The Southern Baptist Convention, Sexual Abuse Allegations, #MeToo, and Future Accountability

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Yesterday evening, a meteorite may have demolished the pristine sanctuaries of Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) churches across the globe. The once venerable hierarchy of Protestant Denominationalism in America is scurrying feverishly to recover from the latest shock wave.

Did somebody say, “#MeToo strikes again?”

So, what was that bright flash of light?

Over the last 20 years, investigative reports reveal, there have been at least 700 sexual abuse victims in SBC churches across America. There’s little doubt among the devout: Our HOLY GOD is grieved and angry. He has witnessed but not ignored these crimes, and is now on the move, actively purging the adultery, sin, and abuse within the Bride of Christ—His Church!

All Christians should walk toward this new Light. Why? Exposure has always led to reformation throughout the 2000-year-history of Christianity. We remember Martin Luther—the founder of the Protestant Reformation. Today, he would probably nail a new “95 Theses” to the door of the SBC, 901 Commerce, Nashville TN.

Every true Believer should rend their garments in objection to what has happened, repent, make amends, and demand respect to the New Testament teachings of our Sinless Savior in their local churches. Let the new Reformation begin. The eyes of the world are upon us.

Here are just a few of the news media outlets who have covered this story:

  1. Houston Chronicle
  2. Washington Post
  3. The Christian Post

Perhaps in time, reform, revival, integrity, and the Holy Spirit’s presence will awaken the Saints in the pews. They will rise up and demand a departure from the commercial “feel good” approach to religion and demand that righteousness be taught and upheld in their sanctuaries.

The latest exposure has a remarkable semblance to the message of major Old Testament prophets. Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel railed against the abuses of religion, and the leaders who swept the truth under the center-isle carpet.

Isaiah 3:14 (NIV) The LORD enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: “It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?” declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.

Jeremiah 22:17 (NIV) But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion.

Ezekiel 34:10 (NIV) This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.

We suggest a few steps the SBC can take to restore their authority, and once again speak into the lives of a watching world:

  1. Recompense to all victims of sexual abuse: The SBC receives millions of dollars for missions though its annual Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong offerings. Consider an annual offering for victims of abuse. Surely there’s a woman, child or victim among you who survived abuse and whose legacy you can honor. Take up those offerings and give the money away. Quickly!
  2. Repent of pride and denominational elitism. Please!
  3. Reject the temptation to spin truth and engage in cover-up ploys to salvage the SBC’s reputation. In other words, don’t play legal hardball behind the scenes. Everyone’s watching now, especially the Millennials.
  4. Receive and respect women, children and all victims who emerge with testimonies of abuse from within and without.
  5. Realize that sexual abuse victims are not the only category of people who have been injured in your congregations. Members have been alienated for seeking accountability among the leaders. Leaders have been forcefully terminated because they didn’t fit into skinny jeans or match up to the Podcast & YouTube culture. These are the modern-day lepers sent to the outside of your camp—abandoned and forgotten. What a waste of Kingdom resources.
  6. Return to the Quarry: Isaiah 51:1 (NIV) Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn.

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