Hemant Mehta reached out to me a couple weeks ago and I think he’s great and I’m excited to be contributing to his Patheos blog as a Christian culture commentator.
I’ll still be blogging here, too, so no worries about that!
Also, I don’t think it’s particularly relevant to this whether or not I’m an atheist (this isn’t me coming out as one); my writing and analysis on Christian culture issues fits the tone and themes of his site well. We’re talking about Meg Wolitzer’s new book (which isn’t out yet), so SPOILER ALERT.
I’m excited for my first post to go up there tomorrow, The Swan Children is accepting submissions for our July issue now!
The second amended lawsuit named well-known, long-time members as well as a former pastor at CLC as perpetrators, and added graphic detail to previous accuasations that Covenant Life Church (CLC) harbored a “pedophilia ring” in which children were passed between perpetrators.
In a May 19 sermon responding to the new charges, current CLC senior pastor Joshua Harris informed the congregation that he is also a survivor of child sexual abuse.
Five plaintiffs are now using their real names, and the rest are pseudonyms.
And it would launch the careers of several conservative Christian activists, including Lou Engle, whose ministry The Call has played a significant role in exporting American religious homophobia to Uganda, as well as Che Ahn, president of the charismatic Harvest International Ministries. Five years after its founding, in 1982, the church launched what would become its overarching ministry, Sovereign Grace, originally called “People of Destiny International.” The grandiose name reflected the group’s aspirations to greater influence as a ministry, a vision that would only begin to be realized as the group shifted away from its charismatic beginnings toward reformed evangelicalism.
By 1997, Mahaney had found a new protégé in Joshua Harris, a young evangelical beloved in the conservative homeschooling community for his speaking tours and magazine for religious homeschoolers.
Ultimately, this is a post is about ending our permission (and sometimes celebration) of the spiritual abuse that operates today. Last week, Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) leaders admitted under oath of covering up Nathaniel Morales’ sexual abuse of minors.
This is stunning, especially after two years of ongoing denial through public statements of innocence. Pastors and leaders within SGM, like former leader, Brent Detwiler, have confronted Mahaney for character issues, claiming his hypocrisy is not “above reproach For over six years, the forums at SGM Survivors and SGM Refuge have been whistle-blowing ongoing spiritual abuse. from his role as president.” Interestingly, without consensus, without reconciling with his accusers, Mahaney packed his bags for Louisville, Kentucky. Instead, Mahaney relocated SGM headquarters, planted a new church, and formed a strategic partnership between SGM’s “Pastor’s College” and the Southern Baptist flagship seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) is the flagship seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest protestant denomination in the USA. Mohler praises Mahaney for his character and influence in his own life and defends coverup allegations here.