It’s Judgement Day for The Southern Baptist Convention: 700+ Victims of Sex Abuse and 200+ Predators #SBCtoo #churchtoo

 

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/author/robert-downen/Robert Downen: Houston Chronicle

“We live in a society where people are often more offended by those who point out child abuse than by the abuse itself. In other words, society does not view abuse as the problem; the problem is you pointing it out. Society’s basic mindset is that “If we don’t talk about abuse, then it’s not happening.” Similarly, children are attacked when they point out the dysfunction around them.” ― Darius Cikanavicius, Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults

__________

In May 2018, Al Mohler wrote The Wrath of God Poured Out — The Humiliation of the Southern Baptist Convention. Here is what he had to say:

Sexual misconduct is as old as sin, but the avalanche of sexual misconduct that has come to light in recent weeks is almost too much to bear. These grievous revelations of sin have occurred in churches, in denominational ministries, and even in our seminaries.

We thought this was a Roman Catholic problem. The unbiblical requirement of priestly celibacy and the organized conspiracy of silence within the hierarchy helped to explain the cesspool of child sex abuse that has robbed the Roman Catholic Church of so much of its moral authority. When people said that Evangelicals had a similar crisis coming, it didn’t seem plausible — even to me. I have been president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for twenty-five years. I did not see this coming.

I was wrong. The judgment of God has come.

Judgment has now come to the house of the Southern Baptist Convention. The terrible swift sword of public humiliation has come with a vengeance. There can be no doubt that this story is not over.

We cannot blame a requirement of priestly celibacy. We cannot even point to an organized conspiracy of silence within the denominational hierarchy. No, our humiliation comes as a result of an unorganized conspiracy of silence. Sadly, the unorganized nature of our problem may make recovery and correction even more difficult and the silence even more dangerous.

…This is just a foretaste of the wrath of God poured out. This moment requires the very best of us. The Southern Baptist Convention is on trial and our public credibility is at stake. May God have mercy on us all.

Those of us who knew about the research on the widespread problem of sexual abuse in the SBC, theorized that Mohler was well aware that things might be coming to a head.

In my opinion, Al Mohler and most of the leaders in the SBC had chosen to ignore the whispers which grew into shouts. I believe they knew and sat silently by while writing letters of support for CJ Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries and making jokes about the controversy at meetings. They welcomed him, along with his scandalous ministry, with open arms into the SBC and made sure his family members were well educated at SBTS. Could they have thumbed their proverbial noses any more conspicuously?

The SGM victims who protested outside the T4G conference endured shouts of derision as Mahaney spoke and Mohler praised his BFF, now protected under his wing.

In introducing Mahaney at the conference, Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, praised his friend as a model of Christian endurance.

“It would be very easy to get up here and just say C.J. Mahaney is going to speak for us, but I think faithfulness in my responsibility this afternoon in introducing him is to say we know he has demonstrated endurance in the face of an incredible trial, and he has been a model of endurance for us,” Mohler said.

I’ve been promising you that a story was about to break on the Southern Baptist Convention. I bet some of you thought it would never happen. A number of us were sworn to secrecy until the proper research could be completed and vetted. On Sunday it begins, thanks to Robert Downen and the Houston Chronicle.

This will not be a story based on innuendo. Months and months of research went into this: phone interviews, face to face interviews, boxes of dusty old papers combed through, victims spoke, advocates spoke, documentation acquired and lawyers vetted. One reporter’s dogged determination to get at the truth led the way and more resources were committed as the evidence proved to be overwhelming. Robert Downen did what he set out to do.

The Southern Baptist Convention is about to become the newest face of sex abuse: committed and covered up. The depths of this go far beyond the half- hearted and ill-planned attempts of a couple of committees and summits to solve. Most of them had absolutely no idea with what they were dealing.

Many of us victims and advocates have done what we could to help expose these dark and despicable secrets. Now, we’ll wait to see how the SBC responds. Will it be denials and bandaids or an overhaul of a failed system? Needless to say, TWW will be watching and writing.

Robert Downen: thank you. You did it!

Al Mohler and the rest of the SBC leaders who claim they are *oh so concerned* about abuse in the SBC: One would think that you, with your widespread influence and riches, would have done what Robert Downen has done. You could have done it and you didn’t. You left it up to outsiders to do it. Why? Were you hoping it would go away? You failed, miserably. Will you fail again by not responding to this blight on the SBC? I have no idea. Your track record is awful but lots of us will be watching and writing.

#SBCtoo  #churchtoo #SBCleadersrepent


Comments

It’s Judgement Day for The Southern Baptist Convention: 700+ Victims of Sex Abuse and 200+ Predators #SBCtoo #churchtoo — 161 Comments

  1. The photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson was known for his intuitive ability to snap a picture at the precise point that captured a “decisive moment” for his subjects. Something is about to happen: a new direction, a new determination, perhaps something unexpected … But, whatever the decision, it si embodied in the image put onto film in that blink of an eye and flick of a finger.

    As I commented earlier today on Twitter in response to a tweet by SBC President J.D. Greear, “Many of us who are survivors of abuse within the SBC have waited years for substantive change. It appears this [Houston Chronicle/San Antonio Express-News] series may prove a “decisive moment” when SBC’s trajectory into the future can be reset.”

    https://twitter.com/jdgreear/status/1093964648976732160

    I don’t know what the investigative reporters will be sharing in the series that starts this Sunday, though some of it we can easily guess. And that’s because, as survivor communities, we already know a lot of backstory about the seemingly endless series of scandalous individuals, institutional situations, and authoritarian ideologies that have led to multitudes being harmed, and many perpetrators being excused, covered up, shuffled off to some other ministry. It’s been archived on blogs like The Wartburg Watch, Watchkeep, Spiritual Sounding Board, and the websites of Wade Burleson and Christa Brown. There are plenty of articles, personal testimonies, analysis, and more available online.

    If the SBC hits the reset because of this series, that does not erase what’s been in the Convention’s memory banks. It just gives it an opportunity to make significant shifts in paradigm and flush out the corrosion in its infrastructure systems. I don’t think they have a “safe mode” option for reboot any longer. Their systems are deeply at risk; something far more radical is needed.

    Now is the moment, the decisive moment. And abuse survivors from inside the SBC and beyond are not the only ones watching what goes on in this spotlight. And there are those among us ready and willing to assist in change — but SBC entities would really have to want to change for this kind of system shift to work. What directs will they choose to take …?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  2. I get emotional concerning this stuff, I understand a Christ follower should not get upset except maybe at gay people, evolution, politics, money, money and well money but this tears my heart out. Given the job I have and what I often laughingly call a “ministry” but because it is volunteer its really not a real ministry, just like Im a fake Christian. Which I am very grateful for because I dont want to be a “real” one. I cant tell you just how horrid abuse was concerning people with developmental disabilities especially in the state facilities in the past. I helped take care of the people after such events and stopped some of it. Though I played a small part, I made the communication systems that were used to communicate the situation by the student or I understood them because, well Im good at that.

    I think of what was done to indigenous people in Canada and how some kids were “diagnosed” as “cognitively disabled” so the church school got more money. I took care of one lady who was horribly abused sexually and every other way by a family member she would sometimes have a flashback and would swear and scream at the memories. I brought up the situation in a general couched term to protect the persons identity but my faith community’s major concern was not the horrid abuse, not the fact she was so awfully damaged by the abuse etc. It was the lady said bad words.

    I also had issues in my own experience as did my sister but the faith communities I was in in the real world was basically. You are feeling sorry for yourself, you want attention, We all have it coming. If God gave us what we really deserved we would be in an eternal Auschwitz, and yes they felt the Jewish people had it coming to and many of them crossed the vale into a Christless eternity. It has been so many years but it still effects me, it should not and it is a personal, spiritual, human, Christian etc failure on my part because I have not totally moved on and be thankful to God it was not worse. Because we all deserve worse and even worse than that. Most of us will get it to as soon as God gets around to it.

    I am helping out a parent of a student I work with as she is really sick, I have had to do that for so many families to some degree. Not bragging, which I am often accused of, which is why I rarely share needs and often try to deprecate myself to make sure I know God hates me and anything I do is worthless and filthy rags etc. All I know is it is an honor to help these fine folks and it has been such a blessing to me, I cant understand why people dont see that in me. I dont need them to but well it might make things easier to ask faith communities for things like prayer. I know church is not the place for that or to talk about eternity or the gospel but maybe it should be.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  3. brian,

    “All I know is it is an honor to help these fine folks and it has been such a blessing to me, I cant understand why people dont see that in me.”
    +++++++++++++++

    we see it in you, brian. and have lots of respect and appreciation for what you do.
    ——————

    “…faith community’s major concern was not the horrid abuse, not the fact she was so awfully damaged by the abuse etc. It was the lady said bad words.”
    ++++++++++++++

    church culture is totally messed up.

    can’t expose the rapist because it will ruin his reputation

    can’t expose the pastor because it will ruin his ministry

    can’t hurt over being assaulted because it’s unsubmissive, whining, complaining, and you’re not believed anyway

    can’t feel anger that professional christian church leaders prevented accountability & justice for their own benefit and convenience and at the victim’s expense

    can’t feel relief at even a modicum justice finally coming about

    as soon as the Houston Chronicle was announced on Twitter, amongst the first responses was a pastor criticizing how “gleeful” people were.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  4. Love what Wade Burleson said on Twitter yesterday:

    “Before Southern Baptists complain about Robert Downen and the Houston Chronicle’s stories which start this Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 – The SBC should have held sexual predators in our midst accountable. Others will now do it for us.”

    Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them (Ephesians 5: 11).

    Thankful for the upcoming exposure in the Houston Chronicle.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  5. elastigirl: as soon as the Houston Chronicle was announced on Twitter, amongst the first responses was a pastor criticizing how “gleeful” people were.

    Well, there is an interesting logic that applies. In light of the Calvinization of the SBC, the Calvinist must say that this new exposure has been predestined by God and therefore something to be praised. So why shouldn’t Christians rejoice? It’s along the same lines as this sermon by Jonathan Edwards: https://www.bartleby.com/400/prose/293.html.
    “it will not be because the saints in heaven are the subjects of any ill disposition; but, on the contrary, this rejoicing of theirs will be the fruit of an amiable and excellent disposition: it will be the fruit of a perfect holiness and conformity to Christ, the holy Lamb of God.”
    One could use this rationale to support the argument that we should all be gleeful as a means to demonstrate an “amiable and excellent disposition.”

    Maybe this new exposure will cause the SBC to rethink its embrace of new-Calvinism.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  6. Nothing will happen. Just like the RCC. They already had their wakeup call over a decade ago, and didn’t change a thing. They just put lipstick on a pig. And it happened again anyway.

    The SBC will be no different. Vote with your feet, people! The only way to get these dweebs out of power is to abandon them to an empty building.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  7. There is so many more.

    Rape culture makes rape victims feel ashamed, feel hated, feel scared, and feel guilty.

    The rapist and their supporters make sure the rapist does not have to feel hated, ashamed, guilty, or scared.

    I grew up in a large Southern Baptist family. My grandfather was a Southern Baptist preacher. The Southern Baptist Church worship men and manpower. Children and women are just subhumans put on earth by their god to be used and demeaned. If it hurts the woman or child so be it.

    The Southern Baptist Convention is NOTHING but a cesspool of primitive abuse.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  8. Clockwork Angel: Nothing will happen.

    No, it won’t. Because Southern Baptist men have all the power and they only care about themselves and other MEN.

    I don’t know why one has to be a member of an amoral cult to worship Jesus Christ.

    The secular world has taken a big notice to the fact that Christians loathe adult consensual sex but do not even hate the rape of their own young children.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  9. elastigirl: as soon as the Houston Chronicle was announced on Twitter, amongst the first responses was a pastor criticizing how “gleeful” people were.

    Why isn’t Mr. Pastor gleeful? He should be gleeful that this awful abuse is being exposed!! What is his problem? He wants to let the suffering continue? As long as it is all hidden people suffer. Mr. Pastor doesn’t seem to know that light exposes the darkness and allows healing.

    Mr. Pastor is a fail . . .

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  10. Bridget,

    “Why isn’t Mr. Pastor gleeful? He should be gleeful that this awful abuse is being exposed!! What is his problem?”
    ++++++++++++++++

    my guess, and it’s only a guess, is that he hasn’t felt the gut punch, chewed the glass, smelled the sickly formaldehyde of sexual abuse, whether personally or on behalf of loved ones.

    i’m quite sure he’s been in the sheltered christian bubble for a long time, where all that matters is the window dressing. appearances.

    decline an alcoholic beverage and you are pious.

    pray a good prayer with bowed head, the right intonation, and sighs at the right moments and you are pious.

    put on christian face, christian voice, christian language, and christian body language and you are pious.

    say the right things, insincere though they may be, and you are pious.

    champion the right political issues and candidates and you are pious.

    have the right family image and you are qualified.

    do all these things and be a sexual abuser or cover up for a sexual abuser
    or deceive or lie or exploit or manipulate and you are pious.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  11. Clockwork Angel: Nothing will happen.

    Maybe nothing will happen right away, in an obvious way. But stories like this will accelerate the loss of members in the SBC, and members = dollars. Add some Calvinista preacher-boys trying to “reform” some old Baptist congregations, causing church splits and more “Dones” in the process. And the fact that we’re all getting older.

    I heard an old Baptist preacher recently say that 20 years from now, 80% of the Baptist churches in our area will be gone, just because the old people who attend and fund them will die off. Even the big churches with some younger people know that the young people just don’t give as much as the older folks. They are going to have to adjust their budgets if they are going to survive.

    Change will happen, especially in the SBC… It just might take a little time.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  12. elastigirl: decline an alcoholic beverage and you are pious.

    pray a good prayer with bowed head, the right intonation, and sighs at the right moments and you are pious.

    put on christian face, christian voice, christian language, and christian body language and you are pious.

    say the right things, insincere though they may be, and you are pious.

    champion the right political issues and candidates and you are pious.

    It was always made clear to me in my faith community that my “prayers” make God want to vomit. That is almost a direct quote.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  13. “We thought this was a Roman Catholic problem.” [Al Mohler]

    Oh, come on. You mean to tell me you spent a lifetime in the SBC, rising to the top, and you were not aware this was a problem? Simply not believable.

    Kudos to the Houston Chronicle for pursuing this story and bringing light to this darkness.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  14. elastigirl: as soon as the Houston Chronicle was announced on Twitter, amongst the first responses was a pastor criticizing how “gleeful” people were.

    Think about what brings about that response. It’s a little bit like the person who explodes “Don’t tell me ‘I told you so!'” because they were told and chose not to listen and it’s come back to bite them.

    This is the response of a person who knew about the problem, who heard about the problem, who knows they should have done something about the problem, but who did not, and now it’s exposed to all. And their expectation is that others are gleeful that the cup has come around to them because they think other people think that they deserve it, and they think other people are all like them. My opinion (but based on experience).

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  15. SiteSeer,

    so, saying “Don’t gloat!” to at least take a little of the shame focus off themselves? to have at least a little satisfaction in pointing out that the rightful accusers are being bratty (if not committing some horrible sin) in their response?

    so, being petty to relieve a little of the sting…

    i think lack of awareness / ignorance that comes from immaturity and naivety are a big part of it.

    and perhaps a righteousness complex:

    overcompensating for personal shortcomings and if not trying to sooth deep pain and inner conflict by focussing on rules.

    “i’m somewhat of a loser in life, but with righteousness maybe i can get ahead! the more rules I keep the more points i get! and the more power i have to let other people know how behind they are. after all, these are GOD points….”

    “too much didn’t work out for me in life, but rules and keeping them, well, that’s something i can make work out.”

    can’t help but feel a little sorry for someone like that, i guess.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  16. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    “Well, there is an interesting logic that applies. In light of the Calvinization of the SBC, the Calvinist must say that this new exposure has been predestined by God and therefore something to be praised. So why shouldn’t Christians rejoice?…

    Maybe this new exposure will cause the SBC to rethink its embrace of new-Calvinism.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    well, there’s a certain rejoicingness in how i feel, at least.

    i’ll always get out my pom poms when schmucks and scheisters who hide behind God are outted.

    but if they begin to rethink their warped theology, it will only because it’s suddenly inconvenient for them.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  17. elastigirl: as soon as the Houston Chronicle was announced on Twitter, amongst the first responses was a pastor criticizing how “gleeful” people were.

    I haven’t seen the tweet, nor met the tweeter in question, so I can’t comment directly on either. (He/She may, or may not, have been for real, after all. There’s a well-known twitter prankster with a huge following who actually claims to be an elected head of state.) However…

    It’s widely observed that when human beings are taken to task over their behaviour, one of the common responses is to react, and one of the ways of reacting is deflecting blame. Wartburgers are well aware of this, of course.

    The partial molar quote in the OP…

    This moment requires the very best of us. The Southern Baptist Convention is on trial and our public credibility is at stake. May God have mercy on us all.

    … is telling, ISTM. It’s not, ultimately, about right, wrong, “righteousness” (whatever that is – wooden dollars, if you ask me) or “the gospel”. It’s about credibility and the brand. So, if the SBC wins the trial, it is vindicated and keeps its credibility. “God” will have told them they’re fine and they can keep going as though nothing had happened.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  18. elastigirl: well, there’s a certain rejoicingness in how i feel, at least.

    i’ll always get out my pom poms when schmucks and scheisters who hide behind God are outted.

    What strikes me about that “gleeful” comment is how unbiblical(TM) it is. The bible is full of verses of praising God for his justice (as an example see https://www.openbible.info/topics/justice). There is very much reason to express glee when oppression and abuses are being exposed. The ones who have reason to not be gleeful are those on the wrong side of God’s justice. For the rest there is every reason to rejoice.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  19. Nick Bulbeck,

    so, what is molar’s “This moment requires the very best of us”?

    –look contrite?
    –say the right things?
    –make them think they’re getting something from us
    (and we just might escape with more than our shirts!)

    gawwwwd…some twitter responses from SBC pastors include things like “we must pray for the victims”, “we must be sanctified”

    colossal (and so very stupid) nothing-isms.

    is this what SBC pastors are donning as “the very best”?

    Let’s clear this up. We don’t want your prayers. We want you gone, Al Mohler. You are your boys.

    You, your organization and its leaders have profited from covering up sexual assault, and ignoring and silencing victims whose lives were further destroyed by you.

    we want restitution. we want the symbolic restitution of your jobs.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  20. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    “What strikes me about that “gleeful” comment is how unbiblical(TM) it is. The bible is full of verses of praising God for his justice ”
    ++++++++++++++++

    yeah, pedants can’t see this.

    They’ve got that ‘haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy’ thing going on.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  21. Pingback: “Black Collar Crimes” | Civil Commotion

  22. GSD [Getting Stuff Done]: Change will happen, especially in the SBC…

    I prophecy that Southern Baptists meeting at their next annual convention (June, Birmingham AL) will discuss this sad situation, say “Shucky Darn”, pass a resolution condemning such behavior, then go back to business as usual.

