Tuesday, February 26, 2013

SGM Detox Update, and a Recommended Resource

We continue to get very encouraging feedback on the program.  Lights of liberty are springing up in souls that have been darkened by perversions of God's grace and counterfeit leadership paradigms for years.

This week, we will wrap up our discussion of leadership and move on to address the path to freedom for victims of abuse.  It is vital to understand how we were taken captive and take responsibility for those vulnerabilities if we hope to move on into a healthy relationship with Jesus and others.

In the stream of social media feedback, we received this note from a listener:

Through a link that I received somehow, I listened today to your interview
with Bryon Weibold, on August 4th.  This interview was... amazing.  And so
timely for what my church is going through.

I don't understand why the broadcasts I've heard of yours don't have scores
of comments.  It was so inspiring!

For this reason I'm posting a link to that blog posting and podcast here.  I do agree that many of the issues we're discussing on "Detox" were covered in my talk with Bryon.   And as always I welcome your "scores of comments" :)    God Bless!


Friday, February 22, 2013

SGM Detox: Unmasking The Perversion of Biblical Leadership

With the true Good News of the Gospel of the Kingdom watered down by parking at  "the cross", the way is paved for some very unhealthy doctrines and practices regarding leadership.

Tomorrow on SGM Detox we'll deal with these issues.  But more importantly we'll talk about the true essential ingredients for New Covenant leadership.

My friend Dr. Steve Crosby wrote a book that the Spirit of God has used in my life...  to rip the veil on much of the tyranny unleashed on the Body of Christ by the perversion of scriptures that speak of leadership.  It is called "Authority, Accountability, and the Apostolic Movement"  You can watch Steve's YouTube description of the book at the link below.  It will provide somewhat of a preview for what we will discuss on Saturday.


And remember to listen to "SGM Detox", LIVE Saturday morning at 11am Eastern Time at this link:


Sunday, February 17, 2013

SGM Detox: Overwhelming Response and Future Plans

As I write this, more than 500 people have listened to the program, either live or as a podcast.
Here is a portion of one of my favorite emails in response to the broadcast:

When you spoke of CJ's teaching of the cross and not moving away from the cross...it reminded me of this story.  A few years ago, my husband was reading a bible story to our 2 year old.  It was the story of the cross.  My husband explained to him that at the cross Jesus died for our sins.  My 2 year old starting crying and we could not calm him down.  He finally asked..."that is so sad...so Jesus is dead?"  My husband picked him up and told him that that wasn't the end of the story.  That Jesus is alive now.  He stopped crying.  I realized at that moment that I felt just like my son...despair.  I had been living as if Jesus was still dead.  If we stop at the cross we are hopeless.  It was then that my eyes began to open to the lies that we were being taught.  They said the word "gospel" all the time but we realized the whole gospel was never being taught.  But I continued to tell myself that I was the problem...and no matter what church we went to I would be there and I would just make that church worse.  Thanks be to God that He has set me free.  I found hope in your statement that it took 7 years to heal.  So maybe I too am making progress!   
Well, thanks for listening and I look forward to reading your articles and listening to more SGM Detox.
And there will be more broadcasts.   We will resume this Saturday and tackle the huge issues connected to Leadership and Authority.  Once again Dr. Steve Crosby will join us.   It was his book that I read back in 2009 that helped me to understand the heart of God regarding leadership, and how some in the church system have distorted the scriptures in a way that brings God's people into bondage. You can find "Authority..." at this link.


As always, your questions are welcome. You can call in to the show live, beginning at 11am on Saturday, at 805 243 1335.   You can listen to SGM Detox live at this link Saturday morning:


For those who have not heard the first show, you can listen at this link:


Until we connect on Saturday, may the grace of God rest upon you all, not just as a theological concept, but as a living reality.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

SGM Chronicles: A Message to the Local Franchise

It has been many months since I completed a series of blogs on SGM.  Recently, I’ve sensed a strong leading to communicate a message to the local organization connected with this “church-planting ministry.”

