CJ: “I am the worst sinner I know.” True or false?

I’ve heard CJ Mahaney say, “I am the worst sinner I know” several times throughout his teaching ministry.  I appreciate it, but sometimes it’s hard for me to really say that of myself with full honesty and confidence.  James McDonald does an excellent job asking questions about this statement in this interview (go to 15:51 of the interview).  I still don’t get it and am with James McDonald, I have a lot to think about.

About pjtibayan

I love Jesus Christ and live to share life and share Jesus together with First Southern Baptist Church of Bellflower primarily to Southeast Los Angeles County.
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4 Responses to CJ: “I am the worst sinner I know.” True or false?

  1. PJ,

    I have also thought long and hard about that statement. C.J. was asked that exact question at T4G 08 during one of the Q&A’s and his response was something like “Because I’m so much more aware of my sins than I ever will be of someone else’s sins and because my sins are a constant affront to God, that makes me the worst sinner I know.” Interesting take, and one that I find myself dwelling on a lot, especially when I look around and begin comparing myself to people who are “worse sinners” than I.

  2. Andrew Pitts says:

    I was at Straight Up when James said that. I don’t think James understands the theology behind it. C.J. is just restating what Paul, Edwards, and many others in the past have said. Edwards, at least, would say this is true because we see our own hearts and thoughts and only what others present to us on the outside. Even if we see a person murder … Read Moresomeone, even a few people, we still remain far more acquainted with our daily internal inclinations toward anger (and therefore murder as per Jesus), etc. Therefore, being so acquainted with our own hearts as we are and only being able to judge others externally, the only thing we must know for sure is that we our the worst sinners we KNOW since we KNOW ourselves internally and only KNOW others externally. The number and frequency of my internal sins outweigh the number and frequency of any single person’s external sins I know of and so all that I can conclude with the data I am given is that I am the worst sinner that I am acquainted with.

  3. pjtibayan says:

    Thanks for the comment. It makes me feel the weight of my sin and stand a bit more amazed at God’s patience with me! Oh how sluggish my heart to feel the reality of this truth! What you said makes sense. So the key is in the “I know” of the statement, correct? It is not taking the objective viewpoint of God who is fully acquainted with the … Read Moresanctification of a brother like CJ (who has been more sanctified than me by far!). It is speaking objectively of a finite person’s personal perspective and that knowledge from that limited perspective, correct?

  4. steve240 says:

    Here are some imteresting discussions about the “worst sinner” title Mahaney and other SGM Leaders like to always talk about.



    Also, you might find the following blogs of interest about C.J. Mahaney and the group he leads:


    They tell another side.

    Hope this helps.

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