C.J. Mahaney Preaching at T4G? My Response Based Off Charlie Chaplain’s Mocking of Adolf Hitler in “The Great Dictator”

Today’s post is my response to C.J. Mahaney resuming preaching at T4G. This post is meant to mock Mahaney and its inspired by one of the greatest movies of satire that was made. When the Nazis put Charlie Chaplain on a death list in the 1930’s he responded by making a movie, “The Great Dictator” that mocked Adolf Hitler. This is an attempt to capitalize on the final scene of the movie and sneer C.J. Mahaney. I want to be crystal clear that I am not drawing any comparisons between Adolf Hitler and C.J. Mahaney. Today’s post is an attempt at parody.

“There was something curiously appropriate about the little tramp impersonating the dictator, for by 1939 Hitler and Chaplin were perhaps the two most famous men in the world. The tyrant and the tramp reverse roles in The Great Dictator, permitting the eternal outsider to address the masses…”

Annette Insdorf (Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust 2003)

“Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful.”

Molly Ivins

“Good satire comes from anger. It comes from a sense of injustice, that there are wrongs in the world that need to be fixed. And what better place to get that well of venom and outrage boiling than a newsroom, because then you are on the frontlines.”

Carl Hiaassen

As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.

Proverbs 26:11 NLT

I want to be crystal clear that I am not comparing C.J. Mahaney to Adolf Hitler. In this post I am attempting to mock Mahaney in a way Charlie Chaplain once did of the German leader.

085007_1.tif. ** FILE **Legendary silent film actor/director Charlie Chaplin is shown in a scene from the 1940 film "The Great Dictator," his first film with dialogue, in this promotional photo. Chaplin plays the dual roles of a sweet-natured Jewish barber and a murderous Hitler-type dictator. Four of Chaplin's films "The Gold Rush," "The Great Dictator," "Modern Times," and "Limelight," are being released on DVD July 1, 2003, from Warner Home Video, as the first in a series of ten titles included in "The Chaplin Collection." (AP Photo/The Roy Export Company Establishment, HO)

Charlie Chaplin from The Great Dictator


Charlie Chaplain is a legend in film cinema who helped co-found United Artists. His career spanned 75 years and he made his first movie in the silent era of 1914. Chaplain hailed from England but in the course of time eventually found himself in Southern California. He was a giant in the industry known for his portrayal of “The Tramp.” His acting at this point in the 1920’s and 30’s was robust and thriving. While Chaplain was engrossed in his career the scene in Europe changed, and fascism emerged first in Italy in 1922 and Germany in 1933.  In the 1930’s Chaplain watched and grew alarmed with what has transpiring. Anti-Semitism grew, and militancy was on the rise, plus the  Nazi’s produced a piece of propaganda called “The Jews Are Watching You.” In that book the Nazis labeled Charlie Chaplain as a pseudo-Jew. Its my understanding that he was also on the Nazi’s death list. A majority of the people written about in “The Jews Are Watching You” are believed to have died in the Holocaust, as most of them were in Germany.

In response to the book Charlie Chaplain decided to make a movie that would mock Adolf Hitler. This movie would become one of the greatest forms of satire that would be produced. When Czechoslovakia was carved up in 1938 in Munich and British Prime Minster Neville Chamberlin proclaimed “we have peace in our time..” Chaplain had finished the first draft and decided this would be his first film where he spoke. But Chaplain also had a problem in the late 1930’s as Hollywood made a lot of movies that were marketed to Germany. Coming out with a film that mocked Hitler could upset the balance. Plus some Jewish producers were afraid that it would contribute to anti-Semitism in Germany. Chaplain decided to make the film with his own money, and he was encouraged to do so by President Franklin Roosevelt. Filming began in 1939 and war between Germany and Great Britain erupted in September of that year. The British used Chaplain’s film for propaganda after it was released. The movie became well known and is a classic. What stunned many people is how the movie ended in which Charlie Chaplain stopped and looked directly into the camera and made an appeal to democracy and against fascism.  In response to a book Chaplain had given the German dictator an answer,  and in the process he humiliated and mocked him.


