“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice; we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
While away, I viewed these stories from afar and wished I could comment on them. Unfortunately, this particular story is still being debated, and I have come to a similar conclusion for very different reasons. Make sure you note that caveat. The Roys Report outlines the issue in Southern Baptist Task Force May Split with Guidepost Over LGBTQ Views. Here’s what is happening.
The Guidepost report appears to have miffed off the usual suspects aligned with the Conservative Baptist Network, although some would deny their affiliation. I suspect the Johnny Hunt report in the Guidepost investigation was key. Hunt is currently suing the SBC, Guidepost, and others. Hunt has lots of friends who support him. I wrote about that in Johnny Hunt, We Are Sure Getting to Know Who You Really Are. What Was That About Whitewashed Tombs?
The infamous tweet demonstrates the hypocrisy of those demanding that Guidepost Solutions be fired.
Now, it appears that the anti-Guidepost faction is using a tweet from the company to achieve its goals. According to the Roys Report
“We celebrate our collective progress toward equality for all and are proud to be an ally to our LGBTQ+ community,” the tweet read.
Seriously? Everyone knew it was a secular company, just like every other one. Many companies are LGBT-friendly, yet Baptists everywhere buy and consume their products. I have issues about Guidepost, but it has nothing to do with the chosen topic du jour by the conservative Baptist crowd. For example, here are some tech companies which are LGBT-friendly. They include:
I don’t think we will see these guys giving up their iPhones in protest. Hence, I believe this whole hoo-ha is just a cover for their agenda. According to the Roys Report, even the current SBC President is giving in to their demands. I guess they hold the power of the purse.
Almost immediately, critics of the report and state Baptist leaders began calling for the convention to dump Guidepost. Southern Baptists believe any sex outside a heterosexual marriage is sinful and have expelled churches in the past for having gay members.
Current SBC President Bart Barber told a gathering recently that he asked the current task force, which he appointed, not to work with Guidepost because of the controversy.
Bob Smietana of Religion News wrote the following for The Washington Post: Calls for SBC to cut ties with Guidepost Solutions greet firm’s Pride Month tweet.
Though a secular company, Guidepost has become a go-to firm for evangelical groups dealing with the issue of sexual abuse. It is perhaps best-known in Christian circles for a report on the culture at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries that found that RZIM board members were blinded by loyalty to Zacharias, a once-beloved author and speaker who has been accused of sexual abuse.
Faith Based Solutions, a newly created division of Guidepost, will still run the hotline.
However, it appears that ties to Guidepost will not be cut entirely. Guidepost recognized the potential problems and hired Samatha Kilpatrick to run a new side gig in the company, which they called Faith Based Solutions. I once joked that they turned on the light in an unused office, threw a Bible on the desk, and said, “Voilà! Problemo solved.” It wasn’t but more on that in a minute. According to WaPo:
In the statement, the task force said it had been working toward finding a “unifying solution.”
The task force has not cut ties completely with the faith-based division of Guidepost.
In the statement Tuesday — which does not mention Guidepost by name — the group said Faith-Based Solutions would still oversee a hotline for reporting abuse.
Faith Based Solutions is still Guidepst Solutions. They can drape the office in the Gospel all they want. However, there are still problems which I shall get to in a minute.
The task force outlined who they planned to put on their list of bad actors.
Look carefully at the highlighted part of the statement. The Roys Report said:
The task force also updated its progress on the abuse reforms, including the process for adding names to the Ministry Check website. The list will include names of those who have been convicted, have confessed to abuse or who have had a civil judgment against them. Churches will also be able to add names if they conducted an independent investigation. An expert panel will review each case before names are added to the list, according to the update.
“Faith-Based Solutions was never involved in this portion of the process,” according to the update.
I believe that Guidepost Solutions did a bang-up job on their investigation and the subsequent report.
TWW wrote The Explosive SBC Sex Abuse Report Mirrors the Catholic Church Abuse Scandal and That Will Have Long-term Consequences for the Denomination. In this post is a link to the results of the investigation. (I love linking to our posts since they tend to be filled with links and info. I’m tooting my horn. Sorry.) Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with Christians from around the globe. Everyone said that the SBC sounds like the Catholic church. In that post, I said that this would be the result. Painful but necessary.
Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler refused to speak to Guidepost, a problem inherent in such a report. I believe future investigations will be stymied. Then, the inevitable happened. Johnny Hunt and David Sills have filed lawsuits targeting Guidepost and others associated with the report. I predict this will get really ugly.
Didn’t they say that other companies did not have the bandwidth to handle such a huge job?
The task force came up with another idea which Baptist News Global wrote about in SBC abuse task force gives in to anti-gay critics of Guidepost Solutions. They plan to break up the big job into smaller jobs. I’m glad I don’t have to figure out how to do this.
In the spirit of unity and cooperation, the ARITF met in Atlanta on Monday, March 27, and voted to consider alternative pathways (dividing the work among smaller firms which share our values) to establish and maintain the Ministry Check website. The ARITF is presently sourcing and evaluating additional firms to assist with the Ministry Check process who meet our qualifications for the highest professional standards.”
So what’s my problem?
Here we go.
The tweet is NOT the problem.
I want to emphasize this. LGBT people get molested in churches as well. Are these churches/guys saying that they will not care about a gay teen who is molested by a member of the clergy? It happens. Abuse is abuse, no matter one’s sexual orientation. Let’s cut the politicking and deal with the issue at hand.
Guidepost Solutions helps creepy and wealthy customers.
First, let’s go way back to when Guidepost Solutions was hired. We wrote: Guidepost Solutions, Hired by the SBC, Has a Seeming History of Helping the Wealthy “Bad Guy.” If I’m Confused, Others Are As Well. They help the “high profile. high net worth clients” with image problems. Harvey Weinstein, ARod, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn come to mind. Read the post for details. I must admit that I’m worried they will come out on the side of the “bad guys.” However, their investigation helped to alleviate that concern somewhat. I guess they come out on the side of those who pay them.
The Bryan Lorits/JD Greear problem.
In 2021, I wrote: JD Greear, Bryan Loritts, and the Guidepost Solutions Investigation: Moving Quickly From Caring Well to Couldn’t Care Less. Ultimately, Guidepost concluded that Loritts mishandled the abuse allegations but did not engage in a coverup. Greear really wanted Loritts and expressed his support despite a seeming number of alleged dubious activities on the part of Loritts, but the investigation seemed to “clear” him. I, along with others, have been writing about him for years. I am not comfortable with Guidepost’s conclusion.
- Independent investigations
Samantha Kilpatrick is a well-trained, capable lawyer. But unfortunately, she and several others conducted an independent investigation at my former church in which she was a member. As a result, the pastors were exonerated over allegations that they covered up the foreknowledge of a pedophile from SEBTS who harmed a number of teen boys. It is the reason this blog now exists. I was stunned at the outcome and took to blogging to see if anybody else had experienced what I did. The rest is history.
I believe that Kilpatrick learned much in the intervening years and would imagine she would never conduct such an investigation today. But old feelings die hard, and I am working on forgiveness in this matter.
Also, I hope the task force thoroughly explains what they mean by “internal investigations” since such investigations are not considered adequate by many sex abuse advocates and victims. Yet, they claim they will accept the results of such investigations for their list of “bad actors.”
Does Guidepost Solutions align with victims or bad actors?
Here is what concerns me the most. It appears they help out bad actors like Harvey Weinstein, who is now in prison, worrying about who is nice and who isn’t. I get it. It is a company that will serve everyone who will pay for its services. They are in business to make money, and the SBC should remember that. Ultimately, this is my concern now, and it was my concern when Guidepost Solutions was first hired. I hope the churches in the SBC spend more time thinking about this than an irrelevant tweet. Does Guidepost care more about victims than an alleged molester? It appears they didn’t when it involved Dominique Strauss-Kahn versus a hotel housekeeper. But it all got settled, so it was a win for Guidepost Solutions. How does the task force view this?
I continue to have my concerns about Guidepost Solutions and am surprised that more people haven’t raised their own concerns. I predict a difficult road ahead.
The tweet is NOT the problem. It is also not the issue. The tweet is the excuse to once again shove the real issue under the carpet.
Thx for the Dietrich Bonhoeffer quote at the top.
Sounds like you like him as much as I do!
Guidepost is willing to do what current SBC leaders need.
