Within the past couple of years, many stories have spread like wild fire thanks to the internet. Millions upon millions of articles can be accessed within a couple clicks of a mouse. Sadly, due to this fact, great lies and gossip can circulate rather quickly. The same is true with Sovereign Grace Ministries. Due to the vast popularity of just a few blogs, the organization led by C.J. Mahaney has been depicted to look like an organization that is not what it was meant to be. Here, we will, with the help of God, analyze some of the arguments brought up by those slandering SGM.
Does Sovereign Grace Ministries support Ezzo parenting?
Some time ago, there was a claim that a family was "involuntarily" released from membership from Covenant Fellowship Church in Glenn Mills, Pennsylvania(A suburb of Philadelphia)for not agreeing with the church's parenting philosophy. As far as I know, every Sovereign Grace Ministries pastor that I have interacted with does not agree with Ezzo parenting AT ALL! The church that I am at does not teach this method of parenting at all. We embrace more of the parenting of those critical of Ezzo such as Paul and Tedd Tripp. I believe there is another side to this story that we do not know about. But what I do know is that this claim is inconsistant with what I have been hearing from Sovereign Grace pastors; they do it believe nor teach Ezzo parenting.
Is Sovereign Grace Ministries hyper-episcopalian?
I have have seen this claim come up alot. Now, many people have the misconcept that Sovereign Grace Ministries is a group run from the top down with C.J. Mahaney as the "pope" and the apostolic leaders as "bishops." According the the booklet "understanding Sovereign Grace Ministries", the local churches are governed by the local pastors/elders.(You can access it here http://www.sovereigngracestore.com/downloadFiles.aspx?key=Free3bb8864c-8b3a-4019-a555-ee1f3ee6ece9) The sovereign grace churches take a presbyterian form of church government where each local church is governed by a body of elders. C.J. or the apostolic leaders do not have the final words concerning a decision on matters that pertain to that particular church. That is up to the elders of the church. Membership in a SG church is completely voluntary and any church can withdraw if it wanted to.
Does SGM strictly enforce homeschooling and courtship?
I heard this one at least once. No, they do not enforce homeschooling or courtship enspoused by Joshua Harris. I believe that it is up to the families, not the church, concerning those matter. In fact, Covenant Life Church has a regular school called the Covenant Life School. All three of C.J.'s daughters graduate from that school. At the church that I am at, I know people who are sending their children to public schools and aren't getting into trouble with the leadership.
In closing, the misconceptions of Sovereign Grace Ministries are great that they needed to be addressed. The time has come when the truth needs to be exposed against those who are covering it and hiding it. May God be glorified in the mist of all this!