Synopsis of The Great Dictator

This is the synopsis of The Great Dictator. In this part I lean heavily off Charlie Chaplain’s website. During World War I, an anonymous private, who is played by Chaplain is fighting in the army of Tomania. He is involved in a daring rescue of an officer named Schultz, but he suffers memory loss when the plane in which they are flying crashes into a tree. The little soldier is sent to a hospital where he remains for twenty years. He is unaware of the dangers taking place around him. He does not know, for example that Hynkel (who is also played by Chaplain) has become Dictator of Tomania, and is ruthlessly persecuting the Jews with the help of his two minister Garbitsch and Herring.

When he is dismissed from the hospital, the amnesia victim returns to his barber-shop in the Ghetto, expecting to find everything as he left it 20 years before. He does not realize that he has been away for so long, He is surprised and hurt, therefore, when Hynkel’s storm troopers smash his store windows and make his new life miserable. He finds a friend in Hannah, a beautiful daughter of the Ghetto, and their friendship turns to love.  For a while they enjoy relative peace when Schultz who has risen to a position of prominence in Hynkel’s regime recognizes the barber as a friend. Schultz orders the storm troopers to leave him alone. Secondly Hynkel needs a financial loan from a Jewish financier and ceases his persecution of the Jews temporarily. The financer refuses to  give the loan, so Hynkel resumes his anti-Semitic activities again. However this time he does it with a vengeance. He is planning an invasion of the neighboring country of Osterlich and when Schultz questions the judgment of this move, the Dictator condemns him to a concentration camp. Schultz escapes to the ghetto, where he attempts to incite a revolution against the government. But before he can do this both he and the barber are both captured and interned in a prison camp.

Pursuing the project of invading Osterlich, Hynkel invites to his place Napaloni, the Dictator of Bacteria, and after a few comic misunderstandings is able to enlist him as an ally. The invasion is completed and Hannah who fled to Osterlich again finds herself under the domination of Hynkel’s cruel regime. While the Great Dictator is celebrating his latest conquest by taking a vacation in the country, Schultz and the barber escape form the concentration camp. In the search for them Hynkel is arrested by his soldiers who mistake him for the barber. Schultz sees that the barber is mistaken for the Dictator.  Understanding the importance of the new position the barber follows along with the masquerade and in a speech before the assembled crowds of Tomania, denounces everything that Hynkel stands for and makes a passionate plea for democracy.


C.J. Mahaney Preaching at T4G? My Mocking of Mahaney as Inspired by The Great Dictator

Charlie Chaplain mocked Hitler with The Great Dictator. This post is me mocking C.J. Mahaney and giving him a clear response to him teaching at T4G. C.J. should not be teaching. Between the allegations of criminal activity, blackmailing his ministry partner, allegedly covering up child sex abuse, approving a hush fund to buy a SGM pastors silence, and so much more. The other day a horrific situation emerged from Covenant Life Church and the question I have is what did Mahnaey know and when did he know it? To have Mahaney preach is a disgrace and something that needs to be contested.

I have given you the summery of The Great Dictator up above because in this second part of the post I am going to change it. In the film Chaplin (the barber)  is mistaken for Dictator Hynkel of Tomania. He finds himself before Tomania where he has to speak and he seizes the moment to challenge and rebuke everything that Hynkel stands. In the process he makes a stirring speech for democracy. You can watch the speech above, actually I encourage you to.  In my situation I am mistaken for C.J. after all in my effort to show my humility I didn’t publish a book, instead I repented and sought forgiveness from nearly 140 people. Imagine that…I’ve done something that C.J. can’t and will not do. As I have been mistaken for C.J. and I stand before people at T4G, I decide to do the same thing that the barber does before Tomania. This is me…David Bonner playing the role of the barber, being mistaken for C.J. preaching to the masses at T4G. This is the message I have to the church. Will you listen to me?

My Speech at T4G

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be a celebrity preacher. It’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible…every Christian, atheist, Muslim, man, and woman…

The Christian faith calls us to help one another. That is what Christianity is about. We want to live by each others faith, not by each others fundamentalism. We don’t want to be arrogant and look down on others. In the church there is room for everyone.  And the church is rich and can accommodate everyone. The way of Jesus can be amazing, free and beautiful…but we have lost our way.

