Tuesday, February 28, 2012

C J Moves Church Membership ... Again.

I scarcely know how to pass comment on these swiftly moving events anymore. Other than to say my profound respect for Josh Harris and the people of CLC continues to increase. Are you allowed to "transfer" your membership just because you hit difficulties with your current one? Would I have been allowed to "transfer" my membership say to Christchurch Newport just because of my difficulties with the church in Bristol? Or is that a privilege reserved for the President-returned? I don't know. It doesn't help with the confusion in my mind regarding church life at present. But here it is:

Below is a message sent to Covenant Life Church members today:


Dear Members of Covenant Life,

We are writing to update you regarding another important moment in the events of the last eight months.

Last month when his leave of absence as President of Sovereign Grace Ministries ended, C.J. Mahaney wrote the elders of Covenant Life informing us of his decision to transfer his membership to Solid Rock Church. At that time we told C.J. that the elders would like to meet with him and discuss several concerns that we had for him, as well as hear his questions and concerns for us.

This past Friday, Grant, Josh and Robin met with C.J. along with two members of the Sovereign Grace Board and had an honest conversation. We began by asking C.J. to share his concerns and disagreements with our leadership over the past eight months, and then we shared our concerns and questions for some of his actions and statements during that same time. We felt the Lord gave grace for everyone to speak forthrightly and listen to each other. We believe this meeting was an important step, though it confirmed that we have different perspectives on what has unfolded since last July.

Having had the opportunity to meet with C.J., we have agreed, with sadness, to accept and support his membership transfer. C.J. has communicated to us that he no longer thinks the formal mediation he requested last fall is needed (this mediation was going to be led by Ted Kober and was to address differences C.J. had with the pastors’ public leadership in response to the release of Brent Detwiler’s documents). We are grateful that we’ve been able to talk together, and we expect there will be further dialogue. Because we understand there will be questions on these matters, we have scheduled another “Coffee and Questions” night for [Time & Date Edited]. We’ve created a simple form to allow you to submit your questions in advance of the meeting.

C.J. has communicated his love and appreciation for Covenant Life and that he believes God is leading him into a new season of pastoral ministry. C.J. has told us that his time at Solid Rock will be brief as he plans to plant a new church in another state later this year. Details of those plans will be announced by Sovereign Grace in the coming months.

We pray God’s blessing on C.J. and his family. We will always be grateful for his service to this church.

If you want to talk further about this, we hope you can come to the “Coffee and Questions” night on [Date], and as always, feel free to contact your pastor.


The pastors of Covenant Life

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