    This is essentially what happened when they adopted a resolution in 2013 “On Sexual Abuse Of Children” … in that resolution:

    “We encourage all denominational leaders and employees of the Southern Baptist Convention to utilize the highest sense of discernment in affiliating with groups and or individuals that possess questionable policies and practices in protecting our children from criminal abuse” http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/1230/on-sexual-abuse-of-children

    Although not named, the folks who drafted that resolution had Dr. Mohler in mind regarding his affiliation with Mahaney and SGM. The man and his movement are untouchable.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  23. elastigirl: so, what is molar’s “This moment requires the very best of us”?

    My first question as well. And, based on their actions, he meant ‘Do your best to escape from your crimes unscathed’.

    Do your best. Do whatever it takes. Say your sorry. Invite in a rehabilitation or peacemaker team. Say ‘We are shocked, shocked that anyone in our camp ever did anything naughty!’ Say it will never happen again. Say anything, just get past this and keep the wagon rolling.

    Here’s the problem. It is not just about sex. Don’t get me wrong, sexual abuse is a horrific evil, and my heart breaks for those who have suffered it, from so-called pastors; including members of my own family.

    But even if these guys put out a memo and said, ‘Look guys, keep it in your pants’, it would not put a stop to their abuse. Because, as research has long suggested, sexual abuse is more about power and control than about sex. I mean, c’mon, with all the money these guys have, they can pay for what they want. I presume those services are still available for the right dollar?

    No, they are about controlling people. And we can agree to have our own ideas about why.

    Ultimately, wittingly or no, they serve the powers of darkness; which desire nothing more than to bring shame and disgrace upon the name of God. That’s the real ball game. They might even believe they are building the kingdom of God, and that the end justifies any means. Which means they can do any d*mn thing they want and call it good. That lie has ensnared many a wicked tyrant. But in the end, they are simply evil men abusing others in the name of God.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  24. brian: It was always made clear to me in my faith community that my “prayers” make God want to vomit. That is almost a direct quote.

    It sounds like you have been part of a toxic community whose members use God’s name to justify repressive practices designed to keep someone in control and the rest of us feeling like dirt.

    The truth: God loves it when you talk to him! Or cry or rant to him. Just like I love it when my kids talk to me. Always. About anything at all.
    out anything at all.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  25. Guest: I don’t know why one has to be a member of an amoral cult to worship Jesus Christ.

    I am thankful one does NOT! Jesus told the non-Jewish woman at the well in Samaria that worship of God wasn’t about going to the right place (Jerusalem) or doing the right ritual (at the then standing temple) but rather worshipping the Almighty in spirit and truth. Part of worshipping God in truth means telling the truth about abuse and running from abusive leaders and congregations. BTW, good to see you here again Guest!

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  26. Bridget,

    We have discussed this time and time again. The first response by the denizens of SBC Strong will be to denigrate both abuse victims and their advocates. Frankly, the SBC should be grateful that someone exposed this. Most of them were sitting on their hineys praying It would go away. None of them had the guts to do anything about it and that includes the current SBC president who loves CJ Mahaney and SGM.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  27. dee,

    Mr. Pastors seem the worst at understanding, having empathy, and doing something, anything, to help victims. Mohler is at the top of the list, along with his buddies, for supporting Mahaney.

    While we’re at it I’m calling this quote by Mohler out as a LIE.

    “We cannot even point to an organized conspiracy of silence within the denominational hierarchy. No, our humiliation comes as a result of an unorganized conspiracy of silence. Sadly, the unorganized nature of our problem may make recovery and correction even more difficult and the silence even more dangerous.”

    It’s NOT unorganized. It was actually planned in many cases. The truth is that abuse was discovered in many cases, the abused were silenced, and the abuser was shipped off to another church with no information about the abusers abuse and no contact to police.

    Mohler himself, in an organized way, defended and sheltered Mahaney, the leader of a religious institution when many abused came to his attention, some of which he used for blackmail. Mohler, along with many in the SBC, purposely, sheltered Mahaney. It was all very organized . . . me tired of the fancycrap words out of their mouths.

    The self delusion of what has been going on is what is going to make change difficult, not the unorganized silence!

    Rant over . . . for now.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  28. dee: None of them had the guts to do anything about it and that includes the current SBC president who loves CJ Mahaney and SGM.

    For an up-and-comer like Greear to speak negatively of Mahaney would be to seal his fate in SBC. Mohler protects his “little playgroup” at all costs. However, that potato may get too hot for Mohler to handle if the Houston Chronicle article names Mahaney & SGM. The new reformers will CYA if necessary … “Driscoll who?” … “Mahaney who?” … “MacDonald who?” … etc.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  29. As I noted in my earlier comment in this TWW post’s thread, I see this as THE “decisive moment” for the SBC as a whole. It is now or never. Time for implementation, not mere exploration. They need to show commitment to changing an SBC institutional culture that conceals abuse — and this requires them to demonstrate it through paradigm-shifting, system-clearing actions. But do their leaders even know what that means?

    I compiled a thread on Twitter in anticipation of the Houston Chronicle article series that starts tomorrow. Hope it will help with both the concepts involved, and concrete actions that need to be taken.

    https://twitter.com/futuristguy/status/1094291538962571264

    It includes this:

    It is crucial for survivor communities and those individuals/institutions we challenge to justice, consequences, and prevention to realize they’re not on their own in this. Rooting out systemic abuse requires a paradigm shift; substantive resources already available.

    Trauma-informed, organizational-astute survivors, advocates, activists, investigators can help organizations that want to change to identify and address specific individual-institutional-ideological problems, train in abuse-averse system principles/practices, and avoid pitfalls.

    To me, at least, this feels like a last chance shock that will either revive the SBC as shown by them instigating radical changes — or demonstrate by continued indifference and inaction that resuscitation is no longer possible.

    Decisive moment.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  30. I am interested in reading the story. Hopefully, it will bring out needed information that will cause churches and people to change.

    But I hope it brings the right change. A shift in cultural attitudes. Continued change in adopting good procedures that will prevent abuse and address it properly when it does occur.

    The wrong change would be greater centralized control by the SBC. I believe individuals should be free to establish churches and run them as they see fit. If they want to donate money to the SBC with other churches, I am all for that.

    But I am opposed to any centralized authority trying to control and run the churches. That brings even more abuse in most cases.

    It will be a sad day, but I am hoping that it will bring many good days ahead.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  31. Oracle at Delphi: Hopefully, it will bring out needed information that will cause churches and people to change.

    Unfortunately, few people/organizations make changes like this without a significant emotional event. Information alone is unlikely to make much of a difference.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  32. Bridget,

    ““We cannot even point to an organized conspiracy of silence within the denominational hierarchy. No, our humiliation comes as a result of an unorganized conspiracy of silence.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    oh, he’s slick and calculating. yes, that was controlling & shaping the narrative. planting seeds of doubt for future courtrooms. planning ahead, there.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  33. brad/futuristguy: I see this as THE “decisive moment” for the SBC as a whole.

    I certainly hope so. The SBC has been through other decisive moments in the past on race and gender issues, culture wars, theological shift and ecclesiological drift. The SBC is always in a turmoil about something, always faced with making a decision about something amiss.

    Thousands (millions?) of Southern Baptists have reached decisive moments of their own by exiting the SBC. After spending nearly 70 years as a Southern Baptist, I severed ties last year when it was clear that a once-great denomination had forfeited its gifting in evangelism. It has lost its way. The Houston Chronicle report will provide further evidence of that, along with countless reports in the blogosphere of wayward SBC ministers and ministries … MacDonald being a recent example. I still believe that the majority of SBC’s 45,000 churches and 16 million members are faithfully serving the Lord … but the sins of the few have tainted the denomination as a whole. The Houston Chronicle article will give a lost and dying world yet another reason to say “See, there’s nothing to it.”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  34. elastigirl,

    Mohler didn’t need to plant that in order for their to be protection in court rooms.

    Fact is the SBC is organized such that there is no sharing of liability simply by virtue of membership in the SBC.

    If a church or organization does something wrong, that church or organization will suffer the consequences.

    But the liability does not travel or ascend to other organizations due to the way the SBC is organized. I suspect if you searched, there would be 100 or more legal opinions on this topic.

    If it comes up, the courts will look to the organizational and operational documents to make a determination.

    Statements by Al Mohler will not, and cannot, be cited as controlling authority for a court. Anymore than my statements or yours about this topic.

    The documents control this kind of thing.

    And as we know, great top-down control doesn’t seem to help. The Catholics are the great example of that.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  35. Max,

    ““See, there’s nothing to it.””
    +++++++++++++

    but don’t you think they will be saying “See, what a crooked and corrupt institution?” not a commentary on God but on religious culture and people.

    i think more people than not believe in a higher power out there somewhere, or are open to the idea.

    people are sick of the christian party line because they’ve been pummeled with it.

    just like “Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration”. yes, it’s as silly as that.
    christian and christianity have become caricatures because of it. the corrupt and crooked institution has further shaped this caricature.

    some kind of big break, big rupture in the religious status quo would help to dismantle this caricature.

    seems to me God/Jesus/Holy Spirit would be easier to see, easier to sense. there would be less resistance. something that would happen over time, a long time.

    of course human beings will see opportunities for power and control and money and will mess it all up again.

    but 2 steps forward, 1 step back at least.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  36. Max,

    I hope so, too, and I hold a small degree of hope it will happen NOW because there is such a horrible track record for THEN. The systems are severely toxic.