Greed in the form of Neo-Calvinism has poisoned men’s souls; filled the faith with fundamentalism, conferenced and membership covenanted us into misery and tyranny. We pioneered internet blogging but shut out the world and created our own little bubble. Faith that should give us passion leaves us with wanting more. Our knowledge is too tunnel versioned focused, hard and unkind.

We think too much and feel too little. More than a church brand we need Jesus. More than conferences, we need love, kindness and gentleness. Without those qualities the church will be irrelevant, and all will be lost. Love can move mountains and bring us closer together. The very nature of love driven by the Lord cries out for the need of the church in today’s world, and cries for a universal brotherhood of believers for the unity of the church.

Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the church, millions of broken, hurt disillusioned men, women, and children, victims of a Neo-Calvinist system that makes men slaves, destroys and harms innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say, “Do not despair.”

The theological misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed. The celebrity pastor and Neo-Calvinist movement actually fears faith. We fear people living under the will of the God so we have to Lord over them. This corruption will pass, and theological despots like me will one day die. And the power they stole from the Lord will return to the church. The church has survived corruption before and will again. And so long as theological dictators die, faith will never perish.

Christians! Don’t give yourselves to these despots! Men like Mark Dever, John Piper, Mark Driscoll and countless others! Men who will enslave you, control your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who Lord over you, corrupt you, treat you as dirt, and view you as an ATM to sell their garbage!

Don’t give yourselves to these theological tyrants who are spiritually lost! Celebrity pastors with narcissistic problems and deep corruption! You are not their personal ATM. You are not objects to be controlled! You are men created in the image of God! You have the love of the Bereans in your hearts! You don’t hate!

Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.

Christians! Don’t fight for a celebrity pastor! Fight for the Lord!

In the seventeenth chapter of Acts it states that “the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas are telling the truth.” This wasn’t one man but a group of men testing what is preached! In you, Christians have the power to make this church free and beautiful, to make the Christian faith shine. Let us use our faith and let us use our power.

As members of the body of Christ let us all unite!

Let us fight for the Gospel and the faith that will empower every man and woman. It will give the youth a voice and the elderly the comfort they need in the sunset of their life. By the promise of these things, thugs like me have risen to power. But they lie. They do not fulfill their promise. They never will as false teachers!

Theological dictators like myself free themselves but enslave the people!

Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world of spiritual tyranny and tyrants like me. Lets do away with passing fads! Lets do away with T4G, TGC, conferences  and spiritual brutes!

Let us fight for a church that shines and is a city on a hill, a church that values the least of these and contains no celebrity pastors, greed, lust for power or corruption!  This will result in the rebirth of the church and a robust faith.

Christians! In the name of our Lord let us all unite!

By the way I have to ask…is this what the Sovereign Grace break out session is going to be like at T4G?

11 thoughts on “C.J. Mahaney Preaching at T4G? My Response Based Off Charlie Chaplain’s Mocking of Adolf Hitler in “The Great Dictator”

  1. There’s a supreme irony here.
    Do you see it?
    Watch Chaplin again, with your maximum-discernment-meter-antenna on…

    1. He has a decent script writer.

    2. He has a good gradually-swelling soundtrack behind him for maximum manipulative effect.

    3. He employs a typical-preacher-cult-like tactic in which he starts with a self-evident premise (“we should all love, not hate”), but then slowly infects it with a modicum of “new world order” nonsense. Remember that a drop of arsenic in an otherwise pure gallon of water spoils it. This is exactly how cults start, and public speakers (pastors, politicians) get ideas & agendas through. It’s a tried-&-true approach: Start with a self-evident premise, get people in a “nod-your-head, yes, this is true” mode of receptive thought, where critical thinking is turned off, then toss your self-aggrandizing grenades in there subtly… while revving up the volume and the sound track for maximum persuasiveness & effect.

    4. Add in increasing amounts of emotion (faux or real, doesn’t matter), for maximum manipulation. Many sheep are easily led astray by mere emotion.

    5. Employ enough sycophants in the audience (or congregation) to cheer, so that nobody wants to be the one who speaks up to say that that emperor has no clothes. Peer pressure is a persuasive and strenuous force that not many wish to buck. (Besides, that many people can’t be wrong, right?) And while it wasn’t employed by Chaplin until the end of the speech, it’s often most effective to have someone yell “amen” or cheer just after particularly odious insidious statements (delivered with max emotion). This serves to obliterate most sheep’s discernment antenna, and independent-thinking meters.

