An open letter to Warren Throckmorton thanking him for his work on David Barton, Gospel for Asia, Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Seattle. I also touch on his work in homosexuality and how he changed his course. Warren is a blessing to the modern evangelical Christian church. His intellect and gift of discernment are desperately needed and his concern for people hurt in modern day evangelicalism is beautiful. In this letter Eagle hopes that Warren Throckmorton could start to research and shine the light on C.J. Mahaney, Sovereign Grace and 9 Marks as defined by Jonathan Leeman and Mark Dever.
“One man with courage is a majority.”
“Dr. Throckmorton is an advocate for honesty and decency within the evangelical community. When Box Turtle Bulletin began exposing Uganda’s proposed Kill the Gays bill, he was one of the strongest voices raising awareness within the Christian community about that issue. He is currently spearheading an effort to denounce the inherently dishonest assertions of revisionist historian (and anti-gay activist) David Barton. He doesn’t agree with everything we believe here, but he’s a good man who has risked his reputation and welcome among his peers to stand up for us. If you are a praying person, please remember to include prayers for Warren’s speedy and full recovery. If not, please send him your hopeful thoughts, good vibes, or general best wishes.”
Box Turtle Bulletin on September 20, 2012 on a heart attack Warren suffered
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.“
Matthew 5:14-16 NIV
I want to take the time to write you this letter. I hope this will be a source of deep encouragement to you. Since you are a Professor I invite correction, so if I make a mistake please let me know. Warren its my understanding that you attended Cedarville University for your B.A., Central Michigan University for your M.A. and Ohio University for your Ph.D. Let me just be honest after getting through a M.A. program I decided I had no desire or interest in a Ph.D program. So I have a deep amount of respect for you, as academia can be challenging and incredibly demanding. Today you teach at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, where you are in the Psychology Department. I looked at the course catalog at all the classes taught, and noticed on your webpage that you teach Principles and Methods of Counseling and Abnormal Psychology. I would love to sit in an Abnormal Psychology class and listen to you teach, man that would be fascinating! I understand you have published a couple of works to include The Messenger series, and the book Getting Jefferson Right. Now that I’ve covered some basics there are some issues I want to explore because I think it shows your courage and integrity.
Sexual Reorientation Therapy with Gays and the Situation in Uganda
Warren you were once a strong advocate of sexual reorientation therapy, and its my understanding that you practiced it in the 1990’s. According to this article you said, “I supported the therapy because, at the time, I did not understand sexual orientation very much. I thought people could really change,” Christians who struggled with gay feelings felt an enormous amount of pressure to change those feelings. In 2004 you released a documentary called “I Do Exist” suggesting that sexual re-orientation therapy works. In this documentary people talked about how they were ‘cured’ of being gay. There was one problem that started to emerge, people weren’t being ‘cured’ of being gay and they started to admit and speak openly about it. As a result of this you stopped supporting “I Do Exist” and removed it from the market. According to that same article you stated, “the documentary is no longer on the market because I have changed my views significantly since it was made.” In 2007 you changed your views on conversion of gays to straight and you rejected that therapy. “[Today] I don’t believe it’s effective and I have a very strong opposition to a particular approach, according to which people become homosexual because they are traumatized, due to bad relationships with their parents.” Correct me if I am wrong but you see it as dangerous, and harmful to gays. But there is another thing that happened of which you became known for and I would like to discuss next.
In 2009 Scott Lively arrived in Uganda. Uganda, like neighboring Kenya and other African countries have always been in the agenda of evangelical Christians. But what arose in Uganda is absolutely horrific. Before 2009 Scott Lively was known for publishing a book called “The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality and the Nazi Party.” In that book it is asserted that Adolf Hitler and other leading Nazis are gay, and that their homosexuality inspired German militarism in Europe and the Holocaust which killed 6 million Jews. In March 2009 Scott Lively addressed the Ugandan parliament for 5 hours. In Uganda Scott Lively warned that gays were out to recruit children, and defeat marriage. In the history of the United States we have exported a lot to the world, namely cults and questionable movements. This time the evangelical Christian church would export the culture wars in America to the eastern horn of Africa. After Scott Lively’s visit MP David Bahati introduced a measure called the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill which included the death penalty for “serial offenders.” Mr. Bahati is allegedly a member of The Family, a secretive evangelical organization based in Washington, D.C. Bahati allegedly said the goal of the bill is to kill “every last gay person in Uganda” which is referenced in this NPR article here. The law underwent a series of revisions before being passed on December 20, 2013. On February 20, 2014 the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni announced that he would sign the bill into law. He flipped flopped before signing the bill on February 24, 2014. On August 1, 2014 the Constitutional Court of Uganda ruled the law invalid. This situation has been the center of the press and has been covered in The Guardian, BBC, Huffington Post, and Washington Post among others.