    In fact, one Twitter commenter on a thread I did wondered if “systemic change” was even possible for the SBC. Here’s what I said:

    Truth is, systemic change WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE unless they address theological planks that pass off responsibility & accountability. Specifically, they must bluntly confront & change misuse of “full autonomy of the local church” & “SBC is a mere association for cooperation.” A/

    That’s been written about by others, maybe can add links later. If they do not do this from the top of EVERY SBC entity–IMB, NAMB, ERLC, seminaries, etc.–I suspect agents that will impose dire consequences are civil suits by survivors against people+corporations responsible. B/

    Maybe the reality of loss of financial assets will motivate action, but by then it will be too late, and the consequences will already have included loss of reputation for the SBC as a network. Decisive moment, SBC. Is this your last chance to dig in and make things right? C/

    I kind of see this is THE last chance decisive moment. It’s like when you’re driving to an appointment and it said, “Next four exits to [CITY] and you’re in the speed lane instead of turn lane at the last exit. Or you’re out in the wilds of a state like Montana and the road sign says, “Next gas 70 miles,” and you’re near empty. Last chance to turn, and you cannot guarantee you’ll be able to loop back if you miss it.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  37. Oracle at Delphi,

    “If a church or organization does something wrong, that church or organization will suffer the consequences.

    But the liability does not travel or ascend to other organizations due to the way the SBC is organized.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    i have a feeling the more powerful SBC organizations have shared resources and influence with smaller SBC organizations (that are strategic to the powerbrokers) to control outcomes. i don’t think the way they are organized eliminates that possibility.

    aside from that, certainly there’s enough room for ‘conspiracy’ in Al Mohler’s circle(s). The locus of power and money, of which there is too much to lose.

    They are self-aggrandized enough to see themselves as too big and too important to fail. People with power and authority linked to a concept of God begin to rationalize things away. Eventually, anything can be rationalized. And backed up as biblical.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  38. Oracle at Delphi: Statements by Al Mohler will not, and cannot, be cited as controlling authority for a court.

    Maybe not as far as liability is concerned in a court of law, but MORALLY as ‘supposed’ Christian Pastors of all things, maybe God will have a different view. I have a different view, morally speaking.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  39. brad/futuristguy: To me, at least, this feels like a last chance shock that will either revive the SBC as shown by them instigating radical changes — or demonstrate by continued indifference and inaction that resuscitation is no longer possible.

    Decisive moment.

    My expectation: They will try very hard to figure out and put on the right facade but little will actually change. This is because the pursuit of power and the retaining of power are achieved through means which you might call natural laws. Machiavelli understood how this works. As long as there is power, position, and money involved, the dynamics will tend to the same ways. To see a real change, it seems like the structure would need to be changed so that it does not offer positions of power for an inner circle.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  40. Why do we even need an association or a structure filled with agendas of power, position, praise (of men) and control of money? Can we not trust the Holy Spirit to lead local gatherings of the body of Christ toward love and good works?

    And one other note… Those poor vulnerable Children are all grown up now and they have a voice and that voice is fueled by social media and there is no going back and I for one am VERY thankful!

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  41. July 2018 Baptist Press “Greear announces sexual abuse study group”

    http://www.bpnews.net/51332/greear-announces-sexual-abuse-study-group

    “Greear’s office told Baptist Press the study group’s members will be announced at a later date.”

    [over six months later, and there has been no announcement of the study group’s members, although its work is supposedly underway with a quarter of a million $$$ budget]

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  42. September 2018 “SBC Presidential Sexual Abuse Study Launched, Funded”

    http://www.sbclife.net/article/2589/sbc-presidential-sexual-abuse-study-launched-funded

    “Executive Committee allocated up to $250,000…EC chairman Mike Stone said the study is ‘the next step in a trajectory we’ve been on for a while’ to address sexual abuse.”

    “‘There’s never, in my estimation, been a hesitancy about addressing these issues’ in the SBC, Stone, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Blackshear, Georgia, told Baptist Press”

    “In a September 19 update on the ERLC website, Phillip Bethancourt expanded on the fluid nature of the study’s participants. The study will comprise ‘a constellation of various work groups specializing in particular areas like orbits in a solar system,’ the ERLC executive vice president wrote.”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  43. Jerome:
    July 2018 Baptist Press “Greear announces sexual abuse study group”

    While the SBC is out, “studying it,” others are exposing it – and making recommendations to resolve it. SBC = lumbering self-preserving giant.

    http://www.bpnews.net/51332/greear-announces-sexual-abuse-study-group

    “Greear’s office told Baptist Press the study group’s members will be announced at a later date.”

    [over six months later, and there has been no announcement of the study group’s members, although its work is supposedly underway with a quarter of a million $$$ budget]

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  44. I wonder how different my life would have been had I not been abused my the youth pastor at our SBC church. 1998? Try back in the 70’s. And I wonder how different my half sister’s life, who thought my dad was her dad, would have been had she not found out in the recent past that the same youth pastor is her biological father. Thank you, SBC, for looking the other way, sending him away with no recourse but to make the girls that he abused feel like we could have prevented it and leaving my sister feeling like she was always the black sheep of the family but until recently could never figure out why. I love Jesus, but how tragically He’s been misrepresented.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  45. Jerome,

    ““Greear’s office told Baptist Press the study group’s members will be announced at a later date.”

    [over six months later, and there has been no announcement of the study group’s members, although its work is supposedly underway with a quarter of a million $$$ budget]”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    i imagine this is part of Al Mohler’s “This moment requires the very best of us. The Southern Baptist Convention is on trial and our public credibility is at stake.”

    –make them think they’re getting something from us
    (and we just might escape with more than our shirts!)

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  46. Jerome,

    “Executive Committee allocated up to $250,000…EC chairman Mike Stone said the study is ‘the next step in a trajectory we’ve been on for a while’ to address sexual abuse.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    now that’s funny. a ‘trajectory’, on which they’ve been standing still for a while.
    ———-

    “‘There’s never, in my estimation, been a hesitancy about addressing these issues’ in the SBC, Stone, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Blackshear, Georgia, told Baptist Press”.
    +++++++++++

    yes, mr. stone, i’m sure there was no reason to hesitate making it a discussion topic, but i think you’ve misunderstood the point: in your estimation, when will you actually do something?
    ———–

    “In a September 19 update on the ERLC website, Phillip Bethancourt expanded on the fluid nature of the study’s participants. The study will comprise ‘a constellation of various work groups specializing in particular areas like orbits in a solar system,’ the ERLC executive vice president wrote.”
    ++++++++++++

    so, ‘fluid’ as in there’s no real plan yet. But wow! a constellation! like orbits in a solar system! sounds like some very impressive thoughts, there.

    is there such a thing as “methinks he doth affirm too much?”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  47. brad/futuristguy: As I noted in my earlier comment in this TWW post’s thread, I see this as THE “decisive moment” for the SBC as a whole. It is now or never. Time for implementation, not mere exploration. They need to show commitment to changing an SBC institutional culture that conceals abuse — and this requires them to demonstrate it through paradigm-shifting, system-clearing actions. But do their leaders even know what that means?

    Decisive moment for the SBC? Wish it was so, but I personally doubt it. It will certainly be a turning point for some individuals and one-off congregations. These few will pack their bags and leave. But the whole denomination? No. Especially not these power hungry men who want to keep the rest of us “in our theological place” with them in control.. no, these will not change. And since they control the SBC I won’t be holding my breath.

    In the disciple multiplication world in which I live and move and have my being (where all believers are functionally equal and every believer has a voice) we have a saying: “It’s easier to give birth than to raise the dead.” That is, it’s rather easy to help new people meet Jesus and start lay-led churches among them than it is to change existing churches/leaders/structures/denominations.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  48. My prediction is SBC supporters will pull out their ultimate excuse that all SBC churches are autonomous and there is nothing SBC can really do. Christa Brown wrote a white paper about the “local church autonomy” over ten years ago (which you can download and read on her website https://christabrown.me.

    No action has been taken except “we will form a committee to do a study”. Completely ignore the trail of victims along the way. May be time is up for SBC.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  49. elastigirl: as soon as the Houston Chronicle was announced on Twitter, amongst the first responses was a pastor criticizing how “gleeful” people were.

    In 2005 I was gleeful when they forced Michael Jackson to go to trial. And devastated/horrified when the star-struck jurors sided with the obvious serial pedophile. One of the selfish morally bankrupt jurors said she did not side with the young cancer survivor because she did not like his mother.

    To people who sincerely hate child sexual abuse, no one, no matter how special, rich, talented, powerful, or famous they are deserve to be able to sexually exploit children and not have to go to prison for it.

    It has always hurt to hear celebrities give Michael Jackson an out and side with him over the powerless victims. For radio stations to still play his music minimizes child sexual abuse. As if there is this special group of people on the planet that is entitled to use children for sex.

    The hierarchy of the Southern Baptist Convention might be surprised to learn that many people despise them for the same reason they despise the Catholic church and Michael Jackson. Because they hate child sexual abuse and anyone who thinks there is a special group of people so important they should be able to do it and get away with it.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  50. Ken F (aka Tweed): Here is rhe article:
    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/investigations/article/Southern-Baptist-sexual-abuse-spreads-as-leaders-13588038.php

    I’m surprised that the investigative reporters missed the Mahaney scandal and his connection to SBC. Something tells me that SBC’s New Calvinists will come across as taking the high road on this, pointing fingers at the old guard they are replacing throughout SBC entities. Regardless, I hope it makes a difference in SBC life, where victims will no longer cry out without being heard.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  51. Ray: My prediction is SBC supporters will pull out their ultimate excuse that all SBC churches are autonomous and there is nothing SBC can really do.

    From the Houston Chronicle article: “Greear said in an email that he is limited by local church autonomy.”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  52. Max: From the Houston Chronicle article: “Greear said in an email that he is limited by local church autonomy.”

    Oh this is hogwash, pure hogwash. The SBC has no problem tossing out any church that ordains a woman as a pastor. I’m going to suggest that the reason the SBC has issues dealing with it is because the leadership has to be protected at all costs, and good old patriarchy, which values adult men over everyone else.

