Insights into Southern Baptist perspectives on abuse

Discuss current news and trends taking place in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Moderator: William Thornton

Insights into Southern Baptist perspectives on abuse

Postby Sandy » Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:10 pm

https://sbcvoices.com/should-we-believe-the-victim/

Discussion among Southern Baptists, post-Houston Chronicle, Birmingham SBC Convention regarding the issues of clergy abuse within the denomination. It looks to me like several perspectives are represented in the discussion....

1. If women were just relegated to the place where they were when the New Testament was written, we wouldn't have all of these cases of abuse because they'd just have to keep their mouth shut and not talk about it. They're just property anyway.
2. The ERLC is producing the first curriculum for training churches to minister to abused persons. Russ Moore is head of the ERLC. Russ Moore doesn't like Trump. So we're not going to use the material even if it doesn't cost us anything.
3. "Believe the victim" isn't consistent with Biblical mandates found in the New Testament. No matter that in a case of sexual abuse, the only other person who knows is the abuser and there is no way someone can bring two or three witnesses, scripture should still apply.
4. Yes, both of the better known architects of the conservative resurgence have their problems related to this issue but what they did was a necessary thing, no matter their other mistakes so they can't be held accountable.
Sandy
Sandy
 
Posts: 9444
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:10 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Insights into Southern Baptist perspectives on abuse

Postby Haruo » Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:46 pm

Southern Baptists always did sort of remind me of Roman Catholics.

Sorry. I've got some sarcasm in me.
Haruo (呂須•春男) = ᎭᎷᎣ = Leland Bryant Ross
Repeal the language taxLearn and use Esperanto
Fremont Baptist ChurchMy hymnblog
User avatar
Haruo
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12806
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 7:21 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Insights into Southern Baptist perspectives on abuse

Postby William Thornton » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:16 am

Not sure any discussion at SBC Voices is representative of the SBC but this one features several problems and some positive developments in regard to "the SBC" and clergy/church sex abuse. I put "the SBC" in quotes because critics normally lump together every component of the separate, sprawling but related and cooperative SBC. This is done to either deliberately normalize aberrant behavior across the convention or done out of genuine lack of knowledge and understanding of SBC polity. Sometimes this matters. Sometimes not. Autonomy is a reality that must be dealt with and acknowledged.

Sandy observes these points. My comments following each

1. If women were just relegated to the place where they were when the New Testament was written, we wouldn't have all of these cases of abuse because they'd just have to keep their mouth shut and not talk about it. They're just property anyway.
No argument from me that there are individuals who are noisy and obstinate patriarchialists in the SBC. Some of these comment regularly. There is the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, a rump semi-independent organization connected with Southern Seminary. They are trying to find their place these days. Not a group I have a lot of confidence in. Across the board - all the seminaries, current leadership, mission boards, ERLC - there is an attitude of intolerance for sex abuse in churches and by clergy.

2. The ERLC is producing the first curriculum for training churches to minister to abused persons. Russ Moore is head of the ERLC. Russ Moore doesn't like Trump. So we're not going to use the material even if it doesn't cost us anything.

I was surprised by the depth and quality of the ERLC curriculum on this, and by the involvement of some prominent and some not so prominent abuse victims. The online curriculum CaringWellis free and available to all. Moore might be the most hated man in the SBC by some. He's doing a good job.


3. "Believe the victim" isn't consistent with Biblical mandates found in the New Testament. No matter that in a case of sexual abuse, the only other person who knows is the abuser and there is no way someone can bring two or three witnesses, scripture should still apply.

"Believe the victim" has a context in the sex abuse discussion. Some of the brethren can't get past the thinking that it means false accusations are not only accepted but sought. When many pastors are brought into a discussion of clergy sex abuse they go immediately to the problem of false accusations against clergy. The percentages of accusations that are false are in single digits. The old system of hushing up an accusation and moving an offender to another church is still alive, though roundly condemned by leadership.

4. Yes, both of the better known architects of the conservative resurgence have their problems related to this issue but what they did was a necessary thing, no matter their other mistakes so they can't be held accountable.

A small number of sychophants refuse to believe the problems with Patterson and Pressler. Vines is now somewhat sullied, as well. It will get uglier, I predict.

We will see where it goes...
_____________

The problem is that no one can dictate that churches must behave in certain ways, must certify the training of their clergy, must install requirements for ordination. They have to be persuaded. We can exclude churches but that's about it. Seminaries can require certain things for their students. Mission boards can require things for their church planters and missionaries. Entities can require trustees undergo training and the like. Churches cannot be required to do anything.
My stray thoughts on SBC stuff may be found at my blog, SBC Plodder
User avatar
William Thornton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12405
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:30 pm
Location: Atlanta

Re: Insights into Southern Baptist perspectives on abuse

Postby Dave Roberts » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:20 am

The proof will be in how many churches get the boot over the next five years, especially if they give $500,000 or more to the SBC and/or its mission offerings.
"God will never be less than He is and does not need to be more" (John Koessler)

My blog: http://emporiadave.wordpress.com/
User avatar
Dave Roberts
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7551
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 1:01 pm
Location: Southside, VA

Re: Insights into Southern Baptist perspectives on abuse

Postby Sandy » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:35 am

William Thornton wrote:The problem is that no one can dictate that churches must behave in certain ways, must certify the training of their clergy, must install requirements for ordination. They have to be persuaded. We can exclude churches but that's about it. Seminaries can require certain things for their students. Mission boards can require things for their church planters and missionaries. Entities can require trustees undergo training and the like. Churches cannot be required to do anything.


There are always some interesting comments on SBC Voices. I don't know where it fits into the curriculum of the churches anymore, it used to be in church training, but it seems many Southern Baptists have lost the perspective that no Baptist speaks for any other Baptists and the denomination is not an ecclesiastical heirarchy but is instead a management system for a group of entities, mainly seminaries and mission boards, that support cooperative ministry. The attitudes reflected at SBC Voices will continue to be there, which means there will still be churches where abuse occurs and for which people will blame the denomination, even though it appears to be policing itself.

But then you have all of that issue surrounding Darrell Gilyard, Paige Patterson and Jerry Vines. That two of the loudest "inerrantists" in the SBC blazed a trail for "their guy" to abuse women in at least three different congregations is incredible. That they used their influence and power to cover for him, hide what was happening and distort the facts (in essence, lied to the churches they talked into taking him) is bad enough, along with Patterson's attitude and practice when it came to reports of abuse on campuses where he was in charge, but that there are still church leaders who know this who are still frumped up and angry because Patterson got the boot. The SBC has to police its ranks more carefully, making sure that the people it picks to be trustees and executive board members are qualified spiritually and by their record, not by who they know.
Sandy
Sandy
 
Posts: 9444
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:10 pm
Location: Chicago


Return to SBC News and Trends

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest