Hello, BRN Family. It’s good to be with you today.
It is a serious day in the Southern Baptist Convention. On Sunday, May 22, Guidepost Solutions, an independent research firm hired by the SBC’s Executive Committee at the requests of messengers at last year’s SBC annual meeting, issued their 288-page report.
Readily available at sataskforce.net, this report details their findings related to the alleged lack of response of the SBC Executive Committee to sexual abuse allegations and an audit of the procedures and actions of the credentials committee.
This report, which revealed high level resistance toward addressing sex abuse, includes information and descriptions related to sexual assault. Please let me caution you. This may be triggering for some readers.
The Baptist Resource Network is committed to protecting against all abuse, whether children, women and/or vulnerable adults. We are so serious about this that in recent days, before this report came out, our Executive Board unanimously voted to adopt a “BRN Abuse Prevention” policy for our organization.
In 2019, we previously issued a Statement to BRN Churches, which encourages churches to develop and implement a plan to prevent abuse of minors and vulnerable adults within the ministries of the church and to proactively implement a plan to educate and raise awareness of the seriousness of abuse within the ministries of the church. Churches also are encouraged to proactively implement a plan to minister and care for those affected by abuse.
Moreover, churches who wish to affiliate with the BRN must abide by this statement and state law requirements of Pennsylvania or New Jersey. Churches who do not will not be affiliated with the BRN.
Let me say this. Sin and abuse against any individual is intolerable. Even more so is the cover-up of such sins. I am grieved and heartbroken about the apparent lack of response of those we trust within the SBC.
With a heavy heart, I ask you to pray and to lament over the report’s revelations. Please pray for all of the Survivors (those who were involved in this process and those who have yet to come forward in their distress). I urge for us to be humble in our responses and to be sensitive to the Lord as He brings out darkness into His light.
Thank you for listening in and may God bless you!
Editor’s note: Resources for abuse prevention and care are available at brnunited.org/abuse-prevention.