The Associated Baptist Press is reporting that Nate Morales, the man convicted of sexually molesting children within Covenant Life Church, the flagship church of Sovereign Grace Ministries, has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.
This is good and good reason to share in the relief of survivors who have gotten their first legal share of justice and closure in decades.
But it is also a reminder of a much bigger issue at work here, one that has yet to be sufficiently solved. Namely, the individuals and organizations involved in failing to report these crimes and continuing to cover for those involved instead of coming clean. The article mentions this aspect in the final paragraph:
Leaders of Covenant Life initially said they had no knowledge of any abuse until many years after it occurred when an adult who had been victimized as a child came forward. During the Morales trial, however, Grant Layman, Mahaney’s brother-in-law and a former pastor at the church, testified that he knew of allegations against Morales 20 years ago but did not call police.
Layman implied that CJ Mahaney, SGM founder and senior pastor of Covenant Life, also knew. CJ has denied and dodged and employed his associations with The Gospel Coalition, Albert Mohler, John Piper, and Southern Seminary to stand in solidarity with him, often issuing their own stringent denials. But people involved in SGM during that time have firsthand accounts of CJ’s knowledge. It would have been virtually impossible for him not to have known.
The judge was not gentle toward Morales in court. And one of his victims speaks out in this news video:
While Nate Morales has been convicted and sentenced, those complicit in covering up this horrific abuse (and perhaps other abuses) are still not accountable.