    Today is the day of reckoning for an organization that has been told for years and years that they needed a sex abuser registry and resisted.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  53. Ken F (aka Tweed): This article is only the first of three.

    Then surely … surely … they will cover hot-button items like the Mohler-Mahaney-Mess that has been shouted from housetops in the blogosphere. Of course, Dr. Mohler is a master at damage control and may already be working behind the scene.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  54. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: The SBC has no problem tossing out any church that ordains a woman as a pastor.

    … or allowing the New Calvinists to claim “local church autonomy” when they takeover traditional non-Calvinist SBC churches through stealth and deception. Yep, “autonomy” has provided lots of wiggle room for assorted aberrations of theology and ecclesiology to take root in the SBC over the years. The unBiblical subordination of women is another form of abuse that SBC leaders will have to give an account for.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  55. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: Max: From the Houston Chronicle article: “Greear said in an email that he is limited by local church autonomy.”

    Oh this is hogwash, pure hogwash. The SBC has no problem tossing out any church that ordains a woman as a pastor. I’m going to suggest that the reason the SBC has issues dealing with it is because the leadership has to be protected at all costs, and good old patriarchy, which values adult men over everyone else.

    Today is the day of reckoning for an organization that has been told for years and years that they needed a sex abuser registry and resisted.

    They have used that structure as an excuse. It is not that far different from having elder led churches, in which the pew gives their money and receives blessed little in return but the superficial rah-rah benefits.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  56. Max: Then surely … surely … they will cover hot-button items like the Mohler-Mahaney-Mess that has been shouted from housetops in the blogosphere.

    I am hoping so. I think it was more important in this article to show the scope of damage.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  57. Russell Moore, as of some time Eastern standard time this morning, is just so grieved by all the sexual and spiritual abuse in the SBC that has been well known and an open secret for years.

    https://www.russellmoore.com/2019/02/10/southern-baptists-and-the-scandal-of-church-sexual-abuse/

    Russell Moore, who had CJ Mahaney write the foreword to one his books when the SGM scandal started to publicly surface. Russell Moore, who has been part of the SBC inner circle for the past couple decades in prominent leadership, who has been inter-connected and a beneficiary of the very value and social-psych systems that have enabled, allowed, and authorized sexual abuse and cover ups in the SBC to happen in the first place. Russell Moore, who has been rubbing elbows with the high ranking individuals of the SBC named in the article for years.

    Instead of self reflecting on – and potentially confessing his own enablement and blindness in the past decades, no matter how indirect – maybe just being quiet and reflective for just even a little bit. He already has out his predictable “think piece” response barely after the ink has dried on the hard copies of the Chronicle on the doorsteps of Houston this morning.

    Instead of running to these men and leaders, desperate for their voice to guide them any time a huge problem in the SBC breaks – perhaps people of the SBC should instead be asking, “Wait, where were you and what were you doing the whole time this has been going on?”

    I have the same thoughts about Albert Mohler and Ed Stetzer.

    Though my thoughts toward Albert Mohler are more severe in criticism.

    Sincerely,
    Emily Honeycutt
    Former SBC member and SEBTS student

    I saw and experienced all these ills of the SBC years ago, repeatedly tried to confront it, and it is why I left.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  58. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    My cynical nature suspects that what we get is damage control and limited hangouts. I doubt that we will ever know the extent of the crimes of the Catholic church, and if indeed they were part of an ‘organized’ or unorganized conspiracy. Telling words, Mohler. If and when the true extent of these crimes are acknowledged, it is when the perpetrators are dead, or old and gray. Their worst punishment is usually that they must spend their last few years in secluded luxury, minus the praise and acclaim to which they are accustomed.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  59. The victims of sexual abuse represented in the article and upcoming articles (and the many who may now feel safe to come forward as a result), I hope deeply for redemption for each one of them – and centering of their worth and dignity. The SBC should provide restitution to each of them in many different forms, not just financially.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  60. emily honey: Russell Moore, who has been part of the SBC inner circle for the past couple decades in prominent leadership …

    … who was Al Mohler’s right-hand man at SBTS before going to ERLC … who has shared the speaker platform with Mahaney at conferences.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  61. emily honey,

    Isn’t it clever how Mohler, Moore, etc always appropriate these issues to exalt their collective as if they had no hand in it? They did the similar using Patterson by claiming in various ways and venues the SBC was now free of this type of corruption. I was seriously disappointed that those going after Patterson with media hit precision saw no need to mention the overarching corruption in leadership circles that actually had much more reach and influence than Patterson! I abhor deception like that.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  62. “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD”

    I’m not given to hyperbole, but this is what has happened. The SBC engaged in child sacrifice to protect their institutions.

    They destroyed the faith and lives of children to protect their own

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  63. “If someone is identified as a man of God, then there are no holds barred,” he said. “Your defense system is completely paralyzed. This man is speaking with the voice of God. … So a person who is not only an authority figure, but God’s servant, is telling you this is between us, this is a special relationship, this has been sanctioned by the Lord. That allows a young victim to have almost zero defenses. Totally vulnerable.”

    There’s a verse for this too:

    “If anyone should cause one of these little ones to lose faith in me, it would be better for that person to have a large millstone tied around the neck and be thrown into the sea.”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  64. Carrie: I wonder how different my life would have been had I not been abused my the youth pastor at our SBC church. 1998? Try back in the 70’s. And I wonder how different my half sister’s life, who thought my dad was her dad, would have been had she not found out in the recent past that the same youth pastor is her biological father. Thank you, SBC, for looking the other way, sending him away with no recourse but to make the girls that he abused feel like we could have prevented it and leaving my sister feeling like she was always the black sheep of the family but until recently could never figure out why. I love Jesus, but how tragically He’s been misrepresented.

    This is horrible. I completely understand. I wish these high and mighty church leaders would read this and see what kind of horrible damage is done by the predator wolves they’ve left in the midst. {{{{{Hugs}}}}}}

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  65. Max and Lydia,

    David Platt, quoted last Fall from:

    https://brnow.org/News/October-2018/Platt-s-IMB-farewell-Rise-above-SBC-challenges

    “I hate the politics of the SBC. And I don’t say that as an outsider. I say that as an insider these last four years. Some of the lowest points in my leadership have been when I found myself participating in them – jockeying for position, continual self-promotion, backroom deals followed by spin in the front room, strategizing like brothers are your enemy, feeling like others see you as their enemy … getting to the point where you wonder if you can trust anyone even as you start to wonder how trustworthy you’ve become,” Platt said.

    *********
    Disingenuous and convenient strategizing. Anti-social behavior. They think this way of relating and living is supposed to be normal.

    They will even at times admit it’s happening out loud, but don’t actually take action or react against it or make changes, which is a form of abuse in itself. To publicly or verbally denounce and name an issue to gain temporary pseudo-prophet clout (Look! He breezingly acknowledged the elephant in the room, *giggle* Isn’t that cool) but then going back to the same behavior and enablement as before. When they do that, there was and is no intention of actually dealing with the issues or making changes, Or bravely separating and standing up to people. Or taking personal responsibility and facing consequences.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  66. No matter the church governing style, if there was a will and desire to to do something to protect congregants from potential abusers, it would have been done. “Local autonomy” is an excuse to do nothing.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  67. Max: Then surely … surely … they will cover hot-button items like the Mohler-Mahaney-Mess that has been shouted from housetops in the blogosphere.Of course, Dr. Mohler is a master at damage control and may already be working behind the scene.

    We’ll see in the next couple of days, although I must admit I have my doubts based on its omission in part one. One would have thought that the initial article would at least mention the Mohler-Mahaney mess, even if they wait until part two or part three to cover it in depth.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  68. Donna D.:
    No matter the church governing style, if there was a will and desire to to do something to protect congregants from potential abusers, it would have been done.“Local autonomy” is an excuse to do nothing.

    Exactly. And as we’ve seen with the Roman Catholic Church, centralized church governance is no guarantee of an abuse-free environment either. I live in metropolitan Washington, DC, an area left reeling last summer and fall over accusations of sexual abuse against former Archbishop and ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick as well as accusations of lying and cover-up against his successor, Cardinal Donald Wuerl.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  69. elastigirl: church culture is totally messed up.
    can’t expose the rapist because it will ruin his reputation
    can’t expose the pastor because it will ruin his ministry
    can’t hurt over being assaulted because it’s unsubmissive, whining, complaining, and you’re not believed anyway
    can’t feel anger that professional christian church leaders prevented accountability & justice for their own benefit and convenience and at the victim’s expense
    can’t feel relief at even a modicum justice finally coming about

    can’t expose evil in the church or done by churchgoers or coverups that they are promoting because it’s the same thing as “dragging Christ’s name through the mud”.
    (Wait, what?)

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  70. refugee,

    “…because it’s the same thing as “dragging Christ’s name through the mud”.”
    +++++++++++++++

    self-centered liars and manipulators hiding behind Jesus.

    “bless their hearts” (did i say that right?)

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  71. Ken F (aka Tweed): Maybe this new exposure will cause the SBC to rethink its embrace of new-Calvinism.

    Na-a-a-ah. Never.

    elastigirl: ““See, there’s nothing to it.””
    +++++++++++++
    but don’t you think they will be saying “See, what a crooked and corrupt institution?” not a commentary on God but on religious culture and people.
    i think more people than not believe in a higher power out there somewhere, or are open to the idea.

    If I’m understanding your point correctly, elastigirl, then I must say I disagree. Many of the people I know who’ve walked away, especially those in their 20s, consider it a commentary on belief in God and want nothing to do with religion of any kind.

    Others who have done a softer turning away have retained their spirituality, but it is completely different in form and has nothing to do with christianity. They’ve turned more to what we used to call New Age practices (is it still called that?), lighting candles, looking for vibrations from crystals, looking within, embracing an unfocused spirit-being.

