“Chiron said the word assist as if meant slap upside the head with extreme prejudice.” ― Rick Riordan,
Last night, after enjoying a wonderful service at my church, my husband and I stopped to bring home some food so we could watch a few shows together. It’s our favorite time of the week. While we were waiting for our order, I checked my cell phone and almost went ballistic in the sedate Village Deli. This needs to get out there ASAP. It fits under the *I told you so* category. This a rare Sunday post.
Saturday evening news dumps
Whenever a report gets released on a Saturday evening, you can be sure of one thing. The producers of the report hope that you are out enjoying your Saturday night and will go to church on Sunday and maybe not notice what just transpired. This happens in politics all the time and the SBC ranks amongst the most political organisms I know.
So, as soon as a saw this title in Baptist Press, SBC bylaws workgroup releases sexual abuse response, I knew it would be hot stuff. And it was. (It was 11 AM when I told this shot.)
You can be darn sure that they won’t be going after 2nd Baptist and some of the others (maybe all).
Here are excerpts:
Why the rush?
The Bylaws Workgroup requested on February 19 that the president provide information he referenced as a “dossier” containing the information upon which he based his naming of the churches, and he supplied that dossier to the workgroup on the afternoon of February 22.
What do they mean “exhibits an indifference?”
The Executive Committee is recommending to the Convention’s messengers this June an amendment to the Convention’s Constitution affirming that the Convention does not, and will not, cooperate with a church that clearly evidences indifference to addressing the crime of sexual abuse,
There will be no *presumption of guilt.”
It is also our opinion that the Executive Committee did not intend for every allegation that a church has demonstrated indifference to establish guilt which would then have to be disproved — in effect, a presumption of guilt which the Executive Committee should view as untenable and unscriptural.
The Matthew 18 *get out of jail free card* for pastors and churches
The committee says Matthew 18 wasn’t followed. (ROFL). They worked long and hard to see if those 10 churches that Greear had highlighted really were as bad as reported. You know the answer-of course not? Even better, Matthew 18 wasn’t followed!
Acting in accord with these principles, and biblical principles such as Matthew 18:15-20, Proverbs 18:17, and others, we applied such a test to the churches which, in the President’s opinion, had been publicly singled out because of allegations that employees or volunteers within each church had committed sexual abuse.
And the passage of time may mean that the new people running the church are absolutely beyond reproach.
We also considered whether the combination of such factors as the passage of time, changes in the church’s administration and membership, and the church’s adoption of policies to prevent abuse and properly respond to charges of abuse would make launching an inquiry of no value in addressing sexual abuse but only further harm a congregation recovering from the effects of crimes committed in its midst.
Greear gets his butt kicked for accusing the ten churches.
JD is that *individual.*
While victims of sexual abuse should always be encouraged to report the crimes against them, we urge all members of the Executive Committee and messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention to avoid publicly calling the names of churches without having documentation of criminal convictions and giving prior notice to the church. No individual possesses the authority to declare a church to be under a Convention inquiry of any kind.
And leave SBC central out of this.
We think such untoward actions by a church will be first and best known to the local association and the state or regional convention. When questions arise as to whether a church is in friendly cooperation with our Convention, we believe it is preferable and fairer to all involved if the names of suspect churches come to the attention of the Executive Committee and the Southern Baptist Convention from those sources.
The committee goes on to exonerate many of the 10 churches.
Of course, 2nd Baptist Houston was exonerated. Fearing an outcry, SGC Louisville was left in that well-defined *we’ll see” club.
Those who are in the *no further inquiry needed* club are:
- Arapaho Baptist Church, Garland, Texas
- Brentwood Baptist Church, Houston, Texas
- Eastside Baptist Church, Marietta, Georgia
- First Baptist Church, Bedford, Texas
- Second Baptist Church, Houston, Texas
- Trinity Baptist Church, Ashburn, Georgia
- Turner Street Baptist Church, Springdale, ArkansasThis church is not a Southern Baptist church.
Further *inquiry warranted*
(Don’t get excited here, folks. It is rather simple to get into the *no further inquiry* club.)
- Bolivar Baptist Church, Sanger, Texas Read this one. It is doubtful anything will happen.)
- Cathedral of Faith, Houston, Texas. (The pastor is a registered sex offender.)
- Sovereign Grace Church, Louisville, Kentucky (I assure you, friends, this one is here because of Papa Bear Mohler’s apology and the committee knows a blog storm would occur. This is a *throw CJ under the bus* for the moment. The question remains if other Sovereign Grace Churches churches are members of the SBC. I think there are some but I don’t have time to go through the list right now. Maybe readers can help me out here?)
Previous letters were sent from SBC central?
OK-all you SBC gurus, help me out here. Through the years I’ve been assured that the SBC central doesn’t kick out churches? That glorious task was left to regional SBC groups. So what previous letters were sent from central SBC? Are these churches truly autonomous?
Is pressure being brought to bear on the Houston Chronicle/Robert Downen?
Keep an eye on this situation. 2nd Baptist is in Houston, along with 2 other *executive committee* exonerated churches.
Let me remind you of these statements I made in my last two posts.
- “I’ve been suspicious about this process since Greear first announced the ten churches they were considering being given the title “not in friendly cooperation* with the SBC. In my previous post, I expressed concerns that Ed Young at 2nd Baptist and CJ Mahaney at SGC Louisville know where the bodies are buried. I believe this could possibly lead to a path in which they would be reinstated.“
- Prediction: Given that the SBC is going after Mahaney and Ed Young of 2nd Baptist Houston, fireworks are sure to be on the horizon. Prepare for mudslinging. Some of these folks know where the bodies are buried…
The two churches on the *further inquiry* list will fall on their swords, do *something* and be exonerated. The wild card is SGC Louisville. Will they throw them under the bus to appease the lookers on? I give it 3:1 odds of getting the boot. However, before that happens, CJ Mahaney may quietly remove their churches from the SBC. Keep an eye in the SBC directory of churches. As of today, they are on the list.
I’m sure SBC phones were ringing off the hooks. I wonder how many lawyers were involved? The new and improved SBC is still the same old SBC. They’ll just get some SBC sanctioned child protection rules in place. And then they will figure out how to exonerate any church which screws up.