During this period from 2009 until today Warren Throckmorton was the most prominent evangelical Christian who challenged and used his influence to push back and raise awareness. Many evangelicals in the United States were silent about it and only became more public when probed, questioned, or challenged by Warren. These are some examples of the many articles that Warren published over the years with the more recent to the more older articles. Warren’s strong involvement in opposing this bill in Uganda is honestly refreshing. He spoke up, challenged when it isn’t trendy or cool. Warren’s opposition to this proposed law in Uganda received the attention of the gay and lesbian community in the United States. His efforts got the notice of the Box Turtle Bulletin a gay online newspaper. The Box Turtle Bulletin has featured Warren’s point of view as well. Actually Warren’s retraction of his previous thoughts on gay reorientation therapy had moved and won respect from many in the gay community. How much? Well when Warren experienced a heart attack in September of 2014 the Box Turtle Bulletin put out a statement calling on the gay community to pray and keep Warren in their thoughts. This is what the Bulletin said, “Dr. Throckmorton is an advocate for honesty and decency within the evangelical community. When Box Turtle Bulletin began exposing Uganda’s proposed Kill the Gays bill, he was one of the strongest voices raising awareness within the Christian community about that issue. He is currently spearheading an effort to denounce the inherently dishonest assertions of revisionist historian (and anti-gay activist) David Barton. He doesn’t agree with everything we believe here, but he’s a good man who has risked his reputation and welcome among his peers to stand up for us. If you are a praying person, please remember to include prayers for Warren’s speedy and full recovery. If not, please send him your hopeful thoughts, good vibes, or general best wishes.” The comments by those who are gay below are beautiful and should make any follower of Christ weep with joy. Here are some of them, “He is an honourable and decent man, a rare thing today. Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.” Then there is this, “Been praying for him since I heard the other evening…still am. He is one sagacious fellow.” Followed by this comment, “A religious man with a brain and some level of skepticism is a rarity–we need more of him.” I will close with this final comment in this section. “Wow, will definitely keep him in my thoughts and send what good energy I can his way. He seems to be a good person, you don’t have to agree with somebody to respect them, and it’s a tough thing to stand up for decency and doing the right thing among American Christians…which it should not be, if you ask me. Not much for prayers, but if I feel the need to, I will pray for him, too.”
David Barton, Gospel for Asia, and Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill Seattle
There is also the work you have done in documenting and writing about David Barton. David Barton who founded Wallbuilders is quite creative with the truth. I remember a few years back glancing at some of his work and being stunned by how bad it is. I also realized that its not history, but instead propaganda. The “work” he has done in history would never pass or qualify in any university or academic setting. I really enjoyed reading this article in the past at Salon. His “work” at history is downright disturbing. This article in World magazine does a fantastic job of challenging David Barton’s claims on Thomas Jefferson. But in addition to his claims on Thomas Jefferson there are other disturbing views that David Barton has held including his view on AIDS/HIV and his ridiculous claim that the Obama Administration hasn’t prosecuted child pornography, or his claim on PTSD. I hope things are changing in the future and that more evangelicals will push back from him. Thank you Warren for your efforts on drawing attention to the problems and scholarly “work” of David Barton.