    A small minority of those I know still call themselves followers of Jesus but won’t go near a church building.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  72. refugee,

    i’m sure you’re correct.

    i’m spouting off before my thoughts are fully crystallized. don’t know if that will ever happen, but at the moment my most developed thought on the matter is this:

    christian culture destroys God’s good name, and Jesus Christ’s good name.

    i think at times the only possible course of action is to turn everything off. even belief in God.

    the longer a person has firm and safe boundaries up against christian culture, in time the less resistant they may be to God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit themselves.

    my friend took a picture of leaf shadows in the snow. she developed it in black and white. it’s very artistic. very clearly in the shadow shapes is Jesus’ face.

    “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” — whatever this means, i do think jesus christ is somehow in the chemical composition of everything, in sunlight, in the atmosphere.

    i think God/Jesus/Holy Spirit are recognizable. at times more easily recognizable when God’s troops disappear.

    kind of like, i only discovered the joy of reading after i had been out of the classroom for years, and away from teachers/professors saying ‘READ! READ, I TELL YOU!” Long enough for their voices to have trailed off into silence.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  73. refugee: Na-a-a-ah. Never.

    You are probably right. What is more likely to happen is some combination of:
    1) using autonomy of local churches as an excuse for inaction.
    2) various “leaders” of the SBC looking for ways to show how they were always on the right side of this issue and how the article grossly misrepresents the facts.
    3) the various gospel-gliteratti bloggers will tell us x-number of things we need to know (not do) about this (Russel Moore was the first).
    4) blamestorming the victims, media, and bloggers for slandering the SBC and its dear leaders.
    5) passing new resolutions but doing nothing substantive.
    6) etc.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  74. Churches are not autonomous when the SBC can disassociate for any reason like affirming gays or having a female pastor .

    They have the ability to incentivize good practices and behavior. The expectation, through association, disassociation, can be put on these churches for self reporting and background checks and any number of things that would protect people. There is way more power here to control and lead concerning this issue and autonomy is a flimsy excuse.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  75. Donna D.:
    No matter the church governing style, if there was a will and desire to to do something to protect congregants from potential abusers, it would have been done.“Local autonomy” is an excuse to do nothing.

    Thank you!!

    It has zero to do with church structure. It has everything to do with human beings. Sin is an equal-opportunity affliction. Catholics haven’t cornered the market on it. And neither have Baptists.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  76. The Houston Chronicle mentions this abuser:

    Michael Lee Jones who is the head of “Touching the Future Today”.

    This lunkhead broadcasts his predilection for children in the name of his “ministry”.

    Here is what he is really doing:

    Touching (sexually) the Future (adults) Today (while they are still children)

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  77. This comment was just posted at SBC Voices. I’m sure it won’t be up long. They all pretend that they haven’t been ignoring sex abuse and protecting their buddies all this time.

    “This blog is an absolute joke. You all are complicit because for years anyone who’s tried to bring up Mahaney and SGM has been shut down because you all are good ol’ boys who were protecting Mohler and Moore and Co. It’s men like you who can’t stand women who stand up to you that are part of the problem. SBC Voices is complicit in the cover up all these years but of course you’re all going to wring your hands over what “others” have or have not done. When you should be on your faces in repentance for contributing to the culture of misogyny and cover ups. You won’t repent because you’re fake christians who enjoy sitting in judgment against anyone who says boo to you.”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  78. Ken F (aka Tweed): 5) passing new resolutions but doing nothing substantive

    For example: The SBC resolution adopted at SBC’s 2013 annual convention in Houston “On Sexual Abuse Of Children”. That resolution included:

    “We encourage all denominational leaders and employees of the Southern Baptist Convention to utilize the highest sense of discernment in affiliating with groups and or individuals that possess questionable policies and practices in protecting our children from criminal abuse”

    But Al Mohler continued to affiliate with C.J. Mahaney and SGM, who became SBC members in 2015! Yep, SBC resolutions ain’t scarin’ nothin’.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  79. Max,

    They deleted it of course! They ban and delete anybody who upsets their status quo. They’re a joke and they’re complicit because they will still cover up the fact that Mohler and others including JD Greer know Mahaney’s/SGMs history. SGM victims do not matter because Mohler and the others have made it clear that Mahaney is more important to them.
    !

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  80. Jerome: Judge admonishes Southern Baptist pastor for ignoring his flock’s safety in sex abuse cases:

    The day is rapidly approaching when judges will do much more than just admonish.
    Even South of the Mason Dixon line their patience is wearing thin with the Baptist good ol’ boyz network.

    Good lawyers can smell money like a good hound can smell treed coons.
    And the bigger the mega-biggie?
    The bigger the payouts are gonna’ be.

    More than one Catholic Diocese has been bankrupted by legal action, and the chances are good that big fundagelical outfits will share the same fate if they continue to be stupid and not fully vet their prospective ‘youth pastors’.
    It’s simple arithmetic.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  81. For those interested in further research, I compiled a companion reader’s guide to the Houston Chronicle article. It draws mostly from survivor websites and blog posts, and lists links in the same order as the individuals or situations appear in the “Abuse of Faith” article. That should make it more usable, but also show that — for those who look at the linked materials — survivor communities have been trying to tell the SBC the exact same things for nearly 20 years now. I think that conclusion is inescapable now. Anyway, here’s the link on Spiritual Sounding Board.

    https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2019/02/10/houston-chronicles-abuse-of-faith-in-the-sbc-article-1-of-3-resources-for-additional-research/

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  82. I don’t have much hope that anything substantial will happen to address this. I have past experience with an abusive pastor in an SBC church. Not sexual abuse, but extreme control, manipulation, slander, and shunning. When we went to another pastor in the SBC for help (a man we thought we had a close and trusting relationship with) he said, “If I have to chose who is telling the truth, between a church member and a pastor, I will choose the pastor every time.”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  83. What happened to the congregation William Tyndale referred to? With a group of elders and deacons serving in the best interest, in the nature of God’s holy book to a local community of born again believers, who are using their gifts of the Holy Spirit, walking in the fruit of the spirit, ministering to one another in love, and promoting service to God and the presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the unbelieving in the local community? Where the widow and the orphan are provide for. Where the community purse is used to minister to the needy in the community where they are are ministered to, feed, clothed and shattered? Where children are safely nurtured in the ways of Christ without dire incident?

    ;~)

    – –

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  84. ___

    “The SBC hath failed the members of their congregations miserably?”

    hmmm…

    “In 2007, victims of sexual abuse by Southern Baptist pastors requested creation of a registry containing the names of current and former leaders of Southern Baptist churches who had been convicted of sex crimes or who had been credibly accused.

    Sadly, That didn’t happen;

    the last time any such list was made public was by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

    It contained the names of ONLY eight sex criminals.

    In 2018, as advocates again pressed SBC officials for such a registry, Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News reporters began to take it upon themselves to an expansive search of news archives, websites and multiple databases nationwide to compile an archive of allegations of sexual abuse, sexual assault and other serious misconduct involving Southern Baptist pastors and other church officials.

    They found credible complaints numbering in the hundreds against pastors, church officials and volunteers at Southern Baptist churches nationwide…“

    Read their continuing investigation:
    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/investigations/abuse-of-faith/

    *

    Time for a change in SBC leadership, huh?

    Could b.

    ;~)

    – –
    – Exit mu$ic:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=osfydIKQMHs

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  85. SiteSeer: Neither have Christians, for that matter. But it goes to show, our institutions are no different than others. Which gives one pause.

    Because at their core, they’re all teaching the same doctrine: you must do this or that to be saved, don’t rest in Christ, don’t think that He actually saves you. It’s as if preaching the law increases sin or something (as Romans 5:20 says).

    I’ve gotten into the exact same argument on faith vs. works with Catholics, Baptists, Calvinists, Mormons, JWs, you name it. They even use the same proof-texts and arguments. I’ve had them all gang up on me at once to refute the idea that grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is sufficient with nothing else necessary.

    The problem is ultimately doctrinal. If I must obey the church, be it RCC, SBC, or LDS to be saved, then that grants a ton of power over myself and my family in which authority in that institution can exploit.

    They’ll excuse it as “human nature” while continuing the doctrine that excites that human nature (per Romans 7) and enables it to harm others.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  86. Amy: I don’t have much hope that anything substantial will happen to address this.

    Well, the SBC will have to appear to be do something in going forward … their mess is all over the major news outlets this morning. What David did in secret, God exposed to all of Israel.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  87. refugee: A small minority of those I know still call themselves followers of Jesus but won’t go near a church building.

    My wife and I have joined the Done ranks after a long journey in the SBC … we are done with church, but not done with Jesus.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  88. Law Prof,

    It shows how strong the mind control is that we can hardly even imagine being a follower of Jesus without being a Protestant, Catholic or similar churchgoer. ‘Says who’? If we are all the ‘priesthood’, all having access to forgiveness and fellowship with God without the ceremonial rigmarole, who’s to stop any Tom, Dick or Harry from ‘doing God’ on his own?

    One can see how the Catholics considered that question, and did their best to assert the need for priests, baptism, confession, communion, etc. The Protestants, after Calvin’s tyranny set the world ablaze, thoughtlessly allow any ol’ bloke to set up a shingle and be a ‘church’.

    Of course, now the Reformed camp is desperately trying to win back the control Protestantism lost, and one has to wonder if trauma-based mind control is one of the methods. Mohler’s ‘unorganized conspiracy’ to abuse comment really disturbs me.

    One may have to have some history in the conspiracy movement to understand that governments and social scientists have long performed mind control research on the public (see congressional records), and trauma-based mind control is as real as it is ugly.