My utmost desire is to see Jesus truly glorified, and to see His people conformed into His image. I trust that He will do that with His people--wherever, with whomever, and however He chooses.  Having said that, you should also know He zealously and jealously seeks our devotion to Him.  He does not wish to share that devotion, honor, and glory with people, no matter how gifted they might be.

Anything that deflects our gaze away from Him must be viewed as disposable.  We cannot expect that Our Consuming Fire will allow idols erected by men to stand.   Like the walls of Jericho and the Tower of Babylon, those idols (especially those propped up by men in His name) must fall.   Unfortunately, the SGM organization, nationally and locally, continues to resist His hand of discipline. For that reason, Jesus, in his love for His people has no choice, but to deliver His people from the bondage of this golden calf.

In a previous installment, I referred to the local organization as once a place of refuge.  However, it became a place of bondage, just like Egypt did for the children of Israel.  And I believe the Spirit of God is turning up the heat, and the volume to the leadership of this religious franchise with one message: LET MY PEOPLE GO!  

Just like Pharaoh, the entrenched leadership of mostly older men, have hardened their hearts.  And just as the Egyptian leader increased the burden on the Israelites once Moses proclaimed the prophetic directive to him, SGM leaders have attempted to shift the burden of their crumbling empire onto the people. 

Pharaoh demanded that the people gather straw to make bricks.  Religious tyrants, attempting to save their own Titanic, have pulled the heart-strings of the “passengers” (members), appealing to them to faithfully give to offset the astounding loss of revenue.  From the Lord, these leaders must understand one thing:

Resist this call to your own harm.   God will not be mocked.  Since you’re not inclined to trust complete “outsiders,” I would humbly suggest asking Joshua Harris to help you learn how to repent.   A time of refreshing is on the other side of door on which Jesus is knocking.  Though He will not force Himself on you, He will not allow His people to remain in slavery forever.

To younger leaders:
Some of you burn with a heart for your Father and His glory. You know something is terribly wrong with the direction the older and supposedly wiser men are taking this organization.  You are right. But you also face a sobering reality: you cannot truly allow the Spirit to fully lead you in your perspective in this ongoing crisis, because that will put you at odds with the misguided older men who are walking in the flesh.  Remember, God is faithful.  He will make a way.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 6:33
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:19 ESV)

The same God who provided for you through the organization will provide for you outside this crooked religious system. 

To the “remnant” of members who remain within SGM, listen to the Spirit of God and His leadership.  Some of you haven’t heard Him in years because your ears have been tuned to the pitch of men rather than God.  Your first order of business is to recover your first love: the affection and attentive ear you once had for your Father alone.  The voices of men were once subordinate.  Now they have become front and center in your spiritual journey.   Repent, and be honest about your idolatry and trust Him to restore your gaze, your ears to hear, and your whole-hearted passion for the Father. 

Do not take on the burden of sustaining the organization. That burden belongs to the men who now insist on maintaining it, no matter how crooked their ways have become.  Don’t let them browbeat you into honoring and submitting to them as leaders, serving more, and giving more.  Truthfully, many of you are more mature than those you believe to be your leaders. Leadership is not measured by positions or titles, religious training or degrees.  It is measured by love for God and the appropriation of his love to others.  That love flows out freely, and never demands honor or submission.  It is willing to “spend and be spent” for others without a return. 

Many of you have been so institutionalized, you believe that in this current crisis, something is wrong with you.  While there are areas you may need to grow, your lack of “buying in” to the religious propaganda you hear is not a sign of something wrong with you.  It is evidence of a battle within. The Spirit of God is leading you to resist the bondage men put upon you.  But you wrongly believe the Lord can’t be leading you to disagree with your “leaders” on the fundamental issues causing turmoil within SGM.  HE IS.  Don’t resist the gentle call of the Spirit.

And finally, many of you are fearful.  You ask, “What would we do outside the “covering” of this organization?”  The answer is: FLOURISH UNDER HIS COVERING.  The truth is HE is all you need.  And He will also provide brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers in the Lord to walk WITH you, not OVER you, in this Kingdom journey. 

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
(Romans 8:14-17 ESV)

He faithfully led His people out of Egypt and into the Promised Land.  He will also faithfully lead you as you dare to step away from the shackles men have placed upon you.