In addition there is also the ongoing situation with K.P. Yohannan’s Gospel for Asia which you have probed. In April 2015 you wrote about Gospel for Asia publically and discussed the allegations. The early issues at Gospel for Asia included a GFA leadership that teaches a false view of spiritual authority. Leadership that prioritizes ministry over family. GFA leadership that intentionally deceives individuals to “protect” the ministry. GFA practicing unbiblical shunning and staff being discouraged from getting involved in local churches, small groups or Bible studies. The issues with controlling culture are written about here. In addition there exited the allegations and questions about their finances. You also wrote about how GFA asked staff and students to carry cash, and revealed how this violated U.S. law. Shortly after everything started to grow, the situation at GFA in India started to get the attention of the Indian press. Where the money was going and questions about GFA spending continued to drag on as you revealed in this post here. The other aspect that dogged K.P. Yohannan is the ring kissing ceremony. In the course of time your work Warren finally resulted in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability to end their membership. At this time Christianity Today and World Magazine are reporting on the situation of Gospel for Asia. And sadly as you wrote yesterday the shunning of former members continues. Thank you for your work on Gospel for Asia Warren.
Then there is the sordid tale of Mark Driscoll who once was the darling of the Neo-Calvinists and embraced, promoted and supported by individuals like John Piper. Dee Parsons told me on the phone the other day how you approached her and asked a couple of questions about Mark Driscoll. Based off what you two discussed apparently you proceeded to look into Mars Hill. I don’t know if you are aware of this Warren, but an incident with Mark Driscoll and Wanda Martin’s daughter is one of the two main things that drives The Wartburg Watch. Campus Crusade, or Cru, brought in Mark Driscoll to speak at North Carolina State University where he proceeded to speak about anal sex. Wanda heard about this and was furious. That incident, combined with Dee Parsons being at ground zero in an alleged child sex abuse cover up at David Horner’s Providence Baptist are what drives her blog today. There’s too much to write about in regards to Mark Driscoll but let me re-tell a couple of issues that you broke and pursued. You have touched on how Mars Hill rolled out non-disclosure agreements to silence staff and even wives of Mars Hill employees from talking. You have researched and documented all the plagiarism that Mark Driscoll engaged in posts here, here, and here. In addition you also covered Dalton Roraback’s story which told the evangelical community how Mars Hill used non-compete clauses. You also covered how Mark Driscoll was controlling members and even attempting to control what they could read on the internet. Then you also drew attention to how Darlene Lopez’s story in Mars Hill Albuquerque involved Demon Trials. I could go on and on, but I think I made my point…the last post I will link to is when it was revealed what Mark Driscoll said about women in 2000 and stated that we “live in a pussified nation.” I remember when that broke as I was telling my story of a faith crisis at My East Coast Mom’s blog and this erupted in the middle of it. Warren again I would like to thank you for your hand work. I want to do further analysis of Mars Hill, Gospel for Asia, David Barton, and your work on homosexuality in a later section. However, I would like to present to you a couple of issues that I hope you can look into and investigate. They would be challenging and right up your alley.
Some Recommendations for Warren Throckmorton (C.J. Mahaney, 9 Marks)
Warren it’s been refreshing and thrilling to see someone in the evangelical Christian faith doing what you are doing. Your work has had tremendous influence and you have made certain camps of evangelicalism healthier all the while looking out for others to hopefully keep them from getting hurt. Its with that in mind I would like to ask you to consider the following topics and maybe look into writing about, or investigating them. They would be hard and challenging but I firmly believe you are up for it. In what I am going to put below can I recommend you make a phone call to Dee Parsons and discuss these?
- C.J. Mahaney I would suggest is the key to the corruption in the Neo-Calvinist movement. His corruption is affecting the Southern Baptist Convention, and many other denominations. Despite him being involved in the largest lawsuit in evangelical Christian history, even with many of the allegations not resolved, he is resuming to speak at Together for The Gospel next spring. C.J. Mahaney has been held up, promoted and defended by the likes of Mark Dever, Al Mohler, Legion Duncan, D.A Carson.
- C.J. Mahaney has thrown around a lot of money, some of that has been documented by Dee Parsons and Deb Martin at The Wartburg Watch. They proved that C.J. gave at least $200,000 to Al Mohler and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. My question is this…is $200,000 all that Al Mohler took? Or did he take other significant cash or gifts as well?
- C.J. Mahaney has also allegedly given cash to Wayne Grudam. How much cash allegedly was given to Wayne in the end? But what about others? Did C.J. Mahaney give money to Mark Dever and Capitol Hill Baptist? How much I honestly wonder…is it $40,000, $45,000, or $50,000 or greater? When you see statements like this I honestly wonder, did D.A. Carson, Justin Taylor or Kevin DeYoung also receive money from C.J. Mahaney? If C.J. gave a lot of cash to Southern Seminary did he also give cash to other seminaries to win people over. Did C.J. give money to Trinity Evangelical Divinity school? Is that why D.A. Carson has been so stalwart? What about John Piper and Desiring God…has C.J. Mahaney given money to John Piper and Desiring God? While I concede that Piper is more of an ideologue did Bethlehem Baptist or its seminary receive money from C.J. Mahaney?
