No Post Tonight! I’m Really Tired.

I will write up some impressions of the SBC convention tomorrow. I’m home and quite tired.


Comments

No Post Tonight! I’m Really Tired. — 17 Comments

  1. The morning is just starting down here in New Zealand – have a good rest! Sleep well, you have more than earned it! May the Lord Jesus keep purifying His church (gulp), which means He will be working on all of us :-).

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  2. JDV:
    SBC Caring Well Report:

    https://caringwell.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/SBC-Caring-Well-Report-June-2019.pdf

    Page 6 footnote — “2 For purposes of this report, sexual abuse is an all-encompassing, non-legal term that refers to crimes like sexual assault, rape, and sexual abuse. The American Psychology Association defines sexual abuse as “unwanted sexual activity, with perpetrators using force, making threats or taking advantage of victims not able to give consent.””

    As far as consent, it should be telling to see how much or how little the power element and the spiritual manipulation that often comes in addition to the church leader/churchgoer dynamic comes up in the reports, trainings (sic), etc.

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  3. P 33

    “It is essential that the care team be made up of men AND women. As complementarians who believe that men and women were equally created in God’s image but have been given unique roles and giftings, we recognize the importance of having both men and women on a care team. Both genders brings a unique and invaluable perspective.”

    Stunning phraseology in the current context. First, the writers of this report pointedly use the blanket term of “complementarians,” which even if all of those SBC church attendees who thought the concept of complementary gifting of men and women (let alone the complementary aspect of marrieds) had varying degrees of validity were put in a room at the convention, odds are there would be much “agreeing to disagree” as to specifics and implications on denominational practice and teaching.

    Second, the writers then say “we” are all “complementarians” — and whatever they define it as, apparently. I guess they’re saying applies to all who are part of SBC congregations, no? Not only is that quite an assumption and liberty on the intellectual level (are the writers unfamiliar with Wade Burleson?), but what about the churches that, for example, only affirm the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message Statement without any of the 1998 amendment language in the Wives Commentary section and “complements?” And this is the place they stick down one of their agenda’s flags? I guess narrative pushers often cannot help themselves.

    And third, might that be why they emphasize needing a guy in on this “care team,” as if girls might not be able to do the main function of such a team — contact relevant government officials — without a dudebro’s “invaluable perspective?” How many de facto care teams that were described in the Post article about Dee et al ended up being led from stem to stern on the believer end of things by women, because they were the ones who felt called to do so?

    I’m all for accountability and oversight being aided by multiple worthwhile perspectives, which extends to the education and best practices side of this. However, I have questions about the driving force behind emphasizing that getting guys and gals in the room is important after the lead-in qualifier of ‘we’re all complementarians, so…’

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  4. P 18

    Addressing Misapplication of Theology Surrounding abuse within the Church Context
”Acknowledging the many missteps in the past requires us to examine the underlying causes—the roots infecting and affecting individuals and institutions All abuse is sin, and it has occurred and been permitted in part because a misapplication of theology has borne itself out in various contexts and situations. While this is not an exhaustive study of theological problems surrounding abuse within church contexts, the following are some of the areas we must address and correct”

    Though the relevance of civil authorities per Romans 13 is acknowledged to a degree (p 20), the 1 Cor. 6 and Matthew 18 misapplications we’ve seen pop up frequently are conspicuously absent from the same space as commonly misused in the case of abuse and reporting protocols. I also missed any focus on the detrimental role of church policies or agreements/covenants on the reporting process (and being accused of gossip, divisiveness, etc.) as impediments to it.

    Also, the lack of any priority towards applying the standards for church leadership described in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 is glaring. Of course, were the report and subsequent training etc. to focus on the relevance of that, the writers risk a shift from the narrative of “there are bad actors everywhere who exploit loopholes, even here” to a harder and necessary look at the institutional issue of leadership not being held to account, Biblically or otherwise. The educational components of their training would have to feature hard looks at leadership, disqualifications from it upon failing to be above reproach, and proactive warning of other churches of abuse transgressors seeking to reintegrate themselves into leadership roles.

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  5. P. 32 “To be able to respond quickly and effectively, we must develop a plan ahead of time for how we will respond when abuse occurs or is disclosed Although each church context will need to develop appropriate protocols based on the size, location, and makeup of their congregations, here are some very important action items to consider as a starting point for churches developing a more comprehensive plan:

    1. Develop a team of caregivers to walk alongside a survivor of abuse.
”It is important to identify key staff members, church leaders, and professionals to include on a care team to walk alongside a survivor who has disclosed abuse. Each scenario and survivor will be different, so the team needed may be different for each survivor as well Pastors, elders, women’s ministry leaders, youth leaders, professional counselors, medical professionals, and attorneys are all examples of people who may need to be included on a team.”

    The website they highlight gives further details:

    https://caringwell.com/challenge/build/

    “Your second step is vital for an initial commitment to become more than good intentions. We are asking you to build a “Caring Well team” to coordinate your church’s efforts in the remainder of this campaign. This team should be comprised of a small group of key leaders from your pastoral staff, student ministry, children’s ministry, women’s ministry, or marriage ministry. This Caring Well team will ensure that the remaining steps are achieved.

    “If you have church members with a background in social work, law enforcement, counseling, or education—fields experienced in responding to abuse—they would make excellent team members. If you have a church member who has experienced abuse, and is far enough along in their recovery for this to be a healthy experience for them, they would offer an immensely valuable perspective.”

    Is it just me, or does the idea of a “small group” in a church identifying themselves as facilitators of all things abuse raise questions, especially when so many of the perps and cover-uppers covered here and elsewhere hail from the “pastoral staff” and are considered “key leaders”? I fear a repeat of gatekeeping rather than going to authorities in many cases.

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  6. Michelle D Sharit,

    Well, it is a bit overwhelming. My brother was driving to work in Boston and I don’t always tell him what I’m doing. He said he almost drove off the road when he heard this. He said he didn’t know that my blog was getting out there. I told I didn’t know it either!

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