trust.
11
Implication
this appeal should not be necessary. C.J. makes clear only a minority of men have closedtheir hearts to him. The minority must feel a sense of isolation for being the odd men out. They need to join the majority. That is questionable math however.
12
 
Does C.J. really understand why there is less, little or no room in their hearts? No. If he did he’d betaking a completely different approach. I’m sure the SGM pastors would love to make room in their
hearts for C.J. if only he humbled himself and acknowledged his faults.

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