While sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church made headlines in the early 2000s and were the focus of the critically-acclaimed film Spotlight, Evangelical Protestants have had their own share of child sex abuse allegations. In 2013, Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM), a network of about 80 evangelical Neo-Calvinist churches headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, faced a an amended class action civil lawsuit filed by 11 plaintiffs alleging church leaders of covering up child sex abuse crimes through the 1980s and 90s, and requesting about $50 million dollars in damages against SGM (a judge dismissed nine of the eleven plaintiffs based on an expired statute of limitations, and the other two on a question of jurisdiction).
New Calvinism is not Neo-Calvinism. It’s easy to tell the difference. New Calvinists don’t use Queen Wilhelmina Mints during the preaching of the word.
Tim Challies tries (via the Aquila Report) to guide us into thinking the right thoughts about C. J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries:
Obviously the situation carries far-reaching implications for Mahaney and forSGM. But there are implications for you and me as well. The Bible is clear that a distinguishing characteristic of Christians is to be our love for one another. John 13:35 says it plainly: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Love for other Christians is the great test of our commitment to Christ and our likeness to him. This love is put to the test in a unique way in the midst of trouble and disagreement.
This situation is unfolding before a watching world that loves nothing more than to see Christians in disunity, accusing one another, fighting one another, making a mockery of the gospel that brings peace. You and I are responsible to do well here, to be above reproach in our thoughts, words and actions. We are responsible to be marked by love whether evaluating a difficult situation or taking appropriate action. We can make the gospel look great or we can make it look insignificant.
Not to say that Challies’ point is without merit. But I’m not sure you want to impose standards more rigorous than what God applied to the history and materials included in Scripture. I mean, if the apostle Paul followed this advice, we wouldn’t have any of his epistles, would we?
Not that anyone really cares about professional basketball in the United States anymore, but in a slow sports news cycle with the Phillies out of the playoffs, the Eagles in a bye-week, and the Flyers bringing up the rear of professional sports (i.e., the NHL) in North America, yesterday’s announcement that Josh Harris was part of the Seventy-Sixers’ new ownership sent shivers down my hyphenated Philadelphia-fan-Old-Life spine. Could Harris do to the NBA what C. J. Mahaney has done to the young, restless and re-reformed?
Not to worry. This is a different Josh Harris who has likely more work cut out for him in the NBA than his ministry counterpart does in SGM.