    Yet I never see anyone asking the question, whether in #metoo, #churchtoo or any other #too, as to whether or not we are dealing with a deliberate campaign of using abuse to traumatize and control people.

    It is always assumed that all of these powerful organizations just happen to be running over with sexual perverts and narcissists. Rarely is it considered that this might be more than happenstance, or random individuals using the same tactics to prey upon the innocent.

    How long are we going to believe that those who have been hiding this abuse for decades are ignorant or innocent? Maybe they are ‘just’ protecting the brand, or maybe they are hiding something uglier. I know we have all been taught to avoid ‘conspiracy’ like the plague, but frankly, I have an even harder time buying into the mass, ‘unorganized’ coincidence of all of this abuse.

    However loosely ‘organized’ (or not), I most definitely see powers of darkness at work, seducing power brokers, priests, pastors, husbands and so on into viewing others as disposable people who are mere bodies to be used. And sexual, physical, spiritual, emotional and financial abuse all produce traumatized victims who are more easily manipulated.

    The very concept of male domination, cleverly disguised as biblical headship, ushered in a huge wave of broken relationships and abuse. How could it not? Women were returned to a state of helpless servitude, physically, sexually, emotionally and financially. Children became more vulnerable as well, with women less able to flee in order to protect them.

    I happen to think this thing is much bigger than random predators loose in the church or Hollywood. This appears, to me, to be the limited hangout we are being sold. We are supposed to ignore the ‘apparent’ organization behind the curtain, the aiding, abetting, (training?) and hiding that allows this stuff to be perpetuated endlessly. Utterly unaware, the masses have offered themselves mindlessly as victims to a system of sacrifice they remain ignorant of until it hits them.

    I’m not claiming to ‘know’ anything. I am concerned that no one appears to be asking important, obvious questions.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  89. As Russell Moore attempts to write himself as the hero of this story, we need to revisit Samuel James of ERLC’s disappeared “What Not to Do When a Fellow Christian Embarrasses The Rest of Us” article:

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2015/05/13/dear-samuel-jones-we-are-proud-to-be-called-watchbloggers/


    6) Don’t ever, ever, ever, EVER even passively, suggestively, or indirectly legitimize or rationalize bitterness and suspicion towards the church. If someone says to you, “This is why I don’t go to church,” they might think they’re telling the truth, but they’re not. They don’t love the church because they don’t love Jesus. Saying, “Yes, you have a point, church can be so frustrating” feels like empathy, but it’s not. It’s self-perservation at the cost of slandering Christ’s body.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  90. Stan,

    Wow, Stan, thanks for pointing out that old post. It was way before my time, while I was still getting spiritually abused and didn’t even know what it meant. By a pastor who encouraged his flock to not read those ‘discernment blogs’ because they just want to tear down the church.

    So no, I don’t believe this Sam James just showed up out of nowhere, but was hired to ride to the rescue. Because people like me were beginning to hear vague talk of watchblogs, and might begin to check them out. And might discover that the authoritarian control and manipulation is not unique to them, and not acceptable.

    My head is spinning. Thank you, Dee, for this blog, and for all you have done to shine a light into this darkness. I’m terribly afraid I have a lot of homework to do, as I consider going back and reading all that has been covered here. I don’t suppose you have a short list of the ‘must read’ posts? 😉

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  91. While JD Greear said on Twitter yesterday,

    We must admit that our failures, as churches, put these survivors in a position where they were forced to stand alone and speak, when we should have been fighting for them. Their courage is exemplary and prophetic. But I grieve that their courage was necessary.

    But as recently as June 2018, he condemned anonymous criticism of churches:

    https://twitter.com/jdgreear/status/1002942978514739203

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  92. Stan: Russell Moore attempts to write himself as the hero of this story

    Al Mohler is jumping in there, too. He’s taking the high road today on his morning show “The Briefing.” In the meantime, Paige Patterson has become the poster boy of the Houston Chronicles’ report … while Mohler and his Mahaney/SGM affiliation escaped exposure (at least in the first part of the 3-part series). Something tells me that SBC’s New Calvinists see this as an opening to slam the old SBC system as abusive while they build a new and improved machine via the new reformation. These guys are slick. It’s the darnedest thing I’ve ever seen!

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  93. Stan,

    Anyone who thinks that anything these guys say is sincere is extremely naive. This is called ‘spin’ and we are only going to get more and more of it. I’m sorry, folks, but this sort of doubletalk was going on as far back as John Calvin, and probably farther.

    The guy could write great, inspiring commentary; and in between posit the most absurd, contradictory and blasphemous doctrine that ever hit earth. God only loves ‘some’. God literally created much of mankind in order to destroy them, with no hope of rescue. All couched in fine, biblical sounding terminology, with prooftexts to support them. Just like male headship, and elder authority.

    And like our boys here, Calvin was careful to always have plausible deniability; he had a consistory (sorta like a council of yes-men elders) to do all of his dirty work. He was the father of spin and doubletalk, secretly sending evidence of his challenger’s (Servetus) private correspondence to Catholic Inquisitors (The enemy – remember?) in order to have him condemned, while publicly denouncing the murder of dissenters. He escaped the Catholics, but Calvin finished him off, despite his former condemnation of murdering ‘heretics’.

    I honestly know how shocking and unpleasant it is to any longterm christian to consider the abuses that have taken place within their religion from the start. I remained in denial for a long time, and many I know refuse to even look at historical facts. But it is time we took our proverbial heads out of the sand, admit that the institutions of men are not necessarily the work of God on earth, however much they might claim to be so.

    I am deeply concerned for those who have been wounded, and those who have been long brainwashed and manipulated into accepting whatever is handed down to them by their ‘spiritual authorities’. As I have said before, this is exactly what Israel looked like when Jesus made his appearance. I mean, this was the One, True Religion – they even used to have God as their official escort, am I right? Who could ever doubt or question the authority of these priests of God, who wore the very vestments he had designed and taught from the very Law he had carved into stone?

    Those of us who find ourselves reeling at the thought that our beloved ‘leaders’ might be less than trustworthy should spend some time looking at what Jesus said to the religious leaders of Israel. It sounds like they were pretty much of the same ilk as what we have today.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  94. Max,

    Yyyyup.

    https://www.russellmoore.com/2019/02/10/southern-baptists-and-the-scandal-of-church-sexual-abuse/

    Others have suggested that the church should not concern itself with questions of “justice,” and that preaching the gospel itself will resolve matters of injustice.

    Did you hear that? It turns out the people who say it’s okay to vote for Trump are also the pro-child sex abuse party.

    I would very much hope upcoming parts of the series will bring up CJ Mahaney.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  95. “Why would it take so long for evangelical Christians to see this?” (Al Mohler, “The Briefing”, January 11, 2019).

    “We encourage all denominational leaders and employees of the Southern Baptist Convention to utilize the highest sense of discernment in affiliating with groups and or individuals that possess questionable policies and practices in protecting our children from criminal abuse” (SBC Resolution “On Sexual Abuse of Children”, June, 2013).

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  96. Three paragraphs into ‘The Briefing’, Al Mohler
    subtly attempts to minimise the counts of abuse by emphasising the large number of churches in the SBC. In other words, his subliminal message is: ‘this ain’t that big a problem in percentage terms when we consider how big the SBC actually is’.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  97. Stan: I would very much hope upcoming parts of the series will bring up CJ Mahaney.

    It would not be a thorough unveiling of the overall problem within SBC if that is omitted. In recent years, SBC leaders have affiliated with some individuals and institutions which have proven to be abusive in one form or another (e.g., Mahaney, MacDonald).

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  98. Stan: JD Greear … condemned anonymous criticism of churches …

    Robert Morris has called Christian watchblogs “Satan’s Hit List” and advised believers not to participate in such “gossip.” “Touch not mine anointed” has been overworked in the institutional church to the point of protecting abusers while silencing their victims.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  99. Max: Amy: I don’t have much hope that anything substantial will happen to address this.
    Well, the SBC will have to appear to be do something in going forward … their mess is all over the major news outlets this morning.

    And probably already being spun as “PERSECUTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  100. SiteSeer: Catholic Gate-Crasher: Catholics haven’t cornered the market on it. And neither have Baptists.
    Neither have Christians, for that matter. But it goes to show, our institutions are no different than others.

    Not even when you point fingers and intone (with long prayers) “I THANK THEE, LOOOOOOOOOORD, THAT *I* AM NOTHING LIKE THOSE FILTHY ROMISH PAPISTS OVER THERE…”?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  101. “We — leaders in the SBC — should have listened to the warnings of those who tried to call attention to this.” (J.D. Greear, Twitter)

    I recommend that Greear and other SBC leaders visit TWW and other watchblogs which have been shouting from the housetops for years. Listen to independent observers, not those within your ranks. God has placed watchmen on the wall … and they may not be Southern Baptists!

    “If anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, the sword comes and takes him away.” (Ezekiel 33)

    The sword has come to the SBC.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  102. Stan: https://www.russellmoore.com/2019/02/10/southern-baptists-and-the-scandal-of-church-sexual-abuse/

    Others have suggested that the church should not concern itself with questions of “justice,” and that preaching the gospel itself will resolve matters of injustice.

    Did you hear that? It turns out the people who say it’s okay to vote for Trump are also the pro-child sex abuse party.

    I would very much hope upcoming parts of the series will bring up CJ Mahaney.

    Right. Look at all of this. Just as in the secular world, they are spinning and doing damage control. I cannot help but wonder if the whole Houston article is an attempt to distract from the real problem – which is organized, top-down abuse.

    They could no longer hide the abuse, so now they have to spin it. Yeah, yeah, lots of bad people. We had no idea. We are really going to have to get on this.