- There is another possibility I would like to raise as well. In 1997 C.J. Mahaney allegedly engaged in blackmail against Larry Tomczak to force him from the organization and make Sovereign Grace’s predecessor (People of Destiny International) Neo-Calvinist. You can read the transcript of that blackmail in this post here. Is that the only time C.J. allegedly engaged in blackmail? Is the reason why individuals like Mark Dever, Al Mohler, and others are so loyal to Mahaney because Mahaney has dirt on them? They know that C.J. has allegedly practiced blackmail before and they are afraid of being subject to it? These are questions I am asking out loud based off of prior behavior of C.J. Mahaney.
- C.J. Mahaney is the man who allegedly mentored and trained Mark Driscoll. When you look at the level of corruption in Sovereign Grace and the level of corruption in Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill; I guess one can say that C.J. did his job.
- C.J. Mahaney has published at least 10 books to include “Don’t Waste Your Sports“,”Humility: True Greatness“,”The Cross Centered Life” and “Sex, Romance and the Glory of God.” The other day at Todd Wilhelm’s blog, Todd wrote and proved how C.J. Mahaney engaged in plagiarism of his sermons. My question is this….are sermons the only thing C.J. Mahaney has plagiarized? Is there plagiarism in his books that he has published? Is that something you could look into Warren?
- The issue of C.J. Mahaney has been deeply controversial within the Southern Baptist Convention. C.J. and Sovereign Grace are the reason why this resolution was passed about child sex abuse. It’s also reared its head again with C.J. Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace Louisville becoming a Southern Baptist Church.
Then there is another organization or ministry that I believe would benefit and become much more healthy if you are to look in and examine it further. 9 Marks is a ministry that grew out of Capital Hill Baptist here in the Washington, D.C. area. Jonathan Leeman is the main player in the organization. 9 Marks has been involved or the source of many questionable and abusive church discipline issues. It’s corrupted a number of churches in differing denominations. The most high profile case to date involved Karen Hinkley at Matt Chandler’s The Village Church. But there is another story that is going to break shortly involving a 9 Marks church in the south, and this story is going to be horrific. Dee Parsons’s is going to crack it and the few details I heard are indeed horrific and make the situation at The Village Church seem like a scene from PBS Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. Dee has actually struggled with some of the details as she heard them. That’s disturbing given her background as a public health nurse. She would also like to use this situation to further make her case that that 9 Marks and church discipline is a flawed model and has intrinsic errors. I believe 9 Marks should be rejected and that Mark Dever made it useless when he let C.J. Mahaney flee from discipline and take refuge at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. What good is church discipline if individuals like C.J. Mahaney or Mark Driscoll are going to be exempt? Another question I have is this…when is Mark Dever going to be disciplined for violating the polity of Capitol Hill Baptist in letting C.J. Mahaney preach and take shelter there.
As a psychologist and as someone deeply involved in faith issues already 9 Marks could benefit from your analysis, skepticism, and discernment. You are more than ready for this as you’ve dealt with these issues at Mars Hill Seattle. Mars Hill was good training ground for you in the long haul. My hope is that you could study, ask questions, and write occasionally about 9 Marks and do so from your unique perspective. Dee Parsons, Todd Wilhelm, and to a lesser extent Julie Anne Smith are the only individuals asking the hard questions about 9 Marks. You could bring a lot to the table. Furthermore I hope you’ll continue to do your analysis on homosexuality and write more about David Barton and Mark Driscoll. But can I ask you to pick up the phone and give Dee Parson’s a call and discuss the situation with C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace as well as 9 Marks? The church needs your help in this issue as well.
Analysis and Personal Remarks
Warren your analysis and work is incredible. You’re a gift to the church. The other thing that amazes me is your bravery. You have taken on thugs, and questionable organizations that bully, deceive and maniplate. Their modus operandi is often the same. With that said I hope none of these individuals have threatened or gone after you. Grove City is fortunate to have you as you compliment the college nicely.
