Ep. 367 Is It Wise for Me to Attend a Sovereign Grace Church?

Ep. 367 Is It Wise for Me to Attend a Sovereign Grace Church

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Shows Main Idea – Because of my former relationship with Sovereign Grace Ministries, now Sovereign Grace Churches, people come to me asking for my take on that organization. They are frequently asking because they are in a Sovereign Grace church or are thinking about attending or leaving one.

Life Over Coffee · Ep. 367 Is It Wise for Me to Attend a Sovereign Grace Church?

Show Notes

You may want to read:

Bio Background

  1. Lucia and I were part of a Sovereign Grace church plant.
  2. I became an assistant pastor shortly after that.
  3. Soon after, I saw the abuse (berating), vulgarity, and mismanagement of funds.
  4. They eventually “de-gifted me.” It’s SGC’s version of cancel culture.
  5. I started this ministry in 2008.
  6. The church plant grew to just over 300 members/attendees, but it’s a shell of itself today,

SGC Characteristics

  1. The leadership model is top-down authoritarianism.
  2. The church caters mainly to white, middle-class families who homeschool. SGC tried a church plant in a lower-class area, but it did not survive.
  3. Many of these churches have parents with young children.
  4. The church caters to this specific demographic because some of these parents have more of a controlling mindset, which fits in with the control mindset of the church’s leadership.
  5. Many of these kids stop attending church altogether or find another church after they turn eighteen, go to college, or get away from their parents.

Sovereign Grace Implosion

  1. In 2011, Brent Detwiler sent out “the documents.” Since then, SGC has been going downhill.
  2. We learned that there was a coverup of sexual abuse for several decades.
  3. SGC is a shell of itself today. Many churches have left the movement, and several of our celebrity evangelical stars have distanced themselves from C. J. Mahaney, the de facto leader of the movement. Ray Ortlund is the most recent one.

Should You Attend?

  1. I cannot answer that question for you.
  2. I recommend that if the church leaders do not talk openly, transparently, and honestly with you about these things, you must be careful.
  3. If your SGC is authoritarian, you need to think through what that means for you and your family.
  4. Please read my article on spiritual abuse, which highlights specific characteristics of many Sovereign Grace churches.
  5. Also, read my perspective about being a Sovereign Grace pastor here.
  6. My perspective about this matter is the same that I have for IABC; I won’t associate with an organization that won’t fully acknowledge public debacles and communicates its plans for restoring public integrity.
  7. If you want to talk to me about this episode, you may do so on our forums.
  8. Finally, these three articles are critical to gain a perspective that SGC leadership probably would not show you:
    1. Rachel Denhollander
    2. The Washingtonian
    3. Church Leaders News

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