    What they are not going to do is talk about how many of the abusers, particularly the biggest abusers, were well-connected, if not in positions of influence themselves. They might throw a few people under the bus. Note that like the Catholic Church they kept things under their hats as long as possible, until many of the perps were dead or too old to suffer much more than a luxurious solitude with severance. Take P.J. Smyth’s father, the well-connected abuser who was allowed to escape punishment. And P.J is still pretending innocence and still preaching.

    I have little hope that mere exposure of individual abusers is going to accomplish much, as for ever mole whacked down another will pop up. How many ever even end up in jail? Only the small fry, who are expendable when things heat up.t The problem has to be tracked to its source, which means taking down extremely wealthy and powerful people and institutions. The same ones that have been getting away with it for centuries.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  103. Max: The sword has come to the SBC.

    I hope the guilty tremble in fear each night. Just as so many victims have for far too long. God will not be mocked, and no matter how clever, or how much they seem to get away with, they will be taken down.

    Again, look at John Calvin. I know he’s been rebranded in the last few decades, just like Driscoll, but for the last several hundred years his teachings, due to his horrific reign of terror, were rejected for the travesty to love and justice that they were.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  104. It is my sincere hope that this time will not be allowed to be swept aside by the PTB or used selfishly by the Mohler cabal. The pressure must not let up. It must not. Looking around various threads and forums, it is amazing to see even now people screaming “We can’t do it right, so we shan’t do anything!”

    Someone around here put it best – it appears “autonomy” is the Baptist translation of “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  105. Max: Al Mohler is jumping in there, too. He’s taking the high road today on his morning show “The Briefing.” In the meantime, Paige Patterson has become the poster boy of the Houston Chronicles’ report … while Mohler and his Mahaney/SGM affiliation escaped exposure (at least in the first part of the 3-part series). Something tells me that SBC’s New Calvinists see this as an opening to slam the old SBC system as abusive while they build a new and improved machine via the new reformation. These guys are slick. It’s the darnedest thing I’ve ever seen!

    Why so surprised? It’s the same trick the Magisterial Reformers used for the ‘old’ Reformation, when the abuses of the ancient Catholic Church became too great to deny. And it’s the same routine we get in secular circles, where the promised ‘solutions’ to too big government somehow never appear.

    There are really only two types of people: those who seek to be decent human beings and respect others (Do to others as you would have them do unto you), and those who don’t (Use others as necessary). The former rarely seek positions of power and authority, so guess who we get for ‘leaders’?

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  106. The sad thing is, those of us who care, and really desire a change, simply don’t know how to effect it. So we post, and rant, and the evil and abuse goes on and on. Talking to self mostly, as I pray daily for God to show me what, if anything, I can actually do to make a difference. I’m a nobody, no power, no influence . . . just sick and tired of wickedness in the land.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  107. Magistos,

    john piper fancies himself a prophet of sorts. whatever free association happens to pop in his mind.

    “A beach ball. A Dog. A Log. A poodle. A Noodle. A doodle…”–thus saith the Lord.

    “A doodle….!”, intone the spiral-eyed sycophants as they retweet away.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  108. https://jdgreear.com/blog/700-not-total-number-get-help/

    Best so far…not a perfect response but good. Basically says, “we acknowledge that you cannot (and basically should not) trust your SBC pastor or leader, but here are resources to get legitimate help. I think that’s a start. Again, not perfect, but good.

    Side note: I’m rethinking Titus 2…I think Paul’s instruction to the women to teach the women was not my any means to marginalize women teachers, but rather to protect women, particularly the young ones.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  109. Magistos,

    ““We can’t do it right, so we shan’t do anything!””
    ++++++++++++++++++

    like, “autonomy. so why bother”?

    they truly don’t think any effort should be made in any way? because it would be a wasted effort?

    ok — in the effort vacuum, lawsuits, then. at least effort will come from somewhere.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  110. Love this response to JD’s post. (Restitution should still be on the board, along with paying for victims counseling sessions with qualified psychotherapists.)

    Got 15 Minutes? ✒

    @toSaveUSA
    2h2 hours ago
    More
    Replying to @jdgreear
    @jdgreear here’s another suggestion. Pls don’t ignore this time.

    W/o in any implication u did anything wrong, fact is UR of the same class as the offenders: male + church leader

    Allow some needed distance & fresh perspective ➡️Appoint a woman to be in charge of #SBC’s response
    0 replies 0 retweets 0 likes

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  111. Max,

    Yes, and the key word here is ***appear*** to do something 🙂

    Remembering more from our own experience many years ago…we were accused of being trouble makers, liars, and trying to undermine our pastor because we tried to get help. This man tore families apart, and removed and shunned anyone who spoke out against him. When things finally got bad enough that other churches and leaders knew finally believed there was a problem, they said they couldn’t do anything because of the autonomy of SBC churches.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  112. I think I might have mentioned this on the site before, but I’m not sure, so:
    20 years ago I attended a small Southern Baptist church for about six months. One of the main reasons I left was the “trustee.” He just seemed kind of off and out of sorts. I found out he had been homeless and the church had given him a job. That seemed kind…and then I found out that he had been homeless because he was a registered sexual offender and had been released from jail shortly before I began attending, and he liked making phone calls and breathing heavily during the wee hours of the morning to single women in the church. He had called most of the single women in the church, and they were leaving. I was out of there pretty quick, and I let them know why. The church had many other issues and no longer exists, but they were very naive (or maybe just plain stupid).

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  113. Adding this batch of bad fruit to the latest revelation about abuses, coverups, and incomplete investigations by NTM/Ethnos360 as the latest in the news. Saddens me that so few leaders will actually take ownership of the abuse and not just acknowledge, but empower the victims. Max, just like NTM the SBC may blame the “old regime” for the abuse and distance themselves. Wouldn’t be surprised if a new branding of the whole conference happens. So many local baptist churches are taking the word “baptist” out of their names, with good reason, it seems.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  114. augustine:
    https://jdgreear.com/blog/700-not-total-number-get-help/

    Best so far…not a perfect response but good.Basically says, “we acknowledge that you cannot (and basically should not) trust your SBC pastor or leader, but here are resources to get legitimate help.I think that’s a start.Again, not perfect, but good.

    Side note:I’m rethinking Titus 2…I think Paul’s instruction to the women to teach the women was not my any means to marginalize women teachers, but rather to protect women, particularly the young ones.

    I had to respond to that thread over the issue of Christian counselors. They are often not trained in abuse and molestation, and used in SBC churches to keep victims quiet. They are also almost always trained to coerce the victim to admitting fault in the situation.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  115. Come to the SBC, boys. We won’t accept women as pastors and we won’t treat the LGBTQ community with decency but if you’re a child molester or any other deviant, we welcome you with open arms. Disgusting.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  116. ishy,

    I agree with your concerns completely. To say I am underwhelmed with so-called biblical counselor skill is an understatement. I think the victim would be better served to go to a sister who just simply shows compassion and Christian love with cries with her and prays with her and gets her to the Law-enforcement authorities and stands beside her the whole way. Directs her to skilled psychotherapy that knows how to show compassion.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  117. So the clapback seems to be “It’s antiCalvinist” who are attacking Mahaney see SBC Voices and from Russell Moore it’s all about his political enemies – those against his “social justice” advocacy are the ones who covered everything up. All the elites seem to talk about a generic “we” are sorry but the way they’re responding is telling.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  118. Why doesn’t anyone just come out and say it?

    The Southern Baptist Convention does not believe child rape is that big of a deal.

    The Southern Baptist Convention does not think child sexual abuse should be against the law.

    The Southern Baptist Convention cares more about child rapist because they are men than they care about raped children.

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

  119. Wow, this is some shoddy writing. While I appreciate your desire to point out wrongdoing and the great work the Houston Chronicle has done in researching and publishing this, your blog article is full of inconsistencies, misinformation and intentional misleading – not helpful. A quick example –
    – The extended quote from Mohler you use was a response to the ongoing allegations in the Catholic church and the looming Grand Jury report on the horrific incidents in Pennsylvania, and more specifically in response to the discovery of moral issues with Paige Patterson, former SEBTS president. His comments were NOT in response to the Chronicle’s investigation.
    CJ Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries was NOT ‘Welcomed with open arms into the SBC”. He and Mohler and others had independantly founded the T4G, it is not affiliated with the SBC and in fact a rather stern and public admonition from the SBC was published in 2014 criticizing Mohler for his association with Mahaney.(http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/1230/on-sexual-abuse-of-children).

    Sexual misconduct of any kind, in any church is horrific, and all efforts to stop it must be taken. But…it should be said and REPORTED for ANY institution, not just the church, and not just the SBC. For example –

    After extensive research, the Chronicle found that from the 47,000 churches and 15 million adult members, 380 reports of sexual misconduct among the denominations pastors, staff and volunteers (note – the abuse wasn’t just ministry personnel). That’s 380 independent cases, in 20 years. Terrible and no doubt there are even more that went unreported. On the other hand, there were 3.5 MILLION reports of sexual abuse over the last SEVEN years in secondary schools in the US, with 500 teachers arrested and jailed in 2016 ALONE. If we are truly concerned about the welfare of our children, why aren’t we screaming at the top of our lungs about THIS?!? Why isn’t something being done to reverse this? To single out the SBC in this regard without also pointing out the HORRIFIC abuse going on in our public schools is the worst of virtue signaling and promoting a selective, false narrative. We can focus solely on the approximately one in 1 in 40,000 SBC adults who have committed sexual abuse or harassment, or we could ALSO bring to light and target the reported 1 in 10 teachers who reported having sexual contact with their students at some point over their career (From a research survey of sexual misconduct in public schools).

      (Quote selected text)  (Reply)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *