At the Facebook page of Redeeming Grace Church College and Career group Vince Hinders posted a disturbing quote. Its from John Piper and while it sounds good stands out odd when you consider the history and allegations of child sex abuse that came from this former Sovereign Grace church. I took a screen shot and used it for discussion today.
“Beware of the person with two faces.”
“It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself. “
“Many have quarreled about religion that never practised it.”
that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:19-20 NIV
Redeeming Grace Fairfax
Vince Hinders speaking at Redeeming Grace Church Fairfax
The last time I wrote about Redeeming Grace Church Fairfax (formerly Sovereign Grace Fairfax) I wrote about Xiao Wang. Xiao is a Chinese national who was a student at George Mason University in the Washington, D.C. who got involved in Redeeming Grace Church. It was through Redeeming Grace Church that he became a Christian. It raises a lot of issues especially when you consider the allegations of spiritual abuse and child sex abuse that came from this former Sovereign Grace church. I ask the following question in the post. Does the existence of Redeeming Grace Church, especially when you consider all the child sex abuse cover-up allegations, verify what the Chinese communist party says about religion being corrupt? You can read that in, “Does Mark Mullery’s Redeeming Grace Church Fairfax Confirm What the Chinese Communist Party Says About Religion Contributing to Corruption?“
Brief History of Sovereign Grace Fairfax
The Fairfax Community Church of Believers officially began in November 1979 and originally met in a high school. Shortly after it was launched a new organization arose out of the Jesus movement that was to become People Of Destiny International. Led by CJ Mahaney and Larry Tomczak it started to plant churches in the DC area. Fairfax Community Church of Believers eventually joined PDI in October 1982. Chris Lutyk came on staff in 1981 as well as Larry Malament in 1983. Fairfax Community Church of Believers, changed its name to Fairfax Christian Church and then Fairfax Covenant Church (FCC). Brent Detwiler moved to Fairfax and then led the church in 1983. Brent Detwiler then turned the church over to Benny Philips in 1985 before he was sent to plant another church in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1985 Bob Kauflin also came on staff. Benny Philips led Fairfax for 20 years. In the early 90’s it met in West Springfield High School. There was even a legal dispute that worked its way through the court system related to FCC. The church raised money and was built, Scott Long Construction I believe was involved in the building. In the course of time FCC changed its name to Sovereign Grace Church Fairfax. Today it is led by Mark Mullery. FCC was one of the first churches in Sovereign Grace Ministries and it firmly embraced the shepherding movement. If you want to know more about the shepherding movement you can read here, here and here. In about 2007 or 2008 a blog popped up that was a thorn in the side of Sovereign Grace Ministries called SGM Survivors. Of all the churches discussed on SGM Survivors the situation at Sovereign Grace Fairfax was one of the most disturbing. On SGM Survivors the stories of several families who dealt with child sex abuse or spiritual abuse indicated deep issues at Sovereign Grace Fairfax. Those families are Happymom and Wallace, Noel and Grizzly, Set Free, and Taylor. Sovereign Grace Fairfax also sent some members to help plant a church in Denver, Colorado in 1995 until 1997, and then to help plant Redeemer Arlington in October 2010 according to the Covenant Life Church blog. This blog writes about Jordan Kauflin and Eric Simmons Redeemer Arlington as it was triggered by an incident with someone who was in a place of leadership at Redeemer. In early 2013 Sovereign Grace Fairfax separated from SGM. It became embroiled in the massive lawsuit against SGM and faced serious allegations of covering up child sex abuse. Sovereign Grace Fairfax changed its name because of the lawsuit against it. You can read about the name change in, “Sinfully Craving a New Church Name? Sovereign Grace Fairfax Becomes Redeeming Grace Church.” Plus you can also read about this church and the child sex abuse issues in the following Washingtonian article.
What Vince Hinders Shared with the College & Career Group and Some Analysis
Up above you will see a posting by Vince Hinders in the college and career group of Redeeming Grace Fairfax. That posting was done at the start of the new year of 2019. Vince Hinders is the executive pastor at this former Sovereign Grace church. He has been at Redeeming Grace Church for at least 22 years. You can read his bio on the website here. Having covered the basic information let me dissect what Vince Hinders posted and the problems with it.
In that posting the irony is just rich for that to be said when you consider the criminal allegations of child sex abuse cover-up against this former church. After all Vince Hinders was a part of that lawsuit. If Vince Hinders, Mark Mullery and others really saw Jesus as a true and precious wouldn’t they honor him by being honest? By being truthful and admitting their mistakes and error? How does the alleged cover-up of child sex abuse fit into that picture? How does trying to get a perpetrator leniency while denying justice to someone like Noel? Does Redeeming Grace Fairfax have a peace that surpasses all understanding? If Vince Hinders and Mark Mullery have a peace after their role in Sovereign Grace Fairfax then I believe they must have a personality disorder and be a psychopath or a sociopath. Otherwise how could a person act like that? The fact that this organization can even post such a statement ito the college and career group in light of the child sex abuse cover-up is truly disturbing. Now another issue is when did John Piper say this? If it was in 2017 then it shows serious problems. If its from a publication in 1995 then that is different. If it was published after the Sovereign Grace scandal came to light then the question must be asked does John Piper believe what he teaches? After all John Piper enabled C.J. Mahaney when the scandal emerged by supporting and defending Mahaney. Mahaney if you remember practiced blackmail and also led Sovereign Grace as the “family of churches” engaged in child, sexual, and domestic abuse coverup.
When you look at the rest of that statement by John Piper the following question must be asked. In light of the alleged child sex abuse cover-up at Sovereign Grace Fairfax is there love that flows from the organization? Are they free? Well they may be free in the sense that the legal system has not processed them fully, but does that mean they are free in spirit and in integrity? I would say not really. Does love flow from the organization? If Vince Hinders and Mark Mullery actually loved people would they act this way? Would they turn a blind eye and carry on like nothing has happened? What this post is trying to get at is that people need to weigh both deeds and actions. Someone can say the right thing, but what happens when an organization like Redeeming Grace Church, Mark Mullery or Vince Hinders act differently? People need to practice discernment and think through such posts like the one Vince Hinders posts. If people did then this former Sovereign Grace Church would be closed as people would walk away and not support it. This church has deep issues and is still led by people who allegedly engaged in criminal activity. The Sovereign Grace lawsuit was thrown out in Maryland, if I remember correctly the statute of limitations in Virginia is still applicable. This is a church that many people still regard as a cult. It is one that is to be avoided.