“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