Hire JD’s friend Samantha after GRACE fired her? Yes.
Report on Hunt without pointing to NAMB? Yes.
Praise JD and tidy up for Lorrits? Yes.
Ignore Bruce Ashford’s wife? Yes.
Being friends with the decision-maker at Guidepost was the best way to make sure the SBC can control the list.
FAG CARD NOW OFFICIALLY IN PLAY.
DEALT OF THE BOTTOM OF THE DECK AS USUAL.
Interesting comment. Thanks for hitting on some concerning points for TWW.
I agree 100% that the problem is NOT the LGBTQ tweet. To the contrary, I would’ve felt a heckuva lot better about things if Guidepost had stuck by its tweet. Instead, to please & appease SBC leaders, Guidepost said it would no longer use Twitter, which to me smacks of pandering. If Guidepost will cave to SBC outrage over something as small as a tweet, what else will they cave on… but quietly? That’s my concern. How independent are they – really – if they’ll buckle to shutting down tweeting just for the sake of appeasing SBC honchos?
“They are in business to make money, and the SBC should remember that.” My dad, who had a cynical mind and heart, often said, “Them as has the gold makes the rules.”
Dee, thank you for the Bonhoeffer quote, much appreciated.
Another Bonhoeffer fan! We should all have a “favorite Bonhoeffer quotes” day.
Awesome comment. I agree.
Big, big news. James MacDonald puts woman in hospital by assault committing “great bodily injury.” Maybe this will finally be the end of this snake. What does he actually need to do? Kill someone before his fan club goes back into the hole it crawled out of? https://julieroys.com/megachurch-pastor-james-macdonald-charged-assault-attack-woman/
Get the outsourcer to subcontract by insourcing. Given multifarious church, seminary or umbrella brand names and byzantine overlapping affiliations or apparent semi-non-affiliations, faint whiffs of deniability suffice. Once it’s up and running, will Rev Hunt drop his suit because his designer scandal paid off for enough people?
Now we see why it was so useful for the main body theologians to demand self pigeon holing, psycholanalyst-style, like Babylon demanded a song.
Has my vote.
Which has nothing to do with victims, but everything to do with power (as in leaders, organizations, empowered people) trying to save their reputation or image and wealth.
But not using that “facility” for common sense reasons can be usefully allowed to be rebadged to pretend to be craven to the SBC ideology as decoy for the pretext.
I know I’m going all over the map here, but…..
I think the SBC higher is a bit miffed at Guidepost because the outfit did do a “bang-up job”. I suspect they expected the same special treatment as the “bad actors”……. GP just didn’t get the hint (or enough money). I think SBC higher just wanted everything to go away, and continue with business as usual. It looks as if their new rules for adding names to the bad, bad boy list will only include names that are already on record and available to the public.
The exposure did not seem to diminish the admiration certain people have for Patterson, Pressler, et al….. (Oooooh, Pressler! Ha! And they have a problem with GP issuing a statement supporting LGBTQ??? How’s that for a bad joke?)
I believe some SBCers believe it’s more important to avoid association with LGBTQs, in any way shape or form, than it is to protect potential victims — Some people made comments strongly hinting at that on SBCVoices. The LGBTQ community is very public; abuse victims avoid public exposure in most instances…… I guess that makes for an easy choice for some hardcore SBCers.
If the SBC cut ties with all corporations, companies, and businesses that supported and/or employed LGBTQ people most churches, SBC offices, and parsonages would have no electricity or running water, among other things…….. no commercial airplane rides or steakhouse dinners for the big-wigs….
I would love to see them try avoid all LGBTQ friendly businesses in New Orleans this coming June.
Bonhoeffer was the genuine article.
A true profile in courage.
A far cry from the dandies of today.
From Dee’s article:
. . . . “companies which are LGBT-friendly. They include:
I don’t think we will see these guys giving up their iPhones in protest.”
Google controls Android which runs every other phone that is not an iPhone – well, except for the handful of Windows phones out there (oops, Microsoft). I guess that about covers all of the phone out there.
They are all probably too cool to own anything other than an iPhone anyway though.
