By Janet Mefford 

Published February 15, 2019

Dr. Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, apologized in the Houston Chronicle yesterday for his longtime support of a man the paper described as “helping conceal sexual abuses at his former church” and “for making a joke that (Mohler) said downplayed the severity of the allegations.”

The supported man in question is C.J. Mahaney, the founder of Sovereign Grace Ministries and co-founder, with Mohler and two other pastors, of Together for the Gospel (T4G), a popular conference that bills itself as “standing together for the main thing—the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Mohler’s long-overdue apology, interestingly enough, came on the pages of the same newspaper that this week revealed devastating investigative evidence of hundreds of cases of sexual abuse in Southern Baptist churches and further evidence that many of the crimes were not reported to law enforcement.

Mohler now says he should have been more forceful in his denunciation of Mahaney, should have insisted on an independent, third-party investigation and “should have said nothing until I had heard from those who were victims and who were making the allegations.” Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, also expressed “similar regrets” to the Chronicle, which noted both he and Mohler had received “a letter in which a former Mahaney associate pleaded for them to denounce Sovereign Grace (ED. NOTE: likely referring to former SGM pastor and whistleblower Brent Detwiler).” Akin said he was wrong to support Mahaney without properly investigating the allegations, the Chronicle reported.

I always applaud people who are willing to own up to their mistakes and/or sins, big or small. Repentance is a necessary and vital part of the Christian life, and it’s definitely a daily necessity in my own life. It is also a critical first step toward forgiveness, restoration and healing.

But after reading Mohler’s apology, I believe it is also incomplete — which brings me to my story.