Your work on homosexuality has been encouraging. What’s even beautiful is the fact that you are willing to come out and admit your mistakes and say you are wrong. There’s a lot of discussion in evangelicalism about what is a man. Proponents of this have been individuals like John Piper or Mark Driscoll. At the risk of being blunt I would suggest that they are too obsessed with defining a man based upon the fact that he has a penis. Actually many animals in nature have penises as that can be ascertained from the family dog to spending time in the Rift Valley in Kenya. Yet having a penis does not make a person a man. What makes a man is a number of things such as personal responsibility, cleaning up your messes, owning mistakes, looking out for vulnerable people in your midst, and a legacy of peace. I would also suggest in includes speaking up for those who have no voice who are hurt, marginalized, and wounded. Warren you have done that, actually you have done what Mark Driscoll could not do. You realized your work and previous views on sexual re-orientation therapy were wrong. And you came out (pardon the pun…) and talked about why your views had changed. That took a lot of courage to do. I respect you for doing that, you have proven yourself to be a man in how you conducted yourself and by your commitment to truth and looking out for those hurt in your midst. You have cared for the people hurt by Gospel for Asia and Mars Hill Seattle and its refreshing to see. Mark Driscoll for all the talk he had about being a man, is not a man. He’s a coward who fled.
My hope is that you can take the bridge you built into the gay and lesbian community and turn it into a highway. Exchange ideas, and find a third way to deal with the being gay and Christian. It’s a challenge but I believe you are up for it. I also hope you can use your influence to bring peace and comfort to those who are gay who have been hated and hammered by fundamentalism. To those who you meet who are done with Christianity I hope you can be an ambassador of love, grace, and hope, and on behalf of the church repent for how they were treated. The way we evangelicals have treated gays as a result of the culture wars is horrific. It’s appalling and we need to repent of how we treated them. I was embarrassed to be a Christian when I saw the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. My Facebook feed was horrific. I would suggest that the greatest problem to the Christian faith today is not 2 gays who are getting married in the District of Columbia, but instead internal corruption from men like Mark Driscoll and C.J. Mahaney.
Warren I have to tell you that I don’t think I would be a Christian today had it not been for people like you and Dee Parsons. The evangelical Christian church is very sick and diseased today. There are many people who are getting hurt, families being torn apart and friendships and lives altered out of pain. It pains me to see the influence of Mark Driscoll on differing churches in the DC area. It also pains me that while I was in a faith crisis and rejected Christianity watching Christians celebrate and hold up Mark Driscoll as their idol baffled me. For an agnostic/atheist it was like pouring gasoline on a fire and further justifying atheism. I view you Warren as being a very skilled oncologist who is treating the church through surgery and chemotherapy in removing and cutting out the cancerous tumors that exist in the body of Christ. You worked hard at carving out the cancerous tumor known as Mars Hill Seattle and have been working hard at applying chemotherapy toward David Barton. I hope that you continue and work hard at this effort. For all your efforts I have to say the following.
Thank you, thank you, and thank you.
I’m trying to say this from the depths of my soul, but thank you for taking a stand and using your gift of intellect and discernment the way you do. Warren I think you pose a way forward in the messes of evangelicalism today. While internal corruption is a deep problem two issues that plague evangelical Christianity today are a dearth of discernment and a lack of intellectualism. Many Christians don’t know how to practice discernment and their inability to be able to not spot wolves explains why people like Mark Driscoll are being followed. The other problem is that evangelicalism struggles with a lack of intellectualism. It’s hostile to science and academia. David Barton illustrates this point quite sadly.
My hope is that you carry on and that you’ll reach out to my East Coast Mom, Dee Parsons and have a discussion about C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace and start to crack that nut. You would be perfect for writing about and researching the problems of C.J. Mahaney and the community of Sovereign Grace needs your help. It’s broken, crushed and hurting. Mahaney has left nothing but pain and suffering in his wake. It would be nice if you could focus like a laser on C.J. Mahaney and shine some light on that issue. The church needs your services Warren. Will you please answer the call?
With that I have communicated all I can say. From the depths of my heart again I want to say thank you. Due to the work you have done I would like to close with David Guetta’s “Titanium”