The Southern Baptists’ Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission just had its sixth national conference last week. This story came out of it and there’ll probably be more. TL;DR Greear wants to end church independence by invoking “sex abuse”.
‘Caring Well’: Sex abuse ‘a Gospel issue,’ Greear says
By Tom Strode, 4 October 2019
GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP) — The Gospel cannot be separated from how the church deals with sexual abuse, Southern Baptist leaders J.D. Greear and Russell Moore said Thursday (Oct. 3) on the first day of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s sixth annual national conference.
Greear, SBC president, and Moore, ERLC president, spoke to a sellout audience of more than 1,650 registrants at the conference, “Caring Well: Equipping the Church to Confront the Abuse Crisis,” in Grapevine, Texas. The gathering — hosted by the ERLC in partnership with the SBC Sexual Abuse Advisory Group, which Greear convened last year — is designed to educate churches about abuse prevention and ministering to survivors of such abuse.
Right off the bat, I have a huge issue against Greear: THIS ISN’T THAT HARD! Per Romans 13:1-5, God gave government the duty of punishing evil. Therefore, anybody in the church who detects sex abuse should report to the police and follow their instructions. Even in today’s Clown World, that system still works very well. We don’t need a national committee holding a national conference to figure out what God has already decreed.
But SJWs never waste a crisis. As we get into the Seven Deadly Myths, notice that Greear’s advice is less about preventing and punishing child molestation–which he refuses to even name, opting for generic “sex abuse”–and more about him being ten years late to #ListenAndBelieve.
“This is a Gospel issue,” Greear told the capacity crowd in a convention center ballroom. “The credibility of our witness and, even more importantly, the souls of our people are at stake.”
Caring for those whom God has entrusted to the church “is a way that we can, and we must, put the trustworthiness of the Gospel on display,” he said.
Moore said, “Sexual abuse is awful in any context in any place, but church sexual abuse adds” Jesus to the predatory act and trauma, “and that is a perversion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
That’s the capital-G Gospel, the other path to divine power. Greear teaches a heresy that the Church wields God’s authority (“the Gospel”) separate from the person and teachings of Christ. More here for the interested:
Greear — pastor of The Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area — opened his address with an apology to sexual abuse survivors.
“I cannot speak for every Southern Baptist in America, but I can speak for myself and say that I’m sorry, truly sorry. As a pastor and as a dad, I’m sorry,” Greear said.
“Your church leaders should be the first to rush to your defense,” he told survivors, “and when we don’t do that, we dishonor the name of Christ, we betray the Gospel that has been committed to us.
“We have to learn from our past,” he noted, “and we have to change our future.”
That apology is indefensible by Christian moral standards. Greear is signaling that henceforth, Listen And Believe shall be the church’s new standard of “fighting sex abuse”.
In his message, Greear named and answered seven myths regarding sex abuse that prevent churches from combating it and caring for survivors as they should:
— Myth No. 1: “Sexual abuse in the church is not really a problem but simply the latest leftist attack on the church.”
He didn’t wait to punch a Nazi, now did he? What are we talking about, anyway? What is “sexual abuse”? Is it rape-rape specifically? Not a systematic problem. Is it “the creep asked me out on a date”? That’s Barbie’s problem. But homosexual child molestation is absolutely a Leftist attack upon the church by false priests.
“Survivors and advocates have been calling our attention to this for years,” he said in response to the myth. Believing this myth has caused many to “miscategorize the words of people like Christa Brown, Tiffany Thigpen, Mary DeMuth, and Anne Marie Miller, Dave Pittman, Jules Woodson, Megan Lively and so many other victims as attacks from adversaries instead of warnings from friends.”
I arbitrarily picked Christa Brown for a closer look. She claims to have been raped at the age of 16, which is a really suspicious age for claiming it was 100% the man’s fault. Especially since she didn’t come forward right away to either church authority or the police. But I can’t be certain of my facts because I haven’t bought her book… there wasn’t a full account available for free.
Not that I doubt that sex predators have been making inroads into all branches of Christendom after our leaders became reluctant to confront evil in any form, but a 16yo losing her virginity to a probable sex-starved minister is not the kind of sex abuse that requires systemic changes.
— Myth No. 2: “Abuse only happens in Catholic or liberal or complementarian or you-fill-in-the-blank churches.”
Nobody believes that.
This myth “is naive: It relegates abuse to an ideological problem, when it should be most properly seen as a depravity problem,” Greear said.
It’s a criminal justice problem, Greear. Like I said at the beginning.
— Myth No. 3: “The church is best equipped to handle this internally.”
“Some things … are not only immoral, they are illegal, and criminally so,” he told the audience.
Oh, so Greear agrees! Why then, does he keep talking about increased vigilance and increased oversight and sweeping policy changes?
Because he’s only talking about the LOCAL church “not being equiped to handle this internally”. He wants the national organization to intervene when a woman makes an accusation… the religious version of frivorce courts.
Greear doesn’t mean law enforcement should get involved, otherwise he’d say so and be done.
— Myth No. 4: “A posture of grace requires giving the benefit of the doubt to those accused and offering the convicted a second chance.”
Yes to the first. Clergy get special respects for the position they occupy and not entertaining poorly-documented accusations against them is a relevant one. Even apart from American standards of due process and presumption of innocence.
And yes to the second. Notice Greear’s wording of it. Offering the CONVICTED a second chance. That’s a separate issue from covering up child abuse, which is what most people are thinking when they hear “sex abuse in the Church”.
“Christian teachings on grace and forgiveness never mean covering up sin in ways that expose others to harm,” Greear said. “And someone that has abused another should never be in a position in our churches where they can do it a second time.”
They probably should not have been in that position a first time. Going back to Christa Brown’s case, whose bright idea was it to put a man in authority over impressionable young women?
Men and women are different, and pretending otherwise is how a lot of such problems come to pass.
— Myth No. 5: “Enduring abuse in marriage is part of learning to love like Jesus.”
“We say, ‘God hates divorce.’ Yes, but God also hates abuse. And we don’t enable one thing God hates to try and prevent another,” he said.
That’s the big one. Sex abuse can happen in marriage!
Greear, you Christ-hating fucker. You only mouth the words ‘God hates divorce’. Maybe if you ACTED like it and punished women for divorcing their husbands, we wouldn’t have so many sexually starved men causing trouble.
— Myth No. 6: “We would know an abuser if one was in our church.”
Nobody believes that.
Abusers “can be disarming and downright charming,” Greear said. “And they thrive in environments of naive assumptions and no accountability, where stereotypes, rather than sober thinking, control the day.”
On this, Greear is right. But his solution is the Catholic one of centralizing authority, which would be fine if Baptists were Catholic. But they’re Protestant, which brings up the problem that laymen are locked out of criticizing or monitoring our clergy entirely… on all issues, so when Pastor gets frisky with the cute girls there’s nobody present to raise suspicions.
Greear wants the reins of power over all the SBC churches. An honest Protestant would instead be calling for local laymen to be allowed more involvement in Church authority.
— Myth No. 7: “Updating our policies will take care of the problem.”
Updated policies are “essential steps,” but they must be combined in local churches with “changes in attitude and culture,” he said.
Aaand there it is. He wants to “change the attitude and culture” of the SBC and that can’t happen until he’s dictating policy to all those currently-independent churches. Leveraging the
child abuse “sex abuse” scandals with the help of false accusers and feminists is allowing him to set the necessary precedents for dictating feminism from Central Planning.
And the churches are cooperating because their Cucked clergy would rather be ruled by Moscow than share their local authority with capable laymen. Incompetent leaders hate and fear competent followers.