Not quite 20 years ago, my evil too big to fail employer acquired a smaller bank which included the accounts of a famous ministry. Not long after that, the famous ministry withdrew all its money and decamped to a very small bank in the Midwest. Why? Because my evil too big to fail bank recognized the existence of LGBTQ people and in fact had given a monetary donation to a LGBTQ service group. Why, this ministry could not possibly have its money in a financial institution that gave a donation to an LGBTQ organization. Best as I remember it, the PR of my employer was asked about it and the response was a high-minded version of “good bye and good riddance.”
Now, it’s possible that there are small state-chartered banks that quietly make it clear to certain patrons they have nothing to do with LGBTQ people. But I will tell you that those banks are not federally chartered and not big enough to have accounts with the Federal Reserve, and thus they have of necessity tight relationships with larger correspondent banks so they can use Fedwire and maybe even SWIFT (international wire services). And those larger correspondent banks are as “woke” as the evil too big to fail temple of capitalism I work for.
Folks, it’s all about the money, and this particular “diverse segment” (which can apply to any number of identifiable discrete groups based on business, social and other interests, not just LGBTQ people) has a lot of money, and for a very long time was poorly served by banks. That has changed. I would note that national banks would *love* to get their hands on the money being generated by cannabis dispensaries, and would also love to loan money to dispensary businesses, but since the product is illegal on a federal level, well, you can see the problem. It’s not happening.
Just like Guidepost Solutions, the financial system is very much all about the money. I believe this can be applied all across the business spectrum here in the USA.
Just an odd note–while Apple iOS phones have a ~58 percent market share in the USA, with ~41 percent having Android phones, in Japan, it is almost exclusively Apple iOS phones. I was told it was because Apple gave huge deals to vendors to get them and their customers locked in when the iPhone came out 15 years ago. I can tell you that FOR SURE there are no accessories sold for Android phones in Japan. (I looked while I was there in November.) If I were to go over to South Korea (home of Samsung), I would expect to be completely reversed on that. I have to admit I was rather disappointed as there was a really cool iPhone lanyard being sold in Tokyo’s version of big box stores, but I have an Android. *pout* First world problems.
I agree that GP’s problem appears to be that it is in it for the money. I don’t understand with all the litany of things they left out or patched up to make the leaders of the SBC look okay or get off the hook, how could they have done a “bang up job”. The report in my opinion was awful. The examples that are listed here, case in point. They had almost nothing new. Yes I guess they reported the Johnny Hunt problem. That was 20 years ago. Not a mention about CJ Mahaney and Dr. Mohler’s terrible indorsement and dismissal of the victims left in the wake at CJ’s church. Nothing about Kevin Ezell “clergy immunity” and what appeared to be a threat by Ezell’s associate to the reporter. . The report was obviously going after the old guard and to put away the problems of the new elites in my opinion.
Who quote his name for a Celebrity Endorsement.
Because even the word HOMOSEXUALITY disconnects every neuron above the Christianese brainstem and waves the Bright Red Murder Flag in front of what’s left.
“Even the mention of the word is sufficient to induce… PANIC!”
— Return of the Killer Tomatoes
I’m glad I don’t do phones.
Just call me ‘Luddite Larry’.
Same sex hijinks is Thee Absolute Worst Thing There Is in fundagelical ideology.
Even that wouldn’t be enough.
“I can shoot somebody in the middle of Times Square and they’ll still follow me!”
I have, on more than one occasion, switched a different bank after being merged into an “evil too big to fail” bank (looking at you Wells Fargo).
Why? Not because of any policies toward any group of folks, but simply because I prefer to support local businesses – at least when and where possible.
Big Corp doesn’t need my money, but smaller local businesses do and it benefits the community more than the tax break obtaining, do anything for money, “evil” conglomerates.
Has anyone seen this?
That was a quick descent, probably too quick for a soft landing. But then again, JM always struck me as a phony anyway.
I am considering mentioning this and other things in a catch-up post tomorrow. So much happened while I was away, I think it would be best to plan a “multi-post” (Is that even a word?
[banging head against the wall]
Who in their right mind fires their external safeguarding solution for not sharing their values and splits it up among smaller agencies?
I will predict they either won’t be able to get agencies to do this or if they try it will not be a success.
I wonder if they’ll ask them what they do for Pride this time?
I think that the CBN and their friends are highly irrational in their fears and their goals, but completely rational and very well organised in how they pursue those goals.
This will delay or, even better in their eyes, derail the whole process. Not a lot will come of it, and that will be a very good reason to shut it down altogether.
A mixtape of a post?
(For those of us old enough to remember what that was)
Mashup PLEASE 😉
Headless Unicorn Guy,
The best buttons of all to press are the Hot Buttons (nice with toast).
St Paul says “the (so called) ‘Bible’ (TM) is dead” II Cor 3:6 which is describing the attitude of the superapostles.
I agree with you. After reading the GP report, I felt like their scope of investigation is severely limited by EC to the high profile cases which were already reported else where. IMO, the investigation is mostly for image management – putting some grease on the squeaky wheels and then back to business as usual.
FWIW, I don’t own (and have never owned) a cell phone either, Muff. 🙂 And it sure makes some aspects of life difficult!
I understand many benefits and the handiness of cell phones for so many other people, but I simple don’t need one….and not only are they too expensive, but using such small devices for internet and computer stuff would drive me nuts. (I prefer desktop computers.)
Yeah, it is a bit frightening. It sounds like a road rage incident.
If you look at Julie Roys’ homepage, that article is currently the second headline. The first is a podcast episode, “Why Do People Like Harsh Leaders?” The background for the title is a composite of three faces-John MacArthur, Dave Ramsey, and, yep, James MacDonald. Ironic.
Which makes Teh Fag Card an excellent weapon of misdirection.
Guaranteed situation/thread hijack – WORKS EVERY TIME!
The type of Road Range incident that makes it into Epic Fail compilations.
JMac rear-ends the victims car (CRUNCH!), gets out of car (leaving his 9mm semi-auto penis extender in his truck) and Screaming Road Rage attacks the other driver. (Like when he shot to pieces those deer from his private canned-hunt herd.) So Road Raging he forgets to set his parking brake. While JMac is beating the crap out of the other driver, his truck starts rolling backwards into the car behind. DOUBLE CRUNCH!
Oh, and TRUCK, not car. Let Criswell Predict – Big blinged-up pickup, jacked, bigger and heavier than a Hummer, four-door with a bed sized around a golf bag or two instead of a 4×8 plywood sheet. That’s also a popular penis extender among He-Men Masters of the Universe/accountants cosplaying Rambo. They call it a Dodge Ram because it’s so big and heavy you can RAM anything short of an 18-wheeler and come out on top.
It’s a known mind game called “Tough Guy”, where a weak guy sucks up to REAL Tough Guy types (usual example being criminals and gangbangers) in the hope their Toughness rubs off on him. “HIM TOUGH! ME TOUGH TOO! SEE? SEE? SEE?”
Or they FAKE being Tough Guys, like claiming to be Navy SEALs or Ninjas or bragging about how they broke someone’s neck in touch football. “ME TOUGH! SEE? SEE? SEE?”
My source for this is a Seventies pop-psych book Games People Play which coined the term “mind games”, companion volume to the better-known I’m OK, You’re OK.
Anyone who hasn’t come across him might be amused by looking up the Rev Flowers, a Methodist minister who resigned as chief of Britain’s most ethical bank, the Co-Operative, because of significant problems in their governance. Shortly afterwards one of his rent boys sold his story of drugs and orgies to the press and Rev Flowers became known as the Crystal Methodist. He got defrocked.
People with body differences, illnesses that advance, and are in pain in various circumstances are far more common than is made out. The ones I’ve lately come to know tend to call themselves “non binary” which is especially a social category. Real and covert (including inadvertent) opponents comprise i – saboteurs, ii – those stampeded by saboteurs, iii – those scared by this, iv – agents provocateurs. II and III may be “well meaning” but haven’t thought the issues through, providing fodder for I and IV to create hostility towards genuine cases. (A friend of a friend, with a body difference, was shamed by his superiors.)
Toilets were at one time socially labelled “gents” and “ladies”, and it’s the moralising materialist essentialist / instrumentalists who caused ad hominem targetting. A main age of relevance should be 16 with some safeguards to lessen frivolous stampeding, friction causing by teachers against families, and profiteering. The decision takers here are (as convenient decoy from the manufactured Hunt pretext) playing to a gallery who might feel cosier being told it’s alright to be a IV.