    This stuff is bone-chilling, and the manipulation is bone-chilling. This kind of stuff happens all the time at political rallies…. and on Sunday mornings.

    Don’t fall for it.
    Think for yourself.
    Keep your discernment meter-antenna on max, like the Bereans.
    Test what is purported.
    See past the emotion, and the soundtrack, and the rhetoric.

    Mr. Chapman shows the way.
    How ironic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Remember, “Hynkel” is speaking at a parody of a Nuremberg Rally, where EVERYTHING is staged and orchestrated to manipulate the audience into “Truly Believe and Follow Whatever The Guy on the Podium Says”.

      So the manipulation tricks are appropriate to the situation and scene, and have the effect of making the barber’s appeal even more powerful a wedge driven into Hynkel’s regime.

      P.S. One of my writing partners (the self-educated son of a steelworker, not the burned-out preacher) is Pennsylvania Dutch with a family name of “Hinkle”. He said his family always got a laugh out of the name “Hynkel” when watching The Great Dictator.

      “Herring? Why must you always waste my time with these CRACKPOTS?”
      — Adenoid Hynkel, Der Fooey of Ptomania

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Having said all that…

    Eagle, do you think we’ll ever actually see a celebrity-pastor-type ever do a Charlie Chapman & repent of it all? I’m trying to recall if it has ever happened, not that I follow celebrity-pastor types.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. @(edit),

    I could be wrong, but it seems to me that Eagle is merely postulating on what it might be like if a celebrity-pastor type ever actually repented of lording it over the sheep & stepped back into private laity life. It just might look something like what Mr. Chaplin did (swelling manipulative music & emotion & all). 😉

    Of course, this kind of repentance only happens in Utopia. Celebrity narcissist dudes never really go away, do they? (sigh) But “what if…” is kind of nice to think about.

    I do agree that comparisons to hitler are way over-used these days to the point where it seems disrespectfully dismissive of what happened to those in nazi Germany. So while comparing a celebrity-narcicist-pastor type to hitler is extreme, I believe that comparing a potentially repentant-celebrity-pastor type to Charlie Chaplin might be apt.

    Your mileage may vary, and I appreciate what you’re saying. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ejj…I also want to let you know that I appreciate your point of view as well. You’ve spoken your mind and stated where you agree and just as importantly….disagree. I want to encourage you to keep doing that. Speak your mind, challenge me when you believe its necessary. Its important for me to receive feedback. You know one of the reasons why I can’t stand Neo-Calvinist blogs is because they shut down dissent. They don’t allow other people to disagree. I have one word for that if everyone came on here and said..

      “Dave I like this”

      “Dave I agree with you”


      “Dave I agree 100%”

      I have one word response to that….

      Boring…. 😛

      So Ejj…speak your mind openly and know that I value you it.


  4. Lori….I want to thank you for the comment. It comes from your heart and you are beautiful in so many ways. Many people have a hard time taking differing points of view or criticism. I believe its necessary to listen to what others are saying. You make a good point especially about the language. What I did was go and tone it down. I’m open to learning from you and others. It would be awful if I dismissed people who went through hell and did to them what they experienced elsewhere. For that I encourage you to speak your mind, and ask questions and communicate. I have a lot of respect for you and your family and love them deeply. But you always have my ear. I am open to hearing differing points of view.


  5. I understand the concept of escalation, that an invective will invite a negative response. I believe this consideration should arise in the context of a peer relationship or where there is some hope of reconciliation or in the case where there is a wrongdoer and they may be brought to their senses. In the case of Mahany, or the more recent leaders that excommunicated Hurit, people largely followed your prescriptions initially.

    People went through the “proper” channels, spoke respectively, and yet were still shunned or mistreated for their efforts. Mahaney and company have revealed their lack of interest or ability to do the right thing.

    Thus, dealing with intractable corruption I would ask if the following is an example of productive dialog.

    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
    You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.
    So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’
    Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
    Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers.
    You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? ”

    I would then followup by asking if these religious leaders of today are of the same species as the Pharisees.


  6. The powerful rarely repent (camels through the eye of a needle) but don’t you wish the pew people could hear this speech and take it to heart?

    Liked by 1 person

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