While Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) is not part of the Southern Baptist Convention it seems by the way their issues are proceeding there are questions that need answers for Southern Baptists. If the Trustees at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) do not get answers and publicly assure Southern Baptists that our mother seminary has no affiliation with SGM then questions will come during Dr. Mohler’s report. Why are answers needed? Just a cursory glance at the moves made by SGM in the last year call into question the relationship with SBTS and if the lawsuits already in place will extend into SBTS and her faculty.
One thing, I am told, the legal system looks for is the deepest pockets. Lawyers will identify those involved around various legal issues, not by looking at personal involvement, but looking at bank accounts. If the bank account is deep enough then the personal involvement is looked at and determined if a link can be made. According to the following video Dr. Al Mohler is certainly involved with and supporting C.J. Mahaney.
Dr. Mohler is not just heaping praises but is in total support even after charges were leveled against C.J. Mahaney. If it can be proven that Mahaney is making decisions based on counsel and the advice of Dr. Mohler then it is “Katie bar the door”.
If I were a trustee at SBTS I would start by bringing a motion before the trustees. That motion would direct our President, through SBTS’s legal counsel, to contact Susan Burke informing her there was neither counsel nor connection with SGM. SBTS needs to get in front of this issue. SGM moved its headquarters to Louisville, Kentucky in order to affiliate in some ways with SBTS. Notice the statement SGM made in their public announcement about their move:(link)
The proximity to Southern Seminary allows us to upgrade our academic offerings, including opportunities for collaboration and potential transfer credit toward a Masters degree….
As noted above, we are excited about opportunities this will afford us to collaborate with Southern Seminary, which will only enhance our program and facilitate further training for our students and pastors. The Leadership Team will communicate more details in coming weeks…..
SGM has repeatedly denied the allegations being made but as the allegations continue to come forth it is time for SBTS to implement damage control. SBTS needs to distance itself from Mahaney and SGM until this smoke settles. From the blog posts of former SGM board member and Covenant Life Church staff member, Brent Detwiler, the smoke will not settle because it it an indication of fire. You can read the charges legally presented here.
If the allegations are proven true, then Dr. Mohler must be reprimanded by the Trustees for publicly defending Mahaney. If the allegations are proven false, then we need to affirm Mahaney and publicly encourage him in his ministry. However, until these charges are resolved, SBTS needs to do all she can to distance herself from SGM.