Recap of the Seven Deadly Myths:
- Sex abuse is a Leftist attack against the Church
- It can’t happen here
- We can handle it ourselves
- The accused deserve the benefit of the doubt
- Sex abuse can’t happen within marriage
- We can police ourselves
- All we need is a procedure for handling accusations
Greear’s agenda is an ugly one. We’ve seen it elsewhere. Fortunately, it will kill an organization that has already become so feeble that it cannot recognize Evil when he writes a book and keynotes their national conference.
I only regret that those about to be screwed cannot be convinced to take the Red Pill.
Let me close with this article I found while researching Christa Brown. It shows how the focus of these SBC “sex abuses” is church independence rather than church coverups.
SBC Officials Criticize ‘Predator Preacher’ Report on ’20/20′
By Bob Allen, 18 April 2007
Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page called last week’s “20/20” story on predatory preachers “yellow journalism” and a “slice-and-dice” piece to make it appear Southern Baptists aren’t doing enough to combat sexual abuse by clergy.
Page appeared on Friday’s program, saying he agreed to an interview to provide balance to a story he expected to be “overwhelmingly negative.”
After seeing the program, Page, pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C., complained Monday in Baptist Press that ABC News used just a few seconds of his two-hour interview, leaving out his comments about what the nation’s largest Protestant faith group is doing to address the problem.
“Much is being done right now and much is being done on the local level,” Page said. “They did not want to include that because it would have tainted their piece.”
Never talk to the media. Although, I suppose that was part of Page’s job.
“I felt that it was an intentional slice-and-dice effort to portray the SBC and its president as uncaring and uninformed,” he said. “It was more than a two-hour interview reduced to less than 60 seconds of choppy response. It was a prime example of yellow journalism, in which a broad brush was used and the whole truth was denied a fair hearing.”
August Boto, general counsel and vice president for convention policy with the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, issued a statement criticizing what he said were inaccuracies in the report.
“Unfortunately, the ’20/20′ report last Friday had the effect of misleading at least some of its viewers to believe that the Southern Baptist Convention somehow condones, hides or denies sexual offenses committed by ministers in SBC-affiliated churches,” Boto said. “The convention does none of those things. Quite the contrary.”
Christa Brown of Stop Baptist Predators and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said the Southern Baptist leaders’ response to the “20/20” program was “both revealing and disheartening,” because it “reflects institutional denial.”
“Most ordinary, decent people might expect that religious leaders would immediately take action, on learning that their ministerial registry included convicted child molesters,” Brown said. “They might expect that someone would be held accountable, that someone would be instructed to get the convicted child molesters off the list, and that someone would be told to do it NOW!
No examples given of such “convicted child molesters”. Perhaps she meant suspected molesters, or perhaps the SBC didn’t regard sex with an almost-legal girl as the unforgivable sin.
“Decent people might even expect that religious leaders would make a public apology to the families who long endured the salt in the wound of seeing men who molested their kids continue to be publicly held forth as Southern Baptist ministers.”
Why? Did these religious leaders were not directly involved then they have no guilt. Nobody taking Ditsy Barbie seriously is not the same thing as condoning child abuse.
Robert Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics said, “Rather than attack ABC News, SBC leaders should atone for the lack of accountability for predator preachers.”
FYI, the Baptist Center for Ethics operates ethicsdaily.com. Parham is basically quoting himself.
“Fundamentalists always assault the messenger, instead of hearing the truth of the message,” Parham said. “ABC News and EthicsDaily.com have told an inconvenient truth that children need protection from preacher predators, and that too many predators take advantage of a system that hides behind local church autonomy.”
I saw that attitude also come up in a review of the actual 20/20 interview, that the problem of sex abuse in the SBC is due to church autonomy rather than concealing child molestation as happened in the RCC. Even though neither is what apparently happened in Brown’s case.
Baptist Press said “20/20” did not report that the SBC adopted a resolution in 2002 on the sexual integrity of ministers. BP also listed five books on the topic available from LifeWay Christian Resources, along with an arrangement allowing churches to do criminal background checks on prospective ministers at a discounted rate.