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
(Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV)

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

There is life outside the organization . . . ABUNDANT LIFE!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Announcing: SGM Detox A New Talk Show


Beginning Saturday February 16, 2013, The Renaissance Network will present a special show to help countless believers who have been negatively affected by a church planting ministry known as Sovereign Grace Ministries.

SGM Detox will address the unhealthy religious contagions that have damaged believers, and provide biblical instruction and counsel to help Christ followers move beyond their spiritual bondage and offenses... and into a healthy expression of life in Jesus.   We will also troubleshoot various organizations and entities that have experienced crisis because of failures in leadership as well as doctrines and practices that left people devastated.

Each show will cover specific areas of concern, and time will also be provided for listeners to call  in to join the dialogue.

SGM Detox will also feature resources that will be very helpful for a person who has left SGM or a similar organization. 

SGM Detox will be hosted by Vince Coakley, a veteran broadcaster who spent 15 years in an SGM Church.  Vince will share his journey of ongoing transformation, and the people and resources that have ministered to him and others he currently walks with.

Joining Vince is Dr. Steve Crosby. Dr. Crosby brings his prophetic insight, along with 40 years of church experience. You can access Dr. Crosby's website at this link:

Addressing people who were affected by SGM and similar churches and ministries, Coakley offers this exhortation: "I hope you join us on an exciting journey into freedom, wholeness, and mutuality in the Body of Christ. I especially want to encourage those of you who are afraid to have hope again.  You will find great reason for hope in this special broadcast."

SGM Detox premieres Saturday February 16th at 11:00am.

You can listen:

-on your Android phone with the "Vince Coakley" app

-on your non-Android phone by calling 805 243 1335


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Toxic Churches: Restoration from Spiritual Abuse

The Lord has a way of getting our attention with a message.
This weekend his message to me was simple: "I want you to walk with me and others in the rawness of your humanity."
In the midst of some challenges I'm facing, my response has been to bottle up and simply internalize my struggle.  I met a new friend  on Friday who first challenged me on this .  And as I shared this revelation, and the issues currently surrounding it with two dear brothers on Saturday, they also appreciated seeing their friend in a more transparent way.
And as if to reinforce the message, the same issue is covered in a book I'm currently reading.

Toxic Churches: Restoration from Spiritual Abuse, is written by Marc DuPont. I met Marc at a conference here in Charlotte back in 2010. When I shared my background in toxic church situations, he mentioned this book and sent me a copy.  I'm reading it for a second time and finding new edifying gems.

Here's a portion of the chapter titled, "Ministering with Transparency, the Jesus Style".

Jesus, living in a deep flow of the Father's perfect love for Him, was not afraid to be vulnerable before His disciples. He says in John 12:27, "Now is my soul troubled".  In his intense time of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane He was not afraid to tell Peter, James and John that He needed their prayers. At the Last Supper, which we have already looked at, Jesus was not afraid of taking the place of a lowly servant - washing the disciples' feet with His own garments and being partially naked before them. The removal of His outer garments was just as significant to the story as the act of washing their feet. He was not just instructing the disciples to minister one to another but to be vulnerable and transparent with one another.

The age-old distinction of clergy and laity is actually anti-biblical in its connotations. We are all called to be priests in seeking and serving the Lord Jesus. But it is true that not all are called to serve in the capacity of leadership, or fourfold ministry. Be that as it may, however, too many leaders have established barriers between themselves and the church, which lead to devaluation and sometimes abuse. Unfortunately, the worst barrier is probably spiritual pride. when we see Jesus in the gospels, He lived not only as the only begotten Son of God but also very much as a man of the people. He was not afraid to socialize with thieves and prostitutes. He took delight in their humanness. The thieves, beggars, outcasts and prostitutes had no masks of religious pride or outward respectability to hide behind. It was natural for Jesus to find their company more real than that of many of the leaders. In fact, according to Matthew 21:31 Jesus told the chief priests and elders at the Temple that some prostitutes and tax gatherers were entering the Kingdom of God before them.

I highly recommend "Toxic Churches", especially for those of you who have experienced these kinds of churches first hand.

You can order the book at this link.