The Sovereign Grace Child Sex Abuse Scandal and Bob Kauflin. Considering Legacy and Death and How Will He Be Remembered?

Bob Kauflin has been one of the strongest supporters of C.J. Mahaney. When the Sovereign Grace child sex abuse scandal broke it was Kauflin who defended Mahaney and moved to Louisville, Kentucky to support the embattled and corrupt minster. This blog would like to raise a question, what will Bob Kauflin’s legacy be? When he is in hospice one day and the Kauflin children are working on his obituary how will be be remembered in light of the Sovereign Grace Ministry scandal? 

“Legacy is not leaving something for people. It’s leaving something in people.”

Peter Strople 

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”

Shannon Adler

A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children,
but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.

Proverbs 13:22 NIV 

Bob Kauflin center, His son Jordan and his daughter-in-law are to his right. And to his left are Devon and his daughter-in-law. 

In 2001 I attended the Campus Crusade Christmas Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The event is called TCX and is held each December at the Minneapolis Hilton. When I was there one of the talks given was by someone who worked on staff with Crusade in the Boston metropolitan area. He spoke about what it was like to work with students from Harvard, Northeastern, Tufts and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also spoke about the history in Boston. He directed the talk and spoke about legacy. He recalled what it is like to walk through a cemetery and see the names of people who had once lived, and now died. People he explained were living in the dash and they had a birth date but had not arrived to the end yet. In a darkened ballroom he challenged people on how to live for Christ. And as a grad student I sat there and just processed it. 


What I Learned From my Father’s Death and Funeral 

In the middle of the night on November 21, my sister woke me up. Half asleep she said, “Dad is having problems breathing, we need to get to the hospital.” So I put on some clothes and we rushed to the hospital. At 3:30 in the morning we walked into the hospital room and before me was Dad. Gasping for breath and struggling to breath. I was at the end of my rope but to hear the noise of someone struggling to breath I walked out of the room. I sat in the chapel and took a call from someone later. Then my sister called me and told me to get back to the room. When I walked in she said, “Dad died.” It was a little past 5:00 a.m. My sisters were crying. And I went over and wept over my father. I held and hugged him as I felt the warmth leave his body. 

The days after that were a blur. Planning a funeral at a funeral home. Greeting people at the door as they dropped off food. Getting phone-calls or messages from people. It felt so numb and I was in shock. I knew Dad was dying after all he has a brain tumor, but I didn’t think it would end the way that it did. My sisters and I worked on the obituary for the local paper in California and my Dad’s hometown paper in Montana. And through all this I had to wrestle with a deep fear that I had. That fear was of me attending my Dad’s funeral one day. I wrote about it in, “Facing One of My Deepest Fears – Attending Dad’s Funeral.” On the day of Dad’s funeral I had so many people that introduced themself to me. Medical professionals, nurses, administrators from a couple of hospitals and more from Fresno and California. People who knew my Dad or who were once part of the neighborhood. Present was also patients who my Dad took care of. One of the patients lived down the street and had family from Germany. She came up and hugged me and held me up when I felt like my legs were collapsing. As she held me up she said, “David did you know that XX years ago today your father took care of my daughter after a car accident, and your Dad helped her recover. Your father means so much to our family.” Present also was the daughter who was medically saved and she hugged me also. I knew Dad well in life but in death I was learning things about him that I didn’t know. And the stories I heard blew me away. I heard much that I wish I could ask Dad about. My Dad’s legacy was rich. In the period after my father’s death and beyond to today I still have had people reach out and share. Along the way I have not heard negative news. Dad, who always spoke about having a clean conscious, strongly believed ethics were important. There were no negative reviews on Google about his medical practice. No one came forward and shared stories about how he cut corners or engaged in questionable billing of the state. What I heard was of a legacy of love, service and a doctor committed to his patients and the medical profession. Dad but his children in a good position also in that we didn’t learn anything after his death. I have heard a couple of stories where sometimes people have learned something about their parents after death and its hard to process. My family doesn’t have that issue. 


Arlington National Cemetery 

What Will Bob Kauflin’s Legacy be After His Death? 

C.J. Mahaney as the leader of Sovereign Grace Ministries was involved in covering up child sex abuse. That is what being “Gospel Centered” is all about at Sovereign Grace. When Mahaney fled the Washington, D.C. area and went to Louisville, Kentucky it was Bob Kaufln who went down there and supported him. Bob, who is well known for kissing ass and brown nosing C.J. helped support Mahaney in Sovereign Grace Louisville. He led worship conferences and worked at cranking out worship albums and a couple of books. Mahaney would not be where he is today had it not been with Kauflin’s support. When faced with criminal accusations inside a major ministry Bob Kauflin looked the other way, attacked those who criticized the ministry and doubled down.

So this begs the question of what will Bob Kauflin’s legacy be one day? I used that story from Campus Crusade because Bob Kauflin as I understand it claims that it was Crusade that brought him to faith in Christ. So I think its fair game to ask this question in light of the Sovereign Grace Ministries scandal. What will Bob Kauflin’s legacy be? When Jordan, Devon, and the other Kauflin children are in a hospice center saying their goodbyes to their father one day, or in a hospital what will be said? Bob Kauflin doesn’t have a clean conscious on this topic after all he has whored himself out all for a buck. Yes he is a talented musician but he also enabled a corrupt ministry. Should that how he be remembered? Should that go into an obituary one day? The sad part about all this is that there are atheists and more who will die who will have a stronger legacy of love, compassion and ethics than Bob Kauflin will have. And yet its Bob Kauflin leading ministry.  But there is another tragedy that is also in the making and let me explain. 


The Sad Position Bob is Putting Jordan, Devon and his Children In

Bob Kauflin by constantly defending Mahaney is putting his children in a difficult spot. Not only is he corrupting them but he is putting them in the position where they have to defend their father’s corruption. Devon, Jordan and the other Kauflin kids are in a position where they will have to defend their father even amidst the scandal that carries on. How can one write a worship album and support the cover-up of sex abuse? How can one turn the other way? Even worse is when a corrupt parent drags their child into these unethical situations. And while Jordan, Devon and the other Kauflin children praise their father it begs the question. What type of father acts that way and puts people in that disadvantageous situation? Like I said above my father never did anything that put me in a difficult position that I had to defend him after the fact. And yet Bob Kauflin is doing that very thing with his children. For me that is a mark of a terrible parent and one who has failed. Parents are supposed to look out for their kids and not leave their children in such unethical situations. That is one of the sadder things I think I have written. he tragedy is that it doesn’t have to be like that but Bob Kauflin will choose to act that way and double down. That is all he has been able to do.